Good and Evil

General discussions
Hemingway
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Re: Good and Evil

Post by Hemingway » Tue Mar 23, 2010 5:44 pm

Ah Biblical Prophecy. One of the easiest pieces of "evience" for a creator to shoot down.

"A prophecy is a prediction about what will happen in the future, inspired by God or some supernatural force. It is probably the best way that God could be proven. However, there are some qualifications that a prediction must meet before we can decide it is the work of the supernatural. These qualifications are:

1) The prophecy must be proven to have been spoken before it was fulfilled. This is a major problem with Old Testament Prophecy. To prove that the prophecy wasn't written after the fact, one must find the earliest copy we have of a prophecy and carbon date it. That date must be sometime before the prophesied event occured. The Book of Daniel runs into this problem, as all evidence suggests it was written long after its alleged "predictions".

2) The prophecy must be specific. No vague, Nostradamus Style prophecy. The Book of Revelation runs into exactly this problem. The prophecies are so vague that they can have easily have many different "fulfillments". For instance, who is the beast of Revelation 13 (whose number is 666)? Some Fundamentalist Christians insist that it is the pope; Catholics believe it was Caesar Nero; and yet a few conpiracy theorists argue that it is Ronald Reagan! These symbloic prophecies are meaningless because they can be interpreted to fulfill anything that happens.

3) The prophecy must be of something that was not forseeable. For instance, a lot of people predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union, because they saw that it was a very unstable government. Yet we do not think of them as prophets. A prophecy must be something that few/none would have predicted when it was made.

The sad truth for Christians is that I have yet to find a prophecy that fulfills these three requirements. Even worse for them, the bible contains prophecies that were not fulfilled. Ezekiel 26 predicts that Nebudchadnezzar would destroy Tyre and make it "as a bare rock". Best of all, biblical scholars are in agreemnt that this book was written hundreds of years before Tyre was destroyed. Yet we know from history that it was Alexander the Great, not Nebudchadnezzar, who destroyed Tyre. Isaiah 19:5 predicts that the Nile River would dry up. And yet it never has. Now, some people may say that that prophecy is yet to come, but remember: These prophecies were about the people at that time".


Also, are you familiar with the process that new testament writers engaged in known as Midrash?

Frpm Wikipedia:
"Midrash is a way of interpreting biblical stories that goes beyond simple distillation of religious, legal or moral teachings. It fills in many gaps left in the biblical narrative regarding events and personalities that are only hinted at."


New testament writers looked at Biblical Prophecy contained within the old testament and attempted to retro fit current happenings to fit with these old testament prophecies. It made the case for their particular brand of religion all the stronger.

At the time of the writing of the gospels (the first of which, Mark, came probably 40 years after Jesus is believed to have died) Christianity competing with many other religions and so had to elevate their god as high as possible. Hence, we see stories about miracles in the gospels that are not contained within earlier writings such as Paul’s letters.

Paul doesn’t even mention any of the miracles attributed to Jesus in the gospels, save the resurrection.

Why is this?

Paul was around at the time of Jesus (although he never met him) and he does not mention any miracles outside the resurrection. The story becomes more and more embellished by the gospel writers as time passes so as to elevate their god above all the other competing gods that were around at the time.

None of the contemporary historians at the time, even mention miracles carried out by a man called Jesus. Indeed we only have four historical references to a man it is claimed MAY be Jesus (these are not contemporary accounts) and three of these only mention a “Christus”, which was a title held by various men not just the Jesus of the Christian story.

Only Josephus names Jesus by name and this part of the text in his "Antiquities of the Jews" in 93 CE is long believed to have been corrupted by early Christians for reasons I will not go into here, but which you can easily look up.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephus_o ... _Flavianum
Last edited by Hemingway on Wed Mar 24, 2010 11:34 am, edited 2 times in total.
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laffingtiger
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Re: Good and Evil

Post by laffingtiger » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:26 pm

If J.C. really existed here are some interesting comparisons with the Egyptian sun god/man Horus.


http://paganizingfaithofyeshua.netfirms ... _chart.htm


Maybe he wasn't so unique after all.
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mkaobrih
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Re: Good and Evil

Post by mkaobrih » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:36 pm

EireannachforGod - don’t have a come back that just quotes the bible as your reference – there are a lot more books then that one.
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chemicals
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Re: Good and Evil

Post by chemicals » Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:50 pm

After removing the repeated names and vetting out the non biologist and non earth scientists the list reduces to


BACTERIOLOGY LOUIS PASTEUR (1822-1895)
COMPARATIVE ANATOMY GEORGES CUVIER (1769-1832)
GENETICS GREGOR MENDEL (1822-1884)
GLACIAL GEOLOGY LOUIS AGASSIZ (1807-1873)
NATURAL HISTORY JOHN RAY (1627-1705)
PALEONTOLOGY JOHN WOODWARD (1665-1728)
STRATIGRAPHY NICHOLAS STENO (1631-1686)
SYSTEMATIC BIOLOGY CAROLUS LINNAEUS (1707-1778)
ENTOMOLOGY OF LIVING INSECTS HENRI FABRE (1823-1915)aka Jean-Henri Casimir Fabre

This leaves a few interesting names to look at

Cuvier was an early exponent of what is now called "Punctuated equilibrium "

Mendel - Catholic monk -discovered genetics !!! cornerstone of evolution !

Agassiz- early proponent of ice ages -so definably not a YEC. funny you mention him on your side as he had some interesting beliefs on the inferior nature of black people ,and was an advocate of Polygenism a very very non Biblical view of creation.

Ray -died nearly 100 years before Darwin was born !! Attended College at a time when you had to be deeply religious to get in or to progress .Still he did come up with a good definition for "species" ,no mention of "kind " though.

Woodward - again long dead before Darwin's birth -had some crazy theories that were widely ridiculed at the time .

Stenao - catholic priest - Helped lay the ground work for the "Law of superposition " therefore helping to establish the old age of the Earth

Linnaeus - again long dead before Darwin ,Catholics and protestants banned his books which among other things -grouped humans with animals, and other terrible non -biblical ideas .

Fabre- was sceptical of Darwins theory and many other theories -hardly makes him a Creationist -classical false dichotomy .

Pasteur- again like Fabre rejected Darwin 's natural selection but believed in evolution especially in pathogenic evolution.
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EireannachforGod
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Re: Good and Evil

Post by EireannachforGod » Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:25 am

The prophecy in Ezekiel 26 that the city of Tyre will be destroyed is false - or at least it has not yet been fulfilled. Tyre still exists and has been continually occupied since before Ezekiel's time. As the prophecy indicated that Nebuchadnezzar was supposed to be the destroyer of the city, I think it's safe to call this prophecy a failure.
Here are the predictions in Ezekiel 26:

a) King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon would destroy the mainland city of Tyre, which, at the time was one of the biggest and most powerful cities of Phoenicia, which is modern day Lebanon. (26:7-8).

b) Many nations would rise up against Tyre. These nations would come against it like waves of the sea, one after another (26:3- 4).

c) Tyre would be made like a flat rock (26:4, 14).

d) Fisherman would dry their nets there (26:5, 14).

e) The rubble of the city would be thrown into the sea (26:12).

f) Tyre would never be rebuilt (26:14).

Not long after Ezekiel gave the prophecy Nebuchadnezzar began a thirteen year siege of the city beginning in 585 BC. The historian Josephus reported this from Philostratus among others. (Josephus, Antiq., l.10. c. 11 s.1 (288)). During the siege the Moabites, the Ammonites, and the Edomites were also subdued by Nebuchadnezzar as predicted by the prophets (Jeremiah 27:1-22 48:1-49:3 Ezekiel 25:1-17)

In 572 BC Tyre finally surrendered to Nebuchadnezzar (Josephus, Apion, l 1. c. 21 (157)). However during the siege most of the possessions of the city were transfered to an island about half a mile out to sea. There are no reports of Nebuchadnezzar gaining plunder (Ezek. 29:17- 20) Although he destroyed the mainland city (Ezek. 26:8), the new island city continued to prosper for 250 years. The prophecy of Ezekiel 26:12, "they shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy dust in the midst of the water", remained unfulfilled until Alexander the Great came along

In 333 BC. Tyre underwent a 7-month siege by Alexander the Great, finally being taken on July 24 332 BC, according to James Ussher (Macedonian and Asiatic Year c. 5) The reason Alexander the Great lay siege to Tyre was because of their unwillingness to let him visit their city and make a sacrifice to Hercules, telling him instead to visit an older alter to Hercules, located in Palaetyros, or Old (or mainland) Tyre.

Realizing he did not have a fleet of ships that could rival Tyre's, Alexander decided to build a causeway to the island using the ruins from the mainland city (the causeway can still be seen to this day). The prophet Ezekiel said that the city would be thrown into the water, and that's exactly what Alexander did. This is also recorded by Greek historian Arrian (Anabasis, l. 2. c. 19. s.6)

As the causeway approached the city Alexander's men were under constant pressure from missiles and rocks being thrown at them as well as being under pressure from the Tyrian navy. Realizing that he needed ships to defend his flanks, Alexander went back to the cities he had conquered and demanded their help. Arrian reports that the Sidonians, and the city of Rhodes sent ships to Alexander. Other ships came from Soli and Mallus, as well as Lycia among others. Alexander eventually overcame Tyre, killing around 8000 people and selling a further 30,000 sold into slavery. The prophecy that God "will cause many nations to come up against thee, as the sea causeth its waves to come up" (Ezek. 26:3) was thereby fulfilled.

Historian Philip Myers said, "Alexander the Great reduced Tyre to ruins (332 B.C.). She recovered in a measure from this blow, but never regained the place she had previously held in the world. The larger part of the site ... is now as bare as the top of a rock--a place where the fishermen that still frequent the spot spread their nets to dry" (General History for Colleges and High Schools [Boston: Ginn and Co., 1889], p. 55). Again, the prophecies of Ezekiel 26:4-5, 14 were fulfilled. The island city was repopulated, only to be later destroyed by the Moslems in 1281 AD. God, however said that the mainland city would never be rebuilt - and it never has. Jerusalem has been rebuilt many times but Tyre will never be rebuilt because a prophet in Babylon said twenty-five centuries ago, "Thou shalt be built no more" (Ezek. 26:14).

Hope this helps.
"The more I study nature the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator. " Louis Pasteur

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Re: Good and Evil

Post by lughlamhfada » Thu Mar 25, 2010 4:22 pm

EireannachforGod wrote:If there is no God how does one determine what is good and what is evil?
A coterie has always determined this,and put their own declaration in to the mouth of gods.
As Seneca observed 2000 years ago, “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” This ventriloquist act has had its day.
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Re: Good and Evil

Post by EireannachforGod » Fri Mar 26, 2010 6:02 am

Actually if you simply google "crime rates by religion" it seems that without god it is easier to determine what is good and what is evil.
It's true that man has used religion for political gain down through the centuries. The Nazis had "God with Us" engraved on their belts. The law even allows you to start the Christian Nazi Party if you so wish.You can even become a reverend for a few dollars in America if you want.

John 16:2,3 tells us that there will be some who, in error, will commit atrocities and murder in the name of God: "The time is coming that whosoever kills you will think that he does God service." However, John goes on to tell us that people who do this are not true believers: "And these things will they do to you, because they have not known the Father, nor me."

US congressional records put the number of people killed by red regimes and non-religious regimes as somewhere between 150 - 200 million. It's easy to imagine a world without Chairman Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, Hitler etc.

You use the word "evil". By what process do you identify evil? In order to identify evil, you must have a universal absolute to go by. Without an absolute reference point for good (which only God can provide), no one can identify what is good or evil. Everything becomes relative. The problem of evil actually requires the existence of God.
"The more I study nature the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator. " Louis Pasteur

“Contemptuous of the faith of others, its proponents never doubt their own belief. They are fundamentalists.” Gary Wolf on the new atheists
nozzferrahhtoo
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Re: Good and Evil

Post by nozzferrahhtoo » Fri Mar 26, 2010 9:05 am

EireannachforGod wrote:You use the word "evil". By what process do you identify evil? In order to identify evil, you must have a universal absolute to go by.
False. Evil is just a relative term.

If I were to put a subjective measurement on a Opel Astra as a “normal” sized car then I can identify other cars as “big” or “small” in comparison. Big and small are not actually attributes these cars have in and of themselves however, they are just relative statements in comparison to the standards I have established.

“Good” and “Evil” are the same thing. Actions do not inherently contain such traits. They are relative comparative statements to the standards we have subjectively established for ourselves in society and wish to operate, and have others operate, by.
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Re: Good and Evil

Post by funkyderek » Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:54 pm

EireannachforGod wrote:The Jews would survive Babylonian rule and return home
Bible prophecy found in Jeremiah 32:36-37
Prophecy written sometime between 626-586 BC
Prophecy fulfilled in 536 BC
Even if that were written before the fulfillment - a claim for which there is not a scintilla of evidence - it barely counts as prophecy. It's no more a prophecy than the song "Mandela will be free".
The people of Israel would return to "their own land"
Bible prophecy found in Ezekiel 34:13
Prophecy written between 593-571 BC
Prophecy fulfilled around 2600 years ago
Again, this is largely the same prophecy with largely the same problems. There is no reason to believe it was written in advance and even if it was, it's more wishful thinking than prophecy.
The people of Israel will never be completely destroyed
Bible prophecy found in Leviticus 26:44
Prophecy written as early as 1400 BC
Prophecy fulfilled throughout history
By its nature, this "prophecy" cannot be considered fulfilled until the end of time. And again, it's more wishful thinking than prophecy. What deity is going to tell its chosen people that they will be destroyed?

If you're impressed by any of these, then you're shockingly naive.

Regarding Ezekiel 26, you seem to be happy with part of the city having been destroyed, although that is not what was prophesied. The city is thriving to this day, and the mainland part of the city is not "as bare as the top of a rock", it is a protected cultural site, (one of the reasons it hasn't been repopulated). But again, even if your interpretation is considered correct there is certainly no evidence to suggest that this was written before Nebuchadnezzar invaded. Perhaps it was written before Alexander invaded but again, the oldest extant copies of Ezekiel date to many centuries after this event. The invasion of 1281 was obviously after the prophecy was written, but has no relevance as the part of the city that was destroyed was since rebuilt.
Surely you have something with the WOW factor, something that was unexpected, is predicted unambiguously and definitely happened after the prophecy was written? If not, then why are you so ready to believe?
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munsterdevil
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Re: Good and Evil

Post by munsterdevil » Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:24 pm

The whole problem of good and evil in the christian sense is that, a common christian philosophy is: god makes you do good things and Satan bad things.

i.e. Christianity believes in two gods, Yahweh (i've termed the christian god Yahweh, to avoid confusion, as of all the refernces to 'gods') and Satan, though they might tell you that Satan is not a god, rather a fallen angel.

However, since Satan exists outside of the kingdom of heaven, and is deemed seperate to Yahweh, he does in fact count as a seperate god.

Hence, christianity is a polytheism, because even though they do not worship the two gods, they certainly believe in them.

I'm not sure if everyone would agree, but that's my logic on the illogical.
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