Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Round 3, Answering-Judaism on "Jesus worships Satan"

Intro:

I sketched an argument a long time ago on a xanga blog far away concerning the likelihood (taking most of Christian mythology for granted) that Jesus worshipped Satan in the desert and forfeited everyone's salvation.  I argued that this would better explain why Jesus' prediction of the end of the world in his generation failed, it might explain his bizarre behavior throughout the gospels, and especially why the spread of a non-magical Christianity 2,000 years later is impressive from only a human standpoint.  Answering-Judaism (abbreviated AJ here) responded to that argument.  For round 2, I responded to his response and he responded to my response.  I am now going to respond to his latest response which begins round 3.

TL:DR:  AJ is in total "Bible tells me so" mode and supplements that with uncritical applications of traditional explanations for bizarre things found in scripture that might work to some other effect.  He doesn't tell us why we should trust every part of the Bible.  He doesn't tell us why the traditional explanations for the bizarre things found in scripture are more probable than alternative explanations which might support my "Jesus worshipped Satan" hypothesis.  He merely reminds us of a party line as though we didn't already know what it was and ignores carefully adding up each issue in terms of relative probability.  Having an explanation, whether it is more probable or not, is the same to him as winning the argument.  Nothing has changed between rounds 1 and 2 and I suspect that if there is a completion to round 3 that we'll still just get more "Bible says so" nonsense.

***
AJ says:
The problem with War On Error's conclusion about Jesus falling victim to Satan, is the very same context he quotes, Jesus not just once, but three times repudiates Satan and Satan goes away. [...] While I believe in Biblical inerrancy, The reason I made my point was a demand for consistency. If the same Bible is good enough to demonstrate your point that Jesus worshipped Satan, it is also good enough to refute your point as well. The very context which you quote from even shoots your thesis in the foot to begin with. [...] Still, his point about Satan being worshipped by Jesus, is refuted by the context of the passage where Jesus' temptation takes place.

In reality-land we don't always have to trust everything a source tells us.  We can and should be critical with virtually any source to whatever degree is warranted.  They may tell us some things that are important to them and leave out other important information that would matter to us.  They may twist some aspects of the story that make them uncomfortable.  They might forget how it really happened and haphazardly try to put it back together and do it wrong.  They might lie about some things, but tell the truth about other things for a variety of reasons.  They might embellish an account that they feel needs more kick to be as authoritative in the eyes of other believers as they already feel it is.  They might make lots of unjustified assumptions about their source materials and/or use bad methodologies for sorting through them.  They may be religious people who have visions they trust which tell them "how it really happened" even though the account they have makes no such claims.  They may have been suffering from dehydration and hunger for 40 days and 40 nights and been subject to memory loss, hallucination, general mental fatigue, and the super clever deceptions of an evil super being who had 4,000 years of experience manipulating even the strongest human minds.  Clearly, people have tons of reasons to misrecord history.  

I suspect AJ has all or at least many of those tools of discernment when they are applied to something else other than the Bible.   He might try exercising them here.

Please note that the gospels are separate books and they do not even claim to be inerrant individually.  Just because someone collected them and put them in another bigger book and then decided they were inerrant  because perhaps some other books make such claims doesn't prove anything.  Because we then have to ask ourselves why we should trust those claims?  AJ does not get into any of those defenses...perhaps because he cannot.  

If there was a real threat that Jesus could actually sin (hence making the story make sense), most of it could have gone just as recorded with some confusion at the end when Jesus would have been at his weakest (near the end of the 40 days of fasting).  AJ has not even tried to make a "we have four sources attesting to the same thing" claim.  But even if he did, this individual story would be exempt because only a delirious Jesus was there.  And his testimony about what went on in the desert would not qualify as very trustworthy given the conditions he had subjected himself to and the likely cognitive bias that of course he was going to win.  

AJ says:
Temptation itself is NOT a sin, it's dwelling ON the temptation and acting it out, Neither did Jesus actually do. The comparison to Superman to be honest is unwarranted and is not even a relevant comparison.
No...the comparison is to someone like me being tempted to fly around like Superman.  The schoolyard bullies could taunt me to fly all they wanted.  If it's impossible for me to do it, they're just being extremely irrational and it wouldn't make much sense to say I was actually being tempted to fly.  They'd be more likely to taunt me to stick my tongue to a cold pole because that's something I could actually do.  It would be extremely irrational for Satan to attempt to tempt Jesus if he knew he was the Christian god who could not even possibly sin.  Satan would then sound like a complete buffoon every time he opened his mouth in the story.  It would also be irrational for the story author to construct a story such as we have where the plot device of tempting the untemptable is taken for granted.  Hence, it makes more sense if the author(s) believed that Jesus could actually sin and was actually proving something.  Hence there's the logistical possibility in Christian mythology that Jesus could have sinned and messed salvation up for all of us.  That is...if we let the context speak for itself.  And then we add in the evidence I've been talking about.

It is important to note that my argument is not, "The Bible indicates Jesus worshipped Satan."  No, my argument encompasses more evidence than just the Bible.  Jesus being a failed prophet and there being an unmiraculous spread of the religion for the next 2,000 years heavily weighs on what might have actually happened in the gospels (if we are taking all the other supporting arguments for Christianity mythology for granted).  And then as a cherry on top, we find Jesus acting bizarrely in the gospels themselves as though he slowly loses his cool and gives up entirely on the cross (in our earliest gospels).

AJ says:
Satan was the one who did mess around with Job and God allowed it to happen to demonstrate his point that Job would remain faithful to him despite the hell that Satan would put him through.
Yahweh clearly gave in to Satan's "temptation" to molest Job.  Apologists should know better since someone acting on behalf of a ruler in that cultural context is considered synonymous with that ruler's will (and they use this to excuse contradictions between the gospels).  Satan taking over upon Yahweh's request is the same thing as Yahweh stretching out his hand against Job.  And morally speaking, when the mob sends a hitman to murder someone we morally blame the mob boss as well as the hitman.  Yahweh can't possibly be off the hook since he said yes, did not say no, and he did not stop the crime in progress.  What Yahweh had inflicted by proxy on Job was evil.  Believing that getting a replacement family in the end actually makes up for anything is also evil.  Gambling with Job's soul to begin with was evil.  Honestly these are the kinds of shenanigans we expect from the Greek and Roman pantheons that Christians will scoff at.

So yeah...even Yahweh can and did sin in the Old Testament.  But that's a different issue.  Satan got his way in the Job story, but ultimately lost that battle.  If anything, it proves that Satan can likely win some battles and perhaps even the war with Yahweh.  If he had no fighting chance, like mainstream Christianities would prefer, these stories make Satan's character make zero sense.  The theory that Satan at least could have actually won is therefore more probable.  The temptation of Jesus in the desert is an obvious candidate for that ultimate win.

AJ says:
I response to a question, Satan did know better, but he is rather careless in boldly challenging God the way he did in the first place.
When your theory entails extremely improbable behaviors and mine entails much more probable behaviors, that means I'm in the lead on this point.

AJ says:
The word used for Generation (genea) can be used of a race or people and their offspring and Jesus may have been referring to the Jews not passing away until all has been accomplished. Such a similiar point has been made here: http://www.thingstocome.org/whatgen.htm.
Mark 9:1, Matthew 10:23, 16:28, and Luke 9:27 say the same thing in a different way (as I already mentioned).  AJ is going to need more ad hoc excuses.  It's a good thing Christianity has had 2,000 years of cognitive dissonance to attempt to explain it all away.

AJ says:
There is nothing in the Bible about making it to North America and South America in the first century.
If the Great Commission in Matthew tells them to tell everyone, that requires them to tell everyone on the timetable given which is within the death of their generation.  Hence all the continents with people on them would be targets.  That necessarily includes North and South America.

AJ says:
It is not a failure on God's part nor a copout whatsoever on the part of Christians when the scripture which War On Error quoted from that there will be false Christians or people who call themselves Christians are not truly regenerate. God preserved a righteous remnant of Jews in the TANAKH or the Old Testament and no doubt he has done the same thing with Jewish and Gentile followers of Jesus. He has preserved remnants among Christendom who only do his will and follow him to the end.
I'm well aware of Yahweh's low standards for success that I've ridiculed in a previous post of mine: http://double-woe-seven.blogspot.com/2013/10/jesus-desires-all-to-be-saved-just-not.html  The problem of course is an evil inversion of good expectations.  We're sold one thing.  We get another.  Whereas we get parables where a "good shepherd" is willing to go out of his way for 1 lost sheep out of 99, the actual reality of Christian mythology is that Jesus is willing to settle for pretty much just that one lost sheep.  Of course, we don't normally blame the sheep when a "good shepherd" comes home with 1% of his flock. And shepherds who blame the sheep rather than their own shepherding skills get fired.

AJ says:
Heresies and divisions need to happen in order to sift the true Christians from the false and prepare the true Christians for heaven. There is no failure on the part of God, he is still preserving a remnant to this day. 
Preserving a remnant?  You mean, "settling for less."  You don't suppose that if Yahweh left all of humanity up to their own devices, that merely by chance alone a "remnant" might be pleasing to him on Judgement Day?  These standards are synonymous with having virtually zero standards for Yahweh's goodness and providence.

What should Yahweh have been doing (you might ask)?

To quote myself elsewhere:
From our human perspective, at least, based on the kind of moral background knowledge that any parent has to trust, one would expect in a positive sense that proper divine management of moral and spiritual agents would entail that all humans would have a fair, fighting chance in this life for a mature salvation before Judgement Day.  And so it would require, at the very least, that everyone had a sufficiently long life, that we all had properly functioning brains (bred predisposed to maximal positive, healthy behaviors), that we were all encultured with the correct moral values and spiritual teachings from a very young age, that no one else’s free will would ever be allowed to infringe or significantly violate our autonomy, and that we’d be given all the support we would ever need throughout our lives so that in all likelihood (with an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent shepherding god at the helm) no one would be lost to damnation.
We're given the advice in Proverbs to "raise a child up in the way that he should go and he will not depart from it."  But then Yahweh turns around and doesn't bother to raise all humans up in the way that they should go.  

AJ says:
Regarding the growth of other religions, Jesus in his parables speaks of letting the wheat and tares growing together. God allows the bad people to exist for the sake of preserving the good, then he will judge all of mankind and dispose of the evil ones into hell. 
That's the official excuse alright.  It's just a really bad one.  It's like the cops saying, “We shouldn’t arrest anyone, because then good people would be hurt...”  Riiiight...that’s called negligence (surprise!) and Jesus is caught making really bad excuses for it.

AJ says:
Having high numbers in a religion is not the criteria of truth and I never use the highest population factor to determine Christianity being true.
There shouldn't even be religion.  There should just be the Christian god and everyone else involved in a healthy, respectable, straightforward relationship with him as I described in my quote from myself above.  But we don't have anything like that, do we?  Just what can hide under the radar of reality.

Of course, obviously the Christian god has been this negligent all along.  But if we accept the unlikely premise that it "made sense" for an all powerful god to focus on just one nation in the ancient world (which it doesn't), but then Christianity was for everyone, worldwide, and things were supposed to be different...then Christianity should have been for everyone.  Instead it's just a successful, endlessly fractured religion amongst other successful, fractured religions.  All the true believers should have had miraculous powers to heal the sick and instantly communicate in all the missionary languages.  But instead they have all the same non-miraculous powers every fake religion has.  Maybe the prophets had real powers back in the Old Testament.  But doesn't it at least call into question whether anything divine is going on today if science is doing better in the miracle department than any Christian denomination?

The answer of course is "No," because you're a Christian.  And like the vast majority of Christians and religious people everywhere, you've been conditioned to dumb down all your standards and expectations of the evidence on behalf of actually demonstrating the realities of your supernatural worldview.  This opens the Pandora's box of epistemology where someone like me can demonstrate contrary religious mythology is actually more probable.  Even if "Jesus worshipped Satan" is nearly as improbable as anything else Christians believe.

AJ says:
Satan didn't give Jesus ANYTHING, Jesus flat out refused what Satan had to offer. Jesus also warns the disciples about false miracles, as does the TANAKH in Deuteronomy 13. 
Mark 13:22, Matthew 24:24, and 2 Thessalonians 2:9 say something very similar to Deuteronomy.  Satan is powerful enough to produce all the counterfeit miracles Jesus would need to appear to complete his mission.  Jesus wouldn't even have to know it was Satan's doing.  So maybe we should treat Jesus with the same skepticism that Deuteronomy and other passages warn us about, lest we be deceived by a false messiah?  Like maybe when Jesus predicts the end of the world, and it doesn't happen, we don't try to wiggle out of it with unlikely definitions of words and ignoring the supporting verses.

AJ says:
If Satan inspired the stories 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" as War on Error puts it, Why is he using these "abandoned" documents as his means of trying to demonstrate that Jesus was a sinner who bowed the knee to Satan?
I didn't say he was.  The idea is that Satan's trying to keep the religion going for dubious purposes.  Like continuing to gloat and humiliate Jesus and Yahweh with his win.  Showing up as Satan just being Satan isn't as insidious.  But parading around an undead gospel, laughing your ass off behind the scenes, works wonders.

AJ says:
Also, The word Meizon or greater in John 14:12-14 refers to the disciples doing greater works in terms of quantity because of Jesus going back to the Father, but it doesn't necessarily mean that every disciple will be performing miracles here and there.
John 14:6, 14:12, and 14:23-24 are generalizable statements to "anyone" despite the overall context of chapter 14 being aimed at the disciples.  Jesus says "you" to refer to just the disciples and "anyone" to refer to um...anyone.  

And even if the one aspect means greater quantity rather than quality (which I don't concede since regardless Jesus says they can do "anything" and the power of "God" would be unlimited), there's still the "equal to" part which is more than sufficiently damning.  Even if not every disciple should be able to spew out miracles, why would we expect any given genuine Christian community to have zero?  Jesus and then his disciples can do them all the time and then they suddenly stop for the next 2,000 years like the issue wouldn't matter?  It's just not plausible.

AJ says:
What kind of Jesus has been fed to those? What world are they living in?
Maybe not every Christian has the miraculous ability to excuse absolutely everything they find in the Bible?  Lots of people actually struggle over these issues.  Putting up a false front of confidence before an ideologically hostile opponent does nothing to obscure that.

AJ says: 
If you think that Jesus was some laidback carefree lovey dovey so and so, then you are not even getting an accurate picture of Jesus. Jesus was not being rude to his family.  [...]  Are you saying that Jesus CANNOT be angry? That is absurd. You can be justified in anger if there is a just cause in being angry.
He cursed a fig tree.  Most people would find that a bit much.  It is more likely that Jesus was getting inappropriately angry, did something stupid, and the writers of the gospels decided to turn it into some kind of symbolic message to attempt to smooth such a bizarre story over.  Resorting to violence in the temple was equally wild behavior since it would not have changed anything about the temple practices. They would have simply gone back to doing what they were doing after his violent outburst.  And there's just no reason Jesus could not have been found to be consistently kind to his mother and disciples even when they were slightly out of line.  But instead he's just a jerk.  It is possible to criticize without name-calling, right?  That's what modern Christians expect of each other, typically.  But Jesus gets away with it.  Because reasons.

AJ says:
But no answer was provided as to WHY God was no longer with him, One what basis does Jesus having little knowledge indicate the Father was not with him?
We could have evidence where Jesus always knew everything.  If he was fully the Christian god, that would have made the most sense.  Instead we have evidence of Jesus getting away with being ignorant.  What other ignorant things did he get away with that we know nothing about?  This evidential situation makes the official story less probable and an alternative hypothesis like "maybe Yahweh had left Jesus to his own devices" more probable.  [Note: And then Luke comes along after the precedent of Jesus being ignorant of various things is established in other earlier gospels and he decides Jesus could have even been ignorant of things even as a child.  Even though Jesus had access to all knowledge up until the point where he failed in the desert.  And then Satan sent him delusions of knowledge when it was requested and Jesus couldn't tell the difference.]

AJ says:
[Jesus] predicts that Peter will die A FAITHFUL MAN. 
Lucky guess? The power of suggestion?  Untrustworthy accounts of virtually all the martyrdom stories?  A combination of these?  Pick one.

As further evidence of Jesus' ignorance, in Mark 7:1-5 Jesus doesn't know that washing your hands is actually a good thing.  Even if it is just with water.  This would have been a great time for the Holy Spirit to reveal that washing your hands is a good thing as well as having a religious lesson about mental purity.  Instead we get the latter without the former.  Busted.

AJ says:
There isn't any retconning on the part of the authors, they only record details relevant to their point, hence why certain statements are added or omitted. 
Asserting your theory at the expense of mine without explaining why it is more probable does not win the point.  Our earliest accounts of Jesus saying something embarrassing as though something has gone wrong. [Note, you can quote your favorite psalm to complain that something has gone wrong.]  Later accounts don't appear to like this and suspiciously put Jesus more in charge of his own destiny.

It appears AJ is not even considering seriously the weight of arguments for legendary development and polemical embellishment and would not recognize the evidence of it even if it were there all over the place.  [BTW, it's all over the place.]  That's not a fair fight.

AJ says:
If they were hallucinations, then the disciples were dying for a lost cause and genuinely believed it was still true, rather than know it was false and deceive. While a hallucination can affect all five senses, it isn't necessarily the case in all circumstances. It can be visual, heard or even touched or a combination of those things. 
In this time period hallucinations weren't typically understood as hallucinations according to ancient background knowledge.  They were considered visions and appearances of real divine beings.  We have plenty of pagan accounts of pagans having visions of pagan gods.  They may have been considered "really there" and made of real "heavenly materials."  Just as Jesus would have "really been there" and had a new glorious body made of "heavenly materials."

AJ says:
The disciples DID see the risen Jesus, a hallucination cannot adequately explain his post mortem appearances to 500 individuals over 40 days. 
Unless it was Satan masquerading as Jesus.  Or Paul bs-ing an audience who couldn't so easily verify such a claim many countries away (Greece to Israel, you know).  Or a vague claim equivalent to a modern Assemblies of God church on any given Sunday morning where everyone "witnesses" an appearance of the Holy Spirit and/or Jesus through collective ecstatic trance.  1 Corinthians 15 is just not specific enough to even bother to debate.

AJ says:
What reason would the apostles have to lie? They wouldn't have any reason to lie or create fanciful delusions deliberately if they knew that what they said is a lie. The disciples were terrified after Jesus' death, but when they saw him, they proclaimed his death and resurrection with a courageous streak. What changed men who were abject cowards into brave spiritual warriors? It is actually War On Error assuming that there is a conspiracy on the part of the disciples to mislead others into supporting a lost cause. 
Satan must be very persuasive with all that deception and all those miraculous powers of his.  It's amazing that AJ doesn't seem to think Satan is at all good at his job.

AJ says:
And why would Satan fake the resurrection and for what reason would he?
If Jesus were claiming all along that it was supposed to happen (like the gospels claim), then faking the resurrection to keep the religion going as a living farce would likely be the reason.  It's humiliation.  Plain and simple.  Why do you think Satan invented Islam and Mormonism?  Well...that might be boredom.  

***

Outro:

Perhaps AJ will at least learn something about arguing outside the box.  Or maybe not.

Ben

7 comments:

Andy Semler said...

What I find fascinating is that Christians keep trying to get me to believe in a god that is an embarrassment to godhood. I would have to first believe in a god that actually failed so hard that he had to wipe out his creation with a flood (so they tell me). Oops, do-over! And then he's still failed TWO THOUSAND YEARS LATER to make everyone on the planet aware of his plan for salvation? Damn. No, my beliefs as an atheist are more charitable, because I don't think any deity could fail so hard - it's more likely that there wasn't one in the first place.

WOE said...

It's a good thing Jesus invented victim blaming.

Quinque viae said...

"AJ" is a character known as Bobo from Paltalk. Very strange individual but we mostly get a laugh out of him than take him seriously. I had a little exchange with him on my blog which didn't end too well for him, almost every answer he gave as a complete cop-out.

http://quinqueviae.blogspot.com/

Answering Judaism said...

http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/response-to-war-on-error-regarding.html?m=1

robert mr said...

answering judaism , i have proof that jesus is satan



here is some interesting proof.


jesus: So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan?

If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.


jesus does what satan does:

49 “I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!

51 Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! 52 From now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three; 53 they will be divided:

father against son
and son against father,
mother against daughter
and daughter against mother,
mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law
and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”


jesus: And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come.


crucifixion of jesus:
33 When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land[h] until three in the afternoon. 34 At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”[i]35 When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, “Listen, he is calling for Elijah.” 36 And someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” 37 Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last.


jesus:
In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house.


crucifixion:
the romans tied up jesus to a cross.

tie
tʌɪ/
verb
1.
attach or fasten with string or similar cord.
"Gabriel tied up his horse"
synonyms: bind, tie up, tether, hitch, strap, truss, fetter, rope, chain, make fast,moor, lash, attach, fasten, fix, secure, join, connect, link, couple
"they tied Max to a chair"
2.
restrict or limit (someone) to a particular situation or place.




if you read hector avalos' book "bad jesus" in it he says that the purpose clause in the division verb is something that jesus himself will do. a close parallel is in mt 5:17. both have purpose clauses

robert mr said...

verse*

and don't forget that according to christian theology death or satan = invisible spirit which defeated the invisible spirit of jesus (or where they really just playing exchange?), then the evil pnuema pops out and enters a pagan roman who says that jesus was "son of ...."

robert mr said...

if only someone reminded jesus of his "satan cast of satan" when he was drilled to the cross. don't you think that would've pissed jesus off more?