Board index God

How do we know there's a God? What is he like?

God wants you to believe in pencils more than Himself

Postby Paladin » Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:07 pm

God wants you to believe in pencils more than Himself

You can pick up a pencil and immediately know that it exists. You can observe it with all of your 5 senses. You are able to have as much certainty of this fact as anything else in the world (other than your own consciousness). Nobody debates the existence of pencils!

In contrast, the existence of God is far less certain. Many reasonable, intelligent people come to be atheists. The arguments for God's existence have reasonable counter-arguments. "Experiences" of God can be hard to distinguish from mere psychological or sociological effects.

So the state of humanity is thus: we find ourselves in a world with an epistemological framework such that we are far more likely to know that a pencil exists than that God exists!

Now, if God really does exist and wants a relationship with us -- and if this relationship is the single most important thing to “get right” -- then why would God not give us more epistemic access to his own existence … than that of a pencil??

This seems incompatible with the existence of a God who wants to have a relationship with us.
Paladin
 

Re: God wants you to believe in pencils more than Himself

Postby jimwalton » Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:18 pm

God has given us many evidences of Himself.

    - The logical arguments for the existence of God are far stronger than the arguments against. Though you claim these arguments have "reasonable counter-arguments," the truth is that the counter arguments are (1) not as substantial, and the arguments atheists pose to substantiate what they claim are far weaker than the arguments for theism.
    - What we see in nature is far more compatible with theism than with atheism. All things considered, if we are inferring the most reasonable conclusion, theism will be where reason and the evidence takes us.
    - The record we have in the Bible gives evidence of the existence of God.
    - The billions upon billions of people who have experienced definitive life change because of Jesus give evidence to the existence of God.

In other words, I have serious disagreement with your postulate that the existence of God is far less certain than the existence of a pencil. Just because God is not tangible doesn't mean there aren't plenty of evidences—just of a different sort.

> "Experiences" of God can be hard to distinguish from mere psychological or sociological effects.

This is most certainly not true. It seems you are erecting a straw man here. People's experiences of God are easy to distinguish.

> we find ourselves in a world with an epistemological framework such that we are far more likely to know that a pencil exists than that God exists!

Again, actually not. Epistemologically, our knowledge of God is no different than our knowledge of anything else. Knowledge is relying on clues to focus on a coherent pattern and submit to its reality. You must know that formulating foolproof criteria for certainty and knowledge has not been successful. The ideal of certainty of knowledge is this: I must accept as true only those claims of which I am rationally certain, having no shadow of doubt. But if that’s true, how can I be certain of it? The ideal doesn’t even meet its own standard. Knowing God involves an epistemic act that has the same basic features that our ordinary, workday, epistemic acts do.

> Now, if God really does exist and wants a relationship with us -- and if this relationship is the single most important thing to “get right” -- then why would God not give us more epistemic access to his own existence … than that of a pencil??

God appearing and having a friendly conversation (as obvious as the pencil in front of you) wouldn't do it. Let me go back to the very beginning. Isn't it astounding that some spiritual beings—who knew God by experience, could see him and hear him, knew his goodness, his greatness, and his power—could rebel against God and abandon their positions (Jude 1.6) in defiance against God? How is that possible? There weren't even any filters (as far as we know) between them and God, and yet they turned against him. It's obvious to me that even a direct experience with God doesn't make it certain that one will follow him. "Irrefutable evidence" doesn't help them be "believers."

James 2.19 talks about demons who believe in God, sure enough, but don't follow him. They know all about him, so we can assume, and yet they don't follow God or "believe in him" in the sense of love and obey him.

We know that the children of Israel who were part of the Exodus got to see spectacular wonders of God's miraculous doings (pretty close to those friendly conversations you might want), and yet many of them were rebellious and unfaithful. We also know that thousands of people got to see Jesus, hear him speak, and watch him do miracles, and yet they didn't all turn to being disciples.

In other words, God speaking to people is no guarantee of the relationship. Often times, it's actually detrimental. God speaking to people seems only to be effective when the person is already in relationship with God. If they aren't, God speaking doesn't seem to make any difference at all, oddly enough.
jimwalton
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5309
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:28 pm

Re: God wants you to believe in pencils more than Himself

Postby Sure Breeze » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:42 pm

>The logical arguments for the existence of God are far stronger than the arguments against.

All logical arguments for the existence of God either have unacceptable presuppositions or are out of ignorance (i.e. lacking knowledge). If you believe a logical argument doesn't fall into these two categories, can you name it? I could be wrong, after all.

> What we see in nature is far more compatible with theism than with atheism.

To clarify, what we see in nature is far more compatible with Christianity than with atheism. This is because atheism (and theism) say nothing about nature. So, by default, any religion would have something that's more compatible with nature. It's like asking what's 1+1. Christianity says 4.9 and atheism remains silent. Technically Christianity is more correct than atheism but it doesn't mean its answer is correct. However, this type of an argument is getting closer to the "ignorance" part of my first comment. For instance, Christianity has the wrong explanation of evolution - a known and proven fact*. Atheism doesn't have an explanation for evolution (due to lack of scope on anything beyond the existence of the divine).

> The record we have in the Bible gives evidence of the existence of God.

What specifically and how is it different from holy books of other religions and their evidence for the existence of their gods?

> The billions upon billions of people who have experienced definitive life change because of Jesus give evidence to the existence of God.

What about everyone who didn't experience this? What about people who experienced definitive life change because of Captain America and his deeds and morals? Does that mean Captain America exists or that people can be inspired by anything - including fictional characters - to make any change they like. This also obviously ignores all the people who were inspired by God to do some terrible atrocities. It doesn't mean that God exists either.

In other words, I have serious disagreement with your postulate that the existence of God is far less certain than the existence of a pencil.
The point OP is making is that a pencil objectively exists to where a toddler can prove it. Evidence for God is a lot less obvious and not objectively proven.

> People's experiences of God are easy to distinguish.

Can you clarify what you mean here? I'm presuming you're talking about neurological testing of religious people where their experience of God is unlike any other experience they have.

> It's obvious to me that even a direct experience with God doesn't make it certain that one will follow him. "Irrefutable evidence" doesn't help them be "believers."

Just being nitpicky but there's a difference between:
* God exists
* I will follow God

Satan isn't an atheist. He knows God exists. He just chose to rebel. He's a theist but not a Christian.

If it was definitely proven to me that the Christian God exists, I wouldn't be an atheist either since I'd believe that God exists. But I wouldn't be a Christian and I wouldn't follow his teachings just because he's God. I'd bounce his morality against my own and make my own decisions. I would also be a theist but not a Christian.

However, I fully admit that in your worldview, belief in God might be equivalent to following him, i.e. you might find it absurd that someone would believe in God but not follow/worship/etc him.

* I don't buy into absolute certainty so facts are facts even though there's a small chance they're wrong and perhaps evolution didn't happen, the Earth is 6,000 years, we're a product of one human and his female clone, the Earth is also flat, and gravity is really intelligent falling.
Sure Breeze
 

Re: God wants you to believe in pencils more than Himself

Postby jimwalton » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:43 pm

> All logical arguments for the existence of God either have unacceptable presuppositions or are out of ignorance (i.e. lacking knowledge). If you believe a logical argument doesn't fall into these two categories, can you name it? I could be wrong, after all.

You and I have had this conversation several times. There isn't a whole lot to be gained by going through it again. Theistic arguments have been gone over with a fine-toothed comb. While none of them "proves" the case, the arguments are solid and offer better logic and reasoning than anything advanced by the atheistic position.

> To clarify, what we see in nature is far more compatible with Christianity than with atheism. This is because atheism (and theism) say nothing about nature.

To clarify, what we see in nature is far more compatible with Christianity than with naturalism.

> So, by default, any religion would have something that's more compatible with nature. It's like asking what's 1+1. Christianity says 4.9 and atheism remains silent.

I disagree. In answer to 1+1, both Christianity and atheism say "2". But Christianity has a chain of logic and scientific backing that show how they arrive at 2. Atheists presume it. But we've had this discussion also.

> For instance, Christianity has the wrong explanation of evolution - a known and proven fact*.

Christianity, as least my position as a Christian, acknowledges the fact and evidence of evolution. All we say is that it didn't happen by itself. Intervention was needed.

> What specifically and how is it different from holy books of other religions and their evidence for the existence of their gods?

For one, Hinduism is a philosophical religion, not a historical one. So also mostly is Islam. Christianity is a historical religion completely unique from the other major religions. Therefore, the Bible is different from other holy books, being based in history and God's work and revelation in history. Therefore the evidence for the existence of God is different in the Bible from that of Hinduism and Islam, neither of which posit any evidence for the existence of God. Christianity stands in a unique position.

> What about everyone who didn't experience this? What about people who experienced definitive life change because of Captain America and his deeds and morals?

You can mount as many silly analogies as you wish, but it doesn't detract from the millions of people who have found release from alcoholism, drug addiction, immoral behaviors, and have experienced a complete life-change. I have conversed with Muslims and Hindus. When Americans convert, say, from "Christianity" to Islam, they don new clothes and start to learn Arabic. It's a change of lifestyle, but not a life-change. It's completely different.

> In other words, I have serious disagreement with your postulate that the existence of God is far less certain than the existence of a pencil.

Based on all of our previous conversations, I wouldn't expect anything different from you. But the strengths of the theistic case remain.

> Can you clarify what you mean here? I'm presuming you're talking about neurological testing of religious people where their experience of God is unlike any other experience they have.

As I've already alluded, there are millions of people who have been freed from addictions, who testify to radical and instantaneous life-change. These are not mere psychological or sociological effects, but something dramatically spiritual going on.

> Just being nitpicky but there's a difference between: God exists...I will follow God

I agree, and that was my point.

> I fully admit that in your worldview, belief in God might be equivalent to following him

This is not my worldview. I don't agree that belief in God translates to following him. Even having a revelation of God or proof of God doesn't translate to following him.

> I don't buy into absolute certainty so facts are facts even though there's a small chance they're wrong and perhaps evolution didn't happen, the Earth is 6,000 years, we're a product of one human and his female clone, the Earth is also flat, and gravity is really intelligent falling.

I also don't buy into that evolution didn't happen, that the Earth is 6,000 yrs old, that we're the product of a single human couple, or that the Earth is flat. I don't even know what you mean by your last phrase about gravity.

As far as I'm concerned, evolution did happen, the Earth is 4.5 billion years old, we are the products of a line of hominids, and the Earth is round.
jimwalton
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5309
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:28 pm

Re: God wants you to believe in pencils more than Himself

Postby Zoltgeist » Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:23 pm

> The logical arguments for the existence of God are far stronger than the arguments against. Though you claim these arguments have "reasonable counter-arguments," the truth is that the counter arguments are (1) not as substantial, and the arguments atheists pose to substantiate what they claim are far weaker than the arguments for theism.

Which ones?

> What we see in nature is far more compatible with theism than with atheism. All things considered, if we are inferring the most reasonable conclusion, theism will be where reason and the evidence takes us.

How so? The universe is pretty chaotic in a whole bunch of ways. What specifically points towards theism?

> The record we have in the Bible gives evidence of the existence of God.

Isn't this assuming what we're trying to prove? You have to establish the Bible is trustworthy (it isn't) before the claims within it become valid evidence.

> The billions upon billions of people who have experienced definitive life change because of Jesus give evidence to the existence of God.

The billions upon billioms of people who have experienced definitive life change because of Muhammed's teachings give evidence to the existence of Allah.

> This is most certainly not true. It seems you are erecting a straw man here. People's experiences of God are easy to distinguish.

How do you distinguish? If a Hindu claims to see a miracle, or to have encountered God, how do you distinguish this from psychological phenomenon?
Zoltgeist
 

Re: God wants you to believe in pencils more than Himself

Postby jimwalton » Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:24 pm

> Which ones?

Cosmological, teleological, ontological, axiological, fine-tuning, consciousness, nature and science, and design. They are all stronger than the counter-arguments.

> The universe is pretty chaotic in a whole bunch of ways. What specifically points towards theism?

* There are over 60 fine-tuned elements presently known in the universe with very small parameters of viability for life. It speaks to an intelligent source rather than random processes.
* If all came about through random processes, chance, and selection, then we have to reason to believe that our thought processes are reliable. Only if we posit an intelligent source does it make sense that we can trust our reasoning ability.
* The probabilities of evolution by itself (scientific naturalism or scientism) yielding what we now have are so infinitesimally small as to be considered as logically impossible.
* Given that the universe and life shows purpose, personality, morality, and intelligence, it is more reasonable to conclude its source is purposeful, personal, moral, and intelligent than to conclude its source is purposeless, mechanical, neutral, and impersonal.

> Isn't this assuming what we're trying to prove? You have to establish the Bible is trustworthy (it isn't) before the claims within it become valid evidence.

If it were just an assumption, yes, it would be circular reasoning. There are plenty of ways to establish the trustworthiness of the Bible that feeds into my statement being worthy, however. I just didn't go into it all. There's no sense in writing a wall of text before it is requested.

You have so cavalierly asserted the Bible isn't trustworthy, but we haven't even talked about it. I say it's been proved to be tremendously trustworthy. But I guess that's another conversation.

> The billions upon billioms of people who have experienced definitive life change because of Muhammed's teachings give evidence to the existence of Allah.

Then you missed what I'm saying. Muslims don't speak of life-change. People who convert to Islam don't mention such things. It's not part of the picture. And certainly not the kind of life-change I'm talking about that is common among converts to Christianity.

> How do you distinguish? If a Hindu claims to see a miracle, or to have encountered God, how do you distinguish this from psychological phenomenon?

I'm not talking about claims to have seen a miracle or a spiritual phenomenon, but rather the experiences of alcoholism erased, drug dependency gone, dramatic changes in morals, behavior, and even personality. These are far beyond psychological phenomena.
jimwalton
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5309
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:28 pm

Re: God wants you to believe in pencils more than Himself

Postby Zoltgeist » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:46 pm

> Cosmological, teleological, ontological, axiological, fine-tuning, consciousness, nature and science, and design. They are all stronger than the counter-arguments.

Would you care to present the one you believe to be the strongest in detail?

> There are over 60 fine-tuned elements presently known in the universe with very small parameters of viability for life. It speaks to an intelligent source rather than random processes.

Given the enormity of the universe, 60 is an infintesimally small number. Besides, this is begging the question. In another universe the parameters for life might be 1, or they might be 10 trillion. We don't even know what life would look like in another universe.

> The probabilities of evolution by itself (scientific naturalism or scientism) yielding what we now have are so infinitesimally small as to be considered as logically impossible.

source?

> Given that the universe and life shows purpose, personality, morality, and intelligence, it is more reasonable to conclude its source is purposeful, personal, moral, and intelligent than to conclude its source is purposeless, mechanical, neutral, and impersonal.

It shows purpose? Do explain.

> You have so cavalierly asserted the Bible isn't trustworthy, but we haven't even talked about it. I say it's been proved to be tremendously trustworthy. But I guess that's another conversation.

Noah's flood never happened, at least not worldwide or to the degree described. mentioned https://history.howstuffworks.com/history-vs-myth/noahs-ark.htm

Of course this could be metaphor.

There is scholarly consensus that Moses was not a real person. https://www.ancient.eu/Moses/

The Roman census described in Luke is a fabrication and did not occur. https://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/ngier/census.htm

Jesus predicted his imminent return and the final judgement of the world. It was supposed to be within the lifetime of his disciples. It did not occur.

Ok, that's things that just didn't happen. Let's look at inconsistencies.

Judas death is inconsistent between the gospel. Mark describes Jesus riding in on a foal and a colt, as opposed to the other 2 synoptics which have Jesus on one animal. The nativity between Matthew and Luke is completely different. Matthew makes up a prophecy about a potter's field for Judas death, then misattributes it to the wrong OT book.

> Then you missed what I'm saying. Muslims don't speak of life-change. People who convert to Islam don't mention such things. It's not part of the picture. And certainly not the kind of life-change I'm talking about that is common among converts to Christianity.

I've read testimonials from muslims about how Islam cured them from addiction. How they changed their life. I think people from other religions would disagree with you here.

> I'm not talking about claims to have seen a miracle or a spiritual phenomenon, but rather the experiences of alcoholism erased, drug dependency gone, dramatic changes in morals, behavior, and even personality. These are far beyond psychological phenomena.

Again, its amazingly bold to claim other religions don't have this effect.
Zoltgeist
 

Re: God wants you to believe in pencils more than Himself

Postby jimwalton » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:49 pm

> Would you care to present the one you believe to be the strongest in detail?

Are you serious that you've never investigated these? Possibly some research would be in order before we have this conversation.

> Given the enormity of the universe, 60 is an infintesimally small number.

Actually, it's not, given that many of these things are present throughout the universe as a whole.

> In another universe the parameters for life might be 1, or they might be 10 trillion. We don't even know what life would look like in another universe.

Speculations about another universe is just pure-out guesswork at this point in time, and just a red herring to the discussion at hand. There is to date no evidence for other universes. Regardless, though—the possibility of other universes has no bearing on the fact that our universe is the way it is. That it's possible to be dealt a full house has no bearing on the cards you were actually dealt.

> "The probabilities of evolution by itself (scientific naturalism or scientism) yielding what we now have are so infinitesimally small as to be considered as logically impossible." source?

Let the number of amino acids equal n. Since there are 20 amino acids, the probability of getting the first one right is one in 20. The probability of getting the second one correct is (1/20)^2. The shortest functional protein reported to date has n equal to 20, while most have n equal to 100 or more. If we choose a number in between (50), we get (1/20)^50 equal to 10^-65, an infinitesimally small number.

If we take our probability estimate the next level, we recognize that a single functional protein is not likely to be biofunctional. That is, it would take more than one biomolecule to carry out life-sustaining processes. How many would we need? The best estimates are a minimum of 250. Taking this number as our protein count, for all of them to occur together, we will make the outlandish assumption that they are all relatively short (50 amino acids). Thus our probability to have a working cell appear in the primordial soup using this rather conservative approach would be (10^-65)^250. That number comes to around 10^-16300. Hoyle and Wickramasinghe (Evolution from Space: A theory of Cosmic Creationism), through their own calculations using their own particulars, arrived at 10^-40000. The bottom line is that the such a small probability “could not be faced even if the whole universe consisted of organic soup.” If these calculations are even remotely accurate, abiogenesis is a hopeless cause.

> It shows purpose? Do explain.

There are many parts of the universe, the earth, and life as we know it that exhibit purpose—not just the component parts of the universe exhibit purpose, though, but even the universe itself. Every scientist asks “Why?” We assume purpose in what we observe around us. “Why do the planets spin?” “Why is the earth pitched at an angle?” We are always looking for the reasons and the purpose, assuming they are there and, not surprisingly, we find purpose in many parts of the universe and life.

> Noah's flood never happened, at least not worldwide or to the degree described. mentioned

First, Noah's flood wasn't global, but massively regional. There's every reason to believe it happened. It's not a metaphor. Second, I'm not interested in your links. Anyone can write anything they want on the Internet.

> There is scholarly consensus that Moses was not a real person.

There was also scholarly consensus that the world was flat. While hard evidence for Moses is wanting, there has been an intriguing discovery of a statue that possibly mentions him, though that writing is highly disputed. But we all know that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. New discoveries are enlarging our knowledge base every day.

> The Roman census described in Luke is a fabrication and did not occur.

Again, you are so quick to jump to conclusions. First of all, our information about Quirinius comes from Josephus, a source quickly spurned when talking about other aspects of Jesus and the Gospel record, but blindly accepted when it goes against the Gospel records. It's a double standard, and hypocritical.

Acts 5.37 mentions the census of AD 6, while Quirinius was governor of Syria. Before AD 6, periodic censuses seem to have occurred at less regular intervals. There is a record of a periodical 14-yr census in Egypt that goes back to AD 20, 14 years after the one we know about in AD 6. It's not at all implausible to assume the possibility of a census in 8 BC. *The Deeds of the Divine Augustus* (paragraph 8, lines 2-4) reveals that Emperor Caesar Augustus himself ordered a census in 8 BC —a census that from the record sounds empire-wide in scope (with 4 million citizens in an empire in which most people were not citizens).

A careful analysis of the text of Luke 2 also contributes to the accuracy of a census around the time of Jesus's birth. We know Quirinius was a governor of Syria from AD 6-9, but Luke uses the term hegemon, not governor. Hegemon is a more general term for “leader” or “ruler.” The title Luke uses for Quirinius is important, since Luke, more so than the other Gospel writers, is very precise in the titles he uses for public officials. What position did Quirinius fill before he was governor of Syria? According to Tacitus, he was doing military expeditions in the eastern provinces of the Empire, with some evidence that he was a co-ruler (hegemon) with the then governor of Syria, Quintilius Varus. This could be the position to which Luke refers. Secondly, Luke specifies that this was the first registration, which would indicate there were at least two such censuses (and we know of the one in AD 6). The exact idea of “first” (πρώτη, Lk. 2.2) is not certain, however. It seems reasonable to assume Luke's idea is that there was more than one registration under Quirinius. It is the first of a series. Since we know about the one in AD 6, this could be a previous one to which Luke refers. Third, the definite article doesn't occur with “This was (the first)” in v. 2. The text just says, “This was proete…” This grammatical form often points to something previous in time. It could possibly indicate the earliest or earlier of the possible references—in other words, one before the famous one of year 6. Fourth, the verb Luke uses in Lk. 2.2 is ἐγένετο (NIV: “that took place”), a term that is subject to a variety of possible meanings. Perhaps a straightforward alternative translation is warranted: “This census took place before Quirinius was governing Syria.”

The literal reading of Luke 2.2 says: αὕτη ἀπογραφὴ πρώτη ἐγένετο ἡγεμονεύοντος τῆς Συρίας Κυρηνίου: “This census took place proete Quirinius hegemon of Syria.” That’s as tight as we can accurately translate it, not being completely sure what Luke means by those two terms. The text certainly can mean, “This census was the first while Quirinius was governing Syria,” but a Greek speaker would normally expect an article before ἀπογραφὴ (census) and again before πρώτη (first; before) if that were Luke’s meaning. It could also just as accurately be translated “This census was before [one] when Quirinius was governor.” The census in AD 6 under Quirinius was particularly infamous because it provoked the failed rebellion by Judas the Galilean. So it would be natural for a biographer or historian to refer to an earlier census with reference to the later, much better remembered one.

In other words, it’s not as clean as the critics would have one believe.

> Jesus predicted his imminent return and the final judgement of the world. It was supposed to be within the lifetime of his disciples.

This is incorrect. Jesus never predicted or said he would be returning within the lifetime of the disciples.

> Judas death is inconsistent between the gospel

Actually it is not. He died by suicide by hanging, as Matthew says. it was a common literary motif in ancient literature to describe the death of the wicked in very gruesome details. These were literary conventions to speak of the wickedness of the person, not the details of his death.

    * Papias describes Judas’s death: “His genitals of indecency were more disgusting and yet too small to be seen. There oozed out from his whole bursting body both fluids and worms. After much suffering and agony, it is said that he died in his own place.”
    * 2 Maccabees 9.5-7, 9-10, 28 describe the death of Antiochus Epiphanes as follows: “But the all-seeing Lord, the God of Israel, struck him with an incurable and invincible blow. As soon as he stopped speaking, he was seized with a pain in his bowels, for which there was no relief, and with sharp internal tortures – and that very justly, for he had tortured the bowels of others with many strange inflictions. Yet he did not in anyway stop his insolence, but was filled even more with arrogance, breathing fire in his rage against the Jews, and giving orders to drive even faster. And so it came about that he fell out of his chariot as it was rushing along, and the fall was so hard as to torture every limb of his body…and so the ungodly man’s body swarmed with worms, and while he was still living in anguish and pain, his flesh rotted away, and because of the stench the whole army felt revulsion at his decay.... so the murderer and blasphemer, having endured the more intense suffering, such as he had inflicted on others, came to the end of his life by a most pitiable fate, among the mountains in a strange land.”
    * King Joram (2 Chr. 21.18-19): “And after all this the LORD smote him in his bowels with an incurable disease. In the course of time, at the end of two years, his bowels came out because of the disease, and he died in great agony.”
    * When a friend of hated Tiberius Graccus died, it is said that his “dead body burst open and a great quantity of corrupt humours gushed forth, so that the flame of the funeral pyre was extinguished.” (Plutarch, The Life of Tiberius Graccus, section 13).

Acts is not telling the method of death, but only metaphorically describing his wickedness.

> Mark describes Jesus riding in on a foal and a colt, as opposed to the other 2 synoptics which have Jesus on one animal.

The mention of only one animal doesn't require that there was only one animal. There were two. If I'm at a party and I say, "Sean and Emma were there," I am not implying they were the only ones there, but rather that they were the two who mattered to me. For the other Gospel writers, the donkey Jesus actually rode on was the one that mattered to them.

> The nativity between Matthew and Luke is completely different.

The two accounts have many elements in common, referring to the same event, and some elements in distinction, showing their particular reason to writing. The two don't contradict.

> Matthew makes up a prophecy about a potter's field for Judas death, then misattributes it to the wrong OT book.

2000 years ago the division of the OT was different than the division we know today. And it was common practice to call a set of books by the name of one of the books it contained. The Pentateuch (Torah) was called “Moses”. The writings were labeled as “Psalms” or “David”. The same goes for the prophetic writings. They called them “Isaiah” and “Jeremiah”. That is to say that Matthew refers to the prophets as “Jeremiah”. Mark, by the way, did the exact same thing. In the first chapter of his gospel he refers to the book of Malachi using the label “Isaiah”. In brief, “Jeremiah” and “Isaiah” served as a label for all the prophets, maybe since they are the longest prophetic books. By the way, whoever takes a look at the Tractate “Bava Batra” in the Talmud will notice that the sages had the same habit of labeling books.

In other words, you're wrong about ALL these accusations. Some more research would help you in your pursuit of truth, much more than these casual toss-offs without having done the homework.
jimwalton
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5309
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:28 pm

Re: God wants you to believe in pencils more than Himself

Postby I'm Hiding » Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:36 pm

> The billions upon billions of people who have experienced definitive life change because of Jesus give evidence to the existence of God.

Have you experienced Jesus? How does one differentiate between an authentic religious experience and some kind of hallucination like the experiences of of all those with false religions?
I'm Hiding
 

Re: God wants you to believe in pencils more than Himself

Postby jimwalton » Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:39 pm

Yes, I have. There's nothing about it that is similar to a hallucination. I've never seen a vision or dreamed dreams. It's a presence and a power inside that brings about an authentic life change. Values and perspectives change, sometimes overnight. Habits and personality even change. It's not a religious experience, but instead a spiritual one.
jimwalton
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5309
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:28 pm

Next

Return to God

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests


cron