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The real value/message behind Christmas lost?

#41
Dude posting a Christian site as a citing for a Christian belief is beyond propaganda and falls into the "fringes of American Evangelicalism" in terms of the share lunacy of notion. Please come back when you have a non-Christian site that supports your arguement, you could perhaps also look up Easter in terms of Pagan festivals, and the invention of the Devil as a control device derived from previous religions.
So, a source is only valid if it's not from a Christian? That's a bizarre stipulation. I suppose arguments against the existence of God are suspect if they don't come from theists, too?

The source is either valid or not, regardless of the source or its intent, and in this case your response is particularly dubious because the overwhelming majority of sources making the pagan claim to begin with aren't coming from Christians, either. This sword would cut both ways if it cut either way (which it doesn't).

I'd also point out that, if you're not a Christian, your response would be inherently self-contradicting, because you, just like the author of the article I posted, would be making a claim that you also happened to agree with.

Please, let's stick to refuting facts. There's no place in serious conversation for ad hominem claims, particularly ones as broad as "this is from a Christian, so it doesn't count."
 

jmurrayhead

Well-known member
#42
So, a source is only valid if it's not from a Christian?
You will be less likely to convince others if you only use a Christian site to back your claims. That would be almost the same as me saying that I am the smartest person in the world, creating a web site that says I am the smartest person in the world, and then posting a link to that site claiming it as fact.
 

Fred Sherman

Well-known member
#44
On a related, yet completely different topic, a Roman historian actually mentions Jesus in one paragraph, as a leader of a militant Jewish sect, does anyone remember the historian's name?
That's not entirely accurate. You are referring to the Roman writer Suetonius who wrote that Claudius expelled the Jews from Rome because they “were continually making disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus”. As this was written about A.D. 120, this would be referencing Christians almost 100 years after the crucifixion. When one considers the treatment of early Christians by the Romans during what would have been the rein of Emperor Trajan, this is more correctly identified as propaganda.

Consider this exchange between Pliny the Younger and Emperor Trajan:
Pliny the Younger said:
I have never been present at an examination of Christians. So, I do not know the nature or the extent of the punishments usually dealt out to them, nor the grounds for starting an investigation and how far it should be carried...For the moment this is the line I have taken with all persons brought before me on the charge of being Christians. I have asked them in person if they are hristians; if they admit it, I repeat the question a second and a third time, with a warning of the punishment awaiting them. If they persist, I order them to be led away for punishment; for whatever the nature of their admission, I am convinced that their stubbornness and unshakeable obstinacy ought to be punished. There have been others similarly fanatical who are Roman citizens; I have entered them on the list of persons to be sent to Rome for punishment.... They declared that the sum total of their guilt or error amounted to no more than this: they had met regularly before dawn on a fixed day to chant verses alternately among themselves in honor of Christ as if to a god, and also to bind themselves by oath, not for any criminal purpose, but to abstain from theft, robbery and adultery, to commit no breach of trust and not to refuse to return a deposit upon demand. After this ceremony it had been their custom to disperse and later to take food of an ordinary harmless
kind...
Emperor Trajan said:
You have followed the right course of procedure, my dear Pliny, in your examination of the cases of persons charged with being Christians. For it is impossible to lay down a general rule to a fixed formula. These people must not be hunted out. But if they are brought before you and the charge against them is proved true, they must be punished.
 
#45
Honestly religion has nothing to do with this anymore. To some yes to most no. Christmas is now the following: A paid day off, a shopping day, a day to get gifts, and excuse to see family members.
 
#46
You will be less likely to convince others if you only use a Christian site to back your claims.
That says more about others, then. If people decide to consider only the source and not weigh the validity of a given claim, that's up to them, but the fact of the matter is that the people motivated to do this sort of work aren't likely to be people who are indifferent to it, by definition, and certainly not people who believe other things. This is true of people offering any sort of proof or evidence for anything even remotely controversial.

Anyway, what you're saying here is tad more nuanced than the post I was taking issue with, which was dismissing all such evidence out of hand, and in a self-contradictory manner, to boot.

That would be almost the same as me saying that I am the smartest person in the world, creating a web site that says I am the smartest person in the world, and then posting a link to that site claiming it as fact.
Er, if the site you built had some kind of specific evidence or rationale for your claim, then we might have ourselves an analogy. And if I wanted to refute your claim, I would either point to a) a lack of rationale provided by the site or b) a flaw in one of the rationales. Simple.
 

Fred Sherman

Well-known member
#47
Discussions about religion, and so far this has been just a discussion thank goodness, always end up in the circular argument of, "You can't prove you're right". When it gets to that point, which is the tipping point we find ourselves at, then its best just to stop. I learned long ago that I will never convince someone that what I believe is true by arguing.

"Preach the gospel always, If necessary use words." ~ St. Francis of Assisi

This is the best course of action, in my humble opinion. If I argue with someone to show I'm right, then I betray what I beleive and I'm wrong. If I allow the possibility that I am wrong, but show the value of my faith in words, thoughts and actions, then I may yet lead someone to the truth. At any rate, its not my job anyway. Conversion is a personal process between a person and their God and it isn't my place to allow my pride in needing to be right to intrude.

So I hope we can continue this discussion is a respectful way. I have no problems explaining what I believe, and even correcting misconceptions where they exist. But in no way will I ever tell anyone their faith is wrong or a historical perversion and I think it is fair to expect the same.
 

Peggy

Well-known member
#48
I absolutely agree, Fred.

Actually I had hoped that this thread was finished, while everyone was still being civil, lol.