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Old June 30th, 2011, 09:41 AM   #1
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Anyone reading any of the following:



Divinity of DoubtL The God Question by well known attorney Vincent Bugliosi (which is hard to put down, halfway through, and as an agnostic, he presents some very valid arguements questioning not only believers, but also atheists as well)



ATHEISM: THE CASE AGAINST GOD by George H. Smith



GOD The Failed Hypothesis: How SCience Shows That God Does Not Exist by Victor J. Stenger



god is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens



FORGED: Wrting in the Name of God - Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are by Bart D. Ehrman



GOD'S PROBLEM: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Questions - Why We Suffer by Bart D. Ehrman



and



The GOD Delusion by Richard Dawkins



Vincent Bugliosi even addresses and questions many of the aforementioned books and their authors positions in his book.



The various views I have found quite interesting and among other reasons (i.e. all the violence throughout history between humans being done in the name of God, gods, Allah, et al) is why I remain agnostic (I cannot prove that there is or is not a supreme being, but if there is, it surely is not the one in the Bible nor any one person's personified belief as to who or what they think God (or whomever he/she/it) is.



GWV
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Old June 30th, 2011, 01:33 PM   #2
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I haven't read any of those books myself.

On the forum I usually visit, an atheist and I have regular book discussions about books that represent our different positions. We've discussed The Pagan Christ by Tom Harpur. That book claims that the biblical Jesus is not a historical Jesus, but a mythical Jesus, based upon an ancient Egyptian savior, Horus, who was a symbol, a metaphor, not literal fact.This would mean that Tom Harpur sees Jesus as a metaphorial figure, a representation of the Christ consciousness- being the savior.

We've also discussed Letters From a Skeptic by Greg Boyd. In that book, Boyd answered a series of letters written by his agnostic father, some of which cover the same material you mentioned above, that of the amount of violence done in the name of God.

Right now we are discussing James the Brother of Jesus by Robert Eisenman. Eisenman believes the New Testament has been so edited and rewritten that it does not represent the true teachings of Jesus and that the writings found with the Dead Sea Scrolls more accurately reflect the Christianity of the time.

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Old June 30th, 2011, 02:48 PM   #3
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(I cannot prove that there is or is not a supreme being, but if there is, it surely is not the one in the Bible nor any one person's personified belief as to who or what they think God (or whomever he/she/it) is.



GWV


The truth is, you cannot prove wrong any one person's personified belief as to who or what they think God is, and to say "it surely is not" is your belief, which cannot disproved either.
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Old June 30th, 2011, 05:12 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by GWV' timestamp='1309455697' post='340096
(I cannot prove that there is or is not a supreme being, but if there is, it surely is not the one in the Bible nor any one person's personified belief as to who or what they think God (or whomever he/she/it) is.



GWV


The truth is, you cannot prove wrong any one person's personified belief as to who or what they think God is, and to say "it surely is not" is your belief, which cannot disproved either.




True, but it's all about who can present the better argument, and with more falsifiable objective evidence.



There is far more such evidence substantiating the "theory" of evolution than there is creationism; thus the "theory" of evolution is far more probable than creationism.



There is far more evidence substantiating that the God written of in the Bible, written of by men over a span of 2,000 + years, an incomplete and often contradicting accounting, not to mention many books were not included in the Bible (on purpose) - and as one author mentioned in OP (Ehrman), many of the authors were frauds - it's all about subjective interpretation and personified belief in who or what the God of the Bible is. Which, I know, is your point.



That being said, the point of my statement (and reply in further explanation of said statement), is that if there truly were an omniscient, omnipotent, etc. God as claimed in the Bible, then it is a God that no one has seen and/or known in or to be accurately written of because some other imposter has clearly been writen of in His/Her/It's stead.



GWV
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Old June 30th, 2011, 05:15 PM   #5
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Right now we are discussing James the Brother of Jesus by Robert Eisenman. Eisenman believes the New Testament has been so edited and rewritten that it does not represent the true teachings of Jesus and that the writings found with the Dead Sea Scrolls more accurately reflect the Christianity of the time.


I would recommend including 'FORGED: Wrting in the Name of God - Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are' by Bart D. Ehrman in that discussion, because he discusses that and how the authors of some of the books of the bibles were not who they say they are; which makes much of the Bible forged and a fraud serving mans' purpose via the church in controlling the undereducated (for a reason) masses.
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Old June 30th, 2011, 05:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imaginethat' timestamp='1309474094' post='340140

[quote name='GWV' timestamp='1309455697' post='340096'](I cannot prove that there is or is not a supreme being, but if there is, it surely is not the one in the Bible nor any one person's personified belief as to who or what they think God (or whomever he/she/it) is.



GWV


The truth is, you cannot prove wrong any one person's personified belief as to who or what they think God is, and to say "it surely is not" is your belief, which cannot disproved either.




True, but it's all about who can present the better argument, and with more falsifiable objective evidence.



There is far more such evidence substantiating the "theory" of evolution than there is creationism; thus the "theory" of evolution is far more probable than creationism.



There is far more evidence substantiating that the God written of in the Bible, written of by men over a span of 2,000 + years, an incomplete and often contradicting accounting, not to mention many books were not included in the Bible (on purpose) - and as one author mentioned in OP (Ehrman), many of the authors were frauds - it's all about subjective interpretation and personified belief in who or what the God of the Bible is. Which, I know, is your point.



That being said, the point of my statement (and reply in further explanation of said statement), is that if there truly were an omniscient, omnipotent, etc. God as claimed in the Bible, then it is a God that no one has seen and/or known in or to be accurately written of because some other imposter has clearly been writen of in His/Her/It's stead.



GWV

[/quote]



Bottom line, any knowledge of God, whatever the reality of God is, will be subjective, not really anyway around that.



I haven't read any of the books you listed, so I can't discuss the opinions expressed in them. What I saw was this: "... I remain agnostic (I cannot prove that there is or is not a supreme being, but if there is, it surely is not the one in the Bible nor any one person's personified belief as to who or what they think God (or whomever he/she/it) is."



That's not an agnostic belief, imo, because without admitting to the reality of God, you have stated, in the negative, characteristics of God.



Specifically, what is it about the God described in the Bible that causes you to believe that that God cannot be the God, if God exists?
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Old June 30th, 2011, 07:57 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by GWV' timestamp='1309455697' post='340096
(I cannot prove that there is or is not a supreme being, but if there is, it surely is not the one in the Bible nor any one person's personified belief as to who or what they think God (or whomever he/she/it) is.



GWV


The truth is, you cannot prove wrong any one person's personified belief as to who or what they think God is...




Proving a person's personified belief about God and their religion based on their personified concept of God can be done.





We are all capable of changing our beliefs...it just depends on the information that we are either given or that which we seek on our own and what we do with that information that makes the difference. That difference being either further confirming or changing that belief. Either way, the basis of that change is going to depend on the intellectual capability of the individual to analyze, process and apply that information in a rational manner.





There have been many who have been many people who have been born into a family with parents that push a particular religious belief, and as children they follow their parents direction; however, as they grow older and exercise their intellectual abilities to question, analyze, and process new information that their parents never told them about their personified version of God and the religion they were raised to believe in come to change their own personal belief. That change can either be a change to a different organized religion that better fit their newly found personified belief in God, or they may change and disbelieve in their previously conceived personified belief in God and religion.





Author Bart D. Ehrman is a perfect example. He was raised to believe in God and religion in a particular way; but when he followed a path of what he thought was God's path for him and became a Biblical scholar, educator, and pastor himself...through his years of being immersed personally and academically in theology, he changed his personified belief about God; thus proving that an individual's personified belief in God can be proven wrong resulting in change in that belief.





GWV



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Old June 30th, 2011, 08:07 PM   #8
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What I saw was this: "... I remain agnostic (I cannot prove that there is or is not a supreme being, but if there is, it surely is not the one in the Bible nor any one person's personified belief as to who or what they think God (or whomever he/she/it) is."



That's not an agnostic belief, imo, because without admitting to the reality of God, you have stated, in the negative, characteristics of God.


The basic common definition of agnostic is "one who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God."



I do not believe it is humanly possible to know as a matter of fact (in any sense) whether there is a God, whatever God is, if there even is one.



Though it may not be the best term to describe my belief of God, agnostic is the closest definition I can find to ascribe my personal view on God; because I am not a believer, obviously, and I am not an atheist by definition either (as I have an open-mind and if the right objective/empirical evidence is ever presented to prove a better argument/position otherwise...I may be convinced to change my belief).



Quote:
Specifically, what is it about the God described in the Bible that causes you to believe that that God cannot be the God, if God exists?




I do not have the luxury of time this evening to give you a fair and honest answer to this question, so if you don't mind, I would like to defer this until later this weekend if you don't mind. I will also make some great points made by the author of the book which is the primary subject of this thread in my reply.





Until then, enjoy your evening.



GWV
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Old June 30th, 2011, 08:13 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by imaginethat' timestamp='1309474094' post='340140

[quote name='GWV' timestamp='1309455697' post='340096'](I cannot prove that there is or is not a supreme being, but if there is, it surely is not the one in the Bible nor any one person's personified belief as to who or what they think God (or whomever he/she/it) is.



GWV


The truth is, you cannot prove wrong any one person's personified belief as to who or what they think God is...




Proving a person's personified belief about God and their religion based on their personified concept of God can be done.





We are all capable of changing our beliefs...it just depends on the information that we are either given or that which we seek on our own and what we do with that information that makes the difference. That difference being either further confirming or changing that belief. Either way, the basis of that change is going to depend on the intellectual capability of the individual to analyze, process and apply that information in a rational manner.





There have been many who have been many people who have been born into a family with parents that push a particular religious belief, and as children they follow their parents direction; however, as they grow older and exercise their intellectual abilities to question, analyze, and process new information that their parents never told them about their personified version of God and the religion they were raised to believe in come to change their own personal belief. That change can either be a change to a different organized religion that better fit their newly found personified belief in God, or they may change and disbelieve in their previously conceived personified belief in God and religion.





Author Bart D. Ehrman is a perfect example. He was raised to believe in God and religion in a particular way; but when he followed a path of what he thought was God's path for him and became a Biblical scholar, educator, and pastor himself...through his years of being immersed personally and academically in theology, he changed his personified belief about God; thus proving that an individual's personified belief in God can be proven wrong resulting in change in that belief.





GWV





[/quote]



Whoa.



If Ehrman "proved" his previous conception of God was "wrong," his understanding of God and his changed understanding was subjective. He proved to himself that his previous concept was in error. Outside of Ehrman's subjective experience, his proof has no application, imo.



Frankly, I think everyone's concept of God is no more or less valid than the descriptions offered by the blind men on the characteristics of an elephant. The finite cannot adequately describe the infinite, not personally, and not universally.
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Old June 30th, 2011, 08:17 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by imaginethat' timestamp='1309484714' post='340148

What I saw was this: "... I remain agnostic (I cannot prove that there is or is not a supreme being, but if there is, it surely is not the one in the Bible nor any one person's personified belief as to who or what they think God (or whomever he/she/it) is."



That's not an agnostic belief, imo, because without admitting to the reality of God, you have stated, in the negative, characteristics of God.


The basic common definition of agnostic is "one who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God."



I do not believe it is humanly possible to know as a matter of fact (in any sense) whether there is a God, whatever God is, if there even is one.



Though it may not be the best term to describe my belief of God, agnostic is the closest definition I can find to ascribe my personal view on God; because I am not a believer, obviously, and I am not an atheist by definition either (as I have an open-mind and if the right objective/empirical evidence is ever presented to prove a better argument/position otherwise...I may be convinced to change my belief).



Quote:
Specifically, what is it about the God described in the Bible that causes you to believe that that God cannot be the God, if God exists?




I do not have the luxury of time this evening to give you a fair and honest answer to this question, so if you don't mind, I would like to defer this until later this weekend if you don't mind. I will also make some great points made by the author of the book which is the primary subject of this thread in my reply.





Until then, enjoy your evening.



GWV


Sleep well, Troy.



Keep in mind, an agnostic is one who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God. That automatically excludes an agnostic from commenting on the nature of God.



The agnostic, unlike the atheist or theist, has a rational position. Proving the existence of God most likely will always lie beyond the ability of empirical science. An agnostic admits to this. A theist or atheist "knows."
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