Jesus claims to be many things … only in John’s Gospel?

jesusiamjohn

I’ve always found the Gospel of John to be suspiciously campfire story-ish, with much embellishment beyond what the other Gospels speak of.

Here is another case of that.  Jesus claims to be many things, and they are all in the Gospel of John.  It seems like Jesus doesn’t make these bold claims in the other Gospels, just like he only receives a spear in his side in his crucifixion in the Gospel of John – an event that surely shouldn’t have been so easily missed by the authors of the other Gospels if it actually happened.

And then there’s the part in John about Jesus outright claiming to be God, something he doesn’t do anywhere else either.

The Gospel of John should not be easily trusted.

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68 Responses to Jesus claims to be many things … only in John’s Gospel?

  1. Jesus claims to be God in all the Gospels. This is pure ludicrous. I’ve written an entire blog establishing Jesus claimed to be God, not only in the Gospel of John, not only in all the Gospels, not only in the entire New Testament, not only also in the Old Testament, but this as the view from the beginning of Christianity.

  2. Derek says:

    Jason,
    This seems to be a real sticking point for you. I would just read the gospels for yourself to resolve this. No respected bible scholar, secular or otherwise, or person who has read the gospels sees any lack of clarity on Jesus claiming to be God. The extent to which any “deflecting” happens is done within the context of Jesus saying that he’s God, but not to tell anyone yet. I’m wondering where you think he dances around the issue.

  3. Derek says:

    He’s not playing games. He’s waiting until the appointed time. Read the bible to see for yourself.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      It sounds like game playing to me. It seems un-God-like to have to beat around the bush about being God.

      • Derek says:

        He isn’t beating around the bush. He says he’s God to many people throughout the gospel, and thousands saw him resurrected. I’m not sure what you’re specifically referring to, so I don’t really know what you’re point is, and I feel kind of silly addressing what is thus far a baseless claim. What evidence do you have that Christ is not clear about being God?

      • jasonjshaw says:

        Luke 22:70

        John 18:37

        Pretty sad for an all-knowing, all-powerful God to not be able to give straight answers.

  4. Derek says:

    Let’s bring the whole crew and add Matthew 27:11 and Mark 15:11 while we’re at it! To summarize your point, you are saying if Christ is God, he should be able to tell Pilate and Herod that he is God. Because he doesn’t claim he is God using the words and phrasing you would prefer, it casts doubt on his divinity. However, Jesus does say he is God. He doesn’t deny it. He gets crucified for it. If he’s trying to evade the charge of blasphemy, he doesn’t succeed. Curiously, you seem uninterested by the question, “What kind of all-knowing, all-powerful God would allow Himself to be crucified?” I think my response to your “Satan Punishing Evildoers” post answers that.

    I have one request and two questions:
    1. If Jesus said, “I am God” to Pilate and Herod would you then believe in Him?

    2. What is your current stance on the historicity of Jesus?

    Request: I think you should write a blog post about it, because as near as I can tell, it’s shifted a bit since our last exchanges years ago. You now seem to be leaning pretty towards atheist or agnostic thinking. Not a judgement exactly, just a guess, but I’m still curious.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      “What kind of all-knowing, all-powerful God would allow Himself to be crucified?”

      I actually question why an all-knowing, all-powerful God would even need to be so dramatic about things. It seems completely unnecessary other than to appease a human narrative.

      1. No. God would first need to be much more consistent between the Testaments. Jesus, to me, attempts to change the view of God into being a more caring being.

      2. I think it’s possible Jesus was an actual person. If he was a sponge for knowledge as the Bible suggests he was in his early years, I think it is possible he could have pulled off the crucifixion stunt in order to stir up the religion and turn it in a better direction.

      In general I consider myself a neutral agnostic, but in regards to Christianity (and all organized religion), I am definitely on the side of atheism.

  5. Derek says:

    Jesus was a sacrifice for our sins. It wasn’t drama so much as a legal transaction. This point is rather moot since “too much drama” is unproductively subjective. I can play the game just as easily and offer my own subjective view on the matter and say, “it’s no more dramatic in the sense it has action and people like all true events”. If something has too much drama it doesn’t thereby become untrue, weak, or unnecessary; therefore, your taste for too much drama is utterly beside the point. You seem really faithful to the idea that it’s all a story, but you’ve yet to really prove it’s just a story.

    1. Almost answered this with text, but remembered that we have to clear away some fundamentals. Why is Jesus’ incongruity with God, if incongruity exists at all, a problem?

    2. Let’s assume this is true for the sake of argument. By what standard is he improving the lives of those he’s deluded?

    In regards to your worldview, how do you know that the God of the bible doesn’t exist?

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Why was a legal transaction necessary? Why would God implement something as unnecessary as animal sacrifice to atone for sins to begin with? I expect better fore-sight from an all-knowing, all-powerful entity.

      1. “If” incongruity exists? Jesus walked a path of grace and forgiveness. Old testament God seemed to be more interested in jealousy and vengeance.

      2. Jesus had noticed the corruption that had infiltrated the religion due to the presence of animal sacrifices – see the money changers in the Temple. It seems he aimed to end that practice so common people wouldn’t be taken advantage any longer from such a pointless practice.

      The God of the Bible doesn’t exist because God would have provided much better evidence if He wanted us to know of His existence. He also wouldn’t have made His Holy books so challenging to get through for the average human and so easily misinterpreted and corruptible. An all-knowing God would have taken care of those issues.

  6. Derek says:

    Everything in the old testament points to Jesus, animal sacrifice being one such example.

    1. Lots to sort out hear, but you’re missing my point. Why do you have a problem with incongruity? I would have a problem with it, if it existed, which it doesn’t, but my worldview accounts for it. In your world view incongruity is meaningful as congruity. It doesn’t matter. I can explain this more if need be.

    2. Similar to number one, what does it matter that Jesus ended corruption, and what does pointless mean? Isn’t it all pointless? There’s no meaning. Jesus might has just as well have started corruption from your worldview. There is no up and down. You can’t say words like “pointless” when the whole thing, in your view, is pointless from the start.

    This is a really interesting argument. God says he has provided enough evidence, but people don’t want to repent and go to him because they love their sinful lives more. I could say more on your other points, but if we don’t accept the first premise, the others don’t really matter.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Since when in my view is everything pointless? Seems you are making things up as you go here.

      • Derek says:

        What is your moral standard and where does it come from? I’m not making things up. You claim to be agnostic. Agnosticism has no knowledge of a god, and therefore has no knowledge of an objective standard. Because you have no objective standard, pointless is precisely the state of affairs according to your worldview. Once again I’m not trying to be mean about this; I’m just trying to point out why your argument doesn’t make sense. In one of your recent posts, you claimed Jesus was fixing corruption in the temple. If there’s no objective standard, corruption has no meaning. I can explain this more if you want.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        The ‘objective standard’ is by looking at what is (or is perceived to be) harmful to people/society. That is how human morality comes to be.

        If it was pointlessness, wouldn’t you think that the irreligious would be out in the streets pillaging and murdering everyone without fear of consequence?

  7. Derek says:

    How do you know that harmful is bad? If you say because it hurts others or myself, why should I care about others or myself? If you say because we are all a part of humanity, why is that important? If you say because we are all united together and need each other to survive, why is survival important? If you put your foot down at any point in this line of questioning, you’ve given up the truth: that there must be a moral objective standard. If there isn’t, what you call harmful and the effects of harm are really just your own personal opinions that have no real value. I agree that human’s all have an innate sense of morality, but it doesn’t have a foundation without an objective standard. There must be something we are all measured by so to speak. If it is something that comes from within us and is inherently subjective, we can’t call anything good or bad or right or wrong because what we really mean is our personal perception of right or wrong. We couldn’t expect other people to possibly understand what we mean. You can only sneakily borrow the objective standard God has provided, the one I subscribe to, when you try to establish morality. You suggest that human harm is bad, but you haven’t realized the massive assumptions that this stance takes for granted. I agree that harmful things as a general rule are bad, but I can explain why they are bad relative to an objective standard; it’s not just my opinion. You cannot do that because you don’t have an objective moral standard. I hope that makes sense.

    This is a different question you are asking, and I don’t want to get sucked into it because it’s not as fundamental as the moral objectivity point. But yeah they would probably be starving their people to build up a nuclear arsenal in North Korea, or killing tens of millions of people in Russia or Germany in the first half of the century, but of course those things did happen.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      “If you put your foot down at any point in this line of questioning, you’ve given up the truth: that there must be a moral objective standard.”

      That’s absolute baloney.

      Harmful things are determined bad because we can feel pain, negative emotion, and can observe how things affect other people. Its foundation is survival. Our species wouldn’t likely have been around this long if it wasn’t. As for powerful regimes not caring for others, that is also about survival. It’s a selfish version of survival that has a limited shelf life, but it is the same thing.

      What about how animals determine what’s right or wrong for their survival? If a moral objective standard is required, what is theirs?

  8. Derek says:

    I disagree with your general assumptions about morality, but the bible generally agrees with you that a moral life is one conducive to survival. This is still not really the point though. If there is no separate standard outside of you and me (an objective standard), however lucid any explanation of right and wrong happens to be, it’s purely subjective. Going back to Nazi Germany, if you tried to argue that what they were doing was immoral you’d have to be a self-righteous bully. They were doing what they thought was right, and were as qualified as you are to draw up their own morality.They found their morality in relatively the same place you found yours, so who are you to tell them that killing six million human beings is wrong? “It’s not like there is actually any true right and wrong anyways”, they’d say. If you began to reason with them and say that they are weakening humanity’s chances for survival, they would probably laugh at your failure to see that they are not interested in all of humanity’s survival and your inability to explain to them how all humans have value. Between the two of you there would be only a subjective difference of opinion. If you say that we all are born with morality and the Germans knew they were wrong (my side of the argument) the next question is where does that morality come from? I hope you now see the need for an objective standard.

    Animals do not have right and wrong. People are eager to condescend to the absent moral standard of animals to fulfill their evil desires believing they will finally be free of guilt.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Animals definitely do have right and wrong. How else do you explain how some animals are territorial, while others are collaborative? They’ve established an order of things, much like humans do – albeit far less complex.

      Since you seem to have no grasp on how morality comes to be without the Bible,
      how do you explain the development of non-Biblical laws?

  9. Derek says:

    Is being territorial moral? If a bear is cool with other bears in its territory what kind of bear does that make it? moral? or immoral? You’re going to have to explain this a lot more. If by right and wrong you mean they have a nature, I agree with you, but I don’t think that nature in the animal kingdom is correlative to our morality unless on a metaphorical level. I see zero evidence of animals having any morality, unless we anthropomorphize them, but the animals themselves would have no idea what we were talking about. We often call animals “loving” and “gentle” but when animals are acting that way its usually because humans have trained them to be such; thus, it is not really their own morality which is seeping into ours.

    A little clarification, a little excitement, and then I’ll answer. The Bible makes God’s commands for our moral behavior crystal clear, but if every Bible on the planet was burned, nothing would change about right and wrong. I’m assuming you think that I believe that the Bible is how we know what the right thing to do is, and that’s not far off, but the Bible is only informative on the topic because it comes with authority. It comes with the now infamous third-party objective standard: God. You wrote a post that I read the other day as I was scrolling through your blog. It was from a while back, but the title was something like “The Bible Claims the Bible Isn’t Necessary!” and if memory serves, you were talking about Romans 2:14!

    Now this won’t be much of a curve ball, but I’m going to answer your last question with… the Bible! Romans 2:14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. We are all cognizant that we do what we ought not to do, and don’t do what we ought to do. People are generally aware of right and wrong, but for this to matter, there must be a third party to validate right and wrong. Otherwise, as I keep saying, you only have subjective opinions of who is really right and who is really wrong, and nobody knows who’s right, and it doesn’t really matter. So while the Bible is important and helping us navigate moral issues, it is really God who ultimately provides the objective standard deciding what is moral and immoral. He is objective standard who is outside of us and above us. Anything that is not above us and outside of us simply won’t do.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      We know who’s right by who ends up surviving. Morality is not an absolute thing, it can adapt and change. Things that threaten survival tend to be the more solid aspects that seem like a common moral thread.

      You say people are generally aware of right and wrong. That is due to their conditioning within a society that has already developed an order.

      If someone grows up without that order in their life, they aren’t going to have any sense of right and wrong. It’s not a built-in thing, it’s a learned thing.

  10. Derek says:

    I don’t think social darwinism is where I want to get my morality. I also want to point out something strange about morality. Most moral ideas that humans have are also things that no one can achieve with any amount of consistency. You would think, if our morals are inherited or conspired, our leaders and forefathers would give us things that any rational man would describe as achievable. But none of us are capable of keeping any of the basic tenants of our own code of behavior. Interesting.

    As far as moral absolutes not being real: rape in a certain time and place could be moral and generosity at a certain time and place could be immoral? My view is that rape is always wrong, and generosity is always right. If moral’s change over time, it’s also illogical to try to stamp out any “immorality” at any point in history because what we consider immoral is only the product of our time and society and has no real value worth sharing.

    Therefore if someone assaults you, robs you (I’m thinking of that couple you bought your house from), or any other immoral act, you should remember that these are only your passing, ephemeral fantasies of decent behavior that will hardly last till next week, and therefore you can’t complain about them. Besides there is no absolute moral standard anyways, according to you.

    If morality comes from society, which is I think what you’re saying, we can’t say the holocaust was bad, slavery in America was bad, or Rwandan genocide was bad, or any other tragedy. We are just a society with our own views, and who are we to tell another society they are wrong? Those societies are just ships in the night as we are wandering aimlessly in an amoral sea. Do you think that the holocaust was bad? Do you believe you hold that view because Canada happens to be anti-holocaust?

    If morality is learned, can we blame a pedophile or any immoral person for that matter? They learned their behavior or failed to learn proper behavior. In either case it seems the teachers can be blamed, but to blame another person would require a morality that seems to exist outside of your system of learning.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      I agree, you clearly have a need for concrete answers even if there aren’t any. I can’t fault you for that, I think that’s a leading reason why people connect with religions. Being in a state of not knowing what the point of life is can be really hard for a lot of people.

      You really seem to want to have good guys and bad guys don’t you? I’m sorry to say, the world is not so simple. Morality is based on actions and reactions built up over time. People choose their good guy/bad guy narratives based on that.

      The things you mention are bad because actions and reactions have resulted in societal decisions suggesting that they are bad.

      I think Jesus leads in a positive way about these sorts of things by connecting with people in what are seen as troubling ways and rather than blaming them, he encourages them to no longer follow in those ways.

      But yes, morality comes from society. Morality is judged based on the actions and reactions in relation to survival, basically.

  11. Derek says:

    If the world actually had no point, we should never have discovered the fact. “Point” would be a word without meaning.

    You really seem to want moral absolution don’t you? The world does indeed become complicated when you don’t have a moral standard. It’s really not that complicated when you have an objective moral standard: all people are bad and in need of God’s forgiveness.

    What is good or bad without a standard?

    I’m a little confused by what you’re saying, but he definitely blames them insofar as he calls them sinners. You seem to have the humanistic version of Jesus in your head. The only way we can have this version is if we focus on particular verses and ignore numerous others.

    I’m not trying to put words in your mouth, so please correct me if this is not what you believe. You didn’t answer clearly, so please correct me if I’m wrong, but you believe that the Holocaust wasn’t wrong? You would just say you have a different societal view point on morality than a Nazi 1942?

    • jasonjshaw says:

      No one has discovered what the point of the world is. I’m not sure why you want so bad to project my point of view as being pointless.

      No, moral absolution is ridiculous. Why would I want that? There are reasons why societies have developed morals – some reasons being strong than others depending on the topic.

      You really are having a difficult time grasping a Bible-less life aren’t you? Your ability to reason is really impaired in this realm it seems.

      Good and bad is societal / consequential. The Holocaust within its society may not have been ‘wrong’ but consequentially it certainly didn’t turn out to be ‘right’ in the greater scheme of things as it clearly didn’t turn out to be a sustainable endeavour.

  12. Derek says:

    That’s not exactly what I’m saying. I’m saying if there really is no purpose because we never would have found out it has no meaning. This is not my analogy, but I think it serves the purpose: If the we had no eyes and couldn’t sense light, the words “light” and “dark” would be words without meaning. Because we can ask the question what is the purpose of this? It follows that there must be an answer, otherwise we would have remained to ignorant to even posit the question.

    You basically already have moral absolution with your understanding of morality. Right and wrong in your view are simply what society decides. Rape isn’t wrong, it happens to be what society says is wrong. Stealing isn’t wrong, it’s just a societal norm to condemn it. Muder isn’t wrong, it’s just something societies happen to believe.

    Yes I am! And you are too by the way. All of your reasoning depends on logic, and although your logic is usually not very sound, logic itself is an absolute. If we actually slide all the way into the pool of your worldview logic itself does not dwell there. There can be no absolutes without an objective standard, an absolute. I’m not sure I understand the purpose of statements questioning my belief in the bible when you haven’t proven a single point. In the context of this discussion alone the Bible looks far stronger than moral relativism or whatever your purporting.

    What greater scheme of things? There is no greater scheme of things in your worldview of morality. Society is the “top of things”. According to you, moral perspective goes no higher. In your own words, “morality comes from society.” Hearing you describe the Holocaust as a “sustainable endeavor” is disturbing. This kind of broken thinking is what allows tragedies like the Holocaust to happen. Just a reminder, over six million people were murdered and you can’t even call it wrong without apologetic quotation marks, the product of your morality.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Societies don’t “happen to believe” things. There are reasons and *consequences* behind the beliefs. The way you portray it is as if it is a bunch of arbitrary choices with no purpose, when that is not the case.

      Why must there be absolutes in everything? It’s especially illogical to have absolutes based on the unproven. Where is the lack of logic in my worldview? You can’t even seem to grasp my worldview! All you do is make misrepresentations of it.

      Oh so you’re saying the Holocaust was wrong, yet you are perfectly fine with the drowning of essentially all of humanity and all wildlife by your “perfect”, can’t do evil God. Oh yeah, there’s some moral high ground for you.

  13. Derek says:

    If a society thinks rape is wrong, they might just as well think rape is right. You are cheating because you know what the correct answers are so to speak and congratulating society when they reach the same conclusions we all knew from the start. The fact that they’ve “chosen correctly” is not a point in their favor, because they might as well, in your view, have chosen that rape is great! When you say they choose their morality based on consequences, we have the same problem. Why do societies in your view only focus on the lifelong trauma rape causes instead of how much the rapists enjoy it? Aren’t societies arbitrarily inconsiderate of what the rapist might prefer? You have one foot in the moral relativism camp and the other foot in the moral absolute camp. You cannot go all the way in because you know that there are morals bigger than society.

    When we argue, debate, discuss, decide we are invoking logic, or at least attempt to we are trying to prove how the other side is logically in the wrong. This would not be possible if logic from man to man was actually different, or if logic was a thing that did not exist.

    Where are you getting this idea of morality from I wonder that the death of so many is tragic, and if your morality only comes from your Western society, aren’t you a little beyond your bounds to tell me, whatever society I belong to that my beliefs are immoral? You can’t do it. Anyways. I already responded to that exact idea in the other post.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      In my view they wouldn’t have chosen that rape is great due to how harm and empathy come into play. Again, it’s not arbitrary decisions. It is based on actions and consequences.

      Clearly you don’t wish to understand this point.

      Funny that you try to tell me that logic isn’t different from man to man while neither of us understands the other’s logic.

      And yes, I wouldn’t tell you your beliefs are immoral. I would tell you your beliefs are harmful and then I would tell you why. Without claiming an objective morality, it’s not good and bad, it’s helpful and harmful.

  14. Derek says:

    Harm and empathy are relative to a standard, so you can’t say we know rape is wrong because it appeals to our empathy and we wish to stop harm. Please indulge me while we make up two behaviors, one moral and one immoral. We’ll call one blooting and the other skubing. We will also make up two consequences rarsh and bruff (adjectives in this case). Which one is the moral action and which one is the immoral action? Even if you say blooting causes people to be rersh, and skubing causes them to feel quite bruff, we don’t have any idea which one is good or bad. If you say, but we could compare how blooting and skubing affect society, all I will tell you is that blooting makes society extremely vimzish and skubbing has the opposite effect making it quite dorge. Unless we have an outside standard telling us what these words mean relative to their objective value, we haven’t the slightest idea where they rank morally. Thanks for indulging my made up language for the sake of illustration.

    Do you wish to address on the objection I brought to your attention?

    I honestly think you’re being coy about the state of the discussion. You don’t have any real objections to my logic at all, or they seem to go missing right after you state your objection. I think the way I’ve reasoned with you, and the way you’ve attempted to reason with me is stronger proof of logic than not isn’t it?

    These terms have the same problem I brought up during my foray into language invention.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      I completely object with your logic – it simply doesn’t make any sense to me aside from it simply parroting what the Bible says. Beyond that, it’s about as good to me as your made up language.

      Again, I said there is no right or wrong … there is helpful and harmful. If you’re going to refute my point, you really need to drop the moral/immoral right/wrong talk, because it is not relevant at all to the point. Your worldview’s morality does not exist in my worldview.

  15. Derek says:

    Can you be more specific about where in my logic you see fault? The Bible, for better or worse, does not include my made up words, so I don’t think it’s parroting what the Bible says even figuratively. Secondly, this is a very ineffective kind of argument. You are claiming I’m wrong, not because reason is not in my favor but on the arbitrary grounds that I got my reason from a source. If I got pulled over for speeding and exclaimed to the officer, “You only think the speed limit here is sixty because the speed limit sign told you so!” I don’t think I’d be making much sense. You must first prove THAT someone is wrong before you can prove WHY he is wrong.

    You want me to discuss morality without using right and wrong? And the reason behind this is… what exactly? On your final point, the precise problem is that you borrow my worldview when it suits you. You claim that there is no right and wrong, but as soon as someone wrongs you, you cry uncle and ask for moral absolutes back again (i.e. that terrible thing that happened when you bought your house). Once again, I can call that act immoral, wrong, deceitful, and disgusting. You can only jump between two contradictory perspectives as they suit you.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      The logic I was speaking of was not your example, it is your worldview. To me, it is nearly the equivalent of gibberish. Your example’s fault is that you are defaulting to moral/immoral arguments.

      Right and wrong only apply in an objective morality. What I’m talking about is not an objective morality, so those terms are completely irrelevant, unless used figuratively. If you want to understand my worldview, you need to let them go.

  16. Derek says:

    You’re going to have to explain why I need to let go of immorality and morality to discuss the issue of morality and immorality. Unless you are saying that I must abandon all logic to get close to seeing your side of the issue. I don’t believe you actually think it’s gibberish because you complain about right and wrong a lot, as we all do. So you clearly have an idea that there is a right and wrong that all people should adhere to, that is above us in power in that we try to appeal to it and outside of us in origin, as in we didn’t come up with it.

    True! Your worldview as I’ve explained dozens of times now, relies on right and wrong, but tries to pretend like it doesn’t, because objective morality points to God. You can’t say “harm” and “empathy” without also implicating the morality of “harm” and “empathy” . If right and wrong does not actually exist in your world view harm and empathy are also meaningless. You can’t say positive results and negative results because those words, when you abandon the objective standard, also have no meaning.

  17. jasonjshaw says:

    There is no immorality in the discussion of this morality. It’s a helpful/harmful morality, not a moral/immoral morality.

    I have my own perception of what I think is helpful and harmful, and that perception adapts as my understandings change. Where do I complain about right and wrong in the context of morality?

    Harm is destruction, pain, negative emotions – things that humans react adversely to. It’s not about right and wrong!!! It’s about positive and negative reactions. That’s not the same thing. Empathy is the ability to understand someone else’s reaction. Right and wrong are not necessary for it. Survival is the only thing close to an objective standard.

  18. Derek says:

    Helpful and harmful are relative terms. Somethings are helpful to some people and harmful to others. How do we decide which things we do and to whom?

    If morality is subjective, you can’t expect other people to share it. So you can’t blame the people that tried to take your money, because hey they have their own morality just like you have yours.

    I once walked in on my parents having sex. Let me tell you, that was an adverse reaction. Were my parents doing something immoral? No. As mentioned earlier, one’s sensations do not determine morality. That would mean rapists are justified on how good it feels, thieves are justified on how badly they think they need the money, and so on. I agree with your definition of empathy, but the connotations of empathy are very positive. An empathetic person is a kind and thoughtful person. Is it wrong for someone to sleep with another man’s wife? Seems like it’s not going to impact survival, and we’ll assume they are really careful and the husband never finds out. I think that is the wrong thing for the wife and the other man to do. Thoughts?

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Well, in your first paragraph you seem to finally be catching on a little. Helpful and harmful are far more complex than the concept of sin. There are many angles and many consequences that need to be taken into account in order to determine if something is more on the side of being helpful or more on the side of being harmful.

      Your second paragraph is correct. You can see what sort of consequences that actions could result in though.

      Did walking in on your parents result in the change of any ways in order to prevent it from happening again? I’d suspect for sure that you were more careful about going in there after that if you had an adverse reaction. I’d suspect you might even warn others to be cautious about walking in on their parents if you saw them in a similar situation to prevent them from experiencing the adverse reaction you experienced.

      That’s the beginning of how morality forms. Adverse reactions to an event leads to cautioning others, and if enough people have adverse reactions to something then talk about it can spread and strengthen to the point of being adopted as a moral position.

      I am sure you can easily imagine the adverse reactions that would come from being raped or stolen from, and how a vast majority of people would agree about it being something that is far more harmful overall than it is helpful. That’s why it is pretty common for raping and stealing to be against the law and have consequences tied to the actions in order to deter them from happening.

  19. Derek says:

    Morality is more complex than adverse reactions and pleasant ones. Not everything that feels good is right and not everything that feels painful is wrong. Moral absolutes exist. I realized you actually already know this anyways. Below are a list of examples (I could have found WAY more but I thought these were sufficient) where you openly appeal to an objective moral standard. I’ve also pointed out what moral principal you’re invoking. If you weren’t appealing to a right and wrong outside of you and me that we both knew about, what were you doing?

    You said:
    “Eternal punishment, however? There is no love in such a concept.”
    Moral stance: eternal punishment is wrong

    “A just, perfect and good God would correct the evil, not condemn it.”
    Moral stance: justice corrects evil instead of condemning it

    “If human rebellion created evil, then by extension the creator of humans is the one responsible for evil’s creation. That’s God isn’t it?
    Moral stance: evil is bad, beings bear responsibility for actions

    “Where have I ever stated that people should be absolved of responsibility? You really like putting words into my mouth, don’t you?”
    Moral stance (several here): truth is important (you suggest I’m lying), people should be responsible for their actions, actions can be good or bad.

  20. jasonjshaw says:

    Yet again you are putting words into my mouth. I never said things that feel good are right and things that feel painful are wrong. I told you repeatedly that you need to drop the idea of right and wrong to understand. How many times do I need to repeat myself?

    You do realize I was arguing within the Christian context of good and evil right? Ok, let me debunk your claims.

    1. “Eternal punishment, however? There is no love in such a concept.”
    Moral stance: eternal punishment is wrong

    … Putting words into my mouth yet again. You might want to look up the Biblical definition of love. Eternal punishment does not fit with it. That is a logical flaw, not a moral judgement. I’m sure you’ll use your excuse that anything God does is good, even if goes against what is good for humans. That’s another flaw in logic. No consistency in what is good and evil.

    2. “A just, perfect and good God would correct the evil, not condemn it.”
    Moral stance: justice corrects evil instead of condemning it

    … logic error. God having to condemn evil is essentially stating that God has no power to remove the evil. A just, perfect and good all-powerful, all-knowing being should not have any trouble removing the evil.

    3. “Where have I ever stated that people should be absolved of responsibility? You really like putting words into my mouth, don’t you?”
    Moral stance (several here): truth is important (you suggest I’m lying), people should be responsible for their actions, actions can be good or bad.

    … I suggested you are being dishonest and that you seem to like it. This statement is devoid of any moral stance. Just because you feel guilty doesn’t mean you are being judged.

  21. Derek says:

    You’re missing the point on all of these bud, and your rebuttal just confirms it. You can try to outlaw right and wrong in a moral argument, but you can’t then try to argue in the same breath that something is right or wrong. Repeating the same ridiculous rule over and over again does not actually strengthen your argument either.

    1 & 2. How does the all-powerful, all-knowing God demonstrate love when eternal punishment is what we deserve? He sends his Son to die the death we deserve. One of several biblical definitions of love: Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John15:13
    and “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” Corinthians 6:11.

    “… I suggested you are being dishonest and that you seem to like it. This statement is devoid of any moral stance. Just because you feel guilty doesn’t mean you are being judged.”

    Yeah you just called me a liar, but it wasn’t a moral judgement. Haha! What!? Who said I felt guilty? I hadn’t actually lied. I think being dishonest is a problem. Why do you even care to point it out I wonder? Ad Hominems are never the argument of choice for the winning side.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      It’s not an ad hominem when it is simply a description and observation of what you like doing.

      Where does this deserving of eternal punishment come from? Just because God created humans and gave them free will means they deserve eternal punishment? Where is the logic in that?

      I am not missing the point. You are overlooking context. In my worldview there is no objective right and wrong, but I was commenting on the Christian worldview, not my own.

  22. Derek says:

    It’s not an ad hominem when it is simply a description and observation of what you like doing.
    Oh it’s still going, ok.

    It’s what they did with the free-will remember? They sinned. They didn’t have to they chose to, and so have we. Before I explain the logic in punishment, can we take a moment and appreciate that you are appealing to the moral standard of fairness. Anyways, the logic is, because we broke God’s law, we deserve punishment.

    Ok, but in your worldview the Christian worldview is nonsensical on the terms you critique it by. You can’t call something contradictory, even from within its own system of belief if you don’t actually believe contradictions matter. The idea of contradictions, or inconsistencies never would have appealed to you because you genuinely don’t see them, or when you do they don’t matter.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      All-knowing God would have known they would choose to. He set them up to do so if he knew this, and then they get the blame for it? The nonsense is either in humans getting the blame for what God already knew, or the nonsense is in God being all-knowing.

      So, your last paragraph is saying things don’t matter if you don’t believe they do. Is commentary on the approach you take?

  23. Derek says:

    This is a limiting view on God. He’s all-knowing when you want Him to look silly, but not all-knowing enough to know more than you. Exactly why God saw fit to allow man to choose sin, is not completely clear. I explained this earlier. Free-will allows love and the ability to choose God. Why wouldn’t sentient humans get the blame for doing the wrong thing? God is not making them do anything. They are choosing to disobey him. It would seem like nonsense to punish anyone buy humans. God knew what they were going to do, but humans were the ones that DID it. Why does God knowing humans were going to sin require him to intervene?

    No. You said, “You are overlooking context. In my worldview there is no objective right and wrong, but I was commenting on the Christian worldview, not my own.” which I interpreted to mean. You were looking at the Christian worldview through the Christian worldview. I was explaining that this does not work. You can’t say that you don’t believe contradictions, and then put on the Christian worldview to notice all of the problematic contradictions. Those “problematic contradictions” would not matter to you under any circumstance if contradictions are not real things for you. Because as soon as you take of your Christian Worldview goggles whatever argument you’ve built while wearing them collapses. In your perspective you would be seeing through your own eyes again, eyes according to you, that cannot neither spot not explain why contradictions pose a problem. So to say, I’m just explaining how Christianity doesn’t make sense on its own terms, is not sound reasoning unless contradictions are a problem that all worldviews must avoid. If your world view doesn’t hold that contradictions are problematic, that in no context no matter how empathetic can you view contradictions as sticking points or illogical.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      I am really not following you on your contradictions talk. Are you saying contradictions don’t exist in the Christian worldview, or that they are not causes for concern?

  24. Derek says:

    No contradictions do matter to Christians. Christians believe in truth and reason. Contradictions are contrary to truth and reason, and therefore problematic, but if they don’t exist for agnostics and atheists (contradictions require an objective standard to be problematic) those that hold contradictions aren’t a problem can’t critique Christianity for supposed contradictions, even if it had them because they are not supposedly problematic from the atheist/agnostic viewpoint.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Contradictions absolutely do not require any objective truth to be problematic.

      So if you tell me you will stay and debate me all night long and then you stop debating and leave immediately, without an objective worldview I would not see any problem with your words completely not matching your actions?

  25. Derek says:

    Absolute truth means there is a right answer and a wrong answer. You can say things that are true; you can say things that are false. If there’s no absolute truth there cannot be right answers and wrong answers, and, as a result no contradictions. If Is say my legal first name at this moment is Derek and my legal first name at this moment is Jason, I can only contradict myself if we agree that my legal first name at this moment can only be one or the other. That only one of the options is true. If absolute truth doesn’t exist, and there is no correct answer, than contradictions cease to exist as well. My first name can be Derek and Jason, or neither, but they cannot contradict because contradictions are disagreements between purported truths.

    That’s not a contradiction. That’s me saying I would do one thing and doing another. A contradiction would be debating you all night long while I sleep in my bed with my computer closed. I can’t be two places at once doing two different things.

  26. jasonjshaw says:

    It is a contradiction as your action contradicts your stated intention.

    Hang on a second. I think I got mixed up with objective morality. Ok, objective truth is needed, but how on earth do you arrive at the idea that objective truth doesn’t exist for agnostics and atheists? That completely makes no sense. 1+1=2 is not possible to understand unless you are a theist?

  27. Derek says:

    So then, with your definition of contradictions, contradictions happen billions of times per day?

    Because if there is a standard of truth we are appealing to, where did it come from and why does it exist? In an atheistic worldview everything is random and spontaneous. There should be no order, especially on a level so outside of the physical world. So how do you explain all rational humans being compelled to conform to absolute truth in a universe that according to you is also without meaning? Just like morality, we did not make it; it is above us; and it is outside of us. Many famous atheists have been so shaken by this idea that they reject absolute truth. I agree, rejecting absolute truth doesn’t make sense at all because the rejection itself is an absolute (are we agreeing on something?!) I don’t think that atheism inherently has to reject absolute truth, but absolute truth simply doesn’t fit with the rest of their philosophy. Where did it come from?

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Our existence is consistent, we are able to test things. Testable, repeatable things are truth. What is not known as truth requires further investigation.

      Where do you get the idea that everything is random and spontaneous? Where are you getting all of these strange ideas about agnostics and atheists?

  28. Derek says:

    I agree with your first paragraph.

    I already wrote on this point in your latest post, but I I agree with you that I left it far to vague. I try to be conscientious about how long my posts are.

    In atheistic worldview, the universe is the spontaneous result of time and chance acting on matter, the big bang and evolution being notable examples of this worldview. How can order exist if literally everything is an unintentional accident?

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Where do you get the idea that anyone sees time and chance being the reason for the big bang?

      Anyone who claims to know anything about how the big bang was caused would be expressing a belief. There is no clear evidence of what caused it that I am aware of.

  29. Derek says:

    Ok, so I don’t know that the big bang is headed in a more organized direction if it doesn’t even have a cause. Do you agree that evolution is time and chance acting on matter? Do you understand the problem with the material universe being all there is?

  30. jasonjshaw says:

    No, I do not agree. I would suspect there is some sort of mechanism behind what is perceived as chance. It’s like in demonstrations where bacteria are shown to become resistant to a drug. It eventually happens after many generations. I’m not sure that researchers have reached the point of being able to explain exactly how this change occurs though.

  31. Derek says:

    Ok, this does not answer the problem at all. If the universe is all there is, and my reason and morality are the product of evolutionary change, I have no reason to trust them, nor do I really have the option. They are the reverberating fizzes from those first chemical reactions, a rigor mortis of the mind that was never really sentient.

  32. jasonjshaw says:

    Claiming the universe is all there is is also a statement of belief. We do not know what else might be beyond the universe as we know it.

    You seem to want to apply some form of un-backed belief onto non-believers. As long as you are doing that, you are not going to understand a non-believer perspective.

  33. Derek says:

    So you don’t believe the universe is all there is? We can logically infer based on absolute truth and morality that there no doubt is something beyond the material universe. Whatever it is, it seems to be intelligent in that it cares about being correct and incorrect and righteous in that it cares about right and wrong. It also seems to be very powerful if it can communicate these things to us through the universe it has created. We can call it a life-force, karma, the universe, or whatever, but all we’re really doing when we do that is avoiding giving God his glory.

    I have to disagree with you here. Un-believers (atheists) by definition do not believe there is anything outside of the universe. If we agree there is something outside of the universe, the debate changes. You told me you were atheistic towards Christianity and agnostic otherwise. Are you saying you believe in a greater power that grants you free-will and intelligence or not?

    I don’t understand the non-believer perspective because it is disconnected from relatively simple reasoning. I want to be completely upfront with you and explain that I’m not interested in comprehending a perspective. Non-believers don’t want to believe in God because they want to be the god of their own life. That’s why I asked you a few times, “if I logically explain question X would you then believe?” As though that reason itself was the logical snag holding you back, we both knew it wasn’t. Disbelief has very little to do with reason or any other independent compelling logic, it’s a desire to live a part from God.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Why should I believe that the universe is all there is? There’s no evidence to suggest that is true.

      I’m not sure where you’re coming up with evidence that there for sure is more beyond the universe. Sure, it may seem that way, but there is no evidence that it is for sure that way.

      The non-believer (at least I do) prefers to reason based on evidence. Where is the evidence that there is certainly a God? Where is your evidence that a non-believer wants to be the god of their own life?

      The non-believer is okay with saying “I don’t know” to questions about existence that have insufficient evidence. It seems to me that believers are afraid of simply not knowing. It’s like they need to know the full backstory of humanity for some reason, even if it can’t be proven.

  34. Derek says:

    I agree with you. There is evidence to suggest it is NOT all there is. In some ways I respect atheists more than agnostics because at least they make claims. Are you saying you don’t believe in something outside the universe or you do? If you say you’re not sure, that’s fine but on what point are you torn?

    Absolute truth, free-will, and reason. If there’s nothing outside of the universe, we have no free-will. We’re just doing the latest accident in the long accident of evolution. According to evolution, as I type these words to you it’s simply an arbitrary and minute product of a vast and pointless chemical process. There has to be something outside of the universe for things like free-will and reason to exist because they are impossibilities in a “universe-only” perspective. There can be no absolute truth or reason for that matter either for similar reasons. I can explain that if you want, but I’m trying to write shorter posts.

    I don’t know seems to have been the least uttered phrase on this blog. You have some strongly worded criticism for Christianity. I don’t have a problem with that, but you can’t pretend like what you’re actually saying most of the time is “I don’t know.” here is a long list of things I don’t know, and there a lot of things the Bible never tells us.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      To believe there is or isn’t something beyond the universe, I need evidence in order to make a claim. This is also what the Atheist community say they require (whether they follow that is another issue). Sure, it seems intuitive that there is something more out there. That’s great. There’s still no evidence to prove it either way.

      My personal view, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more universes out there – that our universe is just a small part of a system of universes, much like how a solar system is a small part of a galaxy. It seems intuitive to me, but there is no evidence to support this so there is no point in believing in it.

      I am even skeptical of free-will. How are you so sure your actions aren’t simply a product of everything that has led you to this point?

      Where in the blog do you see somewhere where saying “I don’t know” would be relevant to what I am discussing? Is that another intuitive claim of yours that isn’t backed by evidence?

      • dmschafft@gmail.com says:

        I listed evidence, but you didn’t respond to it in this post. You just responded with “there is no evidence.” I think we’re having a discussion on what constitutes evidence.

        I agree with you on your second point.

        That’s a really great philosophical question. I believe in free-will because I have agency to make choices and change my mind. Are those choices going back to logic or reason or experience? Almost certainly, but that doesn’t mean I’m deprived of free-will. Sometimes I do things that are illogical. Sometimes I do things that are contrary to my experience. It’s kind of bizarre to me that you’re skeptical of free-will, but I guess that faithfully follows your world view. If you don’t believe in free-will, this discussion becomes pretty comedic though doesn’t it? Two people compelled by forces beyond on their control to have a debate over something that their intellect, if you could call it that, prevents them from being willfully aware of.

        I’m not sure what your last point is even asking. I said, you seem to “know” or believe quite a few things.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        To think there might not be free-will is quite the brain twister! Are our choices made of our own free-will, or are they simply a product of everything that has led up to the choice we are making? It’s a wild idea to think about, especially as it seems as we are making choices for ourselves – but are we really? I do appreciate the comedic value of our conversation if this is the case!

        So, your evidence – it hinges on free-will doesn’t it? I’m not so sure how solid of a foundation that is to base evidence on.

        My point is asking where me not saying “I don’t know” in my blog is relevant. It’s a nice-sounding shot at me, but as far as I can tell, it’s completely baseless.

    • Derek says:

      I wouldn’t say my evidence hinges on free-will, but I do believe in free-will. If there is no external intelligence, free-will is impossible.

      “My point is asking where me not saying ‘I don’t know’ in my blog is relevant. It’s a nice-sounding shot at me, but as far as I can tell, it’s completely baseless.”

      I’m so sorry, but I still don’t understand what you mean. You share your beliefs on this blog. I disagree with some of those beliefs because I don’t think they’re as well reasoned as you assume, and you attempt to impugn Christianity on similarly poorly reasoned grounds. Also, I’m not trying to take shots at you. I think some of your views are troubling and concerning on a very personal level; however, I’m sorry if you ever feel like I’m launching a personal attack. I am genuinely interested in a dialogue.

  35. Jamie Carter says:

    As I understand the Gospels, John was the last of the three to be written. Matthew, Mark, and Luke are referred to the Synoptic Gospels because to some degree they overlap, some of the same stories are relayed in two or more of them in the same way. Mark is often said to have been written first and is to some degree the source material for Matthew and Luke; though Luke is also thought to have another source called “Q”; though another theory states that Matthew was written first and serves as the source for Luke, which was the source for Mark with Peter’s testimony thrown into the mix. Timing wise, John was the last to be written, possibly somewhere between 90-110 b.c. whereas Mark was probably written 65-73 and Matthew between 70-85, and Luke between 80-100. John seemed to be intent on separating early Christianity from it’s Jewish roots, unlike other gospels that feel it necessary to translate Jewish phrases so that non-Jews can understand what was said and meant. Each gospel had an intended audience in mind to convey a specific message, some to Gentiles, some to Jews, each focusing on a particular aspect or revelation; John seems to have decided to write the story from the ground up – starting from in the beginning there was the word and finishing with the idea that there couldn’t be enough books written to contain everything that Jesus had done and said.

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