Archive for category philosophy

Evolution of Skepticism – Missionary

We spoke about Missionaries in the first and third world as well as how Non-Christian beliefs could use these or a less invasive version of these tactics to spread the concept of Critical Thinking (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_thinking) we also answered the question “What do you do when they come knocking?”

http://youtu.be/A1G8nJ2IFjA

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Evolution of Skepticism – Review of “Awakening” by Jews for Jesus

http://www.jewsforjesus.org/
http://www.jewsforjesus.org/about/timeline
http://blog.jforj.com/moisherosen/

I was given the opportunity to review a 30 minute video for the group “Jews for Jesus” called Awakening. It was a very interesting video though it left me with more questions than answers.

My questions:

Who are Jews for Jesus?

How can you find Freedom in the Messiah if you are in servitude to the Messiah?

Who is he?

Is the question meant as a challenge for people or is there truly an answer that can be accepted by those they speak to?

Should Jews convert to Christianity to worship Jesus?

“When a person rejects you when you’re in a Jews for Jesus shirt, they are rejecting Jesus” – is that true?

Why use humor in evangelism of something so serious?

Does Jesus need a new sect dedicated to him? Could this be the “real” Christianity since most Christians claim that Jesus established the “correct” church and was a Jew?
Here are the quotes I know of that refer to laughter from the bible:

Old Testament-

Psalms 37:12 The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.
Psalms 37:13 The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.
Psalms 52:5 God shall likewise destroy thee for ever, he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of thy dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living. Selah.
Psalms 52:6 The righteous also shall see, and fear, and shall laugh at him:
Genesis 18:12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?
Genesis 18:13 And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?
Genesis 18:14 Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.
Genesis 18:15 Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.

New Testament-

Luke 6:21 Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.
Luke 6:25 Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.
Matthew 9:24 He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn.
Mark 5:40 And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying.
Luke 8:53 And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead.
Job 8:21 Till he fill thy mouth with laughing, and thy lips with rejoicing.
Job 8:22 They that hate thee shall be clothed with shame; and the dwelling place of the wicked shall come to nought.

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Evolution of Skepticism – Metaphysics

In today’s podcast we talk about Metaphysics as it relates to Cosmology, Theology and “the unseen”. We also highlight some women in politics as well as Justin’s attempt at looking like a woman. We round it all off with bringing Andie up to date on our work in progress religious organization.

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Christian Wicca doesn’t exist and Christianity isn’t a religion? Wha?

So, I had an interesting conversation via Twitter last night (June 21, 2012) with a Christian gentleman by the name of Rich Wharton. He had some interesting claims, as you will see in the twitter conversation below it all started with me asking for feedback about the Trinitarian Tradition and the video response I put together regarding it. He got very upset by me even asking the question about it and began to claim it was impossible to exist, when I informed him that it did, he became even more annoyed and so the conversation went as you will see below. I apologize for some parts seeming disjointed, piecing together a Twitter conversation via time stamps can make things a bit weird sometimes.

But I must say the part that really got me confused was that he claimed Christianity was not a religion, and his claims made it seem that to understand the meaning of things within the bible would require knowledge of ancient Hebrew and/or Greek.

I also think he attempted to lie to me, but quickly found out he was dealing with someone who would not take his claim without verifying or having prior knowledge, this happened when he tried to claim that at least 4 different “Historian’s” wrote about Jesus during the time of his life, yet none of them lived until well after 100 years after JC’s supposed death. Then he claimed that because I would not accept Historical claims from well after the death as being written during the life of JC that I was claiming the Holocaust and Civil War did not occur. Which is obviously false, due to the fact that we have writings pertaining to the Civil War that were written during the Civil War, we also have pictorial evidence regarding the time period, and as far as the Holocaust we still have people that lived through the situation that we can refer to for validation of the claims.

I hope you enjoy the read, please feel free to leave your comments.


Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
Im looking for #feedback related to #Christian #Wicca, I posted what I found out on @Youtube – Anyone else have a take? http://youtu.be/wCILDC3aXsk

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS There is no such thing as #Christian #Wicca.

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem in fact there is, it’s called the Trinitarian Tradition. Check it out.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS Actually those who call themselves Christian and Wiccan are either one or the other. They are not both altho I know they say it

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@derik_EoS Christians and Witchcraft 1 of 3: http://youtu.be/ljoB69MItf8 via @youtube Wiccans are not Christians Never were Never will be!

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem How can you be certain of that claim when there are so many variants of #Christianity already?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS There maybe many variants in Christianity but there is only 1 Church that Jesus founded, not many 1 faith , not many.

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem is that because you saw it on the internet? I should warn you that the internet is not a guaranteed source of information.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS If the Intenet is not a good source, why did you tell me to check it out?

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem yet which one was it? Which belief system did JC found?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS no brainer.. The one Jesus founded over 2 millenia ago is the same one in existence today with NO pagan rituals!

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem it is a good starting spot yes, but not always reliable. You should always verify your sources especially on the internet.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS You said the internet is NOT a reliable source!! Which is it?

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem non-answer. The question was, which Church did he found? What was the standard of belief?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS Read the New Testament and you have the standard belief.

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem still non-answer. Since none of the bibles can legitimately be verified as the exact words he said.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS it is an answer, just one you do not accept.

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem still non-answer. Since none of the bibles can legitimately be verified as the exact words he said.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS They CAN be verified as accurate by the manuscript evidence internal and external evidence.

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem for example, the arguements that the new testament was written in the 1st & 2nd century and not by his true followers.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS documents dating to the 1st century have proven it to be accurate John Ryland Papyrus example

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem No, I asked a direct question. If there are variants of Christianity and they are not hte same, which was the 1 he started?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS There are NOT variants of Christianity, just varieties of religions that use the name Christianity

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem Who can verify them with the writters? There is no ability to verify with the claimed source.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS who can verify the writers? misdated? no all are accurate and can be verified

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem and there is absolutely no way of them being able to be forged? or misdated?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS there is too much ms evidence that coincides for them to have been forgeries

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem Yet they all claim the same superior being as their god. They all claim Jesus was their savoir. Which one is the correct one?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS Jesus said of those that He Never Knew Them!! Meaning they are not His

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem Yet they all claim the same superior being as their god. They all claim Jesus was their savoir. Which one is the correct one?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS the correct what?

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem Yet they all claim the same superior being as their god. They all claim Jesus was their savoir. Which one is the correct one?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS Christianity is not a religion as many believe.

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem the correct system of belief in Jesus and the Christian God.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS the belief system of Christianity is dictated by the Bible and anything outside of that is not Christian

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem if #Christianity is not a #religion what is it?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS it is a personal relationship with God

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem sounds like a religions claim to me.
Expand

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS not religious at all #Religion is what the Pharissees had and Jesus called them hypocrites #Christian faith is not religion

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem are #religion & #faith exclusive to one another?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS not really.. Faith is believing in something.. Religion is placing faith in a certain being or idol

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem so #Christians don’t have #faith in their #god?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS That is not what I said Derik! Read and learn

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem so #Christians don’t have #faith in their #god?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS Christians have a knowledge of Jesus Christ

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem so #Christians don’t have #faith in their #god?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS You could call it a 4th dimension

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem so I ask again, do Christians not place faith in their god?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS you don’t know?

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem as far as belief being intangible, you can’t touch it. It is not material thus intangible. You also can’t touch Christianity.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS Like I said, it’s like a 4th dimension and you can’t see it or touch it

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem I don’t know what? where I get my ideas from? they are from experential knowledge and evidence presented to me through research

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS you don’t know PERIOD

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem waiting for a description of the Christian god.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS again Wicca is NOT Christian That was the original argument

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem waiting for a description of the Christian god.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS YOU cannot understand if I explained Him to you thoroughly Blind cannot SEE

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem no Wicca is not Christian, but there are those that have used Christianity as a foundation for Wiccan beliefs.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS Those who practice Wicca if they had belonged to a Christian religion forfeited that religion to seek another

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem how are YOU the one who can level judgement upon me and my understanding?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS It is not judgment. It is #truth

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem how do you know they are not following the teachings of Christ in a manner that more closely resembles the way he taught?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS One thing I do know is that Jesus died was buried and rose from the dead on the 3rd day He is alive!!

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem is #magic present within the #Christian #bible?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS Magic is spoken of as being the works of Satan not of God.

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem if he’s alive where is he? @LasVegas?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS Nope not Las Vegas closer to home.

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem if he’s alive where is he? @LasVegas?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS He is coming again for his own so be ready to meet him!!

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem yet #Jesus was born & raised a #Jew & in Judaism there were non-evil magicians.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS no such thing as ‘ non evil’ magic!!

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem How is Jesus not a false profit when his words did not come to pass?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS his words WILL come to pass

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem impossible, his statements have already refuted his claim.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS NONE of them has!

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true that is a message the Lord has not spoken

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him” (Deut. 18:22)

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem Israel before the Son of Man comes. (Matthew 10:23)

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem Son of Man coming in his kingdom. (Matthew 16:28)

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS ALL true and all came to pass

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. (Matthew 24:34)

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS which generation? how long is a generation? whom was he referring to? Which generation?

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem And he said to them, “I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem kingdom of God come with power.” (Mark 9:1)

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS Kigdom of God IS with power

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death. (John 8:51)

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS you are trying to understand the Hebrew slang is w/o knowing the language. Very difficult and almost impossible

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem as far as a generation, I am pretty sure you’re capible of looking up the definition. We are not the same generation as them.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS READ it and it seems he is not talking about THAT generation!

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem yet you claim absolute interpretation of the writings of the same time period. Seems you are self refuting.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS The generation during the END times

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS Jesus was talking about what was to come not what that generation then would experience

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem where does it say “end times”?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS His own words or the words of His Disciples..

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem pretty sure they’re all dead

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS you do not know and you are assuming that Jesus referred to that generation that is dead.

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God. (Luke 9:27)

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem pretty sure they’re all dead

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS in law that call that ‘assuming facts not in evidence’

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem how am I to not know with the phrase “some who are standing here” were people from the future standing there?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS until they SAW the kingdom Well 3 days later Jesus was trans formed and they SAW His Glory! The KINGDOM

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem my point is that your claim of certainty is false & and attempt at creating a framework for your own beliefs

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS my claim is NOT false and you have no evidence that it IS!

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem and that you are not employing fact as a foundation of your claim.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS you base your assumptions on a book written in a language you cannot read or understand and you think you know?

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem wow, thank you.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS study the language

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem if I am basing my assumptions on the translation of a book written in a language I cannot read….

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem why are you basing your beliefs on it when you claim it is impossible to know the proper translation?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS I had studied the languages of the Bible both Greek and Hebrew

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem you really have no evidence that your claim isn’t false.

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem so you claim divinity then? or at least the ability to do what is said to be impossible?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS claim divinity? Nonsense!! Knowing a language is not claiming anything like that!!

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS you are trying to understand the Hebrew slang is w/o knowing the language. Very difficult and almost impossible
Retweeted by Derik ( EoS )

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem oh & why should I study the language when you claim that the translations of the bible are absolute?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS I studied the language so i COULD understand it better!!

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS the translations are as accurate as they had been and the Dead Sea Scrolls are proof of Old Test accuracy

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem then you are telling me that all current english translations or translations not in original greek or hebrew are unreliable.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS I am saying that the ones we have 2day are accurate. Understanding phrases in Hebrew requires a bit of knowledge of the language

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem so which is it? only the original text is correct or the translations that I am using to understand are correct?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS only the original ones are INSPIRED we have accuracy by comparing MSS

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem so by your statement unless every #Christian studies Hebrew they cannot truly understand what the bible is saying.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS I did not say you had to be #Christian to study Hebrew

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS You need the Ruach Ha Kodesh

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem so I need the Jewish holy spirit? I thought you would claim I needed to find Christ.

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem no, you are insinuating that a #Christian cannot understand the #bible without knowing Hebrew and/or Ancient Greek

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS that is not what I insinuated at all I said studying it helps one understand it better! one who thinks in English is not

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS heck yes!! The Jewish Holy Spirit is the best one! After all Jesus was Jewish the HS is not religion

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem but you are claiming that the bibles that I am using for my own understanding of Christianity do not provide me with knowledge

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS What is your reference point?

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem and that to have knowledge of the bible I HAVE to study Hebrew. which would mean anyone else trying to understand would also.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS to understand nuances yes to understand what God meant no

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem if Jesus was Jewish why is Judaism considered non-christian?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS dumb question the Jewish people were looking for a Messiah to come and set up kingdom.. acc to them Jesus failed

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem I have access to multiple #Christian #bibles, which one would you like me to use? which one is the best translation?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS Use them all, compare them all, it really doesn’t matter which version you use.

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem yet Christian’s claim Judaism to be Pagan and non-christian?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS They do not claim Judaism is pagan!

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem define pagan.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS pagan origin celtic a country dweller

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem with so many translations of the bible, one must stand out as the best, or else there wouldn’t be a need for more than one.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS that is bull so many translations!! They all agree

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem ok, and how was it used in Christian society?

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem then why is there a necessity for so many if they all agree?

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem oh & why are all of the books related to Jesus not in the bible? & why is there no other mention of him outside of the bible?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS the term pagan has the connotation of being a religion, which some country dwellers worshiped other gods

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem oh and Pagan is not a religion, it’s an umbrella term.

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem so pagan was used to reference country dwellers who followed non-christian gods. ok.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS there is mention of Jesus outside the bible

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem oh? who spoke of him outside of the bible during his life?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS Tatian did when addressing the Greeks

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem he didn’t live during the same time period as JC. Next answer?

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem as a matter of fact, he lived during the time that many claim the New Testament was actually written. Long after JC.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS Hegasippus Apelles Celsus also wrote of him and spoke of him

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
So #Christian’s out there, tell me what you think of @TickedOffDem saying #Christianity is not a #religion?

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem still not one person you mentioned lived during the time of JC. I think you’re trying to lie to me.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS Both Thallus and Phlegon were ancient historians and both confirmed the fact that the land went dark when Jesus was crucified

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS historians wrote about him that would make him a historical figure wouldn’t it ?

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem but neither lived at the time of his death, so how do they know? Now you’re just grasping at straws.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS Historians wrote about Jesus and they are very accurate and have to be.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS Lucian of Samosata objected to the fact that Christians worshipped a man #Christian The man #Jesus

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem no they don’t, history is written by the victor. ever here that one?

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem still over 100 years after the supposed death of JC. still no evidence of writing about him from someone in his own time

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS if history is not written by historians, then we cannot TRUST history can we????

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem ding ding ding! I think we have a winner. and now you have my pity for spending so much time arguing a fallacy. thanks.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS Civil War never happened Holicost never happened

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS does not matter history is history!!

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS that is IF history cannot be trusted!!

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem see the difference between the holicost & your claims are we have the ability to verify through people who have experience.

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem see the difference between the holicost & your claims are we have the ability to verify through people who have experience.

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem next are you going to say the bible is a history book?

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS NO the Bible is NOT a history book!!

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS you have no claims yet you deny all claims. How convenient of you!

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem I think I’ve made my claims pretty apparent, & found you lacking in evidence of your claim. That’s all I need. Thanks again.

Derik ( EoS ) ‏@Derik_EoS
@TickedOffDem good, then we both agree, it’s not a history book so it didn’t happen. thanks and good night.

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS I didn’t say that YOU did!!

Rich Wharton ‏@TickedOffDem
@Derik_EoS and not good NIGHT GOOD BYE!!

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Evolution of Skepticism – Questioning Reality

As a spin off from my Quick Cast Series, I have begun to answer questions instead of ask them. I hope to keep this going on a weekly basis.

Enjoy.

Questions:

I have a question that is maybe a little different. I recently asked a Filipino friend if they had a Pagan/ Witchcraft tradition in his country, and he said yes they did. But I suspect this is not commonly known. Would you care to research and find out more?

I have been hearing murmurs of “Christian witches” these past couple of years. Appearantly, there are those who hold the Christian beliefs and yet, practice magic and call upon spirits of the Earth to fullfill their needs. What say you about the inherant conflict surrounding their “jealous God”?

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Evolution-of-Skepticism/326282787451779

http://www.twitter.com/derikatwork

http://pagan-place.com/profile/derikeos

https://plus.google.com/u/0/106014374145528542447/posts

 

Filipino Witchcraft (Kulam):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kulam

http://filipinosorcery.blogspot.com/2007_05_01_archive.html

http://www.stuartxchange.org/Kulam.html

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-kulam.htm

http://en.wikipilipinas.org/index.php?title=Kulam

 

Christian Pagan/Wiccan (Trinitarian Tradition):

http://www.christianwicca.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_and_Neopaganism

http://www.religioustolerance.org/witchcr5.htm

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ChristianWicca/

http://www.collegewicca.com/wiccafiles/christianwicca.html

http://amzn.to/NMj1S0

http://www.biblegateway.com/

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Christian Apologists – Acting the Fool?

Christian Apologetics

 

This Screen shot was taken from the Facebook wall of Tommy Rodriguez where Sye and those like him decided to interact and contend with a few Atheists. The part that stood out for me was written by Aldo Gutierrez, and specifically where he says ” And like I’ve told the other Christian fellows here I’m not really wasting my time trying to reason with you since the point of presup apologetics is not to really convince you but to “answer the fool according to his folly lest he be wise in his own eyes”, and I’m confident this has been achieved already.”

Now this seems interesting to me because it seems like Aldo is saying that Christian Apologists are “acting the fool” as a means to “answer the fool”. While I am not about to start calling anybody a fool, I can say one thing, several Christian Apologists have quoted something else of intrigue to me. Which is:

Proverbs 26:4 – Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself.

So what this tells me, and if you think this is wrong I welcome comments to explain why, is that Christian Apologists are acting in direct opposition to this statement, which from what I have been told is acting in direct opposition to their God.

So maybe Aldo is wrong here? Maybe he didn’t quite think his comment through before posting it on Facebook and allowing the interested world to see it. Aldo is following this command, kinda (but we won’t get into how he is violating this), but he is pointing out that his Apologetic friends are following Proverbs 26:5 with blatant disregard to the passage right before it.

Let’s take a quick look at this, remember I have not read the complete bible, but I do know that Christian Apologists believe in the Law of Non-Contradiction, meaning A cannot be A and not A at the same time.

Proverbs 26:4 – Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself.

Proverbs 26:5 – Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.

So as a person that sits outside of the Theist/Atheist argument this seems kind of counter-intuitive, to say “don’t answer… according to his folly” then in the next line say “answer according to his folly…” is pretty confusing. Now mind you I took both of these passages from the NIV version of the bible, because it is commonly quoted by the Christian Presuppers, and as a non-Christian I have to rely on the use of the common argument to base my opinion off of.

So what is it Christians, do you answer according to his folly or not answer according to his folly? Having both statements back to back seems like you are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

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Evolution of Skepticism – Quick Cast – What Would You Do?

Derik asks what you would do if you faced with the fact of your faith or lack of faith being wrong.

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Evolution of Skepticism – Episode 2 Part 1 & 2 – LeVayan Morality & Morality in Society

Better late in the evening than never right?

Here it is, MP3 coming tomorrow. Promise :D

This one is a two part piece, equaling up to 2.5 hours worth of morality!

I broke it up to make it easier on us all. Enjoy.

Please Subscribe and Like/Favorite our videos on Youtube!

Episode 2 Part 1 – LeVayan Morality

Episode 2 Part 2 – Morality in Society

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Review of Scott Cunningham’s Wicca – Preface / Intro / Chapter 1 – Theory

Here is the first review of the Wiccan book: Wicca A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham.

Preface

Scott Cunningham’s Wicca is new and not rooted in the past. Yet he claims that it does find its traditional roots in these ancient shamanistic cultures. Scott also details in the preface that he believes that we all have the personal power to oversee the outcome of the rituals and magics the Wiccan uses. Wicca is a highly segmented religion making it hard to find viable resources or other Wiccans to validate claims or experiences. Also it seems Wiccans don’t proselytize as a matter of fact Scott encourages those reading his book to not proselytize, though he mentions that he had a very difficult time locating information when first starting out. This would easily be remedied through gentle forms of proselytization, I’m not talking Jehovah’s Witness type or even Mormon type, but maybe a billboard in a few major cities, or even coordinating a central group to govern the potential financial aspects of bringing Wiccan temples to major cities (you know, a Wiccan sanctioned park in a major city), these would all go far in helping curious people find out more about Wicca than what they read on the internet.

Intro

One thing that impressed me almost immediately when reading the intro was that Scott blatantly states Wicca doesn’t claim to be the one true way.

Here’s the quote,

“Wicca doesn’t solicit because, unlike most western religions, it doesn’t claim to be the one true way to deity.”

This means that as a Wiccan you know you’re likely following a fairy tale, but who cares? It is your fairy tale and your beliefs make it real. Or at least that’s the way this type of claim seems in the eyes of a skeptic.

“Wicca is a joyous religion springing from our kinship with nature. It is a merging with the goddesses and gods, the universal energies that created all in existence. it is a personal, positive celebration of life.

And now it is available to all.”

This comment will take me some time to come to terms with, because I don’t believe he truly believes his last line at all. But other than that I believe this statement to be fairly believable, Wicca so far does seem to be a religion deeply embedded in nature and existence.

Chapter 1 – Theory

“Shamanism has been defined as the first religion.”

This is the first quote of the chapter and it speaks volumes to what I am about to experience. It brings up the fact that religion has been a part of our culture even before the written word. Shaman were the people a tribe would go to for medicinal attention, wisdom and knowledge, they were the ones who would discover knowledge and dispense such knowledge as either public or private knowledge. They were said to use tools like, fasts, thirsts, self-infliction of pain, ingestion of hallucinogenic substances, and concentration to gain such knowledge. All of these were supposed to place them in an altered-state of consciousness, within which they were able to communicate and commune with the gods and goddesses. The term most commonly used in the book to describe this altered-state of consciousness is ecstasy, which makes me think that Scott is leaving a few “tools” out. As stated in the primer I wrote a couple days ago, this subject highly excited my wife because she has always been of pagan belief and often was referred to the Wiccan belief systems, the one thing that usually kept her away was a concern over her personal choice of magic, which heavily related to sexuality and the belief that energies created during copulation could be used as a focal point of magical energies. So to have Scott say that the mindset that allows communing and communicating with the gods and goddesses was in fact ecstasy genuinely impressed upon her that those people she spoke to may have been right, she may in fact be a Wiccan, but only time and more chapters will tell. Let’s get into the rest of this chapter.

It seems that Scott has decided that modern Wiccans no longer do things like self inflicted pain and using hallucinogens to invoke this altered-state of consciousness. He instead believes a majority of Wiccans use things like chanting, meditation, visualization, music, and dance to “commune with deity”. He believes that these gentler methods can attain similar states of consciousness as even the most brutal of barbaric rituals. I must be honest I tend to disagree with this, because if these rituals were able to impart information like how to make fire to a species that never used fire, or how to make the wheel, why could we not enter into these altered-states to find secrets and knowledge that can help us with our day to day lives currently? We are a much more enlightened culture these days, there is no reason why we couldn’t have a single shaman within a family or all of us be shaman if these gentler methods were able to work in similar ways, there had to be a price for knowledge, they is always a price, whether it be time, money or in the Shamans case, blood and flesh. I believe that the modern Wiccan has evolved past those rituals because of the social stigma behind them, but as I said this is a belief of my own and I do intend to find out others opinion on the fact, moving on.

“Wicca teaches that nature includes a broad spectrum of mental and spiritual states of which most of us are ignorant.”

This is an interesting statement because previously in his text he mentions that you cannot be enlightened through a book, but to no longer be ignorant of these other states wouldn’t we need some form of guidance into these other states? This does not seem to afford much for the solitary practitioner. How am I to know, if I am ignorant, whether I am speaking to the Gods and Goddesses or to Steve down the block who is actually talking on a CB radio being picked up through the fillings in my teeth?

“Wicca doesn’t view deity as distant.”

This is an awesome statement, because one things I’ve always been interested in when speaking to Christians, is the fact that their God sits on a throne in Heaven, and can hear everyone in the world through his magic wireless telephone from the Jurassic period of invention. Now this may not have been an issue when it was a few hundred people, but suppose he is listening to over 6 billion people, wouldn’t that get confusing? I have to tell people to shut up when three are talking at the same time, I can’t imagine 100, let alone 1 million, now increase that by 6 thousand times through one phone line, his wireless carrier must make truckloads of cash from his overage fees. But back to Wicca and Wiccan deities, the fact that they believe their Gods and Goddesses sit beside, and rest within, them and must be called upon to speak to is a very acceptable concept to me, because I know when I want to speak with someone I either need to knock on their door or call them up, I can’t just start talking and expect them to hear me, and I imagine Gods and Goddesses are busy people they don’t have time to just drop everything when not properly asked to listen.

“The Wiccan ideal of morality is simple: do what you want as long as you harm none.” and “do nothing that will harm yourself.”

This is a very good lesson, it is the standard do unto others as you would have done unto you. But this one is like 7 up, it has a twist, it actually tells you not to harm yourself making it so that you cannot use self mutilation or other self induced pain as justification for harming others. You go Wiccans, maybe we should find a way to work this one into a Christian Bible story, I bet it would end a couple wars.

“Many people confuse Wicca and magic as if the two words were interchangeable. Wicca is a religion that embraces magic. If you seek only to practice magic, Wicca probably isn’t the answer for you.”

So what I get from this is that Wicca believes that other religions use magic, even if that religion does not, it is highlighted with the statement earlier in the chapter “Catholic priests use ‘magic’ to transform a piece of bread into the body of a long-deceased ‘savior.’” But also Wiccans believe magic to be a natural presence within nature fully accessible by anyone willing to try and harness its energies. Meaning Wiccans believe magic does not hold prejudice based on age, sex, race, creed, religion, or any other means of uniquely identifying yourself.

“Most Wiccans don’t believe in predestination. Although we honor and revere the Goddess and God, we know that we’re free souls with full control and responsibility of our lives. we can’t point at an image of an evil god, such as Satan, and blame it for our faults and weaknesses. we can’t blame fate. Every second of each day we’re creating our futures, shaping the courses of our lives. Once a Wiccan takes full responsibility for all that she or he has done (in this life and past ones) and determines that future actions will be in accord with higher ideals and goals, magic will blossom and life will be a joy.”

I liked when I first read this paragraph, it made me smile that Wiccans believe that they set their own path, they are trailblazers and don’t hold imaginary evils accountable for the other 6 days of the week. They understand that they are responsible and will be held accountable for their actions, but they will not always be held accountable in this life, but it seems in the next also. Wiccans believe in reincarnation, meaning that they believe you must account for your past deeds as well as your future deeds, this bothers me. It bothers me, because we roll back to the Christian issue of Damned from the Start. Meaning that even though I cannot, in this life, change the outcome of a situation I may have caused in a past life, I should still have to be punished for it. I don’t agree with this at all, I would almost prefer to be bad in this life and then end up a slug in the next but absolved from all of my bad deeds due to my life as a slug. Like I said, while I liked this paragraph at the beginning it ended up causing me some issues by the end, I don’t believe accountability for actions you have no control over is a good motivator for “higher ideals and goals”.

“When a Wicca is outdoors, she or he is actually surrounded by sanctity, much as is a Christian when entering a church or cathedral.”

So Scott, you’re telling me that if I was a Wiccan each time I walked outside it would be the same as if a Christian walked into a church? Ha beat that Bible thumpers! Wiccan’s are holy everywhere! Scott attempts to solidify his claim with this phrase, “Additionally, all nature is constantly singing to us, revealing her secrets. Wiccans listen to the earth.” This would almost be like the Wiccan equivalent Christians of hearing God’s voice I assume.

“The way is open. The ancient Goddess and God await within and around you. May they bless you with wisdom and power.”

I think I am going to have to give him a small pass on his initial claim that he doesn’t believe enlightenment can come from a book, I believe he truly thinks he is going to show us the path to being a solitary practitioner of Wicca.

We’ll see… honestly I’m getting more and more skeptical about his methods.

Check out my review of Chapter 2.

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Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner – A Primer

Well here we go,

Wicca, Wiccan, Solitary Practitioner, Scott Cunningham, Pagan, Magic, nature

Wicca A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner
by Scott Cunningham

I am about to embark on the journey into studying the book Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham. This is very exciting because my wife has decided to go on this adventure along with me. She has always considered herself of Pagan beliefs similar to the way the general public understands Wicca. But this has lead her to wonder how close to the Wiccan beliefs she really is.

So here’s the way I’m going to go about this journey. I am going to read the book and post my ideas on each chapter. While I am doing that I will also be posting on one of the leading Wiccan Community Forum, WitchVox.Com. I will also be looking for a few other community sites and/or forums that I can post to for questions. I intend on finding someone with a good amount of experience that will answer some questions about the religion and why it should be more appealing to someone versus another religion. Along with community sites and a one on one interview with someone with experience within the religion, I intend on locating related blogs that I can post questions on and come to a better understanding and with that a decision on the validity of Wicca.

Here are a few questions I already know I would like to answer:

  • Why Wicca over another religion?
  • How serious does a Wiccan take the concept of magic?
  • How do Wiccans feel their choice of religion stacks up against the “mainstream” of Christianity?
  • What is magic really? Is it real?
  • When was Wicca really established?
  • Does Wicca really have roots in ancient Druid culture?
  • Where is the best place for a Wiccan to practice their craft?
  • How do Wiccans like being called Witch/Warlock?
  • What is the general view on the author Scott Cunningham?

If there are more questions that you would like answered please feel free to leave them in the comments below and I will attempt to address them as I take on this task. I am expecting this to take approximately 2 weeks total, with about ten posts overall. If there are short chapters I will attempt to condense them, and obviously extra long chapters may be split into multiple posts.

So with that I thank you for reading this primer and I hope you enjoy.

– Derik

Preface, Intro, Chapter 1

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