Proof! Jesus is the only sensible mediator between God and Man!

(From Facebook)

Are you ready?

J:  Reading City of God, and St. Augustine just used Greek philosophy/paganism to prove that Jesus Christ is the only sensible mediator between God and man.

Richard: Proof? oh please do let us hear it!

Random Interjection: You could read it for yourself, rather than making a passing judgement!

Richard: I think judgement from a distance can be entirely appropriate in some instances - this being one of them - but I'll happily read the passage in context. Since J finds it so convincing is a summary out of the question?

Here it comes.....

J:  Oh gosh -- I'd have to explain chapters about the nature of vice and virtue, Plato's theology about the supreme God, the nature of demons (and Greco-Roman reliance upon demons as intercessors between man and God), the differences between men, demons, and God, and finally -- FINALLY -- tie all these together and explain why Jesus Christ is the only possible intercessor between man and the one true God, and why no other intercessor makes sense. 

Are you not convinced?  :P

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Comment by Richard Healy on May 21, 2012 at 1:48am
I am amongst friends.
Comment by Richard Healy on May 19, 2012 at 8:57pm

I am a recovering philosopher (one first-class degree and a post-graduate degree in it) but these days I work in a genetic engineering and biopharmaceutical research lab and read books about science, as an apology.

Comment by Loren Miller on May 19, 2012 at 7:42pm

I would call bullshit as well, though for far more pragmatic reasons.  Personally, I couldn't give a good rip about philosophy, particularly since entirely too much of it amounts to tail-chasing when it comes to the subject of deities.  I care about evidence and the consistency of whatever reference may be used in lieu of evidence.  Needless to say, christianity flunks out on both counts.

Further, I particularly object to depending on unsubstantiated faith in an alleged savior as opposed to KNOWLEDGE thereof.  Religion is the only field of study I'm aware of where faith is considered a valid means of gaining knowledge.  In any other field, you either have facts to support your position or you don't, and when you boil it down, all religion has is flowery words and a lot of hand-waving.

Thanks, but no.

Comment by Richard Healy on May 19, 2012 at 7:15pm
Is it trivial, I ask you, to ask seriously of the Christian, whether the 'supreme god' of Plato is the same god of the Jews, and of Augustine and themselves?'

Presumably in order for this argument of Plato's via Augustine, that would have to be the case, but again he refused to answer my question about why he thought this argument a) applied or b) was convincing which was all I was trying to find out - but apparently it was too complicated to put it into words / would take too long / was trivial and not worth considering.

I call bullshit. but that's being obstinate and shallow, apparently.
Comment by Richard Healy on May 19, 2012 at 3:19pm
Here's what he actually said (note the total avoiding of the burden of proof):

If I may be completely frank with you, Richard, I don't have the time to explain why 300+ pages of Stoic, Epicurean, and Platonist philosophy adds to my faith in Christ, especially since we both KNOW you're just going to provide a list of cavils* and try to convince me otherwise. You're a bright man, but an obstinate one, and if we were to have a conversation on this level -- which I would enjoy -- it would have to be in person.

Cavil: "To find fault unnecessarily; raise trivial objections."
Comment by Loren Miller on May 19, 2012 at 1:37pm

"Obstinate," eh? Living based on the FACTS allows a guy to be as obstinate as he likes! Oh, and as it comes to truth and facts, here's another quote for you:

If you've got the truth, you can demonstrate it. Talking doesn't prove it.
  Show people.
-- Robert A. Heinlein

Comment by Richard Healy on May 19, 2012 at 1:01pm
I gave him the "gullible" quote- that riled him up.

We are now trading insults.

He called me "obstinate."

The cheek of the man!
Comment by Loren Miller on May 19, 2012 at 7:10am

In an arena where belief and faith are taken as the
 de-facto standard (and that certainly is the case in the US), atheism at minimum requires thought.  Further, it requires thought where those who believe either prefer not to direct their attention, but in some cases, will punish or shun those who dare to think after such a fashion.  I've mentioned before that there are christians out there who warn against imagination, because it opens consideration of possibilities other than those outlined in the bible, which can lead the faithful away from their faith.

I can't speak for anyone other than myself here, but imagination for me isn't just a natural part of who I am, it's essential to my career as a troubleshooter and service engineer. Without being able to "think outside the box," dealing with a failure mode I never saw before would border on impossible, and even worse if I felt I had to sequester imagination away when dealing with whatever religion I might practice (if I were so inclined).

I might take my voltmeter for granted as a tool of my trade, but I still get it calibrated against a reference standard on a regular basis. I still question. From where I sit, 
I HAVE TO. If those who subscribe to religion cannot or do not question their beliefs and the dictum of their church, that is a product of their indoctrination, or the fear resulting from that indoctrination, or the reassurance from others of their congregation or parish that their belief is somehow exempt from such examination.

It's their blind spot, but only because 
They Refuse To LOOK There.

Comment by Richard Healy on May 19, 2012 at 5:52am
You hit on something that has bugged me in the past.

I've had theists - one more than one occasion - damn me with feint praise about being "so smart" and "super-logical" - that I can't believe. As if 'clever' first equates with atheism, second requires it.

In my opinion, being an atheist has very little to do with how clever you are. There are, for instance, some extremely smart theists (Ken Miller, Francis Collins etc etc...) so I don't think it can be 'smarts' that is the determining factor, rather I think it has to be credulity. For them in particular, it's the not their inability to think critically or apply the scientific method that is their failing it's their failing to not apply it to their selected set of beliefs - and I'd not accuse them of being stupid but I would lay at their feet the charge of being overly credulous.

Being sceptical of the claims others make in all fields - and in the extraordinary especially so - is not only merited it's mandatory.

How is it that they are unable to see this?

Maybe they are stupid afterall.
Comment by Loren Miller on May 19, 2012 at 5:34am

Tell him for me:

The opposite of skeptical is gullible.

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