The Christian fundamentalist mindset

I can’t claim a lack of evidence for the foundational claims of my faith because the evidence becomes clearer all the time:
1. There was a beginning.
2. Mankind has dominion over nature.
3. Life had a single origin.
4. Archaeological finds do not contradict what the Bible actually says.
5. Where verification has been possible, the Bible writers have proven to be outstanding historians.
6. (To get to our current spat) The New Testament records are made up of eyewitness accounts and those accounts — especially as regards the Resurrection of Jesus — cannot be gainsayed.
7. Faith is not only the subjective conviction that believers experience but also the objective evidence that substantiates what is to be expected. (I suppose, in other words: faith is what believers do and have always done.)
John Fitzpatrick
Anyone like to comment on this?
Ark

49 thoughts on “The Christian fundamentalist mindset

  1. 1. There was a beginning.
    who says?

    2. Mankind has dominion over nature.
    man is part of nature, he likes to think he has dominion, to his–and nature’s– everlasting detriment–basically he’s a bloody bull in a bloody china shop.

    3. Life had a single origin.
    It takes two. REALLY

    4. Archaeological finds do not contradict what the Bible actually says.
    Archaeologists can’t even make sense of what the Bible ‘actually’ says, frankly.

    5. Where verification has been possible, the Bible writers have proven to be outstanding historians.
    Show me the verification. It’s easy–and often necessary–to make stuff up, it keeps the story moving steadily forward.

    6. (To get to our current spat) The New Testament records are made up of eyewitness accounts and those accounts — especially as regards the Resurrection of Jesus — cannot be gainsayed.
    the NT records are so contradictory it makes my eyes cross. And any eyewitness accounts seem to have been written down 50 to 70 years after the fact. Amazing memories, those apostles had, eh.

    7. Faith is not only the subjective conviction that believers experience but also the objective evidence that substantiates what is to be expected. (I suppose, in other words: faith is what believers do and have always done.)

    In other words, you believe what you believe because you believe it. Definitely, objective evidence.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Quote “6. (To get to our current spat) The New Testament records are made up of eyewitness accounts and those accounts — especially as regards the Resurrection of Jesus — cannot be gainsayed.” Unquote

      Sorry, none, emphasis none, of the four Gospel writers was the eye-witness of Jesus’ Crucifixion.
      The four Gospels were anonymous documents. The Catholic-Encylopedia* also affirms that these were anonymous documents. Right, please?
      The names of the Gospels do not suggest that the the accounts written were written by these disciples, their names were just assigned to give them some credulity. Right, please?

      Regards
      _____________

      *”The first four historical books of the New Testament are supplied with titles ( Euaggelion kata Matthaion, Euaggelion kata Markon , etc.), which, however ancient, do not go back to the respective authors of those sacred writings. ”
      Gospel and Gospels – Encyclopedia Volume – Catholic Encyclopedia – Catholic Online

      Liked by 1 person

  2. 1. That assumes time is linear
    2. Tell that to all the people that died from the Cyclone in India. Given that we have experienced 5 great extinctions, this whole dominion things is a big assumption.
    3. Again we don’t actually know that there wasn’t life forming in multiple places early on Earth just that some didn’t make it. But not sure that life having a single origin has anything do with a creator.
    4. I suspect this isn’t true, but what archaeology can’t find doesn’t help the Bible.
    5. Where verification was not possible, the Bible writers have been proven to be terrible historians. Also since historical accounts often contradict each other about important details, this would also make them terrible historians.
    6. Details of the resurrection don’t match among eye witnesses. The biblical canon was chosen to create a better narrative and intentionally left out “gospels” that didn’t fit the narrative. Also it’s not clear that any of the authors in the New Testament actually witnessed the events that are reporting on.
    7. This I agree, but their definition of evidence is what is suspect. That being said, I also would say that most people simply have faith without any knowledge of biblical scholarship.

    I can’t claim a lack of evidence for the foundational claims of my faith because the evidence becomes clearer all the time:

    Translation: My confirmation bias grows stronger all the time.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. I would refer him to your posts on evidence, but ….
      Well, you know what the response would likely be, which is why I did not bother to fully engage when he left the comment.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I was being silly about #1: It takes two to make a baby, unless we are into spontaeous regeneration. And there is also cell division, which can only reproduce by dividing into two, over and over. (okay, I’ll stop)

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Life had a single origin.

    2nd Genesis project would be interested in this claim. Life could be starting all the time, but just can’t get a foothold, gone in a day, or a minute.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. 1. There was a beginning.
    Our ability to investigate is limited to the age of our current universe. It’s possible that there was no “beginning” to everything, just a beginning to our current version of our space-time universe.

    2. Mankind has dominion over nature.
    We wish. Nature keeps proving us wrong.

    3. Life had a single origin.
    On this planet. That we know of. Since we are not clear yet on the sequence of events that led to life, it’s possible that there were several different origin events.

    4. Archaeological finds do not contradict what the Bible actually says.
    Except when they do. Like the Exodus that never happened. Or the toppling of the walls of Jericho that didn’t happen. Or a Roman census in Judea during the reign of Herod that didn’t happen.

    5. Where verification has been possible, the Bible writers have proven to be outstanding historians.
    When they were writing about events in their lifetime, some may have been passable historians, although they were writing to put a particular religious spin on events. Writing about events long before their experience, not so much.

    6. (To get to our current spat) The New Testament records are made up of eyewitness accounts and those accounts — especially as regards the Resurrection of Jesus — cannot be gainsayed.
    The NT was not written by eyewitnesses, and we don’t even have the original manuscripts. Sloppy work for an all-powerful god. If Jesus had wanted to communicate his message via a book, he could have written it his own damn self.

    7. Faith is not only the subjective conviction that believers experience but also the objective evidence that substantiates what is to be expected. (I suppose, in other words: faith is what believers do and have always done.)
    If you have objective evidence, then you don’t have any need for “faith”.

    Liked by 8 people

  5. You means as to why it is all wrong? Commenting on the false claims is probably not worth our time as we could all do a pretty good job at that. If we take a step back, however, we see the framework of a propaganda campaign.

    These people tell lies like Donald Trump, fast and furious and never an apology. Many unfortunate dupes then repeat these lies. For example, any number of statements of faith required of fundamentalist religious groups claim that the “original manuscripts” of their scriptures are without flaw and are literally true. This is in spite of the well-known fact, taught in all seminaries worth their salt, that we have none (zero, zip, zilch, nada) of the original manuscripts.

    So claiming that their scriptures are eye witness accounts is completely bogus in that the earliest manuscripts for the NT scriptures, with just a few exceptions, are unattributed. (Author names were “added” (aka forged) later.) For those that are attributed, either the authors admitted they had never, ever met Jesus (Paul) or were writing at a time that tels us that they hadn’t been born at the time claimed for Jesus’s gig (or must have been a very young child).

    Of course, all of this can be described as being divinely inspired but that paints their deity as being the Lord of All Bullshit, just as insisting that the original manuscripts of NT books were inerrant admits that subsequent copies are corrupted because otherwise one would just claim all of the scriptures are inerrant.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Hello Ark. I love the new look of your blog and the purplish color is grand. As for the questions you asked, it seems to me the Christian god is one deity out of many and the one that did really badly in god school. It is a struggling lower age student trying to make a model of something he really doesn’t understand. He mucks it up because he did not full learn the necessary educational materials so he has to keep doing these do overs and fudging things. I think we should feel sorry for him as he really can not seem to keep up in class. That maybe why he lashes out and is always nasty, angry, and demanding people show they love him. Most likely it is a “incel” also. 😀 Hugs

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Love the “god school”

      I’ve often wonder what gives Christians the right to the universe: The Jews got here first, and the Christian bible just borrowed it and reworded it somewhat. But it is as if the Jews were negligible in all of this, and can comfortably be ignored. Easy to forget that Jesus had a Jewish mother, he was a Jew himself (again, I get a strong sense that most Christians feel he was converted to christianity) and died because of it. And to be technical about it, it was Catholics first, Protestants second. That’s where the Popes came from.

      Liked by 4 people

  7. “Faith is not only the subjective conviction that believers experience but also the objective evidence that substantiates what is to be expected.”

    I have complete faith that this statement is full of floating turtle poop. Therefor, based on the logic of the statement, my response to it is the absolute truth! I like this game! OK, now, let me try something else. I’m gonna use faith to put 750 thousand dollars into my checking account! OK, ready? Here…I…GO!!!!

    (Three hours later.) Well, 750 grand has not turned up in my checking account. Why? I have FAITH!!! I swear to Yoda, I have FAITH!!! Why, oh, why, didn’t it work??? WHY?? Can someone PLEASE tell me why?? I really could use that money.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. And now you’ve had long enough: wotif?

      Wotif the $750k had/did actually turn up?

      (Or, you heathen, would you insist it was some mischievous mega-rich blogger having you on?) (Hey—I could live with that~!)

      Like

  8. The truth is, faith cannot be dismantled because there is no evidence. It seems odd, but finding a truth, an artifact, a corroboration of the life of Jesus, Moses, or Abraham would actually begin to break the spell of faith, not the other way around.
It was necessary to present a complete and total whitewash in characters, place-names, events—all of it, in order to manipulate mankind into the total type of faith that is a byproduct of faulty human cognition and physiology. Presenting any religious fact would diminish the strength of complete and total obeisance—held by pride but repackaged into a virtue—faith.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I asked before, and no-one gave acceptable answers (or any!)—

      If God is eternal etc etc and incorruptible etc etc and was a man …

      … then at one a day averaging (say) four to six inches, the Holy Land should be covered in sacred poops. (Hell, even Viking ancient coprolites have been recovered …)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Three possible answers.
        1. His diet was not too good and things were a little, er, soft.
        2. The sanitation system back then was a lot better than people give credit too.
        3. A fair proportion of the ‘stuff’ was used to put between the ears of certain followers!

        Liked by 4 people

  9. 1. There was a beginning.
    There had to be. A no-brainer. Even our vaunted science gives us one, same God but they give it a different name. YHVH is BB.

    2. Mankind has dominion over nature.
    In places, thanks to technology. Put a naked man into a lion, snake, or rabid jellyfish pit and that dominance soon evaporates. (God-given technology?)

    3. Life had a single origin.
    Yeah, The Bing Bang … just as credible but looks better.

    4. Archaeological finds do not contradict what the Bible actually says.
    Nor agree with it … and quite gainsay it often.

    5. Where verification has been possible, the Bible writers have proven to be outstanding historians.
    So was JK Rowling.

    6. (To get to our current spat) The New Testament records are made up of eyewitness accounts and those accounts — especially as regards the Resurrection of Jesus — cannot be gainsayed.
    Or guaranteed. Hippies under the influence used to jump from high places in full faith … and few of them afterwards changed their minds.

    7. Faith is not only the subjective conviction that believers experience but also the objective evidence that substantiates what is to be expected. (I suppose, in other words: faith is what believers do and have always done.)

    But if there is only “one true God” … which bastard is it, from the many hundreds and thousands and even millions available? (I think religious faith is more a matter of geography and genealogy than applied reasoning).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Or guaranteed. Hippies under the influence used to jump from high places in full faith … and few of them afterwards changed their minds.
      An old girlfriend once went out with a bloke who worked for the post office and one day while he was up a pole fixing a line he did exactly that. LSD does some rather odd things to the mind!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. So does religion.

        We had a guy in Auckland not long ago who umpty floors up impressed his mates by diving into the harbour—but the concrete area twixt building and water expanded on his way down. Perception, ya gotta have perception (but a perceptibility based on Darwin’s Laws).

        (I wonder if that website is still going? The one that posted instances of humans removing their potential downlines from the gene pool by acts of stupidity?)

        Perception is everything …

        Like

    1. Know? No. But we did interact over at Ben’s blog and then he invited me to follow his. After a brief discourse he deleted my comments and banned me.
      Ho hum … same old same old!

      Like

        1. Based on what he writes about his past, drugs alcohol etc, he is somewhat typical of the ”I found Jesus” crowd.
          And typical that he berates himself for ”… opening (my) his big mouth”, and directly afterwards does exactly the same thing.

          I just popped over and he has put up another post.
          The gods … one could almost suspect he was trying to drum up followers with his little rants!

          Liked by 1 person

  10. 1. There was a beginning.
    Which we now understand quite well, and which definitely did not require a God.

    2. Mankind has dominion over nature.
    This has only really been true in the last couple of centuries, when science freed us from superstition and fatalism and gave us the technology to control nature instead of being at its mercy.

    3. Life had a single origin.
    Probably true, though the origin of life (as opposed to its subsequent evolution) is still somewhat mysterious. But we have a dozen plausible hypotheses about how it could have happened, none of them bearing the remotest resemblance to Genesis.

    4. Archaeological finds do not contradict what the Bible actually says.
    5. Where verification has been possible, the Bible writers have proven to be outstanding historians.

    Utter bullshit.

    6. The New Testament records are made up of eyewitness accounts and those accounts — especially as regards the Resurrection of Jesus — cannot be gainsayed.
    The New Testament is riddled with details which make no sense in the context of what we actually know about that time. Nazareth probably didn’t even exist until the second century CE, for example. They are obviously not contemporary accounts. And none of the spectacular things Jesus supposedly did are mentioned by any of the historical records of the time. And that’s not how you spell “gainsaid”.

    7. Faith is not only the subjective conviction that believers experience but also the objective evidence that substantiates what is to be expected.
    If there were evidence, it wouldn’t be called “faith”. Nobody has “faith” in the existence of Australia or the laws of physics that allow airplanes to fly or the fact that the Vietnam war happened, because there’s indisputable evidence for those things. “Faith” is belief without evidence or contrary to evidence. There is no evidence for a global flood or a talking snake, and “faith” in the reality of those things is profoundly stupid and embarrassing.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. All seven of Fitzpatrick’s blatherings can be superseded with the One Law to Rule Them All:

    1) Apologists gonna’ apologize

    That’s their thing. They’re one-trick ponies who don’t know how to do jack-s**t other than rationalize the indefensible. Send those ponies to the knackers. Boil ’em up for glue, or to make dog food, whichever is more useful.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. 1. There was a beginning.
    If you mean the Big Bang? Yeah, and it is satisfactorily explained without a God in the picture.
    2. Mankind has dominion over nature.
    We might be top of the food chain right now, but that may change in the future. Also we can’t control the weather and natural disasters, so… nope.
    3. Life had a single origin.
    I’m honestly not sure about this one, but single origin doesn’t equal Godditit.
    4. Archaeological finds do not contradict what the Bible actually says.
    Well, they struggle to find evidence for much of what the Bible says too. Also, no archeological evidence for Jebus.
    5. Where verification has been possible, the Bible writers have proven to be outstanding historians.
    Actually you know what? I’m going to agree with you on this one. Verification hasn’t been possible though, oops.
    6. (To get to our current spat) The New Testament records are made up of eyewitness accounts and those accounts — especially as regards the Resurrection of Jesus — cannot be gainsayed.
    These accounts can’t be verified either, which is the problem.
    7. Faith is not only the subjective conviction that believers experience but also the
    objective evidence that substantiates what is to be expected.
    The whole idea of faith is that you believe in things without evidence or reason, which is the opposite to what you’re stating.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi, Covert,
      Thanks for your comments. The idea of this list was to stop short of drawing those implications that a Christian should build on the foundations of these bodies of evidence. I say ‘should’ because despite Ark’s title a real fundamentalist would think that I was selling the pass with some of them, particularly no. 3 and possibly also no. 7. I’d tell them to trust me but obviously I can’t do that here.
      1. Believe it or not, I am not saying that, that there is a beginning is proof that there is a God but it is interesting that so many of you think that I am. Sure, I think that a Creator God is the most rational explanation and so it confirms my belief but why should I expect you to share my confirmation bias?
      2. I get the point about not being able to control the weather and natural disasters: moreover, some animals are better at predicting than we generally are. But what would be the point of telling us we can stop global warming if we can’t? That geologists have been able to label this present time ‘The Anthropocene’ is evidential.
      3. That all living things are interrelated is evidence for the Evolutionary process but the more we establish that life comes from a single origin, the more we are faced with the question of what started that process. As with the Beginning and the Creator, that life had a single origin does not prove that God is the Giver of Life but it does mean that the notion of God being the life-giver stands on a mountain of evidence.
      4. There has been quite a dispute going on for some time over the truth of this statement but I don’t remember anyone mentioning the Jebus problem before so that’s a refreshing change. It’s my opinion that Jerusalem and Jebus were cheek by jowl so that what is identifiable as ‘The City of David’ was ancient Jebus.
      5. It’s obviously a bit dated now but here is the testimony of William Mitchell Ramsay, (The Bearing of Recent Discovery, p. 85)

      Further study … showed that the book could bear the most minute scrutiny as an authority for the facts of the Aegean world, and that it was written with such judgment, skill, art and perception of truth as to be a model of historical statement.

      That’s verification.
      6. Currently, I’m reading the googlebooks preview of Jesus and the Eyewitnesses by Richard Bauckham and I’m impressed with the evidence he uncovers for the importance given to living eyewitnesses by the Biblical authors. So many eyewitness records, it should be easy to find something false if any fallacies are there. These accounts are eminently falsifiable, as the term is used, but I know of no unsurmountable difficulty having been uncovered so far.
      7. Think about it: people of ‘faith’ use the term one way and then someone who wants to undermine their faith or even set them free from it, comes along and says that we can’t mean what we say we mean by faith because it means something else! This way of establishing mastery over words was attributed to Humpty Dumpty by Lewis Carrol who also gave us the picture of ‘down the rabbit hole’ that we all use to describe someone lost in a conspiracy theory. I think there’s a connection.
      Yours,
      John/.

      Like

  13. If (nay, Sir! When—) they find life elsewhere in the universe this wee fellow is going to be floundering like a gasping guppy out of its depth ashore.
    But I’m going to look awfully silly if those bug-eyed Betelegeusians have a Jesus too …

    … it’s a risk I’ll take …

    Liked by 1 person

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