MoghLiechty2 wrote:Once again, this question can be framed entirely without asking the question of God's existence. However, the option that seems the most likely (that of the existence of non-physical mental states) heavily favors Theism over Naturalism as an explanation.
Okay, and if you want to ask that question outside of a theistic framework--go for it in another thread. But you keep saying that because it can be asked outside of a theistic framework, it's immune to the God in the Gaps fallacy; and yet you are
asking it in a theistic framework--you're using it to arrive at the conclusion you want--the God-affirmation. The God in the Gaps fallacy isn't just going "Wizard Did It!"; it's also about making non-testable affirmations that satisfy certain conditions and simultaneously move us closer to the God-affirmation ("God exists"). It's pretty much the entire basis of modern Christian Apologeticism. I keep going "God in the Gaps" because that's the direction you keep going in. "Naturalism fails to explain this, it must be supernatural--i.e., God could exist!" is a nonstatement. Naturalism may one day come up with a suitable explanation; supernaturalism will always rely on "Wizard did it!" up until the day that naturalism tells it otherwise.
Anyway, I all ready accept that God is (a very, very unlikely) possibility. What I'm saying you have to do is provide evidence that God is the most
likely possibility. That's a pretty big feat, I'll agree, but it's what's required for evidence-based belief rather than faith-based belief.
Bluggo wrote:I was mostly thinking of things like the whole "no contraception whatsoever, not even to prevent HIV, because it's not natural" nonsense, the misogyny, or the reprehensible way in which the "pedophile priests" scandal has been managed by the hierarchy.
Not to derail the thread, but yeah--this is what happens when Christians conflate Christian ideology with scientific fact. This is why I'm saying: Don't do that.
Not that you are, just backing up that this is horrible shit--and pointing out that it's a natural consequence to thinking that there's plenty of evidence for God (aka, conflating materialism with spiritualism).
MoghLiechty2 wrote:And I could've told you off the top of my head that John 7:53 - 8:11 probably/possibly doesn't belong in the Bible (my Bible heavily commentates on this. Just because the earliest manuscripts that we have don't have it, doesn't mean it shouldn't be there, or that it wasn't in the original writing), which is why I never use it for any important, relevant theological discussion.
Okay. Now we're into the authenticity of historical documentation.
You're acknowledging that, yes, the scriptures as written probably have mistakes, and at least
one of those mistakes possibly involves the insertion of a story that may or may not have been there all ready. And if you read the article and agree that it's stuff you all ready knew--then you all ready knew that the original documentation no longer exists, and what we have are fragments
of copies of copies.
Is it not a leap of faith to assume that, outside of 'God-Magictm
', chances are fair
that the scripture you're reading is full of inserts, changes, modifications, and so on? We have very little to compare these documents to, and as someone who is deep into history I can tell you this happens constantly. The fact is that we usually don't realize this has been going on until we stumble across (quite rarely) variant or older copies that clarify all the edits that the initial copy contained. This is pretty common with anything written before the advent of the printing press (and it still happens even after
the printing press).
That's all I'm asserting, by the way; that believing in the scriptures--believing they are the Word of God--requires faith, and is not based on empirical evidence. Funny aside--most of history is based on faith
. As you pointed out before, a lot of this stuff is not scientifically verifiable. We believe it happened until someone shows us it didn't (tobacco in the chest cavity of a Pharaoh destroying a thousand years of Egyptian thought, etc). Religion is slightly different, because even if someone discovered absolute proof that the scriptures were all false (they stumbled on a cave containing all the original
scriptures in their true form, and found that none of them said Jesus was the son of God--just his prophet--leading us to realize that the early church manufactured the idea), you'd still probably go on keeping the faith.
And that's fine. Just acknowledge
that it's faith-based, not evidence-based1
. The two are very different things, and should be kept far the hell apart.1Evidence-based as in empirical evidence. I'm not really monumentally concerned with the historical evidence thing. Because, again, history is about faith. And I'm speaking as someone who absolutely loves history.Edit:
Quick addendum--there are two types of historical evidence (oversimplifying, but bare with me). 'Soft evidence' and 'hard evidence'. Hard evidence is something like--the example I keep using--discovering a scrap of tobacco in the chest cavity of a Pharaoh. Documentation, however, is always
soft evidence, especially when it's fragmentary non-original copies. Even when it is original pristine un-editted first-source material, though, the idea that 12 guys saw a man walking on water must be weighed against the idea that a hundred million or so didn't
--in short, anecdotal evidence is also always 'soft evidence' in historical terms (and non-evidence in scientific, empirical terms). Keep this in mind when I say that belief in God and the scriptures is not 'evidence-based'--there might be soft evidence, but soft evidence always
comes down to a matter of faith. Everything we know about the Greeks (aside from a few archeological findings) is built on a house of cards and could come crashing down in the face of one piece of hard evidence.Edit-Edit:
Sorry about the messy post, on my way out the door for the weekend.