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liamconnor
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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 11:07 pm  The Best Naturalistic Explanation for Christianity Reply with quote

I believe I posted something like this before and it got derailed; or rather, the issue was dodged.

A quick scenario: Let us suppose a man who is undecided on the issue of Jesus' resurrection (and for that matter, the existence of God). He wants to know in what direction the historical data points. If he is an honest thinker, does his homework, I believe the "best" naturalistic interpretation of the evidence he will find will include the following:

1) Jesus was crucified and buried in a tomb
2) The body of Jesus was stolen by a non-disciple sometime between Friday evening and Sunday morning; that is, during the Sabbath.
3) Sunday morn the tomb was discovered vacant by women disciples
4) Several days later, a large number of his disciples, individually and collectively suffered hallucinations which were consistent with each other: a) they were bodily and involved the delusion of "touch" b) they left the impression of a commission to preach a specific message which was consistent among them all
5) These disciples believed and preached that their master was raised by God, and that this event was the culmination of God's acts in history.
6) Paul persecuted the Jesus movement. He too suffered from an hallucination from which he believed he had encountered Jesus and received from him a similar vocation.

Are there better naturalistic explanations which have responsibly dealt with the data?
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 111: Wed May 25, 2016 6:27 am
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[Replying to post 107 by Kapyong]


Hello, Kapyong.

I hope to be able to debate something in the future with you. As it stands, due to your misunderstanding of the meaning of "naturalistic", I can't.

Maybe some other topic.

Kapyong wrote:
But I thought everyone already knew what it means ?
Naturalistic is about natural forces and processes, which boils down to being
"found in nature".

That's why I don't want to argue - I thought everyone already agreed.
Unless you have a different meaning to share with us, can we just move on now ?


Your definition for the world is wrong.

I gave you some links already in post 90.
You should find out the meanings of words you want to discuss.

Kapyong wrote:
Ah, now that is quite interesting indeed.
So you don't agree that Paul had a Jesus Christ experience ?


How should I know?

Kapyong wrote:
How do you interpret Paul's apparent claim of a visit to Paradise in the Third Heaven ?


It could be a hallucination, a dream, a lie or a fabrication.

Kapyong wrote:
You refer back to 'again, as in Paul' as if the reason you say Paul did not have a Jesus Christ experience is because it contained supernatural claims. It's all quite confused really.


I don't recall writing that.

Kapyong wrote:
What is your explanation for Jesus Christ experiences ?
Have you ever had one ?


Blastcat wrote:

More than one.
Smile


I misunderstood your question. I thought you had asked me if I had an explanation for Jesus Christ experiences. I replied that I had more than one. I didn't mean Jesus Christ experiences but explanations for them.

Kapyong wrote:
I see.
in your view - were they natural experiences, or a supernatural ones ?


You conflate "natural" as in "normal" with "naturalistic".

Kapyong wrote:
How did your experiences compare to Paul's ?


I have no idea what Paul actually experienced or if he DID experience something as written.


Smile

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 112: Wed May 25, 2016 7:08 am
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Re: The Best Naturalistic Explanation for Christianity

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[Replying to post 110 by Kapyong]


Hello, Kapyong

Kapyong wrote:

It seems you disagree with my theory being naturalistic because it involves Jesus Christ experiences.


Not at all.

Kapyong wrote:
Mate Smile all you had to do was say that you disagreed and then argued your point. You didn't really have to quote the dictionary at me. That was rather rude. My English literacy is superb.


I didn't "quote the whole dictionary at you". But if you think that someone trying to help you out with what a word means is rude, so be it. I apologize to you for trying to help.

Kapyong wrote:
I can confirm that of course I use words like 'naturalistic' in their standard ways - and in this case it all boils to 'natural' obviously meaning in 'nature'.


That's not the meaning of the word "naturalistic".

Kapyong wrote:
Thus, my short useful definition amounts to :
natural = found in nature.
What do you think about that ?


It's not as useful as you might imagine.
You have switched to defining "natural" instead of "naturalistic".

Kapyong wrote:
Please explain to me your view about the supernaturality of Jesus Christ experiences.


I don't know what you MEAN by "supernaturality", precisely. But if we are talking about a GOD, that's a supernatural being.

Kapyong wrote:
Did Paul have a Jesus Christ experience or not ?
Was it natural or supernatural ?


I'm not at all sure how you use the terms, so I can't answer you.

Kapyong wrote:
I know a woman who claims she had a life-changing Jesus Christ experience.
Was that a supernatural experience ?


Again, same problem.

Kapyong wrote:
You said you had had several too.
Were they supernatural ?


That was a misunderstanding. I meant to say that I had many EXPLANATIONS.

Kapyong wrote:
So -
what is it about a Jesus Christ experience that makes it supernatural - i.e. 'above nature' ?


That's why I provided you the links. If a God appearing after being dead in a vision doesn't count as a supernatural event, I have no idea what you mean by the term.

Kapyong wrote:
Hmmm ... surely not all Jesus Christ experiences are supernatural ?


Same problem.
I can't answer a question UNLESS I know what it means.

Kapyong wrote:
I sometimes visualise, or imagine, or even day-dream about Jesus Christ. Obviously that is not a supernatural experience, right ?


Same problem.

Kapyong wrote:
What about a deep meditation trance in which Jesus Christ seems to speak to my very heart ?
Is that possibly supernatural ?


Depending on how you want to use the term, and what is being claimed.

Kapyong wrote:
How about an over-whelming shaft of immensely powerful white light from above that suddenly transfixes me with divine energy as I serve at the altar right at the climax of the Catholic eucharist service, changing my whole life's direction ?
That sounds supernatural, right ?


When you say that it is a DIVINE energy, you are talking about an energy from a god, so yes, "divine" which comes from "deus" does sound supernatural.

Kapyong wrote:
Can you give use some guidance on where the dividing line between natural and supernatural lies ?


Again, you have to understand that the pertinent word ISN'T "nature" but "naturalistic".

A god having something to do with it is a clue that something supernatural is being claimed. In philosophy "naturalism" means the system of thought holding that all phenomena can be explained in terms of natural causes and laws.

"Religious naturalism (RN) combines a naturalist worldview with perceptions and values commonly associated with religions. In this “religious” is understood in general terms, separate from established traditions, in designating feelings and concerns (e.g. gratitude, wonder, humility, compassion) that are often described as spiritual or religious and “naturalism” refers to a view that the natural world is all we have substantiated reason to believe exists and there is no substantiated reason to believe that anything, including deities, exists or may act in ways that are independent of the natural order."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_naturalism

And I THINK that the OP concerns itself with RELIGIOUS naturalism. A quick Google search is all it took for me to find out what the term "naturalistic" meant. Another way would be to ask the original POSTER what HE meant by the term.

Perhaps you can ask him.

But in ANY CASE... "nature" isn't the same as "naturalistic".

Kapyong wrote:
Perhaps if you describe your Jesus Christ experiences as examples ?


When I was still religiously indoctrinated, I had all kinds of experiences that I would describe as from the "supernatural" realm, which were all feelings. I had hallucinations based on fevers when I was young, some of which were religiously themed, and started to understand how "visions" of all kinds can be very convincing, but didn't need a supernatural explanation. Since then, I have not seen any evidence that I would say proves any supernatural event of any kind.

But just to be clear, I have never had a "Jesus Christ" experience like what is described by the Paul story.

Smile

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 113: Wed May 25, 2016 7:30 am
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Blastcat, I’m not sure why there’s an issue with “naturalistic” v. “nature” or it’s super- alternative. Oxford says it’s something derived from real life or nature, or imitating it very closely as the primary definition. A “naturalistic” explanation of a Jesus Christ experience seems to describe a product of chemicals in the brain – dopamine, some endorphin, and serotonin. Supernatural explanation would be described by the orthodox theist as a direct revelation from the deity.

I’m not sure why it’s so difficult to understand – assuming I’ve got it right. Kapyong, can clarify if I’ve erred in my understanding of his point.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 114: Wed May 25, 2016 7:49 am
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[Replying to post 113 by JLB32168]

Hi, JLB

Thanks for trying to help.
The problem that I have with Kapyong right now, is that his use of the word "natural" is too vague and shifting to be useful to me. I can't have a conversation OR a debate using those terms with him.

If we LITERALLY do not know what the words mean, we are babbling.

JLB32168 wrote:

Blastcat, I’m not sure why there’s an issue with “naturalistic” v. “nature” or it’s super- alternative.
....

I’m not sure why it’s so difficult to understand – assuming I’ve got it right. Kapyong, can clarify if I’ve erred in my understanding of his point.


Kapyong uses the term "natural" in too many ways for me to understand what he means. Religious language is sometimes vague, and we have to be very careful as to what we MEAN by the terms. Kapyong isn't careful enough, and I can't keep up with what he MEANS whenever he uses it.

It's almost as if he starts off with the presumption that a GOD is part of nature.. so it's natural, AND it's supernatural ... you can see that I don't have a clue what he is talking about. To me, this is a mess.

I tried to give him links and quotes.
I feel that I have tried enough.

Semantic debates are VERY tedious, after all.
Linguistic confusion wont get us anywhere.

Smile

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 115: Wed May 25, 2016 8:07 pm
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Gday all,

Blastcat wrote:

Hello, Kapyong.
I hope to be able to debate something in the future with you. As it stands, due to your misunderstanding of the meaning of "naturalistic", I can't.


Mate -
that is idiotic nonsense.

We all know what the words mean, my definition is correct - as boiled down from the very links you provided. Which is why you FAILED to even attempt to show what is wrong with my definition.


But you like to argue words for some reason, while I find it very boring.

I hope you will contribute to the topic. Smile


Kapyong

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 116: Wed May 25, 2016 8:16 pm
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Gday JLB32168 and all Smile

JLB32168 wrote:

Blastcat, I’m not sure why there’s an issue with “naturalistic” v. “nature” or it’s super- alternative. Oxford says it’s something derived from real life or nature, or imitating it very closely as the primary definition. A “naturalistic” explanation of a Jesus Christ experience seems to describe a product of chemicals in the brain – dopamine, some endorphin, and serotonin. Supernatural explanation would be described by the orthodox theist as a direct revelation from the deity.

I’m not sure why it’s so difficult to understand – assuming I’ve got it right. Kapyong, can clarify if I’ve erred in my understanding of his point.


Yes, it's quite odd.

Naturalistic boils down to natural process and forces etc., which boils down to being found in nature. As described in the links Blastcat provided, or any dictionary.

It's quite clear, that's the meaning we all use.

Blastcat disagrees for some reason.
Without actually saying what was wrong with my simple definition.

As if there are things found in nature that are not 'naturalistic' ?
As if there are things NOT found in nature that ARE 'naturalistic' ?

I hope Blastcat can explain what his point is soon.

I am hoping to discuss Jesus Christ experiences, specifically as related to Paul's experience.


Kapyong

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 117: Wed May 25, 2016 8:22 pm
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Gday all,

Blastcat wrote:

The problem that I have with Kapyong right now, is that his use of the word "natural" is too vague and shifting to be useful to me. I can't have a conversation OR a debate using those terms with him.


I use the word 'natural' to mean 'found in nature', as a dictionary will tell you :
https://www.google.com.au/search?site=&source=hp&q=define%3A+natural&oq=define%3A+natural&gs_l=hp.3..35i39l2j0l8.2235.5313.0.5898.16.14.0.0.0.0.742.3941.3-1j2j2j2.7.0....0...1c.1.64.hp..9.6.3543.0..0i131.eHQkJwXUu-M

natural
ˈnatʃ(ə)r(ə)l/
adjective
adjective: natural

1.
existing in or derived from nature; not made or caused by humankind.


I used the words 'found in nature' to represent 'existing in ... nature' as found in the dictionary.

Hope that helps, Blastcat. Smile

You know -
maybe Blastcat is arguing because of the "not made by humankind" idea ?
I sure hope he tells us why he disagrees with the dictionary.


Kapyong

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