nielnielson

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Disciples' persecution demonstrates sincere belief in Jesus
« on: September 15, 2020, 09:28:46 pm »
I offer an argument that the persecution of the disciples demonstrates their sincere belief in Jesus and his teachings. Note that I am not arguing for the validity of Jesus and his teachings, however, I would like to follow up with that argument in another post.

If the disciples did not sincerely believe in Jesus and his teachings, then they wouldn’t have endured persecution.
The disciples endured persecution.
     C. Thus the disciples sincerely believed in Jesus and his teachings. (1,2 MT)

In support of premise 1, it seems to be common among humans throughout history, that we make choices in life based upon our belief that they will maximize our utility. The disciples were essentially given two choices, reject Jesus as God and live, or proclaim Jesus and endure persecution and death. The first choice is obviously the better option of the two, unless the second choice to proclaim Jesus somehow outweighs the negative repercussions of persecution and death and the opportunity cost of living.

The disciples endured incredible persecution, which led to gruesome deaths, so it follows that they must have believed that proclaiming Jesus was the option that maximized their utility. This utility would be found in fulfilling a calling greater than this life and result in eternal life with God, by obeying the teachings and believing the promises of Jesus.

I imagine two main objections to premise 1.

The disciples did not sincerely believe in Jesus and endured persecution because:
The disciples wanted fame.
The disciples were delusional.

 In response to the first objection, It is true that fame motivates individuals, but when faced with extremely painful repercussions and death, I think the vast majority of individuals would choose to live. Thus I find it highly unlikely that fame would somehow have higher utility than living and giving up a lie, as fame is useless if the individual ceases to exist.

I anticipate the second objection, but I do not believe this to be a valid objection to my argument. The disciples could have been delusional, but they still would have sincerely believed in Jesus and his teachings. I do not however believe that all of the named and unnamed disciples of Jesus were somehow delusional or tricked into believing, but I hope to expand upon this within my next post.

I would appreciate feedback and other objections.

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jayceeii

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Re: Disciples' persecution demonstrates sincere belief in Jesus
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2020, 01:04:35 pm »
I imagine two main objections to premise 1.

The disciples did not sincerely believe in Jesus and endured persecution because:
The disciples wanted fame.
The disciples were delusional.

I would appreciate feedback and other objections.
The third objection you’ve neglected was that the disciples were on a secret mission, as the churches have accepted some, such as the prophets, are sent by God. Their secret purpose would have been to push humanity forward by a kind of manipulation, acting better than men while in the disguise of men. There is a lot of unexamined evidence that such figures existed throughout world history, unearthed through careful study of them.

Of course to have noticed this third alternative would demarcate you as either another hidden messenger, or as a man recognizing he has been manipulated by a higher power. But now that I’ve brought it up, if you deny it then it is certain you are a man and have brought no new insights from the Deity intended for humans like the prophets used to do.

Your whole argument falls quickly if I merely ask what you mean by “eternal life with God.” You are allowed to say that with virtually no meaning because everyone else has been doing so. Swedenborg pointed out the human notion of Heaven doesn’t rise high enough to be called an idea, but this remark has been overlooked although it overturns the whole religion. This is going beyond Jesus, who actually was invoking greed when He offered a tradeoff, promising Heaven for proselytizing activities rather than actual virtue.

OK, number one, if you want to be with Jesus, do you think that He is a family man? If you do then you are denying His strong words, that those who do not deny their kin are not worthy of Him! Being with Jesus means moving outside the family for your meaning. Yet the entire human realm revolves around the family, no other options having shown.

Number two, do you think Jesus will exchange money with you? If you think so you haven’t begun to understand His parables, that underscore no one can take wealth into Heaven. So if Jesus won’t exchange money, that means if He is going to eat you’re going to have to work to make it so, and Jesus will also be working so that you can eat, as He showed by washing the feet of the disciples. Yet everywhere in this world money reigns.

You can only be with Jesus by being like Jesus, but I expect you are like the wealthy man who asked what he must do, and Jesus said, “Go, sell what you own,” and he refused. Christians moan continuously about being with the Lord, while continuing to hate and compete against the neighbor. They think God is fooled by prayers and hymns; He is not.