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In response to:

We Are A Nation Of Narcissists

HeraldOfGalactus Wrote: Apr 17, 2014 8:50 AM
I don't think it's that big a problem that people openly share pictures and opinions online. Some are foolish and will come back to haunt those who post it, but that's where personal responsibility comes in. But narcissism is a problem and I don't think technology is the cause. I think Mr. Hunter needs to back a bit further. A few decades ago, we as a society decided to prop up everybody's self-esteem. I remember hearing all about the importance of self-esteem when I was in high school. We were all taught that high self-esteem is key to success. So is it any wonder that this has created a generation of narcissists? Narcissists think very highly of themselves and this has only been encouraged for years. Reality TV and unearned fame are not causes. They're symptoms. And this what happens when values like humility and understanding are not instilled.
"Professor Ehrman claims that they are forgeries only because he doesn't want to believe what they say." How do you know this? Do you know Professor Ehrman? Have you spoken to him? Or are you just making an assumption that gives you an excuse to not change what you believe? If truth matter to you at all, think carefully about the answers to these questions.
But surely God would understand that eyewitness testimony is not reliable. Ever play the game, Telephone, in school? That shows just how unreliable eyewitness testimony is. Try and think of it in terms of a court of law. If 50 eyewitnesses claim they saw John Doe steal a loaf of bread, but a security camera showed Jane Doe stealing that bread, who do you think the court will favor? Go to any magic show and you'll see how easy it is for your senses to be deceived. Go back to a time when most people were illiterate like the first and second century and imagine how much easier it would be. So is it really so reasonable to expect an all-powerful God to rely on something as flawed as eye-witness testimony and ancient texts?
How can you say it's unsupported when if you look at old manuscripts like the Codex Sinaiticus, you see numerous flaws and errors. That's the kind of think you see in pretty much every ancient manuscript to some degree. And if the biblical manuscripts are as flawed as any other manuscript, then it's perfectly logical to say that they're the product of fallible men.
Saying it's "made up" is a gross generalization. The bible does identify real places and real people. So do many great works of literature, ancient and modern alike. But saying it's made up I think misses the context. A lot of these stories came from oral traditions. And many of the people who wrote these stories down probably believed they were true. Like any oral tradition, the story will get embellished. We've seen that happen today with people like L. Ron Hubbard and Elvis Prestley. But the core message it conveys is still there and I think that core message is what gives the bible its value. The problem comes when people can't tell the difference between bible and deity.
You make some valid points, David. And I think Christians would be wise to consider this. But there's one other point I think that's worth making that you missed. These texts were compiled at a time when only a small portion of the population was literate. So why would an all-powerful God rely on ancient texts? I don't think that's logical for anyone that believes in a competent, compassionate god. I look at the bible and I see many parallels to other stories that highlight certain defining traits that help guide humanity. Some of those parallels find their way into other forms of literature and popular culture. These all speak to the same values that are worth teaching. But for reasons that defy logic, people get so hung up on these ancient texts. It's like the texts themselves are God. That's not just irrational. That's blatant idolotry. Thank you again for making these points.
I really don't think it matters if Jesus was married. That would take nothing away from the biblical narrative or his message. If anything, it helps humanize him in a way that people can relate to. And I think that's a good thing. But I don't think it's a good thing for Mr. Brown to just arbitrarily dismiss the possibility. He ridicules the parchment for being from around 700 AD. But even the oldest gospel manuscript, which exists only in fragments, has been dated to approximately 150 to 250 AD. That's a full century after the death of Christ. The oldest completed manuscript, the Codex Sinaiticus, is dated around 330 to 360 AD. That's over 300 years after the death of Christ. I think the key idea here is that these texts are clearly the product of fallible men. They are also subject to the erosion of history. That's why I think relying on ancient texts to derive Christian doctrine is asinine. I don't see how a logical, all-powerful God would rely on ancient texts, especially considering that most of mankind was illiterate until the 20th century. I think God is smarter than that. That's why I think Christians should look more inward and at the innate traits that make mankind so powerful and prosperous. We're flawed. That's something else that's readily apparent. But that only makes the Christian message more powerful and no ancient text is needed to convey that.
That's not what atheism means. Atheists don't believe that everything came from nothing. The definition of an atheist is someone who does not believe in God. That's it. Nothing else. Making broad generalizations like that is exactly why atheists don't vote with the GOP.
If the Democrats are becoming an atheist party, then that's only because Republicans have tried to monopolize religion as a means of attracting voters. And I think recent elections have shown that this has backfired for both republicans and religion. It's no secret that the GOP has a demographics problem. There's a new generation of young votors who associate both the GOP and religion with racist, anti-gay, anti-immigration, pro-war, anti-woman, and anti-fun. That old saying about Puritains that read, "The paralyzing fear that somebody out there is having fun," can now be applied to republicans. And that's why younger voters are voting democrat. It's also a reason why many younger people are much less religious than their parents. It's a trend that has played out in other countries as well. Religious affiliation is declining. And democrats are trying to get ahead of the curve. If they succeed, then republicans will be left behind and continue to lose election.
When it comes to predicting the future, nobody knows for sure. And the people who claim to be the most certain are usually the most wrong.
I don't usually care about a Congressman's personal life. That's his business. But when that Congressman campaigns on the family values ticket and fails to uphold those values in a very basic way, then that's just outright hypocrisy. What the man did wasn't illegal, but it was a huge betrayal of public trust. If he is a truly moral man, he'll resign and deal with his family issues out of the public light. But if he clings to power and focuses primarily on punishing those who exposed his transgression, then he is not a moral man. He is a hypocrite who should not be wielding political power.
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