Russell's Criticisms of Christianity & Jesus

BMS

Well-known member
H e gave arguments and opinions, and you've addressed none of them.
Actually several posters have directly addressed the points made by Russell and you have somehow been blind to them.
Do you even understand enough about Christianity to grasp what Russell's opinion is?
 

Nouveau

Well-known member
Actually several posters have directly addressed the points made by Russell and you have somehow been blind to them.
Do you even understand enough about Christianity to grasp what Russell's opinion is?
Can you give examples of who you think is directly addressing Russell's points?

Grasping Russell's opinion is a matter of reading what he wrote.
 

Nouveau

Well-known member
I can, but not to you because you cant see them.
Then I don't believe that you can. If someone had made a legitimate response that I've not addressed then it should be easy for you to link to the relevant post.
 

BMS

Well-known member
Then I don't believe that you can. If someone had made a legitimate response that I've not addressed then it should be easy for you to link to the relevant post.
You wont, you cant see them. Several posters like myself have indeed made legitimate responses. If you havent seen the content of all these posts then there is no point linking them.
 

Nouveau

Well-known member
You wont, you cant see them. Several posters like myself have indeed made legitimate responses. If you havent seen the content of all these posts then there is no point linking them.
Your only response so far was to confuse necessary and sufficient conditions in Russell's introduction. You didn't even get to his actual criticisms. And again, if you think I've missed a legitimate response from someone else then you need only post a link to it. So far we've had Stiggy making jokes, Cjab launching into a tirade of ad hominems, and Eve making vague noises about opinions, but no substantial responses to what Russell actually had to say.
 

BMS

Well-known member
Then I don't believe that you can. If someone had made a legitimate response that I've not addressed then it should be easy for you to link to the relevant post.
So Russell said what is the very least for being a Christian but that doesnt make one a Christian. He then said he would use that basis. So his position is faulty.
So a Christian would have to believe Jesus existed, but whilst a necessary minimum, that ISNT THE necessary minimun
 

Nouveau

Well-known member
So Russell said what is the very least for being a Christian but that doesnt make one a Christian. He then said he would use that basis. So his position is faulty. So a Christian would have to believe Jesus existed, but whilst a necessary minimum, that is THE necessary minimun.
You already agreed with Russell that his minimal requirements are indeed necessary for being a Christian, so you are not disagreeing with him.
 

BMS

Well-known member
You already agreed with Russell that his minimal requirements are indeed necessary for being a Christian, so you are not disagreeing with him.
No. Just clarified that. A Christian would at least have to believe that, but would need a good deal more to be a minimal requirement for being a Christian.
 

Nouveau

Well-known member
No. Just clarified that. A Christian would at least have to believe that, but would need a good deal more to be a minimal requirement for being a Christian.
Again, Russell isn't saying anything about what is sufficient for being a Christian. You are still confusing necessary and sufficient conditions.

Did you previously post here as Noemail?
 

Komodo

Well-known member
You already agreed with Russell that his minimal requirements are indeed necessary for being a Christian, so you are not disagreeing with him.
I take @BMS's point to be that "to be a Christian one must, at minimum, believe Jesus was the wisest man who ever lived" is somewhat comparable to saying "to take part in the men's 1500 meter competition at the World Athletics Championship, one must, at minimum, have run that distance in less than 4 minutes 30 seconds": i.e., yes, in a sense one must at minimum have done that, but that's misleading because the actual qualification standards are much stricter than that (you actually need to have run something like 3 minutes 35 seconds). Of course if the runner can't show that he's run faster than 4:30, and if the apologist can't make a case that Jesus was supremely wise...

ETA: Another way a Christian might meet the "wisest man" challenge would be to say that we humans are not capable of determining who is the wisest, the way we can determine who is the tallest or oldest, and so that isn't a proper standard to invoke.
 
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BMS

Well-known member
Again, Russell isn't saying anything about what is sufficient for being a Christian. You are still confusing necessary and sufficient conditions.

Did you previously post here as Noemail?
No,, you are misunderstanding necessary. And sufficient
 

Nouveau

Well-known member
I take @BMS's point to be that "to be a Christian one must, at minimum, believe Jesus was the wisest man who ever lived" is somewhat comparable to saying "to take part in the men's 1500 meter competition at the World Athletics Championship, one must, at minimum, have run that distance in less than 4 minutes 30 seconds": i.e., yes, in a sense one must at minimum have done that, but that's misleading because the actual qualification standards are much stricter than that (you actually need to have run something like 3 minutes 35 seconds).

Of course if the runner can't show that he's run faster than 4:30, and if the apologist can't make a case that Jesus was supremely wise...
Sure, but then BMS is still completely misreading Russell's point. Russell explicitly points out that considered as a definition (i.e. a set of necessary and sufficient conditions) his minimal requirements are "elastic" compared to the "much more full-blooded" definitions used in the past. His whole point in providing such a weak definition is to then be able to explain why he isn't a Christian due to not meeting even these weak requirements. His only concern was to show that these minimal beliefs - which he then argues against - are necessary for even the weakest meaningful use of the term 'Christian'.
 

BMS

Well-known member
Sure, but then BMS is still completely misreading Russell's point. Russell explicitly points out that considered as a definition (i.e. a set of necessary and sufficient conditions) his minimal requirements are "elastic" compared to the "much more full-blooded" definitions used in the past. His whole point in providing such a weak definition is to then be able to explain why he isn't a Christian due to not meeting even these weak requirements. His only concern was to show that these minimal beliefs - which he then argues against - are necessary for even the weakest meaningful use of the term 'Christian'.
It isnt a case of what was accepted in the past, before Christ and the written testimony there was no Christianity and since there is no change.
We would love Russell to come to know Jesus and have a relationship with Him
 

Komodo

Well-known member
Sure, but then BMS is still completely misreading Russell's point. Russell explicitly points out that considered as a definition (i.e. a set of necessary and sufficient conditions) his minimal requirements are "elastic" compared to the "much more full-blooded" definitions used in the past. His whole point in providing such a weak definition is to then be able to explain why he isn't a Christian due to not meeting even these weak requirements. His only concern was to show that these minimal beliefs - which he then argues against - are necessary for even the weakest meaningful use of the term 'Christian'.
I added, a bit later, that another way a Christian might meet the "wisest man" challenge would be to say that we humans are not capable of determining who is the wisest, the way we can determine who is the tallest or oldest, and so that isn't a proper standard to invoke, even if it seems like a generously weak or minimal standard.

Suppose there really is such a thing as "divine wisdom" which makes claims that appear absurd to mere mortals like you and me. And suppose that someone claimed to be the messenger of that absurd-seeming wisdom, but that he could somehow prove that he possessed knowledge beyond that available to mortals. (Maybe he could read minds, foretell the future, etc.) We would then have to decide whether we should still dismiss those claims, because they still appeared absurd to us, or whether we should say "he's shown he has a more powerful mind than us, maybe he just sees something here which we can't understand." I don't think there's a self-evidently correct choice in this case.

So one possible Christian answer to Russell here would be, "if I were simply using my own judgment, I might agree with Russell that the notion of eternal punishment is indefensible, and thus the opposite of 'wisdom'; but since I believe that Jesus is the Son of God, I must accept that, rather than demonstrating Jesus' lack of wisdom, it demonstrates my own lack of understanding of such things; I must trust that he knows something I don't."
 

Nouveau

Well-known member
It isnt a case of what was accepted in the past, before Christ and the written testimony there was no Christianity and since there is no change.
We would love Russell to come to know Jesus and have a relationship with Him
That's fine, but he is still only presenting necessary conditions, not sufficient ones. Is there anything from the main part of his essay that you disagree with, i.e. his criticisms of theistic arguments and the character and teachings of Christ?
 
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