Calling All Christians II

Blogpal, Mel Wild,  and I am sure a few other Christians,  firmly believe atheists such as myself are terribly confused when it comes to the supernatural. He is also scathing of atheists  for not accepting the possibility that the supernatural is … well … possible,even though as far as I am aware there is no evidence.

I must be honest, however, what I find disconcerting and a tad dishonest is that they are equally as skeptical and dismissive of the supernatural claims of other religions, even within their own “Trinity” of Abrahamic faith.

So, in yet another attempt to clear up this confusion it is only fair to give them the opportunity to demonstrate the veracity of their claims regarding their absolute rock-solid faith in Christianity by allowing them to come forward and ….

 

Show one supernatural event in the Bible that is accepted by historians.

 

Ark.

 

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49 thoughts on “Calling All Christians II

  1. How about “show one supernatural event that is accepted by scientists”? I always wondered why they called it supernatural, rather than, say, subnatural, or unnatural? The “super” supplies a nuance of “above being better”. It amazes me that so many people thing the supernatural is real rather than unreal. All of reality is natural (even the artificial) so that which is not part of nature is unreal. They are talking about things that cannot be addressed by examination, that in effect is indistinguishable from imagination. In fact, all of the sources of the “supernatural” can be traced back to imagination.

    I suspect that religion came from a certain class of human. Not the alpha males, or the beta or gamma males, maybe the delta males, the geeks of primitive culture. They didn’t get access to the best food, the best sleeping positions, the positions closest to the fire and certainly not access to the best females. They didn’t have the physical prowess to rate such. But, if they were clever of mind and a bit brave, they could parlay an act of nature into power. If there were an eclipse, for example, this brave but weak person could do the unthinkable. As his tribe cowered in the strange darkness, he could start to hum or mutter or sing and as the darkness left, he could claim that he was the cause of the return to normalcy. Since he was weak, he couldn’t claim the power came from him, but he could claim that he communicated with an invisible spirit that did have the power.

    In the absence of real knowledge, inventive people made up “reasons” for why things happened and the reasons were as politically motivated as they are today (Climate change is a hoax!). So a weak but clever of human males got near alpha male status by using their wits to take credit for things they had nothing to do with and then became interpreters of the supernatural for the tribe. These people were frauds by provided genuine value for their tribes, psychological consolation if nothing else.

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      1. Not according to Merriam-Webster …
        a (1) : over and above : higher in quantity, quality, or degree than : more than superhuman (2) : in addition : extra supertax
        b (1) : exceeding or so as to exceed a norm superheat (2) : in or to an extreme or excessive degree or intensity supersubtle
        c : surpassing all or most others of its kind superhighway
        2
        a : situated or placed above, on, or at the top of superlunary; specifically : situated on the dorsal side of
        b : next above or higher supertonic

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        1. I stand corrected. But the meaning of super as a prefix also has the context of beyond, yes?

          Word Origin

          1.

          a prefix occurring originally in loanwords fromLatin, with the basic meaning “above, beyond.”Words formed with super-, have the followinggeneral senses: “to place or be placed above orover” ( superimpose; supersede), “a thing placedover or added to another” ( superscript;superstructure; supertax), “situated over” ( superficial; superlunary) and, more figuratively, “anindividual, thing, or property that exceedscustomary norms or levels” ( superalloy;superconductivity; superman; superstar), “anindividual or thing larger, more powerful, or withwider application than others of its kind” ( supercomputer; superhighway; superpower;supertanker), “exceeding the norms or limits of agiven class” ( superhuman; superplastic), “havingthe specified property to a great or excessivedegree” ( supercritical; superfine; supersensitive), “tosubject to (a physical process) to an extremedegree or in an unusual way” ( supercharge;supercool; supersaturate), “a category thatembraces a number of lesser items of the specifiedkind” ( superfamily; supergalaxy), “a chemicalcompound with a higher proportion than usual of agiven constituent” ( superphosphate).

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          1. Yep, my tongue-in-cheek comment was based upon that connotation (above or beyond being more attractive than below or beneath) as it “that argument is beyond me” vs. “that argument is beneath me.”

            I get much too snide for my own good when I am just free writing.

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  2. Jesus walking on water. Mathew was a historian of the first century. More than that, an eyewitness to the said events and a co-participant. I think scientist christian would agree with this.
    I mean all he has been doing recently is argue for the historical reliability of those documents.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. The Fab Four were: Matt was the Tax Collector, Luke was the Historian, Mark was the Physician and John was the one with the gimpy leg who could only walk around hills one way in case he fell over.

      The fifth member, Saul just used to sit in the background and mend tents.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Luke the historian can’t be trusted. He purports, if the first verses are to be believed that he has researched all the stories he has heard and is committing them to writing.
        Since Mathew was in the boat, I will believe him. But the hard thing is to find fishermen in the village so eloquent in Greek. I will go see if I can find a few in my village who can write Latin.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I think that the brains of the believer and nonbeliever are wired completely differently. Some of us are based in reality while some of us are based in the “super”natural. The two are never destined to meet.

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    1. But should we believe that they believe as they say they do? Or, like method acting, have they simply embraced a role, an identity? Isn’t that what we do in life. We set off on a journey to define the self, and they simply see advantages in that persona.

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    2. I’m not so sure about that. What about all of us deconverts? I was an extremely devout catholic for 41 years, had a sudden and traumatic deconversion, and then fell (or rose, if you will) all the way to atheism. Once I got rid of the woo I couldn’t even make a stop at progressive chrisitanity or deism. So my mind has been wired both ways, I guess.

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      1. Then you’re an ideal *answerer* for my question. Explain devout to us. I too come from a Catholic world, so I get all of the traditions and superstitions, but was your “belief” more than an adherence to those things?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Pink, if I may offer my humble two-cents here…

          I think MUCH of the symptoms, manifestations of “devout” come from the placebo-effect, halo-effect, and quite literally peer-pressure/assimilation, which would include familial bonds and factors. People LOVE the theater and great drama! 😉

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        2. So there are “devout catholics” (real catholics) and “cafeteria catholics” (cultural catholics who are scorned by the devout).

          Devout means you do everything the church tells you to do; daily mass (sometimes twice a day on special holy days), partake in the body and blood of christ at every mass, daily or weekly confession, 10-20% tithing, reading only catholic approved materials, praying for souls in purgatory, praying the rosary, study and follow the catholic catechism, listen to the pope and do what he says, dress with modesty, openly disapprove of homsexuals, openly disapprove of women who have had an abortion (and picket Planned Parenthood every week), spend hours upon hours per week helping out catholic charities, proselytize every chance you get (and make sure they understand the horrors of hell), go on missions to foreign countries, indoctrinate kids and teens, don’t ever remarry if your spouse divorces you (cuz that’d be adultery), etc.

          Cafeteria catholics look at catholic teachings and only do the easy things. They go to mass only on major holidays, don’t tithe, dress like “pimps and whores,” soil their minds reading and watching worldly media, have sex outside marriage, etc. “Real catholics” consider these people to be garbage who will be thrown into the lake of fire.

          🙂

          Liked by 1 person

            1. The catalyst is all of those things. It’s based on both faith and fear, but mainly it’s a love for god, and a love for the one true church who is considered to be the bride of christ. If indoctrinated since birth, you’ll might do all of those things and never ask why…it’s not like you’d have access to non-catholic materials that would show things being done differently.

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            2. I have been pondering this question of “what was the catalyst behind your devout belief” all evening. I must admit I’m somewhat blown away by the question. I’m floored to think people might truly have no concept of what drives a lifetime of religious devotion to god. Perhaps they think the religious are a bit dim-witted (this is not totally unjustified), or that some people are striving for power in the religious hierarchy, or that they want to appear to have piety, or that they are by nature conformists, or that they want to fit in with their peers, etc.

              I can tell you that for the vast, vast majority of the devout people I was surrounded by (which was a very high number), the number one reason we did what we did was because we loved god, the creator of both us and the entire universe.There really is no way to embrace the HUGE sacrifices of devout religious life unless you truly believe in a loving god.

              While atheists can laugh at the beliefs of Mel, Wally, and James, my impression is that these men are true, devout believers. Yes, their logic is stretched so thin it’s damn near nonexistent (as was mine when I was devout), but they are following their conscience and are not “faking it” for power, social standing, or any other earthly reason.

              Moments like this I think that there is a *chasm* between cultural christians/lifetime atheists and the deconverted who were devoutly religious. I’m not quite sure how I feel about this yet. Regardless, the question has made me more aware of several issues I’ve never considered before, and that can only be a good thing.

              Liked by 2 people

              1. Your answer is interesting because although now an atheist, you still seem to elevate faith in a way.
                As someone who suffered from OCD in the past (I can manage it perfectly now) I have a much more flexible view on what faith/belief is. I used to firmly believe, for example, that I had to go into my kitchen from the door in the hallway and leave through the door into the dining room. The idea of doing it any other way rang alarm bells in my head. In that case I fabricated, or maybe the better word is rationalised, a safety v. danger, survive v. die scenario.
                In other words my belief was simply an error.

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                1. Faith, meaning my true belief in god, dictated every single thing I did and every decision I made for 41 years. I’d have to dismiss 41 out of 44 years of my life to see no value at all in it. While I no longer believe it’s true or worthwhile, it’s still the foundation of what made me who I am. I’ll shape my life and my decisions on other things now, but what was done for 41 years cannot be undone.

                  As a psych nurse I’m familiar with OCD and it’s manifestations (thoughts and behaviors). IMHO, faith is nothing like OCD. Religion is an entire world view and when you leave it, it’s an intense paradigm shift that affects every single aspect of your life.

                  Liked by 2 people

                2. How do you think one belief differs from the other, other than in the manner of rationalisation?
                  I’m not asking you to deny your history. I just want to understand the adjectives you’re ascribing to faith: true, love and so forth. As if there is something inherently good or benign to this class of belief.

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                3. I’m not saying one set of beliefs (which springs from a lie) are any different from another set of beliefs (which also springs from a lie). Thoughts that drive OCD are lies, and thoughts that drive faith and religion are lies. It’s the consequences that are vastly different, because one lie is so much more fucking serious than the other.

                  Did your family train you up to admire OCD from birth, making you worship it? Did you then worship this fake being for 41 years and give 20% of your income to it because of the love you had for OCD? Did you decide what job you would take, who you would marry, and who would/would not be your friends because of faulty thoughts from OCD?

                  Did you LOSE your job, your family and friends, your community, your entire way of coping, and your worldview once you gave up OCD? Because I lost all those things when I walked away from my faith.

                  Not all lies are comparable in their consequences. If you think there is something I admire or elevate in religion, you’re completely, totally, and utterly fucking wrong. Period.

                  The difference between us is that I do know how one can be driven by lies to have love, hope, and faith in something that isn’t real. You do not.

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                4. It’s ok, Pink. I have a lot of baggage when it comes to religion. I should probably stay away from online debates entirely…I just don’t have enough distance on the issues to remain neutral.

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                5. Violet, I’ve been trying to follow your conversation with The Pink Agendist. So much good conversation going on.

                  I was thinking about what you said here:

                  As a psych nurse I’m familiar with OCD and it’s manifestations (thoughts and behaviors). IMHO, faith is nothing like OCD. Religion is an entire world view and when you leave it, it’s an intense paradigm shift that affects every single aspect of your life.

                  – Emphasis added by Zoe

                  Would another way of looking at this be that it’s the practice of faith that is like OCD? If one considers the ritualistic nature of practicing one’s faith?

                  Liked by 1 person

                6. My point was mostly in the similarity of the mental process.
                  In religion there’s an arbitrary if A then B (the A never really resulting in B), in OCD it’s exactly the same process. In both cases a mathematical error.
                  So the entire worldview, as Violet calls it, is based on the same flawed equation.

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                7. I will also make this comparison: the lies of OCD originate in a person’s own mind. The lies of religion are pushed upon an innocent child from birth and reinforced through family, friends, and community. When you “get over ” OCD people are happy for you. When you “get over” religion, people shun you.

                  So no, Zoe, OCD is not like faith at all. 🙂

                  Liked by 1 person

                8. Okay, maybe I’m not following this conversation so well after all.

                  When The Pink Agendist mentioned his OCD it made me think of the ritualistic behaviour of my former Christianity. Mainly, the habit of praying for spiritual protection everywhere I went. If I didn’t do so I was ill at ease. Eventually this grew into praying for spiritual protection not only for me, but for family, friends and then the whole world.

                  When I left my former belief system even that deprogramming was OCD-like because it was constantly there, the unease, the anxiety. On one hand my belief system created for me a place of safety while at the same time anxiety-forming habits. I guess I was considering some of what I went through inside and outside my former beliefs was similar to OCD in some way. Not the same but similar when it came to ritualistic behaviour.

                  Liked by 2 people

      1. Full meal… He found fed hundreds upon hundreds of monks.

        The Teacher with his five hundred monks finished his meal. The great guildmaster and his wife also ate as much as they wished, but there was no end to the cakes, and even when the whole monastery of monks and eaters of broken meat had received, there was no sign of finishing. – Jataka 78

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                1. The argument by Ingersoll was that whenever it was pointed out to Christians that some of the passages they were passing as original bore semblance to earlier ones, they would deny this claim and insist on the supremacy of their text. So when he wrote about I think the story of gilgamesh he was being sarcastic when he tells us to believe that the story that appeared first must have copied the later one.

                  Liked by 1 person

          1. Mak, Justin Martyr the first Christian apologist, argued in the second century AD was that the Devil caused these pre Christian imitations of Jesus in order to discredit the truth of Christianity.

            Now I realise that this is an argument you could drive a truck through, but it shows the lengths people will go to intellectually to persuade themselves of the truth of their beliefs even when contrary evidence is compelling.

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  4. If it happens at all, it happens in ‘nature’ as we know it. It cannot happen any other way, but I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know it all.

    Much has changed since I was a pup and things once considered impossible are nowadays routine.
    If it happens at all, it happens in ‘nature’. The old guy saying “It can’t be done” is impatiently shoved out of the way by the young guy doing it. Every decade the impossible is achieved (dammit, we need new definitions).

    Steve got it nicely, above. Strangely wording too can make a huge difference—’climate change’ is most definitely not (r) not a hoax.
    Climates have been changing for millions and zillions of years, It’s the current usage of the term that is the hoax … one of the new religions, in fact.

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