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Why make stupid unsustainable arguments?
#1
Question 
Why make stupid unsustainable arguments?
There are three types of arguments I see getting used against Christians.

1. Informed arguments - these are the ones an atheist or sceptic can back-up with evidence.
2. Uninformed arguments - these are the ones that atheists or sceptics think are good arguments, but are not backed up with evidence.
3. Valid points that are more-or-less meaningless. This is where an atheist or sceptic comes up with a valid point, but doesn't realise that the point doesn't threaten most Christian's beliefs or understanding about the Bible and their God.

It is the uninformed arguments that I hate the most - as everyone pretty much knows - because this is where some people will make arguments such as Jesus Mysticism based on books or websites written by people who are either not Greek scholars, or, if they are they aren't respected scholars by any stretch of the imagination. Yet at the same time the sceptics want young-earthers not to listen to the scientific quacks: that's the very definition of 'hypocrite'.

The funny thing is that many Christians when pointed out that they shouldn't be using unqualified Apologists and Evangelicals to support their arguments from an evidence-based point of view will AGREE! They will say "Yes you're right, that's an apologist not a scholar".

I'm not even sure why so many atheists here have begun attacking the character of Jesus. Even Life of Brian didn't do that, because they couldn't find anything in the gospels that suggested he was a raving mad lunatic hell-bent on power, or however else you might imagine him. Scholars are divided over whether he actually claimed to be the "Son of God" or not.

Pinning down when the gospels were written is guesswork. And though loathed to admit this, you do find scholars acknowledging that in various places. I've pointed out many times now that it's my belief the church in Jerusalem was destroyed by 70AD.  By that time I believe the church had already advanced through three different stages of belief - their initial beliefs at the time Jesus preached that carried on for some time. The divorce from the Hebrew scriptures and the Law of Moses in 50AD. And, finally, the reshaping of the church in the Syrian and Greek regions. As a religion it was almost wiped out forever at that time.

Atheism doesn't mean a belief that religions are "bad". I've already made that argument from Game-theory and Evolution. Systems and processes evolved just as living organisms themselves do and those that are successful tend to displace those that aren't. In Palaeolithic times this meant we had a paradigm where women cooked and gathered fruits and vegetables, and men hunted and brought home the "bacon" literally. And yet today how many people can't work out why there's gender imbalances in the workforce? The fact is it was human nature for over 300,000 years, and we expect to just "move on" easily from these ancient behaviours? I don't think so. My cat lives with me, and he knows I go to the toilet in the bathroom - but he instead chooses to dig a hole in the garden (or use his kitty litter) and then cover over his business. No one taught him that behaviour, he just knew it. He knows I take a bath, and wash myself with soap. He grooms and washes himself with his tongue. Again - how does he know to do this, no one taught him?

Religion and traditions are also largely human nature. They just come to us naturally, we've been following them for so long - to guide us, and to give us direction and hope. But the problem now is that we've realised that other peoples have different ideas about religion, they have different cultures, and a different set of values. And for a long time we didn't like that, we wanted other people to assimilate to "our" ways.

Religion still does more good than harm. It still provides people with the benefits that they've drawn from it for 300,000 years - in all of its various forms and belief systems. If gives people a sense of belonging, community, engagement, and purpose. This idea that I've chosen to be an atheist is wrong, and the idea that other people should choose atheism is also equally wrong. What I want to bring to people is a greater appreciation for things that sometimes religion can shackle. Sciences, history, and social justice - those kind of things. I'd rather everyone in the world follow religion AND show deep respect for all sciences, and for real history, and for social justice. If not for religion causing a barrier to these things I don't wish it any ill will.

So do me a favour guys, stop making stupid arguments. If you're not going to at least get your facts on religion from scholars, then you can't expect anyone else to get their facts on other things from scholars either.
For Religion & Health see:[/b][/size] Williams & Sternthal. (2007). Spirituality, religion and health: Evidence and research directions. Med. J. Aust., 186(10), S47-S50. -LINK

The WIN/Gallup End of Year Survey 2013 found the US was perceived to be the greatest threat to world peace by a huge margin, with 24% of respondents fearful of the US followed by: 8% for Pakistan, and 6% for China. This was followed by 5% each for: Afghanistan, Iran, Israel, North Korea. -LINK


"That's disgusting. There were clean athletes out there that have had their whole careers ruined by people like Lance Armstrong who just bended thoughts to fit their circumstances. He didn't look up cheating because he wanted to stop, he wanted to justify what he was doing and to keep that continuing on." - Nicole Cooke
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#2
RE: Why make stupid unsustainable arguments?
(December 9, 2015 at 8:12 am)Aractus Wrote: It is silly to argue theology, e.g. the inconsistency of sacred text,  in a criticism of a belief system. The matter reduces to the choice between the material and the super-natural. Once the choice has been made to subordinate observable facts to super-naturalism the gates of reason are closed. Only a fool argues with a closed door.
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#3
RE: Why make stupid unsustainable arguments?
I don't need a scholar for every conclusion I draw regarding the Bible. There are certainly deeper discussions that warrant scholarly consultation, but be honest, many Christians haven't read the Bible let alone consult Biblical scholarship.

I also down understand the unspoken assumption that biblical scholarship isn't prone to its own self reinforcing bias.
http://www.sbl-site.org/publications/art...icleId=503

Nobody needs scholarship to read the Bible and conclude that Jesus either actually believed the world was immediately coming to an end (big problem for these elusive intellectually honest Christians you refer to) or was an immoral sociopath when he advised people to give no thought for the morrow. This is not a stupid argument and does not require "Biblical scholarship" in the formal sense.

Not only is your imploration quixotic, but I believe you've missed your mark.
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#4
RE: Why make stupid unsustainable arguments?
(December 9, 2015 at 8:38 am)Cato Wrote: I don't need a scholar for every conclusion I draw regarding the Bible.

Not if it's directly from the Bible you don't.

(December 9, 2015 at 8:38 am)Cato Wrote: I also down understand the unspoken assumption that biblical scholarship isn't prone to its own self reinforcing bias.
http://www.sbl-site.org/publications/art...icleId=503

Everything is prone to bias.

(December 9, 2015 at 8:38 am)Cato Wrote: Nobody needs scholarship to read the Bible and conclude that Jesus either actually believed the world was immediately coming to an end (big problem for these elusive intellectually honest Christians you refer to) or was an immoral sociopath when he advised people to give no thought for the morrow. This is not a stupid argument and does not require "Biblical scholarship" in the formal sense.

Now you're talking. But - did Jesus believe the end was nigh? That's debatable. I think so, but it's far from being a certain fact. And I think his advice to "worry more about today" is quite sensible actually, and far from being "immoral".
For Religion & Health see:[/b][/size] Williams & Sternthal. (2007). Spirituality, religion and health: Evidence and research directions. Med. J. Aust., 186(10), S47-S50. -LINK

The WIN/Gallup End of Year Survey 2013 found the US was perceived to be the greatest threat to world peace by a huge margin, with 24% of respondents fearful of the US followed by: 8% for Pakistan, and 6% for China. This was followed by 5% each for: Afghanistan, Iran, Israel, North Korea. -LINK


"That's disgusting. There were clean athletes out there that have had their whole careers ruined by people like Lance Armstrong who just bended thoughts to fit their circumstances. He didn't look up cheating because he wanted to stop, he wanted to justify what he was doing and to keep that continuing on." - Nicole Cooke
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#5
RE: Why make stupid unsustainable arguments?
Arguments are not even required when it comes to Christians. We can refute their invalidity all we want, but at the end of the day the most important thing is that their premises are unsound and lack evidence in the first place.

Burden of proof is on them and they have no evidence.
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#6
RE: Why make stupid unsustainable arguments?
They have no evidence for what Evie? They have abundance of evidence for some things, including that religious people tend to be happier and healthier.

You can't just use catch-all claims like that. What you can say though is that they ignore other evidence that has firm academic support (such as Egypt was not as depicted in the Old Testament, and neither were Canaan cities).
For Religion & Health see:[/b][/size] Williams & Sternthal. (2007). Spirituality, religion and health: Evidence and research directions. Med. J. Aust., 186(10), S47-S50. -LINK

The WIN/Gallup End of Year Survey 2013 found the US was perceived to be the greatest threat to world peace by a huge margin, with 24% of respondents fearful of the US followed by: 8% for Pakistan, and 6% for China. This was followed by 5% each for: Afghanistan, Iran, Israel, North Korea. -LINK


"That's disgusting. There were clean athletes out there that have had their whole careers ruined by people like Lance Armstrong who just bended thoughts to fit their circumstances. He didn't look up cheating because he wanted to stop, he wanted to justify what he was doing and to keep that continuing on." - Nicole Cooke
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#7
RE: Why make stupid unsustainable arguments?
No evidence for what they believe in...

I'm not going to refute something indistinguishable from nonexistence.
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#8
RE: Why make stupid unsustainable arguments?
(December 9, 2015 at 9:37 am)Aractus Wrote: You can't just use catch-all claims like that. What you can say though is that they ignore other evidence that has firm academic support (such as Egypt was not as depicted in the Old Testament, and neither were Canaan cities).

I'm not the one making the claim. Do you understand the burden of proof? When Christians claim that God exists, the burden of proof is on them. Proving a negative isn't necessary, Christianity isn't even worthy of refutation, and the same goes for other forms of theism.
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#9
RE: Why make stupid unsustainable arguments?
(December 9, 2015 at 8:50 am)Aractus Wrote: Now you're talking. But - did Jesus believe the end was nigh? That's debatable. I think so, but it's far from being a certain fact. And I think his advice to "worry more about today" is quite sensible actually, and far from being "immoral".

It is debatable and we do not need Biblical scholars to have a meaningful discussion on the matter. In the spirit of this thread I will not continue debate on this specific, but do think it is fodder for another thread.
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#10
RE: Why make stupid unsustainable arguments?
(December 9, 2015 at 9:37 am)Aractus Wrote: They have abundance of evidence for some things, including that religious people tend to be happier and healthier.

That isn't remotely relevant because it in no way says that what they believe is actually true. Why should I waste time refuting Christians when they still lack evidence for their God?
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