The Easter/resurrection rumble thread [warning: this is a free for all]

Re: The Easter/resurrection rumble thread [warning: this is a free for all]

Postby LhasaLhamo » 30 Jan 2012, 13:08

MikeN wrote:Yea, heard that when I was in Kashmir- there were various local publications about it. Best explanation I got was from a (Muslim)school teacher who told me that, because of his great suffering on the cross, God allowed the Prophet Jesus to spend the rest of his life in Kashmir, because that's as close to Paradise as you can get on Earth ( this was before the current round of troubles.)
Hi, Mike. Do you remember what the source materials were in these publications? On what did they base their info? Thanks for posting.
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Re: The Easter/resurrection rumble thread [warning: this is a free for all]

Postby Vay » 08 Jun 2012, 02:06

I started to read this thread, but it's wayyyy too long, and much in the beginning pages doesn't seem to have much to do with the topic. Just thought I'd add my four cents. Sorry for skipping much of the content in doing so, but at least my points actually are related to the Resurrection!

A) Jesus' "sacrifice" never seemed to have been much of a sacrifice to me, given that He is omnipotent and omnicient (sp?) I remember reading once how terrible it was for Him to have been separated from the Father (should "the" be capitalized there?) for three days, but frankly that argument seems to be total conjecture for one thing and not very persuasive to boot. Basically someone is rationalizing after the fact for a story that wasn't well thought out to begin with.

B) I like Hitchen's point that the whole notion of Jesus' sacrifice is very odd: how can one person assume the burden of guilt (and I realize the wording here is probably crucial, and I'm getting it wrong) for others? You can meaningfully forgive me only when you have been victimized by me to begin with! Is it reasonable to forgive one person or pay penance for them on another's behalf? So Bob can steal Steve's girlfriend, and then Bill can forgive Bob on behalf of Steve?

C) There is a very interesting podcast in which it is (rather convincingly, IMO) argued that Jesus' sacrifice could not have been the culmination of a narrative begun in the Old Testament:

Sacrificial Lambs

I won't go into the details here, but if you like this kind of stuff, check it out. Really an interesting bit of Davinci Code-ish Biblical interpretation.

D) Let me see if OTMH I can come up with the proofs for the resurrection. Heard them once in an interview with the author of
The God Debates: A 21st Century Guide for Atheists and Believers (and Everyone in Between):

1) Corroborating witnesses
2) Willing martyrdom of said witnesses.
3) Conversion of noted skeptics - in particular, Saul
4) The empty tomb, guarded by a Roman guard (according to Matthew)

Seems to me there were ten of these, but that podcast was a long time ago...
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Re: The Easter/resurrection rumble thread [warning: this is a free for all]

Postby Confuzius » 08 Jun 2012, 22:55

I'm a Buddhist, but.....

Vay wrote:A) Jesus' "sacrifice" never seemed to have been much of a sacrifice to me, given that He is omnipotent and omnicient (sp?)


Gotto embrace the paradox. Yes, he was wholly god, but he was also wholly human, thus the contradiction falls away.

Vay wrote:B) I like Hitchen's point that the whole notion of Jesus' sacrifice is very odd: how can one person assume the burden of guilt (and I realize the wording here is probably crucial, and I'm getting it wrong) for others? You can meaningfully forgive me only when you have been victimized by me to begin with! Is it reasonable to forgive one person or pay penance for them on another's behalf? So Bob can steal Steve's girlfriend, and then Bill can forgive Bob on behalf of Steve?


Every sin against man is actually a sin against god. Why is murder or torture wrong? Is it that there is something inherently immoral about it? No, its because god said it was wrong (OK, this is the Jewish reason, but I would imagine it would apply here as well). So essentially, god is the only one you are actually offending, so it is up to him to forgive you.

Vay wrote:C) There is a very interesting podcast in which it is (rather convincingly, IMO) argued that Jesus' sacrifice could not have been the culmination of a narrative begun in the Old Testament:

Sacrificial Lambs


Didn't listen to it, but from an OT perspective, there is much about Jesus' sacrifice that doesn't 'jive'. (lambs were not sin offerings, Jesus actually sinned if you believe he had no children, there is no such thing as original sin, the list goes on).
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Re: The Easter/resurrection rumble thread [warning: this is a free for all]

Postby Vay » 09 Jun 2012, 19:36

Confuzius wrote:Gotto embrace the paradox. Yes, he was wholly god, but he was also wholly human, thus the contradiction falls away.


Yeah I suppose this kind of line works for some people, but definitely not for me.

The thing is, I do see beauty in the Jesus story. What I like about it is the simple message of an individual sacrificing oneself for the good of the group. This is the ultimate expression of altruism, which very probably has its roots in evolution.

My problem here though is not whether Jesus can experience physical and emotional suffering. It is the fact that an individual sacrificing himself could take great solace in the knowledge of the inevitable "efficacy" of his sacrifice. As God, Jesus could not but know his sacrifice would "work" and that his triumph was guaranteed. It is simply meaningless to say he could simultaneously know and not know this (though the fact that grammatical correctness doesn't guarantee logical consistency still allows people to say and even accept it).

Hence, Jesus' "sacrifice" wasn't really a sacrifice. Knowing the inevitable outcome, it would still of course require great courage to put oneself through that - but definitely not the courage of a man who makes the ultimate sacrifice with no guarantee that losing everything he has will accomplish anything at all!
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Re: The Easter/resurrection rumble thread [warning: this is a free for all]

Postby Confuzius » 09 Jun 2012, 23:42

Vay wrote:
Confuzius wrote:Gotto embrace the paradox. Yes, he was wholly god, but he was also wholly human, thus the contradiction falls away.


Yeah I suppose this kind of line works for some people, but definitely not for me.

The thing is, I do see beauty in the Jesus story. What I like about it is the simple message of an individual sacrificing oneself for the good of the group. This is the ultimate expression of altruism, which very probably has its roots in evolution.

My problem here though is not whether Jesus can experience physical and emotional suffering. It is the fact that an individual sacrificing himself could take great solace in the knowledge of the inevitable "efficacy" of his sacrifice. As God, Jesus could not but know his sacrifice would "work" and that his triumph was guaranteed. It is simply meaningless to say he could simultaneously know and not know this (though the fact that grammatical correctness doesn't guarantee logical consistency still allows people to say and even accept it).

Hence, Jesus' "sacrifice" wasn't really a sacrifice. Knowing the inevitable outcome, it would still of course require great courage to put oneself through that - but definitely not the courage of a man who makes the ultimate sacrifice with no guarantee that losing everything he has will accomplish anything at all!


I think you think that the believers think that its supposed to 'make sense' logically.

I don't think its supposed to.
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Re: The Easter/resurrection rumble thread [warning: this is a free for all]

Postby Vay » 10 Jun 2012, 00:38

Confuzius wrote:I think you think that the believers think that its supposed to 'make sense' logically.


No, I don't think they think that. I know I think that.
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Re: The Easter/resurrection rumble thread [warning: this is a free for all]

Postby Confuzius » 10 Jun 2012, 01:26

Vay wrote:
Confuzius wrote:I think you think that the believers think that its supposed to 'make sense' logically.


No, I don't think they think that. I know I think that.


Which is why, I suppose, at least in part, you are not a believer.

But all of your problems with the logic have already been raised. Modern critical scholarship on scriptural incosistencies (such as JEPD and whatnot) were LONG ago noticed, acknowledged and even dealt with by theologians. We may think we have figured all sorts of stuff out only recently, but we haven't. The questions we ask today on our computers are the same questions people asked by candlelight over a thousand years ago. What has changed, are the answers.

But if you do not essentially 'buy in' to the ontological assumptions faith demand, then well, thats that.

However, once such ontological assumptions have been accepted, a different form of logic then takes place. You, of course, will not be satisfied with the answers given by people of faith...but thats what 'faith' is all about.

If it WAS supposed to make sense, there would be no need for faith.


It is much like trying to translate directly from Chinese to English and then being unhappy when it simply does not work.
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Re: The Easter/resurrection rumble thread [warning: this is a free for all]

Postby Vay » 10 Jun 2012, 03:31

Confuzius wrote:
Vay wrote:
Confuzius wrote:I think you think that the believers think that its supposed to 'make sense' logically.


No, I don't think they think that. I know I think that.


Which is why, I suppose, at least in part, you are not a believer.

But all of your problems with the logic have already been raised. Modern critical scholarship on scriptural incosistencies (such as JEPD and whatnot) were LONG ago noticed, acknowledged and even dealt with by theologians. We may think we have figured all sorts of stuff out only recently, but we haven't. The questions we ask today on our computers are the same questions people asked by candlelight over a thousand years ago. What has changed, are the answers.

But if you do not essentially 'buy in' to the ontological assumptions faith demand, then well, thats that.

However, once such ontological assumptions have been accepted, a different form of logic then takes place. You, of course, will not be satisfied with the answers given by people of faith...but thats what 'faith' is all about.

If it WAS supposed to make sense, there would be no need for faith.

It is much like trying to translate directly from Chinese to English and then being unhappy when it simply does not work.


Yes, honestly I get all that. I'm just thick-skinned enough to admit it if I didn't. As I said, works for some people, not for me. I say this with some regret, as I would surely welcome the kind of community that such a faith offers. As I've mentioned before, if there were a Pantheist, Unitarian or other such liberal, modern religious community within a convenient distance, I might even join.

It's maybe worth noting, though, that when I was still a believer and I pointed out these problems (as I raised in "A" and "B" above) to people, they'd generally respond first with logic, and when I persisted in arguing, then move to "embrace the paradox" - which leads me to believe that, in many cases at least, this is just a kind of special pleading.

Moreover, when the faithful try to convince one why their method of experiencing the mystery is better, they're always going to head back in the direction of standard logic. Unless of course they're Unitarians or Pantheists, which is why I lean towards those types of faiths.

Really I think mostly what that "different form of logic" is about is to quiet the rather dominant analytical reductionist mind so the intuitive, holistic mind can come forward, so to speak. A sense of submission probably plays a big part in this, and that I can totally empathize with. "Thank you, oh Lord, for teaching me humility" is still one of my favorite expressions, even in the faithless state in which I find myself now.
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Re: The Easter/resurrection rumble thread [warning: this is a free for all]

Postby bob » 10 Jun 2012, 04:03

Confuzius wrote: But all of your problems with the logic have already been raised. Modern critical scholarship on scriptural inconsistencies (such as JEPD and whatnot) were LONG ago noticed, acknowledged and even dealt with by theologians. We may think we have figured all sorts of stuff out only recently, but we haven't. The questions we ask today on our computers are the same questions people asked by candlelight over a thousand years ago. What has changed, are the answers.


Interesting. What's the "new" answer to the problem of theodicy?

God created a situation whereby many people are constitutionally incapable of faith and yet will be judged precisely on that basis. Would a loving god do that? Where's the "new" way of responding to that question? Does god simply reward the delusional? To have faith in the Bible at this point would mean you were crazy and/or ignorant and/or low IQ. Is that what it takes to be forgiven for acting on (or even thinking about) the urges that god supposedly gave us?

The Bible is supposed to be the inerrant word of god and is filled with errors. Have the modern theologians really been coming up with answers to problems like this? Seems to me quite a few have been analyzing the data and deciding themselves the thing whole thing makes not a a squirt of sense. LOTS of people drop out of seminary precisely because the more you know about religion the more likely you are to see through it. Some students push through and share a dumbed down version of Christianity but many aren't that corrupt.

God is unchanging and all knowing. How does that jive with the fact that the God of the old testament knew so little about science, was a psychopathic murderer, and concerned himself only with the fate of an insignificant (relative to all the other civilizations Chinese, Aztec, North American Aborigine etc. existing at the time) and yet was supposed to be, well, GOD and a loving one at that.

And Jesus associated with that monster. Where is the sense in THAT!

Christianity isn't always negative in it's effects, but is always completely irrational at it's core. That has been made crystal clear. If people want to sustain delusions that is their right, what should not (IMHO) go unchallenged is the notion that that position warrants "respect." The person might deserve respect, his right to hold a position certainly deserves respect, but notions of supernatural agents? That is lunacy,and of a kind that invariably leads to atrocity. The theocratic leadership of Tibet prior to the Chinese invasion was as brutal and cruel as the Taliban would set up now. There are very good "moral" reasons why the supernatural elements of religion need to be constanly challenged. That is demonstrated, abundantly, by the history of moral and scientific advancement. Regardless, nut jobs are still a majority in a lot of places, arguing that, for example, that evolution is "just" a theory. What they don't get is that it is "just" a theory in the sense that "gravity" is "just" a theory. Indeed the theory evolution at this point is better established than the theory of gravity. There is no question that evolution occurred and is still occurring, what is at issue is the precise mechanisms by which it occurs, but there is no way the average person knows that, precisely because liars and their fools maintain, to this day, an inordinate influence over public discourse.

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Re: The Easter/resurrection rumble thread [warning: this is a free for all]

Postby Confuzius » 10 Jun 2012, 12:52

bob wrote:Interesting. What's the "new" answer to the problem of theodicy?


Good question. However, theodicy actually being a problem is based on the assumption there is a deity who is all good and all powerful, so one must first have that assumption to even ask that question (unless they are simply asking in a theoretical sense).

bob wrote:God created a situation whereby many people are constitutionally incapable of faith and yet will be judged precisely on that basis.


Believers tend to believe no one is INCAPABLE of faith, thus this part of the questions falls away.

bob wrote:Would a loving god do that? Where's the "new" way of responding to that question? Does god simply reward the delusional? To have faith in the Bible at this point would mean you were crazy and/or ignorant and/or low IQ.


You did just assert that EVERYONE that believes in the bible is either a. crazy, b. ignorant, c. stupid or d. all of the above. There are many intelligent, sane and quite knowledgeable people who believe in the bible. There are also plenty of ignorant, crazy stupid people who are atheists. So, yeah, this statement was more your own rant than anything to do with the question of theodicy.

bob wrote:Is that what it takes to be forgiven for acting on (or even thinking about) the urges that god supposedly gave us?


If you had no urges to overcome, what would be the point of reward and punishment? Reward is given for fighting those urges-since it is VERY difficult to overcome them, hence you are worthy of reward. Nuttin good ever came easy as they say.

bob wrote:The Bible is supposed to be the inerrant word of god and is filled with errors. Have the modern theologians really been coming up with answers to problems like this?


Yes, as have theologians for centuries.

bob wrote:Seems to me quite a few have been analyzing the data and deciding themselves the thing whole thing makes not a a squirt of sense. LOTS of people drop out of seminary precisely because the more you know about religion the more likely you are to see through it. Some students push through and share a dumbed down version of Christianity but many aren't that corrupt.


From my experience, most share the 'dumbed down' version. Even in Judaism, what do your think the Reform and Conservative movements do? These are seminaries that are actually built upon the dumbed down versions.

bob wrote:God is unchanging and all knowing. How does that jive with the fact that the God of the old testament knew so little about science,


Oh, he knew, we didn't.

bob wrote:was a psychopathic murderer, and concerned himself only with the fate of an insignificant (relative to all the other civilizations Chinese, Aztec, North American Aborigine etc. existing at the time) and yet was supposed to be, well, GOD and a loving one at that.


Because the Jews are awesome (now I'm just being silly).

bob wrote:And Jesus associated with that monster. Where is the sense in THAT!

Christianity isn't always negative in it's effects, but is always completely irrational at it's core. That has been made crystal clear. If people want to sustain delusions that is their right, what should not (IMHO) go unchallenged is the notion that that position warrants "respect." The person might deserve respect, his right to hold a position certainly deserves respect, but notions of supernatural agents? That is lunacy,and of a kind that invariably leads to atrocity.


How so? (does this SINGLE point bring about that effect?)

bob wrote:The theocratic leadership of Tibet prior to the Chinese invasion was as brutal and cruel as the Taliban would set up now. There are very good "moral" reasons why the supernatural elements of religion need to be constanly challenged. That is demonstrated, abundantly, by the history of moral and scientific advancement. Regardless, nut jobs are still a majority in a lot of places, arguing that, for example, that evolution is "just" a theory. What they don't get is that it is "just" a theory in the sense that "gravity" is "just" a theory. Indeed the theory evolution at this point is better established than the theory of gravity. There is no question that evolution occurred and is still occurring, what is at issue is the precise mechanisms by which it occurs, but there is no way the average person knows that, precisely because liars and their fools maintain, to this day, an inordinate influence over public discourse.


You kinda took a bunch of issues, threw them in the blender, and wrote this paragraph. Too much to unpack in any meaningful sense.
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