Hi all,

I wanted to start a discussion to listen to adherents and hear what they have to tell us based on some questions I'd like to pose to them. In other words, I want to sincerely play the role of a seeker and ask them how I would know that their god is The One, True God. The purpose is not to deconvert or convert, I just want to walk through a seeker conversation where I'm allowed to ask questions of adherents and see what they have to say ... to listen. I am willing to expand on what I mean by "The One, True God" if a reader asks for that, to the extent that I think the definition is sufficient for the discussion.

This is the adherent's golden opportunity to proselytize; to convert me.

In order to do this effectively I need to ask the adherent for their imprimatur on a rule by which I can do this without bogging it down so that I can never get my questions asked. So, here it is. I'll ask a question as a hypothetical. It may be that there are more assumptions to the hypothetical that one could add, but I'll ask for the sake of discussion that we allow only the assumptions of the hypothetical I offer. This way, I can at least get through a few questions. If someone thinks the assumptions are insufficient just state that with your answer and we'll accept that as your answer informed by the assumptions of the question.

So, here's my question. I'll ask it and see if I can get a useful answer, recalling that I am a lifelong atheist who has never believed and who is sincerely trying to sort out all the gods out there and figure out which one to follow:

How do I know that your god is The One, True God?

Tags: Evangelical, Socrates, adherents, atheism, atheists, conversion, debate, deconversion

Views: 1747

Replies to This Discussion

Hey,

I feel you may be guilty of a fallacy, which lurks within this ambiguity.  Just because people sometimes see God's purpose where there is none - doesn't mean that it's never there.

Not if there is in fact no ambiguity there, right?

- kk

The ambiguity is - does God's purpose exist or not?  Or sometimes yes, sometimes no?  And if no, then sometimes we think we see it anyway.  If [on occasion] yes, then we are seeing something which is really there. 

Hey,

There's no ambiguity, see above.

- kk

Hey,

The ambiguity is...

No, there is no ambiguity. See above. I'm not asking about God's purpose. I'm asking which is more likely:

that Confirmation Bias explains the belief in Helios or that Helios is The One, True God?

and

that Agenticity explains the belief in Utnapishtim or that Utnapishtim is The One, True God?

- kk

Hey all,

As I see it I still don't have an answer, so I'll recast again,

2. Is it more likely that the belief in Helios was due to Confirmation Bias or is it more likely that Helios is The One, True God?

3. Is it more likely that the belief in Utnapishtim was due to Agenticity or is it more likely that Utnapishtim is The One, True God?

- kk

KK,

Q1.

  A) Because of His unique qualifications as a Doctor to the human soul.

    i) As seen in His accurate, penetrating diagnosis of the utterly wretched and rebellious nature of the depraved human heart, e.g.:

“There is no one righteous, not even one;
  there is no one who understands,
  no one who seeks God.
All have turned away,
  they have together become worthless;
  there is no one who does good,
  not even one.”
“Their throats are open graves;
  their tongues practice deceit.”
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
“Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
“Their feet are swift to shed blood;
  ruin and misery mark their ways,
  and the way of peace they do not know.”
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3:11-18)

For the wages of sin is death. (Romans 3:23)

You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. (Revelation 3:17)

Many will say, "But I don't think that diagnosis is descriptive of my own condition." 

Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:31-32)

The One, True God, whom I now worship made absolutely no sense to me as long as I thought of myself as a halfway decent person. Ever since I began to realize what a deeply selfish, proud, cowardly, condescending, wicked, evil person I am at heart, it has become more and more clear that all along He has known me far better than I know myself.

    ii) As seen in the severity of His prescription which is the only thing commensurate with the severity of the diagnosis:

For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life. (Leviticus 17:11)

In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. (Hebrews 9:22)

    iii) As seen in His breath-taking character of lovingkindness wherein He gets personally involved with our suffering state in order to bring about an effectual cure for our otherwise hopeless condition:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:7-8)

  B) Because of His unique ability to declare the end from the beginning:

I am God, and there is no other;
  I am God, and there is none like me,
declaring the end from the beginning
  and from ancient times things not yet done. (Isaiah 46:9-10)

In particular, as below, I would wish emphasize the connection between A & B. The most important issue facing each one of us is the fate of our soul (A) and so God's plan of salvation through Jesus Christ is the one thing He has gone to the greatest lengths to foreshadow and foretell (B) through an enormous amount of typology and prophecy in the Scriptures of His chosen Hebrew people before the Son of God and Savior actually came. This subject is far too rich to encapsulate in a post like this and indeed I hope one day (not too far off) to write a book on it. For the moment, suffice just one example.

First, see A.ii above. Then also:

Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month every man shall take a lamb according to their fathers' houses, a lamb for a household. ...you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight.

... and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LordThe blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt. (Exodus 12:3-13; the institution of the Jewish Passover)

That is some Old Testament background. Now moving to the New Testament:

The next day [John the Baptist] saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29)

For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. (1 Corinthians 5:7)

In like manner, in so many diverse ways, my God's gospel plan of the ultimate, spiritual salvation which we so desperately need and which He so generously brought about in Christ was also beautifully foretold and dramatized by Him in the physical, tangible foreshadows of the Old Testament.

These reasons are enough to clinch the deal for me. But again, Luke 5:31-32 is key. In Jesus' own day, countless people looked this man right in the face and didn't reckon Him to the be The One, True God. Anyone who considers themselves to be in the spiritually "healthy" category will almost certainly do the same today.

KK,

Q1.

  A) Because of His unique qualifications as a Doctor to the human soul.

    i) As seen in His accurate, penetrating diagnosis of the utterly wretched and rebellious nature of the depraved human heart, e.g.:

These are great passages. Thank you. Let me ask you something. What if the author of these passages was just a very wise man? How would I know that these are the words of The One, True God you call YHWH? In other words, couldn't an imposter have written the same thing? Why could this have only been written by The One, True God?

Many will say, "But I don't think that diagnosis is descriptive of my own condition."

The One, True God, whom I now worship made absolutely no sense to me as long as I thought of myself as a halfway decent person. Ever since I began to realize what a deeply selfish, proud, cowardly, condescending, wicked, evil person I am at heart, it has become more and more clear that all along He has known me far better than I know myself.

Here I would just pose the same question again.

ii) As seen in the severity of His prescription which is the only thing commensurate with the severity of the diagnosis:  

iii) As seen in His breath-taking character of lovingkindness wherein He gets personally involved with our suffering state in order to bring about an effectual cure for our otherwise hopeless condition:

Here I would just pose the same question again. 

B) Because of His unique ability to declare the end from the beginning:

Here I would just pose the same question again. 

In particular, as below, I would wish emphasize the connection between A & B. The most important issue facing each one of us is the fate of our soul (A) and so God's plan of salvation through Jesus Christ is the one thing He has gone to the greatest lengths to foreshadow and foretell (B) through an enormous amount of typology and prophecy in the Scriptures of His chosen Hebrew people before the Son of God and Savior actually came. This subject is far too rich to encapsulate in a post like this and indeed I hope one day (not too far off) to write a book on it. For the moment, suffice just one example.

First, see A.ii above. Then also:That is some Old Testament background. Now moving to the New Testament:

In like manner, in so many diverse ways, my God's gospel plan of the ultimate, spiritual salvation which we so desperately need and which He so generously brought about in Christ was also beautifully foretold and dramatized by Him in the physical, tangible foreshadows of the Old Testament.

These reasons are enough to clinch the deal for me. But again, Luke 5:31-32 is key. In Jesus' own day, countless people looked this man right in the face and didn't reckon Him to the be The One, True God. Anyone who considers themselves to be in the spiritually "healthy" category will almost certainly do the same today

Here I would just pose the same question again. 

Let me expand on what i'm saying here. Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and Enrico Fermi all came up with incredible ideas and wisdom that no one before them had. Does that make them gods?

I don't mean that facetiously, I'm just saying how would this necessarily tell me that the author of this text is The One, True God? What is it about these wise words that places the fingerprint of The One, True God on it?

So, at the end of the day, this really doesn't answer my question. I'm asking, how do I know that your god is The One, True God? What in this literature clearly proves or even convincingly shows that?

Great post, thanks.

- kk

So, at the end of the day, this really doesn't answer my question.

Having briefly reviewed 11 pages of your interaction with folks on this question, I see that you have consistently felt that your precise questions weren't being answered. With an amicable disposition, you don't argue that their points are invalid, you simply graciously reiterate, again and again, that your questions haven't been answered. I also see that you have a mind for analytic rigor and logic, something I value and appreciate myself.

OK, so on that note, if I put on my mathematician hat for a moment, and take a technical approach to your question, 'How do I know that your god is The One, True God?' I will say the answer to that is exceedingly simple. You don't. Assuming your self-professed claims to be an atheist are honest, then you, Kir Komrik, clearly do not (present tense) know that my God (YHWH) is The One, True God. You, kk, don't know it. As far as an exact answer to your precise question, I've truly got nothing better to offer than that.

Now, if the question was, "How might someone be persuaded to believe that the God of the Christian Bible is The One, True God," I think I have given an adequate answer for that. I have supplied some reasons that provide ample persuasion for myself and for a number of other Christians whom I know. So these reasons (and others like them) are sufficiently persuasive for some people.

Now, if the question was, "What can be said that would convince any skeptic alive that YHWH, the God of the Christian Bible is The One, True God?", then my answer will be, "That ain't gonna happen." The Bible itself declares that, "The fool says in his heart, “There is no God”," and it gives every indication to expect that such fools are going to continue to exist until the day this world is destroyed in God's wrath. [Note that I'm not resorting to personal name-calling with this "fool" language, but simply quoting the way that the Bible itself refers to the heart of the atheist. I'm just passing on the message.] If, theoretically, an argument went forth which was sufficient to convince the entire world to worship God the Father, Jesus as God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, then the Biblical prophecies of large-scale rejection of the message (or at least the interpretations of myself and many others thereof) would be fallacious, so, perhaps ironcially, if the whole world (in its present condition) believed the Bible then the whole world would be believing a lie. In summary, my God give me no expectation of being able to set forth an argument to persuade everyone that He is The One, True God.

Now, if the question was, "What can be said that would convince Kir Komirik that YHWH, the God of the Christian Bible, is The One, True God?", then I really don't know. I have seen my God use a great variety of different things to open the eyes of a variety of unique individuals to Himself. I have prayed for God to be gracious in opening and enlightening your eyes to see Him, and will continue to do so, and will be happen to continue to engage your questions as long as I perceive in them at least a seed of legitimate interest (as opposed to the rhetorical circles in these type of forums that often seem to go nowhere---I'm not entirely opposed to such discussions, it's just that, as I've noted elsewhere, like everyone else my resources are limited so I do need to pick and choose).

So, on that note, on to answering the main thrust of your questions.

In other words, couldn't an imposter have written the same thing?

Conceivably.

Why could this have only been written by The One, True God?

It is not the only conceivable hypothesis.

Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and Enrico Fermi all came up with incredible ideas and wisdom that no one before them had. Does that make them gods?

Obviously not.

I'm just saying how would this necessarily tell me that the author of this text is The One, True God?

It is not a logical necessity.

I'm asking, how do I know that your god is The One, True God? What in this literature clearly proves

If you are looking for a mathematical-type proof, I readily admit that despite having a PhD in math, I don't have a proof for that. Then again, if you were asking for a mathematical proof that George Washington was the one, true first president of the United States, I don't have a mathematical proof for that either. If you want a mathematical proof that the Holocaust actually happened, or that it didn't actually happen, either way I could probably gather together some witnesses to put forth testimony on the subject, in hopes of persuading you one way or the other, but as far as mathematical proofs go, I don't see any trajectory for pulling it off. Maybe I just suck as a mathematician. I'm certainly far from the brightest one out there. But even among my most brilliant colleagues I don't know any who have claimed the ability to use the tools of mathematical logic to rigorously prove things like George Washington being the one, true first president of the United States. If you feel that a True God should make Himself amenable to mathematical proof, I can sympathize, having felt that way during the atheist first-half of my life. But come to find out The One, True God has His own way of doing things that often don't match up to how I personally would have thought they "should" be.

What is it about these wise words that places the fingerprint of The One, True God on it?

or even convincingly shows that?

Ah, fingerprints! Now you are giving me some breathing room to work with. I can't do a mathematical proof for the "Here's your One, True God" Theorem, but if you are willing to work with fingerprints, ya baby, we've got those! My God is One who, in some sense and in some ways "hides himself" (Isaiah 45:15, Matthew 13:11-12), but in another sense is eager to be found by those who eagerly seek Him (2 Chronicles 15:2), or even graciously in many cases by those who don't (Romans 10:20). So while He doesn't (not yet, anyway) come blasting Himself in your face with a trumpet, He does intentionally leave behind fingerprints that He might be known for who He is.

In line with some things I have been wanting to write up recently, I believe I would break down the fingerprinting analysis into two parts. First, I worship as The One, True God the One who created the universe and everything in it. The fingerprints of the Creator are utterly ubiquitous across His creation and problems in perceiving them reflect more upon issues in the eye of the beholder than insufficiency in the data set itself. Second, I worship as The One, True God YHWH, the God of the Bible who is that very same Creator of the universe. It requires a bit more background work, though it is well worth the effort, to see how the specific fingerprints found in the Bible point back, ultimately, to a divine Author who can be relationally known (as opposed to a abstract, uninvolved deity). Your questions help prod me to increase my effort to complete those two write-ups, but I can't simply spit them out right here and now. I've already gone quite long (though not so long as your pasted Gilgamesh narrative, whew-ee).

For tonight, suffice it to say that I recognize as a valid logical hypotheses that: perhaps no man named George Washington ever lived, perhaps he lived but wasn't actually America's first president and the truth about the real first president has been covered up, or perhaps America doesn't even have a president to this day and perhaps I live in a Truman-Show-esque bubble and all this "Barack Obama" stuff I've seen on "TV" and "internet" is all an enormous scam. But of all possibilities, believing that GW actually was the first president of an actual country called America that I actually live in, is by far the easiest pill to swallow. Likewise, based on what I know of the Bible and of other religions, while I admit the logical conceivability that the Hebrew Scriptures and the Gospels of the apostles of Christ together compromise a mere collection of the works of man, to believe that would be a much greater leap of faith, to my mind, than to accept it as coming from The One, True God. I'm just choosing the "least faith" option.

Hey Zachary,

Having briefly reviewed 11 pages of your interaction with folks on this question, I see that you have consistently felt that your precise questions weren't being answered. With an amicable disposition, you don't argue that their points are invalid, you simply graciously reiterate, again and again, that your questions haven't been answered. I also see that you have a mind for analytic rigor and logic, something I value and appreciate myself.

Thank you, that was very nice.

OK, so on that note, if I put on my mathematician hat for a moment, and take a technical approach to your question, 'How do I know that your god is The One, True God?' I will say the answer to that is exceedingly simple. You don't.

And I sense integrity in your posts, and that you must be a wise man. And I agree. I think you're the first here to acknowledge that. Opinions and beliefs don't matter to me as much as integrity and I respect people's beliefs when/if they're genuine.

Assuming your self-professed claims to be an atheist are honest, then you, Kir Komrik, clearly do not (present tense) know that my God (YHWH) is The One, True God. You, kk, don't know it. As far as an exact answer to your precise question, I've truly got nothing better to offer than that.

Well said. I can say that the claim to atheism is true to the best of my knowledge. My family has been atheist for many generations and without exception, so it kind of came naturally to me.

Now, if the question was, "How might someone be persuaded to believe that the God of the Christian Bible is The One, True God," I think I have given an adequate answer for that. I have supplied some reasons that provide ample persuasion for myself and for a number of other Christians whom I know. So these reasons (and others like them) are sufficiently persuasive for some people.

I agree, I think your answers are very, very persuasive. You put the argument together about as best as one could, I should think.

Now, if the question was, "What can be said that would convince any skeptic alive that YHWH, the God of the Christian Bible is The One, True God?", then my answer will be, "That ain't gonna happen." The Bible itself declares that, "The fool says in his heart, “There is no God”," and it gives every indication to expect that such fools are going to continue to exist until the day this world is destroyed in God's wrath. [Note that I'm not resorting to personal name-calling with this "fool" language, but simply quoting the way that the Bible itself refers to the heart of the atheist. I'm just passing on the message.]  

I understand exactly where you're coming from. No worries.

If, theoretically, an argument went forth which was sufficient to convince the entire world to worship God the Father, Jesus as God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, then the Biblical prophecies of large-scale rejection of the message (or at least the interpretations of myself and many others thereof) would be fallacious, so, perhaps ironcially, if the whole world (in its present condition) believed the Bible then the whole world would be believing a lie. In summary, my God give me no expectation of being able to set forth an argument to persuade everyone that He is The One, True God.

Makes sense.

Now, if the question was, "What can be said that would convince Kir Komirik that YHWH, the God of the Christian Bible, is The One, True God?", then I really don't know. I have seen my God use a great variety of different things to open the eyes of a variety of unique individuals to Himself. I have prayed for God to be gracious in opening and enlightening your eyes to see Him, and will continue to do so, and will be happen to continue to engage your questions as long as I perceive in them at least a seed of legitimate interest (as opposed to the rhetorical circles in these type of forums that often seem to go nowhere---I'm not entirely opposed to such discussions, it's just that, as I've noted elsewhere, like everyone else my resources are limited so I do need to pick and choose).

Of course. I believe you will find this conversation worthwhile. It might be a cut above any you've particpated in before.

So, on that note, on to answering the main thrust of your questions.

In other words, couldn't an imposter have written the same thing?

Conceivably.

Why could this have only been written by The One, True God?

It is not the only conceivable hypothesis.

Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and Enrico Fermi all came up with incredible ideas and wisdom that no one before them had. Does that make them gods?

Obviously not.

I'm just saying how would this necessarily tell me that the author of this text is The One, True God?

It is not a logical necessity.

I'm asking, how do I know that your god is The One, True God? What in this literature clearly proves

If you are looking for a mathematical-type proof, I readily admit that despite having a PhD in math, I don't have a proof for that. Then again, if you were asking for a mathematical proof that George Washington was the one, true first president of the United States, I don't have a mathematical proof for that either. If you want a mathematical proof that the Holocaust actually happened, or that it didn't actually happen, either way I could probably gather together some witnesses to put forth testimony on the subject, in hopes of persuading you one way or the other, but as far as mathematical proofs go, I don't see any trajectory for pulling it off.

Gentile! Are you trying to bait me into defending the truth of the Holocaust? ;-)

Maybe I just suck as a mathematician. I'm certainly far from the brightest one out there. But even among my most brilliant colleagues I don't know any who have claimed the ability to use the tools of mathematical logic to rigorously prove things like George Washington being the one, true first president of the United States. If you feel that a True God should make Himself amenable to mathematical proof, I can sympathize, having felt that way during the atheist first-half of my life. But come to find out The One, True God has His own way of doing things that often don't match up to how I personally would have thought they "should" be.

These kinds of truths, imo, do not come by the intellect. I do not think a mathematical or scientific inqiury will yield satisfactory results. Something like this must be seen to be believed, whichever way the chips fall.

What is it about these wise words that places the fingerprint of The One, True God on it?

or even convincingly shows that?

Ah, fingerprints! Now you are giving me some breathing room to work with. I can't do a mathematical proof for the "Here's your One, True God" Theorem, but if you are willing to work with fingerprints, ya baby, we've got those! My God is One who, in some sense and in some ways "hides himself" (Isaiah 45:15, Matthew 13:11-12), but in another sense is eager to be found by those who eagerly seek Him (2 Chronicles 15:2), or even graciously in many cases by those who don't (Romans 10:20). So while He doesn't (not yet, anyway) come blasting Himself in your face with a trumpet, He does intentionally leave behind fingerprints that He might be known for who He is.

Let's see them.

In line with some things I have been wanting to write up recently, I believe I would break down the fingerprinting analysis into two parts. First, I worship as The One, True God the One who created the universe and everything in it. The fingerprints of the Creator are utterly ubiquitous across His creation and problems in perceiving them reflect more upon issues in the eye of the beholder than insufficiency in the data set itself. Second, I worship as The One, True God YHWH, the God of the Bible who is that very same Creator of the universe. It requires a bit more background work, though it is well worth the effort, to see how the specific fingerprints found in the Bible point back, ultimately, to a divine Author who can be relationally known (as opposed to a abstract, uninvolved deity). Your questions help prod me to increase my effort to complete those two write-ups, but I can't simply spit them out right here and now.

But it is great that something here has inspired!

I've already gone quite long (though not so long as your pasted Gilgamesh narrative, whew-ee).

lol. It was rather long. But I promise I'll put forth nothing longer.

For tonight, suffice it to say that I recognize as a valid logical hypotheses that: perhaps no man named George Washington ever lived, perhaps he lived but wasn't actually America's first president and the truth about the real first president has been covered up, or perhaps America doesn't even have a president to this day and perhaps I live in a Truman-Show-esque bubble and all this "Barack Obama" stuff I've seen on "TV" and "internet" is all an enormous scam. But of all possibilities, believing that GW actually was the first president of an actual country called America that I actually live in, is by far the easiest pill to swallow. Likewise, based on what I know of the Bible and of other religions, while I admit the logical conceivability that the Hebrew Scriptures and the Gospels of the apostles of Christ together compromise a mere collection of the works of man, to believe that would be a much greater leap of faith, to my mind, than to accept it as coming from The One, True God. I'm just choosing the "least faith" option.

Very nice and a joy to read. Thank you.

This is a seminal post as it appears to be our first acknowledgement that this really can't be answered. But alas, I won't retire. I'm going to continue asking questions to try to bracket the primary question. I have a strategy in mind and as a mathematician (though it is not mathematics) you might well appreciate it. Witness the power of reason.

- kk

Zachary -

"Maybe I just suck as a mathematician. I'm certainly far from the brightest one out there."

Spoken like a true mathematician. 

Hi all,

Since its looking more and more like we cannot answer the primary question directly, I'm continuing my line of questions to see if I can bracket this beast.

Question Number 4

Just as a reminder, at this point I'm not seeking proof or even a great argument, just which of two possibilities is more likely.

About Informational Influence

How can 2 billion people be wrong? It sounds compelling at first. But research shows that when subjects are asked to make a trivial assessment of fact with no knowledge of anyone else’s assessment, their accuracy is about 98%. And when that same assessment is performed after the subject observes the incorrect conclusions of several other subjects the subject reaches the correct conclusion only about one-half the time. Human beings tend to be influenced rather strongly by the ancillary information fed to them.

This has been replicated many times over the years. With a sufficient number of trials, not less than 75% of the general population’s views will conform to the erroneous perception of total strangers.

But what happens when the choice is nontrivial? Now increase the stakes. The accuracy plummets yet further.

The studies have been performed in many different ways. Police line ups, for example, show the same pattern. There the error conformity rate is found to be around 51% when a subject is asked to identify someone in a line up when others in the same room choose the wrong person (they conform to their confederates and are wrong). So, 51% of the time a person will incorrectly identify a suspect solely because everyone else in the room did.

Therefore, false beliefs can be generated with statistical reliability by making an idea popular. And the more ambiguous the judgment the higher the rates of conformity to false beliefs. People do this very thing when acculturated to the religion of, say, a particular geographic region, just as repeatedly occurred over and over in the myth of the immaculate conception of Semele.

Semele, mother of Dionysus

Semele, mother of Dionysus, was also believed to have had a 7 month pregnancy, just as the Virgin Mary of the narratives of YHWH.

In the life of Zoroaster, the law-giver of the Persians, the common mythos is apparent. He was born in innocence, of an immaculate conception, of a ray of the Divine Reason. As soon as he was born the glory from his body enlightened the whole room. Plato informs us that Zoroaster was said to be "the son of Oromasdes, which was the name the Persians gave to the Supreme God" --therefore he was the Son of God.

From the East we will turn to the West, and shall find that many of the ancient heroes of Grecian and Roman mythology were regarded as of divine origin, were represented as men, possessed of god-like form, strength and courage; were believed to have lived on earth in the remote, dim ages of the nation's history; to have been occupied in their life-time with thrilling adventures and extraordinary services in the cause of human civilization, and to have been after death in some cases translated to a life among the gods, and entitled to sacrifice and worship. In the hospitable Pantheon of the Greeks and Romans, a niche was always in readiness for every new divinity who could produce respectable credentials.

The Christian Justin Martyr, wrote:

Quote:

It having reached the Devil's ears that the prophets had foretold the coming of Christ (the Son of God), he set the Heathen Poets to bring forward a great many who should be called the sons of Jove. The Devil laying his scheme in this, to get men to imagine that the true history of Christ was of the same character [my emphasis] as the prodigious fables related of the sons of Jove.

Among these "sons of Jove" may be mentioned the following: Hercules was the son of Jupiter by a mortal mother, Alcmene, Queen of Thebes. Zeus, the god of gods, spake of Hercules, his son, and said: "This day shall a child be born of the race of Perseus, who shall be the mightiest of the sons of men."

Dionysis was the son of Jupiter and a mortal mother, Semele, daughter of Kadmus, King of Thebes. As Montfaucon says, "It is the son of Jupiter and Semele which the poets celebrate, and which the monuments represent."

 Dionysis is made to say:

Quote:

I, son of Deus, am come to this land of the Thebans, Bacchus, whom formerly Semele the daughter of Kadmus brings forth, being delivered by the lightning-bearing flame [my emphasis]: and having taken a mortal form instead of a god's [my emphasis, just like The Christ of YHWH], I have arrived at the fountains of Dirce and the water of Ismenus.  

Amphion was the son of Jupiter and a mortal mother, Antiope, daughter of Nicetus, King of Boeotia.

Prometheus, whose name is derived from a Greek word signifying foresight and providence, was a deity who united the divine and human nature in one person, and was confessedly both man and god.

In Fabulae 167 by Hyginus we see the earliest account of Semele’s impregnation, apparently and by definition, an immaculate conception:

[167] CLXVII. LIBER

Quote:

Liber, son of Jove and Proserpine, was dismembered by the Titans, and Jove gave his heart, torn to bits, to Semele in a drink. When she was made pregnant by this [divine insemination, my note], Juno, changing herself to look like Semele’s nurse, Beroe, said to her: “Daughter, ask Jove to come to you as he comes to Juno, so you may know what pleasure it is to sleep with a god.” At her suggestion Semele made this request of Jove, and was smitten by a thunderbolt. He took Liber from her womb, and gave him to Nysus to be cared for. For this reason he is called Dionysus, and also “the one with two mothers.”

This myth was taken and spread curiously analogously to the spread of civilization in the ancient past. Of particular interest for us is how this belief spread in its inchoate incubators at the beginning of each transferal to a new culture. In other words, adherence to this narrative followed the “masses” who give rise to Informational Influence.

If we consider a typical adherent of this myth, and considering a typical adherent across the several and varied cultures over which this narrative survived and was believed, is it more likely that this was adherence to this belief was due to Informational Influence or because Zeus is The One, True God and yours is not? (I'm adding that last bit to focus my attention on the presumptive god in play)

So, as we proceed and I receive your answers I am able to formulate my questions better. Thank you for those answers.

I will ignore for the moment the obvious similarity to the virgin birth of The Christ, as told in the Judeo-Christian narrative. For now, I am just curious about Informational Influence.

Is it more likely that belief in this narrative was due to Informational Influence or is it more likely that belief in this narrative was due to the fact that Zeus is the One, True God and yours is not?

- kk

KK, I hate seeing a poor guy have to beg to get straight answers to his questions. I'll try play with you, though I'm not sure if my own attempt at giving a straight answer will satisfy you or not.

2. Is it more likely that the belief in Helios was due to Confirmation Bias or is it more likely that Helios is The One, True God?

3. Is it more likely that the belief in Utnapishtim was due to Agenticity or is it more likely that Utnapishtim is The One, True God?

4. Is it more likely that belief in this narrative was due to Informational Influence or is it more likely that belief in this narrative was due to the fact that Zeus is the One, True God and yours is not?

In each case I would assign such a negligible probability to the second option, it pretty much cannot possibly win, in my estimation, no matter what is given for the first option. I am thereby pretty much forced to either choose the first option or else effectively declare a tie (epsilon1=epsilon2 to within the "available precision" of the computing power my brain).

In each of Q2-Q4 I see a wide range of probabilistic assessments I might come up with on the first choice depending on how I interpreted it. So I do think there is an incredibly risky amount of ambiguity there if these questions are going to subsequently be used to lead us toward any particular conclusions. For example, in the first choice in Q2, am I to consider the likelihood that Confirmation Bias played a role in the belief that Helios pulled the sun across the sky, or the likelihood that the belief of Helios pulling the sun across the sky is fully explained by Confirmation Bias? If the former, I consider that highly likely and therefore choose the first option. If the latter, I consider that to have a negligible likelihood akin to that of the second option and would then be inclined to chalk the race up to a tie of effectively two nothings.

I have more thoughts about the well-formedness of the questions, such as pointing out that the options being compared are not clearly mutually exclusive and so it appears that "both" or "neither" could possibly be a far better choice than being reluctantly forced to exclusively choose one or the other. (For example, a person could find themselves happening to correctly believe in The One, True God, even though Confirmation Bias and Informational Influence are among their reasons, even perhaps their primary reasons, for doing so. In such case, "The One, True God", "Confirmation Bias", and "Informational Influence" would all simultaneously be true.) But I won't expand upon such things anymore for the moment. I've done the best I could to give the most straightforward answers I could in light of remaining ambiguity I perceive in the options. Will wait to see where you take it from there.

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Discussion Forum

WELCOME Adherents of all faiths

Started by Kir Komrik. Last reply by Kir Komrik Nov 20, 2012. 22 Replies

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