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kurros

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Re: Geological evidence for Christianity
« Reply #30 on: October 28, 2020, 05:47:58 am »
I think it is easily accounted for. Jesus had no idea that mountains indeed do move, and he picked an example of something that everyone believed was not possible to make a rhetorical point. I think your argument only undermines what he was trying to say.

How so? If people at the time (and I mean everyone) believed mountains are eternally fixed in place, but Jesus argued 'not so mountains can not only move but they can become part of the sea" which would have sounded completely absurd to those peoole at the time, then how is this not evidence for a,Christian God? I could argue how a beginning was seen as perhaps absurd to Aristotle (but in any case not believed by him) which the Christian view held to be a revelation from God. At what point can we acknowledge that the Christian view shaped a different way to conceive of nature? It wouldn't surprise me if Jesus' statement about mountains moving had an impact on how natural philosophers began to see and understand the natural world. But, that's conjecture on my part.

Well it sounded to me like he was trying to make a claim or point about the power of faith, i.e. "faith can move mountains" as a metaphor for "through faith the impossible can be achieved", something like that. This message would be undermined if the "impossible" actually just happens all the time by itself anyway, without the power of faith. As in the case of mountains moving very slowly.

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Harvey

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Re: Geological evidence for Christianity
« Reply #31 on: October 28, 2020, 06:12:19 am »
Well it sounded to me like he was trying to make a claim or point about the power of faith, i.e. "faith can move mountains" as a metaphor for "through faith the impossible can be achieved", something like that. This message would be undermined if the "impossible" actually just happens all the time by itself anyway, without the power of faith. As in the case of mountains moving very slowly.

True, but the fact that mountains don't actually move extremely fast  like that means either Jesus was subtely implying their movement is imperceptible to the eye, or that we should ignore the actual example and just glean from it the case that faith is stronger than we think but of course let's not be silly to think his example is actually possible. I tend to think he would have believed that mountains really do move and that faith can impact the direction and geological processes by which they move. Certainly if Jesus wasn't being literal then it lessens the power of what he said. If faith really affects the workings of nature as Jesus at least suggested, then the lesson is that we really need to exercise that power in our lives. Thus, I tend to think Jesus believed mountains really do move and that faith impacts the geological processes by which they move. I could be wrong but it's very interesting that the basis of the metaphor (that mountains can move) has been proven correct. Maybe no human being is recorded of even implying this possibility as far as I know (but of course there are a vast amount of things people have said in the ancient past so I wouldn't make that to be a firm claim on my part).
« Last Edit: October 28, 2020, 08:24:25 am by Harvey »

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OrthodoxJew

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Re: Geological evidence for Christianity
« Reply #32 on: October 28, 2020, 09:33:11 am »
Geological evidence for Christianity
Harvey, I'm truly perplexed by you. On the one hand, your reasonably skeptical and willing to dismiss traditional views in favor of ones you feel are more empirically valid. But on the other hand, you have a weird "fundy" streak that makes even a conservative like me cringe! Do you really think this is strong evidence?
One potential and interesting discovery I was meaning to post is  this potential discovery that earth was a water world in the Archaean eon.
Same thing here, very unimpressive.



שמע ישראל ה אלוקינו ה אחד
"Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one."

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ChristianInvestigator

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Re: Geological evidence for Christianity
« Reply #33 on: October 28, 2020, 09:53:37 am »
I am talking about the causal relationship of the prayer. Either the healing depends on the prayer - but then the life of the healed depends on whether you pray or not - or it does not, but then the prayer is causally irrelevant.

Like I said, provide the formal argument. I don't think either Spero or myself come to that same conclusion.

I’ve got the same question. If someone passed away in my past, there are two possibilities.
(A) They passed away because I didn’t pray with enough faith.
(B) They would have passed away no matter what I prayed.
I don’t think there’s an option (C), but (A) and (B) both have disturbing implications. Is there an option (C) I’m missing?

If we say that the only purpose of prayer is to build a relationship with God and express trust in Him, then that’s fine. But we can’t say that prayer is causally able to affect the future without addressing these implications.
"This year, though I'm far from home
In Trench I'm not alone.
These faces facing me,
They know... what I mean."

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Harvey

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Re: Geological evidence for Christianity
« Reply #34 on: October 28, 2020, 10:13:50 am »
Harvey, I'm truly perplexed by you. On the one hand, your reasonably skeptical and willing to dismiss traditional views in favor of ones you feel are more empirically valid. But on the other hand, you have a weird "fundy" streak that makes even a conservative like me cringe! Do you really think this is strong evidence?

Absolutely. Who else in the pre-modern science times even hinted that mountains could even in principle move or they could not only flatten but become a sea floor (maybe Lucian knows)? It's completely shocking that an ancient person, much less a key founder of the Western world would have emphatically stated that a mountainness terrain could do that. I have a little of Hugh Ross in me, what can I say?


Quote from: OJ
]Same thing here, very unimpressive.

Why? I thought you accepted that Genesis is not a mere myth.

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Harvey

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Re: Geological evidence for Christianity
« Reply #35 on: October 28, 2020, 10:26:56 am »
I’ve got the same question. If someone passed away in my past, there are two possibilities.
(A) They passed away because I didn’t pray with enough faith.
(B) They would have passed away no matter what I prayed.
I don’t think there’s an option (C), but (A) and (B) both have disturbing implications. Is there an option (C) I’m missing?

Counterfactually speaking we could also state A and B thusly:

(A) God didn't intervene because the causal factors that led to that person passing away, which maybe includes smoking three packs a day, living next to a nuclear power plant, etc. wasn't to be offset by our prayers, so that person died.
(B) God did intervene because the causal factors that would have led to that person dying was averted by being offset by our prayers, thus God did allow a certain number of circumstances to occur for that reason that had a dramatic impact on that person's future recovery (e.g., the person became a Christian and chose a healthy lifestyle and wanted to live with a mate they found in church and never moved close to the nuclear power plant).

In case of 1 we maybe could have helped save people but it didn't happen by failing to pray, just like we could have saved someone by bringing them food, or helping them in their lives. Everyday people die because someone didn't help them.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2020, 10:28:54 am by Harvey »

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Spero

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Re: Geological evidence for Christianity
« Reply #36 on: October 28, 2020, 10:44:23 am »
I am talking about the causal relationship of the prayer. Either the healing depends on the prayer - but then the life of the healed depends on whether you pray or not - or it does not, but then the prayer is causally irrelevant.

Like I said, provide the formal argument. I don't think either Spero or myself come to that same conclusion.

I’ve got the same question. If someone passed away in my past, there are two possibilities.
(A) They passed away because I didn’t pray with enough faith.
(B) They would have passed away no matter what I prayed.
I don’t think there’s an option (C), but (A) and (B) both have disturbing implications. Is there an option (C) I’m missing?

If we say that the only purpose of prayer is to build a relationship with God and express trust in Him, then that’s fine. But we can’t say that prayer is causally able to affect the future without addressing these implications.

I really don’t see much of an issue here for this reason, ChristianInvestigator. For a sincere Christian, when they pray, there is ALWAYS enough faith for God to hear and take it into consideration, from the beginning of time. If they had no faith at all, they wouldn’t be praying in the first place..and Jesus says all that is required is faith as small as a mustard seed.
Pride goes before destruction,
and a haughty spirit before a fall.

- Proverbs 16:18

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OrthodoxJew

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Re: Geological evidence for Christianity
« Reply #37 on: October 28, 2020, 12:37:10 pm »
Who else in the pre-modern science times even hinted that mountains could even in principle move
This isn't very convincing. It is very easy to retrofit statements to fit the scientific phenomenon that we observe. Unless it was an explicit scientific prediction which it isn't, its easily deniable. Don't pretend that if mountains couldn't move you'd see it as evidence against the bible.

This reminds me of scietifc miracles in the Qoran type of stuff....
שמע ישראל ה אלוקינו ה אחד
"Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one."

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Harvey

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Re: Geological evidence for Christianity
« Reply #38 on: October 28, 2020, 01:00:27 pm »
This isn't very convincing. It is very easy to retrofit statements to fit the scientific phenomenon that we observe. Unless it was an explicit scientific prediction which it isn't, its easily deniable. Don't pretend that if mountains couldn't move you'd see it as evidence against the bible.

I agree that had Jesus said "say to this mountain 'fly away' and then it will fly away into the sky like Elijah" then it would be completely ridiculous and it would be very clear that Jesus was saying that faith can cause ridiculous things to happen, or he was wrong, or just not meant to take it literal. But, in fact, he said something realistic in terms of what could happen to a mountain which puts it in a different category as certain people try to assert with the Quran. My understanding is that those references require obscure interpretations. You know that I accept obscure interpretations (e.g., Gen 1) if they are backed up with a series of predictions that are part of a consistent hypothesis and still leave open more predictions that we can test based on the same interpretive scheme. The Quran, to my knowledge, doesn't provide this. However, less obscure statements such as God spread out the heavens, or God created light and time (as inferred by Gen. 1;1-3) are non-obscure and deserve our respect as possible ways to test the validity of the scriptures. I don't see why Jesus' statement doesn't also count as such a non-obscure statement.

Of course, we are always going to have the problem of what to interpret what the ancient mind had intended. Did the Genesis writers really think God created the universe or did they just think he fashioned the lastest cycle of its iteration from an infinite chaos? Obviously there are anthropomorphic statements which we might immediately discount as "not literal" (e.g.,  "the earth is his footstool") but since they never obviously saw a huge giant walking around they must have used these phrases as metaphors. I argue that mountains moving was not a metaphor. Jesus actually believed and taught this. Why think he didn't believe it to be literal?
« Last Edit: October 28, 2020, 01:07:54 pm by Harvey »

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Jabberwock

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Re: Geological evidence for Christianity
« Reply #39 on: October 28, 2020, 02:49:37 pm »
I really don’t see much of an issue here for this reason, ChristianInvestigator. For a sincere Christian, when they pray, there is ALWAYS enough faith for God to hear and take it into consideration, from the beginning of time. If they had no faith at all, they wouldn’t be praying in the first place..and Jesus says all that is required is faith as small as a mustard seed.

As I wrote, the issue is causal dependence. Either the faith (prayer) is a necessary condition for e.g. healing, or it is not. If it is not, then it is not relevant. If it is, then our lack of prayer (faith) causes deaths.
First learn to spell "ironic discussion"...

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Harvey

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Re: Geological evidence for Christianity
« Reply #40 on: October 28, 2020, 03:53:17 pm »
As I wrote, the issue is causal dependence. Either the faith (prayer) is a necessary condition for e.g. healing, or it is not. If it is not, then it is not relevant. If it is, then our lack of prayer (faith) causes deaths.

Here, I'll write an outline of your formal argument and show how it depends on a false premise:

1)  If prayer cannot change God's will to intervene to prevent a negative event, then it means God at the beginning of time has either a) already decided to not intervene against the negative event regardless of the prayer, or b) the prayer itself was not sufficient to bring about God's intervention but God decided to intervene anyway.
2) If (a) then prayer could not have changed the outcome.  [From 1a]
3) If (b) then God had already decided to intervene so the prayer played no causal role in the outcome. [Since the decision to intervene had already been made prior to the prayer.]
4) Thus, prayer is acausal to God intervening in negative events. [From 2,3]
5) Therefore prayer plays no causal role in every outcome (since if prayer cannot play a role in a negative outcome it can't play a role in any outcome since being positive or negative is inconsequential to prayer playing a causal role in the outcome of an event.)

This is just an outline. Now, the problem is that 3 is false. It's certainly possible that God seeing the prayer would begin to set-up the conditions of answering the prayer and once the pray had been uttered God takes the final step to implementing the steps in the background that He already began to take in the past. It's simply false that prayer could not even in principle play a causal role in God's intervention.

 
Quote from: Jabberwock
Would you like to live thinking that some of the bad things that happen to people you love might be because you have not asked God sincerely enough?

This doesn't play a role for 1a/2 since prayer couldn't in that case play a role for God intervening. In case of 1b/3, it is true that we need to pray to avoid a scenario where God didn't intervene because we didn't participate in asking for His intervention, but on an optimistic note God knows our state and level of spiritual maturity and will gauge His actions based on this "widow's mite" principle. If we are spiritually poor, but we give what we have and it is all that we have (like the Centuriam and Pharisee), then that prayer coming from a lowly person will play a significant role in God's intervention. Of course the goal is to grow in the faith, but we ought not feel guilty if we did give our most for God to intervene and He didn't. We should realize that many times God's will takes time and many times God asks we wait for His salvation even under unanswered prayers.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2020, 03:57:07 pm by Harvey »

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Spero

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Re: Geological evidence for Christianity
« Reply #41 on: October 28, 2020, 05:07:24 pm »
I really don’t see much of an issue here for this reason, ChristianInvestigator. For a sincere Christian, when they pray, there is ALWAYS enough faith for God to hear and take it into consideration, from the beginning of time. If they had no faith at all, they wouldn’t be praying in the first place..and Jesus says all that is required is faith as small as a mustard seed.

As I wrote, the issue is causal dependence. Either the faith (prayer) is a necessary condition for e.g. healing, or it is not. If it is not, then it is not relevant. If it is, then our lack of prayer (faith) causes deaths.
Sorry, I missed some posts, including Harvey’s.

I’m going to try and parse this out for myself with an example, and then later attempt to digest Harvey’s other posts.

Mr Smith has a heart attack and lands himself in the hospital, because Mr Smith ate like a pig his whole life and smoked ten packs a day. The medical prognosis is that Mr Smith has hours to live. Pastor Jones comes along and prays over Mr Smith. To the doctor’s amazement, Mr Smith ends up living another ten years. Had pastor Jones not prayed over Mr Smith, Mr Smith would’ve passed away three hours after landing in the hospital.

I don’t know if I would say if a lack of prayer caused Mr Smith to die that night, because the cause of his dying was stuffing himself with junk food and smoking. What I think I would say is a lack of prayer allowed his life long habits to be the cause of his dying when he did. Does this follow? 

Through a Molonist perspective - which I more or less subscribe to - from the very beginning, in the world which God chose to acctualize, Mr Smith chooses to live an unhealthy lifestyle, then suffer a heart attack, then get prayed over in order to live another ten years...all for reasons only God is privy to.  We might ask then why pray at all...right?
« Last Edit: October 28, 2020, 05:10:52 pm by Spero »
Pride goes before destruction,
and a haughty spirit before a fall.

- Proverbs 16:18

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Jabberwock

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Re: Geological evidence for Christianity
« Reply #42 on: October 29, 2020, 12:25:05 am »
Here, I'll write an outline of your formal argument and show how it depends on a false premise:

1)  If prayer cannot change God's will to intervene to prevent a negative event, then it means God at the beginning of time has either a) already decided to not intervene against the negative event regardless of the prayer, or b) the prayer itself was not sufficient to bring about God's intervention but God decided to intervene anyway.
2) If (a) then prayer could not have changed the outcome.  [From 1a]
3) If (b) then God had already decided to intervene so the prayer played no causal role in the outcome. [Since the decision to intervene had already been made prior to the prayer.]
4) Thus, prayer is acausal to God intervening in negative events. [From 2,3]
5) Therefore prayer plays no causal role in every outcome (since if prayer cannot play a role in a negative outcome it can't play a role in any outcome since being positive or negative is inconsequential to prayer playing a causal role in the outcome of an event.)

This is just an outline. Now, the problem is that 3 is false. It's certainly possible that God seeing the prayer would begin to set-up the conditions of answering the prayer and once the pray had been uttered God takes the final step to implementing the steps in the background that He already began to take in the past. It's simply false that prayer could not even in principle play a causal role in God's intervention.

This is not the argument. We are determining whether the prayer is a necessary condition for intervention, not whether it is a sufficient condition.
First learn to spell "ironic discussion"...

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Jabberwock

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Re: Geological evidence for Christianity
« Reply #43 on: October 29, 2020, 12:38:04 am »
Sorry, I missed some posts, including Harvey’s.

I’m going to try and parse this out for myself with an example, and then later attempt to digest Harvey’s other posts.

Mr Smith has a heart attack and lands himself in the hospital, because Mr Smith ate like a pig his whole life and smoked ten packs a day. The medical prognosis is that Mr Smith has hours to live. Pastor Jones comes along and prays over Mr Smith. To the doctor’s amazement, Mr Smith ends up living another ten years. Had pastor Jones not prayed over Mr Smith, Mr Smith would’ve passed away three hours after landing in the hospital.

I don’t know if I would say if a lack of prayer caused Mr Smith to die that night, because the cause of his dying was stuffing himself with junk food and smoking. What I think I would say is a lack of prayer allowed his life long habits to be the cause of his dying when he did. Does this follow? 

Through a Molonist perspective - which I more or less subscribe to - from the very beginning, in the world which God chose to acctualize, Mr Smith chooses to live an unhealthy lifestyle, then suffer a heart attack, then get prayed over in order to live another ten years...all for reasons only God is privy to.  We might ask then why pray at all...right?

Sure, there are other contributing causes to Mr Smith's demise. Still, if pastor Jones does not pray, it remains the fact that he could have saved Mr Smith and he did not. Suppose that God reveals himself to Jones and says: 'If you pray for this man, I will save his life!'. And Jones answers: 'Nah, I think I will grab myself a sandwich instead'. Would you still say that Jones has no part in Mr Smith's death?
First learn to spell "ironic discussion"...

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kurros

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Re: Geological evidence for Christianity
« Reply #44 on: October 29, 2020, 04:43:32 am »
Sorry, I missed some posts, including Harvey’s.

I’m going to try and parse this out for myself with an example, and then later attempt to digest Harvey’s other posts.

Mr Smith has a heart attack and lands himself in the hospital, because Mr Smith ate like a pig his whole life and smoked ten packs a day. The medical prognosis is that Mr Smith has hours to live. Pastor Jones comes along and prays over Mr Smith. To the doctor’s amazement, Mr Smith ends up living another ten years. Had pastor Jones not prayed over Mr Smith, Mr Smith would’ve passed away three hours after landing in the hospital.

I don’t know if I would say if a lack of prayer caused Mr Smith to die that night, because the cause of his dying was stuffing himself with junk food and smoking. What I think I would say is a lack of prayer allowed his life long habits to be the cause of his dying when he did. Does this follow? 

Through a Molonist perspective - which I more or less subscribe to - from the very beginning, in the world which God chose to acctualize, Mr Smith chooses to live an unhealthy lifestyle, then suffer a heart attack, then get prayed over in order to live another ten years...all for reasons only God is privy to.  We might ask then why pray at all...right?

Sure, there are other contributing causes to Mr Smith's demise. Still, if pastor Jones does not pray, it remains the fact that he could have saved Mr Smith and he did not. Suppose that God reveals himself to Jones and says: 'If you pray for this man, I will save his life!'. And Jones answers: 'Nah, I think I will grab myself a sandwich instead'. Would you still say that Jones has no part in Mr Smith's death?

It's like the law of the sea, you have a duty to help those in danger wherever reasonable. Some jurisdictions even have such a duty to rescue others in their civil laws.