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Please Help Me Continue to Examine Why I Believe Jesus Rose Bodily from the Dead


Forums Forums Religion and Secularism Please Help Me Continue to Examine Why I Believe Jesus Rose Bodily from the Dead

Viewing 15 posts - 196 through 210 (of 241 total)
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  • #324985
    @lausten
    Keymaster

    I would say you are being sarcastic, or just pulling my leg, but I watch a lot of this show.

    The first caller says he can prove God, but his proof for God is that God must exist. He’s up against 3 skeptics who are well practiced and they interrupt him every time he expresses the fallacy. But he never gets it. This is what you are doing. For Yeshua, you first decided he was divine, then whenever any thought or argument comes up to ask why you think that, you fall back on “he just is”.

    I don’t believe what you do because over the course of a few years I stopped believing all the things that supported that belief. First, it was the ancient stories. Most people today don’t believe in Noah, but many aren’t aware that there is absolutely no evidence for Moses. More get confused because there are tourist attractions for places in the Bible that Jesus visited. Hardly anyone understands how historians do their jobs.

    After I got past all that I looked at my loving community. I believed in them and I still do, eventually I even re-established myself as a member. But I also believe in secular communities. I like physics, and we have formulas now for the origin of the universe, so no belief there. I read philosophers so I can make ethical arguments for and against things like abortion or the death penalty instead of relying on someone in a robe to tell me what’s right. There are probably a few more things. Eventually, one day I was walking in a park and instead of thinking of Jesus walking with me, I realized the narrative failed. It didn’t provide comfort. It didn’t provide anything the universe and the creatures in it weren’t providing. Belief was no longer needed.

    #324994
    @halster
    Participant

    Thank you @lausten, I enjoy reading your comments and replies.  We had one of our very few misunderstandings when you were trying very honestly to help this person.

    #324999
    @write4u
    Participant

    I see this metaphor : “The Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost”, in a very simple way

    Translation: “The Cause, the Effect, the Mathematical Function”

    #325034
    @foodofthe5000
    Participant

    @halster

    Thank you @lausten, I enjoy reading your comments and replies.  We had one of our very few misunderstandings when you were trying very honestly to help this person.

    The tone and content of this comment confirms for me that I made a good decision to trust the CFI community and submit my inquiry.  Thank you.

    #325037
    @foodofthe5000
    Participant

    @write4u

    So I just started following Max Tegmark!

    “It’s not the particles but the patterns that really matter.”  Beautiful.  Thanks.

    #325071
    @write4u
    Participant

    #326224
    @foodofthe5000
    Participant

    @lausten

    Thank you for your kind wishes for my family.  Our discourse and this forum are very welcome distractions from a very unpleasant circumstance.

    I finally got a chance to watch the whole clip of the first caller.  I’ve added The Atheist Experience to my Google Podcast list.  Thanks.

    But he never gets it. This is what you are doing. For Yeshua, you first decided he was divine, then whenever any thought or argument comes up to ask why you think that, you fall back on “he just is”.

    I truly hope I am not just falling back onto a blind presupposition that Yeshua is divine.  I appreciate you taking me to task on this.  Self-delusion can be very powerful.  A blind spot is a blind spot.  All I can say is that I have tried, and I will continue to do my best, to avoid that trap.  Participating in this forum is one of the precautions I am taking to try to avoid self-delusion.

    I grant that my personal belief that Yeshua rose bodily from the dead is based ultimately on oral tradition.  I grant that oral tradition, as one of the pod-casters said, is insufficient evidence for a single occurrence of a supernatural event that violates our understanding of how the universe works (not a direct quote).  I was (maybe feebly) trying to address this when I wrote, “I feel it is a reasonable trust.  Just common sense really.  If something so ultimately important had actually happened, humans could remember it that long [until AD 325].  I have heard it said, and I think it is true, that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.  I just humbly add that extraordinary events are extraordinarily memorable.  But if they were wrong then I am wrong.”.

    At the risk of repeating myself and trying your kind patience beyond the breaking point, I would like to ask my question of you again. Do you agree with me that it is reasonable that the story and claims of The 5000 could have been passed accurately to AD 325?  By “reasonable” I mean, being within the bounds of common sense.

    Eventually, one day I was walking in a park and instead of thinking of Jesus walking with me, I realized the narrative failed. It didn’t provide comfort. It didn’t provide anything the universe and the creatures in it weren’t providing. Belief was no longer needed.

    Let me restate what I think you are saying.  Please confirm whether or not I am understanding you correctly; you stopped believing that Yeshua rose bodily from the dead because you no longer needed to believe it?

    #326233
    @lausten
    Keymaster

    I grant that oral tradition, as one of the pod-casters said, is insufficient evidence for a single occurrence of a supernatural event that violates our understanding of how the universe works (not a direct quote).  -Seth

    You restated that in your own words. Perfectly fine.

    Do you agree with me that it is reasonable that the story and claims of The 5000 could have been passed accurately to AD 325? -Seth

    Simply, no. You used the word “remember” in the previous paragraph, but one person remembering something is very different than something that is passed down. I’ve tried to understand the difference between how history was written 2,000 years ago as compared to today, but at some point it becomes a technical question that would require a degree level of study. So, that doesn’t solve the problem of “experts” and “trust” and “how do we know”.

    However, you can find the source material and review it yourself, there isn’t that much in the first century. That’s clue #1, there isn’t anything contemporary to Jesus outside of the gospels. The earliest mention is a forgery, and all it says is that Christians existed, not Jesus. After the Jewish rebellion of 70AD, there is very little history at all from them for about 50 years. Then you start to hear from people like Irenaeus, born in 130, who started developing the canon of the NT. Anyone in that time was not working from “memories”, they were attempting to understand texts without having an understanding of the people or the times in which they were written.

    Jumping way ahead to the 12th century or so, when the work of history had developed more, a movement to find the “original” texts began. Long story short, they found that there is no such thing. It’s proving a negative, but how long do you keep looking? So, this is what the religious scholars say, that you can’t get back to the source, the texts we have can’t tell you who Jesus was or what he really did. Now, some of those scholars were burned at the stake, and even today, your average preacher isn’t going to get up there and say, “well, who knows if this real”, but that doesn’t change the scholarship. And I repeat, the scholarship comes from devout believers.

    I’m not sure why you even picked 325. Doesn’t the fact that the Council of Nicaea was called actually disprove your case? It was called to bring all the Bishops together to resolve their differences. In other words, at that time, there was a wide difference of opinions. They failed to come together because there is was never a truth to be found, there were a variety of opinions from the beginning. That’s why we have 4 canonical gospels and a bunch of others.

    #326625
    @foodofthe5000
    Participant

    @lausten

    Simply, no.

    Thanks for the simplicity, I need and appreciate it.  So, I guess I could move on and accept that @lausten and I have a difference of opinion on what constitutes common sense. But that is not sitting well with me.  I’m suspicious that I am not being understood because I am not being understandable.

    You used the word “remember” in the previous paragraph, but one person remembering something is very different than something that is passed down.

    You referred to my writing, ” If something so ultimately important had actually happened, humans could remember it that long [until AD 325]. ”  I elaborated upon that in the section in The Food of The 5000 titled Another Calculation: “Starting from when Yeshua reportedly passed the Thomas Test with The 5000, if one of them passed the news accurately to just one other person in their lifetime, assuming a lifetime of 45 years for each person, it would take about 7 people to reach AD 325.”  To clarify, I am referring to specific humans, not humans in general or en masse. They are 8 people; the person to whom Yeshua hypothetically passed the Thomas Test followed by 7 other people.  Not 7 random individuals.  These would be people with a  small set of very unique, common characteristics, each consecutively acting like a person in a huge crowd who carries a novel virus.  The common set of characteristics would consist of a sufficient relational trust of the person ‘in-line’ before them and a belief that they were passing on news of a single occurrence of a supernatural event that violates all understanding of how the universe works and opens a pathway for humans to everlasting life.

    I grant that the veracity of the information would decrease with each successive person, but the initial set of characteristics of these 8 people would be the most extraordinary set of characteristics to have ever existed in humans.  I feel it is within the realm of common sense that the essential features of such information could be accurately passed, purely verbally, over the course of 325 years.  It would only take 8 people, each living an average of 45 years to have the essential features of that information accurately present at the Council of Nicaea  [originally I wrote “a lifetime of 45 years” my thinking was as in an ‘average lifespan’ of 45 years – I need to edit that part for better clarity].  I use the Council of Nicaea because I recite the Nicene Creed in Church, so I only need the info to have made it that far in time.

    In this context, would you agree with me that it is reasonable that the story and claims of The 5000 could have been passed accurately to AD 325?

    Doesn’t the fact that the Council of Nicaea was called actually disprove your case?

    No.  I think it supports my thinking because, by around 325, it is reasonable that the veracity of the information would be fading to the point where heresies would be a real threat to the truth being passed to future generations.  None of that, of course speaks to the truthfulness of the information.  I am only thinking that it is reasonable to believe that such information could be present at the Council of Nicaea without any need for supernatural intervention.

    #326627
    @lausten
    Keymaster

    Thanks for the simplicity, I need and appreciate it.  So, I guess I could move on and accept that @lausten and I have a difference of opinion on what constitutes common sense. But that is not sitting well with me.  I’m suspicious that I am not being understood because I am not being understandable.

    I go on to explain that. You are kind of ignoring everything else I said. Instead you make up 7 imaginary people. And you make up that there are “heresies” and “the truth”. Are you saying that these 7 people passed along this information and no one knew their names, no one wrote down what they said, no one knows which church in ancient Turkey did or didn’t hear them speak? I could say there is a person I know who talked to Elvis after he was dead and it would be about as much “common sense” as your story. Sorry, running out of patience here. I gave you evidence and data to verify or refute, you gave me 7 unverifiable people.

    #326629
    @lausten
    Keymaster

    I went back and found the thing about the 7 in your “foodofthe 5000” thing.

    I trust The 5000 and at least 7 people since they lived.  I feel it is a reasonable trust.  Just common sense really.  If something so ultimately important had actually happened, humans could remember it that long.  — Seth’s blog

    It’s not common sense at all. Common sense would say that if something was getting passed down, people would be talking about it, commenting on it, doing rituals around it and those who could write would write about it. We have the gospels, they are the examples of who was doing that. We have the  Nag Hamadi library now, so we know there were sects hiding from authorities, writing their versions. But your 7, hid from everybody for 300 years, then suddenly popped up and said, “here’s the creed”. How is that common sense?

    And, we have the history of the development of the creed. We have the snippets out of the NT that are the basis for it. They are hard to find, but they are there. They look more like rewrites of the early gospels to me. We have the notes from the councils where they were debating them, and the history that was written about the back room deals. The best book I’ve read on that is AD381 by Charles Freeman. If you aren’t willing to look at that history, I’m not sure we have anything left to discuss.

    #326631
    @blaire
    Participant

    @foodofthe5000

    Something to think about…

    How is the idea of vicarious atonement through blood sacrifice to appease a deity a good thing? The whole idea is twisted if you ask me. Someone being tortured to death for any reason is hardly something to celebrate.

    Professor Elaine Pagels is the head of religion and theology at Princeton Divinity. Her most recent book is titled Why Religion. The attached video is 8 minutes long. The last 2 minutes she says the belief in Jesus as the son of God has been overemphasized!

    https://www.pbs.org/video/religion-ethics-newsweekly-elaine-pagels/

    *You shouldn’t rely on someone over 2,000 years old to do the right thing. You should do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do.

    #326634
    @lausten
    Keymaster

    Thanks so much for that link Blaire. I can think of no better way for Seth to spend 8 minutes. I’m just a guy who has read some books and so is he, so us “debating” won’t amount to much. But if he wants to know something, then he should consider why I’m saying what I’m saying. First, notice that a lot of others agree with me. Then, what are we all reading? Elaine Pagels for one, but who is she? She’s the expert on the gospel of Thomas, lots of scholars agree. She says here the things I say above, that bishops picked out what they wanted and sometimes even destroyed others. Sometimes things just got lost in history. So, now you have a method, a science, to answering questions. You can accept the experts, you can review their reviews, check their credentials, or you can go out in to the desert and do the work yourself and try to prove some other version of history.

     

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by Lausten.
    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by Lausten.
    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by Lausten.
    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by Lausten.
    #327048
    @elphidium55
    Participant

    When you ask Americans why they are Christians, you will often hear conversion stories. There was some personal experience that convinced them that Christianity was true.

    When you ask Americans why they are theists, you will hear no such stories. The fact of the matter is, most Americans take the existence of god to be a given. And not just any god. The default for Americans seems to be a generic belief in the omni-god of monotheism.

    But here’s the rub. Empirical evidence seems to show that religious experiences do not ground specific religious content. I may have a religious experience that my dead Aunt Bertha is watching me, but I will never have a religious experience that “god the father is consubstantial with god the son and god the holy spirit.”

    What seems to happen for most Americans is that they simply acquiesce to belief in the generic American omni-god. Their religious experiences “confirm” this belief but seldom change it. In short, they believe what they were brought up to believe.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    #327498
    @foodofthe5000
    Participant

    @lausten, @blaire, @elphidium,
    Thank you again for your patience, civility, and candor. Similar to the circumstance of Prof. Pagels, my wife and I are experiencing a life-threatening illness of our son. That, combined with the snail’s pace with which I think, research and write, means that I have very little time available to post and reply. Please believe me, I never consciously ignore anything you write. To the contrary, I ponder your posts deeply for days, I watch suggested videos, read suggested articles and eagerly await the time when I can dive in and reply.  I so appreciate and relish our discussion!  However, it is difficult to know what to address and what not to in a forum like this. I have noticed that sometimes folks do not seem to answer a question or address an idea I am trying to express, but I trust they are not ignoring me. I trust that they are redirecting me to what they feel is more central, more important, or maybe hidden from my view.

    Maybe some context about me will help. I am 58 years old. I have an MS in Counseling Psychology (included thesis). I was raised Lutheran. I left “organized religion” by the end of high school for the following main reasons: I was seeking the Truth,  Hell made absolutely no sense to me, and I had a youthful eagerness to blindly suspect authority.  I’ve made a very sincere and competent effort to follow the beauty and mystery of the Truth with childlike enthusiasm tempered by the best scientific, evidence-based objectivity that my intellect can accomplish. I’ve done my best to understand and/or implement beliefs and philosophies including (not in order) paganism, Jungian Psychology, Atheism, Agnosticism, Gnosticism, Mormonism, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Self-Realization Fellowship, Native American spirituality, and New Age philosophy.  By my early thirties, I was a happy, healthy, kind young man.  [Here is a brief bio posted on a civil discourse project I have been chipping away at for about 15 years.] I would have been very content to simply continue enjoying a fulfilling life. Loving and being loved by my community.  In fact, I feel I have done so.  I am very lucky and grateful.  Your beautiful description, @lausten, of your life since “the narrative failed” and you no longer thought of Jesus walking next to you, sounds very familiar to me.  But in a loop.  For me, the narrative failed, I found life and meaning in the world and people around me and then Yeshua showed back up.  Shortly after that, I was exposed to Roman Catholicism.  Since then the mystic and the scientific seem to be in a very beautiful and delicately balanced dance.

    I watched and greatly enjoyed the 8 minutes of Prof. Pagels.  I don’t think I disagree very substantially with anything she said.  I suspect I agree with her quite a bit.  She says, at the end, “I cannot live without a spiritual dimension to my life.” Although it is not said explicitly, I am left with the impression that she is still an Episcopalian (I also found an article dated 2007 quoting her as stating that she was an Episcopalian).  Nevertheless, the video does not address my main reason for starting this forum.  That reason being, to share (not prove) why I believe that Yeshua rose bodily from the dead and to ask for help examining that belief.  Questions about the political dynamics between Arius and the bishops who had the favor of the Roman Emperor Constantine at the Council of Nicaea, or memory versus the passing down of information, or how much of The Gospel of John was written to contradict The Gospel of Thomas seem secondary to what I am trying to examine.  I can post many beautiful, insightful, scholarly, videos and books from the heavy weights on the side of Roman Catholic orthodoxy.  You all have probably seen most of it and read more than me.  These things are critically important resources and ideas. But, whether or not Yeshua rose bodily from the dead seems of singular importance to me.  I am not trying to prove whether or not it happened.  I don’t think that is something that can I could ever prove or ever endorse anyone else’s proof. I could, at best, only believe that they believe it was proven to them.

    I am proposing that 1) The Thomas Test is the only way for that question to be answered.  Next, since Yeshua is not standing in front of me, I have to accept that I cannot prove whether or not it happened.  Which leads me to proposition 2) I believe it is reasonable to believe that, if Yeshua did rise bodily from the dead, such a fact could be “remembered” or “transmitted intact” or “available to”, or whatever term is used that means it could have been noted correctly in the Nicene Creed.  I am not making up 7 imaginary people.  That is just a calculation of how many times, at a minimum, the information had to be passed from person to person (or generation to generation) to make it intact to AD 325.  Whether they have names or can be found in historical record does not matter.  I use AD 325 because that is when the information was recorded in a written document that is still used today.  Finally, proposition 3) I am very roughly estimating that if Yeshua was bodily raised from the dead that there were approximately 5000 humans for whom he passed the Thomas Test.

    Well that turned into quite a long post.  I hope I have conveyed how much I enjoy and appreciate this discussion.  I hope this provides some context and clarity so this forum remains valuable and fun enough for the CFI community to keep commenting.  It is certainly very helpful, challenging and fun for me.

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