"The Qualifying Question" - Printable Version
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"The Qualifying Question" - DaisyDeadhead - 10-04-2011 02:53 PM
... is what some agnostic friend of mine called it, for whatever reasons.
Here it is:
How can you prove your Bible is THE holy book of the world?
Pretend I am from Mars (shouldn't be too difficult) and I have come down to earth, and as a new Martian visitor, I am presented with the array of Earth's Official Holy Books, some lots OLDER than yours: Dhammapada, the Vedas, Quran, Talmud, Tao Te Ching, the works. I read them all, and they all basically say the same things: don't steal, be nice, no killing, its better to be polite than not, no other Gods before God, no diddling the neighbor's wife/wives, pray and fast, patience is good, love rocks the house. Etc.
So how can I know your book is THE holy book, and not some other one?
No quoting from it to prove itself, since ALL holy books make the unequivocal claim that *they* are the right one, the real McCoy, the word of God (for instance, Rigveda claim to be "God-breathed"). ALL of them claim this, equally. If you quote a verse that says "this is the real deal!" -- I could quote one right back to you from a different holy book that claims ITS the real deal. So for the purposes of the Qualifying Question, they cancel each other out.
Now, how can you convince the Martian that the Bible, a mere 2000 years old and more RECENT than some of the others, is the real deal? (Since it could be argued that it is plagiarized from the earlier ones, since the themes are the same)
Repeat: No quoting from it to prove its validity.
And BTW, the Catholic Church can answer. Its not a great answer, and its rather circular, but it IS an answer.
Any takers? Have at it.
I haven't found a fundamentalist Protestant yet who could answer... makes me wonder why they bother to go on all those "mission trips"... since I can easily imagine Hindus asking the same questions. What do you say to them?
Look at this as a mission opportunity. If you can convince me, I might believe you.
As things stand now, I don't.
RE: "The Qualifying Question" - DaisyDeadhead - 10-04-2011 03:59 PM
(10-04-2011 03:26 PM)Donb123 Wrote: Your conditions are artificial. What I mean is that there's no justification for suggesting that you cannot use the bible to make a point about the bible.Sure I can. I am the one asking, a Martian... and I see no difference between that one and the others. That is my justification.
So, what IS the difference? Can't you explain it without quoting it?
And if you can quote it, why can't *I* quote the other scriptures that are older and the possible source of the Bible, which I believe is partially plargiarized? (not deliberately, I think they are folk tales/archetypes)
What's "artificial" about my question? A person raised in, say, Myanmar, will ask basically the same question that I have just asked. And they will not understand your arbitrary differences either... since there aren't any.
They will not understand your Bible unless they already know English.
And THIS is the way you answer them?
(10-04-2011 03:26 PM)Donb123 Wrote: The bible is not A holy book- it's quite a few books written by a number of people over thousands of years. It's not at all like those other books.Are you saying the others WERE written by the hand of God, then, and not PEOPLE? Because that is exactly true of all the others.
Who ELSE wrote them, then?
Which one was *not* written over thousands of years by many people? Only the Quran would meet that description.
(10-04-2011 03:26 PM)Donb123 Wrote: Jesus was dead. Jesus was seen walking around and people touched him and saw him eat. Thousands of eye-witness accounts are recorded in at least one of the books of the bible.
So was Lao Tzu, Buddha, Shantideva, Mohammed... so?
(10-04-2011 03:26 PM)Donb123 Wrote: There are thousands upon thousands of ancient manuscript fragments of the bible.
Again, this is true of many other scriptures, particularly the Tibetan scriptures, and the Vedas.
Why do you think this isn't true of other Holy Books?
(10-04-2011 03:26 PM)Donb123 Wrote: There are no contemporary manuscripts from the biblical era containing accounts of people NOT seeing Jesus alive again.
So? There are no contemporary manuscripts from the Vedic era containing accounts of people NOT seeing Rama alive again.
And this proves that the book is interesting, and similar... but again, not that it is the Word of God above all the others.
Or Krishna's either... certainly Buddha was taken up into Nirvana, under a tree, very similar to Jesus (and long before) and no proof that Prince Siddhartha (interesting that they were both Princes!) ever came back.
You know that, right?
(10-04-2011 03:26 PM)Donb123 Wrote: There are no contemporary accounts of people talking about a bunch of liars following a dead guy and their big fat hoax. On the contrary the people that followed the dead and resurrected Jesus were crucified, burned by Nero as torches, fed to lions, et.al. for their belief. If they knew it was crap they would've recanted and been spared the torment.The Mahabharata and Bhagavad Gita also contains fanciful battle epics (wars that really did happen in ancient India), and various stories that have never been recanted, you realize? The Midrash also, for that matter.
This is not proof of them being the true Holy Book of the world... again, you use the stories in the book to prove the book, yet do not allow this standard for other scriptures besides the ones you were taught to believe.
Of course, you HAVE read the other holy books? You seem not to know anything about them, and the similarities of the circumstances of their writing:
"My neighborhood is the best, but I have never visited any other!"--is how that sounds to me.
(10-04-2011 03:26 PM)Donb123 Wrote: To attempt to discredit the New Testament (generally speaking) you have to deny the overwhelming manuscript evidence that exceeds all other ancient manuscripts by exponential margins.
I am not "discrediting" it... I am asking how you know that of all the holy books of the world, it is the authentic word of God above all the others. And so far, you can't explain it except by quoting it... as EVERY OTHER HOLY BOOK quotes itself to bolster itself as Truth. No different, I said.
You did not go by the directions I gave you... because it seems you are unable to do so. I think you don't understand that all holy books have these same attributes. You haven't studied them, yet think you know.
This IS the mark of the fundy: I don't know anything about ____ but let me tell you about it anyway.
(10-04-2011 03:26 PM)Donb123 Wrote: You'd have to explain where Jesus' body went despite the recorded testimony of so many that says where he went. You'd have to explain why so many people were brainwashed into accepting torture rather than confessing to their charade.
Where did Krishna's body go? Where did Kali's body go? Where did Shiva's body go? Where did Durga's body go? Where did Buddha's body go? Etc etc etc etc all the way back to Isis and Osiris.
Resurrections are old hat in Eastern scriptures, you know. Or maybe you don't?
NEXT! And please go by the thread rules: no quoting the Bible to prove the Bible. The Vedas say you're wrong, they say THEY are God breathed and The Word you should follow. So that's that, since they were FIRST.
And since they were longer (4 times as long as the Bible), that means they have more manuscripts, so according to Don, must be the truth.
See, Don, I used your own arguments to prove the Vedas and not the Bible are the word of God.
RE: "The Qualifying Question" - pastor's wife - 10-04-2011 04:07 PM
I'm not gifted with being an apologist. I'm not good at logical argumentation. I know I can't out-argue someone to prove a matter of faith.
I would try to point someone to Jesus that's all, and try to show love, kindness, and humility in my personal interactions with people.
RE: "The Qualifying Question" - DaisyDeadhead - 10-04-2011 04:14 PM
(10-04-2011 04:07 PM)pastors wife Wrote: I'm not gifted with being an apologist. I'm not good at logical argumentation. I know I can't out-argue someone to prove a matter of faith.You are perilously close to being a Catholic, PW!
Their argument is: Catholic Church canonized the Bible, and the Church is Jesus Christ's body on Earth. So it came directly from Him... this of course involves agreeing with those premises, as many Protestants do not, though.*
This was actually a good enough argument for me, until Protestants started telling me the RCC was not the Church founded by Christ. then, I lost the thread of apostolic succession (haha) and started to question.
I often tell people, be careful about that witnessing, may not always go where you want it to.
*But this is still almost as circular as the first page of the Rigveda, which says something like "this looks like a book, but it was actually breathed by God" which is nearly as cool in its writing as Genesis.
Its actually the bibliolatry I particularly dislike, Jesus is just alright with me.
RE: "The Qualifying Question" - DaisyDeadhead - 10-04-2011 04:16 PM
List of religious texts throughout the world:
I don't think (puke!) L Ron Hubbard belongs there, but I guess they have to be fair.
RE: "The Qualifying Question" - NotUnderLaw - 10-04-2011 04:20 PM
(10-04-2011 04:14 PM)DaisyDeadhead Wrote: Its actually the bibliolatry I particularly dislike, Jesus is just alright with me.
RE: "The Qualifying Question" - boymom - 10-04-2011 04:25 PM
They will not understand your Bible unless they already know English.
The Bible has actually been translated into hundreds of languages, including many tribal dialects. Wycliffe Bible Translators was founded specifically for this purpose.
RE: "The Qualifying Question" - DaisyDeadhead - 10-04-2011 04:48 PM
(10-04-2011 04:15 PM)Donb123 Wrote:How about an ex-marriage to an ex-fundy, do I get points for that?(10-04-2011 03:59 PM)DaisyDeadhead Wrote: This IS the mark of the fundy: I don't know anything about ____ but let me tell you about it anyway.
As the gay poet said, I was the man, I suffered, I was there.
(10-04-2011 04:15 PM)Donb123 Wrote:
Are you saying the Bodhipakkhiyādhammā is NOT a hellaciously-long manuscript that nobody can even afford to translate or print in the West?
And that is merely the one I have been trying to study lately. Plenty more where that came from.
I think you don't know what you're talking about, no offense.
(10-04-2011 04:15 PM)Donb123 Wrote: You might well have studied eastern religion but you don't know textual criticism as is evidenced by the above.
I don't? Wow, and what would Jacques Derrida say to THAT? LOL Don, a little learning is a dangerous thing. I will send an email to Stanley Fish and get back to you on that textual criticism thing.
And which school of textual criticism are we discussing, exactly, since you bring it up?
(10-04-2011 04:15 PM)Donb123 Wrote: To you it's somehow meaningful if I know a whole bunch of esoteric eastern stuff (and I'm sure I know less than you and more than some others) but I frankly could care less.
And since you say this so proudly, why bother to reply to me here?
Do you think when you try to talk to someone of another religious tradition, your derision comes through? How well can you witness to such a person, when you admit you believe you are too superior to even have to learn where THEY are coming from?
So (to the forum) IS THIS THE ISSUE with Calvinism? I think I get it now: They don't have to witness to people, so who gives a shit, right? (Don, is this what I understand you to say?)
(10-04-2011 04:15 PM)Donb123 Wrote: To me religion isn't some big smorgasbord and I just pick up whichever dish(es) look the most compelling.
Funny, that is exactly how it sounds. You coincidentally find the religion "most compelling" that is ALSO the one you just happened to be raised with. What a coincidence! And that is exactly what Muslims, et al say, and you can't refute it... COZINESS as religious truth. FAMILIARITY as argument: "I was raised this way, so it must be right"...
"I don't need to try anything else"--several Ayatollahs (in Arabic, of course).
(10-04-2011 04:15 PM)Donb123 Wrote: I have no need to experience a bunch of counterfeits to validate the truth that I know and have experienced.
And the Muslims say the same. And the Hindus same the same. Can't tell em apart without a scorecard. And you can't seem to tell me why you are any different than they are. Pastor's Wife at least got to the heart of the matter. You start telling me all about MANUSCRIPTS! LOL
(10-04-2011 04:15 PM)Donb123 Wrote: While I've no doubt that there was some merit to some of that long list you regaled us with, I think you were probably mistaken on most. Truth be told I don't care enough to go on about it. I gave you my answer. You didn't like it. That's okay by me.Ready for my mistakes to be spelled out... waiting on pins and needles.
Don: I think you enjoy acting superior to people you think are intellectually inferior. That's okay by me, too... I want people to see exactly where this argument of yours leads: to arrogance and superiority, nothing remotely Christlike. It is your type of know-it-all attitude that drove me from the Church, the whole thing. I would study and study, and people like you kept telling me I had it wrong and was stupid. Or that you "could care less"... finally, I believed them and left. Congratulations! Wonder how many other people you have done this to, who do not have the nerve or the wherewithal to tell you.
RE: "The Qualifying Question" - DaisyDeadhead - 10-04-2011 04:55 PM
(10-04-2011 04:25 PM)boymom Wrote: They will not understand your Bible unless they already know English.As one who has read Eastern scriptures translated, let me tell you, idiom is very hard to translate. You can get all hung up on easy words, and the hard ones you just misunderstand.
Example: To a non-English speaker, something like "he picked up his sister from the store" sounds like he bodily picked her up, not put her in a horse-drawn cart and took her home. After a while, you get it, but you have to go back and read things over and over sometimes... Lots and lots of that kind of confusion can be overwhelming, after awhile. It can be very tempting to give up, and it is also true of trying to read people like Mario Vargas Llosa or Nabokov in translation... a bad translation can be like trying to see through fog.
And I think when we see a lack of "getting through" to certain groups (I mentioned Myanmar for a reason!) --then I wonder if bad translations might not be the reason.
I also think the "lingo" of Christianity (see that other thread titled "do you speak Christian?") can be almost impossible to translate in some dialects.
RE: "The Qualifying Question" - DaisyDeadhead - 10-04-2011 05:10 PM
(10-04-2011 04:20 PM)NotUnderLaw Wrote:Greatest thing I ever saw!(10-04-2011 04:14 PM)DaisyDeadhead Wrote: Its actually the bibliolatry I particularly dislike, Jesus is just alright with me.