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'A question for theists'

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    (Original post by Id and Ego seek)
    Most believers would never seek out scientific or medical advice from anonymous people living in primitive, illiterate, and superstitious parts of the world today. We don't seek advice from these people on issues of importance like government, ethics, science, or philosophy, so why do believers take seriously the ideas of similar people who lived thousands of years ago and knew much less than the goat herders of today?
    When theists take seriously the ideas of people who lived thousands of years ago, they usually believe that those ideas are in actual fact God's ideas transmitted through man, not man's own ideas.
    No, we wouldn't seek medical advice from someone living 1000 years ago. But if we believed that God was imparting him with miraculous medical knowledge, then we probably would.

    The other issue is that in some cases knowledge improves over time, and in other cases it degenerates over time. For example, if I wanted an accurate life story of Jesus, I would trust the earlier Biblical manuscripts above the later ones. Whereas if I wanted to know about a scientific issue, I would be more likely to trust the latest research of scientists "standing on the shoulders of giants".
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    (Original post by Calumcalum)
    No; I'm not particularly persuaded by assertion.
    Then I would expect you to be entirely unpersuaded by the claims of Christianity.
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    (Original post by AdvanceAndVanquish)
    Then I would expect you to be entirely unpersuaded by the claims of Christianity.
    I do not doubt that you would expect that.
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    (Original post by Calumcalum)
    I do not doubt that you would expect that.
    Do you have some sort of problem with actually engaging with the questions at issue? Would you perhaps consider attempting to present a non-circular argument to support the statement that "there is good warrant for believing that [Jesus] is God"? Or are you taking refuge from the baselessness of your assertion in silliness?
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    (Original post by AdvanceAndVanquish)
    Do you have some sort of problem with actually engaging with the questions at issue? Would you perhaps consider attempting to present a non-circular argument to support the statement that "there is good warrant for believing that [Jesus] is God"? Or are you taking refuge from the baselessness of your assertion in silliness?
    I have no problem with it. I am just a busy person, and A remain unconvinced that it would be a fruitful use of my time given that you have already decided in advance that there is no evidence and no non-circular argument for my position.
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    (Original post by Calumcalum)
    I have no problem with it. I am just a busy person, and A remain unconvinced that it would be a fruitful use of my time given that you have already decided in advance that there is no evidence and no non-circular argument for my position.
    I suppose if you choose not to attempt to provide evidence for your position, then that's up to you.
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    (Original post by AdvanceAndVanquish)
    I suppose if you choose not to attempt to provide evidence for your position, then that's up to you.
    Indeed. I regret that I don't have the time to do much, though if you are genuinely interested I can recommend a few books.
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    (Original post by A level Az)
    Who are you to question why somebody believes in something that you yourself cannot explain?
    This is a ridiculous argument and always has been. I don't have to have an answer to point out that someone else's "answer" is stupid.

    I don't have to have solved the riemann hypothesis to note that, when my 3 year old nephew scribbles some random, illegible ****e on a piece of paper, he hasn't either, however much he thinks he has, or however much comfort he takes from thinking he has. That's about as close an analogy to religion as I can think of.
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    (Original post by TimmonaPortella)
    This is a ridiculous argument and always has been. I don't have to have an answer to point out that someone else's "answer" is stupid.

    I don't have to have solved the riemann hypothesis to note that, when my 3 year old nephew scribbles some random, illegible ****e on a piece of paper, he hasn't either, however much he thinks he has, or however much comfort he takes from thinking he has. That's about as close an analogy to religion as I can think of.
    You did ignore everything else I said though, so not much point replying. I agree with you, but religion is deeper than that, I don't think it's comparable to your nephew's artwork.
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    (Original post by TheGrinningSkull)
    The Quran takes priority when there is contradiction with the hadith. There's a difference.
    That's mostly my point, that it's not infallible.

    Not necessarily, you want to see why there is this supposed "contradiction", all the time (for myself), I have found that there has always been an answer, and usually it does boil down to the meaning, or the context. That is why you do have to do research around the topic and see what is going on.
    There are examples where it's blatantly wrong though. I had a post of some typed up but my internet died and I lost it. They referred to homosexuality not occurring in non-humans (when it actually occurs in lots of species), that human pregnancy lasts thirty months, that the sun has literal rising and setting points on the earth and that there are no rifts in the sky (and possibly a couple of others I've forgotten).

    Arabic is not untranslatable, correct. However, you run into problems when you have one word that can have 5+ different meanings depending on the context. And a lot of the time it does come down to using the right words, and I myself, as I understand English more, sometimes feel something is not right so I check up different sources as to what this could possibly mean or why was this word used and not that, and so forth.
    I would have hoped an all-powerful god who wanted his word spread to all people would have used an universal language or one that could be translated more easily.
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    (Original post by A level Az)
    You did ignore everything else I said though, so not much point replying. I agree with you, but religion is deeper than that, I don't think it's comparable to your nephew's artwork.
    My GCSE Art teacher and English Literature teacher would disagree.
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    (Original post by Id and Ego seek)
    You failed to identify issues religion explains where science fails to. Is the existence of heaven or hell one of those examples? You're joking, right? A majority of Christians (Jehova being a shocking one) deny the existence of hell; Jesus tells us, the Kingdom of Heaven is in each of us (Luke 17:21). If the Kingdom of Heaven is within each of us, then how would hell exist as a place outside of us? Either you believe, or you do not. Either Jesus was right, or those who came after him were. Different holy books also have a different account of heaven / afterlife and hell / punishment. No wonder science doesn't have an answer to these 'questions'; science is consistent in their methods and findings.

    what about the meaning of life, perhaps. I think every religion or nearly all have had a go at explaining that one.

    The Catholic church teaches that hell exists.

    it depends on which translation you read, I think.

    Do you really mean that, ppl have written books about it.
    http://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=e...cience&f=false
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    (Original post by Cerdog)
    That's mostly my point, that it's not infallible.
    What isn't? The Quran or the hadith? If the hadith ever contradicts the Quran then you take the Quran over the hadith. However, most of the time the hadith expands on the Quran.

    There are examples where it's blatantly wrong though. I had a post of some typed up but my internet died and I lost it. They referred to homosexuality not occurring in non-humans (when it actually occurs in lots of species), that human pregnancy lasts thirty months, that the sun has literal rising and setting points on the earth and that there are no rifts in the sky (and possibly a couple of others I've forgotten).
    You'd have back up your claims sorry, I'm familiar with the whip tailed lesbian lizards, also, I'm dubious about your 30 months claim, and you'll have to back up your other points with your sources.
    I would have hoped an all-powerful god who wanted his word spread to all people would have used an universal language or one that could be translated more easily.
    Right, and which language would you propose should have been used? Sure you get a few words (which of course in any language you'd get) which can mean different things. You're making a moot point here.
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    (Original post by TheGrinningSkull)
    What isn't? The Quran or the hadith? If the hadith ever contradicts the Quran then you take the Quran over the hadith. However, most of the time the hadith expands on the Quran.
    The hadith.

    You'd have back up your claims sorry, I'm familiar with the whip tailed lesbian lizards, also, I'm dubious about your 30 months claim, and you'll have to back up your other points with your sources.
    18:85-90 So he followed a way Until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it [as if] setting in a spring of dark mud, and he found near it a people. Allah said, "O Dhul-Qarnayn, either you punish [them] or else adopt among them [a way of] goodness." ... Then he followed a way Until, when he came to the rising of the sun, he found it rising on a people for whom We had not made against it any shield.

    50:6 Have they not looked at the heaven above them - how We structured it and adorned it and [how] it has no rifts?

    46:15 And We have enjoined upon man, to his parents, good treatment. His mother carried him with hardship and gave birth to him with hardship, and his gestation and weaning [period] is thirty months. [He grows] until, when he reaches maturity and reaches [the age of] forty years, he says, "My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to work righteousness of which You will approve and make righteous for me my offspring. Indeed, I have repented to You, and indeed, I am of the Muslims."

    (that one combined with 31:14 (And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination.) implies a six-month pregnancy. I should have said 30-month gestation, but it's still incorrect information.)

    7:80-81 And [We had sent] Lot when he said to his people, "Do you commit such immorality as no one has preceded you with from among the worlds? Indeed, you approach men with desire, instead of women. Rather, you are a transgressing people."

    16:68-69 And thy Lord inspired the bee, saying: Choose thou habitations in the hills and in the trees and in that which they thatch; Then eat of all fruits, and follow the ways of thy Lord, made smooth (for thee). There cometh forth from their bellies a drink divers of hues, wherein is healing for mankind. Lo! herein is indeed a portent for people who reflect.

    24:45 Allah hath created every animal of water. Of them is (a kind) that goeth upon its belly and (a kind) that goeth upon two legs and (a kind) that goeth upon four. Allah createth what He will. Lo! Allah is Able to do all things.

    (Apparently Allah forgot about the vast majority of the world's animals, which have six legs)

    Right, and which language would you propose should have been used? Sure you get a few words (which of course in any language you'd get) which can mean different things. You're making a moot point here.
    Various options. He could have created a universal (seeing as he's, well, all-powerful), he could have made the Quran available in other languages from the start, he could have revealed it to more than one part of the world.
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    (Original post by janet9)
    This is a question that I really want to know the answer to. And also, as I've read from Hitchens, that there is 100% proof out there that humans have been around for at least 100,000 years, though some say up to 200,000. Taking 100,000 for example, why was it that only in the last 4000 years did all these religious scriptures and revelations come about - why did the heavens and God just do nothing for 96,000 years? But I think that the bigger question here, is, why did all this happen in barbaric, illiterate parts of the Middle East?

    (From a no longer theist).
    No religion can be dated back to like 10,000 bc, was based on new findings they found in kurdistan, place called gobli tepi or something.
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    (Original post by Cerdog)
    18:85-90 So he followed a way Until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it [as if] setting in a spring of dark mud, and he found near it a people. Allah said, "O Dhul-Qarnayn, either you punish [them] or else adopt among them [a way of] goodness." ... Then he followed a way Until, when he came to the rising of the sun, he found it rising on a people for whom We had not made against it any shield.
    I don'y see what point you're making here, this sounds like a story to me.
    50:6 Have they not looked at the heaven above them - how We structured it and adorned it and [how] it has no rifts?
    Right, chucking random quotes here without saying what point it backs up is not helping, I'm trying to look up what the problem is here, and so far, I haven't seen any arguments popping up about this at all.

    46:15 And We have enjoined upon man, to his parents, good treatment. His mother carried him with hardship and gave birth to him with hardship, and his gestation and weaning [period] is thirty months. [He grows] until, when he reaches maturity and reaches [the age of] forty years, he says, "My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to work righteousness of which You will approve and make righteous for me my offspring. Indeed, I have repented to You, and indeed, I am of the Muslims."
    Do you even know the definition of weaning? Weaning does not mean carrying. This link may shed light (Not an islamic link but a link on weaning). http://kellymom.com/ages/weaning/con...aning_happens/

    Most noticeably, this part "If children are truly allowed to self-wean in their own time, most will do so somewhere between the 2nd and 4th year."
    Let's do the maths, 2 years is 24 months, 4 years is 48 months, and 30 months lies between that, wow, what a coincidink.


    (that one combined with 31:14 (And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination.) implies a six-month pregnancy. I should have said 30-month gestation, but it's still incorrect information.)
    His weaning is 2 years, first you say 30 month pregnancy, now you're changing your stance, and now you miss the pause indicated by the comma.

    7:80-81 And [We had sent] Lot when he said to his people, "Do you commit such immorality as no one has preceded you with from among the worlds? Indeed, you approach men with desire, instead of women. Rather, you are a transgressing people."
    Right, no one, as in we are talking about humans, and not creatures. Are you even trying or are you just trying to waste my time? You are taking the extreme end and holding onto minute sections of sentences it really does seem you are misunderstanding the English language here. This isn't even a problem in translation, more so of comprehension.

    16:68-69 And thy Lord inspired the bee, saying: Choose thou habitations in the hills and in the trees and in that which they thatch; Then eat of all fruits, and follow the ways of thy Lord, made smooth (for thee). There cometh forth from their bellies a drink divers of hues, wherein is healing for mankind. Lo! herein is indeed a portent for people who reflect.
    Again, what point are you making here?

    24:45 Allah hath created every animal of water. Of them is (a kind) that goeth upon its belly and (a kind) that goeth upon two legs and (a kind) that goeth upon four. Allah createth what He will. Lo! Allah is Able to do all things.

    (Apparently Allah forgot about the vast majority of the world's animals, which have six legs)
    Considering 2 Surahs are named after the bee and the ant, I don't think God "forgot" anything.


    Various options. He could have created a universal (seeing as he's, well, all-powerful), he could have made the Quran available in other languages from the start, he could have revealed it to more than one part of the world.
    I answered this point previously about messengers being sent across many nations, it looks like you have no interest in actually reading the points I make.
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    (Original post by Id and Ego seek)
    Just a simple question.

    Most believers would never seek out scientific or medical advice from anonymous people living in primitive, illiterate, and superstitious parts of the world today. We don't seek advice from these people on issues of importance like government, ethics, science, or philosophy, so why do believers take seriously the ideas of similar people who lived thousands of years ago and knew much less than the goat herders of today?


    All credit goes to Netwriter.

    Would love an answer from a theist because those comments in the comment section aren't doing anyone justice.
    The first point of contention is "scientific or medical advice". Although there are some religious people who do take scientific/medical advice directly from ancient scriptures, I would say that a large number (probably a majority) do not. The scriptures in many faiths serve the dual purpose of religous doctrine and social, ethical and moral guidance; people who identify themselves with a particular religion may use scripture for both of these purposes, only one, or none at all! (Or they might have a reason for using scripture that I have missed out.)

    The second point of contention is the idea that "anonymous people living in primitive, illiterate or superstitious parts of the world" would not be worth listening to on issues of ethics or morality. Being ethical or moral does not necessitate living in a developed society, being literate or not being superstitious. People from very different walks of life can have wise things to say about morality, and often agree with each other! I would argue that no single culture or way of life has 'moral supremacy' today; there are always things we can learn from others.
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    (Original post by Id and Ego seek)
    Uh, no it wasn't lol

    That's just flat out wrong. Even if you're a Christian, you can't argue with the fact that men wrote the Bible; yes you can say it's the word of God and men were simply the tools in God’s hand, but the Bible was not written by God. And that brings up many flaws
    Isn't God writing and men writing what God told tHem to write the same thing

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