The ‘I’m a Good Person’ People

 

How do you know you’re living in a post-Christian, neo-pagan society? How many times have you heard someone say, “I’m a good person,” or even, “He’s a good person?” This is essentially a judgment about the state of someone’s soul, which we Christians believe is only discernable by One Judge, and He ain’t you or me.

The “I’m a good person” people are mainly, although not always, on the secular Left. Their piety is put into practice with woke-ism rather than Protestantism or Catholicism, for example, although sometimes Christians stray so far left, you’ll hear the same self-assessment coming from them. Secularists on the Right who say such things are generally people who assess themselves good because they’ve mainly avoided disordered behaviors (in religious terms, “sins”) they’re not terribly attracted to, while carrying on with the ones they prefer, guilt-free. These are the “I may regularly sodomize the person I ‘love,’ but I believe in your right to your freedom of religion and free speech and, oh, incidentally, I haven’t murdered anyone” people.  Let’s just say the standards they set for themselves could be a little higher, even if they go unmet, like in the case of, oh, 100% of Christians.

Faithful Christians, while recognizing the value of every human life made in the image and likeness of God and made to be good (made to share in the Beatific Vision), will address each other as “my fellow sinner” as Bishop Barron does in his sermon on the Prodigal Son. We know we’re falling short of the good God intends for us.

These thoughts on “good person” people, neo-paganism, and ancient paganism contra Christianity come from the appended videos, which I think you’ll find worth your time, wherever you are on the religious-pagan spectrum. The Joe Heschmeyer clip includes an amusing reflection on the title of this post*. Namely, if you ask an “I’m a good person” person if he deserves the Presidential Medal of Freedom or the Nobel Prize, he’ll say, “obviously not.” But, if you then ask him if he’s going to heaven because he’s a “good person,” he’s pretty comfortable answering “yes,” with no sense of irony that he believes himself deserving of nothing less than eternal bliss! Oh, really? Huh.

Gary Michuta’s book Revolt Against Reality sounds like another one I’ll have to buy and be too distracted to finish (squirrel!), but it addresses the ethical hinge of history that was the Incarnation. In his conversation with Cy Kellett, he starts by saying the effects can reveal the cause. How did the world change by the life, passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ? The ramifications are too many and too profound to cover in a reasonable length post, but start with how women and children were viewed with the advent of Christianity. Rather than being property of men, as pagans believed, women and children became valued as other children of God, with all the inherent dignity that entails. Christians (especially Catholics) are accused of oppressing women and wanting to keep us “barefoot and pregnant.” The opposite is true, and in the case of Catholics, it’s most evident in the devotion to the Blessed Mother. Women were elevated by the Incarnation, not diminished.

Take also, science. Science developed in the Christian West because of the belief that God is coherent and consistent within Himself — and that He made the world intelligible. Why bother to try to understand it otherwise? This realization was one of the prime motivating factors for my reversion to the faith of my fathers.

No examples that could be given of the radical change in ethics with Christianity will be exempt from Christians acting badly (we’re all sinners). As apologist Joe Heschmeyer says, the sins of individual Catholics are not the result of them acting “too” Catholic, but rather not Catholic enough!

*Joe has some profound thoughts on the built-in need for humans to make sacrifices that still pertain to the secular Left today (pssst — human nature is unchanging, pass it on). Their sacrifices just take the form of recycling or putting a COEXIST sticker on their bumper.

.

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  1. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Eustace C. Scrubb (View Comment):

    “Good teacher, what must one do to inherit eternal life?”

    “Why do you call me ‘good’? No one is good, but God alone.”

    I’ll bite.

    Ex. 2:2 The woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw how good he was, she hid him for three months.

    Num. 24:5 How goodly are your tents, O Jacob, Your dwellings, O Israel!

    • #91
  2. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    The examples I brought are indeed counterexamples, but they are uncommon. In the main, the Torah uses  “good” as a label for things G-d does, for words that people speak, and for actions that we take.

    We are, in essence, defined by our choices. And yes, they most surely can be good.

    Note that not even all of G-d’s choices are called “good,” even when He is creating the world and judging His actions as He proceeds.

     

    • #92
  3. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    J Climacus (View Comment):

    The reason moderns find Aquinas’s view shocking is that they don’t take God or our eternal destinies to be serious subjects.

    I think our eternal destinies are serious subjects. However, I doubt that many Catholics would supporting having someone put to death for publicly professing that Islam is a false religion, despite the fact that many Muslims believe that to state such a thing results in eternal damnation.

    The lack of consensus regarding the nature of heaven and hell, what types of people ascend to heaven and what types of people descend to hell and other related issues is, perhaps, why moderns find Aquinas’s view shocking.

    In modern times, each person is allowed to subscribe to whatever religious beliefs they want. Even heretics enjoy basic human rights, including the right not to be burned at the stake by someone claiming to be a defender of the one true faith.

    So, the member of the Church of Latter Day Saints in 2022 is not subject to the same level of persecution that Unitarian Michael Servetus was subjected to.

    So? “The lack of consensus regarding the nature of heaven and hell, what types of people ascend to heaven and what types of people descend to hell and other related issues is, perhaps, why moderns find Aquinas’s view shocking.”  This is relativism.  Reality isn’t based on a consensus.  What does that have to do with anything?  It doesn’t mean they are correct.  I’ll put my money on Thomas Aquinas any day.

    • #93
  4. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    J Climacus (View Comment):

    The “I’m a good person” often goes along with “spiritual, but not religious.” Which typically means membership in The Holy Church of the Self.

    There is nothing I snicker more at than those who say they are spiritual but not religious.  Hahaha.  What dribble.  It’s so inane that it’s hilarious.

    • #94
  5. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    J Climacus (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    You know, honestly, all religions function on faith rather than reason. I’m not sure subjecting any of them to the test(s) of reason is engaging with their core issue.

    Is it certain that faith and reason are opposed? Is it possible that one might have good reasons for embracing faith or, conversely, that reason might, in certain circumstances at least, require faith?

    They are not opposed.  The scientism has to rely on the supposition that something can be created from nothing.  That is pure lack of reason.  So it’s not the religious who are lacking reason.  It’s the atheists.  

    • #95
  6. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    HeavyWater (View Comment):
    But I don’t have much faith in someone who says, “Jesus rose from the dead.”  I think that anyone who really believes that Jesus rose from the dead is mistaken.  I have listened to numerous debates over whether Jesus really did rise from the dead.  But I remain unconvinced that Jesus actually did rise from the dead, despite the sincere belief in those who say Jesus did rise from the dead.  

    What nonsense.  All the eyewitnesses are not here to testify.  How do you know Julius Caesar was murdered?  By the Senate?  in 44BC?  You know that not because you have interviewed anyone or witnessed it yourself.  You know that because the people who did witness it wrote it down.  Same thing with Jesus Christ.  People who followed Jesus gave their lives as martyrs because they believed he died and rose again.  I have more faith in that fact than in the political murder of a dictator.  How much about politics do you really believe even here today?  We can’t even agree about what happened in the last election.  And you’re going to tell me you believe the politics of something in 44 BC?  Pulease.

    • #96
  7. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Zafar (View Comment):

    J Climacus (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    You know, honestly, all religions function on faith rather than reason. I’m not sure subjecting any of them to the test(s) of reason is engaging with their core issue.

    Is it certain that faith and reason are opposed? Is it possible that one might have good reasons for embracing faith or, conversely, that reason might, in certain circumstances at least, require faith?

    Sure. Where faith comes in is the starting assumption that God exists. (Reason – used her as a more materialist approach to reality – also has a starting assumption, it’s just different.)

    Actually that’s not based on faith.  That’s based on the fact that creation has occurred and there is no other possibility of something coming from nothing.  That’s not faith.  That’s a derived understanding of the universe.

    • #97
  8. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    You guys really need to watch the Peterson-Robinson video linked above, and engage with the proponents of faith and reason, which is a particularly strong tradition in the Catholic church.

    I ended up watching both of them. Do you think Christianity’s development reflects its Greco-Roman cultural context? Meaning there are a lot of ‘pagans’, how would Christianity look if it had developed in the context of India, or China, or Meso-America?

    I didn’t watch the video but if it is saying or implying that Christianity developed out of Greco-Roman paganism it is flat out wrong.  Christianity used Greco-Roman reasoning and rhetorical methodologies but there is nothing in Christianity that is pagan.  Nothing.  It is a pure development from Judaism.  There is nothing in the New Testament that is based on paganism.  It is absolutely a development in every respect from the Old Testament.  

    • #98
  9. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Django (View Comment):

    Did Jesus or did he not tell his disciples to spread “the good news”? Did he or did he not say that “no one comes to the Father except through me”?

    John 14:6-7

    “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

    This statement is only found in the gospel of John but not in the synoptic gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke.

    My sense is that Jesus never said what was attributed to him in John 14:6-7, but, rather, this was part of theological development during the latter part of the 1st century.

    As for whether he told his disciples to spread the “good news,” this could also be part of latter theological development and not part of “the real Jesus’s” actual ministry.

    Obviously Christians are likely to disagree with the idea that Jesus was a failed apocalyptic prophet. They are likely to read the “red letters” in their Bible (the words Jesus supposedly spoke) and try very hard to apply Jesus’s words/sermons/parables to their life.

     

    “My sense is that Jesus never said…”

    When did you become a Biblical scholar?  Your sense?  What exactly is your sense built from?  Why would your sense have any credibility compared to scholars with all sorts of degrees who have read the texts in the originals, read countless commentary and written books on it htemselves?  Do yourself a favor: read up on scholars such as John Bergsma, Scott Hahn, N.T. Wright, and Brant Pitre.  And frankly, so what it’s in one Gospel and not in the others?  That proves nothing.

    • #99
  10. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Manny (View Comment):

    J Climacus (View Comment):

    The “I’m a good person” often goes along with “spiritual, but not religious.” Which typically means membership in The Holy Church of the Self.

    There is nothing I snicker more at than those who say they are spiritual but not religious. Hahaha. What dribble. It’s so inane that it’s hilarious.

    It is almost as funny as materialists who pass judgments on abstract values such as “good” and “bad.”

    • #100
  11. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Manny (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Django (View Comment):

    Did Jesus or did he not tell his disciples to spread “the good news”? Did he or did he not say that “no one comes to the Father except through me”?

    John 14:6-7

    “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

    This statement is only found in the gospel of John but not in the synoptic gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke.

    My sense is that Jesus never said what was attributed to him in John 14:6-7, but, rather, this was part of theological development during the latter part of the 1st century.

    As for whether he told his disciples to spread the “good news,” this could also be part of latter theological development and not part of “the real Jesus’s” actual ministry.

    Obviously Christians are likely to disagree with the idea that Jesus was a failed apocalyptic prophet. They are likely to read the “red letters” in their Bible (the words Jesus supposedly spoke) and try very hard to apply Jesus’s words/sermons/parables to their life.

     

    “My sense is that Jesus never said…”

    When did you become a Biblical scholar? Your sense? What exactly is your sense built from? Why would your sense have any credibility compared to scholars with all sorts of degrees who have read the texts in the originals, read countless commentary and written books on it htemselves? Do yourself a favor: read up on scholars such as John Bergsma, Scott Hahn, N.T. Wright, and Brant Pitre. And frankly, so what it’s in one Gospel and not in the others? That proves nothing.

    He is superior to superstitious louts. Just ask him and he’ll tell you so.

    • #101
  12. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Percival (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    J Climacus (View Comment):

    The “I’m a good person” often goes along with “spiritual, but not religious.” Which typically means membership in The Holy Church of the Self.

    There is nothing I snicker more at than those who say they are spiritual but not religious. Hahaha. What dribble. It’s so inane that it’s hilarious.

    It is almost as funny as materialists who pass judgments on abstract values such as “good” and “bad.”

    Yes.  Or try to establish right and wrong.  

    • #102
  13. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Manny (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    You guys really need to watch the Peterson-Robinson video linked above, and engage with the proponents of faith and reason, which is a particularly strong tradition in the Catholic church.

    I ended up watching both of them. Do you think Christianity’s development reflects its Greco-Roman cultural context? Meaning there are a lot of ‘pagans’, how would Christianity look if it had developed in the context of India, or China, or Meso-America?

    I didn’t watch the video but if it is saying or implying that Christianity developed out of Greco-Roman paganism it is flat out wrong. Christianity used Greco-Roman reasoning and rhetorical methodologies but there is nothing in Christianity that is pagan. Nothing. It is a pure development from Judaism. There is nothing in the New Testament that is based on paganism. It is absolutely a development in every respect from the Old Testament.

    Peace Manny, it didn’t say that at all and neither was I.

    Also – why does the Big Bang require God? You say the world can’t come from nothing without God.  Why not?

    • #103
  14. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    You guys really need to watch the Peterson-Robinson video linked above, and engage with the proponents of faith and reason, which is a particularly strong tradition in the Catholic church.

    I ended up watching both of them. Do you think Christianity’s development reflects its Greco-Roman cultural context? Meaning there are a lot of ‘pagans’, how would Christianity look if it had developed in the context of India, or China, or Meso-America?

    I didn’t watch the video but if it is saying or implying that Christianity developed out of Greco-Roman paganism it is flat out wrong. Christianity used Greco-Roman reasoning and rhetorical methodologies but there is nothing in Christianity that is pagan. Nothing. It is a pure development from Judaism. There is nothing in the New Testament that is based on paganism. It is absolutely a development in every respect from the Old Testament.

    Peace Manny, it didn’t say that at all and neither was I.

    Also – why does the Big Bang require God? You say the world can’t come from nothing without God. Why not?

    Getting something – anything – from nothing is nigh on impossible. How do you get everything from nothing?

    • #104
  15. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    You guys really need to watch the Peterson-Robinson video linked above, and engage with the proponents of faith and reason, which is a particularly strong tradition in the Catholic church.

    I ended up watching both of them. Do you think Christianity’s development reflects its Greco-Roman cultural context? Meaning there are a lot of ‘pagans’, how would Christianity look if it had developed in the context of India, or China, or Meso-America?

    I didn’t watch the video but if it is saying or implying that Christianity developed out of Greco-Roman paganism it is flat out wrong. Christianity used Greco-Roman reasoning and rhetorical methodologies but there is nothing in Christianity that is pagan. Nothing. It is a pure development from Judaism. There is nothing in the New Testament that is based on paganism. It is absolutely a development in every respect from the Old Testament.

    Peace Manny, it didn’t say that at all and neither was I.

    Also – why does the Big Bang require God? You say the world can’t come from nothing without God. Why not?

    Material does not get generated from an absolute void.  Or energy for that matter.  The big bang was not the first cause, to use the language of Thomas Aquinas.  Something had to be created first.

    • #105
  16. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    Manny (View Comment):

    J Climacus (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    You know, honestly, all religions function on faith rather than reason. I’m not sure subjecting any of them to the test(s) of reason is engaging with their core issue.

    Is it certain that faith and reason are opposed? Is it possible that one might have good reasons for embracing faith or, conversely, that reason might, in certain circumstances at least, require faith?

    They are not opposed. The scientism has to rely on the supposition that something can be created from nothing. That is pure lack of reason. So it’s not the religious who are lacking reason. It’s the atheists.

    Or, to use a metaphor borrowed I think from Chesterton, faith and reason are opposed only in the way a thumb and a forefinger are opposed: so that you may firmly grasp things with them.

    And you are right about atheists: They are the most deeply irrational people when confronted  with evidence of the resurrection, historical reliability, design in nature, modern miracles, etc. In the last case, we have hundreds of millions of accounts,  going back centuries, of healings, visions, prophecies, answered prayer, and so forth attesting to the truth of Jesus identity as the risen Messiah and savior, and if even one half of one hudredth of them are truh, atheism fails on an evidentiary basis. But they suddenly decide all that empirical evidence does not matter when it contradicts their apriori anti-supernaturalism. I will believe my own medical reports,those of Dani who is no longer wheelchair bound, and numerous others I know personally, not to mention written and video testimonies from all over the globe, and not the ignorant, knee-jerk, irrational responses of people who are falsely claiming to represent rationality.

    • #106
  17. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    You guys really need to watch the Peterson-Robinson video linked above, and engage with the proponents of faith and reason, which is a particularly strong tradition in the Catholic church.

    I ended up watching both of them. Do you think Christianity’s development reflects its Greco-Roman cultural context? Meaning there are a lot of ‘pagans’, how would Christianity look if it had developed in the context of India, or China, or Meso-America?

    I didn’t watch the video but if it is saying or implying that Christianity developed out of Greco-Roman paganism it is flat out wrong. Christianity used Greco-Roman reasoning and rhetorical methodologies but there is nothing in Christianity that is pagan. Nothing. It is a pure development from Judaism. There is nothing in the New Testament that is based on paganism. It is absolutely a development in every respect from the Old Testament.

    Peace Manny, it didn’t say that at all and neither was I.

    Also – why does the Big Bang require God? You say the world can’t come from nothing without God. Why not?

    Because nothing is nothing. No thing. Nichts da. It has by its very definition no causal power because it does not exist, it is non-existent. Larry Krauss is exceedingly stupid on this point. A quantum vacuum fluctuation is something…so where did the quantum vacuum membrane come from? Is it eternally pre-existent? The CMBR data says “no”. 

    • #107
  18. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    FWIW, I think the book is worth reading and the interview is worth watching. 

     

    • #108
  19. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    Manny (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):
    But I don’t have much faith in someone who says, “Jesus rose from the dead.” I think that anyone who really believes that Jesus rose from the dead is mistaken. I have listened to numerous debates over whether Jesus really did rise from the dead. But I remain unconvinced that Jesus actually did rise from the dead, despite the sincere belief in those who say Jesus did rise from the dead.

    What nonsense. All the eyewitnesses are not here to testify. How do you know Julius Caesar was murdered? By the Senate? in 44BC? You know that not because you have interviewed anyone or witnessed it yourself. You know that because the people who did witness it wrote it down. Same thing with Jesus Christ. People who followed Jesus gave their lives as martyrs because they believed he died and rose again. I have more faith in that fact than in the political murder of a dictator. How much about politics do you really believe even here today? We can’t even agree about what happened in the last election. And you’re going to tell me you believe the politics of something in 44 BC? Pulease.

    Sometimes people write about events that didn’t actually happen or happened a bit differently than described by the witness.  Sometimes people give oral testimonies, describing events that didn’t actually happen or happened a bit differently than described by the witness.

    The fact that testimonies can be incorrect, either mistaken or purposely misleading, is one of the reasons why, in our courts of law, we have an adversarial system in which witnesses can be cross examined.  And even then we know that occasionally jurors, after listening to all of the evidence presented to them, end up putting someone in prison who is exonerated later based on DNA evidence.

    Historians often disagree over what actually happened in the past, even as these historians look at the same testimonies, the same written documents, the same evidence.

    I think you are mistaken in your belief that Jesus rose from the dead.

    So, just because the four canonical gospels present Jesus as having rose from the dead does not mean that Jesus actually did rise from the dead.  If you think that it logically follows that Jesus rose from the dead from the fact that we have manuscripts where it is written that Jesus rose from the dead, then I think your epistemology is flawed.   But you are entitled to your epistemology just as I am entitled to mine.

    • #109
  20. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    Manny (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    J Climacus (View Comment):

    The reason moderns find Aquinas’s view shocking is that they don’t take God or our eternal destinies to be serious subjects.

    I think our eternal destinies are serious subjects. However, I doubt that many Catholics would supporting having someone put to death for publicly professing that Islam is a false religion, despite the fact that many Muslims believe that to state such a thing results in eternal damnation.

    The lack of consensus regarding the nature of heaven and hell, what types of people ascend to heaven and what types of people descend to hell and other related issues is, perhaps, why moderns find Aquinas’s view shocking.

    In modern times, each person is allowed to subscribe to whatever religious beliefs they want. Even heretics enjoy basic human rights, including the right not to be burned at the stake by someone claiming to be a defender of the one true faith.

    So, the member of the Church of Latter Day Saints in 2022 is not subject to the same level of persecution that Unitarian Michael Servetus was subjected to.

    So? “The lack of consensus regarding the nature of heaven and hell, what types of people ascend to heaven and what types of people descend to hell and other related issues is, perhaps, why moderns find Aquinas’s view shocking.” This is relativism. Reality isn’t based on a consensus. What does that have to do with anything? It doesn’t mean they are correct. I’ll put my money on Thomas Aquinas any day.

    I agree that reality isn’t based on consensus.  

    I won’t put my money on Thomas Aquinas if that means desiring to live in a society where Aquinas’s views about putting heretics to death is the law of the land.  I would rather live in the society I live in today where people can express varied viewpoints regarding theology and not be put to death. 

    • #110
  21. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    Manny (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Django (View Comment):

    Did Jesus or did he not tell his disciples to spread “the good news”? Did he or did he not say that “no one comes to the Father except through me”?

    John 14:6-7

    “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

    This statement is only found in the gospel of John but not in the synoptic gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke.

    My sense is that Jesus never said what was attributed to him in John 14:6-7, but, rather, this was part of theological development during the latter part of the 1st century.

    As for whether he told his disciples to spread the “good news,” this could also be part of latter theological development and not part of “the real Jesus’s” actual ministry.

    Obviously Christians are likely to disagree with the idea that Jesus was a failed apocalyptic prophet. They are likely to read the “red letters” in their Bible (the words Jesus supposedly spoke) and try very hard to apply Jesus’s words/sermons/parables to their life.

     

    “My sense is that Jesus never said…”

    When did you become a Biblical scholar? Your sense? What exactly is your sense built from? Why would your sense have any credibility compared to scholars with all sorts of degrees who have read the texts in the originals, read countless commentary and written books on it htemselves? Do yourself a favor: read up on scholars such as John Bergsma, Scott Hahn, N.T. Wright, and Brant Pitre. And frankly, so what it’s in one Gospel and not in the others? That proves nothing.

    I am not a New Testament scholar.  You got me there.  But my bet is that you aren’t a New Testament scholar either.  

    I have read books written by New Testament scholars and I have watched dozens of debates featuring New Testament scholars where they discuss the evidence for Jesus’s resurrection.  

    That doesn’t make me an expert, I agree.  But the large majority of people who have any opinion regarding Jesus’s resurrection aren’t scholars or experts.  

    • #111
  22. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    You guys really need to watch the Peterson-Robinson video linked above, and engage with the proponents of faith and reason, which is a particularly strong tradition in the Catholic church.

    I ended up watching both of them. Do you think Christianity’s development reflects its Greco-Roman cultural context? Meaning there are a lot of ‘pagans’, how would Christianity look if it had developed in the context of India, or China, or Meso-America?

    I didn’t watch the video but if it is saying or implying that Christianity developed out of Greco-Roman paganism it is flat out wrong. Christianity used Greco-Roman reasoning and rhetorical methodologies but there is nothing in Christianity that is pagan. Nothing. It is a pure development from Judaism. There is nothing in the New Testament that is based on paganism. It is absolutely a development in every respect from the Old Testament.

    Peace Manny, it didn’t say that at all and neither was I.

    Also – why does the Big Bang require God? You say the world can’t come from nothing without God. Why not?

    Because nothing is nothing. No thing. Nichts da. It has by its very definition no causal power because it does not exist, it is non-existent. Larry Krauss is exceedingly stupid on this point. A quantum vacuum fluctuation is something…so where did the quantum vacuum membrane come from? Is it eternally pre-existent? The CMBR data says “no”.

    So now we are going to try to figure out if the Universe had a beginning or if the Universe always existed in some form or another and if the Universe did have a beginning, what caused the Universe to begin?   Goodness.  That’s a heavy lift.  

    There’s nothing wrong with saying, “I don’t know,” when asked “How did the universe begin?”  

    It’s certainly better to admit that you really don’t know than to burn someone at the stake for giving the “wrong” answer.  

    • #112
  23. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

     

    And you are right about atheists: They are the most deeply irrational people when confronted with evidence of the resurrection, historical reliability, design in nature, modern miracles, etc. In the last case, we have hundreds of millions of accounts going back of healings, visions, prophecies, answered prayer, and so forth attesting to the truth of Jesus identity as the risen Messiah and savior, and if even one half of one hudredth of them are truh, atheism fails on an evidentiary basis. But they suddenly decide all that empirical evidence does not matter when it contradicts their apriori anti-supernaturalism. I will believe my own medical reports,those of Dani who is no longer wheelchair bound, and numerous others I know personally, not to mention written and video testimonies from all over the globe, and not the ignorant, knee-jerk, irrational responses of people who are falsely claiming to represent rationality.

    Do you think Orthodox Jews are irrational for thinking that Jesus didn’t rise from the dead and for thinking that Jesus wasn’t the Messiah?  

    • #113
  24. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Sometimes people write about events that didn’t actually happen or happened a bit differently than described by the witness. Sometimes people give oral testimonies, describing events that didn’t actually happen or happened a bit differently than described by the witness.

    The fact that testimonies can be incorrect, either mistaken or purposely misleading, is one of the reasons why, in our courts of law, we have an adversarial system in which witnesses can be cross examined. And even then we know that occasionally jurors, after listening to all of the evidence presented to them, end up putting someone in prison who is exonerated later based on DNA evidence.

    Historians often disagree over what actually happened in the past, even as these historians look at the same testimonies, the same written documents, the same evidence.

    I think you are mistaken in your belief that Jesus rose from the dead.

    So, just because the four canonical gospels present Jesus as having rose from the dead does not mean that Jesus actually did rise from the dead. If you think that it logically follows that Jesus rose from the dead from the fact that we have manuscripts where it is written that Jesus rose from the dead, then I think your epistemology is flawed. But you are entitled to your epistemology just as I am entitled to mine.

    Testimonies about past events can also be true, of course.  Perhaps not exhaustively true, i.e. Steve and I went to the same football game on the second Saturday in November, 1988, and we saw the same plays, the same score, same result. But we sat on opposite sides- he was a DePauw fan, I was on the Wabash side. Our accounts of who was there, which referee  calls were questionable, etc. will differ. Perhaps even significantly. This does not change that the game took place, what the result was, or even who we were with on our respective sides. If each of us were to write down his account of the events, both would be true, and perhaps they would contradict each other on certain points. Neither those contadictions, nor any omissions either of us would make, or any differences between our accounts and those the respective college papers, mean that no such event occurred. Which means…your epistemology is flawed.

    • #114
  25. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    You guys really need to watch the Peterson-Robinson video linked above, and engage with the proponents of faith and reason, which is a particularly strong tradition in the Catholic church.

    I ended up watching both of them. Do you think Christianity’s development reflects its Greco-Roman cultural context? Meaning there are a lot of ‘pagans’, how would Christianity look if it had developed in the context of India, or China, or Meso-America?

    I didn’t watch the video but if it is saying or implying that Christianity developed out of Greco-Roman paganism it is flat out wrong. Christianity used Greco-Roman reasoning and rhetorical methodologies but there is nothing in Christianity that is pagan. Nothing. It is a pure development from Judaism. There is nothing in the New Testament that is based on paganism. It is absolutely a development in every respect from the Old Testament.

    Peace Manny, it didn’t say that at all and neither was I.

    Also – why does the Big Bang require God? You say the world can’t come from nothing without God. Why not?

    Because nothing is nothing. No thing. Nichts da. It has by its very definition no causal power because it does not exist, it is non-existent. Larry Krauss is exceedingly stupid on this point. A quantum vacuum fluctuation is something…so where did the quantum vacuum membrane come from? Is it eternally pre-existent? The CMBR data says “no”.

    So now we are going to try to figure out if the Universe had a beginning or if the Universe always existed in some form or another and if the Universe did have a beginning, what caused the Universe to begin? Goodness. That’s a heavy lift.

    There’s nothing wrong with saying, “I don’t know,” when asked “How did the universe begin?”

    It’s certainly better to admit that you really don’t know than to burn someone at the stake for giving the “wrong” answer.

    Who’s burning whom at the stake nowadays, H.W.? On a less dramatic scale, a professional witchburning as it were, Martin Gaskell had to sue a university for firing him because he had “links to fundamentalist creationists”, according to a leaked e-mail. He won a hefty settlement by the way. And he’s far from the only case.  Oh, and the historical record of the Terror – both French and Bolschevik versions- gives  the lie to any assertion that atheism might lead to the sunny uplands of peace and harmony. Fanatacism in the pursuit of power and social instability seem to be the key factors in persecution of those not adhering to the dominant (or would-be dominant) ideology.

    • #115
  26. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    You guys really need to watch the Peterson-Robinson video linked above, and engage with the proponents of faith and reason, which is a particularly strong tradition in the Catholic church.

    I ended up watching both of them. Do you think Christianity’s development reflects its Greco-Roman cultural context? Meaning there are a lot of ‘pagans’, how would Christianity look if it had developed in the context of India, or China, or Meso-America?

    I didn’t watch the video but if it is saying or implying that Christianity developed out of Greco-Roman paganism it is flat out wrong. Christianity used Greco-Roman reasoning and rhetorical methodologies but there is nothing in Christianity that is pagan. Nothing. It is a pure development from Judaism. There is nothing in the New Testament that is based on paganism. It is absolutely a development in every respect from the Old Testament.

    Peace Manny, it didn’t say that at all and neither was I.

    Also – why does the Big Bang require God? You say the world can’t come from nothing without God. Why not?

    Because nothing is nothing. No thing. Nichts da. It has by its very definition no causal power because it does not exist, it is non-existent. Larry Krauss is exceedingly stupid on this point. A quantum vacuum fluctuation is something…so where did the quantum vacuum membrane come from? Is it eternally pre-existent? The CMBR data says “no”.

    So now we are going to try to figure out if the Universe had a beginning or if the Universe always existed in some form or another and if the Universe did have a beginning, what caused the Universe to begin? Goodness. That’s a heavy lift.

    There’s nothing wrong with saying, “I don’t know,” when asked “How did the universe begin?”

    It’s certainly better to admit that you really don’t know than to burn someone at the stake for giving the “wrong” answer.

    Who’s burning whom at the stake nowadays, H.W.? On a less dramatic scale, a professional witchburning as it were, Martin Gaskell had to sue a university for firing him because he had “links to fundamentalist creationists”, according to a leaked e-mail. He won a hefty settlement by the way. And he’s far from the only case. Oh, and the Terror – both French and Bolschevik versions- give the lie to any assertion that atheism might lead to the sunny uplands of peacce and harmony. Fanatacism in the pursuit of power and social instability seem to be the key factors in persecution of those no adhering to the dominant (or would-be dominant) ideology.

    Are you defending St. Thomas Aquinas’s “Put heretics to death” or not?  

    • #116
  27. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

    And you are right about atheists: They are the most deeply irrational people when confronted with evidence of the resurrection, historical reliability, design in nature, modern miracles, etc. In the last case, we have hundreds of millions of accounts going back of healings, visions, prophecies, answered prayer, and so forth attesting to the truth of Jesus identity as the risen Messiah and savior, and if even one half of one hudredth of them are truh, atheism fails on an evidentiary basis. But they suddenly decide all that empirical evidence does not matter when it contradicts their apriori anti-supernaturalism. I will believe my own medical reports,those of Dani who is no longer wheelchair bound, and numerous others I know personally, not to mention written and video testimonies from all over the globe, and not the ignorant, knee-jerk, irrational responses of people who are falsely claiming to represent rationality.

    Do you think Orthodox Jews are irrational for thinking that Jesus didn’t rise from the dead and for thinking that Jesus wasn’t the Messiah?

    Funny thing…several Orthodox Jews I know or whose works I am familiar with (e.g. Pinchas Lapide, Rabbi Daniel Zion) admit that Jesus rose from the dead. The argument is whether or not the resurrection means he’s the Messiah. Some say “no”, some say “maybe”. The ones who say “yes” become Messianic Jews, and I know a few of them, too.

    • #117
  28. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Sometimes people write about events that didn’t actually happen or happened a bit differently than described by the witness. Sometimes people give oral testimonies, describing events that didn’t actually happen or happened a bit differently than described by the witness.

    The fact that testimonies can be incorrect, either mistaken or purposely misleading, is one of the reasons why, in our courts of law, we have an adversarial system in which witnesses can be cross examined. And even then we know that occasionally jurors, after listening to all of the evidence presented to them, end up putting someone in prison who is exonerated later based on DNA evidence.

    Historians often disagree over what actually happened in the past, even as these historians look at the same testimonies, the same written documents, the same evidence.

    I think you are mistaken in your belief that Jesus rose from the dead.

    So, just because the four canonical gospels present Jesus as having rose from the dead does not mean that Jesus actually did rise from the dead. If you think that it logically follows that Jesus rose from the dead from the fact that we have manuscripts where it is written that Jesus rose from the dead, then I think your epistemology is flawed. But you are entitled to your epistemology just as I am entitled to mine.

    Testimonies about past events can also be true, of course. Perhaps not exhaustively true, i.e. Steve and I went to the same football game on the second Saturday in November, 1988, and we saw the same plays, the same score, same result. But we sat on opposite sides- he was a DePauw fan, I was on the Wabash side. Our accounts of who was there, which referee calls were questionable, etc. will differ. Perhaps even significantly. This does not change that the game took place, what the result was, or even who we were with on our respective sides. If each of us were to write down his account of the events, both would be true, and perhaps they would contradict each other on certain points. Neither those contadictions, nor any omissions either of us would make, or any differences between our accounts and those the respective college papers, mean that no such event occurred. Which means…your epistemology is flawed.

    If Steve said that the quarterback threw the football into outer space past Jupiter and then the football came back to Earth and the receiver caught the football for a 25 yard gain and you believed Steve, I would think that your epistemology is flawed.  

    Why?  Because as far as I am aware, it’s not possible for a quarterback to throw a football into outer space.  

    It’s possible that my ideas about the limitations of quarterbacks is flawed.  But that is my view about what quarterbacks are incapable of doing.  

    Similarly, I don’t think people rise from the dead.  The way the world appears to work it this: When people die, they stay dead. 

    So, someone writes a document a few thousand years ago expressing the claim that Jesus rose from the dead.  I think it is far more likely that this person who wrote this was mistaken or misleading than correct in his claim.  

    I think this is a good epistemology.  

    • #118
  29. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

     

    And you are right about atheists: They are the most deeply irrational people when confronted with evidence of the resurrection, historical reliability, design in nature, modern miracles, etc. In the last case, we have hundreds of millions of accounts going back of healings, visions, prophecies, answered prayer, and so forth attesting to the truth of Jesus identity as the risen Messiah and savior, and if even one half of one hudredth of them are truh, atheism fails on an evidentiary basis. But they suddenly decide all that empirical evidence does not matter when it contradicts their apriori anti-supernaturalism. I will believe my own medical reports,those of Dani who is no longer wheelchair bound, and numerous others I know personally, not to mention written and video testimonies from all over the globe, and not the ignorant, knee-jerk, irrational responses of people who are falsely claiming to represent rationality.

    Do you think Orthodox Jews are irrational for thinking that Jesus didn’t rise from the dead and for thinking that Jesus wasn’t the Messiah?

    Funny thing…several Orthodox Jews I know or whose works I am familiar with (e.g. Pinchas Lapide, Rabbi Lapin) admit that Jesus rose from the dead. The argument is whether or not the resurrection means he’s the Messiah. Some say “no”, some say “maybe”. The ones who say “yes” become Messianic Jews, and I know a few of them, too.

    But let’s say you are talking to an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi who says that Jesus did not rise from the dead.  Do you place that Jewish Rabbi in the same “irrational” category where you place the atheist?  

    How about a Hindu who doubts that Jesus rose from the dead.  Do you say that the Hindu is irrational for not believing that Jesus rose from the dead?  Or do you think he is rational because, while he doesn’t subscribe to your particular theology, he does believe in some form of the supernatural?

    • #119
  30. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    You guys really need to watch the Peterson-Robinson video linked above, and engage with the proponents of faith and reason, which is a particularly strong tradition in the Catholic church.

    ent that is based on paganism. It is absolutely a development in every respect from the Old Testament.

    Peace Manny, it didn’t say that at all and neither was I.

    Also – why does the Big Bang require God? You say the world can’t come from nothing without God. Why not?

    Because nothing is nothing. No thing. Nichts da. It has by its very definition no causal power because it does not exist, it is non-existent. Larry Krauss is exceedingly stupid on this point. A quantum vacuum fluctuation is something…so where did the quantum vacuum membrane come from? Is it eternally pre-existent? The CMBR data says “no”.

    So now we are going to try to figure out if the Universe had a beginning or if the Universe always existed in some form or another and if the Universe did have a beginning, what caused the Universe to begin? Goodness. That’s a heavy lift.

    There’s nothing wrong with saying, “I don’t know,” when asked “How did the universe begin?”

    It’s certainly better to admit that you really don’t know than to burn someone at the stake for giving the “wrong” answer.

    Who’s burning whom at the stake nowadays, H.W.? On a less dramatic scale, a professional witchburning as it were, Martin Gaskell had to sue a university for firing him because he had “links to fundamentalist creationists”, according to a leaked e-mail. He won a hefty settlement by the way. And he’s far from the only case. Oh, and the Terror – both French and Bolschevik versions- give the lie to any assertion that atheism might lead to the sunny uplands of peacce and harmony. Fanatacism in the pursuit of power and social instability seem to be the key factors in persecution of those no adhering to the dominant (or would-be dominant) ideology.

    Are you defending St. Thomas Aquinas’s “Put heretics to death” or not?

    No. Nor Henry Tudor’s “draw and quarter those guilty of high treason”, either. Nor Viking Blood Eagle rituals. 

    • #120
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