Was Jesus perfect?

Christianity, Islam, Other Religions & Belief Systems.

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Re: Was Jesus perfect?

#61  Postby PensivePenny » Jun 11, 2018 12:34 am

Skinny Puppy wrote:
Speaking of planting seeds. I've tried this many times on different people and the result is always the same. It goes like this (not verbatim):

Me: 'You've seen witches riding a broom before, right?'

Other person: 'Yes, many, many times.'

Me: 'Did you ever think that her broom is really a phallic symbol?'

Other person: 'No! The thought never even crossed my mind.'

Me: 'I bet it will now.'


If it were that easy to influence christians, the phenomenon would have ended when jesus was buried. In anticipation of the expected challenges to that remark:

If removing all oxygen from the atmosphere would kill humanity, then the very first organisms to crawl from the primordial ooze would have died equally efficiently without oxygen. If the seed of doubt were an effective cure for christian deprogramming, there were far far more seeds back then when the religion was young and they were still viewed as a cult. Point is, I think you're overestimating the efficacy of planting seeds. It's far more virtuous to continue to believe the more evidence there is against it. For that mentality, seeds of doubt are nutrient rich vitamin supplements.
Evolution saddens me. In an environment where irrational thinking is protected, the disparity in the population rate of creationists vs that of rational thinkers, equates to a creationist win. Let's remove warning labels from products as an equalizer.
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Re: Was Jesus perfect?

#62  Postby SafeAsMilk » Jun 11, 2018 12:48 am

PensivePenny wrote:
If removing all oxygen from the atmosphere would kill humanity, then the very first organisms to crawl from the primordial ooze would have died equally efficiently without oxygen. If the seed of doubt were an effective cure for christian deprogramming, there were far far more seeds back then when the religion was young and they were still viewed as a cult.

Not really, because everyone was surrounded by cults and their overgrown brothers, established religions. It's not like everyone's going to suddenly become more rational when a new religion comes along.

Point is, I think you're overestimating the efficacy of planting seeds. It's far more virtuous to continue to believe the more evidence there is against it. For that mentality, seeds of doubt are nutrient rich vitamin supplements.

I don't really find this to be true. It's an erosion of faith, but can be rebuilt if it's isolated. Sure, it's virtuous to believe in the face of evidence, but that only takes you so far. It takes effort to maintain that facade. Telling someone the Bible is dumb isn't any sort of challenge at all.

But even if what you said was so, what would be the better way to get at them? Plant seeds that may or may not be effective, or tell them that the Bible is dumb? Can you put yourself in the shoes of another person to see how that comes across?
"They call it the American dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it." -- George Carlin
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Re: Was Jesus perfect?

#63  Postby PensivePenny » Jun 11, 2018 1:11 am

SafeAsMilk wrote:
PensivePenny wrote:
Point is, I think you're overestimating the efficacy of planting seeds. It's far more virtuous to continue to believe the more evidence there is against it. For that mentality, seeds of doubt are nutrient rich vitamin supplements.

I don't really find this to be true. It's an erosion of faith, but can be rebuilt if it's isolated. Sure, it's virtuous to believe in the face of evidence, but that only takes you so far. It takes effort to maintain that facade.


That's not what I've witnessed first hand. There is joy for many of the being challenged with facts.


Telling someone the Bible is dumb isn't any sort of challenge at all.

But even if what you said was so, what would be the better way to get at them?


Aww, that's sweet. You think I want to "get at them?" I don't. I'll be dead soon. I have no children. So, what ever happens to this world is of no matter to me. I figure humans will become extinct within the next 10 generations anyway, so it's all meaningless if you get down to it. Especially for me, my run will conclude soon enough.



Plant seeds that may or may not be effective, or tell them that the Bible is dumb? Can you put yourself in the shoes of another person to see how that comes across?


Oh, I most certainly can. Probably even better than you'd imagine. I used to do that all the time. I just don't care anymore.
Evolution saddens me. In an environment where irrational thinking is protected, the disparity in the population rate of creationists vs that of rational thinkers, equates to a creationist win. Let's remove warning labels from products as an equalizer.
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Re: Was Jesus perfect?

#64  Postby SafeAsMilk » Jun 11, 2018 1:25 am

PensivePenny wrote:
SafeAsMilk wrote:
PensivePenny wrote:
Point is, I think you're overestimating the efficacy of planting seeds. It's far more virtuous to continue to believe the more evidence there is against it. For that mentality, seeds of doubt are nutrient rich vitamin supplements.

I don't really find this to be true. It's an erosion of faith, but can be rebuilt if it's isolated. Sure, it's virtuous to believe in the face of evidence, but that only takes you so far. It takes effort to maintain that facade.


That's not what I've witnessed first hand. There is joy for many of the being challenged with facts.

I don't think religions would put so much effort into helping people maintain their faith in the face of the facts if that were true. In the moment a person may seem to enjoy defying the facts you present, either because it feels good to express their faith or to defy your attitude that they might perceive as you trying to make them feel dumb. But people usually don't discard their faith in a moment, it's gradual and there's a lot of layers to break down. There's a great video series that explains this, but I saw it years ago and I'll have to find it again. I found a lot of parallels to my loss of faith.


Telling someone the Bible is dumb isn't any sort of challenge at all.

But even if what you said was so, what would be the better way to get at them?


Aww, that's sweet. You think I want to "get at them?" I don't. I'll be dead soon. I have no children. So, what ever happens to this world is of no matter to me. I figure humans will become extinct within the next 10 generations anyway, so it's all meaningless if you get down to it. Especially for me, my run will conclude soon enough.



Plant seeds that may or may not be effective, or tell them that the Bible is dumb? Can you put yourself in the shoes of another person to see how that comes across?


Oh, I most certainly can. Probably even better than you'd imagine. I used to do that all the time. I just don't care anymore.

Used to do what all the time?
"They call it the American dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it." -- George Carlin
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Re: Was Jesus perfect?

#65  Postby OlivierK » Jun 11, 2018 1:53 am

Skinny Puppy wrote:
OlivierK wrote:
>snip>
It's perfectly reasonable, therefore, to respond to people quoting chapter and verse with the question: "If you're right, surely you can muster support for your position from something other than a single 2000+ year old work of disputed worth?" If all someone has is unsupported doctrine from a doctrine that does not attempt to scrutinise the truth value of its own claims, then it's worthless, and we can move on.


The Bible is the word of God (to Christians). What would a Christian use besides that? The Bible is the undisputed authority regarding everything that a believer needs to know in order to live a life in harmony with their god. To them it isn’t a work of disputed worth. While unsupported doctrine may seem to be an odd position to hold, that’s where faith comes in.

<snip>
OlivierK wrote:
[…then inviting people to debate Christians on Christian terms is pointless. The first order of business needs to be "your doctrine explicitly tolerates bullshit (counterfactuals, clear self-contradiction) and so is worthless as a arbiter of truth". Then everyone can move on to more interesting discussion, if they're able.]


How does one say, your doctrine explicitly tolerates bullshit, if one isn’t familiar with it? To knock it or to say it’s worthless requires that one must know it.

Charles Templeton (an evangelist and contemporary of Billy Graham) wrote a book when he left Christianity. He used the Bible to basically tear the Bible apart. Here are a few quotes from it.

“If God's love encompasses the whole world and if everyone who does not believe in him will perish, then surely this question needs to be asked: When, after two thousand years, does God's plan kick in for the billion people he 'so loves' in China? Or for the 840 million in India? Or the millions in Japan, Afghanistan, Siberia, Egypt, Burma •.. and on and on?

Why would a God who 'so loved the world' reveal his message only to a tiny minority of the people on earth, leaving the majority in ignorance? Is it possible to believe that the Father of all Mankind would select as his Chosen People a small Middle Eastern nation, Israel, reveal His will exclusively to them, fight alongside them in their battles to survive, and only after their failure to reach out to any other group, update His plan for the world's salvation by sending His 'only begotten son,' not to the world but, once again, exclusively to Israel?”

― Charles Templeton, Farewell to God: My Reasons for Rejecting the Christian Faith

I could write you a new response to this, but it would more or less follow the lines of the part of my post you snipped out when responding:
OlivierK wrote:
Skinny Puppy wrote:
Actually the Bible does have a purpose to well over 2 billion people. It can shape government policy, public policies and so on. It is not some pointless little book of little or no value when it can hold such an influence over society and how many of its citizens are treated.

It doesn’t matter whether it is 100% bull or not, however, if many wish to trample it under foot and get its adherents onto their side, then one has to know it thoroughly since it’s difficult to argue against something one has very little knowledge about. Knowing why people believe what they believe is the first step, using science and logic, the second.

I kind of agree. While it's not necessary to take the bible seriously, it's important to take Christianity seriously due to its track record of centuries of social control of large numbers of folk. And I think one of the important ways to take Christianity seriously is to expose that it is, in fact, simply a construct designed for social control. Biblical justification is always post hoc, and always possible for any stance, given the massively self-contradictory nature of the source. Want to promote homophobia? There's a passage for that! Want to argue against homophobia and for equality? There are passages for that, too! The entire business of biblical rationalisation is to cloak one's positions, any positions, with an authority that's socially unacceptable to question, mock, or flat out disregard. People believe because they're conditioned to dismiss doubt, and to champion uncritical acceptance of doctrine by the doctrine itself.

You'll note that agree with you that it's important to know the Bible (that's the key to not taking it seriously), and to understand its role to Christians. But the question is, what to do with that understanding. In my opinion, what one should do with knowledge of the Bible is to expose its self-contradiction, and point out that if it takes both sides of almost any issue, then it's a worthless source to people with an interest in honest discourse. Likewise, what are we to do with the knowledge that Christians cherry-pick bible verses as post hoc rationalisation of positions, and privilege Biblical doctrine over secular concerns like equality of human rights or harm minimisation? Again, in my opinion, the appropriate thing to do is to simply point out that that's what Christians do: privilege their doctrine, even when that flies in the face of what modern society considers civilised and ethical behaviour.

What I'm explicitly NOT doing, is suggesting that we ignore the contents of the Bible, or how Christians use the Bible in argument. Understanding the self-contradictory nature of the Bible is key to rejecting its worth as a source. Understanding Christians' propensity to put doctrine above human rights considerations, and to reject rational arguments in favour of faith in statements from a self-contradictory source, is key to rejecting the the worth of such arguments in forming public policy in secular jurisdictions with an interest in putting human rights concerns ahead of theocratic sensibilities.
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Re: Was Jesus perfect?

#66  Postby PensivePenny » Jun 11, 2018 3:13 am

SafeAsMilk wrote:
PensivePenny wrote:
SafeAsMilk wrote:
PensivePenny wrote:
Point is, I think you're overestimating the efficacy of planting seeds. It's far more virtuous to continue to believe the more evidence there is against it. For that mentality, seeds of doubt are nutrient rich vitamin supplements.

I don't really find this to be true. It's an erosion of faith, but can be rebuilt if it's isolated. Sure, it's virtuous to believe in the face of evidence, but that only takes you so far. It takes effort to maintain that facade.


That's not what I've witnessed first hand. There is joy for many of the being challenged with facts.

I don't think religions would put so much effort into helping people maintain their faith in the face of the facts if that were true.

I'm pretty sure that's a fallacy, though I'm not sure which one. Appeal to tradition? :dunno:

In the moment a person may seem to enjoy defying the facts you present, either because it feels good to express their faith or to defy your attitude that they might perceive as you trying to make them feel dumb. But people usually don't discard their faith in a moment, it's gradual and there's a lot of layers to break down. There's a great video series that explains this, but I saw it years ago and I'll have to find it again. I found a lot of parallels to my loss of faith.

You're presuming I was the one arguing with the theist? I've witnessed it happening to christian friends when I was one too. They weren't putting their guard up with ME! I was the one they high fived afterward.



Telling someone the Bible is dumb isn't any sort of challenge at all.

But even if what you said was so, what would be the better way to get at them?


Aww, that's sweet. You think I want to "get at them?" I don't. I'll be dead soon. I have no children. So, what ever happens to this world is of no matter to me. I figure humans will become extinct within the next 10 generations anyway, so it's all meaningless if you get down to it. Especially for me, my run will conclude soon enough.



Plant seeds that may or may not be effective, or tell them that the Bible is dumb? Can you put yourself in the shoes of another person to see how that comes across?


Oh, I most certainly can. Probably even better than you'd imagine. I used to do that all the time. I just don't care anymore.

Used to do what all the time?


Empathize, I guess you could call it. I was a good kid. I always tried to imagine how others felt about everything I said and did. I think a lot of "empathy" is imagination but you also have to read people without making assumptions based on how you think you'd feel. The mile in moccasins idiom is one of the oldest I recall from my childhood. It was very much a part of my being.
Evolution saddens me. In an environment where irrational thinking is protected, the disparity in the population rate of creationists vs that of rational thinkers, equates to a creationist win. Let's remove warning labels from products as an equalizer.
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Re: Was Jesus perfect?

#67  Postby SafeAsMilk » Jun 11, 2018 4:47 am

PensivePenny wrote:
SafeAsMilk wrote:
PensivePenny wrote:
SafeAsMilk wrote:
I don't really find this to be true. It's an erosion of faith, but can be rebuilt if it's isolated. Sure, it's virtuous to believe in the face of evidence, but that only takes you so far. It takes effort to maintain that facade.


That's not what I've witnessed first hand. There is joy for many of the being challenged with facts.

I don't think religions would put so much effort into helping people maintain their faith in the face of the facts if that were true.

I'm pretty sure that's a fallacy, though I'm not sure which one. Appeal to tradition? :dunno:

Well let me know if you figure out, because I don't think it is. I'm certainly not saying it's true because they've always done it, I'm saying it's true because it works and is necessary.

In the moment a person may seem to enjoy defying the facts you present, either because it feels good to express their faith or to defy your attitude that they might perceive as you trying to make them feel dumb. But people usually don't discard their faith in a moment, it's gradual and there's a lot of layers to break down. There's a great video series that explains this, but I saw it years ago and I'll have to find it again. I found a lot of parallels to my loss of faith.

You're presuming I was the one arguing with the theist? I've witnessed it happening to christian friends when I was one too. They weren't putting their guard up with ME! I was the one they high fived afterward.

I'm not sure I understand. I also find it hard to believe that you were previously religious but you don't see how leading a person to question their faith is a better strategy than blindly dismissing them.




Telling someone the Bible is dumb isn't any sort of challenge at all.

But even if what you said was so, what would be the better way to get at them?


Aww, that's sweet. You think I want to "get at them?" I don't. I'll be dead soon. I have no children. So, what ever happens to this world is of no matter to me. I figure humans will become extinct within the next 10 generations anyway, so it's all meaningless if you get down to it. Especially for me, my run will conclude soon enough.



Plant seeds that may or may not be effective, or tell them that the Bible is dumb? Can you put yourself in the shoes of another person to see how that comes across?


Oh, I most certainly can. Probably even better than you'd imagine. I used to do that all the time. I just don't care anymore.

Used to do what all the time?


Empathize, I guess you could call it. I was a good kid. I always tried to imagine how others felt about everything I said and did. I think a lot of "empathy" is imagination but you also have to read people without making assumptions based on how you think you'd feel. The mile in moccasins idiom is one of the oldest I recall from my childhood. It was very much a part of my being.

Well you don't seem to be doing it in this case. I know you don't care and all, but you can't seriously think that trying to brute force a religious person is a more effective strategy than laying the groundwork of doubt so they can come to the conclusion themselves. That's just basic psychology.
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Re: Was Jesus perfect?

#68  Postby Cito di Pense » Jun 11, 2018 7:57 am

SafeAsMilk wrote:
Well you don't seem to be doing it in this case. I know you don't care and all, but you can't seriously think that trying to brute force a religious person is a more effective strategy than laying the groundwork of doubt so they can come to the conclusion themselves. That's just basic psychology.


I don't think there's an easy pathway to persuade someone to doubt a whole system by debunking specifics. The habit of doubt isn't founded on specifics. I'm thinking of an analogy here to giving someone a fish for their dinner this evening.

People who give up on the basis a specific principle most often do it out of frustration, rather than via the process of doubt, and they may find it equally-convenient to return to the fold at a later date. It's a caricature of religion to treat it as a collection of rules. The testimony of many here who have abandoned faith is not full of citations of specifics. I often hear that somebody just decided it was all a load of hooey.
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Was Jesus perfect?

#69  Postby Scot Dutchy » Jun 11, 2018 8:17 am

You dont debunk xtianity. Just leave it to die. Why should I bother what they think. They are powerless. Just an echo chamber for mad ideas.
Myths in islam Women and islam Musilm opinion polls


"Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet.” — Napoleon Bonaparte
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Re: Was Jesus perfect?

#70  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Jun 11, 2018 8:20 am

Skinny Puppy wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Skinny Puppy wrote:
LucidFlight wrote:
Also, compared to today, standards of personal hygiene would have been much lower. I suspect that he might have presented as being quite scruffy, with unkempt hair — which is fine, because had it been overly-preened, he may have been perceived to have too much of what one might call a sense of pride, a quite sinful thing in itself. Inevitably, there is some level of imperfection and dirtiness at the microscopic level, particularly when considering unavoidable presence of bacteria — and combined with the conditions of living in a dry and dusty environment, it would be impossible to be perfectly clean. On the basis of cleanliness alone, it would have been impossible for Jesus to reach perfection. But then, what is perfect cleanliness? What if cleanliness is not a measure of perfection, but of sin?

No. Read Mark 7:15

Sent from my Kindle


How about Ephesians 6:5-8?

or
1 Timothy 6:1-2?


Going back a few years ago, just a few houses down from us, lived a couple who were both professors of theology.

Professors of theology or professional apologists?

Skinny Puppy wrote:Anyway, one day when we were all sitting in the sun I asked him this:

‘Since Jesus is the Son of God and the authority on moral values, why didn’t he condemn slavery?’

He had no answer for that and simply replied, ‘I don’t know.’

That's at least an honest response.
Usually the response is cherry-picking, humpty-dumpty reinterpetation or worse; finding excuses.
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Was Jesus perfect?

#71  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Jun 11, 2018 8:22 am

Skinny Puppy wrote:
One can plant a seed, whether it works or not is anyone's guess. However, without a knowledge of the Bible I wouldn't have been able to even ask that question.

Speaking of planting seeds. I've tried this many times on different people and the result is always the same. It goes like this (not verbatim):

Me: 'You've seen witches riding a broom before, right?'

Other person: 'Yes, many, many times.'

Me: 'Did you ever think that her broom is really a phallic symbol?'

Other person: 'No! The thought never even crossed my mind.'

Me: 'I bet it will now.'

I'm unsure what point you were trying to make there.
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Was Jesus perfect?

#72  Postby PensivePenny » Jun 11, 2018 12:37 pm

SafeAsMilk wrote:
I'm not sure I understand. I also find it hard to believe that you were previously religious but you don't see how leading a person to question their faith is a better strategy than blindly dismissing them.

Your credulity isn't required. Saying, "Leading a person to question their faith is a BETTER STRATEGY..." assumes both a value judgement ("better") based on some axiomatic premise to which I've accepted, OR the acknowledgement of some universal (objective) guiding morality. To my recollection, I've done neither explicitly or implicitly. "Strategy" likewise implies a goal or purpose on my part. I'm not claiming I have no goals or purpose, but the conversion of christians is NOT one of mine. While I have had that goal at times in my life, I haven't for quite some time. The benefit to me, doesn't justify my effort.

Used to do what all the time?

Empathize, I guess you could call it. I was a good kid. I always tried to imagine how others felt about everything I said and did. I think a lot of "empathy" is imagination but you also have to read people without making assumptions based on how you think you'd feel. The mile in moccasins idiom is one of the oldest I recall from my childhood. It was very much a part of my being.

Well you don't seem to be doing it in this case.

Your mastery of observation is impressive. :thumbup:

I know you don't care and all, but you can't seriously think that trying to brute force a religious person is a more effective strategy than laying the groundwork of doubt so they can come to the conclusion themselves. That's just basic psychology.

There's that word, "strategy" again. But, your implied incredulity is again irrelevant. And was the purpose of your last sentence, "That's just basic psychology," an appeal to nature? Am I somehow flawed in your eyes because I don't behave in the manner in which you think I "ought?"

As an aside, one might be inclined to think I have no personal moral code. But, it is quite strong however unfamiliar it might be to YOU (or not). I don't tend to interject it in these forums, not that I'm secretive or opposed to sharing my PERSONAL moral code, but that it is wholly irrelevant in most cases and purely unsupported by any fact (AKA opinion)... merely the rules I give myself that let ME sleep at night. Plus, it's ironic but mention one little personal moral on this forum and just watch how fast the "rational skeptics" pile on with their "right" moral, justifying it with whatever science they think makes their case and destroys the interloper. Why, all I have to do is say, "I believe 3rd world citizens who are hungry, should be left to die," and watch the fireworks. Not everyone would pile on, but watch the morality drip from you monitor (display, or screen).

I don't object to anyone's morality. It is my opinion that ones morality can be neither right nor wrong. Even if someone thought people like me should be put to death, morally. Well, that certainly would suck for me, but such is the world. I find as much benefit in converting christians as I do in converting lovers of the color red, to the opinion that blue is superior and that they should change their evil ways. :roll:

EDITED: Quote tags.
Evolution saddens me. In an environment where irrational thinking is protected, the disparity in the population rate of creationists vs that of rational thinkers, equates to a creationist win. Let's remove warning labels from products as an equalizer.
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Re: Was Jesus perfect?

#73  Postby SafeAsMilk » Jun 11, 2018 2:21 pm

PensivePenny wrote:
SafeAsMilk wrote:
I'm not sure I understand. I also find it hard to believe that you were previously religious but you don't see how leading a person to question their faith is a better strategy than blindly dismissing them.

Your credulity isn't required.

Well then you shouldn't have asked for it with your "believe me, I know from experience" :lol:

Saying, "Leading a person to question their faith is a BETTER STRATEGY..." assumes both a value judgement ("better") based on some axiomatic premise to which I've accepted, OR the acknowledgement of some universal (objective) guiding morality.

No it doesn't. One strategy is either more effective than another or it isn't. You could ask for citations that coaxing a toddler into eating is a better strategy than just shoving the spoon in their closed mouths, but why would you do that if you know anything about toddlers?

To my recollection, I've done neither explicitly or implicitly. "Strategy" likewise implies a goal or purpose on my part. I'm not claiming I have no goals or purpose, but the conversion of christians is NOT one of mine. While I have had that goal at times in my life, I haven't for quite some time. The benefit to me, doesn't justify my effort.

Thats nice, but you'll excuse me if I don't take strategy advice from someone who can't be arsed to try. In case you're wondering, "this doesn't work in my experience" is strategy advice.


Used to do what all the time?

Empathize, I guess you could call it. I was a good kid. I always tried to imagine how others felt about everything I said and did. I think a lot of "empathy" is imagination but you also have to read people without making assumptions based on how you think you'd feel. The mile in moccasins idiom is one of the oldest I recall from my childhood. It was very much a part of my being.

Well you don't seem to be doing it in this case.

Your mastery of observation is impressive. :thumbup:

I know you don't care and all, but you can't seriously think that trying to brute force a religious person is a more effective strategy than laying the groundwork of doubt so they can come to the conclusion themselves. That's just basic psychology.

There's that word, "strategy" again. But, your implied incredulity is again irrelevant. And was the purpose of your last sentence, "That's just basic psychology," an appeal to nature? Am I somehow flawed in your eyes because I don't behave in the manner in which you think I "ought?"

As an aside, one might be inclined to think I have no personal moral code. But, it is quite strong however unfamiliar it might be to YOU (or not). I don't tend to interject it in these forums, not that I'm secretive or opposed to sharing my PERSONAL moral code, but that it is wholly irrelevant in most cases and purely unsupported by any fact (AKA opinion)... merely the rules I give myself that let ME sleep at night. Plus, it's ironic but mention one little personal moral on this forum and just watch how fast the "rational skeptics" pile on with their "right" moral, justifying it with whatever science they think makes their case and destroys the interloper. Why, all I have to do is say, "I believe 3rd world citizens who are hungry, should be left to die," and watch the fireworks. Not everyone would pile on, but watch the morality drip from you monitor (display, or screen).

I don't object to anyone's morality. It is my opinion that ones morality can be neither right nor wrong. Even if someone thought people like me should be put to death, morally. Well, that certainly would suck for me, but such is the world. I find as much benefit in converting christians as I do in converting lovers of the color red, to the opinion that blue is superior and that they should change their evil ways. :roll:

The thing you never seem to get is that while people may hold varying ideas of morality, there is often common ground. What's worth pointing out is when a particular morality doesn't live up to its own expectations. Internal consistency, you might call it. But I suppose being completely opposed to engaging is one way around that.
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Re: Was Jesus perfect?

#74  Postby Skinny Puppy » Jun 11, 2018 2:46 pm

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
Skinny Puppy wrote:
One can plant a seed, whether it works or not is anyone's guess. However, without a knowledge of the Bible I wouldn't have been able to even ask that question.

Speaking of planting seeds. I've tried this many times on different people and the result is always the same. It goes like this (not verbatim):

Me: 'You've seen witches riding a broom before, right?'

Other person: 'Yes, many, many times.'

Me: 'Did you ever think that her broom is really a phallic symbol?'

Other person: 'No! The thought never even crossed my mind.'

Me: 'I bet it will now.'

I'm unsure what point you were trying to make there.


Witches riding a broom are ubiquitous images here at Halloween. One would be hard pressed to find anyone who hasn’t seen them.

The image is harmless without any sexual connotations whatsoever (as far as I’m aware of) and appear in kiddie cartoons, the Wizard of Oz and so on.

The idea is that you take a harmless image and assign a sexual meaning to it. It doesn’t matter whether it’s legitimate or not, you’ve now planted the altered interpretation of that image into someone’s head. That’s why I said: ‘I bet it will now.’

Many people, who previous thought that it was simply a cute kiddie image, may very well view it as I described or look to see if what I said has any validity. That is the power of planting seeds/ideas into someone’s head.

One thing is reasonably certain; they (probably) won’t look at those images with innocent eyes anymore.
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Re: Was Jesus perfect?

#75  Postby PensivePenny » Jun 11, 2018 4:16 pm

SafeAsMilk wrote:
PensivePenny wrote:
SafeAsMilk wrote:
I'm not sure I understand. I also find it hard to believe that you were previously religious but you don't see how leading a person to question their faith is a better strategy than blindly dismissing them.

Your credulity isn't required.

Well then you shouldn't have asked for it with your "believe me, I know from experience" :lol:

Show me where I said "Believe me" or stop putting words in my mouth. I made no such appeal. That's cheap. When every sentence is greeted with suspicion, one can imagine all manner of motives. I only shared MY experience to illustrate that YOUR experience (stated prior) wasn't valid as an argument (in case that's why you shared it). Granted it's a subtlety I thought sufficient to that task. Apparently not.


Saying, "Leading a person to question their faith is a BETTER STRATEGY..." assumes both a value judgement ("better") based on some axiomatic premise to which I've accepted, OR the acknowledgement of some universal (objective) guiding morality.

No it doesn't. One strategy is either more effective than another or it isn't. You could ask for citations that coaxing a toddler into eating is a better strategy than just shoving the spoon in their closed mouths, but why would you do that if you know anything about toddlers?

Um, yeah. It does. Strategy can ONLY be "better" in consideration for some goal. "Aspirin is a better medicine," is only "a better strategy" if the goal is thinning the blood as part of a heart health program (even then there are a bunch of caveats). Where as it is NOT "a better strategy" if its part of a strategy to prevent unwanted births (unless the female holds it between her knees). What if the goal is to strengthen the gene pool? Wouldn't it be better to let the toddler fend for itself or die? In which case, feeding the child AT ALL would be the poorest "strategy" conceivable.'


To my recollection, I've done neither explicitly or implicitly. "Strategy" likewise implies a goal or purpose on my part. I'm not claiming I have no goals or purpose, but the conversion of christians is NOT one of mine. While I have had that goal at times in my life, I haven't for quite some time. The benefit to me, doesn't justify my effort.

Thats nice, but you'll excuse me if I don't take strategy advice from someone who can't be arsed to try. In case you're wondering, "this doesn't work in my experience" is strategy advice.

Well, you're entitled to your opinion. Do you likewise consider the statement, "In my experience, checking the air in the tires doesn't extend tire wear," to be advice for car maintenance strategy? Perhaps all sentences I write should be concluded with YMMV?

The thing you never seem to get...

"Never?" Gee, and we've known each other for such a looong time and soooo intimately. I'm hurt you don't know me better! :roll:

is that while people may hold varying ideas of morality, there is often common ground.

Hmm. You can attribute all of that to me based on what exactly? Divination? Perhaps you're projecting, because I really have no idea how you could have drawn that conclusion about me. Just because I have not explicitly acknowledged that there is common ground within groups of people, respective of their moral beliefs, is not indicative that I "don't get" it. Let me rephrase that in a way you might find more digestible. The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
What's worth pointing...

Fuck me! Why must you insist other people share YOUR valuation of fuck all???? How about you drop the value statements and let ME decide for myself whether or not the words that follow have any "worth" or is "better". Those are fine words for beginning an argument or stating an opinion, but then the burden of proof is on YOU to provide the facts to support it.

... out is when a particular morality doesn't live up to its own expectations...

Do only "particular moralities" have "expectations." Which ones? I wasn't aware a morality could HAVE expectations. I've an open mind. Enlighten me.
... Internal consistency, you might call it. But I suppose being completely opposed to engaging is one way around that.

FFS... My behavior's lack of comportment with YOUR desires or expectations is NOT my responsibility! It's YOURS. Again, your thinly veiled and childish attempts to goad me into revealing some kind of deeply held agenda or beliefs that you seem convinced I'm in possession of, is merely annoying. Would that you put so much effort into extracting hemoglobin from a root vegetable, I quite think you might succeed!

Since you've insinuated that I'm "completely opposed to engaging" you, I'll present 'exhibit A', the DOZENS of posts we've exchanged in just the last couple days. I think I've been more than "engaging" with you (patient as well) even if not meeting with your expectations.
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Re: Was Jesus perfect?

#76  Postby Skinny Puppy » Jun 11, 2018 6:58 pm

Since we're talking about methods of converting theists, here's two examples.

I mentioned Charles Templeton earlier in this thread.

Skinny Puppy wrote:

Charles Templeton (an evangelist and contemporary of Billy Graham) wrote a book when he left Christianity. He used the Bible to basically tear the Bible apart.


I didn't mention that they were friends. Back in the 1950s Charles asked Billy if he believed every single word of the Bible to be true. Billy answered, yes, every word was true.

Years later (and with the many advances in science during that time) he asked him that again. This time Billy said, no. He now accepted that many of the accounts in the Bible were stories or parables used to explain complex subjects in a simplified and easy to understand manner.

Regardless of what people may think of Graham, he was probably the most influential evangelist of the 20th century, yet even he altered his beliefs in the face of scientific evidence. Obviously he didn't lose his faith, but it did make him realize that every word in the Bible can't be taken literally. I know, which ones can and which ones can't... there's the dilemma!

My second example.

When I was a fundie we had a visiting pastor come to give us a sermon. He spoke quite a bit about the violence of the OT. He went on and on and I listened intently. I wrote earlier (I think it was in this thread how I asked at one of our youth meetings about the killings done by God and was chastised for it.) At the end of his sermon he said these words:

'I have questions, but I'm not questioning.'


I was quite impressed when I heard that, but looking back now I realize what he did.

He made himself bullet-proof to any form of logic, science, reason or doubts. This was, to him, a perfect get out of jail card. Regardless of anything anyone could say to him, regardless of any proof etc. he shielded himself (like in a cocoon) and was unreachable by any method.


Edit to add: that post was here.
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Re: Was Jesus perfect?

#77  Postby Tracer Tong » Jun 11, 2018 7:09 pm

devogue wrote:Putting aside the supernatural and the divine, was Jesus's character perfect as written in the New Testament? Perfectly "sinless", perfectly moral...from a human perspective.

The New Testament is beautifully written in many ways; it's a masterpiece as a study of the human condition, teeming with characters with wildly obvious but often deeply subtle flaws. But Jesus does seem to be the morally perfect human at the centre of the story.

Or is he?


He doesn't strike me as perfect, no. But I wonder whether he's even supposed to be, in the eyes of the evangelists.
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Re: Was Jesus perfect?

#78  Postby Skinny Puppy » Jun 11, 2018 7:23 pm

Tracer Tong wrote:
devogue wrote:Putting aside the supernatural and the divine, was Jesus's character perfect as written in the New Testament? Perfectly "sinless", perfectly moral...from a human perspective.

The New Testament is beautifully written in many ways; it's a masterpiece as a study of the human condition, teeming with characters with wildly obvious but often deeply subtle flaws. But Jesus does seem to be the morally perfect human at the centre of the story.

Or is he?


He doesn't strike me as perfect, no. But I wonder whether he's even supposed to be, in the eyes of the evangelists.


The Bible speaks about that many, many times. Yes, according to the Bible he was 100% free of sin and therefore perfect.
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Re: Was Jesus perfect?

#79  Postby Tracer Tong » Jun 11, 2018 8:48 pm

I'd probably avoid terms like "The Bible speaks..." and "according to the Bible". In any case, I referred to the Gospels.
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Re: Was Jesus perfect?

#80  Postby SafeAsMilk » Jun 12, 2018 12:03 am

PensivePenny wrote:
SafeAsMilk wrote:
PensivePenny wrote:
SafeAsMilk wrote:
I'm not sure I understand. I also find it hard to believe that you were previously religious but you don't see how leading a person to question their faith is a better strategy than blindly dismissing them.

Your credulity isn't required.

Well then you shouldn't have asked for it with your "believe me, I know from experience" :lol:

Show me where I said "Believe me" or stop putting words in my mouth. I made no such appeal. That's cheap. When every sentence is greeted with suspicion, one can imagine all manner of motives. I only shared MY experience to illustrate that YOUR experience (stated prior) wasn't valid as an argument (in case that's why you shared it). Granted it's a subtlety I thought sufficient to that task. Apparently not.

You sharing your experience to make a point isn't substantially different from my summary statement "believe me, I know from experience". It asks me to be at least somewhat credulous towards what you've said, otherwise why say it? Farting in the wind?



Saying, "Leading a person to question their faith is a BETTER STRATEGY..." assumes both a value judgement ("better") based on some axiomatic premise to which I've accepted, OR the acknowledgement of some universal (objective) guiding morality.

No it doesn't. One strategy is either more effective than another or it isn't. You could ask for citations that coaxing a toddler into eating is a better strategy than just shoving the spoon in their closed mouths, but why would you do that if you know anything about toddlers?

Um, yeah. It does. Strategy can ONLY be "better" in consideration for some goal. "Aspirin is a better medicine," is only "a better strategy" if the goal is thinning the blood as part of a heart health program (even then there are a bunch of caveats). Where as it is NOT "a better strategy" if its part of a strategy to prevent unwanted births (unless the female holds it between her knees). What if the goal is to strengthen the gene pool? Wouldn't it be better to let the toddler fend for itself or die? In which case, feeding the child AT ALL would be the poorest "strategy" conceivable.'

This is absurd hand-waving. It's pretty clear that the goal of the strategy being discussed is getting people to question and possibly reject their faith, pretending it could also be about something else not stated in order to avoid having to address it is either ridiculous or dishonest.



To my recollection, I've done neither explicitly or implicitly. "Strategy" likewise implies a goal or purpose on my part. I'm not claiming I have no goals or purpose, but the conversion of christians is NOT one of mine. While I have had that goal at times in my life, I haven't for quite some time. The benefit to me, doesn't justify my effort.

Thats nice, but you'll excuse me if I don't take strategy advice from someone who can't be arsed to try. In case you're wondering, "this doesn't work in my experience" is strategy advice.

Well, you're entitled to your opinion. Do you likewise consider the statement, "In my experience, checking the air in the tires doesn't extend tire wear," to be advice for car maintenance strategy?

How is it not?

Perhaps all sentences I write should be concluded with YMMV?

If you like, but stating it wouldn't change the fact that you're commenting on the effectiveness of a strategy.


The thing you never seem to get...

"Never?" Gee, and we've known each other for such a looong time and soooo intimately. I'm hurt you don't know me better! :roll:

I've only got to see you say the same thing a few dozen times to get the basic idea :tongue:


is that while people may hold varying ideas of morality, there is often common ground.

Hmm. You can attribute all of that to me based on what exactly? Divination? Perhaps you're projecting, because I really have no idea how you could have drawn that conclusion about me. Just because I have not explicitly acknowledged that there is common ground within groups of people, respective of their moral beliefs, is not indicative that I "don't get" it. Let me rephrase that in a way you might find more digestible. The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
What's worth pointing...

Fuck me! Why must you insist other people share YOUR valuation of fuck all???? How about you drop the value statements and let ME decide for myself whether or not the words that follow have any "worth" or is "better". Those are fine words for beginning an argument or stating an opinion, but then the burden of proof is on YOU to provide the facts to support it.

... out is when a particular morality doesn't live up to its own expectations...

Do only "particular moralities" have "expectations." Which ones? I wasn't aware a morality could HAVE expectations. I've an open mind. Enlighten me.
... Internal consistency, you might call it. But I suppose being completely opposed to engaging is one way around that.

FFS... My behavior's lack of comportment with YOUR desires or expectations is NOT my responsibility! It's YOURS. Again, your thinly veiled and childish attempts to goad me into revealing some kind of deeply held agenda or beliefs that you seem convinced I'm in possession of, is merely annoying. Would that you put so much effort into extracting hemoglobin from a root vegetable, I quite think you might succeed!

Since you've insinuated that I'm "completely opposed to engaging" you, I'll present 'exhibit A', the DOZENS of posts we've exchanged in just the last couple days. I think I've been more than "engaging" with you (patient as well) even if not meeting with your expectations.

You've made a complete mess of what I said and totally misunderstood it by chopping it up. I was talking about the internal consistency of morality systems. "Completely opposed to engaging" was referring to what we were talking about before, where the religious might dismiss any attempts to point out inconsistencies with their morality by simply shutting it out. I don't care how kooky one's religious beliefs are, they all think they are internally consistent. They might have ways of dealing with anything that points out inconsistencies, but if there's any chinks in the armor, given the absurd lengths used to plaster over it, then that's one of them. That you seem to think going after this weakness can't be effective (as opposed to any sort of better idea you don't seem willing to provide), then that's what I think you don't understand. If you read my statement in its whole form as a response to yours immediately above it, it makes more sense I think.
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