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  1. #121
    @hibs.net private member One Day Soon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twa Cairpets View Post
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    You want me to become irrational in order to engage with you? I think we'll agree on that. I think what you're saying is that in order to argue against the existence of God/Jesus etc, I have to first accept that he's real, and from that point you'll be happy to discuss it? Isn't that a bit bonkers? I could take slight offence that you view being rational as being a limited world view, but I prefer to raise a quizzical eyebrow at that implication.
    Whereas you want him to become entirely rational in order to engage with you?

    But apart from that, again you're having a little preach at me rather than addressing any of the points I raised, or deliberately fixating on something that I have since explained, and not actually addressed any of the points raised.

    Do you accept that your appeal to popularity is not valid evidence for his existence, divine or not?
    Do you accept that there is no evidence of Jesus having existed?
    Do you accept that his alleged humility in his trial is nothing that indicates he was divine, if he did exist?
    Do you accept that it is perhaps surprising that a preacher proclaiming himself to be son of God and performing miracles warrants no mention in contemporary history?
    Do you think it odd - if only from a human perspective - that the chosen method of divine revelation through Jesus was carried out in the way that has been shown to be, for 2000 years, incredibly fraught and largely inefficient in touching souls?
    No, not at all. What would you prefer, a Facebook page?

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  3. #122
    @hibs.net private member Twa Cairpets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Day Soon View Post
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    That, with respect, is an articulate mixture of irrelevance and nonsense. You should dispense with the 'if he did exist' since you have already stated that you think he did. Why must "the lack of record therefore must cast doubt on his divine existence"? That assertion has no basis whatsoever. All you are doing is inferring your preferred interpretation of what happened.
    Obviously not as articulate as I wanted it to be or it wouldn't have come over as nonsense!

    What I wanted to say was that the chances of a genuinely divine Jesus, doing what the bible says he did, leaving no apparent record at the time is harder to credit than an entirely human, but charismatic preacher active at the time leaving no record. I entirely accept that it is my interpretation, but it does seem to make some sense to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by One Day Soon View Post
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    You seem to expect some kind of contemporary encyclopedia of events from a time when very few people could read or write and when, in fact, the capacity to do so was not a pleasant utility for learning and development but a political weapon of control wielded by the powerful. History, as they say, is written by the victors.
    No, I'm not wanting that level of proof. The record keeping of the Romans was, for the most part in that area and time, fairly extensive. I totally accept that history is not necessarily objective in its record keeping, and I've gone out of my way to acknowledge that absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence, but the fact remains that there isn't anything to support a historical Jesus. The NT record of his life is far too contradictory and error strewn to - by my lights anyway - to have any confidence in as any type of historical record, and despite ancienthibby's protestations that I am simply being a narrow minded rationalist, unless there's a reason to think something is true I'll plump on the side of being skeptical.
    Last edited by Twa Cairpets; 17-01-2013 at 08:27 PM. Reason: corrected accusation of ancienthibees protestation to ancienthibby. some auld bugger anyway

  4. #123
    Quote Originally Posted by Twa Cairpets View Post
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    Obviously not as articulate as I wanted it to be or it wouldn't have come over as nonsense!

    What I wanted to say was that the chances of a genuinely divine Jesus, doing what the bible says he did, leaving no apparent record at the time is harder to credit than an entirely human, but charismatic preacher active at the time leaving no record. I entirely accept that it is my interpretation, but it does seem to make some sense to me.


    No, I'm not wanting that level of proof. The record keeping of the Romans was, for the most part in that area and time, fairly extensive. I totally accept that history is not necessarily objective in its record keeping, and I've gone out of my way to acknowledge that absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence, but the fact remains that there isn't anything to support a historical Jesus. The NT record of his life is far too contradictory and error strewn to - by my lights anyway - to have any confidence in as any type of historical record, and despite ancienthibee's protestations that I am simply being a narrow minded rationalist, unless there's a reason to think something is true I'll plump on the side of being skeptical.
    So far as I am aware he has never been a participant in this thread. You should know your correspondents by now, TC!

  5. #124
    @hibs.net private member Twa Cairpets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Day Soon View Post
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    Originally Posted by Twa Cairpets
    You want me to become irrational in order to engage with you? I think we'll agree on that. I think what you're saying is that in order to argue against the existence of God/Jesus etc, I have to first accept that he's real, and from that point you'll be happy to discuss it? Isn't that a bit bonkers? I could take slight offence that you view being rational as being a limited world view, but I prefer to raise a quizzical eyebrow at that implication.
    Whereas you want him to become entirely rational in order to engage with you?

    But apart from that, again you're having a little preach at me rather than addressing any of the points I raised, or deliberately fixating on something that I have since explained, and not actually addressed any of the points raised.

    Do you accept that your appeal to popularity is not valid evidence for his existence, divine or not?
    Do you accept that there is no evidence of Jesus having existed?
    Do you accept that his alleged humility in his trial is nothing that indicates he was divine, if he did exist?
    Do you accept that it is perhaps surprising that a preacher proclaiming himself to be son of God and performing miracles warrants no mention in contemporary history?
    Do you think it odd - if only from a human perspective - that the chosen method of divine revelation through Jesus was carried out in the way that has been shown to be, for 2000 years, incredibly fraught and largely inefficient in touching souls?
    No, not at all. What would you prefer, a Facebook page?
    Earlier in the thread I rather politely asked Ancient this:

    "Imagine for a minute the possibility that the bible is a man-made construct. I know you don't believe this but humour me.
    If you were to write a sentence that was to give your fledgling religion easy legitimacy with your believers, wouldn't you say "blessed are those who have not yet seen and yet have believed?"


    To which he replied:

    Thanks kindly, TC, but that's one invitation I cannot take up! To do so would be a betrayal of Who I believe in!

    Now, I get reprimanded for - apparently - doggedly sticking to this narrow minded view, but it's ok for ancient not to even consider the alternative because it would constitute some kind of internal blasphemy? Don't you think this is something of double standard?

    Whether or not people choose to believe it, because I find this a very interesting subject, I spend a lot of timing considering the other view. So yes, it would nice for ancienthibby to apply rationality to some of his answers and not just reply with scripture or are a variant on "we cannot understand Gods ways".

    As for the second point, yes, facebook would probably be a good way, but I think he'd find twitter a little more effective these days. But there is a serious point here. An omniscient, omnipresent God has never managed to get above around a 30-40% of everyone who's ever lived to believe in him, and his one foray into the relatively modern world was restricted to a very short ministry by a single man performing what would have to be described as fairly low key miracles in the bronze age middle east. This isn't being disrespectful, this is a fact, and it's one that must call into question if the supernatural background to the story is real or entirely man made.
    Last edited by Twa Cairpets; 17-01-2013 at 08:28 PM.

  6. #125
    @hibs.net private member One Day Soon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twa Cairpets View Post
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    Obviously not as articulate as I wanted it to be or it wouldn't have come over as nonsense!

    What I wanted to say was that the chances of a genuinely divine Jesus, doing what the bible says he did, leaving no apparent record at the time is harder to credit than an entirely human, but charismatic preacher active at the time leaving no record. I entirely accept that it is my interpretation, but it does seem to make some sense to me.

    It shouldn't, it would have taken a brave - not to say suicidal - Roman to write down that this bloke they had just crucified was in fact the son of God and then list his miracles. In fact honouring him with any kind of record at all would have been asking for a crucifix of your own. I think you are projecting current perspectives backward 2000 years and then being disappointed that what could reasonably be expected by today's standards does not exist - or has not yet been discovered - from then. Not all knowledge and evidence arrives all at once after all - the earth has existed for millions of years and yet even now we have little conclusive proof as to how the universe came to be or works.


    No, I'm not wanting that level of proof. The record keeping of the Romans was, for the most part in that area and time, fairly extensive. I totally accept that history is not necessarily objective in its record keeping, and I've gone out of my way to acknowledge that absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence, but the fact remains that there isn't anything to support a historical Jesus. The NT record of his life is far too contradictory and error strewn to - by my lights anyway - to have any confidence in as any type of historical record, and despite ancienthibee's protestations that I am simply being a narrow minded rationalist, unless there's a reason to think something is true I'll plump on the side of being skeptical.

    If the above is true, why do you believe he existed?
    Apart of course from the fact that contesting his divinity, disputing the existence of God and agitating fiercely about people who hold a faith seems to occupy a truly massive proportion of your time on .net. Now that does constitute some kind of contemporary evidence.

  7. #126
    @hibs.net private member One Day Soon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twa Cairpets View Post
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    Earlier in the thread I rather politely asked Ancient this:

    "Imagine for a minute the possibility that the bible is a man-made construct. I know you don't believe this but humour me.
    If you were to write a sentence that was to give your fledgling religion easy legitimacy with your believers, wouldn't you say "blessed are those who have not yet seen and yet have believed?"


    To which he replied:

    Thanks kindly, TC, but that's one invitation I cannot take up! To do so would be a betrayal of Who I believe in!

    Now, I get reprimanded for - apparently - doggedly sticking to this narrow minded view, but it's ok for ancient not to even consider the alternative because it would constitute some kind of internal blasphemy? Don't you think this is something of double standard?
    Not really. You want him to be rationalist when discussing something (his faith) which - by definiton - it is impossible to rationalise. If there are double standards here then he is not the only one deploying them.

    Whether or not people choose to believe it, because I find this a very interesting subject, I spend a lot of timing considering the other view. So yes, it would nice for ancienthibby to apply rationality to some of his answers and not just reply with scripture or are a variant on "we cannot understand Gods ways".
    TC, if there is a God, then by definition "we cannot understand God's ways"

    As for the second point, yes, facebook would probably be a good way, but I think he'd find twitter a little more effective these days. But there is a serious point here. An omniscient, omnipresent God has never managed to get above around a 30-40% of everyone who's ever lived to believe in him, and his one foray into the relatively modern world was restricted to a very short ministry by a single man performing what would have to be described as fairly low key miracles in the bronze age middle east. This isn't being disrespectful, this is a fact, and it's one that must call into question if the supernatural background to the story is real or entirely man made.
    If the omniscient, omnipresent God was implementing a divine marketing strategy which was achieving a 100% believer rate it would be definition be self-defeating. What is the value of a believer if literally everyone is a believer? And I'm guessing the counter argument would be that it isn't God who has a 30 to 40% hit rate, it is his entirely imperfect human followers who's on the ground delivery is polling at this level. The miracles would have been far from low key in the context of the bronze age middle east. I don't think anything you have written above calls into question the supernatural background. Other things might,but not the relationship between membership rate, the number of sons put into play, the number and quality of miracles or the point of historical intervention. There's no QED there.

  8. #127
    @hibs.net private member Twa Cairpets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Day Soon View Post
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    It shouldn't, it would have taken a brave - not to say suicidal - Roman to write down that this bloke they had just crucified was in fact the son of God and then list his miracles. In fact honouring him with any kind of record at all would have been asking for a crucifix of your own. I think you are projecting current perspectives backward 2000 years and then being disappointed that what could reasonably be expected by today's standards does not exist - or has not yet been discovered - from then. Not all knowledge and evidence arrives all at once after all - the earth has existed for millions of years and yet even now we have little conclusive proof as to how the universe came to be or works.


    Why would it be honouring him to record, for example, that a man proclaiming to be king of the Jews was put to death for blasphemy? You might take the view that this would be a good thing to record and proclaim as a deterrent? You still also have the problems of the biblical text surrounding Jesus as being totally missing - again I offer the slaughter of the innocents by Herod, and the rising from the grave of the holy after the resurrection. These are huge events by anyones standards surely, and it is inconceivable they weren't recorded.

    Quote Originally Posted by One Day Soon View Post
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    If the above is true, why do you believe he existed?Apart of course from the fact that contesting his divinity, disputing the existence of God and agitating fiercely about people who hold a faith seems to occupy a truly massive proportion of your time on .net. Now that does constitute some kind of contemporary evidence.
    I said I suspect he probably did exist as a human, but I've nothing to back that up. That's the extent of it.

    As for the last sentence - any need? Really? Even with the smiley. I post on a subject that I find interesting and important, and you have a snide dig. Agitating fiercely? - I hold strong views on this, and try, for the most part, to be polite while not sugar coating my position. It might be a good way for you to engage also.

  9. #128
    @hibs.net private member Twa Cairpets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Day Soon View Post
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    If the omniscient, omnipresent God was implementing a divine marketing strategy which was achieving a 100% believer rate it would be definition be self-defeating. What is the value of a believer if literally everyone is a believer? And I'm guessing the counter argument would be that it isn't God who has a 30 to 40% hit rate, it is his entirely imperfect human followers who's on the ground delivery is polling at this level. The miracles would have been far from low key in the context of the bronze age middle east. I don't think anything you have written above calls into question the supernatural background. Other things might,but not the relationship between membership rate, the number of sons put into play, the number and quality of miracles or the point of historical intervention. There's no QED there.
    So you think God doesn't want everyone to believe in him? That's a bit at odds with "he loves us all", isn't it? ancienthibee said the same earlier and I find that truly bizarre.

    And as for the other point - Huge big muckle QED. You're God, and you want to save your creation by sacrificing yourself/your son to yourself while convincing people that to get everlasting life they have to accept aforementioned sacrifice as a personal saviour. And you do this, mostly, by one-to-one ministry and a book riddled with inconsistency that causes war, schism, torture and debate on Hibs.net.

    If God does indeed exist, I would entirely agree he moves in deeply mysterious ways.

  10. #129
    Quote Originally Posted by Twa Cairpets View Post
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    You want me to become irrational in order to engage with you?
    No. I was merely suggesting that you need a different thinking cap on when trying to understand faith.

    I think we'll agree on that. I think what you're saying is that in order to argue against the existence of God/Jesus etc, I have to first accept that he's real, and from that point you'll be happy to discuss it?
    No, I am not encouraging you to argue against God/Jesus, I'm just trying to get you to consider other ways of thinking that will help you in your own deliberations. It's quite obvious (as you say in another thread) that you are well interested in this subject and it's just my view that your understanding will grow if you park your rational paradigm before considering Scriptural matters.

    Isn't that a bit bonkers? I could take slight offence that you view being rational as being a limited world view, but I prefer to raise a quizzical eyebrow at that implication.
    No offence was intended, TC, I was just suggesting that if you maintain a rational stance when addressing these matters then your understanding of the matter will be inhibited.

    But apart from that, again you're having a little preach at me rather than addressing any of the points I raised, or deliberately fixating on something that I have since explained, and not actually addressed any of the points raised.

    Do you accept that your appeal to popularity is not valid evidence for his existence, divine or not?
    I think it is valid, because the validation comes from the spread of the Gospel and the witnesses responses. If you have time, try and read the Acts of the Apostles (written by Luke (a disciple) and featuring Paul (a convert).

    Do you accept that there is no evidence of Jesus having existed?
    Again, it may not be the evidence that your rationality would require, but the spread of the Gospel person by person as Paul testifies is convincing for me.

    Do you accept that his alleged humility in his trial is nothing that indicates he was divine, if he did exist
    Of course, He was created divine and went through the trial and death on the Cross as such. Re a reference in one of your other posts, I am not aware of an prophet, Allah or Muhamed going to the cross as a sacrifice for the peoples' sin.

    Do you accept that it is perhaps surprising that a preacher proclaiming himself to be son of God and performing miracles warrants no mention in contemporary history?
    This harks back again to your understanding of Scripture. There are so many examples from His lowly birth in a stable to a teenage girl, to his humble life, to His entire life that He came to 'turn the world upside down' so that 'proclamation of self' could never be included. Then again, contemporaries such as Luke, Paul and His own brother James recorded their experiences of Him and His life.

    Do you think it odd - if only from a human perspective - that the chosen method of divine revelation through Jesus was carried out in the way that has been shown to be, for 2000 years, incredibly fraught and largely inefficient in touching souls.
    One of the over-arching principles of the Christian gospel is that of the 'still, small voice of God.' That voice is in the soul of all of us. Mostly our listening is inadequate..
    ..
    Last edited by ancienthibby; 19-01-2013 at 03:05 PM.

  11. #130
    @hibs.net private member Twa Cairpets's Avatar
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    Thanks for your answers. I'd like to follow up on some if I may.
    Quote Originally Posted by ancienthibby View Post
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    .Do you accept that your appeal to popularity is not valid evidence for his existence, divine or not?
    I think it is valid, because the validation comes from the spread of the Gospel and the witnesses responses. If you have time, try and read the Acts of the Apostles (written by Luke (a disciple) and Paul (a convert).
    I will have a look again at these - its been a while. However, could you explain to me why the spread of Islam and the responses from those touched by the spirit of Mohammed are not equal in validity to thise touched by your religion.

    Quote Originally Posted by ancienthibby View Post
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    Do you accept that there is no evidence of Jesus having existed?
    Again, it may not be the evidence that your rationality would require, but the spread of the Gospel person by person as Paul testifies is convincing for me.
    That's not what I asked. I asked if you accept that there is no evidence that Jesus existed. It might just be the case that you can say "yes, there is no historical evidence but I have absolute faith", but I hope if nothing else on this thread you'd agree that there is nothing that a historian would regard as evidence.

    Quote Originally Posted by ancienthibby View Post
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    Do you accept that his alleged humility in his trial is nothing that indicates he was divine, if he did exist
    Of course, He was created divine and went through the trial and death on the Cross as such. Re a reference in one of your other posts, I am not aware of an prophet, Allah or Muhamed going to the cross as a sacrifice for the peoples' sin.
    Why does that matter? there are martyrs to every cause, I was pointing out that your reference to his humility is an entirely human attribute - it doesn't lend itself to the argument of his divinity.

    Quote Originally Posted by ancienthibby View Post
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    Do you accept that it is perhaps surprising that a preacher proclaiming himself to be son of God and performing miracles warrants no mention in contemporary history?
    This harks back again to your understanding of Scripture. There are so many examples from His lowly birth in a stable to a teenage girl, to his humble life, to His entire life that He came to 'turn the world upside down' so that 'proclamation of self' could never be included. Then again, contemporaries such as Luke, Paul and His own brother James recorded their experiences of Him and His life.
    No, it doesnt. I'm won't claim to be a biblical scholar, but I'm asking if from an entirely human perspective that it is odd that he apparently left no imprint in his own time

    Quote Originally Posted by ancienthibby View Post
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    Do you think it odd - if only from a human perspective - that the chosen method of divine revelation through Jesus was carried out in the way that has been shown to be, for 2000 years, incredibly fraught and largely inefficient in touching souls.
    One of the over-arching principles of the Christian gospel is that of the 'still, small voice of God.' That voice is in the soul of all of us. Mostly our listening is inadequate...
    You're answering this from entirely within your own framework, a thing you accuse me of doing. Even if you're right, it is, from a human perspective, a very strange way to deliver your Word. Especially if 2/3 of the planet have little interest in or knowledge of the bible and what it is. It is, from our viewpoint, inefficient at best. I know God is supposed to work in mysterious ways, but if one of the commandments is "to have no other God before me", isn't it a bit much to expect people to follow this commandment if they absolutely zero access to your teaching? To my knowledge, there has never been anyone, ever, who has claimed to have heard the voice of Jesus/God out of the blue with no prior knowledge of his story.
    Last edited by Twa Cairpets; 18-01-2013 at 03:20 PM.

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