Another biblical event explained?

Discussion in 'Politics and Current Events' started by Hiphopster, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. HornsWin

    HornsWin Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    I suspect you would be able to tell the IT'ers by the small section of the grove that looked like the aftermath of Jonestown.
  2. cincomom

    cincomom Member Who Talks

    This is all about presuppositions. You presuppose that there is a natural cause to explain away every biblical miracle. I presuppose that of course God would sometimes use "natural" phenomena, which He is the Lord and Creator of, so what's the big deal? Same planet, different world.
  3. calvin farquhar

    calvin farquhar Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    It's how the new age philosophers and charlatans make a living in 2019.
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  4. Horns1960

    Horns1960 Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    Go back to sleep, numbnuts.
  5. Hiphopster

    Hiphopster Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    Your faith madam. I'm raising an entirely valid possibility for the biblical Sodom and Gomorrah. You can either dismiss it entirely, accept it, or incorporate it into your faith. Your choice.

    Huh? This directed toward me padre? If so, I don't get your references one bit.
  6. stevehorn

    stevehorn Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    I don't have to wait until third and long.
  7. TexasPalladin

    TexasPalladin Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    Don't know about 3rd-long.
    But I can guarundamnedtya that you do during a firefight/mortar barrage.
    There's a very valid reason for the adage:
    Ain't no atheists in a foxhole.

    Semper Fi
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
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  8. theelusiveshadow

    theelusiveshadow Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    Eh? So "fire and brimstone" could not be phenomenological way people describe this event? It's either "fire" or "air burst"? This is extraordinarily simplistic way to approach any text. The Bible being the Word of God does not mean there is not room for idioms, glosses, approximations, or anything of the sort. Just a cursory understanding of the idea of inspiration would tell you that.

    And what pillars of dust? You mean the pillar of salt that Lot's wife became? Also, the text in Genesis 19 does not say that there is a "constant rain of hell fire." It just states that there is fire and brimstone rained from heaven and the cities were overthrown. The narrative even paints a picture that this is pretty quick.

    Christian theology certainly leaves room for God to use creation for his purposes. It also isn't a given that this is at all related to the story that the Bible tells. So I'm not exactly sure what you're trying to prove here.
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  9. W.W. McClyde

    W.W. McClyde Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    Well aren't you just a little closer to heaven.
  10. theelusiveshadow

    theelusiveshadow Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    I kind of use this debate as a litmus test for basic understanding of philosophy and logic. WLC found a contradiction in Harris' position, and all Harris could do was to say, "That was interesting... let's talk about Hell." Basically, he tried to red herring his way out of it. I've had a law student at Notre Dame try to defend Harris here. Whoops. This is why I poke fun at my lawyer friends a lot for being sophists, but their arguments can't work against responsible philosophers :).

    That said, I've come to appreciate how Harris actually tries to have conversations and call out the Left for their nonsense. His discussion with Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks was like being transported to bizarro land. Cenk was so stupid in his criticisms of Christianity and his defense of Islam that Harris was put in the uncomfortable position of actually having to defend Christianity. It was hilarious. Oddly enough, Harris is something of an ally against the crazies who are endangering free speech.
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  11. padrehorn11

    padrehorn11 Member Who Talks

    I suppose you're too young, or you spent the late 60's and early 70's even more zonked out than me.

    Look up Immanuel Velikovsky. His book "Worlds in Collision", published in the early fifties was a kook cult classic, and by the 60's and especially early 70's, he was a big hit with us Flower Children who weren't actually you know, scientifically literate. In the 70's, (my buddy ;)) Carl Sagan, while totally rebutting his theories, defended him as sort of a Galileo figure, albeit an incorrect one. I think Sagan wrote something along the lines that scientific ideas, no matter how 'off the wall', should be explored and never repressed.

    All kind of interesting. I wonder what Sagan's take on the AGW's '98%' of scientists and some of their efforts, in step with the media and the young progressive elite, to personally denigrate the 'deniers' and suppress, or really, shout them down.

    Once again, I digress, but if you look up Velikovsky you'll understand my joke...weak as it might have been.
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  12. stevehorn

    stevehorn Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    Nah. I find that more first downs get granted if I don't wait until third down to ask for them.
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  13. bHero

    bHero Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    Harris was one of the "4 horseman" of the New Atheism movement that started about 15 years ago, not long after some really strong Christian apologists started emerging from the ivory towers of academia and going mainstream. I'm not sure if their emergence was a response, or just the natural evolution of the modern media age on this timeless topic.

    But the 4 horseman was really 1 horse, Christopher Hitchens, with 3 others chasing his coattails. Hitchens was naturally eloquent, reminiscent of the good old days when people knew what good writing was. He was also the originator of the sardonic style of wit that many atheists like to awkwardly emulate when discussing the "inherent absurdities" of religion. His interlocutors, on the other hand, were miscast and over their skis for the topic at hand. Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett and Christopher Hitchens were all self-proclaimed autodidacts, with none of them receiving actual doctoral degrees in philosophy.

    They kept peddling their intuition-friendly ideas to the mindless public, but behind the scenes were afraid to put them to the test in debates against trained philosophers. All except Hitchens, that is. None of their theories have lasted long under a spotlight. Especially when William Lane Craig (WLC) was involved. WLC is an actual, classically trained philosopher with 2 doctorates in the field from England and Germany to go with his 2 MA's in philosophy from America. One of my favorite quips that Sam Harris makes about WLC is "Dr. Craig is the only man who can put the fear of God in me." Sam should have listened to his gut and saved himself the embarrassment.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
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  14. padrehorn11

    padrehorn11 Member Who Talks

    Usually I agree with you, but my father managed to remain an atheist through the fighting in Saar-Moselle triangle, breaking the Saar defensive line, and then on across the Rhine. He was one of 4 men in his Company to not be killed or invalided out during 180 days of very, very, bloody fighting where the 94th Infantry Division was in direct combat with the Germans for all but five days from September '44 to March of '45. And he remained an atheist till the day he died. But like me, he was a very stubborn S.O.B.

    Here's a picture of him being an atheist in a foxhole:
  15. Hiphopster

    Hiphopster Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    Yes damnit, I keep misusing the biblical text. My bad. Pillars of salt it is.

    Again, I'll leave it to you guys that are people of faith. I find this to be the almost impossibly perfect astronomical event to buttress the story that ended up in the bible while it also happens to demystify the event. It is quite evident to me there was no divine punishment involved, but it might not be for you. I get that.
  16. Hiphopster

    Hiphopster Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    This is cool. Thanks for posting.
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  17. bHero

    bHero Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    Harris is unique in that he's actually willing to indulge crazy conversation. His too long talk with Jordan Peterson on truth is a prime example. He also has some great conversations with Joe Rogan. I actually like Sam. I just think he needs to couch his theories less authoritatively and more inquisitively, like Dr. Peterson does.
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  18. bHero

    bHero Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    It is interesting that you offer corroboration that the events actually occurred. This story certainly helps the Christian more than hurts, as you've clearly demonstrated. The conversation has gone from "there's no proof that anything like this has ever happened. We would expect to find some evidence or record of this scale of an event somewhere else in history" - which is the old argument. Now it's "even though we find evidence of an event that could be at the right place and the right time, I don't believe it because the evidence we find says it was probably one giant rock that did most of the damage." It's like changing your story from denying any involvement in a crime to confessing to being at the scene but saying you didn't do it. All you've done, as far as the legal system is concerned, is weaken your case by placing yourself at the scene. It's the very definition of giving ground.
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  19. Horns1960

    Horns1960 Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    Or you can wait until David Freese triples in the ninth.
  20. Hiphopster

    Hiphopster Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    I've been waiting for someone to make this point. Well done counselor.

    I actually agree that it could strengthen the case for a biblical version of events because now all we are left with is our reading of an actual historical event. Assuming there is corroboration for this, it is really tough to separate the two as different occurrences. It is in the right part of the world, matches roughly the destruction in the bible, and precedes the stories as relayed in the Torah.

    What it then comes down to is faith. Like it always did before.

    Only now, I have to acknowledge a destruction of villages likely occurred as spelled out in the bible which some have previously dismissed as the rumblings of ancient allegory tellers. And believers must acknowledge that a completely mundane astronomical event could be the basis for what was previously hailed as the wrath of God.

    I find it fascinating.
  21. bHero

    bHero Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    One more note and I'll quick picking on Sam Harris. Your quote is a classical example of Sam Harris trotting out a long falsified assertion as fact by trying to sound intuitive. The retread argument he's using, in it's base form: "extraordinary claims requires extraordinary evidence." While it sounds like common sense, it's been proven false by probability theorists. Below is a debate where an atheist, Dr. Keith Parsons, who holds 2 doctorates in philosophy, presents the argument to Dr. Craig. It is a forceful argument. Dr. Craig's response is at 3:15. This exchange took place over 20 years ago, in 1998. Sam Harris knows this, but still trots out zingers because it sells books.

    Dr. Craig's final words are the most apt on your quote and this subject. "... in other words skepticism about the gospels is not rooted in their historical and literary quality.... it's rooted in an anti-supernatural bias."

    To paraphrase the probability theorists conclusions as well, just so people can see around their own bias, to know if more evidence is required for an extraordinary event to be rendered credible, all one has to do is estimate the probability that the known evidence and testimony would have occurred … if in fact the event did not occur.

    Of course, this is a knife that cuts both ways.
  22. padrehorn11

    padrehorn11 Member Who Talks

    If we're not careful something like intelligent debate could break out.
  23. RepOfTexas

    RepOfTexas Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    You mean like a crazy conspiracy guest on Coast to Coast? I can see it.
  24. bHero

    bHero Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    People struggle with doubt all the time. Miracles are just one source, mainly because we don't see, or recognize them, in today's society. Noah's flood, Jonah and the whale, the feeding of 5,000, resurrection, hellfire and brimstone... none of that stuff is happening around us today. Reading about it, even if spread over millennia, can make it difficult to swallow. Especially today, with our skepticism rooted and experience-oriented world.

    The philosophical position on miracles, directly in the mathematical middle between naturalists and super-naturalists is "Miracles are possible." The supernaturalist position is miracles are necessary (even in the weak anthropic principal) and the naturalists position is miracles do not occur. To gauge your bias, just judge your visceral response to the question, "Are miracles real?" Mine's clearly pretty far from naturalism. The further you are from the naturalist position, the more faith, and bias, you have in the supernatural.

    I've been doing this for a long time. Not long enough to call myself an expert. But long enough to see my faith grow from being an atheist, to an agnostic, to dipping my toes in the water of belief, to now finding myself believing that what was written, happened. There may be some issues with how we understand the intent of their words, or how they might have grappled with describing what happened (like a neanderthal being handed a cell phone and then carving on stone about it), but I have faith that it is genuinely true, cover to cover.
  25. acreativeusername

    acreativeusername Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    Any video of that? Sounds interesting, like the other video you posted above
  26. Burnt Orange

    Burnt Orange Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

  27. bHero

    bHero Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    2:09 it starts.
    Sam Harris gives the criteria for disproving his argument. After Dr. Craig explains that even though Dr. Harris' using the wrong terminology, he proceed to go ahead and play along and show the logical incoherence. By Harris' criteria, Dr. Craig shows that human well-being and moral "goodness" are not the same thing, even though Sam wrote a book where he asserted the two are.

    Skip ahead to the 8 minute mark unless you want to see an awkward introduction.

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  28. padrehorn11

    padrehorn11 Member Who Talks

    I believe I've experienced what I think was a miracle. Or maybe it's just a crutch my mind used to save my life. Take your choice. But it 'feels' like a miracle from my point of view. Warning: this is all about ME. And Jesus...I believe.

    I'm a recovering alcoholic (9 1/2 years sober). I had suspected it for a long time, but I was a "high functioning" alcoholic so I could deny it to myself plausibly. Looking back on it, I was losing my mind toward the end, but enjoying it...I think. 'Fell in love' with a high-class prostitute (beautiful gal, 1/2 Mexican-American, 1/2 Italian, with hazel eyes you could fall into--turned out though that was because there wasn't anything behind them), got divorced from my second wife, quit working, moved to South Padre Island where so many drunks end up like they were funneled down there, up against the border, and sort of lived the "Leaving Las Vegas" thing. Except I didn't yet know I was dying. Somehow I ended up marrying the prostitute's best friend, who was also an alcoholic, and a mean one to boot. It gets pretty foggy there, but one day, in an alcoholic daze, I found myself with a doctor telling me I had a cirrhotic liver, and if I didn't stop drinking immediately, I'd be dead in maybe two years, five at the outside. There was a good chance that even if I quit drinking I might need a transplant, but unless I sobered up, I wouldn't even be considered for one. So I after a short false start or two, I quit drinking for six months. Then I decided one little drink wouldn't hurt. Soon I was back to the old schedule. I tried again, failed again. Tried AA, but couldn't stand being around a bunch of whining drunks (of course that's not all it is and it has worked for some people, although I think the recidivism rate is pretty high).

    So then I started attending a nearby church. I kept drinking though; church was alright, seen from an alcohol induced haze. Then one Sunday, the Pastor, a recovering alcoholic, told us his story. He was a highly paid engineer with, I think Rockwell, but he started having real problems with his alcoholism. Totaled his 'Vette, lost his job, wife was about to leave him, the whole nine yards. He was forced to try AA, but it wasn't working for him. One day, after an AA meeting, he told his mentor, "Ray", a huge, tattooed , Hell's Angel-looking kind of guy, that it wasn't working for him. Ray asked him, "Have you ever tried praying?" "Well", my Pastor said, "I was raised a Methodist, and I guess I never have denied God or Jesus or anything, but I haven't been to church since I was a kid, and surely I'm too far gone for that to do any good." Ray said, "Try it." So a few days later he told his wife he was going to an AA meeting, but he actually was planning on going to a bar. But then he thought, "ummm, I don't want to try to lie to Ray, or piss him off, so, what hell? I'll give it a try. " So he actually got down on his knees in his bedroom and prayed something like, "Lord, I'm not expecting any help here; I sure don't deserve it, but just maybe, can you help me?" He said it was so still and quiet he could hear the tick of a clock in his bedroom. The clocked ticked again, and he stood up and never had a drink again. Became an ordained minister.

    So after I heard his story, I went home and said, "What the hell? Why not? Nothing else has worked." But it was hard, really hard, to admit that there was something about me I couldn't fix with willpower. I needed help and had to admit that I was indeed powerless in this regard. I didn't eat any mushrooms or anything, but I just...gave myself up to His will, I guess would be the best way of putting it. There wasn't any thunder, no booming voice, not even a quiet whisper in the breeze. But something happened, something changed in me. I stood up, and to this day I've never had another sip of alcohol. Oh yeah, I couldn't live with an active alcoholic, so we divorced and now I live in San Angelo, just down the street from my daughter and her husband, my grandson, and one street over, my first wife. A dog named Zorra is my gal. I'm disgustingly healthy, all things considered, and every day is a a good one.

    This quote by Lawrence Block's detective protagonist, Mathew Scudder, in "When the Sacred Ginmill Closes", sums it up nicely for me.

    "When I look ten years into the past I can say that I would very likely have handled things differently now, but everything is different now. Everything. All changed, changed utterly. I live in the same hotel, I walk the same streets, I go to a fight or a ball game the same as ever, but ten years ago I was always drinking and now I don’t drink at all. I don’t regret a single one of the drinks I took, and I hope to God I never take another.

    Because that, you see, is the less-traveled road on which I find myself these days, and it has made all the difference. Oh, yes. All the difference."

    Yeah, I believe I experienced a miracle first-hand.
  29. Shane3

    Shane3 Member Who Talks (A Lot!)


    I think, but cannot prove, it’s a miracle I’m alive today. One night, when I was 17, I was driving home late. I got more and more tired. The last thing I recall was seeing a freeway sign showing my exit a few miles away. The next thing I knew I had two cops shaking me and asking if I was okay. Right away I had a panicked feeling that I must have fallen asleep at the wheel and maybe killed someone.

    As it turned out, those cops stopped and rescued me because they heard the engine running and they saw my car full of smoke. They thought I was trying to commit suicide but I was being poisoned by an exhaust leak in the floorboard of my old car I didn’t know about.

    I had driven several miles down the freeway and onto regular roads that I don’t remember at all. Then I parked on a side street in a small town here in CA without crashing. If those cops hadn’t driven down that street when they did I would not be here posting 47 years later. That’s just one of the likely miracles where my life has been spared.
  30. W.W. McClyde

    W.W. McClyde Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    God will get you for this, babe.
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  31. W.W. McClyde

    W.W. McClyde Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    I've enjoyed your contribution to the dialogue immensely, my friend. And, I've learned a few things along the way.

    Thanks, babe.
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  32. W.W. McClyde

    W.W. McClyde Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    Thanks for this.
  33. W.W. McClyde

    W.W. McClyde Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    Your belief is well-founded.
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  34. JG

    JG Member Who Talks (A Lot!)

    Seems like you came to believe that a power greater than yourself could restore you to sanity, and He did.

    Congratulations on getting it turned around.

    PS those steps and believing that phrase are the key to making it work, not AA itself.
    bHero likes this.

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