Philosch wrote:If the deliverer of the universal truth that is the cornerstone of a belief system is a mere human, then that truth can always be questioned and challenged by other humans.
-1- wrote:This is simply not true. Lenin, Marx and Engels had been quoted to death and their words followed to the letter in communist countries it the applicable era. They were not gods, yet their impact was just as forceful as Jesus'.
Philosch wrote:I never said someone like Lenin or Marx couldn't grab power and abuse it. The sense of what I said is that it's more permissible to question a mere mortal in a psychological sense then it would be to question divine edicts of a superior deity. I never said that strong men of various means wouldn't threaten and abuse those who question them. So you objection is not on the mark...besides I would argue that none of the three you mentioned has had the impact of the historical Jesus. There are 2 billion plus Christians in the world, how many Marxists?
You did not negate my claim, Pilosh.
Your claim "A": human's claims can ALWAYS be challenged.
You degraded this to claim "B" "human claims are more permissible to be challenged."
I shan't deal with Claim "B", but I accept it, as it is compatible with my claim, which is the refutation of Claim "A" by you.
I stand by my refutation of your claim "A".
To wit: Marx, aside from being the leader of the Paris Commune, had never wielded any power other than intellectual.
Lenin was in power for a mere seven years. He died in 1924. Marx I don't even know when he died.
Yet they were quoted and the words of these two adhered to in communist (socialist) countries well into the mid-nineteen eighties.
Then you said that Christianity is 2000 years old, and insinuated that Marxism-Leninism is defunct. That is not true. In China, Marxism-Leninism is still the state ideology. Roughly one-quarter of the world's population OFFICIALLY accepts Marxism-Leninism. Also, everyone can see the trend that Christianity is on its way out. Almost all of Europe is atheistic; the non-atheist Muslims outnumber non-atheist Christians in Europe. And that would be the case even without Muslim immigration; the indigenous Muslims in Europe have a much stronger following than the indigenous Christians there at present time. And American atheists increased in percentage of the population (as per their volunteering a faith they follow) from 2% in 1960 to 20% currently.
In summary: What i challenged was that human's decrees can be always disregarded. That you have not refuted. However, you recalled your original claim, and softened it to "human decrees are more permissible" to challenge, and that i agree with (given the context of the time of Jesus).
It may be a semantical problem we are having but you are not reading me careful enough. Human claims can always be challenged, doesn't mean they always are but they can be and are much more easily then a "god's" claim can be challenged hence why using a "God" to lend authority to your claim works better. This was my entire point and I stand by it. I also said nothing about Christianity being 2000 years old....I said there are roughly 2 billion plus Christians alive today. Nor did I insinuate Marxism is defunct, I insinuated that there were far fewer Marxist than Christians and I will stand by that claim as well. The official state ideology of China not withstanding how many actually believe in that ideology. I was simply claiming that the influence of Jesus was greater in scale then the influence of Marx and further more I would make the claim that Jesus' impact would have been far less had he not been turned into "GOD" at the council of Nicaea which was the point of the post in the first place. Now it could be many years from now that Marx's influence reaches the biblical scale but that still doesn't harm my point. Here's how I would state the claims I was attempting to make in the form you seem to prefer.
Claim A. Human authority is easier to challenge then divine authority.
or if you prefer my original position further qualified....
Claim A. Human authority can always be challenged (not really the point)
Claim B. Divine authority can always be challenged (never explicitly stated this because it's as self evident as claim A)
(the real point I was trying to make is the following:)
Claim C. Divine authority is much harder to challenge then human authority until the divinity of the god in question is disproven or no longer believed in.
That's the proper form of my original claims....and claim C is the only one I was interested in, both A and B are true and besides the point. The claim of divinity adds a lot of weight to the authority in question
Pointing out cases where human authority wasn't challenged (like Marx for instance) because of brutality or other abuses does not negate claim A. Because the claim says that it "can" always be challenged, it doesn't say it "will" always be challenged.
There's a clear difference between saying if you challenge my human claim I'll send you to a Siberian prison or execute your family and if you say that when you challenge "God's" authority your soul will be eternally dammed.
The reason is simple.....maybe I get together with 10,000 of my closest friends and stage a coup to over throw this authoritarian human Marxist regime or maybe I find some other way to undermine or challenge the "human" authority. But what can I do to a "God" who's going to dam me to hell? Nothing at all, I have no recourse until I dispel the belief precisely because a "God" would be supreme and it's "authority" is supreme. It's just much trickier to challenge. Now of course people do challenge divine authority, I am right now, it's just much harder. The point I was trying to make from the very beginning without watering it down is that it's much easier to challenge someone's authority if you remove any claims to divinity or supernatural authority from the foundation of the claims being made. I hope this is clearer to you now. I stand by this statement as self evident.
Philosch wrote:I have addressed this particular point in other posts as well but here goes again....the claim that Mary was a virgin is only in one Gospel, the Luke Gospel and Luke was a Greek who was familiar with myriad virgin birth stories from Greek mythology. Does any sane rational person honestly believe that if Mary was actually a real virgin after bearing a child (which is a cornerstone belief of the Catholic church) that it would not be widely spoken about in every gospel and other accounts of the day? Come on now. It's such an obvious myth borrowed from the Greeks as to be laughable and yet here we are and no one is laughing at this. Imagine the Gospel of Mathew, Mark and John make NO mention of the miraculous virgin birth. I don't believe Luke even intended it as a literal fact, again it was supposed to be symbolic of the "birth of a spiritual being from an animal being" which is not physical. But once again the busy little powers that be can't have sophisticated spiritual symbolism left to the individual to process and work out for themselves, they have to turn it into the miraculous, literal and supernatural for reasons that should be patently obvious to any reasonably astute researcher. The story has a nice symbolic message. Don't throw it away, understand it for what it is. But then don't turn it into literal nonsense either and destroy all credibility.
You are right, of course, that the legend is purely metaphorical and a nod to ancient Greek stories that pre-dated the writing of the gospels by hundreds/thousands of years.
That said, there are loud, powerful and numerous forces within the Christian community that reject the fact that these stories are metaphorical and insist that they are factual, scientific truths. Any cruise through beliefnet.com or other religious-based communities (online or IRL) will show that those who understand that biblical stories are metaphorical are facing an uphill battle.
In some circles, even suggesting for discussion
that the story of Jesus' resurrection may be a metaphor, or that the virginity of Mary may be a metaphor, is enough to get you banned/ostracized.
Yes, unfortunately I agree with you as that has been my experience in dealing with people in my own family who reject historical facts in favor of their own cherished beliefs simply because of the discomfort that comes from dislodging those beliefs. I'm not optimistic about the prospects of being able to get the 2 billion plus Christians to see the truth and falsehood of their beliefs. Let alone the Muslims and others who still believe in mythical supernatural beings. It's very daunting indeed. It's also sad because you and I might agree that Jesus' story when taken metaphorically has great value and there's much to be said about compassion for the less fortunate and so on but the message get's lost or at least over shadowed by all the nonsensical dogma/doctrine. You might agree for instance that the way to salvation is through the realization that we are all connected and one in spirit with the creative force of the universe. Metaphorically this would be saying we are equal to Jesus and we are all aspects of the divine presence (God per se) but this would be blasphemy in the normal Christian doctrinal sense. Too bad because it's quite likely that's what Jesus' was telling us along with what the Buddha was saying as well.