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A Former Atheist
#31
RE: A Former Atheist
(May 2, 2015 at 9:12 pm)Theoretical Skeptic Wrote:
(May 2, 2015 at 7:29 pm)rexbeccarox Wrote: (bold mine)

So, OP, you're a polytheist?

No. Like the writers of the Bible I'm a henotheist. 

Right... you're gonna need to come up with some citations for that claim.  
Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.
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#32
RE: A Former Atheist
(May 2, 2015 at 8:42 pm)Esquilax Wrote:
(May 2, 2015 at 7:19 pm)SteelCurtain Wrote: Fixed your link there, Esq.

Danke. I gotta start making a habit of testing those things before I post 'em. Tongue


Theoretical Skeptic Wrote:Because its a case of tradition effecting translation. If you look deeper you can see where the things I mentioned are not supported in the original language and their influence is pretty well documented. 

Well, given that we don't have the originals of any biblical manuscript, making claims about what is and is not present in the original language is fairly laughable. What's also particularly telling is that you're happy to post assertions of what does and doesn't count, but you're remarkably gunshy about how you determine that. One can't help but feel it's simply a position of convenience, rationalized later by this vague stuff.

I'm having some difficulty in learning how to use the forum. The quoting function to me seems odd. So, please be patient with me. We have a great deal of manuscripts that are reliable enough to distinguish what is authentic and what isn't and we have a wealth of religious manuscripts which aren't very accurate but give us a good indication what the customs were like that helps us understand the Bible. My confidence will become more apparent given time. 
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#33
RE: A Former Atheist
The question that I still have is how did someone who was supposedly an atheist for a long period of time come to find this imaginary truth in the Bible? Not even the Bible that we all have read today...but this plethora of religious texts added together to create this 'Book of Truth' that you seem to believe in?

I want to know more. How? I find it hard to believe that you read the Bible, thought it was false, but became a believer because you suddenly saw the truth that eludes the rest of us.
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#34
RE: A Former Atheist
(May 2, 2015 at 9:12 pm)Jericho Wrote:
(May 2, 2015 at 7:53 pm)Theoretical Skeptic Wrote: The most accurate and honest history of mankind ever produced. 

I truly hope you are being facetious.  Because if you are completely serious, then I cannot help but question what is going through your mind.  To claim to have been an atheist and then say that you now view the Bible as both 'accurate' and 'honest' is incredibly amusing to me.

It makes me wonder why you were ever 'atheist' to begin with.  What were your views and thoughts back then?  And how did those change because you read the Bible, which many people (even Christians) claim as not a true account?  From your words, I do not think you were very firm in your knowledge of religion.  So please, do tell.

I don't understand the confusion regarding my atheistic past. Its very simple. I didn't believe in nor worship any gods. If that isn't atheist then the confusion is on my part. Now I believe in Jehovah God of the Bible so I'm theist. Its fairly simple. 

I consider my knowledge of religion very basic. I have always considered myself more of a skeptic than religious, though in a sense I think we are all religious in that we all have beliefs which we strictly adhere to. 

A lot of theological terms that the atheist is knowledgeable in I may not be because my focus is on the Bible rather than religion itself.  So if you used a term like antinomian I would of had to look that up (which I did in order to provide this example) but if you described what that meant without using the term I could show you where the Bible doesn't support it. 

(May 2, 2015 at 7:18 pm)Alex K Wrote: The flood happened... right... erm, no. I mean, sure, many floods happened over the years, but none on the alleged scale.

You know, I've heard this unsupported claim by atheist and I'm not at all convinced. I don't expect science and the Bible to be in total agreement and I'm just not that impressed with science to doubt the Bible. 

(May 2, 2015 at 9:19 pm)Esquilax Wrote:
(May 2, 2015 at 9:12 pm)Theoretical Skeptic Wrote: I didn't say I became a Christian, I said I became a believer. And yes, the Bibles I've read contain Leviticus. 

What exactly are your objections to the Bible quotes you gave?

Okay, so if you've read the bible, including Leviticus, then why did you challenge me on whether those passages are in there? You must have known, right?

And my objection to them is that they're heinously immoral, which I grant is not an argument against the bible's factual case- all the factual claims it makes that are completely untrue, like the flood, are that argument- but it is certainly an argument against becoming a christian based on reading the bible. Reading the bible should make one flee that religion as fast and as far as they can.

How could I have challenged you that they weren't there before you cited them? I simply asked if your socially conscious response to the Bible were serious. 

Your objection to the Bible as condoning slavery, for example, what point is there in that? I should dismiss the Bible, which was honest in it's position on slavery and then denounce democracy, even humanity, for doing the same? It seems to me short sighted and perhaps even hypocritical. An emotional fixation. Man, not God, invented slavery, the Mosaic law simply protected slaves. Also to think of slavery in those times as similar to our own country's more recent history is erroneous. To them our system of debt and imprisonment and racism would be far more immoral and inhumane. 

Your position on rape and genocide are similarly uninformed and not very well thought out. How could God, who created one race, that of the entire human race regardless of geological, governmental, or such mundane differences as skin color be considered genocidal when all along what he was doing was preserving mankind from their own destruction. What were the societal options for a rape victim and what were their protections? We can discuss these things in future threads. I look forward to it. 
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#35
RE: A Former Atheist
(May 2, 2015 at 8:42 pm)Esquilax Wrote: Well, given that we don't have the originals of any biblical manuscript, making claims about what is and is not present in the original language is fairly laughable...

Actually, reconstruction of the probable original text given the extant manuscripts is not laughable, but quite feasible. It has been done. There is of course some uncertainty in the process, nor can I cover the details of textual criticism and its methods here in a post. But the content of the Hebrew bible's text as of the 1st cent. BCE is fairly certain. That all the texts underwent redaction before reaching canonical form is also known. The Torah and Deuteronomistic history were likely the first items to become finalized, sometime between 500 BCE and the early Hellenistic period about 250 years later. The prophets and wisdom literature were fixed last.

While we're pretty sure what the words are, what they mean is a harder question. The meaning and interpretation of many Hebrew bible passages is obscure.

(May 2, 2015 at 9:19 pm)Esquilax Wrote: And my objection to [legal passages in Leviticus] is that they're heinously immoral...

...by our standards of morality, not those prevailing in ancient Palestine. However, the various laws and stonings in Leviticus were already problematic to the New Testament Christ, who suggested replacing them with just two laws: to love your god and to love your neighbor. Jesus (John 8:7) basically told the law enforcers not to stone the adulterous woman because they weren't any freer of sin than she was.

No Christians advocate enforcing the Mosaic law today. Which distinguishes their faith from some conservative strains of Islam which are indeed conducting ancient punishments in areas of the world they control.
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#36
RE: A Former Atheist
(May 2, 2015 at 9:31 pm)rexbeccarox Wrote:
(May 2, 2015 at 9:12 pm)Theoretical Skeptic Wrote: No. Like the writers of the Bible I'm a henotheist. 

Right... you're gonna need to come up with some citations for that claim.  

How about Exodus 4:16; 7:1 / Psalm 8:5; 82:2,6 / Isaiah 9:6 / John 10:34, 35 / 1 Corinthians 8:5,6?

How would I do that, just give scriptures or actually post their context as well? 

(May 2, 2015 at 9:37 pm)Jericho Wrote: The question that I still have is how did someone who was supposedly an atheist for a long period of time come to find this imaginary truth in the Bible?  Not even the Bible that we all have read today...but this plethora of religious texts added together to create this 'Book of Truth' that you seem to believe in?

I want to know more.  How?  I find it hard to believe that you read the Bible, thought it was false, but became a believer because you suddenly saw the truth that eludes the rest of us.

Okay. Let me ask you a simple question. What is the soul? Is it immortal, meaning does it die? 
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#37
RE: A Former Atheist
(May 2, 2015 at 9:27 pm)Theoretical Skeptic Wrote:
(May 2, 2015 at 8:12 pm)Parkers Tan Wrote: So you're saying that the Word of God is not trustworthy ... yet reading it convinced you.

Clearly you are giving testimony against yourself here. Perfect communication is not susceptible to misunderstanding, yet your perfect god needs human translators to tell you what he means where.

What you really have here should be called "The Believer's Guide to Cherry-picking."

The Word of God? Jesus was the Word of God and perfect. God's communication to the writers of the Bible was inspired. It was temporal in a sense that it applied to the people in the time which it was given, but it's translation was not inspired and so imperfect. The Bible is an example to us in how Jehovah dealt with specific people in a specific time. 

Clearly a better method of conveying what is only the most important message this god if yours has for his creations is needed. Why cannot he inspire each individual directly? Why cannot he inspire traducers to convey only the pure message?

I agree with you that the Bible has many insertions and corruptions put there by men. You'll understand why I reject that book when you ponder the fallibility of the men who composed it originally, and who voted on its contents.

Ponder that for a moment: the contents of the Bible were voted on by men.

Forgive my amusement at your credulity, but citing the Bible is not only circular reasoning, it's laughably naive.

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#38
RE: A Former Atheist
(May 2, 2015 at 10:13 pm)Parkers Tan Wrote: Clearly a better method of conveying what is only the most important message this god if yours has for his creations is needed. Why cannot he inspire each individual directly? Why cannot he inspire traducers to convey only the pure message?

I agree with you that the Bible has many insertions and corruptions put there by men. You'll understand why I reject that book when you ponder the fallibility of the men who composed it originally, and who voted on its contents.

Ponder that for a moment: the contents of the Bible were voted on by men.

Forgive my amusement at your credulity, but citing the Bible is not only circular reasoning, it's laughably naive.

I don't think that God would agree with you. Why are you an atheist? What would be the point? Because the political influence of a small tribe of bronze age sheepherders thousands of years ago? Because you just can't abide by fantasy? Do you have children and do you celebrate Christmas with them? To me it seems odd to adopt the strict militant opposition to the ideology of a thousands year old book while simultaneously expressing amusement at it's authority.   
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#39
RE: A Former Atheist
We hear a bazillion 'I used to be an Atheist' stories from Christians. If they were all true than 20 years ago the US would have been populated by Atheists who converted. It's a selling tactic used by con men. I used to be like you but now I am so much happier after discovering the truth, give it a try. Forgive me, but I'll pass. I also don't find the bible to be at all convincing that the supernatural is real.
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#40
RE: A Former Atheist
(May 2, 2015 at 9:39 pm)Theoretical Skeptic Wrote: How could I have challenged you that they weren't there before you cited them? I simply asked if your socially conscious response to the Bible were serious.

You also asked me to back up my claims, something you wouldn't need to do if you had prior knowledge of the verses relevant to the issues I'd listed.

Quote:Your objection to the Bible as condoning slavery, for example, what point is there in that? I should dismiss the Bible, which was honest in it's position on slavery and then denounce democracy, even humanity, for doing the same?

Humanity corrected its views on slavery, something the bible never did, even into the new testament. My point is that one should not read the bible, read those passages regarding slavery, and then worship the entity responsible for that, regardless of how convinced of his reality you end up being. The moral course of action, were one to read the bible and become convinced that that god exists, is to reject him outright, not to play into his hands.


Quote:It seems to me short sighted and perhaps even hypocritical. An emotional fixation.

It's not hypocritical: I don't worship any humans who advocate slavery any more than I worship gods who advocate slavery. Where is the hypocrisy, there? Humans changed, god did not.


Quote:Man, not God, invented slavery, the Mosaic law simply protected slaves.

... Protected slaves by making it acceptable to beat them to death? By describing in detail how to trick temporary slaves into becoming permanent ones by holding their families to ransom? By allowing them to be raped? Seriously? Dodgy

Man also invented murder, by the way, but god had no issue abolishing that in his commandments, yet he remains curiously silent on the immorality of slavery, though equally curiously loquacious regarding the particulars of making it happen. It's a matter of priorities, you see; god places getting all the worship for himself above abolishing slavery, something you would, I assume, find to be a noble cause when humanity does it. Doesn't that seem odd, to you?


Quote:Also to think of slavery in those times as similar to our own country's more recent history is erroneous. To them our system of debt and imprisonment and racism would be far more immoral and inhumane.

In what way were they different? I warn you, I'm well aware of the full details regarding the "you could let them go after seven years!" style of lazy apologetics, so maybe don't go there if you were intending to.

Quote:Your position on rape and genocide are similarly uninformed and not very well thought out. How could God, who created one race, that of the entire human race regardless of geological, governmental, or such mundane differences as skin color be considered genocidal when all along what he was doing was preserving mankind from their own destruction.

I don't think I mentioned genocide, but he became genocidal around about the time he selected a race of people and demanded that they all be killed, because that's literally what a genocide is.


Quote:What were the societal options for a rape victim and what were their protections?

You don't think that god could have afforded rape victims a wider range of social options and protections by adding a few "be cool to rape victims" clauses into the bible? Possibly taking out that "she must marry her rapist," bit and just have the rapist fund her life in recompense without forcing her into close quarters with him for life? Or hey, just removing the social stigma on being unmarried and having sex, so that the issue never came up at all? I mean, given how utterly arbitrary the value on virginity actually is, that isn't a huge deal, right?
"YOU take the hard look in the mirror. You are everything that is wrong with this world. The only thing important to you, is you." - ronedee

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