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Intellectual Honesty - Atheists vs Christians


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#41 Fortigurn

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 04:46 AM

All Dawkins does is refer to Berlinerblau as 'iconoclastic' in his biblical criticism. That's not something I find myself disagreeing with.


I don't disagree with it either, but unlike Dawkins that's not all I see when I read Berlinblau. Dawkins says nothing about the main case of the book, the key aim of which is to encourage atheists to be educated about Christianity. Dawkins says nothing about that because he thinks it's a complete waste of time.

#42 Jeppo

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 05:29 AM

look at his flirtation with the non-historicity of Jesus, or his dismissal of various interpretations of Scripture based firmly on history, literature, and linguistics.


1. If Richard Dawkins has denied the historicity of Jesus, please let me know. To my knowledge (and to his credit) he hasn't done this. Using the word 'flirtation' doesn't cut it.

2. There are so many interpretations of scripture that it's hardly surprising that Dawkins will lean on those that bolster his atheist case. Bible scholars argue too, as you know. Interestingly, Berlinerblau makes the point that trying to interpret the Bible is extremely problematic due to the multiplicity of intentional & unintentional meanings. Adding in to the mix: "Any honest modern interpreter will acknowledge that hundreds, if not thousands, of biblical verses are untranslatable" (p.50-51).

Dawkins says nothing about the main case of the book, the key aim of which is to encourage atheists to be educated about Christianity. Dawkins says nothing about that because he thinks it's a complete waste of time.


That's probably because he has a different strategy to Berlinerblau. What do you expect? On another note, claiming the key aim of Berlinerblau's book "is to encourage atheists to be educated about christianity" But what for? He sounds like he's being a nice guy to christians by slagging off ignorant secularists, but he's advocating a secular hermeneutics which renders the Bible 'meaningless'. That's quite a Trojan Horse! He acknowledges that this might not go down well with most Biblical scholars because 'Biblicists do not generally believe that scripture is meaningless' (p.52).

There's more, but I really must get on with my daily chores. Good discussion though :)

#43 Mercia2

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 05:57 AM

Oh no, Not Psalm 14.1

Psalm 14:1 is just talking about those who make an emotional not intellectual decision that their is no God, as the following context makes clear, (because they like sin). The idea of a judgement or this life being a test leads them to an (intellectually dishonest judgement) based on emotion i.e "they have said in their heart".

By far most atheists I have ever debated fall in to this category, but I accept by no means all (in the context you are using the word).

Edited by Mercia2, 02 June 2011 - 05:59 AM.

"If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” = "Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?" = "Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who maketh His angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire" Psalms (104:1) = "They saw what seemed to be flames of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them." Acts 2 - the secret is over, your ministering angel you need to be saved is the Holy Spirit.

Who Is the Holy Spirit?
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/20950-holy-spirit-mercia/

Mark Of The Beast - his Name is the charachter/image of the medievil popes (now modern man)
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/4997-mark-of-the-beast/page__pid__439951__st__120#entry439951

Historicists - Dual Fulfillment (seven thunders = more literal warning)
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/14248-historicists-revelation-has-a-dual-fulfillment/

#44 Richard

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 08:17 AM

If I may make some liberties here (and I’ll apologise in advance to anyone I may be representing), I’d describe many of the Christians on this forum as being agnostic theists. They believe in God but – when pushed – they wouldn’t claim the certainty of absolute knowledge about this. YMMV.

I don't think so. When you come to appreciate the Bible for the astonishing miracle it is then you realize you have absolute knowledge that there certainly is a God beyond a shadow of a doubt. More certainty than anything else imaginable.

#45 Fortigurn

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 09:10 AM

1. If Richard Dawkins has denied the historicity of Jesus, please let me know. To my knowledge (and to his credit) he hasn't done this. Using the word 'flirtation' doesn't cut it.


If he was intellectually honest he would say, with O'Neill, that only cranks deny the historicity of Jesus and he would distance himself from those who make such a claim.

2. There are so many interpretations of scripture that it's hardly surprising that Dawkins will lean on those that bolster his atheist case. Bible scholars argue too, as you know. Interestingly, Berlinerblau makes the point that trying to interpret the Bible is extremely problematic due to the multiplicity of intentional & unintentional meanings.


Wait a minute, you're shifting the goal posts. Berlinerblau does make the point that trying to interpret the Bible is extremely problematic, but he does not say that this justifies dismissing the scholarly consensus on interpretations of specific passages of Scripture. On the contrary, this is the very point on which he wants atheists to be more honest and accept that Biblical scholars know more than they do; the opposite of what Dawkins does.

Adding in to the mix: "Any honest modern interpreter will acknowledge that hundreds, if not thousands, of biblical verses are untranslatable" (p.50-51).


Untranslatable? Hundreds, if not thousands of verses? No, I don't believe so. I've been on a professional Bible translation list for years, and I'd like to see that claim put to the test there.

That's probably because he has a different strategy to Berlinerblau. What do you expect?


I expect him to be honest. He can have a different strategy while still being honest. Right now he has a different strategy which is not honest. His is precisely the attitude at which Berlinerblau takes aim.

On another note, claiming the key aim of Berlinerblau's book "is to encourage atheists to be educated about christianity" But what for? He sounds like he's being a nice guy to christians by slagging off ignorant secularists, but he's advocating a secular hermeneutics which renders the Bible 'meaningless'. That's quite a Trojan Horse! He acknowledges that this might not go down well with most Biblical scholars because 'Biblicists do not generally believe that scripture is meaningless' (p.52).


It would be a Trojan Horse if he were actually advocating marketing this interpretation to Christians. He isn't, he's advocating marketing it to secularists. The aim is to defuse their reflexive reaction to the Bible (which is invariably destructive, antagonistic, pointless, and gets them nowhere), and to build common ground with moderate Biblical exegetes (who as he points out certainly won't agree to this position, but can be found to share some middle ground).

If I may make some liberties here (and I’ll apologise in advance to anyone I may be representing), I’d describe many of the Christians on this forum as being agnostic theists. They believe in God but – when pushed – they wouldn’t claim the certainty of absolute knowledge about this.


I would disagree with that.

Edited by Fortigurn, 02 June 2011 - 09:13 AM.


#46 Evangelion

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 10:32 AM

If I may make some liberties here (and I’ll apologise in advance to anyone I may be representing), I’d describe many of the Christians on this forum as being agnostic theists. They believe in God but – when pushed – they wouldn’t claim the certainty of absolute knowledge about this.


The word you're looking for is "faith."

:book:
'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#47 Mercia2

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 07:42 PM

The word you're looking for is "faith."

Faith in Gods promises

If I may make some liberties here (and I’ll apologise in advance to anyone I may be representing), I’d describe many of the Christians on this forum as being agnostic theists. They believe in God but – when pushed – they wouldn’t claim the certainty of absolute knowledge about this.


I would, unless quantum science demonstrates we all create our own realities and the moon really isnt their if no one looks at it.

2 Corinthians 3:7-18

"But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away" (vs 15,16).

Paul is teaching the believers at Corinth (and us!) that when someone is not born-again by the Holy Spirit, in Jesus' Name, and the Father's will and they hear the reading of Old Testament (the Scrolls/the book of the Law, for Paul and his audience), their heart is closed to the God, that is to Scripture - a veil is still separating them from perceiving the riddles hidden in repeating metaphor and allegory on a level beyond even the organised wit of man, as much as the literal sense is sometimes intentional nonsense, because of this underlying allegorical narrative that remains consistat from Genesis to Revelation I know it is the Word of God, but you cannot truly discern this unless the veil is first removed. These are the instructions so when you going to follow them? Most cannot discern, this is how it was when Moses received the Law and revealed it to the Jews. They had to hide their faces when seeing Moses, after he had been with God! Gods passing Glory through Moses was too much for them to endure!

BUT GOD. Paul goes on to explain that once someone 'turns to the Lord'; once someone acknowledges, 'yes, I need a Savior, Jesus Christ the Lord. I am a sinner, please forgive me Jesus, I receive Your Forgiveness Lord, fill me with Your Spirit, I repent - I turn toward You!!" ... they can see! The veil is removed!

Unlike Dawkins, he recognizes that to understand the Bible you have to actually study it; Dawkins thinks that you can just say whatever you like about it because there's nothing you can actually study.


Dawkins thinks they were all idiots. Watch 2.51 to 3.40...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPR_vYepork&feature=related

I might qualify that by saying I’m an agnostic atheist, because although I don’t believe in the existence of god/s my position isn’t one based on absolute knowledge. It can’t be


I know, otherwise I wouldnt have said what I did about outright atheists. :drinks:

.

Edited by Mercia2, 02 June 2011 - 08:33 PM.

"If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” = "Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?" = "Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who maketh His angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire" Psalms (104:1) = "They saw what seemed to be flames of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them." Acts 2 - the secret is over, your ministering angel you need to be saved is the Holy Spirit.

Who Is the Holy Spirit?
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/20950-holy-spirit-mercia/

Mark Of The Beast - his Name is the charachter/image of the medievil popes (now modern man)
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/4997-mark-of-the-beast/page__pid__439951__st__120#entry439951

Historicists - Dual Fulfillment (seven thunders = more literal warning)
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/14248-historicists-revelation-has-a-dual-fulfillment/

#48 Mercia2

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 03:47 PM

Paul calls someone "Luke" in his letters. We have no way of knowing if this Luke is the author of Luke and Acts

I could be wrong but just bare with me here...

If this following statement is true, "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it." Hebrews 13:2...then does this not even allow us the possibility that the Gospel writers (and perhaps men throughout history involved in the formation of the Bible), were in actual fact angels masquarading as men?

Assuming the reality and truth in Hebrews 13:2, is it really that irrational for us then, as theists, to wonder if angels can be present at seeming aposelistic social gatherings appearing as men, then why not also at moments of pivotal history in the formation of the Word? If you believe they [angels] exist it would then surely be a most likely conclusion to reach. So while the Bible has errors, although most probably all by design (in as much as God did not feel the need to intervene). The allorgerical narrative remains perfect, preserved and unchanged and it is on this level the Bible is unique in its depth and corrospondance.

Is there a reason we know so little about the Gospel writers? and even if men it beggers belief angels were not influencing the writers if not blatently dictating them or even writing them? What other conclusion could you reach accepting what Hebrews 13:2 reveals.
"If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” = "Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?" = "Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who maketh His angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire" Psalms (104:1) = "They saw what seemed to be flames of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them." Acts 2 - the secret is over, your ministering angel you need to be saved is the Holy Spirit.

Who Is the Holy Spirit?
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/20950-holy-spirit-mercia/

Mark Of The Beast - his Name is the charachter/image of the medievil popes (now modern man)
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/4997-mark-of-the-beast/page__pid__439951__st__120#entry439951

Historicists - Dual Fulfillment (seven thunders = more literal warning)
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/14248-historicists-revelation-has-a-dual-fulfillment/

#49 Mercia2

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 04:57 PM

Mercia, I wouldn’t get too hung up on the atheism/agnostic thing. I call myself an atheist because I’m someone who doesn’t have any belief in god/s. That’s all there is to it. Theists believe in god/s; atheists don’t.

I might qualify that by saying I’m an agnostic atheist, because although I don’t believe in the existence of god/s my position isn’t one based on absolute knowledge. It can’t be. You will rarely come across atheists who claim to know for certain there is no God. Even Richard Dawkins – who you seem to think has something to hide – rates himself as a 6 ‘leaning towards 7’ on the 1 – 7 belief scale.

If I may make some liberties here (and I’ll apologise in advance to anyone I may be representing), I’d describe many of the Christians on this forum as being agnostic theists. They believe in God but – when pushed – they wouldn’t claim the certainty of absolute knowledge about this. YMMV.


Sorry, I hadn't a chance to properly read ths until now.

Theists believe in god/s; atheists don’t.


So what do you call those who believe in all probability that there was some sort of intelligence and purpose behind all that came from the big bang, but that there is little evidence this intelligence, (whoever wrote the html/css for the creation process of life), being around anymore or at least intervening. So a sort of belief that their probably was a 'god'/creator who existed at one moment in time?

If I had not followed the instructions and had the veil removed, I think I would find the above 'third way' the most rational conclusion.

You will rarely come across atheists who claim to know for certain there is no God.


I can think of one straight away, Ricky Gervais, he is absolutely certain and loves saying it on TV, with an emotional relish. He is a classic emotional atheist and is so ignorant of the things he says before thousands of cackling ignorant people

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErGLS04lIAw

He says at one point (and this was broadcast on TV), when talking about the Creation account 'I used to believe this rubbish'. Nowhere does he or those like him ever hint at the possibility that it is a metaphoric riddle and in the literal sense a parody, never mind a beautiful prophecy about the spiritual evolution of man as I believe it is.

These sort of emotional atheists tend to get frustrated and angy at any mention of this metaphoric or allorgerecal sense, usually because the implications may force a change in their POV onthe matter and their ego won't let them go their.

I will just add that I know this is not you and I have never thought that way about you. You are not an emotinal atheist, I don't think. I used to think most non scholary atheist were emotional atheists but I may be wrong about that?

My uncle help runs a humanist organisation, he is a Left wing professor and almost militant humanist. Everyone in my family used to say from my 4 uncles we were the same. We ony meet now every 5 yeas or so but we met recently at a wedding and shared a hotel room and that night we walked the county lanes near the hotel and talked for hours about just this subject. He is highly intelligent thinker and he had heard of my born again experience and spiritual experience in 1982 through other members of my family so we taked all night about it...conversation was deep and in the end he agreed he could be wrong. He has a very buddhist atheist view but he had mixed up Evangelical Right Wing Christianity and Right Wing harsh Catholicsm of his childhood with his Leftist woldview so coudn't help to some degree being an emotioal atheist. This is very common.

Did you read about my story earlier about how when I was agnostic/atheist a nurse who trusted my opinion asked me if Chistianity was true? My initial emotional response was 'nahh I doubt it', but struck by the implications of this person trusting my opinion if I was wrong, I then said, 'the honest answer is I don't know'. Ricky Gervais and emotional atheists like him have too much pride and ego at stake to worry about the thousands they are trying to keep as ignorant as them. Unlike you, this type hate to say, 'the honest answer is I don't know' - and even if they do they use in the unlikely event as an absolute.

because although I don’t believe in the existence of god/s


What about the possibility of the existance of other unseen forms of life? Other realities? I would prefer you to say that you do not believe the existence of [an intelligance], just in case you are attaching emotional baggage and caricature to the word 'gods' as many atheists do. I don't know you enough yet to be sure.

Even Richard Dawkins – who you seem to think has something to hide – rates himself as a 6 ‘leaning towards 7’ on the 1 – 7 belief scale.


I bet he hated having to say that, but he knew he had to as he was getting a reputation in the mainstream UK media as a bit of an extremist. You see Darwkins cannot on the one hand give a 30% probability that their is a God and then take an absolutist position that there is no possibility whatsoever the Bible is the Word of God in any sense and the worlds largest theist religion has negibile possibility of being true. As this is his narrative in the video of him I posted above.

.
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Edited by Mercia2, 03 June 2011 - 05:22 PM.

"If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” = "Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?" = "Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who maketh His angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire" Psalms (104:1) = "They saw what seemed to be flames of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them." Acts 2 - the secret is over, your ministering angel you need to be saved is the Holy Spirit.

Who Is the Holy Spirit?
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/20950-holy-spirit-mercia/

Mark Of The Beast - his Name is the charachter/image of the medievil popes (now modern man)
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/4997-mark-of-the-beast/page__pid__439951__st__120#entry439951

Historicists - Dual Fulfillment (seven thunders = more literal warning)
http://www.btdf.org/forums/topic/14248-historicists-revelation-has-a-dual-fulfillment/




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