Who is a Christian?

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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Prismatic567 » Tue Apr 30, 2019 5:18 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
Prismatic567 wrote:You are diverting to an irrelevant point which I has no concerns and is not reflected in my and posts.

It is approximated there are nearly 2 billion Christians around the world and I am not interested nor it is relevant at all for me to convince every 'someone' within that 2 billion Christians.
He was not saying that your point has problems because you cannot convince everyone. That is a beneficial to you misinterpretation. He is saying that that situation, with the specific kind of theist he described, shows the problem with you, in particular, defining what a Christian is.

Get it?

It was not saying that a proper epistemological criterion is that your argument should convince everyone - an iambiguous type of criterion. He was saying that you have no ground to call on any authority in that situation, as a non-theist. Even if you convince that person, you are calling on authorities you do not respect, who you think are delusional.

It would be like me saying to someone who believe aliens are among us but they are tall and very hair with small eyes, that they are not a true alien believer because most believers in aliens see them as short, grey with big eyes and no hair. Despite the fact that you think all of these people are deluded.

Your point is too shallow.
I am not arguing whether Jesus is tall or short, dark or light skin, etc.
I am not even arguing which is the standard methods of baptism and I did not insist all must be baptized [which I stated is merely a ritual and form].

I am arguing the critical variable of 'who is a Christian' is the imperative covenant, explicit or implied.

Example; A schizo was "told" by a "real" Super Being promising him/her super power if s/he kill 20 people. The schizo then went on to kill more than 10 people and he was caught. The schizo gave the reason why he had to kill.
Now I would argue the schizo had entered into contract [implied] with that Super Being and he had to carry out the terms of the contract to receive what was promised by the Super Being.

There are many cases where deluded people are deemed to have entered into an implicit contract with the greater Being that promised them whatever power if they were to kill or commit some evil acts.

My emphasis here is the implicit or explicit contract or covenant and the real consequences that follow, regardless of whether the people involved are sane or deluded.

In the case of 'who is a Christian', yes I believe theism is based on a delusion, but the fact is there is an implicit contract between their God [illusory] and themselves [held in their mind] with prescribed covenanted terms to be complied which does have consequences in the real world.
In the case of 'who is a Christian' there are explicit terms of the covenant as represented the Gospels and the relevant supporting texts. The Christians are covenanted [contracted] to comply to terms of the covenant to the best of their abilities and that God will have the final say.

It would be very stupid and fatal [no eternal life] for a Christian to insist there is no covenant [contract or agreement] between him and God or he will not enter into a covenant with his God. If there is no agreement and relationship, there is no way - in principle - God can exercise any promise to him of salvation and eternal life. Any sane Christian will accept this principle if the point is explained clearly to him.

Therefore the covenant is the primary and ultimate factor in deciding 'who is a Christian' regardless of whether they are conscious of it or not.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Prismatic567 » Tue Apr 30, 2019 5:32 am

Fanman wrote:Thanks for weighing in KT. You are right in what you say, I don't really understand why he doesn't get it, but I have some ideas... I wasn't going to respond to his post, as I was going to resist highlighting where I thought he was incorrect, due to his overbearing attitude.

One of the points I was going to make, is that if his argument constitutes the not a QED definition of Christians, fulfilling as he has claimed “all the necessary epistemological and philosophical requirements", wouldn't that mean that his argument/criteria are universal? He is, after all, claiming that his argument defines/constitutes a Christian, in the all inclusive sense, otherwise he would of made it clear that he only meant some Christians. And I believe that he thinks that anyone outside of his criteria is not a Christian or not a true Christian, otherwise he doesn't agree with his own "QED" argument.

As if to say: “This […] is the conclusive definition of a Christian (I think he also used the term conclusive), thus it has been demonstrated.”

Which doesn't leave room for deviations or alterations unless new variables arise, he's locked himself in it, so to speak. However, conversely, he's now arguing that his goal is not to convince everyone, and referencing empirical science as a comparison to make that point as if they are related. Epistemologically and philosophically science and Christianity are completely different, but to him they are seemingly analogous because he feels that he has achieved a "proof" (again!)

From my perspective, a sound a posteriori argument need not be agreed upon by the majority for validity, because it is obviously correct, but perhaps I'm not entirely right in saying that? There are areas of his argument/criteria (if not the whole thing) that can reasonably be disputed, which they have been in my view - yet he also believes that in this topic, *only* his arguments are reasonable/sound, not any of the counter-views.

As I stated, I think his argument will be viewed as valid depending on how someone views the whole nature of Christianity, but I do not believe that it defines all Christians in all cases, as he doesn't have that authority, I don't think anyone does and the Bible is not 100% clear, which seem to be points that he both accepts and rejects simultaneously. Prismatic is not making much sense to me at the moment.

Your point is too shallow.

As I had stated above;

    It would be very stupid and fatal [no eternal life] for a Christian to insist there is no covenant [contract or agreement] between him and God or he will not enter into a covenant with his God.
    If there is no agreement and relationship, there is no way - in principle - God can exercise any promise to him of salvation and eternal life. Any sane Christian will accept this principle if the point is explained clearly to him.

    Therefore the covenant is the primary and ultimate factor in deciding 'who is a Christian' regardless of whether they are conscious of it or not.

Note God offered and promised to any person salvation and eternal life in exchange for believing Jesus Christ is the son of God and to comply with God's word via Christ.
How can any person expect to gain eternal life in heaven if s/he had not entered into a mutual agreement, i.e. covenant, with God by accepting God's term in the covenant?

A person can claim to be a Christian by all sorts of means but what counts ultimately is the essence of the covenant must be effected by the Christian. If no covenant is effected, then it is a non-starter for the person to be a Christian to gain salvation and eternal life, thus, on Judgment Day;

    God to pseudo Christian: WTF, you did not enter into a covenant with me and you demand I grant you eternal life in heaven. Shut the F up and be prepared for HELL!
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Fanman » Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:26 pm

Prismatic,

In the case of 'who is a Christian', yes I believe theism is based on a delusion, but the fact is there is an implicit contract between their God [illusory] and themselves [held in their mind] with prescribed covenanted terms to be complied which does have consequences in the real world.


In Law of Contract, can there be a legal agreement between a person and an illusory being?

Also, if the Christian dies and doesn't receive eternal life as promised, can they sue the illusory being for breach of contract?

What's the precedent?
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Tue Apr 30, 2019 5:06 pm

Fanman wrote:Prismatic,

In the case of 'who is a Christian', yes I believe theism is based on a delusion, but the fact is there is an implicit contract between their God [illusory] and themselves [held in their mind] with prescribed covenanted terms to be complied which does have consequences in the real world.


In Law of Contract, can there be a legal agreement between a person and an illusory being?

Also, if the Christian dies and doesn't receive eternal life as promised, can they sue the illusory being for breach of contract?

What's the precedent?
And, of course, believing in God and Jesus and asserting that - since those are the criteria you accept, also has real world effects.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Prismatic567 » Wed May 01, 2019 5:39 am

Fanman wrote:Prismatic,

In the case of 'who is a Christian', yes I believe theism is based on a delusion, but the fact is there is an implicit contract between their God [illusory] and themselves [held in their mind] with prescribed covenanted terms to be complied which does have consequences in the real world.


In Law of Contract, can there be a legal agreement between a person and an illusory being?

Also, if the Christian dies and doesn't receive eternal life as promised, can they sue the illusory being for breach of contract?

What's the precedent?

This is not the Law of Contract in the conventional sense.
This is in the divine sense, thus we call that a covenant [divine contract or agreement] with God.

The covenant [divine contract] is between God and the Christian.
God is the all powerful, omniscient, omnipresent, Perfect, etc. As such God will not break its promise. In principle there will be no precedents to it.

In this case of the covenant with God, it is more likely the fallible human who will break his promise to comply with the covenanted terms to the best of his abilities. However there are always degrees to the sins committed. It is thus up to God to judge and forgive sins [when begged] which are not serious.
Surely if the Christian, thereafter had agreed to the covenant, committed genocides on Christians and others in millions, s/he is not likely to be forgiven by God despite the pleading, else others psychopaths could do the same.

What is critical here is the real implied covenant that is in the minds of Christians [note Muslims as well] who would carry out the terms of the covenant which has real empirical impact [good and evil] on themselves and humanity.

Humanity need not be too overly concerned with the covenanted terms Christians have with the Christian God since its overriding maxim is a pacifist one, i.e. love even one's enemies, etc.

What is a greater threat to humanity is the covenant [loaded with evil terms] which Muslims entered into with Allah. The evil consequences in the zealous compliance by SOME Muslims zealots is so evidently evil and violent as justified empirically. The compliance of the covenanted terms by SOME Muslims zealots has the potential to exterminate the human species. You are not bother by this potential?

Thus the solution to the above very terrible threats from SOME Islamist zealots is to prove "God is an impossibility to be real", as such, there cannot be any covenant with any real God.
If there is no covenant with any god is possible, then there will be ZERO God-covenanted evil and violence EVER.
QED.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Fanman » Wed May 01, 2019 6:59 am

Prismatic,

This is not the Law of Contract in the conventional sense.
This is in the divine sense, thus we call that a covenant [divine contract or agreement] with God.


I'm not aware of an area of Law of Contract that covers divine contracts?

Surely if the Christian, thereafter had agreed to the covenant, committed genocides on Christians and others in millions, s/he is not likely to be forgiven by God despite the pleading, else others psychopaths could do the same.


It is propounded by Christian preachers that God will forgive any sin if the person genuinely repents and believes in Jesus. I have seen programmes where people who commit heinous crimes repent and become Christians. As far as I'm aware, the New Covenant doesn't exclude anyone who genuinely comes to Jesus for forgiveness, no matter what they've done. This is not my personal opinion, it is the general view propounded within Christianity, the concept of being "saved".

Just google: "Can Jesus forgive any sin?"
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Fanman » Wed May 01, 2019 7:25 am

Prismatic,

The covenant [divine contract] is between God and the Christian.
God is the all powerful, omniscient, omnipresent, Perfect, etc. As such God will not break its promise. In principle there will be no precedents to it.


Does the fact that there are no precedents mean that what you say about God in the above is true?
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Wed May 01, 2019 7:37 am

I think another take on the issue is also:

Of course organized Christian churches say that you need organized Christian churches - if not adding that it should be their kind of church (for ex. Catholic) to be a true Christian. If one does not need them, what are they? Possible motivations include money, status, authority, the continuation of traditions - ones that were made up quite long after Jesus - and competition with other churches and authority figures. These likely were motivations, for example, underlying some of the terrible decisions the Catholic church made when it discovered, no doubt again in history, that sexual abuse was widespread amongst its priests. Can we really take, for example, the Catholic Church as an authority on what a Christian should be? Did it gain this authority after it dropped the Inquistion? Which year? And what do we do with the trend to no longer ruling out, for example, Muslims getting into Heaven or that they worship the true God`?

We have the human habit of giving away power and of taking on power in organizations, often at the expense of the people who actually inspired the original purpose of the organization.

Appeals to the Bible are also problematic. Not just because it is incredibly complicated to determine things like: the metaphoric or literal intention of a particular section, why this or that section was included or excluded from the Bible by this or that committee, accounts of Jesus were written long after Jesus was alive at times when organizations saying they represent Jesus' teachings were already struggling for power and authority, there are contradictions in the Bible and not just between the NT and the OT, there are external texts like the Gnostic gospels that have a very different idea about what Jesus meant which has implicatoins related to 'being a true Christian', and we have a religion based on a mystical figure who himself

broke with tradition.

All the churches considered major by Prismatic and in general have shifted their positions on core issues and it is precisely these kinds of organizations that decided what was the Bible and then how we should interpret it. A fairly confused set of texts, written by fallible humans, those relating to Jesus not during his lifetime, has hardened by these people into rules.

IOW fallible power hungry organizations generally with incredible sins in their history are being granted authority to decide who is a follower of Christ, despite their histories, and despite the fact that their policies are determined, in large part, based on differing interpretations of texts written by a wide range of fallible individuals, who did not have direct knowledge of Jesus, and even if they did, this does not mean they would be right.

As a non-Christian, I am being told that I can determine, via this mess, that what I need to take a poll so to speak of these fallible people in organizations with horrible histories and the most common answer they produce is the one I, a non-Christian, should use to

deny someone claiming to be Christian is one, if they do not meet the criteria of these people.

Regardless of whether Jesus was in fact the deity or just a very spiritual guy,

I have no way of knowing....

let me repeat that....

I have no way of knowing if in fact Jesus would have thought that the only people who are actually following his path are not participants in the organized religions, and are those who do not think this or that ritual is essential or even necessary to being his follower. Nor can I weigh in about who will be getting into Heaven or whom Jesus would think is the kind of believer who should - be there a heaven or not.

The Churches have considered all kinds of monstrous behavior Christian. They have all blessed horrific enterprises, except perhaps the Quakers and a few other smaller denominations. The Bible has been used to justify monstrous behavior against children, native americans, other nations and peoples, the earth.

I find absolutely no ground to stand on to say, I a non-christian, think we should see if most Christian organizations would consider you, Shirly, as a Christian and if not, then you are not. Or I, a non-Christian, think I can use the Bible - given what I know about the history of that set of texts - to determine if you are a Christian.

I can't.

If I were a Christian, I could then refer to whatever Christian authority I believe is the right one and their interpetation of the issue, Jesus, the Bible and so on.

I might be wrong, but that act of referring to an authority would be consistent with my belief that they are a valid authority. I would be consistent, though perhaps wrong. It would make sense for me to refer to that authority. I might be wrong, but the act fits with my other beliefs and assertions.

A non-Christian cannot know if the popular idea in Christianity is the right one. And he or she cannot turn to any of the extremely tainted authorities out there and say, I will listen to this one or the most popular rules they make up as a whole. He or she cannot know if a minority position is the right one or not. But more than he or she not being able to know if it is right, he or she has already asserted that none of these authorities can be trusted. So appealing to them makes no sense, especially given the evolution of these organizations postions on many important issues. Who knows where they will weigh in on the issue in a hundred years.

And let me make that more precise. The non-theist knows that these organizations are more than just fallible, but that non-theist does not know if an individual outside of the churches, with their own take on what it is to be Christian is fallible or has a bad history and a history with shifting position on important issues.

The non-christian can tell that the various churches have supported horrible activities and changed their minds on important issues.

The non-christian generally does not know if this is the case with the independent non-affiliated person asserting they are a Christian.

So not only can the non-theist have no good grounds to weigh in on the latter's status,

but...

the non-theist has better grounds for ignoring the so called church authorities on any issue at all.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Wed May 01, 2019 7:37 am

Fanman wrote:Prismatic,

The covenant [divine contract] is between God and the Christian.
God is the all powerful, omniscient, omnipresent, Perfect, etc. As such God will not break its promise. In principle there will be no precedents to it.


Does the fact that there are no precedents mean that what you say about God in the above is true?
And perhaps the God the organized Christians worship is actually the demiurge.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Prismatic567 » Wed May 01, 2019 10:18 am

Fanman wrote:Prismatic,

This is not the Law of Contract in the conventional sense.
This is in the divine sense, thus we call that a covenant [divine contract or agreement] with God.


I'm not aware of an area of Law of Contract that covers divine contracts?

You don't get the point.
If you refer to 'Law of Contract" within the secular perspective, obviously you cannot conflate it with a covenant, i.e. divine contract.

Note I have been explaining all along, it is the universal principles of contract that exist in both secular and divine contracts.

Surely if the Christian, thereafter had agreed to the covenant, committed genocides on Christians and others in millions, s/he is not likely to be forgiven by God despite the pleading, else others psychopaths could do the same.


It is propounded by Christian preachers that God will forgive any sin if the person genuinely repents and believes in Jesus. I have seen programmes where people who commit heinous crimes repent and become Christians. As far as I'm aware, the New Covenant doesn't exclude anyone who genuinely comes to Jesus for forgiveness, no matter what they've done. This is not my personal opinion, it is the general view propounded within Christianity, the concept of being "saved".

Just google: "Can Jesus forgive any sin?"

God is omnipresent and all powerful, Christian preachers are not God-liked.

It is possible for the worst sinners to be forgiven by the all-knowing God who would have taken every thing into consideration.
However such forgiveness will not be reflected as a permission for every psychopaths who plan to commit genocide then plan to ask for forgiveness thereafter. No Christian preacher would agree with that.

It would be a stupid God [in the mind of reasonable believers] for a psychopath to continuously commit evil, ask for forgiveness, then commit evil again, ask for forgiveness, and repeat such a cycle till his last day.

I have to admit I am not an expert on the Bible as I am with the Quran.
I believe there must be a verse or context that do not allow repeated sinners of the worst kind, e.g. genocides, to be forgiven thus be saved.
The 'worst sinners' like Paul, Moses were listed as forgiven one time for previous worst sins, after repenting and without any mentioned of future sins.

Here is one verse I noted, [there may be others];

    Titus 3:5 New King James Version (NKJV)
    5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,

I believe God and Jesus will not exercise their mercy so stupidly for a sinner who committed genocide, asked for forgiveness the first time, then repeated genocides [every time ask for forgiveness] till his/last day then ask for a final forgiveness.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Prismatic567 » Wed May 01, 2019 10:19 am

Fanman wrote:Prismatic,

The covenant [divine contract] is between God and the Christian.
God is the all powerful, omniscient, omnipresent, Perfect, etc. As such God will not break its promise. In principle there will be no precedents to it.


Does the fact that there are no precedents mean that what you say about God in the above is true?

True relative to what theists claim of God, i.e. God qualities.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Prismatic567 » Wed May 01, 2019 10:36 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:So not only can the non-theist have no good grounds to weigh in on the latter's status,

but...

the non-theist has better grounds for ignoring the so called church authorities on any issue at all.

Your point is too shallow and subjective.
Provide some reference and authority to support your point?

Within the intellectual, academic, & philosophical communities, non-Xs has been defining 'who is an X' on an objective and rational basis as accepted by a majority. This is so common.

Note the meaning of definition;

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/definition
    the act of defining, or of making something definite, distinct, or clear:

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/define
    Define
    -to state or set forth the meaning of (a word, phrase, etc.):
    -to explain or identify the nature or essential qualities of; describe:
    -to define judicial functions.
    -to fix or lay down clearly and definitely; specify distinctly:
    -to define one's responsibilities.
    -to determine or fix the boundaries or extent of:
    -to define property with stakes.
    -to make clear the outline or form of:

    verb (used without object), de·fined, de·fin·ing.
    to set forth the meaning of a word, phrase, etc.; construct a definition.

It is ridiculous to insist only Xs can define 'who is an X'.

E.g. we don't need scientists to define who is a scientist, non-scientists with the relevant and recognized authority can define who is a scientist objectively.
Philosophers who are not scientist can express "what is Science" and "who is a scientist" within the Philosophy of Science with a high level of credibility.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Fanman » Wed May 01, 2019 7:10 pm

Prismatic,

Isn't this...
Note I have been explaining all along, it is the universal principles of contract that exist in both secular and divine contracts.

a contradiction of this...
If you refer to 'Law of Contract" within the secular perspective, obviously you cannot conflate it with a covenant, i.e. divine contract.

How are you not conflating the two here?
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Fanman » Thu May 02, 2019 1:54 am

Prismatic,

Your point is too shallow and subjective.
Provide some reference and authority to support your point?


KT's post was not shallow or subjective, I don't understand why you would say that? It actually explored the issues surrounding this discussion at some depth, deeper than anyone else has yet, and brought some interesting points to the fore - re the actual applicability of any authority to actually define a Christian.

Defining a scientist and defining a Christian are completely different.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Prismatic567 » Thu May 02, 2019 4:46 am

Fanman wrote:Prismatic,

Isn't this...
Note I have been explaining all along, it is the universal principles of contract that exist in both secular and divine contracts.

a contradiction of this...
If you refer to 'Law of Contract" within the secular perspective, obviously you cannot conflate it with a covenant, i.e. divine contract.

How are you not conflating the two here?

The Principles of the Law of Contract is universal which exist within any agreement between two parties [individuals or group] to qualify the agreement as a contract.

Even within the secular perspective, there are many types of courts, e.g. crime, commercial, family, etc. You cannot conflate i.e. try a felony crime within a commercial court for small business related crimes even though they both recognize the principles of the law of contract.

It is more obvious, you cannot try a secular crime within an illusory divine court that exists only in the minds of theists. Note I had argued a there is a covenant between a believer and god as implied from the verses of the holy texts and the acts of belief in an illusory God.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Prismatic567 » Thu May 02, 2019 4:58 am

Fanman wrote:Prismatic,

Your point is too shallow and subjective.
Provide some reference and authority to support your point?


KT's post was not shallow or subjective, I don't understand why you would say that? It actually explored at the issues surrounding this discussion at some depth, deeper than anyone else has yet, and brought some interesting points to the fore - re the actual applicability of any authority to actually define a Christian.

Defining a scientist and defining a Christian are completely different.

Why did you get the latter idea from? Supportings?

The act of definition is reinforced by expert etymologists which is normally based on popularity.
There is no difference in the principles of etymology for defining a scientist and a Christian.

Btw, I had insisted I did not invent my own definition of who is a Christian but rather rely on who is commonly defined as a Christian based on justified evidences which I had provided.

Note there will be times you will have to provide a definition of 'who or X?' Will you insist, because you are not an X, you cannot say anything nor provide any definition at all re 'who is X?'

Frankly, your's and other's opposition that just because I am not a Christian, I do not have the authority to define who is a Christian, is one of the most childish intellectual resistance I have EVER come across.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Artimas » Thu May 02, 2019 5:23 am

Prismatic567 wrote:
Fanman wrote:Prismatic,

Your point is too shallow and subjective.
Provide some reference and authority to support your point?


KT's post was not shallow or subjective, I don't understand why you would say that? It actually explored at the issues surrounding this discussion at some depth, deeper than anyone else has yet, and brought some interesting points to the fore - re the actual applicability of any authority to actually define a Christian.

Defining a scientist and defining a Christian are completely different.

Why did you get the latter idea from? Supportings?

The act of definition is reinforced by expert etymologists which is normally based on popularity.
There is no difference in the principles of etymology for defining a scientist and a Christian.

Btw, I had insisted I did not invent my own definition of who is a Christian but rather rely on who is commonly defined as a Christian based on justified evidences which I had provided.

Note there will be times you will have to provide a definition of 'who or X?' Will you insist, because you are not an X, you cannot say anything nor provide any definition at all re 'who is X?'

Frankly, your's and other's opposition that just because I am not a Christian, I do not have the authority to define who is a Christian, is one of the most childish intellectual resistance I have EVER come across.


There is no expert in explaining the past. There is only speculation from people who read and think. You lack experience in subjects, that’s it. Why do you argue? When you can just go study the subjects and see for yourself, read the holy Bible with the definitions I have provided and you will understand it. They are on a path of understanding knowledge, understanding themselves at the beginning of consciousness, especially in the books about Moses. Jesus is merely an archetype or idea, something to aspire to be, the hero/savior. It’s part of the psyche. Man expresses himself through art. Look at it that way, you can read a person psychologically by investing the time into understanding the art/expression. Keep in mind the context too.

An image of the psyche..
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Thu May 02, 2019 7:19 am

Prismatic567 wrote:Your point is too shallow and subjective.
Provide some reference and authority to support your point?
I provided an argument. On the specific point you cited. Appeals to authority are not the only kind of argument, and further I pointed out the problems with the authorities you use and how this relates to the specific case of Christians-

Within the intellectual, academic, & philosophical communities, non-Xs has been defining 'who is an X' on an objective and rational basis as accepted by a majority. This is so common.
And, again, you treat my argument as if I am ruling out non-members defining members in general. You ignored points about why this specific case is a specific case. And I have mentioned other special cases with similar problems.
It is ridiculous to insist only Xs can define 'who is an X'.
A general argument and one I have not made. I made a specific set of arguments about a specific case, Christianity. Your judgment would have some meat if you actually addressed the points I made. Perhaps you have done it elsewhere, but here you are making a poor argument. Since we in general do this and it works in many instances, it must work in all instances where we define who is a member of set X. This a weak argument and allows you not to address the specific issue at hand or the arguments I made.

E.g. we don't need scientists to define who is a scientist, non-scientists with the relevant and recognized authority can define who is a scientist objectively.
Philosophers who are not scientist can express "what is Science" and "who is a scientist" within the Philosophy of Science with a high level of credibility.


And note the logically false argument.

I am saying that doing this is a problem in the case of Y.
You respond that it works in the case of X.

Your argument makes sense if my argument was 'in no case can people who are not X, decide who is a member of group X. Then showing a counterexample is a good argument.

But I have never said that in all cases, when one is not a member of group X, one cannot determine the members of group X. I clearly and obviously made a case that the specific qualities of this group X and what this entails about the criteria involved and determining what criteria are involved entails my conclusion.

And there is an extra irony in that you chose an example where you specifically have reasons to believe in the authorities. You believe in the scientific epistemology. You believe in their expertise. You believe in the objects of their learnedness. Any body evaluating who is a scientist would be best to include scientists. You, Prismatic, have good grounds to think they are experts, since you believe in science, so you, as a specific human, appealing to their authority, makes sense. So not only, by using scientists as a counterexample, arguing against an argument I never made (the general one) but you have chosen a counterexample that is not relevent in any way to the case I made.

Further, Case X Christians has to do with religion where we are talking about beliefs, attitudes and a lot of internal states - that is where the problem of other minds plays a key role. That the authorities disagree about a lot of important issues in other areas, have changed their minds over time about a lot of important issues, have vested interests in the criteria, have justified evil acts and then changed their minds, often about those, and work with 'evidence' that itself is inconsistant, makes your appeals to authority problematic. There were other arguments I made in my previous post. And nothing you said in this last post is even relevent to any of those arguments.

My experience is, Prismatic, that once you have decided on a position, nothing can change your mind. It has to be the case. So I will openly say I do not read all your responses. I have focused more on Fanman's posts here, though this obviously meant I was responding to your arguments and points, in the context of his discussion with you.

I hope you will notice here how your response to my argument, in its last formulationn, was a very poor one, since it treated my argument as a general one rather than a specific one, and the only possible reason to do this is to avoid dealing with the specific qualities of the Christian one and so my argument got framed as saying 'non-members of a group can never define who members are.' An argument I never made. I do not believe that holds at the general level. So before just finding new arguments, notice that you grabbed for an irrelevant one, and consider that this might indicate how open minded you actually are about this issue.
Last edited by Karpel Tunnel on Thu May 02, 2019 7:55 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Fanman » Thu May 02, 2019 7:26 am

Prismatic,

Note there will be times you will have to provide a definition of 'who or X?' Will you insist, because you are not an X, you cannot say anything nor provide any definition at all re 'who is X?'


As a lay person, perhaps that would be the shrewd thing to do. I do not believe that my definition of a scientist will be as accurate, applicable, practical or comprehensive as someone who can be considered an authority on scientists, has experience of working with scientists or someone who actually practices science.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Prismatic567 » Thu May 02, 2019 8:13 am

Fanman wrote:Prismatic,

Note there will be times you will have to provide a definition of 'who or X?' Will you insist, because you are not an X, you cannot say anything nor provide any definition at all re 'who is X?'


As a lay person, perhaps that would be the shrewd thing to do. I do not believe that my definition of a scientist will be as accurate, applicable, practical or comprehensive as someone who can be considered an authority on scientists, has experience of working with scientists or someone who actually practices science.

Surely you should be objective enough to present a definition that is based on what is commonly accepted by the majority rather than your own subjective opinions.
Whatever definition you present of 'who is a scientist,' I will justify it against the current acceptable definitions and decide whether your definition is acceptable or not.

Note the definition of who is a Christian is not MY own based on personal subjective opinions, but as I had argued is based on what is presented in the holy texts and actions of the majority of "Christians."
The concepts I used, i.e. baptism, surrender to God, covenant are not my inventions, they are extracted explicitly or implicitly all from the holy texts. The universal principles of the law of contract are not my inventions.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Prismatic567 » Thu May 02, 2019 8:24 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
Prismatic567 wrote:Your point is too shallow and subjective.
Provide some reference and authority to support your point?
I provided an argument. On the specific point you cited. Appeals to authority are not the only kind of argument, and further I pointed out the problems with the authorities you use and how this relates to the specific case of Christians-

Within the intellectual, academic, & philosophical communities, non-Xs has been defining 'who is an X' on an objective and rational basis as accepted by a majority. This is so common.
And, again, you treat my argument as if I am ruling out non-members defining members in general. You ignored points about why this specific case is a specific case. And I have mentioned other special cases with similar problems.
It is ridiculous to insist only Xs can define 'who is an X'.
A general argument and one I have not made. I made a specific set of arguments about a specific case, Christianity. Your judgment would have some meat if you actually addressed the points I made. Perhaps you have done it elsewhere, but here you are making a poor argument. Since we in general do this and it works in many instances, it must work in all instances where we define who is a member of set X. This a weak argument and allows you not to address the specific issue at hand or the arguments I made.

E.g. we don't need scientists to define who is a scientist, non-scientists with the relevant and recognized authority can define who is a scientist objectively.
Philosophers who are not scientist can express "what is Science" and "who is a scientist" within the Philosophy of Science with a high level of credibility.


And note the logically false argument.

I am saying that doing this is a problem in the case of Y.
You respond that it works in the case of X.

Your argument makes sense if my argument was 'in no case can people who are not X, decide who is a member of group X. Then showing a counterexample is a good argument.

But I have never said that in all cases, when one is not a member of group X, one cannot determine the members of group X. I clearly and obviously made a case that the specific qualities of this group X and what this entails about the criteria involved and determining what criteria are involved entails my conclusion.

And there is an extra irony in that you chose an example where you specifically have reasons to believe in the authorities. You believe in the scientific epistemology. You believe in their expertise. You believe in the objects of their learnedness. Any body evaluating who is a scientist would be best to include scientists. You, Prismatic, have good grounds to think they are experts, since you believe in science, so you, as a specific human, appealing to their authority, makes sense. So not only, by using scientists as a counterexample, arguing against an argument I never made (the general one) but you have chosen a counterexample that is not relevent in any way to the case I made.

Further, Case X Christians has to do with religion where we are talking about beliefs, attitudes and a lot of internal states - that is where the problem of other minds plays a key role. That the authorities disagree about a lot of important issues in other areas, have changed their minds over time about a lot of important issues, have vested interests in the criteria, have justified evil acts and then changed their minds, often about those, and work with 'evidence' that itself is inconsistant, makes your appeals to authority problematic. There were other arguments I made in my previous post. And nothing you said in this last post is even relevent to any of those arguments.

My experience is, Prismatic, that once you have decided on a position, nothing can change your mind. It has to be the case. So I will openly say I do not read all your responses. I have focused more on Fanman's posts here, though this obviously meant I was responding to your arguments and points, in the context of his discussion with you.

I hope you will notice here how your response to my argument, in its last formulationn, was a very poor one, since it treated my argument as a general one rather than a specific one, and the only possible reason to do this is to avoid dealing with the specific qualities of the Christian one and so my argument got framed as saying 'non-members of a group can never define who members are.' An argument I never made. I do not believe that holds at the general level. So before just finding new arguments, notice that you grabbed for an irrelevant one, and consider that this might indicate how open minded you actually are about this issue.

Are you saying your disagreement is confined only to defining 'Who is a Christian'. Why so specific.
Where did you get your authority to insist on such a restriction?

If you insist on the Christianity set, then you should also restrict authority to define whatever religions [Muslims, Buddhism, Taoism, Zen, etc.] within the religious set. Then nobody in the world can define who belongs to a religion except those who are officially a believer of that religion.

Why not other sets, like shamans, magicians, actors, dancers, carpenters, etc. This look like your argument is getting crazy.

The point is you don't have the authority at all to insist on your censorship of me or others except Christians themselves in defining who is a Christian.
This is why I had insisted, since we are in a philosophy forum the epistemological approach should prevail and I have provided justification on this basis.

Epistemologically there is no problem with a definition of who is a scientist.
A scientist is one who has worked [testing, etc.] and produced accepted theories within the objectively defined Scientific Framework and System comprising its assumptions, scientific method, peer review, etc.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Fanman » Thu May 02, 2019 1:18 pm

Prismatic,

Surely you should be objective enough to present a definition that is based on what is commonly accepted by the majority rather than your own subjective opinions.


My point is, that the definition of something from someone within the same field or an authority on that field, is likely to be more comprehensive and accurate than the definition from a lay person, even if it contains subjectivity.

Who's definition would you be more accepting of, the lay person or the authority?
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Fanman » Thu May 02, 2019 7:45 pm

Prismatic,

Frankly, your's and other's opposition that just because I am not a Christian, I do not have the authority to define who is a Christian, is one of the most childish intellectual resistance I have EVER come across.


I feel the sting of this, and I have what I think is a decent and likewise response. The issue is, would it be mature of me to post that response in retaliation or should I just ignore this altogether and act as though you haven't insulted me and KT. What do you think I should do? Better yet, what would you do? :lol:
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Fanman » Thu May 02, 2019 8:30 pm

Prismatic,

Why did you get the latter idea from? Supportings?


I think that the variables which constitute a scientist are clear, generally, there is little ambiguity on what they do and why do it. With a Christian, the constituting variables are vast and largely undetermined, which may be one of the reasons why there are so many different sects and ideas about it. The authority (the Bible) is also inconsistent, we cannot even verify that it is real, and there are many factors in defining a Christian which need to be considered as have been discussed in this topic. I think that the only consistent variable in all Christians is that they believe in Jesus, everything else is open to interpretation.

Now, you can except this or not, but my feeling is that if you don't, solely because it isn't supported by Wiki or something like that, without analysing the content of what I'm saying and if it makes sense, then you don't grasp things properly. You don't have to agree, but if you think that I'm wrong you have to explain why, in a logical way.

The act of definition is reinforced by expert etymologists which is normally based on popularity.
There is no difference in the principles of etymology for defining a scientist and a Christian.


What? The words and terms used to describe Christians are completely different from that which would be used to describe a scientist. What does the meaning of words have to do with the context of this discussion? The principles may be the same, but the actual etymology is not.

Btw, I had insisted I did not invent my own definition of who is a Christian but rather rely on who is commonly defined as a Christian based on justified evidences which I had provided.


So why are you arguing that you've defined "who is a Christian" QED? If the definition is not yours, something that you just agree with, and think is justified/conclusive, then by all means you're just propounding a moot point.
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Re: Who is a Christian?

Postby Prismatic567 » Fri May 03, 2019 5:24 am

Fanman wrote:Prismatic,

Surely you should be objective enough to present a definition that is based on what is commonly accepted by the majority rather than your own subjective opinions.


My point is, that the definition of something from someone within the same field or an authority on that field, is likely to be more comprehensive and accurate than the definition from a lay person, even if it contains subjectivity.

Who's definition would you be more accepting of, the lay person or the authority?

Nah you got it wrong.

Fanman wrote:Prismatic,

Why did you get the latter idea from? Supportings?


I think that the variables which constitute a scientist are clear, generally, there is little ambiguity on what they do and why do it. With a Christian, the constituting variables are vast and largely undetermined, which may be one of the reasons why there are so many different sects and ideas about it. The authority (the Bible) is also inconsistent, we cannot even verify that it is real, and there are many factors in defining a Christian which need to be considered as have been discussed in this topic. I think that the only consistent variable in all Christians is that they believe in Jesus, everything else is open to interpretation.

Now, you can except this or not, but my feeling is that if you don't, solely because it isn't supported by Wiki or something like that, without analysing the content of what I'm saying and if it makes sense, then you don't grasp things properly. You don't have to agree, but if you think that I'm wrong you have to explain why, in a logical way.

The act of definition is reinforced by expert etymologists which is normally based on popularity.
There is no difference in the principles of etymology for defining a scientist and a Christian.


What? The words and terms used to describe Christians are completely different from that which would be used to describe a scientist. What does the meaning of words have to do with the context of this discussion? The principles may be the same, but the actual etymology is not.


Would you accept a primitive or aboriginal person [they are expert in their own field] as defining themselves. Surely not? This is why we need the help of anthropologists and etymologists to establish a definition of 'who they are' that is understood by the majority.

It is more so in the definition of those with mental issues or definitions that involved subtle knowledge with the mind and physical worlds that only experts can provide.

The definition of who is a Christian or a believer involves mental elements, in this case, the concept of the covenant held in the minds of the believer.

Even with scientists of the highest caliber the most effective definition has to be epistemological and philosophical to avoid any issues of Scientism.
Last edited by Prismatic567 on Fri May 03, 2019 5:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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