Persol

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Avoiding Your Belief's Real Weak Points

Can you please explain why you believe in your God, and not all the others?

Avoiding Your Belief's Real Weak Points

I'd never seen the term Bulverism, but I don't think what you are doing would classify. You aren't saying A is false because Okeymaker likes B, you're saying the extraordinary claims with lack of extraordinary evidence doesn't provide much prove A.

And that lack of good evidence does not seems not to matter... which makes me wonder how a discussion can continue. Questioning the motives of the discussion is goal clarification, without which there is no discussion.

Avoiding Your Belief's Real Weak Points

errancy.org is a good reference. A simple reading of the first page should be sufficient to put doubt in the fact that the gospels are completely 'true'.

While this is not enough to convince someone that the Biblical God is false, it at least is a good gate to further discussion. If someone can't acknowledge that there are factual errors and contradiction... I'm not sure what there is left to talk about.

Avoiding Your Belief's Real Weak Points

don´t NEED to read non-canon gospels to believe in Jesus, just like I don´t need to read Feynman to believe in physics.

Absolutely true, but if your belief on some specific part of physics is based on a single untested book which has demonstrable errors, you should read some other sources. Especially when there really isn't a huge volume.

[As a side note 'belief in physics' doesn't really mean anything. If you believe that a dropped apple will fall, you 'believe in physics'... you have direct evidence of it.]

I intend to read non-canon gospels, do you know how many there are?

It's shorter than A Song of Fire and Ice. In your world view, your religious documents should be much more important than George R Martin's musings are to millions.

Never said [liking something makes it true]

You're missing my point. Tour reason for believing the Gospels appears to have no foundation other than your 'like', and as you seem to agree, you liking it doesn't make it more true than all the other religious documents. If you have some other reason for believing it, share THAT and we can discuss. Currently you're leaving everyone to guess why you believe what you believe. If you go ask 10 fellow believes 'why', I guarantee you won't get the same answer each time.

I never said I disregard everything that is not the gospels and you know it.

I never said you did; I said you choose the Gospels over everything else... you have multiple sources, all of which are easily available to you; and you appear to randomly chose a subset. Even worse, you appear to have randomly picked a complete religion.

Your chance of having picked the right religion is near zero. Hopefully any real supreme being doesn't send you to some analogue of hell for believing in the wrong god.

Meanwhile, in the gospels JESUS do not contradict himself.

To be clear, almost nobody claims Jesus wrote the gospels. Different gospels have Jesus saying different things in the same situation. For a straightforward indisputable example refer to Matthew 26:34 and Mark 14:30. A response that the above example may be misquoted could apply to everything Jesus is quoted as saying.

(You can Google other examples, but many could be argued as Jesus telling a story in which he describes different activities. This one is more straightforward.)

Feel free to refer to those contradictions you talk about.

Again, you can easily Google this. The Old Testament is demonstratively wrong on facts, but I suspect you'll say you don't follow that. Mark has a large number of demonstratively wrong facts as well. You're trusting Mark to correctly quote Jesus, when his stories have numerous other mistakes,

Avoiding Your Belief's Real Weak Points

with ACTUAL knowledge on the subject

The beauty of theological study (and the internet) is that you can look at the source material and translations in detail and directly yourself. You have access to the very small amount of source data on the subject. Most of what people 'know' about the Trinity was made up hundreds of years after the fact.... and quite obviously these theories about the holy trinity have been untested.

Avoiding Your Belief's Real Weak Points

To be blunt, I'm not really seeing answers from you. Most of your responses to most people's claims have been "well I don't believe that anyway". Meanwhile, you haven't even read most of Christianity.

Your specific responses seem to say very little:

No. But I haven't fully read any non-canon gospels yet.

You haven't done even your basic due diligence. You believe your eternal soul is controlled by God, but you can't be bothered to read a few documents that claim to have worthwhile information? This is absurd. Instead you've randomly latched on one set of documents, which you fully acknowledge are contradicted elsewhere.

I am an evangelic christian and within my belief the gospels override everything else that is or can be seen as contradictory. I have to value the words of Christ higher than the words of his followers and mortal predecessors.

There are direct contradictions WITHIN the gospels. How can something with basic logical error be an ultimate truth? Moreover, most theologians acknowledge that the gospels were not written during Jesus's claimed activities... let alone BY Jesus.

I just "like" the gospels more than the rest of it.

You like something, fine... that doesn't make it true. That fact that you liking something doesn't make it true is simply a fact. Having not even read the alternatives, why does what you 'like' even matter?

If the only ice cream you've ever had is broccoli flavored, a statement that 'you it more than the rest' doesn't mean anything. You need something to compare it to.

Actually read and investigate the various documents across 'flavors' of Christianity that claim to talk about your God. Honestly ask yourself why you only choose the Gospels, and try to think about the various contradictions. You don't need us for this.

Avoiding Your Belief's Real Weak Points

I may have misread your initial comment. To paraphrase to check my reading: you are penalizing due to complexity of a 'god' prior but, on the balance, eyewitness details should increase your estimate of the claimed witnessed set being true. More details from eyewitnesses do not then penalize further. The complexity of the god models are just so complex in the first place, that eyewitness details don't increase your estimate much.

What I'm not grasping is what this sentence meant:

And even an Abrahamic God (or a divine Gospel Jesus, if we treat that as overlapping rather than a proper subset) is pretty detailed if we combine historical claims with some meaningful traits of divinity.

Functionally, we're talking about the set of vaguely Bible shaped gods... not all the details would need to be true. Eyewitness claims that this bible shaped god interacted with a historical figure should STILL increase your estimate of it happening.... even though that increase may still be infinitesimal.

Excepting things like "the following sentence is false", eyewitness details should always increase the chance of something like the referenced object existing. It may in parallel also provide evidence that the 'custody chain' is faulty or faked... but that's a different issue.

Avoiding Your Belief's Real Weak Points

I know this has been discussed before, but I'm not convinced that complexity penalties should apply to anything involving human witnesses.

Suppose someone theorizes that the sun is made of a micro black hole covered in lightbulbs, and there is no obvious physics being broken.... this is an obvious place to use complexity penalties. Simpler models can explain the evidence.

With the Bible though, we have witnesses that presumably entangle the Bible with a divine being. Complexity penalty in this case shouldn't penalize for extra details. (Considering complexity penalties may still point to "this story is made up for social reasons, and here are some prior sources" instead of "god did it"... but this isn't due to the amount of detail provided.)

Avoiding Your Belief's Real Weak Points

True and I didn't consider that... but assuming a supreme being had any impact in humanity, it is reasonable to assume that the set of practiced religions are more likely to be true than the set of not discovered religions.

I was trying to minimize the possible tangential arguments. I think trying to expand from 1 religion to 19 major religions is enough to show the problem without going to ~200 religions, which allows room to argue about applicabiliy/similarity of subtypes. Going to all possible religions allows room to argue about applicability of set theory.

Avoiding Your Belief's Real Weak Points

I'm not quite sure what you want to see when you ask for the 'weakest point in Christianity'. I thought the easily found arguments and frequently discussed arguments were compelling enough by themselves. I was a regular Sunday school attendee, continued to go to church (for social reasons) even after I started to think the whole thing was random, and genuinely enjoy having these sorts of discussions

The main things that I found had weight is that it's taking the numerous world religions and saying 'this one' without any great reason. When the correct selection may damn you for eternity, it's worthy of considering the alternatives.

  • From an outside view, I see no reason to privilege the supernatural portions of Christianity over other religions. Rhetorically, what do you find as the weak points of every other religion? Don't many of these apply to Christianity?
  • Generic inconsistencies - having read all the Biblical texts (some multiple times), and referencing databases for discussions of the original pre-translated text, the number of straightforward contradictions is outstanding. If we just assume for a second that some of the text was effectively the word of god, you still don't know which parts. And that's disregarding every other religion's text, seemingly without justification.
  • Inconsistencies in practice - some branches of Christianity heavily discount the Bible due to the above.... but this makes the problem WORSE. It just dilutes the 'god content' even further. Arguments of your specific practitioners being 'inspired by god' needs to address all the people who disagree with you but say the same thing.

The specific details about Christ, and your 'flavor' of Christianity, are besides the point in light of the above. Other than popularity, Christianity still has the same problems as Zeus and the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

All that said, the best argument for Christianity seems to be as a placeholder belief and social system. For some people it's better just to pick a set of beliefs and go with it (IE: it's a complex/unknowable local minima problem that's 'good enough').

P.S. - I'd be interested in hearing your arguments 'for' God. I've yet to see one that isn't so broad to be effectively meaningless. You might want to just google your argument for God and see if there aren't already identified issues.

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