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Post 60

Wednesday, April 7 - 11:41pmSanction this postReply
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Ted, you make discussions unpleasant when there is no need to. You make condescending statements about peoples' motives. When I objected to your discussion of my motives, you called it unmanly.

You used the adjective, "sputtering" when referring to a reply from Bill - who is certainly one of least 'sputtering' posters. When your adjectives demean the product of another's posts it's just an indirect form of an ad hominem attack on the person - and an unpleasant one at that.

You don't answer arguments that are made, but you repeatedly argue that others won't answer your arguments.

These attacks on me went into high gear when I said, "Give me a break" - All that means is that I consider something you said to be highly unlikely and that I consider you capable of better. That's all. But look at what you wrote in reply, "Once again, Steve, no concern with the facts, just emotions, just your "outrage" at my "insult." You could have asked me to explain myself. But instead it was your usual insulting and contemptuous "give me a break" followed by ignorant nonsense based on the assumption that Rand is infallible and knowledge of the facts on your part is unnecessary."

Look at what you've alledged about me because of my "Give me a break":
- You say I am again showing no concern with facts, just emotions
- You say I'm insulting and contemptuous as usual
- You refer to my argument as ignorant nonsense
- You allege I assume Rand is infallible
- You assume I believe knowledge of facts on my part is unnecessary

Why would I want to respond to a post of yours when the return argument is just an attack on my character and my rationality? Why should anyone want to carry on a discussion with you if that is the kind of response they get?

Steve

p.s., I'm curious to see if you respond to this in a way that is forthright, isn't an attack, or a non-sequitur.
(Edited by Steve Wolfer on 4/07, 11:47pm)




Post 61

Thursday, April 8 - 12:06amSanction this postReply
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Wiki has articles on at least 9 explanations of the atonement.

From Wiki:

The resulting Nicene Creed contains no detailed articulation of a doctrine of the atonement. "Redemption did not become a battle ground until the twelfth century."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atonement_(penal_substitution_view)

The "classical view", or ransom view, is summed:

Essentially, this theory claimed that Adam and Eve sold humanity over to the Devil at the time of the Fall; hence, justice required that grace pay the Devil a ransom to free us from the Devil's clutches. God, however, tricked the Devil into accepting Christ's death as a ransom, for the Devil did not realize that Christ could not be held in the bonds of death. Once the Devil accepted Christ's death as a ransom, this theory concluded, justice was satisfied and God was able to free us from Satan's grip.
.......
The Catholic Encyclopedia calls the idea that God must pay the Devil a ransom "certainly startling, if not revolting."
.......
Today, the ransom view of atonement is not widely accepted in the West, except by some Anabaptist peace churches and a few theologians in the Word of Faith movement. However, it remains the official position of the Eastern Orthodox Church.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atonement_(ransom_view)



Post 62

Thursday, April 8 - 12:17amSanction this postReply
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Ted: re your post 54

I was describing the thought processes of orthodox Christian, not endorsing their logic / faith / rationalizations (pick one or more). I don't think Jesus was a perfect being (or a God, or someone who came back from the dead for that matter), and the whipping moneychangers bit is strong evidence of that imperfection, as is the lamentation of "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?".

Though, frankly, I have doubts that Jesus actually said the above, since the various Gospels all have differing versions of what was said (and the oldest versions of Mark, which is generally accepted by scholars as the first draft of the Gospel, don't have a resurrection at all).

That is, since there are hundreds of years that elapsed before the first scraps of the Gospels still in existence were written, there were a lot of generations for the stories to get changed by the oral historians.

The recently discovered Gospel of Thomas seems to embody the earliest versions of what was recorded.



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Post 63

Thursday, April 8 - 12:55amSanction this postReply
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Bill to Ted: "You have continually claimed that orthodox Christianity doesn't regard Christ as morally ideal, but you have provided no evidence for that claim; you've simply asserted it. In post #53, Jim Henshaw asked you, "If you think otherwise, can you provide a link to some prominent orthodox Christian who reflects mainstream Christian beliefs who believes otherwise?"

***

I can assure you that if you invite Mormon missionaries in your house and ask them if the Church regards Christ as morally ideal, they will almost invariably reply yes, Christ was and still is morally ideal.

And here is a direct quote from a past President of the Mormon Church, Heber J. Grant, in a teaching manual that is considered a form of gospel by Mormons: "He came that man might see and know God as he is, for he bore witness that whoever had seen him had seen the Father, for he was the express image of his person [see John 14:7–9; Hebrews 1:3].

He came to teach us the character of God, and by example and precept pointed out the path which, if we walk in it, will lead us back into his presence. He came to break the bands of death with which man was bound, and made possible the resurrection by which the grave is robbed of its victory and death of its sting. 12

In the divine ministry of His life, the Lord proclaimed the Gospel, and as a mortal being He gave us the example of the perfect man."

This unambiguously proclaims the Mormon belief that Jesus was perfect. The link is here:

http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=da135f74db46c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=fd1e97a7c1d20110VgnVCM100000176f620a____

And here is the Catholic Pope speaking:

"In revealing the Father and his way of acting, Jesus at the same time reveals the norms of upright human action. He affirms this connection in an explicit and exemplary way when, in concluding his teaching on loving one's enemies (cf. Mt 5: 43-47), he says: "You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Mt 5: 48).

This divine, divine-human, perfection becomes possible for us if we are closely united with Christ, our Savior."

Immediately followed by this commentary:

"This perfection is possible in this life. It is not some unattainable ideal as some people want us to believe."

The link is at:

http://moraltheology.blogspot.com/2006/05/authentic-moral-action.html

There isn't any Protestant highest authority like the Mormon President or the Catholic Pope, but a bit of googling should turn up similar statements about the alleged perfection of Jesus by some well-known Protestant.





Post 64

Thursday, April 8 - 7:30amSanction this postReply
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Besides, the original Christians were a sect of Jews - it was Paul [Saul] who created it as a separate religion, probably to distance it from the Jewish uprising [see The Mythmaker]...



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Post 65

Thursday, April 8 - 8:46amSanction this postReply
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Steve, questioning your motives after 60 posts where each post you and the others make has an entirely different objection, and no direct question of mine is ever answered, is hardly insulting you or your motives. You use the word insult all too easily. I truly cannot understand and hence do question why you cannot even grant the logical possibility that Rand is wrong here.

So what if Rand's description of the reason why Jesus died for our sins, because he was the Messiah, the Son of God, (ever heard that phrase?) not just some morally perfect human, is inaccurate? Not only do you refuse to countenance the possibility that she was wrong on this matter of fact, you don't even do me the courtesy of separating her description of what the belief is from her objection to the justness of the sacrifice. You keep acting if the latter is the question at hand, and as if I haven't agreed with her totally.

As for your snide remarks about scholarship, etc., how am I to take that other than as either anti-intellectualism or a sarcastic implication that the mere unsupported opinions of Objectivists carry more weight than references to actual creeds? Those are the arguments of relativists and intellectual cowards, not Objectivists.

Rand was wrong in her statement of fact. My pointing out her error is not disloyalty to her, it is loyalty to objective reality.

(Edited by Ted Keer on 4/08, 1:13pm)




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Post 66

Thursday, April 8 - 9:52amSanction this postReply
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Ted,

You choose to frame this whole discussion with me in false, cartoonish stereotypes. You - the pained and unappreciated scholar, attacked for merely pointing out an minor error. Me, the naive, uneducated true-believer who is instantly thrown into attack mode by the very implication that Rand might be fallible. Please note that however comforting you might find that, it does not constitute a valid argument any more than it represents the factual nature of things.
------------

You refer to 60 posts where I and others make entirely different objections. Wrong. We have made several objections to your assertions.

You say that no direct question of yours has been answered. Wrong. You've been answered - just read the posts.

You said, "So what if Rand's description of the reason why Jesus died for our sins, because he was the Messiah, the Son of God, (ever herad that phrase?) not just some morally perfect human, is inaccurate? Not only do you refuse to countenance the possibility that she was wrong on this matter of fact, you don't even do me the courtesy of separating her description of what the belief is from her objection to the justness of the sacrifice. You keep acting if the latter is the question at hand, and as if I haven't agreed with her totally."

1. You are the one who has claimed some inaccuracy that in fact doesn't exist, and it is you who won't let go of this.
2. You are the one who brought up the silly notion of Rand being infallible.
3. You are the one who implies that I'm incapable of conceiving that Rand might be wrong.
4. You claim I don't do you the courtesy of separating her description into its component parts - wrong, read my posts again. I separated it more deeply than you by dissecting it into implied purpose and mechanism to accomplish the purpose.
----------

You said, "You use the word insult all too easily."

Look at what you've alledged about me because of my "Give me a break":
- You say I am again showing no concern with facts, just emotions
- You say I'm insulting and contemptuous as usual
- You refer to my argument as ignorant nonsense
- You allege I assume Rand is infallible
- You assume I believe knowledge of facts on my part is unnecessary

You said, "As for your snide remarks about scholarship, etc., how am I to take that other than as either anti-intellectualism or a sarcastic implication that the mere unsupported opinions of Objectivists carry more weight than references to actual creeds? Those are the arguments of relativists and intellectual cowards, not Objectivists."

You'll note that you raised the issue of scholars, not me. You'll note that I haven't attacked scholars or scholarship as such (with the possible exception of those who attempt to make faith-based, mystical belief system appear rational.) But now you brand me as an anti-intellectual spouting unsupported opinions... a relativist and intellectual coward.

Are you unwilling to acknowledge the insults, that attacks on me that I've shown here in your own words?




Post 67

Thursday, April 8 - 12:36pmSanction this postReply
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Rand granted the existence of fully self-consistent logical systems which were divorced from reality: systems based on faulty premises.  Thus the admonition "check your premises".  It is a game that lacks purpose in my view to attack the "logic" of a closed system by using "Objectivist" premises in place of the premises of the practitioners of the closed system.  Sanctions to Ted.



Post 68

Thursday, April 8 - 1:08pmSanction this postReply
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I am not the issue here, Steve. The factuality of Rand's statement is. Your inability to provide a consistent opinion, acknowledge direct questions, and address the issue rather than your emotions is the most obscenely embarrassing of spectacles from a self-described Objectivist on a philosophical forum.

You have not been able in the last six months to carry on a debate without making it a referendum on whether I may have hurt your feelings. It long ago became obvious that this is a ploy. Your first post on this thread was an arbitrary assertion backed up by nothing but contempt. I won't pretend its is civil debate. I won't refrain from pointing it out to you. Scream as loud as you like, you haven't heard a profanity from me and I haven't expressed a single opinion of your nonsense that I can't explain or provide evidence for.

This debate will be over the second you produce some orthodox statement according to Christian philosophy which says Jesus was sacrificed because he was a morally ideal human.

That evidence has been very long in coming. In the meantime, do you really expect me to take seriously arguments that Rand didn't mean theology when she said Christian philosophy in the context of the death and resurrection of the Messiah? Do you really expect me to take seriously the statement that since he was God his will was above morality as a proof that Jesus was a morally ideal human? You (pl) offer randdom opinions like this to see if they stick and then leave them on the floor and step over them in silence when it is pointed out that they have fallen to the floor. Then you complain that I insult your housekeeping. Your housekeeping stinks.

Do you think there is any circumstance where I will accept your emotions as evidence of my character? Your miscalculation is that I don't accept a moral code where my pointing out your nonsense in clear terms and with the appropriate labels should make me feel guilty for "insulting" you.

If I am simply wrong, why do you feel the need to continue this? Why can you not accept that their are two issues here, Rand's statement of fact regarding Christian belief, and her opinion of the morality of his sacrifice. She can be mistaken on the first and correct on the second. What blasphemy, other than that, do you think I am saying?

Rand's characterization of Christian philosophy is mistaken in this instance. Christ was the Son of God, the Messiah, and it is that sacrifice that redeemed mankind, not the sacrifice of some mere human who got an 800 on the moral section of his SAT's.

That won't change no matter what font enhancement you use.





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Post 69

Thursday, April 8 - 1:37pmSanction this postReply
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Ted,

You are RoR's biggest mixed blessing. At one and the same time a deeply educated, very bright, creative, and energetic poster who contributes more content than anyone else, AND a serious blight on this forum for your continuing character attacks on those who disagree with you - and to such an extent that you alone have driven more people away from this forum since I've been here than anyone else.

The original issue - the bit of Christian theology you get so wound up over is of no consequence to me. You still misstate my argument. We still disagree. But the larger issue has become your manner of responding.

Your feelings were so wounded six months ago when I said that you were behaving in a mean-spirited way (a statement, which at your urging, I had removed after receipt of your email pleas), that you no longer can even see me except though some sort of long-lasting anger. It isn't MY emotions that are an issue.

Like many others before me, the time will come when I'll decide that posting here isn't worth having to defend my character or tip toe about to protect your feelings or having to accept that RoR participation regularly includes irrational ad hominem arguments. Eventually you will have a site that only you and a few loyal supporters participate in.



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Post 70

Thursday, April 8 - 5:14pmSanction this postReply
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And?

I don't exist for your benefit.

Rand's statement of what Christians believe about the nature of Jesus' sacrifice is incorrect.




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Post 71

Thursday, April 8 - 6:16pmSanction this postReply
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Ted,

Rand's statement of what Christians believe about the nature of Jesus' sacrifice is incorrect.
No, Ted, that would contradict the facts presented in Jim's post 63 (and contradictions don't exist).


Ed





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Post 72

Thursday, April 8 - 6:43pmSanction this postReply
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More from wiki:

Most adherents of the Christian faith believe that Jesus was both human and the Son of God: God in human form—sharing human frailties and temptations but never acting on them, only seeking to do the will of His father in heaven, never once seeking to make Himself happy in any way but willfully submitting to God as a man, never doing what He wanted to do but what He saw His Father in heaven doing. .................While there have been theological disputes over the nature of Jesus, Trinitarian Christians generally believe that Jesus is God incarnate, God the Son, and "true God and true man" (or both fully divine and fully human). Jesus, having become fully human in all respects, suffered the pains and temptations of a mortal man, yet he did not sin. [Bold mine]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_views_of_Jesus

(Edited by Doug Fischer on 4/08, 6:44pm)




Post 73

Thursday, April 8 - 6:59pmSanction this postReply
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The point is more specific, Ed. None of Jim's quotes has anyone say that the reason Jesus was sacrificed was because of his human moral perfection, as opposed to the fact that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God. Rand's criticism is based on a secularization of the event and her projection of that secular viewpoint (morally ideal) rather than the messianic viewpoint (Son of God, born without sin) into the believer's mindset. What mattered was the divinity, not the human ideality. Christian philosophy does not hold that if, say, you yourself were morally perfect, and were willing to die on the cross, your sacrifice as a morally ideal human would redeem mankind. It is a confusion to characterize a metaphysics of supernatural grace as a belief in the saving power of Jesus' moral perfection.

Let me know if that is not clear.

As an aside, search of the King James Bible returns 1114 refernces to "good," 748 references to "evil," 191 matches to "grace," 1447 matches to the word "sin," and zero matches to the words moral or immoral or morality or immorality or ideal. The concept of morality has nothing to do with redemption by God's grace.








Post 74

Thursday, April 8 - 7:08pmSanction this postReply
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Thanks for the issue-focussed reference to some external material, Doug. The relevant word you have quoted is "sin." That does not mean immorality. When Jesus, who preached nonviolence, overturned the money changers tables and whipped them he was not breaking any commandment in the Torah. But again, that is a side issue. The crucifixion is about grace, not killing the human with the best score on the morality SAT's for the sake of the low scorers.



(Edited by Ted Keer on 4/08, 7:09pm)




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Post 75

Thursday, April 8 - 7:33pmSanction this postReply
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Ted, I'm having trouble finding a source that is clear on this point.



As a weak support to Ted's argument, at least a few Christian sects do profess that good people, without Christ, are not saved, and that bad people, with Christ, are saved.  This lends credence to his point that christianity is not about morality, but is not sufficient to prove anything.  I always thought this was more of a baptist thing, not orthodox, but I grew up with a mormon indoctrination =\



To Jim and others who may want to use Mormon theology as evidence,

The point above is one reason Christians have been hostile to the acceptance of Mormons as Christian.  The argument goes that since Mormon salvation depends on personal virtue, people can save themselves, without Christ.  the Mormon response is that there are two conditions for salvation, christ and virtue.

The fact that there is still hostility in accepting Mormons as Christians serves as another indication there may be something to Ted's argument.
(Edited by Doug Fischer on 4/08, 7:37pm)




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Post 76

Thursday, April 8 - 7:45pmSanction this postReply
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from http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=sin


sin (n.) Look up sin at Dictionary.com
O.E. synn "moral wrongdoing, offense against God, misdeed," from P.Gmc. *sundjo (cf. O.S. sundia, O.Fris. sende, M.Du. sonde, Ger. Sünde "sin, transgression, trespass, offense"), probably ult. "true" (cf. Goth. sonjis, O.N. sannr "true"), from PIE *es-ont-, prp. of base *es- "to be" (see is). The semantic development is via notion of "to be truly the one (who is guilty)," as in O.N. phrase verđ sannr at "be found guilty of," and the use of the phrase "it is being" in Hittite confessional formula. The same process probably yielded the L. word sons (gen. sontis) "guilty, criminal" from prp. of sum, esse "to be, that which is." Some etymologists believe the Gmc. word was an early borrowing directly from the L. genitive. Sin-eater is attested from 1686. To live in sin "cohabit without marriage" is from 1838. Ice hockey slang sin bin "penalty box" is attested from 1950.




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Post 77

Thursday, April 8 - 8:04pmSanction this postReply
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Doug said" "at least a few Christian sects do profess that good people, without Christ, are not saved, and that bad people, with Christ, are saved." Except for your underestimation of the number of sect that hold that belief you are exactly correct, both in its relevance and in its implications. It is the doctrine of Sola Fide, justification by faith alone. I was going to mention it myself but deleted it from the last post to avoid raising too many issues at once. Luther first formulated the principle explicitly, based upon his interpretation of Paul. To its credit the Catholic church at first opposed it as anathema (See Epistle of James "What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can such faith save him?") but in 1999 adopted modified stance.





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Post 78

Thursday, April 8 - 8:23pmSanction this postReply
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Thanks Doug, for posting the scholarly etymology of the word "sin."

(You can also see the interesting culture note in Watkin's Etymological Dictionary to which I have referred before. Click here and then arrow forward to p24.)

Not coming directly form the Hebrew or Aramaic it is not strictly helpful. In any case the original sense as used in the Bible means an offense against a commandment. For instance, it is a sin according to the Torah to wear certain blended weaves. That's hardly a moral issue in the sense Rand was using the word. The concept of objective morality hardly exists in the Old Testament.

===

Wikipedia:

In the Jewish religion, the only law concerning which fabrics may be interwoven together in clothing is one which concerns the mixture of linen and wool. This mixture is called shaatnez and is clearly restricted in Deuteronomy 22:11 "Thou shalt not wear a mingled stuff, wool and linen together" and Leviticus 19:19, "'...neither shall there come upon thee a garment of two kinds of stuff mingled together.'" There is no explanation for this in the Torah itself and is categorized as a type of law known as chukim, a statute beyond man's ability to comprehend.[11] Josephus suggested that the reason for the prohibition was to keep the laity from wearing the official garb of the priests.[12] while Maimonides thought that the reason was because heathen priests wore such mixed garments.[13] Others explain that it is because God often forbids mixtures of disparate kinds, not designed by God to be compatible in a certain way, with mixing animal and vegetable fibers being similar to having two different types of plowing animals yoked together. And that such commands serve both a practical as well as allegorical purpose, perhaps here preventing a priestly garment that would cause discomfort (or excessive sweat) in a hot climate,[14]
[edit]



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Post 79

Thursday, April 8 - 8:55pmSanction this postReply
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You guys are so silly. What's all this arguing over bullshit about a failed belief system?

If we are to believe the Bible those dopey Hebrew assholes were sacrificing everything good to a jerk god who kicked them around for whining too damn much.

Then a new crop of assholes (AH2.0) came along and decided that another asshole named Jesus H. Christ was God's own son and he could take the place, forever and always, of the stuff the assholes before them were wasting on the jerk god.

AH2.0 thought they were finished with all that jazz when along came yet another group of assholes who let them in on the secret - god is never happy and never will be. Give up your goats and lambs; not enough. Your perfect man (who is also my son and me at the same time e'h); not enough. Your money, your time, your prayers, your hopes and dreams and all those desires and wishes you had as a young boy? Fuck no. NOT ENOUGH.

So who a gives a good god damn if Father Rand got the facts on this wrong? As I see it, there are no facts worth looking at when it comes to these sick and morally twisted Jews and Christians other than the very plain and simple fact which bashes anyone in the face who's got enough sense to rub two penny's together: God is an asshole. His followers are assholes. His book is a guide for being a really super asshole. Jesus, his only begotten son, is an asshole.


(BTW, as much as I hate to do this I must. Ted is right, though it's bizarre how and you will never figure it out through this argument. Here's the problem though, Rand is right too. God how you really gotta love faith.)



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