The historical origins of the Christian notion of the Trinity

Discussion in 'Religion' started by billvon, Aug 30, 2018.

  1. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Moderator note: This thread was split from the following thread:

    http://www.sciforums.com/threads/sc...t-exist-and-that’s-not-a-joke.160736/page-112

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    I know you're not.

    But for the rest of the people reading this thread - those to whom intentional misunderstanding is not a common theme - they saw a post listing several creation myths, and saw you ask "which of them are compatible with monotheistic tradition?" The answer to that is that the Egyptian one is fairly compatible, because it calls out the same process. Thus Judaism was able to adopt that polytheistic myth pretty rapidly to monotheism by replacing the many gods with one god. And since the Egyptian myth was still well known, it was compatible with people's existing beliefs (important when you have a new religion you are trying to get off the ground.)

    Interestingly, despite Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 being considered the primary creation myths of a monotheistic religion, two different gods are called out in them. Genesis 2 refers to Yaweh and Genesis 1 refers to Elohim in the original texts. This was fixed in translation because the translators knew (or were made to believe) that there was "really" only one god, and this was explained away by saying that they were just referring to two _aspects_ of the same God. (The same rationale, of course, that later led to the Trinity.)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 2, 2018
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  3. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    Then it boils down to : What is the value of such critiques if the proponents have not/will not/cannot bring themselves to familiarity with the philosophical/historical ideas and development of the "supernatural and paranormal" (as you comfortably prefer to refer to it)?

    Case in point in this thread, where you have an atheist raving about the apparent connection between trinitarianism and egyptian polytheism.

    It is like anything and everything is permitted, except presentations in accordance with mainstream historical and philosophical ideas. Sure, you can critique a mainstream idea, but it only works if you are actually familiar with it. It is just like someone jumping in on a thread about gravity by presenting their ideas on a flat earth.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2018
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  5. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Musika:

    Did you miss this post?

    It seems to me that if you believe that a specific atheist critique does not apply to your preferred brand of monotheism, then you probably ought to explain why it doesn't apply, rather than spending your time complaining about the ignorance of atheists. Here's your opportunity to educate!

    From your recent posts, it's hard for me to spot what you're actually taking issue with; your complaint seems like more of a general one that you don't feel like you want to take the time to put your own views forward - rather, you want the atheists to go away and discover what your views might be. On a discussion forum, that strikes me as a rather pointless attitude to take. If you don't want to participate in the discussion because it's all too much effort for you, then the best thing would be to stay out of it.

    Regarding the specific points that you raise above: I can't see the "raving" that you mention in billvon's post. He pointed out - rightly - that in Egyptian creation myths, a number of separate gods created the world, whereas in monotheisms one god does the entire job. He suggests that in the progression from polytheisms to monotheisms, the many gods had their attributes merged, or else the separate gods came to be considered as different aspects of the One God. He compares the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, wherein Christ, God the Father and the "holy spirit" are considered to be different aspects of the same God.

    If you consider this comparison to be unfair or inaccurate, you are quite free to point out why. If this is "atheist raving", you really need to explain where the atheist went wrong, rather than making a generalised complaint that the atheist doesn't understand religion properly.

    You speak about "mainstream historical and philosophical ideas" that you believe the atheists are ignoring. Well, what are these ideas you're referring to? Surely you can point out one or two of them, and thus undermine or demolish the atheist position? Can't you?
     
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  7. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    If persons want to talk about "all religions" and can't even bring themselves to terms with historical or philosophical christianity (which is the catalyzing element driving their atheism), I can't see the value in trying to "educate" them about details further afield.

    Go away and get themselves an education, to be precise. If they want to make claims about "all religions", then they should be prepared to study something about the subject. Or even if they want to say something about christianity, it would probably pay to invest a bit more time other than quote mining atheist hate sites.

    On the contrary, the proviso that I get into minutiae about my religious inclinations has zero relevance to highlighting someone speaking hogwash in a cloud of philosophical, historical and cultural ignorance. In fact, to do so, would be a distraction. Even Tiassa was having a field day pointing out this stupidity that is standard fare here, and he identifies as an atheist.

    If you can't see the radical departure from standard views of history therein, you also need to familiarize yourself with history

    I would suggest going to wiki page on trinitarianism and finding the references to egypt.

    Tertullian would probably be a good reference place to start.
    There is a certain intellectual laziness that permeates these discussions. We realize that you think religion has no value. If however, by association, you want to automatically label the history and philosophy of religion as simultaneously bereft of value, you just render your critiques valueless.
     
  8. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    31,445
    Musika:

    To me, it stills seems like you're making a generalised complaint rather than a specific one. The generalised complaint appears to be that you wish some people were better educated than they are - or perhaps that you wish they shared your specific education. Point taken, but it doesn't actually advance any argument you might wish to make.

    Again, this is a very general complaint. You don't know what people have or haven't studied. And you're also lumping a whole bunch of people into one basket, as if every atheist here has the same lack of education in all things religious that you consider important.

    And - you'll agree I'm sure - if somebody wants to talk about atheism or, say, evolution, then it would pay to invest a bit more time other than quote mining religious hate sites. Right? If that's all that's happening here, of course.

    I see a lot of "highlighting" of the supposed ignorances of other people on this site. In my opinion, there's far too much pointing out that people are wrong (supposedly) and far too little effort put into showing why those people are wrong, from certain posters anyway.

    Realistically, what's your expectation in this thread? That you will assert your superiority in matters philosophical and historical and religious, and then ... what? People will accept that you're the authority, based on nothing but your own claims to a superior education?

    If your aim is to feel superior to other people, then I guess this is one way to stroke your own ego. But it's not likely to lead to any fruitful discussion.

    So you say, but it's all a bit vague as to which particular facets of history are relevant.

    I checked the wiki page on trinitarianism and found only a brief definition and an index to other wiki articles. I couldn't see any references to Egypt on that page. What specifically are you referring to?

    I see. I'm supposed to go away and read the entire works of Tertullian and try to guess at what you might think is relevant in them to the current discussion? It sounds like a lot of effort for me with little prospect of satisfaction at the end. It also - conveniently for you - would appear to require no actual effort on your part.

    Presumably you are already familiar with all the relevant works and passages already. So, as a courtesy, and seeing as you brought it up, maybe you could summarise the most pertinent points for me, and we can discuss.

    On both sides, it seems.

    Who is "we" in that sentence? And who is "you"?

    Are you referring to me and my views on religion (your post is addressed to me, after all)? If you want to know whether I think religion has no value, you'd do better to ask me than to make hasty assumptions.

    It is fortunate that I don't want to do that, then. Isn't it?
     
  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    The bullshit "if".
    The bullshit "if"
    Then you are in fantasy, again.
    You aren't, probably. Instead, you are just doing the standard overt Abrahamic theist thing on these science forums - taking down science. You aren't really living in a fantasy world of imaginary atheism, but setting out to slander and malign some folks using whatever's handy.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2018
  10. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Seems to me that if somebody is not prepared to actually explain why they think someone else's view is wrong, but instead merely decry what they perceive as the other's lack of education on the matter, then they are not simply appealing to their own authority but committing an ad hominem fallacy as well. To wit: "I'm right because you're uneducated in the matter". It would seem that the more civil, respectful, honest and decent thing to do would be to not make assumptions about education levels, not dismiss someone's view based on their perception of education level, and to actually explain to the person why you think they are wrong. But hey, that's just me.
     
  11. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    ///
    It is not just you.

    <>
     
  12. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    In this regard, we are talking about people leveling claims of a connection between trinitarianism and egyptian polytheism, with an apparent ignorance of at least the first 500 (possibly even 1500) years of the jesus movement/christianity.

    When I talk about "getting an education" I mean "familiarize yourself with at least mainstream notions before you grant yourself radical historiographical departures".
     
  13. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Historic accounts of "the jesus movement/christianity" suggests that these accounts are being corrected by theists themselves, such as the Pope's acknowledgement of the science of Darwinian Evolution, which renders entire sections of the OT as completely nonsensical.
    Yet, no New Old Testament in agreement with science has come forth.......

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  14. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    If what your saying has an apparent connection to understanding trinitarianism, I don't see it.
     
  15. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    ///
    Yet you are educated enough on the first 500 (possibly even 1500) years of the jesus movement/christianity to think you can point to an apparent ignorance of it???

    <>
     
  16. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    Yes.
    That is precisely the magnitude of the gaffe one is making when one attempts to connect trinitarianism to egyptian polytheism.
    Its much like a rudimentary understanding of gravity undermines whatever hope there was to float a flat earth hypothesis.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2018
  17. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    I am aware of what the context is, thanks. Yet that does nothing to address the issue that you singularly do nothing to actually point out a few of the more pertinent matters from these mainstream notions that might explain why you think they are historiographical departures. I.e. you do nothing more than say "I'm right. You're wrong. Go get an education." If someone wants an actual discussion with people, wouldn't you agree that they should do more than that?
     
  18. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Then don't tell me BS stories about Divine Intervention. Tell me something I can believe in.
     
  19. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    If you want to jump from trinitarianism to egyptian polytheism, you have to do more than wiggle your hands emphatically for perhaps a 1000 year period, especially the politically turbulent 500 or so years that saw christianity develop. It is just like someone drawing a connection between roman aethiopes and martin luther king (the standard response being, "Didn't you just skip about one or two thousand years of history?"
     
  20. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    ///
    You are educated on the first 500 (possibly even 1500) years of the jesus movement/christianity without being educated on the christian bible. How does that work???

    <>
     
  21. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    History.
    Fascinating subject.
     
  22. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    ///
    You cannot be well educated on the 1st without being educated on the latter.

    <>
     
    Write4U likes this.
  23. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    I never professed a level beyond rudimentary.
     

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