Debating believers … oh so frustrating

Now this little post is to simply amuse you, and is not designed to actually inform, except to perhaps enable you to laugh and my foolish attempts to engage with an utterly irrational believer on a rational basis.

The context here is that I’ve been attempting to explain to him the historical facts regarding the four gospels and that the only actual claim that jesus = god emerges in the Gospel of John (written about 95 CE). I’ve also explained that the phrase “son-of-God” does not in any way imply that Jesus = God, but rather that it is a Jewish belief that an individual is simply claiming to have been adopted by God as a son (like King David was).

However, what truly astonished me is that the sticking point was his claim that Jesus was Worshiped, hence he was God.

Its all rather silly of course, because it is religious propaganda and was written down long after the events they claim to describe. However, I did point out to him that the Greek word “προσκυνέω” that is translated as worship is a form of homage shown to men of superior rank, it does not in any way imply the receiver was a deity. It was a very common custom at that time, and involves anything from kissing the hand all the way to falling upon the knees and touching the ground with the forehead. The Jewish high priests expected and received this, I would not expect a claim they also were deities.

So picking up from there, this is how the conversation went … his dialog is the blue italics … (but I suspect you could guess that) …

I used the translated version because this is not a Greek thread.

Fine .. but the point is that you don’t appear want to understand what it actually means.

I allow scripture to interpret scripture I am not reading into anything.

And thats the problem … think about it for a moment … when Mark wrote his Gospel, nothing else existed, so as he wrote, what did the word actually mean? (Note that I’m not asking you what a modern believer asserts it to mean, which is your current position).

I shared the Hebrew because the Old and New Testaments work together and it established a Biblical norm.

And you perhaps do not see how truly crazy that is. You are taking a Hebrew word and a Greek word that mean completely different things, then claim they are exactly the same simply on the basis that the same English word has been rendered for them.

You seem to be harboring a very shallow viewpoint David.

Ah yes, that’s believer speak for, “You don’t agree with me”. No doubt if I did agree with you, I would be “deep”.

I noticed you did not address the scriptural evidence establishing context that proves worship is reserved for God alone.

Because that is no basis for actually understanding it, you only end up painting yourself into a corner of ignorance. If you truly wish to understand then you need to ask yourself what the words ment as it was written and how would others in that cultural context have understood it.

We can of course continue going around this loop, but perhaps there is one additional observation to make. Whatever the conclusion here is, it will not make any difference.

From your viewpoint, I suspect the meaning of specific words is of no real importance. Even if you arrived at the conclusion that perhaps I am correct, you would not change your position. You would still assert that jesus = god. Its a belief that is not based on factual evidence or reality, so even when presented with mountains of evidence, you will hold fast to the delusion for several reasons. One being the emotional investment you have in this belief, another is peer pressure and that you would become an outcast if you took up any other position. So the price of facing up to reality would be too much.

No doubt you also hold the delusional belief that I’m wicked and evil and influenced by dark powers, and your evidence for this would be the fact that I don’t blindly embrace your beliefs. Do I think you are wicked and evil? No of course not, you are a decent honourable human striving to do what you believe is right, and with or without belief, that is what most humans do in the context of their culture. If you just happened to live in Pakistan, you would be Muslim and if you just happened to live in India, you would be Hindu … but doing more or less the same in the context of the local belief.

So I now await his reply to that …

While I might indeed berate him for holding irrational beliefs, it might also be argued that I also must be crazy to attempt to engage him rationally, but than I  justify it in my own mind by thinking that it is not just us, there are others listening to the conversation who can take it on board.

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