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Kathy Part 4

I may live to regret this, but I’ve decided to extend this never-ending conversation once again.

Kathy, this time, it would be a nice change of pace if you would actually address what William has repeatedly been saying to you:

I have. Not saying i’m perfect at it or that I’m right, but the “evidences” you listed arent real evidences. And since you refuse to look at things that are counter to your current beliefs, how can you honestly speak to me about evidences?

here’s all I’ve seen you provide:

1) martyrs, even though every religion and many non-religions have them.

2) our very existence – which no one knows how that started, but even if you must land on god(s), you must go back to that book of claims to get to jesus.

3) there were miracles, but as it turns out, those dont happen today, and end up being more claims by the same men who claim they speak for god.

4) the fulfilled prophecies we’ve discussed weren’t really prophecies at all, or had to be viewed so figuratively that it’s difficult to show anything precise about them other than location (maybe) in order to claim they’re actually fulfilled.

5) 40 authors taking 1500 years to write the bible. But there’s nothing miraculous about men writing books, editing books, and being inspired to write a book or letter after reading an older book.

About that last point, if the Bible had been written by 1500 people scattered across the globe, who didn’t know one another, and they did it in 40 days, then you’d really have something incredible. But 40-ish people, all familiar with the Jewish god, and writing over a long period of time with the previous writings as reference, is not that impressive.

1,038 thoughts on “Kathy Part 4”

  1. In reference to Jesus/Messiah being part of the God-head: I searched out in the OT and could find NOWHERE that it was admonished to worship Messiah nor where Messiah is considered a god in any form or fashion.

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  2. Thanks, Ruth. Isaiah 44:28 even refers to Cyrus as a messiah, which also shows that there’s no reason to think the OT prophecies about a future messiah would be talking about someone divine.

    And Kathy, you should definitely read ratamacue’s link. It’s a good article that references several passages, and it’s pretty short.

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  3. I may regret commenting, but I do have something to add. I’m a Christian, so I probably agree with Kathy on certain issues. But when I read through the list of “evidences” she’s provided, I don’t find them compelling, either.

    Martyrdom is no sign that the person believed (and died for) something absolutely true; they believe it to be true, but that doesn’t make it true.

    Miracles? Well, some people think miracles still happen (even in the obvious manner described in the Bible), others believe that miracles are more subtle (such as changes in someone’s heart), and others (including some Christians) cast a skeptical eye on both. And many miracles can be interpreted from either supernatural or natural causes, depending on the viewer’s presuppositions.

    Prophecies don’t work, either. Whether someone believes them to be proof depends on whether that person believes the text (in this case, the Bible) to be true. And yes, some of those prophetic passages are difficult for even me to see as prophetic, even after multiple readings.

    The length of time and number of authors doesn’t work for me, either. It really doesn’t mean much; it’s interesting, but it’s not proof of anything in particular.

    As far as our existence as proof and evidence of a god, I can sort of buy, though I can see where another person wouldn’t.

    I know there are some Christian apologists who offer better philosophical arguments and scientific arguments. I can’t possibly do justice to them. But Hugh Ross has interesting scientific ideas, and I’ve heard some good material from Ravi Zacharias and his organization.

    Not trying to make anyone angry…just wanted to point out that not every Christian finds this particular list of evidences to be compelling.

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  4. Thanks for the comment, Laura! I think I’ve seen you over on Enough Light before, but never here, so thanks for stopping by!

    Every worldview has difficulties. I’m an atheist, but I acknowledge there are some difficulties with atheism as well. It’s always nice to run across people like you who seem to be able to look at all the information objectively, even if we come to different conclusions about it.

    I’m hopeful that Kathy will eventually reach a point where she no longer denies or dismisses information that doesn’t agree with her position, but will honestly consider and accept it. Even if she never changes her overall outlook, just coming to terms with all the facts can help her become a more well-rounded person.

    Thanks again for adding to the conversation!

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  5. Laura, I’m not agree, but relieved.

    Many of us here, if not all, were once christians. For me, I can understand how existence would lead many to believe in intelligent design – but to which god or gods it points to, I cannot tell.

    Now, personal experiences make a lot of sense – to the person experiencing them. But for myself, without my own experience, I remain doubtful of a person’s supernatural or divine experience… and i am also typically doubtful of claims that are not supernatural nor divine but that seem highly unlikely – like a 16 year old boy bragging about having sex with two of his teachers – not impossible, or even unheard of, but i’d still doubt his claims without substantial proof.

    And I guess, so far, my own personal experiences lead me to believe the bible is only a product of man.

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  6. ah, I should really proof read. I meant to type, “I’m not angry…”

    I’m a constant embarrassment to myself – sorry. I may as well add than when i was a christian, Kathy’s evidences weren’t convincing to me either. Why did I ever believe? Several reasons, and one of them being that I had not been shown the problems.

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  7. Not trying to make anyone angry…just wanted to point out that not every Christian finds this particular list of evidences to be compelling.

    I don’t think anyone here (on the atheist side) would be angry. I can [obviously] see how or why Christianity might be compelling, just not on the basis of the evidence given. The compulsion, shall we say, might be more one of personal experience and quite subjective.

    It’s refreshing to have a Christian come along and say “hey, I’m a believer but I can see where you’re coming from.”

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  8. Awesome, a new Kathy post – so excited. 🙂

    I think Ryan (Portal001) is right about these posts being full of people talking past one another. Hasn’t been too helpful to me, but I guess every once in a while a gem of a unique perspective or even some education might slip through.

    Speaking of gems – I also appreciate Laura Droege’s comment as well as the follow-up comments. Laura is not alone within Christianity – I have a lot of Christian friends who have the same kind of understanding and more balanced perspective that she expressed and I have great respect for them.

    I agree with the many people who have said on these threads that the word objective has been not only over-used by Kathy but also terribly mis-used. And then of course the obvious incorrect assertion that being un-objective is the same as being a liar.

    Laura has described even from a Christian perspective how one could objectively conclude that this list of “evidence” provided by Kathy is not compelling. We are not being dishonest when we say they aren’t compelling to us – even some Christians agree with this.

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  9. That worked, Rata!

    Does no one find it just a little strange, that the Bible’s god can create an entire, multi-billion-star universe from outside space and time, yet when it comes to checking out towers or confounding Man’s language, he has to “come down“?

    “Come, let us go down, and there confound their language” (Genesis 11:7).
    “And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower.”

    And while we’re here, Rata – my email conked out on me last night at just about the time you were saying to Kathy that I should provide evidence of my earlier comment, and that you’d like to know the source as well. Most of it comes from the Documentary Hypothesis, which is well-documented in a myriad of sources, including Ehrman and Friedman, and should be easy to check out.

    The other, involving my suspicions that the original god of the Hebrews was the Amorite god, “Amurru,” from northern Mesopotamia, specifically Aleppo, Syria (the ancient capital of the Amorites – or Amurrites ), who ruled Mesopotamia from the late second to the mid-first-millennium BCE, is a personal theory of mine, which I’m developing (and which I’ve been in discussion with Steve Dimattei about) and which was more thoroughly developed on my website, in His own image, which, as I’ve said, is temporarily down while I search for a new provider. We see the transition to Yahweh in the early part of Genesis, after th fictitious Moses – who could have represented a people, rather than an individual – married into the Midianites (Kenites), by wedding the daughter of Jethro, which could have symbolized a merging of two tribes for an indeterminate time – the Midianites/Kenites worshiped an obscure desert god named YHWH, and we see “god” telling Moses that his name was Yahweh, but that he was known to Abe, Ike and Jake as “El Shaddai” – if you’ll look into Amurru, you’ll discover that he, too, was known as El Shaddai, and had a wife named “Asherah,” which it is later intimated in the OT, that Yahweh may have had, as well, although in the time of Jeramiah (not the bull-frog), religious leaders of the time tried Orwellian re-writing of history by removing as much evidence of her and her association with Ya as possible, including pulling down her fertility symbols, the Asherah poles. It’s in the book —

    Although there is no evidence that Abraham ever existed, it is know that often, in ancient writing, an individual sometimes represented not an individual, but an entire people – the character Abraham may have represented an entire tribe that moved from Mesopotamia to the Levant in the late second millennium. The Bible tells us that Abe came from Ur – a major city in Southern Mesopotamia – but the same chapter also calls it the land of the Chaldees, and the Chaldeans were a tribe that wouldn’t live in Southern Mesopotamia for more than 1500 years! Clearly, those writing that portion of Genesis were of the Priestly Source, who wrote parts of Torah from their captivity in Babylon, and would have been familiar with the Chaldeans, but not necessarily with the fact that they hadn’t been there 1500+ years earlier. There IS a city, however, in what would have been Northern Mesopotamia, on the border of Syria and Turkey, called “Ur-fa” (“Ur” was simply Sumarian for “City”), and Genesis tells us that Abe, et al, left “Ur” – or in my opinion, “Ur-fa”- and moved to Haran. Interestingly, Haran is only 20 miles from Ur-fa – which city, BTW, to this day, bills itself as “the birthplace of Abraham” – while Ur is a full 700 miles to the south. Now if you were betting your money on accuracy, would you place it on the “Priestly Source” writers, who believed the Chaldeans lived in the area 1500+ years before they actually did, or the Ur-fa-ites?

    A nomadic tribe of Semites, the Amurrites (AKA the Amorites), so named because they followed the god Amurru, split – part of these remained nomadic, while the rest settled into what is now Syria and took up agriculture, eventually building cities, then later, conquering all of Mesopotamia, defeating the Akkadians. The last great Amurrite king was Hammurabi (Hammurapi), the great law-giver, after whom the character of Moses was modeled.

    Amurru was known as El Shaddai, god of the mountain, who had a wife/consort, Asherah, and as mentioned, their stronghold, and place of origin in Mesopotamia, was Syria. Throughout Genesis, Abe’s nephew, who remained behind in Haran, is referred to – without exception – as “Laban the Syrian.” If Laban were Syrian, – in that time period – and that is the period in which most sources say Abe lived – the odds greatly favor the likelihood that Laban was also Amurrite. If Nephew Laban was Syrian and/or Amurrite – how could his Uncle Abe not be?

    It’s all included in a Zip file my old provider sent me when they discontinued the format I was using, but I REALLY don’t want to open that can of worms, just for this thread. Not trying to be evasive with my evidence, just don’t have time to expound on it. But it wouldn’t make any difference to Kathy anyway, she never looks at evidence that doesn’t support her biased view.

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  10. Arch,

    Just skimmed your comment for now. A few quick notes…

    I’m not too fond of “rata” as a nickname. Hope you won’t mind just sticking to ratamacue.

    Thanks for explaining the sources. And I appreciate that you delineated between what’s theory/speculation and what’s better established.

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  11. WHOOSH!
    Did everybody hear that? It was the sound of everything Nate said, going right over Kathy’s head —

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  12. “El” actually goes back even further than that, Nate – it was the Akkadian word for “lord,” as in “El’l’il,” the chief god of the Akkadian pantheon. The Akkadians, under the leadership of their greatest king, Sargon (not to be confused with the other Sargon, featured in Return to Tomorrow, episode #49 of the original Star Trek series), opened the corridor between Mesopotamia and the Mediterranean, allowing Akkadians to migrate to Canaan, taking their pantheon with them, which evolved, with time and distance, into what we think of today as a strictly Canaanite culture.

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  13. Laura, you seem a bit fearful – trust me, we are not barracudas – well, Ark is, but he hasn’t been here in a while. Most of us are just frustrated at Kathy refusing to even consider any other point of view but her own, and calling everyone Liberals and liars, who don’t agree with her. YOU, obviously, are searching for truths, and you’re wise enough to know that you have to look in a lot of places to find it. We can ALL respect that. You have nothing to fear from any of us, speak your mind.

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  14. even some Christians agree with this” – ah, yes, Howie – but are they “TRUE” Christians –?

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  15. I’m not too fond of “rata” as a nickname. Hope you won’t mind just sticking to ratamacue.” – sorry about that, but “ratamacue” is rather long, and I was looking for a way to shorten it, and yet, I didn’t want to call you “rat” – then when NeuroNotes called you “rata,” on her blog, and you didn’t object, I went for it. I have no problem with anyone calling me “Arch,” as I know that “archaeopteryx” is simply too long, but “ratamacue” it is —

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  16. I may live to regret this

    RFLO …

    Or as Jeremy Clarkson is want to utter: ‘How hard could it be?”
    Or as General Custer said: ‘Ah, to hell with it, what have we got to lose? It’s only a few Injuns.’
    Or as Jesus really said: ‘Stop whining, I’ll see y’all Sunday.’

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  17. Portal – loved it, bookmarked it, and I WILL use it again – just wish I’d had it last week, when ark was going through his 5-year old phase (on his site), and everyone was deliberately misspelling everything.

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