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"The God Virus"

If I'm understanding you correctly, it appears that you are stating that God cannot reveal Himself to an individual without said individual already knowing that He exists?
Actually I am not saying that, but am rather pointing out that as of the post-first-publishing moments, the person who would have been informed about (let's say Yahweh, here), would only have had that information to work on. The reason that holds, is because chronological developments, as well enough supported data for them, hold.

Had you been born blind, deaf, paralyzed from head-to-toe (forgive possible insensitivity here as it's not the intention), would you know we were human beings?
The far greatest likelihood is that I would never have been able to conceive of the concept of 'human.'

The fact that Enu and Horus no longer exist, or no longer significant can also be a good indication that Yahweh is authentic.
Enu and Horus do exist. In fact they exist in exactly the same way that Yahweh exists. In the minds of people alone.

Was your prayer answered? Seriously! I'm not trying to be facetious. If you prayed, do you think your prayer was answered?
At that time, and during the general course of that time, for some length of time, I didn't think about it. From around some point in time, my activity did not include prayer in that common sense. Through time, eventually, it remained only as memory trace. I do not hold that desires are 'answered' by any such god or goddess of any sort. For that reason, I cannot say that I think my prayers had been answered.

I recall you mentioning that you are not an atheist, is that correct? Sorry for the short answers (actually questions) on some of these. But I think they are highly relevant.
I consider myself--to be best that such can be anything--a non-theist agnostic of the secular humanist type.

I think there's (usually or often) a lot more to the issue than merely does the God of the Bible exist. But again, I think we need to clear up the whole issue of your stance on God (or if you prefer, god) in general (atheist, agnostic, etc.).
I would agree, that there can be more involved than the simple statement of the existence' of some supernatural male being who controls a bunch of people and demands their worship and love. I recall one argumentation which was for God's not existing, by a theist. The philosophizing minister (if my memory serves me well on that latter office) had been playing on the word 'exist,' and taking that for ride--a ride into nonsensical levels of useless. Therefore that alone, may well not be the sole matter involved. I would argue that underlying that, would be the claims to know. These, of course, will tend to come back to the matter of either it is so, or it is not so, or it is some mixture, in some way, of the two. In this way, at the pragmatic level, 'to be' will be a pretty major concern; I would tend to think.

Yes, correct. Bible-being-the-Word-of-God based theistic belief system. I prefer that term over fundamentalist to avoid political implications (although I don't recall seeing it ever used).
I see.
 
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The geocentric theory was a pagan based scientific theory.
In that it was pre-Christian, and pre-Israel, of course; but that doesn't say much of anything. (a non-performing fact.)

The Bible doesn't teach either the geocentric theory or the heliocentric theory. What individuals recorded in the Bible believed is not of great relevance.
This line of argument doesn't seem to hold up very well, in the end. What had been written had been written for a purpose, and had most often shared the general concepts understood (relative to general knowledge). That the Bible does teach that the sun circles (as in revolve around) the earth(as per that post) is clear.

In Daniel 4:10, 11 King Nebuchadnezzar seemed to suggest that the Earth is flat when describing a dream he had. This is merely a statement made by an individual in the Bible who may or may not have believed that (the dream being symbolic). But even if so, it doesn't suggest that the Bible teaches a flat earth.
Far more likely, this was merely what the author had written, and not that the actual historical person had ever said such, or even had had such a dream. It is amply enough understood that this was the general concept that the author had had in mind.

As far as those passages go, they don't prove anything other than observational references which include the use of a sun-dial.
I see no evidence for that understanding. The linguistic circumstantial data works much more so for evidence of that understanding, and there is nothing in opposition (the other side of the coin) for it.
 
Actually I am not saying that, but am rather pointing out that as of the post-first-publishing moments, the person who would have been informed about (let's say Yahweh, here), would only have had that information to work on. The reason that holds, is because chronological developments, as well enough supported data for them, hold.
I think when we're discussing something of this nature, it's just far too complicated to draw any absolute conclusions on how things like concepts of God began, etc. There's a current modern worldview that attempts to mandate an idea that can be so far off from reality (I think the top-level 'secular' experts will admit this after a bit too much wine) that would rival any falsely advertised travel brochure.

One of the modern worldview perceptions seems to be that if God exists (as no one can really deny the possibility), He would have to (for whatever reason) resemble something out of a science fiction novel. Think about it a bit, modern man spends much time criticizing the ancient peoples (primitive I believe is the common word), yet at the same time many of them will watch every episode and movie of Star Trek....and seem to suggest these sci-fi (I have nothing against sci-fi by the way) formatted programs are somehow superior to ancient mythology (I guess a Klingon makes more sense than a goblin). This of course will vary from guilty pleasure (but) to paralleling the episodes/movies with reality.

One of the modern ideas is that God will not interact personally with some insignificant human...unless that human received a PhD in Biology, and discovered God by catching Him unawares. Another seems to be that God would not allow a name to identify Him with be attached to Him. Another one is that If God revealed Himself purposefully, He would do so with a universal 4th of July type of entrance with Also sprach Zarathustra playing in the background. One of the ironies I see to this is that the one's who seem to refer the most to man's accomplishments through study are the one's who suggest that God make His existence known with no effort at all.

The far greatest likelihood is that I would never have been able to conceive of the concept of 'human.'
Yes, but this wouldn't mean that you would be completely perception-less. There would be a lack of ability to acquire the concept of humanity. Now in this case of course, the individual in this position is not at all at fault. Someone who lacks a sense of direction (north, south, east, west) has an inability to know the right way to go when attempting to reach a destination. However, it is believed that sense of direction can be improved with effort. If so, if said individual is interested enough in avoiding late arrivals to appointments, he/she may be able to do something about it. There may be something similar in the area of an ability to finding God, and even hearing from God once found.

Enu and Horus do exist. In fact they exist in exactly the same way that Yahweh exists. In the minds of people alone.
Enu and Horus exist as part of mythological history. Neither of them are recorded in history in similar fashion as Jesus Christ is recorded in history. I'll leave it at that for the moment.

At that time, and during the general course of that time, for some length of time, I didn't think about it. From around some point in time, my activity did not include prayer in that common sense. Through time, eventually, it remained only as memory trace. I do not hold that desires are 'answered' by any such god or goddess of any sort. For that reason, I cannot say that I think my prayers had been answered.
Why did you pray to begin with, as opposed to say, relying solely on personal ability to acquire knowledge?
I consider myself--to be best that such can be anything--a non-theist agnostic of the secular humanist type.
Which I think has to mean that you don't know for sure whether or not God/god/a god/gods exist...right?

I would agree, that there can be more involved than the simple statement of the existence' of some supernatural male being who controls a bunch of people and demands their worship and love.
I thought I'd start here. There are often little tidbits that suggest that the issue of God (specifically of the Bible) is not merely about His existence, but His character. We have a human conflict here because since we (generally speaking) cannot deny the possibility of God's existence, we have to consider His character should He exist. Man has a general understanding (I believe) that God is good. This varies of course, and can change due to personality issues (from hate to love and vice versa). But we know that if God demands worship and love, He obviously doesn't do so by forceful means. No one here (I don't think) has been hit by a lightning bolt because they refused to worship God. It's sort of like comparing countries like the U.S. where we are allowed to criticize, even ridicule our presidents, where as in some countries this would mean death. When some read the Bible, they see a Saddam Hussein dictator, therefore since they are not hit by lightning bolts on occasion of disobedience, the God of the Bible must not exist. So for the Bible to be true, there must be far more to this. For instance, is obligation to love wrong? I don't think so. I think we are obligated to love our children for instance. I don't think that's optional in the moral sense. The God of the Bible also demands that we love one another. This is also a very humanistic view as well.

I recall one argumentation which was for God's not existing, by a theist. The philosophizing minister (if my memory serves me well on that latter office) had been playing on the word 'exit,' and taking that for ride--a ride into nonsensical levels of useless. Therefore that alone, may well not be the sole matter involved. I would argue that underlying that, would be the claims to know. These, of course, will tend to come back to the matter of either it is so, or it is not so, or it is some mixture, in some way, of the two. In this way, at the pragmatic level, 'to be' will be a pretty major concern; I would tend to think.
I thought I had more to say. But I guess I don't at the moment. Some of the things I stated earlier may have been able to be used here.
 
In that it was pre-Christian, and pre-Israel, of course; but that doesn't say much of anything. (a non-performing fact.)

This line of argument doesn't seem to hold up very well, in the end. What had been written had been written for a purpose, and had most often shared the general concepts understood (relative to general knowledge). That the Bible does teach that the sun circles (as in revolve around) the earth(as per that post) is clear.
The Bible was most definitely written for a purpose. The purpose was not to promote either the geocentric theory, or the heliocentric theory. Even today we use geocentric models simply out of convenience. The Earth is the most convenient reference point. Now I wouldn't say that the issue of the 2 theories are insignificant to God, just as I don't think George Washington Carver's discoveries are insignificant. The Bible didn't teach George Washington Carver's discoveries, but more than likely inspired, and gave him the ability to produce the various uses of the peanut that we benefit from today. The Bible makes reference to running a race in regards to conducting our life, but does not coach us on how to literally run in a track and field event. However, Eric Liddell used his God given ability to perform in the Olympics. The Bible also didn't directly tell him to go to China after wards. He believed (felt) a calling to do so.

Far more likely, this was merely what the author had written, and not that the actual historical person had ever said such, or even had had such a dream. It is amply enough understood that this was the general concept that the author had had in mind.
When you say far more likely, I'm assuming that you're not sure? What are you basing this on?

see no evidence for that understanding. The linguistic circumstantial data works much more so for evidence of that understanding, and there is nothing in opposition (the other side of the coin) for it.
In a nutshell, the Bible makes various references to the Earth being stable which is taken out of context when attempting to imply geocentricity. The word Earth for instance does not always refer to the entire planet, but to portions of the planet where humanity reside. This issue also includes your reference to the firmaments I think you made, which I'm guessing you mean to suggest a solid type of fixture/fixation. This would be an issue of language as firmament in the Bible is actually referring to expanse.
 
As I said earlier I am agnostic. But I have to admit I lean toward atheism. The reason is because everything stated about God, miracles, etc. is just way, way too convenient. I mean, if I decided to make up a deity and religion, it would be obvious that I would be saying the exact same things as the prophets and everyone else when questioned about it all.

Take Joseph Smith and those golden plates and seer stones. He says he has them, but he is forbidden to show them to anyone. He has stones that interpret the plates, but only he has the ability to use them. He has someone else write down what he interprets, but when some pages get lost, he says he cannot re-translate because the angel took away the plates to punish him.. Then he gets the plates back and says that instead of translation of the same material, he is to translate someone else's account of the same thing. Then when people are finally allowed to see the plates, its only a handful of people who cannot read them or anything, and this a year after claiming the plates were taken from him; plenty of time to make something. Then after that the angel takes the plates away permanently.

Of course none of this is provable or unprovable. But if Joseph Smith were a complete liar, that is exactly the scenario one would expect, isn't it? And dang, he would not even amount to a very good liar. I could lie better than that when I was 10 years old.

And its really all the same with all the religions. These deities made all these things in the world; the rocks, the rivers, the oceans, the mountains, the plains, the stars, the sun...but they cannot leave behind some GD golden plates for us to see and study?? Come on.

I say again, I am agnostic, but I lean toward atheism. There may well be some sort of God or deities out there...but its pretty hard to believe in the established religions for the lacks of proof.

Edit: So all that said, one might ask, does God or these Gods want us to be such fools that we believe such things that any liar could invent on the spot??

And as pointed out before, we have all these religions in the world and they all conflict. Without some clear proof, how are we supposed to choose the right one? Are these Gods or God so careless and thoughtless as to leave us in this dilema? Are they or is He or She so uncaring about belief in themselves, herself or himself as to leave us no clear tangible proof of which is the correct religion?

It is all just so completely absurd. Not that that I have not seen people ferociously defend the absurd all the time. On the internet its an everyday experience on many more topics than just religion.
 
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I think when we're discussing something of this nature, it's just far too complicated to draw any absolute conclusions on how things like concepts of God began, etc.
While I do think (I think) that I understand the possible position relied upon for the particular angle you have been coming from in the above quote, as well as the previous statements related to this specific proposition, I find reason to understand that there is plenty enough sound and valid evidence to demonstrate that the position itself is wrong-headed at the very base--which leads to a seeming impasse, as it were, which really isn't there. But, I tell you what, if it's O.K. with you, I think I'd like to take this line of discussion and debate to a different thread that I had created a while back, which had been designed specifically for this, and which has been sleeping peacefully for around a year now. I'll carry your comments from here, over to that one. I'll wait for your O.K., to go ahead with that.

There's a current modern worldview that attempts to mandate an idea that can be so far off from reality (I think the top-level 'secular' experts will admit this after a bit too much wine) that would rival any falsely advertised travel brochure.
Not so sure of just what specific points this may be applicable.

One of the modern worldview perceptions seems to be that if God exists (as no one can really deny the possibility), He would have to (for whatever reason) resemble something out of a science fiction novel.
This folds back into the matter I have mentioned just above. It may be that a good look over the arguments within some philosophical positions, which greatly weaken those more generally held to, and leaned on for support by, the more common Doctor of Divinity graduates. We can no longer argue, with any 'upper-hand-soundness,' that the possiblity that there is a god, or a goddess, is a given. Walking along that line, we soon enough arrive at God. The possibility that God is an external reality of nature at large is not there automatically, at all.

Think about it a bit, modern man spends much time criticizing the ancient peoples (primitive I believe is the common word), yet at the same time many of them will watch every episode and movie of Star Trek....and seem to suggest these sci-fi (I have nothing against sci-fi by the way) formatted programs are somehow superior to ancient mythology (I guess a Klingon makes more sense than a goblin). This of course will vary from guilty pleasure (but) to paralleling the episodes/movies with reality.
As for story, and myth in this neutral sense, yes, I agree with you. There is a very noticeably big difference between acting on the story lines as if they were reports on actual events in nature and history, however. There will always be a big gap there.

One of the modern ideas is that God will not interact personally with some insignificant human...unless that human received a PhD in Biology, and discovered God by catching Him unawares. Another seems to be that God would not allow a name to identify Him with be attached to Him. Another one is that If God revealed Himself purposefully, He would do so with a universal 4th of July type of entrance with Also sprach Zarathustra playing in the background. One of the ironies I see to this is that the one's who seem to refer the most to man's accomplishments through study are the one's who suggest that God make His existence known with no effort at all.
I am not so sure of some of this, find some of it unfamilar, and wonder at some of it. I find a major fault in the very first clause of the very first sentence.

Yes, but this wouldn't mean that you would be completely perception-less. There would be a lack of ability to acquire the concept of humanity. Now in this case of course, the individual in this position is not at all at fault.
Going by the delimited condition of that particular thought experiment (as it were), the question posed would not nearly so much be one of perception alone. The innate (by birth and at birth) condition you had stipulated, will make a big difference. It is very clear that Helen Keller would not have gotten where she had, if she had been completely paralized, from the womb, as well. It may possibly be, I would like to suggest, that you may not have more fully considered just what would be involved in the circumstances you had set out within that thought experiment, when you had developed it for the purpose of making the particular point you had wanted to.

Someone who lacks a sense of direction (north, south, east, west) has an inability to know the right way to go when attempting to reach a destination. However, it is believed that sense of direction can be improved with effort. If so, if said individual is interested enough in avoiding late arrivals to appointments, he/she may be able to do something about it. There may be something similar in the area of an ability to finding God, and even hearing from God once found.
First of all, the attempted follow up does not follow from the example put forward. There are specific neural underpinnings involved in direction sensory perception. The condition of plasticity allows for rewiring and synaptic strengthening through applied (and forced) firing, over a time frame and with a certain consistency.

We can take a similar situation of left frontal lobe,localized stroke involving Broca's area wherein aphasia results. Through relatively quick (there is, unfortunately a time window) rehabilatation, some degree of speech fluency and lexical access can be restored. The operation is forcing, so to speak, brain build to re-route through associative reformation of loops and pathways (plasticity), and by strengthening of remaining synaptic connections, to get pretty much a whole of what had been there before. Of course, we almost never see a full whole of what had been before, but in some degree of patients, we will find up to 70% restoration. This, is more in line with your thought experiment, I reason. We cannot follow from there, into talk about God. (At least not logically nor realistically.) {Although there is the exception of transcranial magnetic stimulation. That procedure, as well as stimulated application during open brain surgery, can localize and draw out the emotional perception of feeling to 'know' that there is something at large, participating in the situation. Usually the word God comes up, because that is the socially instilled term to which association processes tag--thus connecting with the lexicon and linguistic areas of brain.}

Enu and Horus exist as part of mythological history. Neither of them are recorded in history in similar fashion as Jesus Christ is recorded in history. I'll leave it at that for the moment.
Yahweh, however, is equally simply recorded in mythological history as Enu and Horus are. Yeshua, the historical person, we know almost nothing about. Jesus, the character in the gospel narratives, is not a good representative of the historically determinable person Yeshua. O.K., more on that later... it may even be a different thread?

Why did you pray to begin with, as opposed to say, relying solely on personal ability to acquire knowledge?
First of all, as you will know, prayer is a habit of the believer. Then, as you will likely understand, guidance is what is often prayed for in circumstances where deciscion making or outlays of plans, are concerned. These two had been the working factors involved.

Which I think has to mean that you don't know for sure whether or not God/god/a god/gods exist...right?
Not quite. The modifyer plays a role which cannot be ignored, I'd demand. 'Non-theist' is to say that the notion of a god which we humans have created, is not what may be working in this whole thing. If you are at all familiar with Process Philosophy--and I bet you may well be, if you have heard or, or have read, A.N. Whitehead (if I got that name correct from my memory banks)--you may be able to catch a glimpse of what I am kind of pointing towards. Now, not to make any mistake, here, allow me to point that that I have been, for somewhile now, and still am (as I am doing herein) arguing that Whitehead was wrong for trying to save the latter Christian God concept at all. He should have left that word totally out of the process philosophical position. There are a lot of (we can say) strange and awe inspiring things in nature at large. We have a whole lot to learn, and will surely never learn and understand all of it. We can be sure, however, that no such gods or goddesses which ancient peoples had formulated out of the older powers of nature (animism and shamamism), are the case at hand.

Let me get back with you on the remaining section of that post a bit later on, as well as your then following post on the teaching matter. Pressures to do some stuff here, now, and afterwards. Maybe once we go into Saturday Japan time? (However, on the matter of the sun's going around the earth in the dome of the heaven, and in what specific way that can be said that 'the Bible teaches' that, it may be good to go back and catch the nuances of the original post of mine, on that... all the details of the words used.)
 
Firstly, just to recapture the general flow. This essentially starts from a post which is reflected in your post number 130 linked to here. Then, I had responded to that in my post number 132 linked to here. In that post, in the parenthesis within the first paragraph, I had kind of explained my usage of the term 'teaches,' as used in the phrase, 'the Bible teaches that...'
It is not the matter of an outright, prescriptive wording in absolute positive tone, but rather the collective association of positive statements which thereby reflect the mind of authorship. In that all those documents have been pressed into service, in the way that they have, as a single-volume book, we can use the title of the book (the Bible) as tentative entity. (Even though, actually, I always argue that that is not a good thing to do. So, in a way, have contradicted myself, yes.)


The Bible was most definitely written for a purpose. The purpose was not to promote either the geocentric theory, or the heliocentric theory.
So here, if I were to stick to my usual drive, I'd have to say that it is actually of no use to frame such statements as, 'the Bible says so and so, or is for such and such a purpose, because in reality, we do not have a single volume book. Which I know, AquaLung, you will understand fully. Nevertheless, that the several authors who had touched on this related matter, have signified through what they had written that their understanding had been geocentric in nature, cannot be successfully denied.

Even today we use geocentric models simply out of convenience. The Earth is the most convenient reference point.
Yes, that is true, and yet is not an item of evidence for convenience for the ancient authors, because they had had no way of actually knowing otherwise. The language usage, actually, had just become customary habit, and for that reason also, over such a long period of time, has stuck. It is exactly the same as the usage of 'heart' for thought and emotional processing effect. The actual heart, the organ of blood circulation, has almost nothing to do with thought and emotional processing--and we know that now, yet use the old, quite burned-into-habitual style of speech. That's just the way the cookie crumbled.

Now I wouldn't say that the issue of the 2 theories are insignificant to God, ...
Just to let you know that I did read over, and consider what you had written there. I find it largely mixing things up. In the present point of investigation, simply what the actual historical authorship had evidenced through their writing, is what is to be considered. I mean, I understand how a believer might tend to cross lines, but I would suggest that we are not yet at that stage. I am not going to posit the deity they had described and prescribed. (Primarily, as I have said before, because it has failed.)

When you say far more likely, I'm assuming that you're not sure? What are you basing this on?
I am basing this on the fact that we are dealing with a lot of somewhat loose ends. In this field (especially biblical literature) we can at times only assign degrees of likelihood because it is hard to make claims of fact at times. If we had more than a single handful of witness bases, we could make a better projection of the likelihood of historical reporting claim. In the document Daniel, which the Jewish system, even, does not rate so high, we cannot be sure of the historical claim so much at all. Therefore, the understanding is that it is far less likely that that author had ever had any contact with the actual historical Nebuchadnezzar. This degree, however, is about as close to saying that the text there is falsehood, as can come without asserting that it is a known fact that it is a false claim.

In a nutshell, the Bible makes various references to the Earth being stable which is taken out of context when attempting to imply geocentricity. The word Earth for instance does not always refer to the entire planet, but to portions of the planet where humanity reside. This issue also includes your reference to the firmaments I think you made, which I'm guessing you mean to suggest a solid type of fixture/fixation. This would be an issue of language as firmament in the Bible is actually referring to expanse.
Firstly, on the last portion regarding the dome of the heaven, there is no mistake. I know that some want to attempt to wriggle out of that, but actually, it cannot be done. What you have said about the usage of what is often (but not always) assigned the English word 'Earth,' (or earth), is correct in the instances that such assignment is accurate enough. It always points to the known geographic territory known to the authorship. About as often, that Hebrew word is assigned the English 'land' (as in the land of the Kingdom of Israel).

As far as taking things out of context, I am concerned. The reason for that is because it has always been the case that those who argue for some consistent accuracy, throughout the documents which became the Bible, to what is actually known to be the case today, through sound empirical knowledge, are the believers. Actually, if we take it all within the bounds of contextual setting and intertextual (Jewish canonical library), and not removing any of it, let it speak for itself, we find the conclusions I have been presenting. It is clear that the authorship of those several documents which state what they do, the way they do, demonstrate the concept that those writers was that the vault of the heaven was a solid thing of sorts, and that the sun and moon moved across that dome in a circular manner around the earth. This is essentially geocentric thinking.
 
While I do think (I think) that I understand the possible position relied upon for the particular angle you have been coming from in the above quote, as well as the previous statements related to this specific proposition, I find reason to understand that there is plenty enough sound and valid evidence to demonstrate that the position itself is wrong-headed at the very base--which leads to a seeming impasse, as it were, which really isn't there. But, I tell you what, if it's O.K. with you, I think I'd like to take this line of discussion and debate to a different thread that I had created a while back, which had been designed specifically for this, and which has been sleeping peacefully for around a year now. I'll carry your comments from here, over to that one. I'll wait for your O.K., to go ahead with that.
Most definitely. I think you may have linked once to another (I don't think the same) thread, and I was not faithful in maintaining conversation in that other thread. Probably laziness on my part. If you link that prior thread, I'll try to not allow myself to get diverted elsewhere.

Not so sure of just what specific points this may be applicable.
I admit I didn't give much to go on. Off-hand I would use the example of the geocentric vs. heliocentric theories we've been discussing. The scenario of course today gets painted as faith/religion vs. science, but that wasn't really the case. At least not in it's entirety. It wasn't merely religious blasphemy to accept the heliocentric theory during that time period, but scientific blasphemy as well. The geocentric theory was considered fact just like evolution is considered fact today. And the reality is, very intelligent people of that day were way off base. We may not think this possible for us today, but I'm sure they didn't either. Every era is a modern (enlightened) era per those residing in each given era.

This folds back into the matter I have mentioned just above. It may be that a good look over the arguments within some philosophical positions, which greatly weaken those more generally held to, and leaned on for support by, the more common Doctor of Divinity graduates. We can no longer argue, with any 'upper-hand-soundness,' that the possiblity that there is a god, or a goddess, is a given. Walking along that line, we soon enough arrive at God. The possibility that God is an external reality of nature at large is not there automatically, at all.
What is your view of an internal god (or god being an internal reality)? I'm not sure, but some of your posts seem to have suggested a belief in an eastern religion(s) where this concept may be more common.


As for story, and myth in this neutral sense, yes, I agree with you. There is a very noticeably big difference between acting on the story lines as if they were reports on actual events in nature and history, however. There will always be a big gap there.
Yes. For the record however, for what it's worth, there are people today who literally believe that some sort of interplanetary federation exists. And that William Shatner is an emissary of sorts between earthlings and aliens.

I am not so sure of some of this, find some of it unfamilar, and wonder at some of it. I find a major fault in the very first clause of the very first sentence.
Your notion may not be invalid. But basically, there seems to be a tendency to relegate God to something completely out of reach. The other extreme is that God is so close that we all (including animals, furniture, air) are actually God.
Going by the delimited condition of that particular thought experiment (as it were), the question posed would not nearly so much be one of perception alone. The innate (by birth and at birth) condition you had stipulated, will make a big difference. It is very clear that Helen Keller would not have gotten where she had, if she had been completely paralized, from the womb, as well. It may possibly be, I would like to suggest, that you may not have more fully considered just what would be involved in the circumstances you had set out within that thought experiment, when you had developed it for the purpose of making the particular point you had wanted to.

First of all, the attempted follow up does not follow from the example put forward. There are specific neural underpinnings involved in direction sensory perception. The condition of plasticity allows for rewiring and synaptic strengthening through applied (and forced) firing, over a time frame and with a certain consistency.

We can take a similar situation of left frontal lobe,localized stroke involving Broca's area wherein aphasia results. Through relatively quick (there is, unfortunately a time window) rehabilatation, some degree of speech fluency and lexical access can be restored. The operation is forcing, so to speak, brain build to re-route through associative reformation of loops and pathways (plasticity), and by strengthening of remaining synaptic connections, to get pretty much a whole of what had been there before. Of course, we almost never see a full whole of what had been before, but in some degree of patients, we will find up to 70% restoration. This, is more in line with your thought experiment, I reason. We cannot follow from there, into talk about God. (At least not logically nor realistically.) {Although there is the exception of transcranial magnetic stimulation. That procedure, as well as stimulated application during open brain surgery, can localize and draw out the emotional perception of feeling to 'know' that there is something at large, participating in the situation. Usually the word God comes up, because that is the socially instilled term to which association processes tag--thus connecting with the lexicon and linguistic areas of brain.}
I have to admit to springing that scenario far too abruptly into the conversation. I don't know a whole lot about the physiological element itself.

Yahweh, however, is equally simply recorded in mythological history as Enu and Horus are. Yeshua, the historical person, we know almost nothing about. Jesus, the character in the gospel narratives, is not a good representative of the historically determinable person Yeshua. O.K., more on that later... it may even be a different thread?
We can certainly discuss it in another thread. I will add however that there are some statements made that are merely assumptions (not claiming you've made them). An example of this would be the claim that ancient peoples believed in their gods the same way Christians do today (or yesterday/year). This is just an assumption. Or even that Muslims believe in Allah the same way. The latter at least can be researched in a contemporary fashion, but often it's not really researched much it appears. At least not by those making the broad assumptions.

First of all, as you will know, prayer is a habit of the believer. Then, as you will likely understand, guidance is what is often prayed for in circumstances where deciscion making or outlays of plans, are concerned. These two had been the working factors involved.
If you don't mind me asking, were you an evangelical Christian at one time? I use the term evangelical as a convenient reference point.

Not quite. The modifyer plays a role which cannot be ignored, I'd demand. 'Non-theist' is to say that the notion of a god which we humans have created, is not what may be working in this whole thing. If you are at all familiar with Process Philosophy--and I bet you may well be, if you have heard or, or have read, A.N. Whitehead (if I got that name correct from my memory banks)--you may be able to catch a glimpse of what I am kind of pointing towards. Now, not to make any mistake, here, allow me to point that that I have been, for somewhile now, and still am (as I am doing herein) arguing that Whitehead was wrong for trying to save the latter Christian God concept at all. He should have left that word totally out of the process philosophical position. There are a lot of (we can say) strange and awe inspiring things in nature at large. We have a whole lot to learn, and will surely never learn and understand all of it. We can be sure, however, that no such gods or goddesses which ancient peoples had formulated out of the older powers of nature (animism and shamamism), are the case at hand.

Let me get back with you on the remaining section of that post a bit later on, as well as your then following post on the teaching matter. Pressures to do some stuff here, now, and afterwards. Maybe once we go into Saturday Japan time? (However, on the matter of the sun's going around the earth in the dome of the heaven, and in what specific way that can be said that 'the Bible teaches' that, it may be good to go back and catch the nuances of the original post of mine, on that... all the details of the words used.)
Ok. I think I noticed a follow up to this in your next post as well.
 
Firstly, just to recapture the general flow. This essentially starts from a post which is reflected in your post number 130 linked to here. Then, I had responded to that in my post number 132 linked to here. In that post, in the parenthesis within the first paragraph, I had kind of explained my usage of the term 'teaches,' as used in the phrase, 'the Bible teaches that...'
It is not the matter of an outright, prescriptive wording in absolute positive tone, but rather the collective association of positive statements which thereby reflect the mind of authorship. In that all those documents have been pressed into service, in the way that they have, as a single-volume book, we can use the title of the book (the Bible) as tentative entity. (Even though, actually, I always argue that that is not a good thing to do. So, in a way, have contradicted myself, yes.)


So here, if I were to stick to my usual drive, I'd have to say that it is actually of no use to frame such statements as, 'the Bible says so and so, or is for such and such a purpose, because in reality, we do not have a single volume book. Which I know, AquaLung, you will understand fully. Nevertheless, that the several authors who had touched on this related matter, have signified through what they had written that their understanding had been geocentric in nature, cannot be successfully denied.

Yes, that is true, and yet is not an item of evidence for convenience for the ancient authors, because they had had no way of actually knowing otherwise. The language usage, actually, had just become customary habit, and for that reason also, over such a long period of time, has stuck. It is exactly the same as the usage of 'heart' for thought and emotional processing effect. The actual heart, the organ of blood circulation, has almost nothing to do with thought and emotional processing--and we know that now, yet use the old, quite burned-into-habitual style of speech. That's just the way the cookie crumbled.

I thought I'd just combine these quotes as they are related. As I believe I alluded to earlier, what various individuals in the Bible believed in terms of the geocentric theory we don't really know simply because they don't directly discuss the theory (as Ptolemy and the Catholic church did). I also don't maintain that they did not hold to a geocentric theory. Chances are they did as the heliocentric theory was historically revolutionary. But as far as we know, the geocentric theory was not an empirical theory (or political motivated theory) as it obviously became in later European history.

Just to let you know that I did read over, and consider what you had written there. I find it largely mixing things up. In the present point of investigation, simply what the actual historical authorship had evidenced through their writing, is what is to be considered. I mean, I understand how a believer might tend to cross lines, but I would suggest that we are not yet at that stage. I am not going to posit the deity they had described and prescribed. (Primarily, as I have said before, because it has failed.)
If I remember correctly, this would be where I introduced George Washington Carver into the conversation.

The problem I see, and I think it can be seen in this very thread, is that there's this idea that the Bible is insignificant because the book itself did not introduce the world to the heliocentric theory, no mention of microwave ovens, internet downloading, HD TV, etc. George Washington Carver, I believe, is a great testimony of someone who was inspired to utilize science by God, thus discovering something new. Should this be the case (as I believe it is), this would reveal the progressive nature of God. He works alongside men who of themselves do not see the entire picture.

I am basing this on the fact that we are dealing with a lot of somewhat loose ends. In this field (especially biblical literature) we can at times only assign degrees of likelihood because it is hard to make claims of fact at times. If we had more than a single handful of witness bases, we could make a better projection of the likelihood of historical reporting claim. In the document Daniel, which the Jewish system, even, does not rate so high, we cannot be sure of the historical claim so much at all. Therefore, the understanding is that it is far less likely that that author had ever had any contact with the actual historical Nebuchadnezzar. This degree, however, is about as close to saying that the text there is falsehood, as can come without asserting that it is a known fact that it is a false claim.
I understand what you're saying, and can agree (to a degree). But where do you draw the line when considering likelihood? If we take the resurrection of Jesus, one will usually claim the event unlikely due to the fact that humans generally do not resurrect. However, what is the likelihood of the claims from eyewitnesses, disciples who collectively would probably not evangelize something inauthentic, and a local government who would have readily exposed this had it been false, and doing nothing of the sort.

There's also the Sennacherib Prism as an example. How can one resolve the mystery of why this Assyrian king only boasted about conquering Jerusalem, and then stopping there without boasting of ultimate victory? And then reading in the Bible the very same account, yet explaining the sudden destruction of the Assyrian army?

Firstly, on the last portion regarding the dome of the heaven, there is no mistake. I know that some want to attempt to wriggle out of that, but actually, it cannot be done. What you have said about the usage of what is often (but not always) assigned the English word 'Earth,' (or earth), is correct in the instances that such assignment is accurate enough. It always points to the known geographic territory known to the authorship. About as often, that Hebrew word is assigned the English 'land' (as in the land of the Kingdom of Israel).

As far as taking things out of context, I am concerned. The reason for that is because it has always been the case that those who argue for some consistent accuracy, throughout the documents which became the Bible, to what is actually known to be the case today, through sound empirical knowledge, are the believers. Actually, if we take it all within the bounds of contextual setting and intertextual (Jewish canonical library), and not removing any of it, let it speak for itself, we find the conclusions I have been presenting. It is clear that the authorship of those several documents which state what they do, the way they do, demonstrate the concept that those writers was that the vault of the heaven was a solid thing of sorts, and that the sun and moon moved across that dome in a circular manner around the earth. This is essentially geocentric thinking.
Can you give me an example of where some will wiggle out of the idea of a dome? Does this have to do with the relationship, for instance, with the Hebrew words Raqiya and Shamayim?
 
Thanks for getting back in a timely manner, AquaLung. Now, before we get too spread out in an ever expanding universe here, I'd like to focus and wrap up a few things, before generally moving on. (Of course, all of this is kind of moving on, but some somewhat-side-like-in-nature points may best be settled (as far as such a word actually works). I'd like to clear out the matter of the authorship of the documents holding that the sun revolved around the the planet earth. Along with that, the matter of the vault of the heavens.

First of all, even though I had linked to it in a post above, and had mentioned one weak (we can say) aspect of the angle I had taken, please allow me to quote that portion from post number 132 here, again:

It is a fact the Bible does teach (to use the common Christian wording which implicitly implies that anything written in the Bible is what the Bible 'teaches') that the sun revolves around the earth.

Thus to make clear, I had been using the wording based on a fairly common Christian usage...'the Bible teaches that' expression. As I had mentioned (I do believe) in my last post, it is not a good expression at all, and, I had, actually, in a way been making sarcastic application of it.


I admit I didn't give much to go on. Off-hand I would use the example of the geocentric vs. heliocentric theories we've been discussing. The scenario of course today gets painted as faith/religion vs. science, but that wasn't really the case. At least not in it's entirety. It wasn't merely religious blasphemy to accept the heliocentric theory during that time period, but scientific blasphemy as well. The geocentric theory was considered fact just like evolution is considered fact today. And the reality is, very intelligent people of that day were way off base. We may not think this possible for us today, but I'm sure they didn't either. Every era is a modern (enlightened) era per those residing in each given era.
Yes, I understand what you are putting forward. To be clear, most people simply have no well formed, and/or informed idea (or formulation of it all). We will often--far too often in my concerned opinion--hear this "science .vs. religion' chant, or motto, or phrase. That is sad. It is quite uninformed and far less thought out than it should be. In fact, I have just recently here (not on line) been discussing a talk by Dr. John Gray (author of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus') which makes that very same mistake.

The fact of the matter, is quite just as you (as best I can tell) are saying here. It is simply the matter that the authorship had written what they had thought to be the case, and nothing more, nothing less. We will find a number of such cases in documents which did not become the official canon, too. One big miscalculation is that since these particular documents of the Jewish belief system's library, and some of the first century, early second century Christian documents all got crammed together into a one-book format, that that book itself, is something special. It's much like these silly "if it was good enough for Paul, it's good enough for me" type statements (when speaking about the King James Version). {this is a true story}

So, simply the fact that those who had happened to have written, and whose documents were preserved (to the degree that they were), thought so, says nothing more than that alone. However, that they thought so is quite clear. As you had said earlier (I do believe), later early Church fathers, as well as later RCC leaders, held that force book to be the sacred word of their god of choice... basically. For that reason, they had placed house arrest on Galileo.

Now, as for how the authorship held the heavens to be, we can see from not only the word רקיע (rach'ya; as you had identified), which essentially signifies an extended solid surface, but from the following:

Gen 1:6-8; 17; 7:11; 8:2; 1 Kings 7:2; 8:30, 32, 34, 35 (and compare 27); [b[]Job[/b] 9:8, Ps 19:1, 4; 148:1-4; 150:1; Prov 8:27, 28; Isa 40:22; 66:1; Jer 10:10-12​

Again, this is simply reflecting the thought of the authorship. As for that wriggling out of I had mentioned, I have heard some argue that the translation 'expanse' does not need to imply solidity of any easily observable manner--or, rather, that that word should be assigned the Hebrew. While that word can be assigned the Hebrew, the contextual setting we will find regarding the notion of the Hebrew (backed up by extra-biblical source material), however, essentially carries the concept of a solid-like sheet stretched out with is essentially the base of the throne of Yahweh, and above which there are waters. Partially, we find a poetic license, but at the same time, it is clear that the people of that day had no idea--so, imagination was quite free to roam... and roam, it did.

Other stuff later (as this may have a follow up), and I'll bring that other thread up during the course of the up-coming week. I've got a bunch of stuff going down, now.
 
Again, this is simply reflecting the thought of the authorship. As for that wriggling out of I had mentioned, I have heard some argue that the translation 'expanse' does not need to imply solidity of any easily observable manner--or, rather, that that word should be assigned the Hebrew. While that word can be assigned the Hebrew, the contextual setting we will find regarding the notion of the Hebrew (backed up by extra-biblical source material), however, essentially carries the concept of a solid-like sheet stretched out with is essentially the base of the throne of Yahweh, and above which there are waters. Partially, we find a poetic license, but at the same time, it is clear that the people of that day had no idea--so, imagination was quite free to roam... and roam, it did.

"I have heard some argue that the translation 'expanse' does not need to imply solidity of any easily observable manner--or, rather, that that word should be assigned the Hebrew".

Yes, that's pretty much correct. I think one of the main reasons is that the word rach'ya which is used throughout various locations in the Bible, does not always suggest solidity. And because the word itself allows for that much space in the definition, the evidence is just not solid enough (I think puns are always intended) to maintain that the writers referred to dome cosmology.
 
The main root of this concern, or inquiry, which has lead to the very dilemma, is that the root verb does imply beating out a sheet of metal only, and that the extended word we find in the documents, רקיע , is so seldom used (It only occurs some 16 times), and that the results of accumulated empirical knowledge deemed the take that all authorship of the several documents had been under the direct superintendence of Yahweh (or, as the later early Christians began to say, God).

That the usage of the similar, or related words in other Semitic branches, has bearing must be weighed in, is a given. (after all, language is language in most cases, and we need not, nor have any good reason to, think, that some special jargon had been taken up by just those several writers) That all uses and related aspects intertextually must be weighed in, too, is a given. Each occasion of the word must be considered firstly within its immediate context, then overall context. Then, we must take to neither inject, nor deny, any other knowledge which we presently know, which is not reasonably plausible.

As we see with the likes of Eze 1:22, 23, 25; 10:1, it does carry that sense, yet as we see with usages such as Job 22:14; 37:18, poetic license can be given it in a added sense. Also, however, we can weigh that in with statements which come with the verb stretch out, or extend (such as Ps 104:2; Isa 45:12; Jer 10:12; 51:15), with those passages I have identified early (and Hab 3:11; Ecc 1:5 were among the "etc. etc.," but should probably be highlighted, as well as Ecc1:5), and draw up a general consensus of the idea of the authorship. We have no reason to attribute to the people of that general time window, knowledge about the actual atmosphere and its make up, nor that actual shape of the earth, or the actual encompassing geography and geological facts. Therefore, we cannot reasonably posit that they would have known otherwise, and, they did evidence at least as much as can be seen in their writings.

The issue of the penning of the several documents as having been superintended by the supernatural male being of the sorts described and prescribe within is no longer is a serious issue at all--of course the documents had been written by humans, and contain only human insight, emotion, and purpose. In the end, therefore, the all-in-all better understanding is that those of that general time frame did generally see the sky (or heavens as they had used the term in plural most always) to be of a solid nature (and it may not necessarily be of a metal like imagery, but nevertheless solid), and the moon and sun were bodies of light that had been put within that that dome, or firmament, and which ran circuits around the earth.
 
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The issue of the penning of the several documents as having been superintended by the supernatural male being of the sorts described and prescribe within in, no longer is a serious issue at all--of course the documents had been written by humans, and contain only human insight, emotion, and purpose. In the end, therefore, the all-in-all better understanding is that those of that general time frame did generally see the sky (or heavens as they had used the term in plural most always) to be of a solid nature (and it may not necessarily be of a metal like imagery, but nevertheless solid), and the moon and sun were bodies of light that had been put within that that dome, or firmament, and which ran circuits around the earth.
I would agree that various individual's involved in the writing of scripture may have taken this view, but the fact is there's no absolute evidence of this given the broad definitions, and the lack of technical words/terms like we have today. There's also the fact that the Hebrew language did not have any word to describe infinite space, so they were under a considerable disadvantage than we are today should they had such a perception. It's easy to conclude that they perceived a dome cosmology simply because dome cosmology was embraced by other civilizations (as was geocentricism). It's just not anything that can be claimed as absolute.
 
Oops... I'll edit my post. That one 'in' was supposed to be an 'is.'

I would agree that various individual's involved in the writing of scripture may have taken this view, but the fact is there's no absolute evidence of this given the broad definitions, and the lack of technical words/terms like we have today.
Yes, which kind of gets back around to that matter of degrees of likelihood in this field. Regarding some things, in some cases, yes, we can say we have an 'absolute' (or at least as close to it that we can go ahead and call it one), but in most, no. So, it is just as you have said. We do have to keep in mind (as I believe I had mentioned, or had strongly hinted at earlier) extrabiblical documents too. For example, regarding the concept of the solid-like vault of heaven we also have the Qumran documents: War Scroll X.10; Thanksgiving Hymn 6.IX; 4Q422 (paraphrase of Gen and Ex) II.4, 5; 4Q169 Frs. 1, 2; Enoch I 17:3-5; and a few more there. Also, as you may have noted in the Tanakh, the idea of heaven being rolled up like a scroll is found a couple or so times, as well.

There's also the fact that the Hebrew language did not have any word to describe infinite space, so they were under a considerable disadvantage than we are today should they had such a perception. It's easy to conclude that they perceived a dome cosmology simply because dome cosmology was embraced by other civilizations (as was geocentricism). It's just not anything that can be claimed as absolute.
I see. I have actually not come across any such word yet, so I take you word on that; it sounds right... that Hebrew was very concrete in essence. Again, I agree with what you say, because it is simply most reasonable, honest, and fair. All things considered, the authorship probably just saw it as they had essentially learned it, and just put it in their religious belief system writing as such. It's not absolute, but is the more likely correct understanding.

I'll wait for your reply, but think that we can set this point aside now. Actually (as I have mentioned earlier) using that ole 'the Bible teaches...' style of phrasing is not so accurate a picture at all. In this case, this is very true. Simply because the more likely view held by the authorship does come out, that is not they they were intentionally 'teaching' that in their individual document--and that some documents became included in the Bible, is a side, and much later, thing. After your reply, if it's positive, I'll go back and pick up on another thing where we started to expand out too much. Thanks.
 
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Yes, which kind of gets back around to that matter of degrees of likelihood in this field. Regarding some things, in some cases, yes, we can say we have an 'absolute' (or at least as close to it that we can go ahead and call it one), but in most, no. So, it is just as you have said. We do have to keep in mind (as I believe I had mentioned, or had strongly hinted at earlier) extrabiblical documents too.



I'll wait for your reply, but think that we can set this point aside now.
Yes, absolutely. But maybe similarly related, hopefully without harping on the same subject, I think 2 prominent possibilities, whether or not Yahweh/Jesus actually exist play a profound role in the subject. If He doesn't exist, then there truly isn't much to consider anyway. If He does exist, then what effect did this have on the writers being inspired to write what they did? As a crude example, was the vision John had (in light of Yahweh/Jesus being the source of the vision) of the image of the beast a strictly symbolic vision? Or did John literally see a vision into the future including modern tech, the image of the beast being transmitted on a giant screen one sees on the streets in Tokyo? Describing everything within his limited knowledge the best he could.

When it comes to likelihood, and outside sources, here's what I was getting at in regards to the Sennacherib Prism:

Sennacherib, the great king, the mighty king, king of the world, king of Assyria, king of the four quarters, the wise shepherd, favorite of the great gods, guardian of right, lover of justice, who lends support, who comes to the aid of the destitute, who performs pious acts, perfect hero, mighty man, first among all princes, the powerful one who consumes the insubmissive, who strikes the wicked with the thunderbolt; the god Assur, the great mountain, an unrivaled kinship has entrusted to me, and above all those who dwell in palaces, has made powerful my weapons; from the upper sea of the setting sun to the lower sea of the rising sun, he has brought the black-headed people in submission at my feet; and mighty kings feared my warfare, leaving their homes and flying alone, like the sidinnu, the bird of the cave, to some inaccessible place...

In my third campaign, I went against the Hittite-land. Lulテェ, king of Sidon, the terrifying splendor of my sovereignty overcame him, and far off into the midst of the sea he fled. There he died. Great Sidon, Little Sidon, Bテョt-Zitti, Zaribtu, Mahalliba, Ushu, Akzib, Akko, his strong, walled cities, where there were fodder and drink, for his garrisons, the terrors of the weapon of Assur, my lord, overpowered them and they bowed in submission at my feet. I seated Tuba'lu on the royal throne over them, and tribute, gifts for my majesty, I imposed upon him for all time, without ceasing.

From Menachem, the Shamsimurunite, Tuba'lu the Sidonite, Abdi-liti the Arvadite, Uru-milki the Gublite, Mitinti the Ashdodite Budu-ilu the Beth Ammonite, Kammusu-nadbi the Moabite, Malik-rammu the Edomite, kings of Amurru, all of them, numerous presents as their heavy tribute, they brought before me for the fourth time, and kissed my feet.

But Sidka, the king of Ashkelon, who had not submitted to my yoke, the gods of his father's house, himself, his wife, his sons, his daughters, his brothers, the seed of his paternal house, I tore away and brought to Assyria. Sharru-lu-dari, son of Rukibti, their former king, I set over the people of Ashkelon, and I imposed upon him the payment of tribute: presents to my majesty. He accepted my yoke. In the course of my campaign, Beth-Dagon, Joppa, Banaibarka, Asuru, cities of Sidka, who had not speedily bowed in submission at my feet, I besieged, I conquered, I carried off their spoil.

The officials, nobles, and people of Ekron, who had thrown Padi their king—bound by oath and curse of Assyria— into fetters of iron and had given him over to Hezekiah, the Judahite—he kept him in confinement like an enemy— their heart became afraid, and they called upon the Egyptian kings, the bowmen, chariots and horses of the king of Meluhha [Ethiopia], a countless host, and these came to their aid. In the neighborhood of Eltekeh, their ranks being drawn up before me, they offered battle. With the aid of Assur, my lord, I fought with them and brought about their defeat. The Egyptian charioteers and princes, together with the Ethiopian king's charioteers, my hands captured alive in the midst of the battle. Eltekeh and Timnah I besieged, I captured, and I took away their spoil.

I approached Ekron and slew the governors and nobles who had rebelled, and hung their bodies on stakes around the city. The inhabitants who rebelled and treated (Assyria) lightly I counted as spoil. The rest of them, who were not guilty of rebellion and contempt, for whom there was no punishment, I declared their pardon. Padi, their king, I brought out to Jerusalem, set him on the royal throne over them, and imposed upon him my royal tribute.

As for Hezekiah the Judahite, who did not submit to my yoke: forty-six of his strong, walled cities, as well as the small towns in their area, which were without number, by levelling with battering-rams and by bringing up seige-engines, and by attacking and storming on foot, by mines, tunnels, and breeches, I besieged and took them. 200,150 people, great and small, male and female, horses, mules, asses, camels, cattle and sheep without number, I brought away from them and counted as spoil. (Hezekiah) himself, like a caged bird I shut up in Jerusalem, his royal city. I threw up earthworks against him— the one coming out of the city-gate, I turned back to his misery. His cities, which I had despoiled, I cut off from his land, and to Mitinti, king of Ashdod, Padi, king of Ekron, and Silli-bテェl, king of Gaza, I gave (them). And thus I diminished his land. I added to the former tribute, and I laid upon him the surrender of their land and imposts—gifts for my majesty. As for Hezekiah, the terrifying splendor of my majesty overcame him, and the Arabs and his mercenary troops which he had brought in to strengthen Jerusalem, his royal city, deserted him. In addition to the thirty talents of gold and eight hundred talents of silver, gems, antimony, jewels, large carnelians, ivory-inlaid couches, ivory-inlaid chairs, elephant hides, elephant tusks, ebony, boxwood, all kinds of valuable treasures, as well as his daughters, his harem, his male and female musicians, which he had brought after me to Nineveh, my royal city. To pay tribute and to accept servitude, he dispatched his messengers..

Complete translations of the records of Sennacherib can be found in Daniel D. Luckenbill, Ancient Records of Assyria and Babylonia, vol. 2, and in James Pritchard's Ancient Near Eastern Texts (1950).

And thus linking this with the sudden destruction described in 2 Kings 18:13-19:37 and Isaiah 36:1-37:38:

Isa 37:33-38 "Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria: 'He shall not come into this city, Nor shoot an arrow there, Nor come before it with shield, Nor build a siege mound against it. By the way that he came, By the same shall he return; And he shall not come into this city,' Says the LORD. 'For I will defend this city, to save it For My own sake and for My servant David's sake.'" Then the angel of the LORD went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand; and when people arose early in the morning, there were the corpses--all dead. So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went away, returned home, and remained at Nineveh."



Sennacherib's Hexagonal Prism - Biblical Archaeology in Ancient Assyria (Bible History Online)
 
Yes, which kind of gets back around to that matter of degrees of likelihood in this field. Regarding some things, in some cases, yes, we can say we have an 'absolute' (or at least as close to it that we can go ahead and call it one), but in most, no. So, it is just as you have said. We do have to keep in mind (as I believe I had mentioned, or had strongly hinted at earlier) extrabiblical documents too.
I'll wait for your reply, but think that we can set this point aside now.
Yes, absolutely. But maybe similarly related, hopefully without harping on the same subject, I think 2 prominent possibilities, whether or not Yahweh/Jesus actually exist play a profound role in the subject. If He doesn't exist, then there truly isn't much to consider anyway. If He does exist, then what effect did this have on the writers being inspired to write what they did? As a crude example, was the vision John had (in light of Yahweh/Jesus being the source of the vision) of the image of the beast a strictly symbolic vision? Or did John literally see a vision into the future including modern tech, the image of the beast being transmitted on a giant screen one sees on the streets in Tokyo? Describing everything within his limited knowledge the best he could.
When it comes to likelihood, and outside sources, here's what I was getting at in regards to the Sennacherib Prism:
Sennacherib, the great king, the mighty king, king of the world, king of Assyria, king of the four quarters, the wise shepherd, favorite of the great gods, guardian of right, lover of justice, who lends support, who comes to the aid of the destitute, who performs pious acts, perfect hero, mighty man, first among all princes, the powerful one who consumes the insubmissive, who strikes the wicked with the thunderbolt; the god Assur, the great mountain, an unrivaled kinship has entrusted to me, and above all those who dwell in palaces, has made powerful my weapons; from the upper sea of the setting sun to the lower sea of the rising sun, he has brought the black-headed people in submission at my feet; and mighty kings feared my warfare, leaving their homes and flying alone, like the sidinnu, the bird of the cave, to some inaccessible place...
In my third campaign, I went against the Hittite-land. Lulê, king of Sidon, the terrifying splendor of my sovereignty overcame him, and far off into the midst of the sea he fled. There he died. Great Sidon, Little Sidon, Bît-Zitti, Zaribtu, Mahalliba, Ushu, Akzib, Akko, his strong, walled cities, where there were fodder and drink, for his garrisons, the terrors of the weapon of Assur, my lord, overpowered them and they bowed in submission at my feet. I seated Tuba'lu on the royal throne over them, and tribute, gifts for my majesty, I imposed upon him for all time, without ceasing.
From Menachem, the Shamsimurunite, Tuba'lu the Sidonite, Abdi-liti the Arvadite, Uru-milki the Gublite, Mitinti the Ashdodite Budu-ilu the Beth Ammonite, Kammusu-nadbi the Moabite, Malik-rammu the Edomite, kings of Amurru, all of them, numerous presents as their heavy tribute, they brought before me for the fourth time, and kissed my feet.
But Sidka, the king of Ashkelon, who had not submitted to my yoke, the gods of his father's house, himself, his wife, his sons, his daughters, his brothers, the seed of his paternal house, I tore away and brought to Assyria. Sharru-lu-dari, son of Rukibti, their former king, I set over the people of Ashkelon, and I imposed upon him the payment of tribute: presents to my majesty. He accepted my yoke. In the course of my campaign, Beth-Dagon, Joppa, Banaibarka, Asuru, cities of Sidka, who had not speedily bowed in submission at my feet, I besieged, I conquered, I carried off their spoil.
The officials, nobles, and people of Ekron, who had thrown Padi their kingツ―bound by oath and curse of Assyriaツ― into fetters of iron and had given him over to Hezekiah, the Judahiteツ―he kept him in confinement like an enemyツ― their heart became afraid, and they called upon the Egyptian kings, the bowmen, chariots and horses of the king of Meluhha [Ethiopia], a countless host, and these came to their aid. In the neighborhood of Eltekeh, their ranks being drawn up before me, they offered battle. With the aid of Assur, my lord, I fought with them and brought about their defeat. The Egyptian charioteers and princes, together with the Ethiopian king's charioteers, my hands captured alive in the midst of the battle. Eltekeh and Timnah I besieged, I captured, and I took away their spoil.
I approached Ekron and slew the governors and nobles who had rebelled, and hung their bodies on stakes around the city. The inhabitants who rebelled and treated (Assyria) lightly I counted as spoil. The rest of them, who were not guilty of rebellion and contempt, for whom there was no punishment, I declared their pardon. Padi, their king, I brought out to Jerusalem, set him on the royal throne over them, and imposed upon him my royal tribute.
As for Hezekiah the Judahite, who did not submit to my yoke: forty-six of his strong, walled cities, as well as the small towns in their area, which were without number, by levelling with battering-rams and by bringing up seige-engines, and by attacking and storming on foot, by mines, tunnels, and breeches, I besieged and took them. 200,150 people, great and small, male and female, horses, mules, asses, camels, cattle and sheep without number, I brought away from them and counted as spoil. (Hezekiah) himself, like a caged bird I shut up in Jerusalem, his royal city. I threw up earthworks against himツ― the one coming out of the city-gate, I turned back to his misery. His cities, which I had despoiled, I cut off from his land, and to Mitinti, king of Ashdod, Padi, king of Ekron, and Silli-bêl, king of Gaza, I gave (them). And thus I diminished his land. I added to the former tribute, and I laid upon him the surrender of their land and impostsツ―gifts for my majesty. As for Hezekiah, the terrifying splendor of my majesty overcame him, and the Arabs and his mercenary troops which he had brought in to strengthen Jerusalem, his royal city, deserted him. In addition to the thirty talents of gold and eight hundred talents of silver, gems, antimony, jewels, large carnelians, ivory-inlaid couches, ivory-inlaid chairs, elephant hides, elephant tusks, ebony, boxwood, all kinds of valuable treasures, as well as his daughters, his harem, his male and female musicians, which he had brought after me to Nineveh, my royal city. To pay tribute and to accept servitude, he dispatched his messengers..
Complete translations of the records of Sennacherib can be found in Daniel D. Luckenbill, Ancient Records of Assyria and Babylonia, vol. 2, and in James Pritchard's Ancient Near Eastern Texts (1950).
And thus linking this with the sudden destruction described in 2 Kings 18:13-19:37 and Isaiah 36:1-37:38:
Isa 37:33-38 "Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria: 'He shall not come into this city, Nor shoot an arrow there, Nor come before it with shield, Nor build a siege mound against it. By the way that he came, By the same shall he return; And he shall not come into this city,' Says the LORD. 'For I will defend this city, to save it For My own sake and for My servant David's sake.'" Then the angel of the LORD went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand; and when people arose early in the morning, there were the corpses--all dead. So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went away, returned home, and remained at Nineveh."

Sennacherib's Hexagonal Prism - Biblical Archaeology in Ancient Assyria (Bible History Online)
 
Apologies for getting back late, AquaLung; things are kind of busy here at the moment.

A quickie, if I may:

Yes, I am aware of the Sennacherib prism, as well as the Moabite stone (which actually mentions Yahweh as the god of the Israelites), and also the Nabonidus Chronicle (about Cyrus' taking Babylon without battle). These too, as you have pointed out, are all useful source material as well, for cross-referencing, and so on. These do support some of the historical accuracy of the Jewish accounts, although thrown in a different light. We do find some things which are still uncertain, however--for example Darius, who was said to be a ruler, or within rulership, of the Persian and Mede 'machine' (so to word it), cannot be found. I'll get back during the week sometime, or this next weekend, with picking up from a point before the expansion. Also, the matter of putting the pieces of the puzzle together regarding that 'if Yahweh is an external actuality of nature at large' will have to be focused on throughout all this, and Yeshua (or even Jesus as pictured in the narratives) too.
 
God reveals Himself to whomever He chooses. This is why God is hated by the post-modern blasphemers- they mock Him and demand that He bow before their collective hubrism as if they were the Creator and He the creature. 😊 My goodness- God is a Being with a Will, Intellect, etc. The Sacred Writings make it very, very clear. God NEVER reveals Himself to blasphemers, the impious, etc. He takes great pains to avoid them. Blasphemers have not the power of the Most Holy Spirit- all they have is the power of their own brain, doomed to die and forever unable to comprehend that there is something Other than themselves.

Intellectual naturalism is simply man's own hubris to deny that he is dependent upon a power higher than himself- the pagans called this power the gods- Jews and Christians call it God- and modern atheists, humanists, etc. simply revert to the ancient paganism and believe in a rather vague scientific pantheism. Hell- the ancient Stoics and Cynics were more intellectually evolved than the modern crowd of atheists. 😊

What I love about these simpletons is that they claim to know more about God- Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscient, etc.- than God Himself. The Power that created the universe is to be reduced to mere human conjecture? :p
 
The Sacred Writings make it very, very clear. God NEVER reveals Himself to blasphemers, the impious, etc. He takes great pains to avoid them.
Ignorant people's assumptions about God and religion are quite bizarre. It makes quite a bit of sense if they were to think about it. However, so many expect parlor tricks to prove it to them. Apparently they are looking for a grand magician that will perform tricks in front of their face repeatedly and on demand. That's pretty egotistic. It looks like they will get what they want eventually, which is quite sad.

I know you were talking to someone else Roland, but, unfortunately, I did read the majority of comments here, and they seem like nothing but hollow words. I see no justification towards belittling religion except what it says about how the heathen like to rage. However, that doesn't apply since it's not a man's words, correct? I could quote men (and gain the admiration of lesser men), however, anything a man has to say is simply a watered down reiteration of something biblical. Well, if it's true, that is. What's the point in that?

If anyone of you want to test religion, test the words to find a truth in them. That is the proper way of proving the Bible.
 
"The Sacred Writings make it very, very clear. God NEVER reveals Himself to blasphemers, the impious, etc. He takes great pains to avoid them."

Now that's simply untrue. Or you're talking about some other religion than Christianity. Exhibit A would be Paul, a pagan, unbeliever, and blasphemer if there ever was one. Until one day, the Scriptures say, Christ revealed Himself to Paul.

Exhibit B would be my own son (also named Paul), who insists that Christ came into his heart at age 16. There are numerous other reported experiences of atheists or agnostics undergoing conversion experiences.

So I submit that by the tenets and practices of your own faith, the above statement is untrue.

I'm an agnostic, btw, not strictly an atheist. I believe the proponents of a proposition (the Christian God exists) have the burden of proof. Not to a scientific certainty; I'd settle for a preponderance of evidence, that is, more likely true than not true. Testing only the words of a particular faith requires a bit of circular logic, and a willingness to assume that common religious tenets (like "thou shalt not steal") have some particular significance when uttered by a certain religion.
 
I don't see how you would test a command unless there would be something attached to it. I suppose you are likely to be punished by our justice system for stealing. I am guessing that you are pointing that out because it is somewhat of a universal rule in a community. Does that make it untrue? Nope.

Your going to need something less general to test.

A better test would be to test if honoring your father and mother would actually give a person longevity. Does a person who disregards everything their parents say generally live a shorter life?

An even better test would be to observe someone who honors The Father and obtains wisdom and the ability to discern evil intentions in people. Would they have a keener awareness of threats to their safety than a typical agnostic, athiest, or someone of another religion?

Perhaps something easier is in order. Would willfully giving away sums of money to charity result in the accumulation of more wealth than that given away? Would that make any sense in a world based purely on "rational thought?"
 
Now that's simply untrue. Or you're talking about some other religion than Christianity. Exhibit A would be Paul, a pagan, unbeliever, and blasphemer if there ever was one. Until one day, the Scriptures say, Christ revealed Himself to Paul.

St. Paul was not a pagan nor an unbeliever- he was a Jew of the sect of the Pharisees who was born in the city of Tarsus in Cilicia in contemporary Turkey, a stronghold of the Stoics (philosophical precursors to Christianity) in antiquity. Christ revealed Himself to St. Paul after the death via stoning of St. Stephen- he was on his way to Damascus and had an epiphany and became blind for several days.

I am talking as a Catholic not as some generic "Christian." Properly understood Catholics should consider the opinions of generic "Christians" to be this: heresy since the founder of generic "Christianity" (i.e. Protestantism and all of its offshoots) was a heretical monk named Luther. There is ONE Catholic Church as compared to 20,000+ denominations, each a church unto itself, of the Protestant schismatics. :D

As to your son finding Religion at a young age- good. Also keep in mind that the Universal Church exists in a variety of forms, i.e. Catholic, Coptic, Orthodox, Protestant i.e. anti-Catholic, etc.
 
It is true that there are many different sects of Christianity, yet I see no reason to label all Christians of today by what was in the past. If you break up the word, "Christian" means "Christ-man" and I can see no fault in a name like that. That said, there are many Christians that developed their entire faith through reading scripture. If heresy is actually reading the book our faith is founded on, bring it on. If what you mean by heresy is "traditions of men make void the word of God." then I can wholeheartedly agree with you there. One should examine all traditions with regard to religion and find it's source in scripture, or else abandon it. I see many examples of ancestor worship, idol worship, chanting, and repeated crucifixions in both modern day Christian and Catholic worship. It would be wise to eliminate such practices no matter what faith you call yourself.
 
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