Sunday, February 15, 2015

Is the incarnation a contradiction?

Dawson Bethrick says yes.

Marc Cortez says no.

24 comments:

Jakub Moravčík said...

Thanks for links

While pretending that their worldview is wholly consistent and free of any contradiction whatsoever, Christianity’s apologists roam about like lions seeking whom they may devour on the charge of contradiction and fallacy.

Nicely expressed, and I think this is true.

Jakub Moravčík said...

To the second article: I think author has to show, that "to have two natures" is not rounded square.

B. Prokop said...

Rather than the word "contradiction", perhaps the idea of "paradox" is better. Many examples in Christian theology:

The Trinity (3 and 1 simultaneously)
The Incarnation (True God and True Man)
The Resurrection (Death and Life)
The Crucifixion (Victory through (apparent) Defeat)
Free Will and Divine Omniscience
Existence of Evil and Divine Omnipotence
Faith and Works
The Way of Affirmation and the Way of Negation
Etc., etc., etc.

The above list is partly what convinces me of the Truth of Christianity. Any neat little package with no "messy" edges seems to me as the greatest of all improbabilities.

im-skeptical said...

That's good, Bob. Contradiction is what defines paradox.

Th fact that all these contradictions convince you of the "Truth of Christianity" is revealing. Here's another one for you: Christians believe all these things, and they also believe that their faith has a solid logical foundation.

Jakub Moravčík said...

Bob: how do you differentiate between contradiction and paradox/mystery? Shouldn´t for example some hindu believer say that monism is not contradiction but paradox/mystery?

oozzielionel said...

What surprises me most is that atheists get excited when they discover these "new" issues that refute Christianity like the problem of evil or the interplay between free will and sovereignty. It is though Christians never thought enough to realize these issues were there. But the awful truth that should quench any glee for the skeptic is that Christians have been talking about these things among themselves for centuries.

im-skeptical said...

oozzielionel,

These are not new discoveries of atheists. They are simply matters of logic. And Christians have been denying the incoherency of their position for centuries.

T said...

You might all be interested in the lectures by C Stephen Evans from October 2012 at Nova Scotia in Canada (Available on Youtube) and his forthcoming book to be released in May 2015 by Baker Publishing.

He believes, like Bob, that paradox is indeed indicative of the truth of Christianity.

toddes said...

What Skeppy intentionally overlooks is that a paradox relies not on direct contradictions but seeming contradictions.

Consider the OED definition under Rhetoric:

"An apparently absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition, or a strongly counter-intuitive one, which investigation, analysis, or explanation may nevertheless prove to be well-founded or true."

Or under Logic:

"An argument, based on (apparently) acceptable premises and using (apparently) valid reasoning, which leads to a conclusion that is against sense, logically unacceptable, or self-contradictory..."

Or better yet, consider:

"But one must not think ill of the paradox, for the paradox is the passion of thought, and the thinker without the paradox is like the lover without passion: a mediocre fellow. But the ultimate potentiation of every passion is always to will its own downfall, and so it is also the ultimate passion of the understanding to will the collision, although in one way or another the collision must become its downfall. This, then, is the ultimate paradox of thought: to want to discover something that thought itself cannot think." - Søren Kierkegaard

Only you Skeppy would equate the use of paradoxes as a negative.

Kierkegaard had you pegged:

"...like the lover without passion: a mediocre fellow."

im-skeptical said...

toddes,

We're talking about logic, not rhetoric. You might want to re-read the definition.

As for Kierkegaard, yet another Christian. Of course he is comfortable with paradoxes.

Papalinton said...

Cortez thinks there is no contradiction. His answer is to equivocate on jesus having two natures, an immutable one, and a mutable one.

In psychiatry a person having multiple natures exhibits all the pathological hallmarks of schizophrenia. Equally, the possession of two or more natures is characteristic of presenting with clinical Dissociative identity disorder (DID), a split personality.

And of course, it is more than likely, highly probable even, that St Paul, suffered a Grande Mal epileptic fit. So the whole basis of Paul's christian testament of jesus was nothing more than the product of experiencing an epileptic seizure on the road to Damascus.

Jakub Moravčík said...

that paradox is indeed indicative of the truth of Christianity

Why/how?

And repeatedly: Shouldn´t for example some hindu believer say that monism is not contradiction but paradox/mystery? And say that presence of paradox is an indicative of the truth of hinduism?

More, how would you reply if someone would accuse you of confirmation bias?

William said...

Linton:

What you say bothers me not because what you say is wrong--although most evidence is it was an eye problem, nobody really knows what long-term issues Paul had to live with--but because the way you say it suggests you are prejudiced against those with epilepsy, and equate the condition with psychosis, as many in centuries past, like Schweitzer, often did.

I hope that the next time you make such an assertion you show more sensitivity.

Papalinton said...

William, please show me how you determined the 'way' I said it marks me as prejudiced against epileptics?

I am keenly interested in your extra sensory supernatural perception skills that can extract the essence of intentionality that even I wasn't aware were in my words. Oh! That's right. I forgot. Christian's have a special 'sensus divinitatis' that can read cosmic intentionality anywhere in the universe.

Give it a break with the pious sensitivity stuff. The article I referred to is a European PubMed paper. And I'll say it again. Paul's epileptic fit was the basis for his conversion. Before having the fit, he was a remorseless pursuer of christians. He has a Grand Mal, a whopping epileptic seizure, the effect of which lasted for some three days. Suddenly he becomes a committed jesus zealot.

The issue here, is that the clinical pathology of epilepsy has now been documented many times and with many medically recorded instances that people have had the great misfortune of experiencing. All the the constituent elements of a sizeable epileptic-induced trauma seem to have been present, based on the data that Paul himself and his attendant scribe wrote about in his letters.

If you want to call this a 'Revelation', or a 'Divine message from jesus', knock yourself out. But the evidence seems to point to a different and more plausible narrative.

oozzielionel said...

IM:
"And Christians have been denying the incoherency of their position for centuries."

Christians have been using synonyms of "mystery" for centuries at the same time predicting that unbelievers won't get it -- pretty accurate about that.

im-skeptical said...

"Christians have been using synonyms of "mystery" for centuries at the same time predicting that unbelievers won't get it -- pretty accurate about that."

A very easy prediction to make, given that these "mysteries" don't make logical sense to anyone, whether they are believers or not. But it is only the believers who swallow them.

oozzielionel said...

It seems that this may be OK with Jesus, "10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” Matt 13:11 Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. 12 For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand."

im-skeptical said...

oozzielionel,

Speaking in parables is not the same as the contradictions and paradoxes of church dogma. Look at Bob's comment of February 16, 2015 10:01 AM. Jesus never mentioned most of this.

oozzielionel said...

Parables are Jesus' way of speaking about the "mysteries of the kingdom." It is the mysteries that are not understood.

B. Prokop said...

Jakub,

Here is how I define contradiction and paradox:

Contradiction - Two statements, only one of which can be true.

Paradox - Two statements which are both true, despite a seeming or superficial contradiction.

B. Prokop said...

"Speaking in parables is not the same as the contradictions and paradoxes of church dogma. Look at Bob's comment of February 16, 2015 10:01 AM. Jesus never mentioned most of this."

I actually agree here with Skep. The fact that we have no recorded words of Jesus explicitly concerning most matters of church dogma is powerful evidence against Skep's (still unretracted) false accusation of the Early Church altering scripture to comply with dogma. Isn't it revealing that Jesus is silent on nearly every major intrachurch controversy of the first century or two? If Skep's imaginary revisionists were truly busily changing the words of scripture, don't you think they'd throw in a few lines in favor of one position or another?

im-skeptical said...

Bob,

You didn't quite get the definition right. There is no true paradox. A paradox is when two statement are apparently true, but actually contradict. Go back and look at the definition.

But it's pretty obvious you don't understand this. "Isn't it revealing that Jesus is silent on nearly every major intrachurch controversy of the first century or two? If Skep's imaginary revisionists were truly busily changing the words of scripture, don't you think they'd throw in a few lines in favor of one position or another?" That is exactly what they did, and we know this because we have various texts that show doctrinal differences in the first few centuries. However, the books became more or less established before the doctrinal issues were all settled.

B. Prokop said...

"You didn't quite get the definition right."

Au contraire, I was being perfectly clear in what I wrote. Read it again. I started with the words, "Here is how I define..." So whatever follows such an intro is by definition "right".

As per your final paragraph, let's have it! I've asked you to cough up the following uncountable times now, getting nothing but crickets (or non sequiturs) in response:

- Identify the portion of scripture that has been modified to comply with Church dogma (chapter and verse, please).

- Give us the "before" version, so we can confirm that it has actually been modified.

- Explain what dogma said modification is being complied with.

Since you (once again) claim that such things happened, you ought to by now be able to back up your accusation. Heck, you've had months now, and still NOTHING!

im-skeptical said...

Mark 8:18