Inter-Faith Chapel, Now Disc: Made to Worship?

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Jedi Merkurian, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

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    D-G says "three persons." That's not implying, that's explicitly stating separate individuals. And I know for certain that Catholic theology considers them separate individuals (but the same person, somehow).

    Yours is an explanation that makes some logical sense (not a lot, since the whole redemption/salvation thing is inherently nonsensical, but that's not your fault), it just flies in the face of pretty much every form of formal Trinitarian theology I've ever heard.

    You don't understand: there's almost nothing that does make sense in what you said. You can't just spout a load of nonsense and think that as long as you've linked it with plenty of ellipses and "therefores" you've made a logical argument.

    Let's take the most egregious example:

    Jesus Christ is a man, of the universe, therefore not of God... yet God the Father finds and recognizes himself in Jesus Christ... therefore Jesus is of God, and is the Son.

    At its most fundamental, logic works like this: something is either A, or it is Not A. Something cannot simultaneously be A and Not A. That is a logical contradiction and inherently nonsensical. But here you are, stating that Jesus is both Not A (not of God) and A (of God), simultaneously. This doesn't make sense; this cannot make sense to a mind thinking logically. The only recourse is to abandon logic by appealing to "mystery" and the limits of our comprehension, and to resort to special pleading in which God is the one thing that doesn't have to behave logically because it's God. Which you haven't done yet but I imagine we'll get there. (Alternatively, we'll get someone saying something about quantum physics.)

    Also:

    I don't understand how this makes sense even within the mythology. A large chunk of the Bible consists of conditions God places on his "love."
  2. Violent Violet Menace Force Ghost

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    Aug 11, 2004
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    Yes, but most of that is in the OT which is redacted by the NT but still kept and acknowledged for added legitimacy.
  3. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

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    So instead of continuing with the OT god--the deity known as god is schizophrenic. Yeah, good job there boss.
  4. Violent Violet Menace Force Ghost

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  5. Ghost Chosen One

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    How can a God with no body or gender have sex? The Father procreated/generated/begot the Son through his self-knowledge. It's the best word to describe the spiritual process that's happening. The point is that the Son is not created, but generates naturally from the Father, and is in a sense a remaking of the Father.



    I guess I'm glad that you think I have a "good enough" mind :p



    Same essence, not same person, like I said. And the three persons of the Trinity are dependent on each other in a way that one could not exist without the other two. And yeah, I have the same disagreement with J-w's idea of the Trinity, never heard anyone else describe it way, but I'm not going to argue with him over it here.



    I may not have written it the best way grammatically, I was just dividing it all up instead of having a solid block of text, but if you accept the premises (I know you don't, that's fine) it should make sense.



    Maybe I didn't word it the right way, so you didn't read it the way I intended, that's my fault, but does this make more sense?

    *Jesus Christ is a man, of the universe. Being a man, being of the universe, doesn't inherently make you
  6. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

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    No, but it's not your fault. There's no way to make sense of the concept.
  7. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    This is why I don't come in the Senate, for future reference. I've rarely come across a post more condescending or purposely insulting. I mean, can you honestly not understand the benefits of faith and why intelligent people might find something in the practice of faith that they don't find anywhere else? The beautiful symbolic and evocative concepts contained in religions all across the world? The way in which faith in the unseen pushes the soul toward leaps of creativity and experience that no simple acceptance of only what is seen can? Why, to borrow your metaphor, someone with a PhD might find happiness and fulfillment driving a cab? That these impulses you seperate into 'intellect' and 'theolothink' come from the same place?

    I wonder, after all, what good science is if there is not the sense of the greater mystery of existence behind it. I get cold chills when I read Feynman sometimes, particularly his stuff on quantum electrodynamics; E=MC2 is something like the purest expression of spirituality of the twentieth century. Doesn't the absolute thrill of really understanding some of these astonishing scientific principles . . . doesn't it scratch the exact same itch as the concept of a man standing before a bush that burns and burns, but isn't consumed, and hearing a voice, "Remove your shoes from off your feet, for you are on holy ground."

    I don't even really know what the great push is to make these things understandable. The hidden rhythms of this earth are overwhelming sometimes; so too are the thoughts and insights expressed by the great religions of the world. I mean, whether all these things spoken of by religion are absolutely literally true or not, can't you appreciate the extreme beauty and power of them and why the fact that I am somewhat educated does not preclude me accepting the story of Christ as one of the most powerful, evocative, archetypal stories ever told in the history of humanity? Why is the fact that I understand that 2 +2 = 4 mean that I can't also accept something that seems irrational as well because of the profound positive impact it has had on my life? So much of what we do and believe and experience is profoundly irrational. It would be purely rational, for example, for a person to decide never to get married since data indicates that the overwhelming odds are that such a marriage will end in extreme antagonism, emotional trauma and divorce. But when we are transfigured by love for another person, we place the rational facts at a remove to allow ourselves the experience of stretching toward what we hope is and will be true; it is because of the powerful impact of love on our lives that most people will eventually marry, against all odds. So, too, because of the intense personal benefit that I have received through my faith (an enhanced creativity, a deepened emotional reservoir, a shared language of symbols and culture, a community of fellow believers, a morality that has given me peace with myself, a freedom from the besetting weaknesses that once had me trapped in a vicious cycle of despair and suffering, thousands of years of astounding powerful art, the transcendent experience of realizing that I am part of something greater than myself, and countless other things), I am transfigured and transformed by love. I love my faith. I love Christianity. It may be irrational; hell, why mince words - it is deeply irrational and absurd. But it has done me too much good for me to do anything but be
  8. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    Entirely untrue. God has no conditions on His love. His love, unlike ours, always leads Him to do what is best for the ones He loves. That means sometimes He allows or even imposes suffering on us to make us better people in the long run. Before you say that this is totally twisted and entirely sick, remember its what every parent does to their children, if they have the wherewithal to do so, and what every soldier goes through in boot camp. I'm a totally more compassionate person because of the emotional traumas I've suffered. God, in the narrative of the Old Testament, sent Israel into bondage when they rebelled against Him; he allowed me to lose my father to death at the age of fifteen. Both seem harsh, but at the end of both processes, the ones God had 'punished' came out better people. His love never stops; never. Sometimes, when He's really working on us to raise us to a higher level of humanity that's a frightening thing - I'm a wimp, so I'd probably choose to stay self-absorbed and selfish and never suffer. But God loves me too much for that to happen. What looks like a condition on His love, or even his outright hate, is just real love. The reason it looks so strange is because we never do it; but He's love, make no mistake about that. I can't always figure it myself, but the minute I stop believing it, that gun is back in my hand. If God, however you choose to think of Him, isn't made up of Love, then I can't figure a single reason this life matters one drop.
  9. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

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    That's why I come here. I like to find out what moves people. I like to read a good, impassioned defense of someone's belief system. I don't do so much atheist cheerleading around here anymore, so by not visiting the Senate you won't have avoided nearly as much of this kind of thing as you mistakenly hoped never to expose yourself to lest you feel insulted and patronized.

    I'm as exuberantly irrational as you though. There are so many really bright Christians in this forum like you, and I entertain my own irrational fantasy that many of you secretly yearn to break free from the bonds of supernaturalism. There's a sublime and beautiful reality out there, enough of it to fill any lifetime full of rewarding experiences.
  10. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    Objectively, to an outside observer, it's polytheistic. This is why comparisons to real monotheistic religions like the Bahai Faith are so instructive, and why so few Christians are willing to make the effort. The power of lifelong indoctrination closes people's minds to even the most obvious and fundamental truths.

    So, now religion is defined by the people who don't follow it? If I say I believe a monotheistic religion, then that is what I believe. Period. The end. You cannot change my truth because of how you see it. If I believe in and practice my faith as monotheistic, then that is what it is. A religion is not a concrete thing, like a piece of cake - there is no objective reality to it. Faith is defined for each individual by what that individual believes. I mean, I could say that your atheism is really antitheism (I'm sure you've heard that one before), but when its what you believe, you get to decide what it is. My personal faith is defined by my personal beliefs and practices and in neither of those is my personal faith a polytheistic Christianity. If outside observers get to define my personal faith and make judgments based on their impressions, then, well, that's just crazy. I. PERSONALLY. Do not believe in polytheism. And, unlike in things that aren't entirely subjective and personal, I get the last word. You getting to define what my faith is makes me think of me walking out of a movie and saying, "I really liked that," and you saying, "Actually, you hated it." I know this may burn a little for those of you who believe in objectivism in all things, even art and faith, but I simply have the last word when it comes to what I think and what I believe. Because, see, in some things, subjectivity is all we have. Given the current state of scientific discourse, one might say in all things, subjectivity is all we have.

    And what's really funny? Is that you seem to believe in only one objective truth and I believe that truth is different for each person and perspective. Isn't that supposed to be the . . . other way around? I mean, shouldn't you be the relativist and I be the fundamentalist? See, Christianity has everything beat; we Christians were relativists before relativists even knew they existed; same with nihilists, existentialists, etc. Read Ecclesiastes (for the former) or Jeremiah (for the latter). There's nothing new under the sun; all these new philosophies have been built into our faith from the beginning. Seriously, Shakespeare and the King James Bible; no one will ever say anything that hasn't been said there better and first.

    EDIT: Okay, fair enough, I see your post now. I yearn to break free from all my chains, all right. It's that I find more freedom in Christianity than anything else. My aim is to fly by all these nets; I still have hang ups, but less as a Christian than as anything else I've ever tried. And I suppose I defend a purposely infuriating post as a way to get an impassioned defense every now and then. I don't know if you got anything but impassioned (and rambling) from me. But you certainly got that. And now I have to go to bed. :p Anyway, no hard feelings. :) This little jag was good clean fun for me; it's been a while since I articulated some of this stuff. I may not be so thrilled about the whole thing when the alarm goes off tomorrow, but oh, well. :p
  11. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

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    star 6
    As long as you don't believe in hell, fine.

    Some parents have a varying degree of sickness in how they condition their children, wouldn't you agree?

    I have rather a problem with the type of dehumanist brainwashing that this entails, too, so you're not making a great case here.

    You don't think it's possible that Israel or you could have turned out all right without the suffering? That's a rather dim view of human nature that I'm afraid I don't share.

    Yes it does. Does.

    We have the same amount of proof for our claims. However shall we determine the truth of the matter?

    Yeah, and when a woman's husband beats her for forgetting to wash the dishes, it's totally for her own good. It's real love.

    Ah, so the only reason you insist it's true is because you don't like the idea that it's not. Sorry, but that's not how I gauge true against false. If it were, I'd be a millionaire (or at least insisting fervently that I am, because the minute I stop believing it, the gun is back in my hand).

    And you think we're the nihilists?

    I also don't see how it follows at all that God being love = meaning to life.

    You're ignorant of a vast wealth of pre- and post-Biblical literature, it seems. Maybe if you weren't so scared of the possibility of stuff other than the Bible being filled with meaning, you'd be able to enjoy some.
  12. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    Dude. I have to go to bed. But I want to engage with all this tomorrow. Or next day. Dang. Anyway, no, I don't say you're the nihilists. I claim that for myself; like I said in one of my earlier posts: my only choices were absolute nihilism or Christianity. I've been down that road. When Christianity wasn't there, I was as nihilistic as anyone's ever been. So, no, I don't share your sunny view of human nature; I've been around the block a few times and I watch the news occasionally - I don't know how anyone's a real humanist after that.
  13. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

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    I'm not in agreement with you that there are different truths for different people, but I can go so far as to agree that people create subjective perspectives of the same objective experience.

    For example, the news presents a fairly skewed perspective since only things that upset the status quo -- usually negatively -- are worth reporting. "Man kills 12 in shooting spree" is going to get a special report. "Man buys ice cream for neighborhood kids" isn't. For every atrocity trumpeted on the news, a thousand, a million little graces pass between people on a daily basis and go unremarked and unreported to the public at large, but mean everything to the people involved.

    The bad things are bad. But they're not everything, they're not even most things. They're just an aspect of the human experience that gets a disproportionate amount of attention. If you choose to focus on the bad perpetrated by the few, to the exclusion of the essential goodness evinced by the vast majority, that's a you problem, not a humanity problem.

    The real tragedy is that you have been the recipient of genuine love and grace from fellow human beings, but you've chosen to strip them of their dignity and compassion by insisting that they only did any of it because your Sky JuJu made them do it.
  14. Ghost Chosen One

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    Oct 13, 2003
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    Rogue1-and-a-half, that was an artistically beautiful and inspiring post. It seems we share many of the same beliefs, especially the faith and hope in God as Love, but you put it in a much more elegant way than I probably could have. The debates on the religious and atheist threads here have me a bit tired out and sometimes unintentionally cranky, I sure hope you come back here to the Senate, it's refreshing to have a new voice. :)

    Love is the primer mover in the universe, Jabba. Mortality and scarcity are grim decorations of life, but life really comes down to a choice between Love and Despair. One kills motivation and deadens life, the other inspires creativity and understanding and joy.

    Love is real, in the here and now. I won't speak for Rogue1-and-a-half, but for me that doesn't make it "supernatural" at all. By contrast, I think it is very natural, in fact I believe it is the essence behind all nature.

    It doesn't bind us, Jabba. It is true freedom.

    Your problem, and many atheists' problem, isn't with people like us. It is with those theists who do not understand or really care about the religion they affiliate with, and do it simply because of family and community pressures. Your problem isn't really with others' belief in God, it's with Tradition and Conformity. Aren't I right?
  15. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

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    I'm pretty sure that's gravity, actually. Or one of the atomic forces.

    Love is a distinctly animal -- mammalian, even -- concept. And there's only one place that we know of that such creatures exist. You can argue love as a prime mover for our species, but anything beyond that is New Age woo-woo.

    I agree with you there. You should talk to Rogue. He seems to have the two confused.

    Jabba can answer for himself, but for me: no. My problem is with people's willing (even willful) beliefs in things that have not been demonstrated as true.

    It becomes more of a concern when they aim to use those beliefs as justifications to restrict the lives of other people, which I acknowledge that liberal believers like yourself are unlikely to do. The problem is, if your belief is just as unjustified as theirs, it would be hypocritical to insist that their belief be held up to scrutiny while sweeping your in-some-ways-identical belief under the rug with an indulgent shrug.

    My problem is with irrational, non-evidence based beliefs. The world would be better off if everyone made a concerted effort to believe as many true and as few false things as possible. "Faith," as used in religious contexts, is not enough.
  16. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

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    That's the basis of this forum, though.

    Me, I don't have a problem. I just find the topic fascinating.

    Because for all the Dawkins videos and Hitches op-eds I paste, there is a part about belief that I dig profoundly, and that's the urge to express gratitude over our existence. I think that's beautiful. And I think the universe is beautiful and it doesn't harm anyone to realize that, to bear witness to it. I know it can be a humbling, cleansing experience.

    Peace out!
  17. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

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    Did you just paraphrase Carl Sagan with that last line?
  18. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

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    It's certainly an exciting process.

    -I make a bible-based, solely scriptural argument for Christianity as a polytheistic religion, with the caveat that the trinity is non scriptural, so I'm sort of pleading in the alternative with that one. Either Jesus is a demigod born in the typical way that demigods are often born...
    And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased...

    ...or he's one leg of a triumverate of head gods in the Christian mythology with a penchant, like Gollum in LOTR, for talking to himself.

    -Darth-Ghost replies with a non scriptural, extratextual, noncanonical argument based on the writings of Thomas Aquinas. The plain meaning of biblical text does not apply, he argues, because saint Aquinas says otherwise. Darth-Ghost believes the bible is allegorical, but that what Aquinas has to say about the Trinity is an accurate depiction of the nature of his deities.

    -Rogue1-and-a-half replies that he is not interested in learning what the bible has to say about Christianity but is only interested in believing what he wants to believe about it. Furthermore, if someone makes a scripture-based argument contravening what he wants to believe about his relgion, then it is a direct insult.
  19. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

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    Carl Sagan? What did he have to say about it?
  20. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

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    I guess I really don't see how that makes a terrific case for your argument. Yes, it could be fit into a theory of a polytheistic Christianity. Or it could fit easily into Trinitarian explanations, as it mostly has been. Or, yet another alternative, it could be explained by one of several non-Trinitarian monotheistic explanations (for instance, the one I shared in my last post, which is one of the more historically, and presently popular alternatives). Your whole argument hinges on the fact that the conversation necessarily implies separate entities. That's pretty dubious.

    And there's plenty of counter-evidence, particularly in the context of the rest of the New Testament. And earlier and more formative Pauline epistle, for instance, offers the following.

    Unlike your inference, this is a direct, explicit assertion that seems to eliminate any possibility of polytheism. "All the fullness" doesn't really leave much room for divinity outside of Jesus.

    This is silly. It's not "classically styled" at all. In the first place, there is no sex act involved in the inception of Jesus. This is a critical point. That Zeus could impregnate Leda (and any number of others) was an expression of his virility, a key aspect of that deity's character, and a reflection of the way that the gods of classical antiquity had interests and motivations that mostly mirrored those of humans. By contrast, both Judaism and Christianity (even if, as you insist, we treat as a "polytheistic Christianity" both specifically eschew this notion. They go out of their way to repeatedly stress that God is very much different than humans. Thus, a central theme of Christianity is the way that Jesus bridges this otherwise unfathomable divide. To miss this is to gloss over a pretty elementary point in the religion. It's not an insight, it's lazy at best and just plainly wrong at worst.

    Going further, the points and details of the story aren't very similar either. Castor and Pollux (like most other demigods), didn't really have any special purpose to their lives. Their biographies are mostly the fare of heroic lays and epics. By contrast, treatments of Jesus on the one hand avoid on the one hand heroic iconography, and on the other hand puts him at the center of a whole web of previous prophecies in a way that is largely unparalleled in classical mythology. That's a reflection of how central the idea of martial valor and glory was to the one society, as opposed to the very elaborate concerns for ritual purity and ethical action within the other.

    These differences are not subtle. They can't be elided. Fundamentally, how are you treating religion in these posts? This is not a question of someone picking up Gundam Wing after watching Robotech, on the premise that if they like one show about giant fighting
  21. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

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    Sure, but what does that have to do with how many Gods are stuffed into the Christian pantheon? I don't see how whether Jesus is a prophet, an allegory, a demigod or a tripartite monotheistic entity impacts on "do unto others." But it's still interesting to note what the bible seems to suggest about which it is we're talking about it. You'll have to explain what you mean by sociological engagement. Anthropologically, I think a careful analysis of, say, medieval religious art and the depictions of angels and saints, Jesus and demons, etc., reflect a strong cultural connection to pre-Christian roots and a ready acceptance of Christianity among various European cultures precisely because of its recognizable, familiar pantheism. Prior to that, in the late Roman empire, the virgin birth fable was undoubtedly shoehorned into an emerging Christianity precisely so that the religion could appeal to people familiar with pantheistic traditions. Is that what you're getting at?



    Sorry, I have no idea what you are talking about. It makes even less sense than ordering me to "make a meaningful sociological engagement" as if that will help me count the number of gods in the Christian faith.
  22. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

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    Your argument all along has been one of homology. That Christianity is polytheistic because it bears resemblance to polytheistic religions. As I tried to demonstrate briefly, but in moderate detail, that claim is not very supportable. The "similarities" you note are largely superficial. To wit, there weren't really any demonstrable parallels between the Gemini twins and Jesus, save that both involved the individuals in question ultimately attaining immortality. For them to be similar, they ought to actually have demonstrable similarities.

    An in-context examination of the things you claim to cite would have revealed this pretty quickly. You've made somewhat extraordinary claims that depend on ignoring plain evidence. For instance, your choice to assign the virgin birth myth to something "shoe-horned in the late Roman Empire" while never addressing the fact that, as the author of the text notes in the self-same narrative in Matthew, it has a somewhat more relevant connection to earlier Jewish prophecies, from which Christianity inarguably emerged. Or your claim that angels are exactly like lesser gods, except that they all explicitly say that they are not to be worshiped, which is a caveat just about on the order of "Except for managerial skills and knowledge of disaster response, Michael Brown made an excellent candidate for Director of FEMA." An argument isn't very good if you can only sustain it by ignoring evidence that outright contradicts it.
  23. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

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    If we agree to define monotheism as the head God admonishing his followers not to worship any other gods, then the Judeo-Christian tradition comes fairly close.

    Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

    And go not after other gods to serve them, and to worship them

    And I fell at [the angel's] feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy

    Angels readily fall into the category of gods Yahweh forbids his followers from worshiping. This last passage makes it pretty clear that the angel knows it has all the powers of a god and empathizes with the consequent human desire to worship it, yet Yahweh forbids it.

    To paraphrase the angel: "true I have the power to destroy armies, and I am divine in my miraculous splendor, yet God is a jealous God, and we'd best not forget it."

    To engage sociologically, of course angels are so deeply embedded in the devotional practices of Christian worship (I can walk a half mile in any direction from my house and find a Christian church packed with angelic iconography) that unless we restrictively define worship as literal *falling at the feet of* per Revelation and/or direct prayer to, then it's pretty clear that most Christian traditions include angel worship.

    To put this in an Inter-Faith chapel context, the yawning gulf between Judeo-Christianity's conception of monotheism (don't worship other gods (except angels, saints, the virgin Mary and Jesus)) and Islam (there is no god except for the God alone and Muhammad is his apostle) is nothing short of an embarrassment to the Judeo-Christian claims of monotheism.
  24. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

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    How do you conclude from that sentence that he has "all the powers of God?" That is a wild leap in logic. Especially when considering all the points where it's made rather explicit that angels have no such power. For instance, the long discussion in Hebrews contrasting Jesus to angels by noting "But to which of the angels said [God] at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?" (Hebrews 1:13). Or more obviously, in light of recent events with Harold Camping, that the timing of the end of the world is known by "no man, no, not the angels in heaven" (Mark 13:32) but by God? What about the note the observation in Titus that "God was manifest in the flesh [. . .] seen of angels" 1 Timothy 3:16, as if to suggest that they don't always have regular enough access to God to see him. Or, yet again, the fact that a key feature of the book of Job revolves around Satan repeatedly petitioning God for the ability/permission to do things? How, in light of all this, do you possibly conclude that angels have "all the power of God?"

    Also, comments like your closing ones make it seem like your grasping. After a post about how angels stain the notion of monotheism, you conclude that Islam is therefore far closer to true monotheism. Nowhere do you explain why this would be the case, when Islam validates many of the exact same angelic interventions as historically true events, besides a number of similar accounts. "They are the same and therefore better?" What are you saying? I could also mention your continued habit of conflating the Catholic and Orthodox churches with all of Christianity (if you wanted to talk about their particular practices, that would be valid, and a potentially interesting discussion. But persisting as if no other traditions even exist within the faith is ridiculous and un-serious.).

    I think overall, you've failed to support your central (if implicit) assertion that any non-human sentient is necessarily a deity. Why is that reasonable? Why should we accept over the offered explanations for what angels are?
  25. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

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    I did not ever suggest that angels have all the powers of Yahweh. I gave examples earlier of the godlike powers of angels: wiping out an Assyrian army, breaking Peter out of jail, destroying cities, etc. Islam is at least I think clearer on the nature of angels - they are will-less robots more or less, machines for carrying out God's will. It's a bit more complicated in Christianity I'd say.

    I understand there's a broad spectrum of Christian beliefs that ranges from overt pantheism to true monotheism. On the pantheistic end we have the catholic, orthodox faiths (also the oldest branches of the faith and the ones closest in origin to the origins of the christian church), somewhere in the middle are the typical protestant faiths, some of which believe in literal angels and Satan and demons and the holy trinity but reject saints and the divinity of Mary. At the most monotheistic end of Christianity are those who believe in God but see the bible as allegorical and Jesus as prophet and messenger more analogous to Muhammad.

    A strong reading of my Revelation quote above would suggest that the angel had an opportunity to affirm the divinity of Christ but didn't. He speaks only of the sanctity of Jesus's message as the roadmap for worshiping God. There's certainly a textual case to be made in the bible for the non divinity of Christ. But I imagine there are plenty of Christians who would suggest that the few true monotheists among Christians are not real Christians at all.

    And obviously any complaint about the polytheism of Roman Catholicism is a centuries-old protestant accusation. It's a bit hypocritical for them to bring it up, but it's nevertheless an internal affairs problem, not merely atheist trolling.