Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Response to Answering-Judaism on "Jesus probably worshipped Satan"

Intro:

"Answering Judaism" (I'll call him AJ for short) has taken the time to address an old post of mine on a previous blog.  I'm not Jewish, but apparently some of my arguments are...

TL:DR version:  AJ, like so many Christian apologists makes a litany of random boneheaded errors about reality.  He can't get over inerrancy and think about the writings contained in the Bible in any other way.  It appears to be an all or nothing deal with him and he seems to have no sense of arguing like you should be making multiple, independent arguments to the better explanation.  And he assumes I don't know the mainstream explanations for various issues I bring up.  

To be clear, I don't believe in Christian mythology at all, much less this variant of it.  This is an exercise in ridiculing Christians with a more probable supernaturalistic take on their own mythology which demonstrates an anti-supernatural bias is simply unnecessary.  Notice, all of this completely takes for granted virtually every popular argument for Christianity that the intellectually inclined Christians believe are good arguments.  The ontological arguments, the Kalam arguments, the cosmological arguments, teleological arguments, naturalistic incredulity of all forms, even young earth creationism and global Flood geology, Old Testament prophecy...all of that could be 100% legitimate.  But none of that does anything to counter the idea that Jesus gave into temptation and worshipped Satan throwing away any chance of our salvations.  Jesus predicting the end in his generation, his questionable behavior throughout the gospels, and the next 2,000 underwhelming years of Christian development indicate strongly that something must have gone wrong.

***

AJ says:
It is possible to be tempted by someone and yet stand your ground and never give into temptation. 
I'm assuming that AJ is trying to say it is still a coherent story for Jesus who can't sin to be tempted to sin because he can go through the motions.   Hence Jesus couldn't have worshipped Satan, right?  AJ says himself later in the post: "Since God has no evil inclinations, no lustful feelings or sinful desires, it is not possible for God to be tempted to sin. God is completely good and holy. What James is basically saying is that only God has no desire to do anything that is sinful."  This is like someone tempting me to fly around the sky like Superman and me putting on a show as though there's any chance in hell that I can actually comply.  Do I need to quote Action Comics or can I just tell the tempter over and over again that I'm not actually capable of flying?

AJ says:
If the Bible is good enough to prove this persons point, it's good enough to disprove his point entirely.
Spoken like a True Believer (TM) who has rarely considered other points of view apart from Biblical inerrancy.

AJ says:
Even in the book of Job, Satan attempts to tempt God...
Wouldn't Satan know better?  Does the Christian god not talk to anyone in heaven about himself as much as he doesn't talk to anyone on earth?  He needs to learn some people/angel skills.

Also...doesn't Satan actually successfully tempt Yahweh into screwing around with Job?  What *is* AJ referring to?

AJ says:
[Jesus] said he would come soon, he didn't say he would come shortly. Soon doesn't mean imminent. How does the author know that Father is not with Jesus, he is merely asserting it.
Jesus believed the world was going to end in his generation (see: Mark 9:1, 13:30, Matthew 10:23, 16:28, 23:36, 24:34, Luke 9:27, 21:32).    He says so repeatedly in different ways.  Look at the whole chapters surrounding those verses and you will see that everything that Christians believe is supposed to happen in the official end times is actually supposed to happen in Jesus' generation.  This is good evidence that something went wrong.  Jesus worshipping Satan seems like a prime candidate for something going wrong.

AJ says:
Jesus promises the true church they will be guided into all truth, but the context is specifically referring to the apostles AFTER Jesus returns to heaven. Furthermore the same Jesus in Matthew 24 makes it clear MANY will fall away and in Matthew 7:21-23 makes it clear that not every Christian who professes him as Lord will enter the kingdom. If you want to quote the NT, please quote it
The spread of Christianity is impressive from a naturalistic point of view.  One third of 7 billion people today profess to be Christians of some kind.  However, 1.5 billion people profess to be Muslims of some kind.  Five million people profess to be Mormons of some kind.  And so on and so forth.  The successful spread of any religion is impressive in human terms.  But maybe we should expect the real god to be a bit better at his job?  The lack of Christianity actually making it all over the world (especially since they are supposed to make it to North and South America in Jesus' generation) even to this day, the lack of supernatural powers accompanying the true gospel, and the endless divisions of the church that could easily be moderated by angels points to a purely human spread of the religion.  Merely saying there will be Christians and not Christians is an expectationless copout which would fit almost any outcome.

AJ says:
There where miracles recorded in the NT that this individual is quoting, Acts and the Gospels alone contain a plethora a miracles.  
A:  It's possible Satan provided sufficient means through possible deception to make the disciples believe they were performing miracles.  [BTW, most of my short story on "Jesus worships Satan" revolves around Satan toying with Jesus and giving him the (apparent) power to make him believe he still is on mission after failing in the desert.]

Jesus also makes excuses for why he can't/won't do miracles for certain people and in certain towns which may indicate that in the event his miracle working failed, he could find away to explain it away.  Same with his disciples. (see: Mark 8:12, Matthew 12:38-39, 16:4, Luke 11:29 and Mark 6:4-6, Matthew 13:57-58, Luke 4:24-27)  Hence if his powers were actually Satanic after the desert, Satan wouldn't have to provide a counterfeit miracle every time.

B:  It's possible Satan inspired those books to be written as such since he would then be in charge of the Christian god's abandoned "holy scripture."  So...it'd just be fake stories.

C:  AJ misses the point that miracles suspiciously stop in the religious propaganda even though that propaganda clearly says anyone that genuinely believes in Jesus will be able to do equal or greater miracles (John 14:12-14).  It doesn't say it stops.  But it did.  So what happened?  Maybe Jesus worshipped Satan and it's been mostly a human farce ever since.

AJ says:
[Jesus] didn't "lose it", He was showing righteous anger because his Father's house was DEFILED by profiteering 
There is nothing unbiblical about getting angry for the right cause and Jesus had zeal for his Father's house.
Jesus is exposing the Pharisee's wickedness and hypocrisy when he calls them a brood of vipers. He is not engaging in ad homenim tactics.
AJ seems to assume I don't know the official explanations for these things (and he keeps doing that), but they do add up and they do bother a lot of people.  People don't expect Jesus to be rude to his family and his disciples, to lose his temper with a fig tree, to use excessive name calling, to resort to violence, or appear to cry out on the cross that he doesn't understand why his god has forsaken him.

One could ask on the "Jesus worshipped Satan" theory...where is the evidence that Jesus lost his cool?  Well...here's that bizarre evidence.  This is meant to be an undertone that is less probable on expectations of Jesus as the true god and more probable if something has gone wrong.

Aj says:
[I said:]"[Jesus] doesn’t seem to have access to all knowledge, indicating God was no longer with him."
Verse please? Can you show where this is in the Bible? Even Mark 13:32 and Matthew 24:36 do not teach what this individual teaches.  Jesus' knowledge was limited while on earth...
So...AJ asks me for the verse which he already knows and then admits that I'm right about Jesus being ignorant.  Easiest. debate. ever.  Further if Jesus "grew in knowledge and wisdom" as it says of him as a boy in Luke 2:52...that necessitates that he went from a state of ignorance to less ignorance.

How much reading comprehension do we have to toss out in order to forcefit modern Christian theology on the texts?

AJ says:
...however, there were cases where the disicples understood that Jesus knew all things
How do we know that his diciples did not just assume that he knew all things?  Or that Jesus was bluffing and got away with it?  But we've already demonstrated that Jesus didn't know all things.  If he was willing to admit that in his ministry he could always get away with not knowing things just like psychics do today.  "Sometimes right and never wrong..."

AJ says:
In fact in the context of John, Jesus even says, it is finished, indicating he had been successful in his atoning work on the cross and of course in Luke, he says "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit" which shows that the Father was receiving Christ after the mission had been finished.
Yes, later gospels make Jesus say much more confident things.  That's not suspicious to AJ at all?  Oh right, he's an inerrantist (probably).  So any Bible author can retcon any other Bible author and they'll call it a day.

AJ says:
A hallucination would only prove the point that Jesus was dead, it would not prove he was alive. 
Perhaps those are AJ's standards of evidence.  That doesn't mean they were Jesus' disciples' standards of evidence.

Or if your hallucination says, "Hey, I'm alive," you might think that means your hallucination is alive.

AJ says:
Furthermore in the NT again, the apostles were able to touch him, something you wouldn't be able to do with a mere ghost or hallucination.
Actually you can hallucinate with all 5 senses.  Look it up in the science literature.

Also, AJ takes the gospels way too seriously as sources of information.  Why would we have to trust *everything* if Satan took over?

AJ says:
For that matter, for what reason would the apostles "smooth things over"? They wouldn't have a reason to because they earnestly believed what happened.  Yes I am aware that men can die for truth or a lie and believe either one wholeheartedly, but one who knows he is a liar would make a poor martyr. The idea that the apostles would all be willingly to go to their death for something THEY KNEW to be a lie, is absurd and out of the question.
AJ assumes there's no category of believer that has a fervent core belief that is less extravagant than the beliefs they may promote for others for the greater good of the core message.  How would AJ know which type the original disciples were without assuming his conclusion?

AJ says:
Additionally, The resurrection, if it happened, would only prove Christ's claims to be true, rather than falsify his claims.
Assuming Satan didn't fake it of course.  Round and round in circles we go.

***

Outro:

AJ basically argues as though the gospels must bluntly say that Jesus worshipped Satan and then his ministry failed.  Christian apologists often aren't the sharpest nails in the cross.

Ben

2 comments:

Andy Semler said...

This is the Christian equivalent to arguing that Neville Longbottom was actually the real Boy Who Lived™ in the Harry Potter series (answer: yes).

Answering Judaism said...

http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/response-to-war-on-error-regarding-jesus.html