Report: "Age of Life on Earth" Conference — Part 2

It’s largely a book on science and philosophy. It has some math references, but I don’t remember any equations.

Lie is typically defined as intentional deception, meaning one generally knows what the truth is. Obviously no such case with religion, depending on careful definition of knowing.

In epistemology, with few exceptions, knowledge must be true. Belief doesn’t have to be, and can be false.

Most of religious dog…ma :grin: is about beliefs and not knowledge. But, there are ways to look at these in which it may be more than meets the eye in certain aspects of generational and archetypal knowledge it packs about human relationships with ideal.

Yes.

It is possible to know truth.

But it seems impossible to me for one to express absolute truth in any system of symbols.

That said, I going to butt out on this conversation as spectrum is saying no one else is interested!!!:flushed::rofl:

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While I wasn’t there to hear the presentation, I would agree with this analysis. The Torah was compiled and edited in the post exilic period, probably to shore up the regime by creating a “history” leading up to that present time to illustrate the overarching purposes of Yahweh. The problem arises that Judaism and Christianity are fundamentally tied to historic claims of Yahweh acting in human affairs. When historicity of essential events is deemed improbable, the theological edifice built upon them is negated, as is the probability that Yahweh the tribal god actually exists.

That the events of Genesis were written for theological/political purposes seems to be probable. The non-historic elements in the Torah do not stop with Noah. The tales of Abraham, the enslavement in Egypt, the Exodus, the conquest of the land, and the vast empire of David and Solomon also fall into the category of being improbable, to put it mildly. The historicity of Jesus is itself highly questionable; the possibilities being either a man mythologized or a mythical character later historicized. But with any of the above elements failing as history, the theological construct is vaporized.

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Not to spoil the conversation with too much agreement, but it seems to me that this is “the bottom line” regarding the document Christians have commandeered and now refer to as the OT.

I’d even go so far as to say that the NT folks would have nothing to do with the Torah (or the Jews, for that matter) except that they’ve massaged whatever prophecies they found in those “scriptures” and have reinterpreted them in such as way as to make them conform to The Jesus Story–who’s name wasn’t really Jesus, BTW.

Oh, and if Christians were to accept the concept that the fabulous fables in the Torah were only that, and that the stories in it were only intended to impress a specific, credulous tribe of people at a specific place in time, they wouldn’t be able to claim for themselves the favoritism which god allegedly bestowed on the Israelites.

Another aside, and this is based solely on what I’ve gleaned from an irreligious reading of history. If god ever told me I was his favorite and that he wanted me to be his “special agent” here on earth, I’d immediately ask to be disinherited and would do everything I could, both legally and morally, to deny that birthright. :grinning:.

(Now if we could only convince the people of Islam that Mohammed did basically the same thing for his fellow Arabs when he created the “history” known as the Koran… :rofl:)

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Abraham not historic? No covenant or promise to be fulfilled.
Isaac not historic? No antitype for Jesus
No Exodus? No Passover? No foreshadowing of Jesus as ultimate Passover lamb.
Conquest of the land not historic, rather an organic supplanting of one Canaanite tribe for others. No fulfillment of Abraham’s gift.
David not a historic figure? Jesus as a descendant of David moot.

We could go on and on, but the house of cards of OT legends upon which Christianity claims to be in continuity and to supersede is an empty sack. Paul claimed to authoritatively find a novel interpretation for those OT tales, but in the end, he was just one more interpreter among many at the time using the Pesher method to find new meanings for long dead claims and stories.

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Once again, while I’m afraid this is going to sound like I’ve joined with you in “tag teaming” any dissenters to your conclusions, I’m going to respond by agreeing with pretty much all of the above.

However, while I know that some will call me hopelessly romantic or say that I’m exceptionally Pollyanna-ish, I still prefer to give Jesus, himself, at least a partial pass. I certainly do not blame him for much of what the businesses and institutions with his name on the door do or say, supposedly in his name. That is, I’m very open to Nietzsche’s notion that the Christianity is an essentially misguided death cult obsessed with worshiping the last and only true christian who does not and cannot refute their claims that they are “just doing his bidding”, as he is–fortunately for them perhaps??? :grinning:–dead.

Following this line of reasoning then, and instead of believing that he wanted to start a new religion founded on the rubble of the unprovable myths and failed predictions of the Torah, its reasonable—if not provable—to suggest that Jesus, would have found any “Yeshua Cult”, utterly distasteful.

Knowing also that he, personally, had nothing to do with the production of the extant gospel record leaves open the possibility that Jesus knew his good news could, and as history has shown would be easily misconstrued if expressed in essentially ambiguous written documents. So its logical to suggest that this helps explain why instead of sitting down to write his own gospel, Jesus only ever asked his followers to spread “The Word” door-to-door, as a necessarily oral tradition and with the help of the Holy Spirit.

But then again, this is just a personal preference and I would only ever mildly argue with those who believe Joshua was just another narcissistic evangelist with inferiority issues, given that neither they or I have ever had a chance to speak with the man, personally.

I also choose, to some exent, to look past any personallity foibles or psychological challenges Jesus may have dealt with as these may have been the result of trying to deal with his mother’s claims about him. How would any child come to terms with his parent’s assertion that their son’s birth and childhood were immaculate, both literally and figuratively, rather than the result of something so sinfully mundane and spiritually dirty as pre-martial sex, perhaps with a man other than Joseph?

While I’m not a shrink, it’s my understanding that the results of a “spoiled child” upbringing often express themselves as superiority complexes, delusions of grandeur, difficulties in dealing with reality and/or suicidal tendencies, some of which traits are observable, to this day, in the personages of other cult founders, e.g., Joseph Smith, EGW, LRH, Jimmy Jones, David Koresh and many others.

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