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Hooks vs Meta: Was Paul insane?

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  • Hooks vs Meta: Was Paul insane?

    This is will start the debate, but Hooks will make the first post and present his arguments. Please no one else post in this thread. this is 1x1.
    Lord what fools these mortals be.
    Puc, Mid Sumer Night's Dream, A Midsummer-Night's Dream. Act III. Scene II

    President Roosevelt to Rich republicans: "I welcome your hatred."

  • #2
    A Brief Review of the Apostle Paul's Disordered Thinking (part 1 of 2)

    I want to make it clear what I am saying. I am not saying that Paul was a paranoid schizophrenic. I do not know that, and neither does anyone else. I am saying that Paul’s writings suggest his thinking has many characteristics in common with paranoid schizophrenic thinking. Too, Paul gives his readers insight into how he viewed himself. His self-description, although not typical of the average Evangelical, has fundamental elements in common with people at high risk for paranoid schizophrenia. Consequently, Evangelicals who place considerable emphasis on Paul’s doctrinal views seem to adopt Paul’s beliefs and style of reasoning. Many core elements of Evangelical thought and behavior stem from their adoption of Paul’s thoughts and ideas. In particular, they stem from Paul’s concept of human worthlessness and toxic, sinful nature, and his perception that God controlled him.

    It is helpful to understand the mind-set and reasoning found in persons with paranoid schizophrenia. Most agree that the reasoning associated with paranoid schizophrenia limits the people who use it significantly. But, a common understanding may prove difficult since most people have had almost no exposure to paranoid schizophrenics. Paranoid schizophrenia carries a social stigma and many people have misguided or otherwise incorrect opinions about schizophrenia.
    [SIZE=3]
    Lack of Self
    [/SIZE]
    Paranoid schizophrenics have a very poor sense of self, lacking an “I” at the core of their identity; in fact, this dismal view practically defines paranoid schizophrenia. Listen to these testimonies from those most familiar with the schizophrenic lack of identity:

    The feeling of “self,” which provides unity, consistency, and security is painfully absent … The question “who am I?” represents the existential core of schizophrenia.…
    Schizophrenics often lack a sense of self. Typically, patients report that the feeling of being “unreal” has been with them for a long time. In exploring their childhood feelings they are often unable to recall any period of time in which they felt comfortable with their identity. It would seem that, in most cases, this basic insecurity about one’s place in the world predates the onset of any florid psychotic symptoms by many years.[1]

    This same book provides an example from a man with schizophrenia. This patient described himself:

    I am in no small degree, I find, a sham—a player to the gallery. Possibly this may be felt as you read these analyses.
    In my life, in my personality, there is an essence of falseness and insincerity. A thin, fine paper of fraud hangs always over me and dampens and injures some things in me that I value.
    It may be that the spirit of falseness is itself a false thing—yet true or false, it is with me always … This element of falseness is absolutely the very thinnest, the very finest, the rarest of all the things in my many sided character.
    It is not the most unimportant.
    I have seen visions of myself walking in various pathways. I have seen myself trying one pathway and another. And always it is the same: I see before me in the path, darkening the way and filling me with dread and discouragement, a great black shadow—the shadow of my own element of falseness.
    I cannot rid myself of it.
    I am an innate liar.[2]

    [SIZE=3]Paul the Abortion

    [/SIZE]
    In his letters, Paul repeatedly writes about his lack of identity, his toxic nature, and his self-hatred—in short, his utter worthlessness and inability to do anything on his own.[3] Paul believes himself to be so worthless and toxic that he refers to himself as an “abortion” (1 Cor 15:8 NIV). The word “έκτρωμα” literally translates as “miscarriage” or “abortion.” The meaning has confounded translators for years and usually is translated as “untimely born.” Paul calls his toxic essence “sin nature.” He literally believed that sin inhabited his body and controlled his actions. For example, he writes, “Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it” (Rom 7:20 NIV). Another example: “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires” (Rom 6:12 NIV). As sin’s slave, Paul did not have the power to control his own actions.[4] Evangelicals, like Paul, believe sin to be something with a unique existence.

    Paul’s writing about commandments qualifies as one of the oddest manifestations of lack of a sense of identity. For example, Paul wrote:

    What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “Do not covet.” But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead. Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.
    For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful (Rom 7:7–13 NIV).

    Attempting to decipher meaning from someone who has such a lacking sense of identity can prove difficult. Indeed, the phrase, “through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful,” lacks any coherence. Still, Paul presented his thoughts fairly clearly.

    Paul believed the commandments made him know sin, which caused him to sin. He believed he would have had no idea that coveting meant “sin” if the commandments did not tell him. Without knowing, he would not have coveted. He believed this knowledge of sin was “intended to bring life.” However, this awareness only made him sin. Paul sinned because the sin living inside him made him sin. His brief life of awareness ended and he died.[5]

    Paul did not actually do anything. Commandments made him aware. A controlling power, “seizing the opportunity,” made him act out sin. He had good thoughts controlled by God warring against bad thoughts controlled by sin. Paul, essentially dead, experienced his body performing actions and thoughts in the control of outside entities.[6] Paul’s only sense of identity seems to have come as a brief awareness that he had a toxic, sinful nature.

    For Paul, giving up control of his life, to the extent he even had such control in the first place, probably seemed like a good idea.[7] Evangelical Christians follow this model.

    [SIZE=3]Blurred Identity and Mind Reading
    [/SIZE]
    In Dante’s Cure, Daniel Dorman, a clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA, described how loss of ego boundaries often leads to delusional beliefs that information or commands are coming from outside forces. Dr. Dorman explains:

    If one looks to the experience of other schizophrenics, this same theme—the lack of an ego, or self—is repeated again and again. Sigmund Freud’s famous patient, Shreber, talked about soul-murder. Catherine [Dr. Dorman’s patient] talked about having “no nucleus, no central self.” A schizophrenic man said, “Gradually I can no longer distinguish how much of myself is in me, and how much is already in others. I am a conglomeration, a monstrosity modeled anew each day” … This lack of self development is central to schizophrenia.[8]

    Dr. Dorman reinforces this idea by quoting Julian Jaynes from his book, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind:

    Jaynes also refers to the lack of “I” as responsible for the schizophrenic’s inability to get logical answers. There is no “unifying conceptive purpose,” he says, since answers to questions must come from a person’s mind-space. The schizophrenic tries to tie answers to external circumstances. When the schizophrenic says he is commanded by outside forces, the psychiatrist regards it as a delusion, a falsification of reality, but Jaynes says, “with the loss of the analogous ‘I,’ its mind-space, and the ability to narrate, behavior is either responding to hallucinated directions, or continues on by habit. The remnant of self feels like a commanded automaton.”[9]

    [SIZE=3]P[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=3]aul the Mind-Reader

    [/SIZE]Paul, who believed God controls his mind and body, had no personal identity. As an amorphous part of God, the omniscient creator of the universe, Paul believed he knew about the thoughts and motivations of others. After all, the controller of his body knew everything about everybody. Certainly, his controller, God, could tell him about others. Paul would have had no way of knowing, like Evangelicals do now, that all his thoughts, feelings, impulses, and behavior came from physical processes that took place in his brain. He would have had no way of knowing that controlling entities like sin, the Law, demons, or Christ did not have access to his brain. Once Paul believed that God controlled him, he tapped into God’s mainframe computer. Paul would have had no reason to doubt that God implanted beliefs and thoughts about other people inside him.

    The following passage gives an example of Paul’s misguided belief that he knew the thoughts and motivations of others. (Please note how he does not think he has control of his body, as he warns against judging immediately after writing very harsh judgments.)

    The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

    For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

    Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

    Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

    Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

    You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things (Rom 1:18–2:1 NIV).

    Paul here claimed to understand what other people saw, what they knew, and what they thought about it. Other people—people with a toxic, sinful nature like Paul’s own—clearly saw “God’s invisible qualities,” plainly knew “everything there was to be known about God,” and yet failed to “glorify him as God.” How did Paul know that these other people knew the truth about God and rejected it? For that matter, how did Paul know what God thought or felt about those people? It was because he, Paul, knew these things. How did Paul know these things? He knew because God utterly controlled him. Paul never entertained the idea that his knowledge might not be accurate. How could he have made a mistake? God does not make mistakes.

    Paul had undergone a transformation from the most miserable abortion, a slave to sin, to living in and through the most powerful being imaginable. Although, as noted below, Paul still saw what he had left of himself as weak and corrupt, he reveled in the triumphant feelings that he attributed to Christ:

    I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power (1 Cor 2:3–5 NIV).[10]
    Evangelical Christians follow this model as well.





    1. Kayla F. Bernheim and Richard R. J. Lewine, Schizophrenia (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1979), 50–51.

    2. Ibid., 49, quote from Mary MacLane, The Story of Mary MacLane (New York: Stone, 1902).

    3. “If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself” (Gal 6:3 NIV).

    4. “Our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin” (Rom 6:6 NIV). “Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?” (Gal 4:8–9 NIV).

    5. Many more examples of Paul’s lack of identity, feeling of worthlessness, and toxicity occur in his letters. I have catalogued a few of them in Appendix A.

    6. “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want” (Gal. 5:16–17 NIV).

    7. “When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness … [Now] you … have become slaves to God” (Rom 6:21 NIV).

    8. Ibid. Also, Julian Jaynes, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1990), 418.

    9. Dorman 2003, 256; and Jaynes 1990, 423.

    10. Also, “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are” (1 Cor 1:27–28 NIV).
    Last edited by Hooks; 06-14-11, 08:29 PM.
    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

    Comment


    • #3
      Part 2 of 2

      [SIZE=3]Concrete Thinking[/SIZE]
      We have seen above Paul’s use of literal and concrete language. Translators and readers struggle at times to make sense out of Paul’s use of the term “death,” for example, since it is plain that he has not died, and yet he means something beyond a mere comparison, a mere as if.

      When asked about a common proverb such as, “A rolling stone gathers no moss,” a paranoid schizophrenic often seems unable to understand the intent of the saying as a metaphor. In this example, his or her thoughts will focus on a real stone and real moss. Many paranoid schizophrenics seem to ignore the possibility that this saying may intentionally represent a metaphor. They do not recognize the adage as an elegant way of describing the benefits of stability and putting down roots. When a person either cannot or does not consider the abstract meaning of something, we label this concrete thinking.

      [SIZE=3]Paul’s Concrete Thinking[/SIZE]
      [SIZE=3]
      [/SIZE]
      Some claim that Paul speaks metaphorically about his worthlessness and his emptiness. They have no grounds for that belief, as there is there is no reason to think that Paul did not literally mean what he said when he wrote it.

      Although most Evangelicals do not believe Paul stopped sinning after giving control of his life to Christ, when Paul said he had no sin and could no longer sin, he likely meant it. Paul wrote repeatedly that once he had his life controlled by Christ, he stopped sinning. Paul said he believed that before Christ controlled his life, the Law controlled him and made him sin. As well, he states quite clearly that he could not sin without the Law. In Paul’s world, he simply had the Law abolished, taken away, and replaced by grace (Rom 6:14 NIV). No Law equaled no sin. For Paul this formula probably made sense.

      Paul repeatedly wrote that once someone gives control over to Christ, he or she has no way of sinning.[1] I cannot find a single verse where Paul claimed that he sinned after his conversion. Many seem to misinterpret Paul’s laments and humility as an indication that he still sinned. This interpretation does not fit Paul’s claims, however. Rather, in lamenting his imperfect life, Paul acknowledged that Christ had a lousy piece of equipment to work with when he controlled Paul’s body.[2] He seemed amazed that Christ could accomplish so much with his wretched corpse. Paul talked as if he were a reporter describing what Christ did with his corpse. Regardless, Paul reported that he, as a part of Christ and despite his humility and lamenting, had no sin and could not sin.

      Paul claimed he “died” repeatedly. In one of many examples, Paul wrote, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:20 NIV).[3] Paul told others they must die also. Nothing about this claim has a basis in reality. We know Paul did not die before writing his letters. As well, Christ—the entity that Paul claimed had taken over his corpse—could not have written them. What did Paul mean by this?

      Evangelicals take Paul’s claims seriously and often claim they have died. In some cases, they will say that they have “died to sin” but are “alive in Christ” (Rom 6:11 NIV). If we make this a metaphor it becomes, “I live as if I died to sin as a devoted follower of Jesus’ teachings.” This translates to, “I am trying to be a good person” or “I am trying to follow the teachings of Jesus.” However, Paul clearly did not mean this since he did not believe that he, the abortion, had even the ability to try to be a good person. Neither do Evangelicals. Like Paul, they often believe they had a worthless existence controlled by sin. They have worth only after they give control of their lives to Christ.

      [SIZE=3]Paranoid Delusional Systems[/SIZE]
      [SIZE=3]
      [/SIZE]
      This is not all that sets the paranoid schizophrenic apart. The schizophrenic has a fairly well-formed, coherent delusional system. By delusions, I mean, “false ideas that are not correctable by reasoning.”[4] Paranoid schizophrenic delusions differ from many other kinds of delusions.
      Because his or her delusional system has well-formed and seemingly coherent elements, a paranoid schizophrenic does not necessarily sound too crazy. As the DSM-IV-TR, the standard diagnostic text of the mental health profession, notes, a paranoid schizophrenic does not exhibit the disorganized speech or behavior of other schizophrenics. This does not mean that their beliefs are less delusional, only that within the bounds of the delusion the system has a certain logic that often appears to hang together well.

      Paul shares this trait with schizophrenics. This trait may create a much greater barrier to understanding and communicating with a person absorbed in a delusional world than many outside that world realize.

      Again, consider this about Paul: although his letters are ostensibly about Jesus, Paul did not seem to care at all about the actual person. If we tried to describe Jesus using only Paul’s letters, we would have next to nothing to go on. Paul’s thoughts had a paucity of content—another common feature of paranoid schizophrenia[5]—outside of his otherworldly system.

      Have we assumed too much about Paul and his Christ?

      Imagine for a moment that one of your friends writes you a twenty-page letter passionately wanting to share her excitement about a new teacher. This letter has only one topic—your friend’s new teacher. At the end of her letter, you still do not know one thing about her teacher. Yet, Paul presents the central figure of his theology this way. In fact, Paul kindly tells us he could not care less about Jesus, the man from Galilee, writing:
      So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer (2 Cor 5:16 NIV).
      For those of us not lost in a world of delusions, it might seem impossible to imagine how Paul could avoid telling one story or parable of—or fail to note one physical trait or personal quality of—Jesus. Nevertheless, Paul’s lack of interest in or even curiosity about the life of Jesus fits a characteristic pattern of paranoid delusions. A person consumed with his or her delusions has little energy for thoughts devoted to other subjects. Rational people, having had the transformative encounter with Christ that Paul describes, might enjoy learning everything they could about him. They might want to walk where Jesus walked. They might want to meet Jesus’ friends and family. Not Paul—he tells us that he served Christ for seventeen years before seeking out Jesus’ disciples in Jerusalem aside from Peter and James, the brother of Jesus.[6] He writes emphatically that he had nothing to learn from them.

      Through his delusions, Paul already knew everything he wanted to know about Jesus, a man he never met. Did Paul’s Christ have pierced hands? Did he wear a robe and have long hair? Did he resemble a man at all? Did Paul’s Christ like to fish? We do not know. Paul never—ever—told us! As well, based on the verses we reviewed, along with Paul’s claims that all Christians make up Christ’s body, Paul did not seem to think of Jesus as a man from Galilee. Indeed, some will recognize Paul’s claim to fellow Christians where he wrote, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it” (1 Cor 12:27 NIV). We may assume too much if we take for granted that Paul thinks of Jesus in a way that even remotely resembles the man from Galilee.

      It is possible for us to contemplate facts about the life of Jesus. For example, many people doubt that Jesus had a virgin mother. Since the details of Jesus’ life have a real-world historical context, we can attempt to confirm those details in some way. In fact, many, if not most, Evangelical apologetics are dedicated to sifting through the available historical facts about first-century Palestine and the culture and the habits of persons living in that time and place.

      However, we cannot do that with Paul’s Jesus. Paul has detached himself so much from the reality of Jesus’ earthly life that the object of his delusions, Jesus, takes on a new name—Christ. Paul describes “Christ” in his letters with passion. He describes that he has given Christ complete control of his body to the point where he, Paul, has died. After his death, and after his new life in Christ, he takes on the qualities and powers of Christ. By “Christ,” Paul refers to the entity from his delusions that took control of his life.

      Every claim in the Gospels about Jesus could prove accurate, but that would not alter one thing about Paul’s claims about his Christ. Even if Jesus lived and then died on a cross, we should feel confident that the Apostle Paul had nothing to do with him. Paul’s Christ has next to nothing in common with Jesus—except his death on a cross. Paul’s claims about Christ do not contain information based in reality, and regardless of whether the Gospel stories truly happened, Paul’s letters would still only represent his own musings. This is a good example of a “coherent, well-formed delusional world” with “ideas that are not correctable by reasoning.”

      [SIZE=3]Delusions of Grandeur and Magical Thinking[/SIZE]
      The delusional systems of schizophrenics differ in particulars but share certain characteristics. Such systems “tend to be grandiose, in that the patient believes himself to be special, to be powerful, often to be magical. The other side of the coin is intense mistrust of others—since he is so important; his enemies are trying to harm him.”[7] As well, the group labeled paranoid schizophrenics “includes people who consistently believe that they have a different identity from their real one, who believe that they have a function that they do not have, or who believe that other people are plotting to harm them.”[8]

      The first chapter of Paul’s letter to the Roman Church, which I quoted extensively above, provides a good example of this aspect of magical thinking. We have seen that Paul believes that because Christ controls his body he can know the thoughts and feelings of others (Rom 1:18–32). He can know God’s thoughts and has taken on the power and authority of God and Christ. Because of this, the enemies of God and Christ became his enemies as well, and they were “given over” to every form of depravity and wickedness. Paul tells his readers in other places that their enemies—who are God’s enemies as well—are both evil and strong. As he famously put it:
      For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph 6:12 KJV).

      Paul quite plainly attributes his knowledge of Christ to visions and revelation, not facts. For example, he writes:
      I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ …
      I did not consult any man, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus (Gal 1:11–12, 16–17 NIV).
      Or again:
      I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows—was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell (2 Cor 12:1–4 NIV).
      Paul did not distinguish facts from his visions. We have seen before that Paul knew that other people had rejected God because God’s invisible qualities were “clearly seen.” Paul expected his readers to accept that he had seen Christ in the same way they saw a tree, a fence, or any other object. For Paul, Christ became a clearly visible part of the universe. Even though Evangelicals do not have visions, they follow Paul and accept Christ as a clearly visible part of the universe.



      1. “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature” (Gal 5:16 NIV).

      2. “Although I am less than the least of all God’s people …” (Eph 3:8 NIV). “The Lord Jesus Christ … under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body” (Phil 3:20 NIV).

      3. Also, “Since you died with Christ” (Col 1:20 NIV). “But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin” (Rom 8:10 NIV). “Our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with … anyone who has died has been freed from sin” (Rom 6:6 NIV).

      4. Kayla F.Bernheim and Richard R. J. Lewine, Schizophrenia (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1979), 40–41.

      5. Harold I. Kaplan and Benjamin J. Sadock, Concise Textbook of Clinical Psychiatry (Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1996), 26.

      6. Three years after Paul had his vision, he went to Jerusalem and saw Peter for fifteen days and saw no other apostle except James—Jesus’ brother (Gal 1:18–9). Then, fourteen years later, in response to a revelation, he went again (Gal 2:1–2). Thus, Paul spent at least seventeen years as a Christian, where he did not have personal contact with anyone who knew Jesus (other then the fifteen days he spent with Peter and James). It could be even longer, since it is not clear if the three years Paul referred to was after his conversion or after his return to Damascus after his vision—but probably the latter. Regardless, the seventeen years that Paul avoided contact with the earthly leaders of his newly found faith who knew Jesus is a long time for a person with a cosmopolitan reputation—especially since Damascus is quite close to Jerusalem. Damascus is practically on the doorstep of Nazareth. For perspective, the Sea of Galilee is almost exactly in the middle of a straight path from Jerusalem to Damascus, but it is actually closer to Damascus than it is to Jerusalem.

      7. Kayla F. Bernheim and Richard R. J. Lewine, Schizophrenia (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1979), 40–41.

      8. Ibid.
      Last edited by Hooks; 06-14-11, 08:52 PM.
      ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

      Comment


      • #4
        1NC

        part 1

        There are Three major things that we have to watch for in this debatre.

        I. We must avoid confusing modern cultural phenomena with universal principles about humanity. Aka imposing our cuture as mental health

        Just because we find that in our time and our culture that psychosis takes a ****** form that all behaviors in history that seem similar to that form are therefore pyschosis. This is important because he has to avoid reading in his own modern understanding from culture and imposing it on a time and a place where it may not apply. There is no empirical scientific study form the ancient world establishing that their mental health was the same as our mental health.

        II. We must avoid confusing spiritual experience and belief with bad mental health.
        Aka imposing mutualism at mental health

        We can’t assume that just because we feel we know better than ancient world people that this means their beliefs are the result of mental illness. So we have to watch for Hooks to read into the words of Paul assumptions about his mental state based upon a sense of norm form our own culture, and ignoring the spiritual insight and belief of Paul’s day. What appears to be psychosis to a modern person might just be normal belief to an ancient world person.

        In other words I expect him to read in his own ideas to Paul’s words.

        III. We must avoid the assumption that mythical experience is mental illness.
        Aka preoscriging religions as mental illness.

        I think his assumptions are coming from a basic distrust of religious experience. A huge number of studies demonstrate that mystical experience is not mental illness. Based upon these insights we have to give Paul the benefit of a doubt.

        Therefore Paul has presumption. That means Hooks has the burden of proof he must prove his case with data not merely with interpretation.

        Look at his first speech and I will show that he is merely imposing his own views.





        A Brief Review of the Apostle Paul's Disordered Thinking (part 1 of 2)
        I want to make it clear what I am saying. I am not saying that Paul was a paranoid schizophrenic. I do not know that, and neither does anyone else. I am saying that Paul’s writings suggest his thinking has many characteristics in common with paranoid schizophrenic thinking.
        Then the argument is meaningless because he doesn’t establish that “characteristics in common” with schizophrenia demonstrate that his ideas aer the product of mental illness.




        Too, Paul gives his readers insight into how he viewed himself. His self-description, although not typical of the average Evangelical, has fundamental elements in common with people at high risk for paranoid schizophrenia. Consequently, Evangelicals who place considerable emphasis on Paul’s doctrinal views seem to adopt Paul’s beliefs and style of reasoning. Many core elements of Evangelical thought and behavior stem from their adoption of Paul’s thoughts and ideas. In particular, they stem from Paul’s concept of human worthlessness and toxic, sinful nature, and his perception that God controlled him.
        Here’s example of observations I and II above. He’s imposing modern understanding and prejudice upon ancient world belief. Paul didn’t think God controlled him, this is reading into the text what he wants to be there. Nor did Paul have the anti-human mentality that he is often charged with. Yet to the extent that there some basis for these views, these are aspect of ancient world belief. They are not symptoms of schizophrenia since the adopted form the culture he lived in. A basis for both beliefs comes to us from the Dead Sea Scrolls (see The Dead Sea Scrolls by John Allegro). Latter I will deal with demonstrating that Paul had a balanced view of human nature. One cannot assume that a negative is a product of mental illness when it is in fact the product of culture. In that culture the mentally ill person would be the one who didn’t have a negative view of human nature.

        It is helpful to understand the mind-set and reasoning found in persons with paranoid schizophrenia. Most agree that the reasoning associated with paranoid schizophrenia limits the people who use it significantly. But, a common understanding may prove difficult since most people have had almost no exposure to paranoid schizophrenics. Paranoid schizophrenia carries a social stigma and many people have misguided or otherwise incorrect opinions about schizophrenia.

        Lack of Self

        Paranoid schizophrenics have a very poor sense of self, lacking an “I” at the core of their identity; in fact, this dismal view practically defines paranoid schizophrenia. Listen to these testimonies from those most familiar with the schizophrenic lack of identity:

        The feeling of “self,” which provides unity, consistency, and security is painfully absent … The question “who am I?” represents the existential core of schizophrenia.…
        Schizophrenics often lack a sense of self. Typically, patients report that the feeling of being “unreal” has been with them for a long time. In exploring their childhood feelings they are often unable to recall any period of time in which they felt comfortable with their identity. It would seem that, in most cases, this basic insecurity about one’s place in the world predates the onset of any florid psychotic symptoms by many years.[1]
        This same book provides an example from a man with schizophrenia. This patient described himself:

        I am in no small degree, I find, a sham—a player to the gallery. Possibly this may be felt as you read these analyses.
        In my life, in my personality, there is an essence of falseness and insincerity. A thin, fine paper of fraud hangs always over me and dampens and injures some things in me that I value.
        It may be that the spirit of falseness is itself a false thing—yet true or false, it is with me always … This element of falseness is absolutely the very thinnest, the very finest, the rarest of all the things in my many sided character.
        It is not the most unimportant.
        I have seen visions of myself walking in various pathways. I have seen myself trying one pathway and another. And always it is the same: I see before me in the path, darkening the way and filling me with dread and discouragement, a great black shadow—the shadow of my own element of falseness.
        I cannot rid myself of it.
        I am an innate liar.[2]
        First of all this is anecdotal. He’s based it upon a case study rather than quantitative data. Secondly its’ subjective since it would require self awareness to say “I am phony.” Someone who truly didn’t have a sense of self would not understand that he didn’t have one.
        Secondly, Hooks does nothing to document the n nature of schizophinic symptoms.
        More importantly, Paul exhibits no trait that can be taken to mean he’s have a strong sense of self. In fact Paul is famous for his arrogance. Laymen and scholars, skeptics and believers alike recognize that Paul was very arrogant. How can an arrogant person not have a sense of self?
        A ranting mocking athist attack all Christians as “hypocrites” sees Paul as arrogant and full of himself:
        http://www.gospeloutreach.net/weird.html
        a Christian puts a happy face on the same material and reads it as Paul knowing his mission was important . That is a layman.
        http://treasurecontained.com/2010/09...-apostle-paul/
        someone ore in the vain or a scholar or at least a clergyman has a more sophisticated spin along the same lines:
        http://graceambassadors.com/mystery/was-paul-arrogant all three recognize the basis for the claim of arrogance, even though the believers turn it around into a sense of awareness about the importance of his mission. In all three cases what they observe is Paul had a strong sense of self. He was always boasting about who he studied with, that he was a Parisee and so on. Read the links and you will they quote passage that demonstrate a strong sense of self.
        Paul the Abortion

        In his letters, Paul repeatedly writes about his lack of identity, his toxic nature, and his self-hatred—in short, his utter worthlessness and inability to do anything on his own.[3] Paul believes himself to be so worthless and toxic that he refers to himself as an “abortion” (1 Cor 15:8 NIV). The word “έκτρωμα” literally translates as “miscarriage” or “abortion.” The meaning has confounded translators for years and usually is translated as “untimely born.” Paul calls his toxic essence “sin nature.” He literally believed that sin inhabited his body and controlled his actions. For example, he writes, “Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it” (Rom 7:20 NIV). Another example: “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires” (Rom 6:12 NIV). As sin’s slave, Paul did not have the power to control his own actions.[4] Evangelicals, like Paul, believe sin to be something with a unique existence.
        The word extroma means abortion but it also means it also means ‘untimely birth.” Born of out due time. On cross walk; Greek lexicon based on Thayer's and Smith's Bible Dictionary plus others; this is keyed to the large Kittel and the "Theological Dictionary of the New Testament." These files are public domain.

        http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexic...v/ektroma.html

        Hooks takes it as a self commentary but Paul probably meant it in reference to his conversion experience where he was basically forced to believe in Jesus while in the ac of persecuting people for their belief. He is specifically referencing to the fact that he didn’t believe in Jesus when he was on earth, he came to believe in him much latter than all of his other disciples. His belief is “born again” and he was born in that sense much latter than he should have been. This one passage in Paul is the only use of the term in the NT and that is significant. Paul is coining his own use.

        Now he goes into several examples of reading into a varety of passages the meaning he wants to see there. I will not take the time to deal with all of these just a couple to give the general drift of what he’s doing wrong. These are also examples of I and II, not considering the culture, reading in prejudice against religious experience.


        Paul’s writing about commandments qualifies as one of the oddest manifestations of lack of a sense of identity. For example, Paul wrote:

        What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “Do not covet.” But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead. Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.
        For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful (Rom 7:7–13 NIV).
        Attempting to decipher meaning from someone who has such a lacking sense of identity can prove difficult. Indeed, the phrase, “through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful,” lacks any coherence. Still, Paul presented his thoughts fairly clearly.
        Of course that last phrase has to do with bad translation since one can make sense of it. What’s he doing here? He’s assuming that he understanding the meaning, but he filters it through his thesis. So rather than seek to hear what the text is saying he’s telling it what it must mean. Paul basically just says we need the law to know how bad bad can get. Leaving it to the heart is veg at best. We don’t have a clear idea of aht’s what just a feeling. In subjecting behavior to law it’s clearly spelled out and we understand the issues. This has nothing to do with sense of self.

        He says the law tells how bad bad is but we can’t satisfy the law, we can’t live up to it. That’s not a self immolation it’s a frank admission and speaks to the human condition not just him. Of course he concludes God gives us the power to be good that is basically right out of the culture of his day. It would be foolish to interpret that as a symptom of anything, other than life in the first century.
        Lord what fools these mortals be.
        Puc, Mid Sumer Night's Dream, A Midsummer-Night's Dream. Act III. Scene II

        President Roosevelt to Rich republicans: "I welcome your hatred."

        Comment


        • #5
          1NC part 2

          Paul believed the commandments made him know sin, which caused him to sin.
          No, bad interp. He’s saying because the law gives me something to measure myself against, I know how bad bad can be. Since I am now aware that my behavior is wrong I am convicted also of my inner motives. I realize I’m sinful. He is not saying knowing he law makes you sin and you can’t help it. He’s saying becoming aware of sin creates

          Conviction of being guilty.



          He believed he would have had no idea that coveting meant “sin” if the commandments did not tell him. Without knowing, he would not have coveted. He believed this knowledge of sin was “intended to bring life.” However, this awareness only made him sin. Paul sinned because the sin living inside him made him sin. His brief life of awareness ended and he died.[5]
          That is reading in his interpretation. If one goes by mine it’s just an orgainary statement that “Now I realize I’ve done wrong.”




          Paul did not actually do anything. Commandments made him aware. A controlling power, “seizing the opportunity,” made him act out sin. He had good thoughts controlled by God warring against bad thoughts controlled by sin. Paul, essentially dead, experienced his body performing actions and thoughts in the control of outside entities.[6] Paul’s only sense of identity seems to have come as a brief awareness that he had a toxic, sinful nature.
          He’s reading in the notion of a controlling power. If you read the Allegro book (above) we see that the Jews did have a quail Calvin like sense of pre-destination. They did not believe they were puppets with no choice in what they did and neither did Paul. That is something Hooks imposes on the tetxt. The first assumption that Paul did not do anything but the commandments made him aware is a misunderstanding and a contradiction. He had to have behavior to be aware of what he did. He’s reading into the text the idea that the law along apart form actions made him feels guilty. He’s clearly saying the law convicted him because it did illuminate the nature of his behavior.

          For Paul, giving up control of his life, to the extent he even had such control in the first place, probably seemed like a good idea.[7] Evangelical Christians follow this model.
          He’s reading in the extent of control. Some sense of God being in control of our lives was given him by his culture; it can’t be a symptom of mental illness. Hooks is exaggerating it to mean he’s puppet like and that’s in the text.

          Blurred Identity and Mind Reading

          In Dante’s Cure, Daniel Dorman, a clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA, described how loss of ego boundaries often leads to delusional beliefs that information or commands are coming from outside forces. Dr. Dorman explains:

          If one looks to the experience of other schizophrenics, this same theme—the lack of an ego, or self—is repeated again and again. Sigmund Freud’s famous patient, Shreber, talked about soul-murder. Catherine [Dr. Dorman’s patient] talked about having “no nucleus, no central self.” A schizophrenic man said, “Gradually I can no longer distinguish how much of myself is in me, and how much is already in others. I am a conglomeration, a monstrosity modeled anew each day” … This lack of self development is central to schizophrenia.[8]
          These are fine examples of what I warned about in Obs I, II and III. Remember:
          I: imposing our cuture as metnal health
          II imposing materialism as mental health
          III Proscribing religion as mental illness.

          He appeals to Frued which is totally anachronistic because that was he old days. That assumption is gone now because of the huge body of empirical work that says religious experience is good for you. We don’t value the fruedian assumtpin anymore, that reigoin must be bad and the norm to be non religious.

          (1) the norm is be religious
          (2) huge number of studies show that RE is not mental illness
          http://www.doxa.ws/experience/Mystical3.html
          (3) Freud is outdated.
          (4) He’s just reading in the assumptions I, II, and III. His assertions here rest on the assumption that Paul has no sense of self, which has been disproved already.



          [/qutoe]Dr. Dorman reinforces this idea by quoting Julian Jaynes from his book, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind:

          Jaynes also refers to the lack of “I” as responsible for the schizophrenic’s inability to get logical answers. There is no “unifying conceptive purpose,” he says, since answers to questions must come from a person’s mind-space. The schizophrenic tries to tie answers to external circumstances. When the schizophrenic says he is commanded by outside forces, the psychiatrist regards it as a delusion, a falsification of reality, but Jaynes says, “with the loss of the analogous ‘I,’ its mind-space, and the ability to narrate, behavior is either responding to hallucinated directions, or continues on by habit. The remnant of self feels like a commanded automaton.”[9][/quote]


          He’s assuming that Pauls ideas or illogical because they are religious and because they are from an ancient culture, and due to the mistake he makes in assuming Paul has a small sense of self. (disproved above). He’s going to have to demonstrate point by point that Paul is illogical.

          Paul the Mind-Reader

          Paul, who believed God controls his mind and body, had no personal identity. As an amorphous part of God, the omniscient creator of the universe, Paul believed he knew about the thoughts and motivations of others. After all, the controller of his body knew everything about everybody. Certainly, his controller, God, could tell him about others. Paul would have had no way of knowing, like Evangelicals do now, that all his thoughts, feelings, impulses, and behavior came from physical processes that took place in his brain. He would have had no way of knowing that controlling entities like sin, the Law, demons, or Christ did not have access to his brain. Once Paul believed that God controlled him, he tapped into God’s mainframe computer. Paul would have had no reason to doubt that God implanted beliefs and thoughts about other people inside him.

          The following passage gives an example of Paul’s misguided belief that he knew the thoughts and motivations of others. (Please note how he does not think he has control of his body, as he warns against judging immediately after writing very harsh judgments.)

          The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
          Standard atheist crap trap. He doe not calim to read minds, he knows human nature because he is human an dhe’s talk to a bunch of people> it’s silly to try and impose the notion that one can’t anything about what others think or what they experience. Another ssource of understanding human nature literature, Paul was highly educated and had all the major literature of the Roman and Greek cultures. He know about the human conciton. To say this is mind reading is like saying that Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky were “mind readers.” Nice the statements he’s picking on this are merely ordinary statements about human nature.

          For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
          Hardly takes a mind radinger bleeding obvious given that hey did’t worship God. All he needed to do was know they were Gentiles.

          Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
          We don’t need a mind reader to know we all have sinful desires. The atheist is so ensconced in guilt that they can’t accept his own sin nature has to pretend that he’s sinless. We are all human and humans’ sin. We all know this. Its’ not mind reading it’s being human. If you disagree with it then have the guts to do so without pretending that we can’t know about and maybe we are all sinless and so on.

          Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

          Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

          You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things (Rom 1:18–2:1 NIV).
          Paul here claimed to understand what other people saw, what they knew, and what they thought about it. Other people—people with a toxic, sinful nature like Paul’s own—clearly saw “God’s invisible qualities,”
          He knew It, I know it, my mother new it, we all know it. It’s ordinary result of being human. One thing I hate is a shrink who can’t see his own transparent motives. Living I denial is such a transport behavior. Man up the bar and be human, accept who we are as a species and stop trying to pretend you don’t have flaws. Every major writer has known it. This pretense is shameful. You are reading into an ordinary religious view point symptoms of mental illness because you can’t accept that theory that you sin. Get over it, if you disagree with belief in God and sin and the whole nine than have the guts to just say so. Stop trying to find qick fix cheat sheets that destroy Christianity in one blow. You sin, no question about it. We all know it. The major atheist writers of history have known and said so.

          Trying to interpret the belief as mental illness is shameful.

          I'll do the second part tomarrow
          Lord what fools these mortals be.
          Puc, Mid Sumer Night's Dream, A Midsummer-Night's Dream. Act III. Scene II

          President Roosevelt to Rich republicans: "I welcome your hatred."

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Hooks View Post
            I want to make it clear what I am saying. I am not saying that Paul was a paranoid schizophrenic. I do not know that, and neither does anyone else. I am saying that Paul’s writings suggest his thinking has many characteristics in common with paranoid schizophrenic thinking. Too, Paul gives his readers insight into how he viewed himself. His self-description, although not typical of the average Evangelical, has fundamental elements in common with people at high risk for paranoid schizophrenia.
            I told yu at the outset that I am not going t argue that Paul was insane. That would be insane since he has been dead for 2000 years. I told you this because I had a strong feeling you woukd go off on a meaningless and frankly dishonest tangent. I am not imposing me modern view of mental illness on a 2000 year man. I am not trying to decide if Paul would have benefited from Thorazine. It's too late for him to take it now. Rather, I am trying to establish if Paul's writing shares commonalities with thinks said and written by paranoid schizophrenics of our time. I think if the answer is, yes, which I intended to show it is, then that would be interesting and noteworthy. One last thing. This is a debate that is not purely technical. So saying things like my background information is "anecdotal" is not being particularly charitable. I am putting that stiff for people who are not familiar with paranoid schizophrenia, and not because I intend for it to be an airtight case for the technical diagnosis of schizophrenia. Anyway, back off the falsehood (lie) that I am saying Paul was insane, or a schizophrenic. Or you can pull out of the debate if you want.
            ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Hooks View Post
              I told yu at the outset that I am not going t argue that Paul was insane. That would be insane since he has been dead for 2000 years. I told you this because I had a strong feeling you woukd go off on a meaningless and frankly dishonest tangent. I am not imposing me modern view of mental illness on a 2000 year man. I am not trying to decide if Paul would have benefited from Thorazine. It's too late for him to take it now. Rather, I am trying to establish if Paul's writing shares commonalities with thinks said and written by paranoid schizophrenics of our time. I think if the answer is, yes, which I intended to show it is, then that would be interesting and noteworthy. One last thing. This is a debate that is not purely technical. So saying things like my background information is "anecdotal" is not being particularly charitable. I am putting that stiff for people who are not familiar with paranoid schizophrenia, and not because I intend for it to be an airtight case for the technical diagnosis of schizophrenia. Anyway, back off the falsehood (lie) that I am saying Paul was insane, or a schizophrenic. Or you can pull out of the debate if you want.
              I understand that. I used that as an easy reference in the title. we should not be communicated about the debate in the middle of the debate. there are other venue for this kind of discussion.
              Lord what fools these mortals be.
              Puc, Mid Sumer Night's Dream, A Midsummer-Night's Dream. Act III. Scene II

              President Roosevelt to Rich republicans: "I welcome your hatred."

              Comment


              • #8
                my response to his 2 of 2, part 1

                My worthy oppoent’s major proof that Paul has schizophrenic traits is the idea of weak self. From that interpretation that he stems all of his other interpretations. The crux of that view in temrs of proof is the verse 1 cor 15:8 “as one untimely born.” He calls it “aborted” based upon his understanding fo the word ektroma. He’s just reading into that word the meaning that would suit is interpretation. All of his other analysis hnedges upon that word. It’s the only non subjective proof he offers. I’ve already shown that the term means not only abortion (it does mean that) but also “untimely born.” “abortion” is not the best way to translate it here.


                I already quoted several lexicons on the subject; we can also consult the most authoritative lexicon, Liddell and Scott. This is classical Greek so it doesn’t have the doctrinal biases of the other lexicons. On page 212 it tells us that this word can be either abortion of untimely born.

                The best way to understand word meaning is by context. That’s the only way we are can really know who a writer used a word. It would not make any sense for Paul to call himself an abortion. He’s talking about his born again naure. He’s comparing his lowly status to the Apostles and pillars of the church and the Lord’s brother in their sighting of the risen Christ. He’s referring to the fact that he came on board so late. That makes sense and if makes sense in the very passage, can be seen clearly in English:

                3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[a]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas,[b] and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
                he was the las to see so he was untimely born. However, if he really said “abortion” that would take away his status as an Apostle or even as one who is saved. The context is clearly about being born again, and he defiantly thought he was born again. So it makes much more sense to translate it as “untimely born” and that removes the onus on his sense of self and really eliminates Hooks entire argument.




                2 0f 2

                Concrete Thinking
                We have seen above Paul’s use of literal and concrete language. Translators and readers struggle at times to make sense out of Paul’s use of the term “death,” for example, since it is plain that he has not died, and yet he means something beyond a mere comparison, a mere as if.

                When asked about a common proverb such as, “A rolling stone gathers no moss,” a paranoid schizophrenic often seems unable to understand the intent of the saying as a metaphor. In this example, his or her thoughts will focus on a real stone and real moss. Many paranoid schizophrenics seem to ignore the possibility that this saying may intentionally represent a metaphor. They do not recognize the adage as an elegant way of describing the benefits of stability and putting down roots. When a person either cannot or does not consider the abstract meaning of something, we label this concrete thinking.

                Paul’s Concrete Thinking
                Some claim that Paul speaks metaphorically about his worthlessness and his emptiness. They have no grounds for that belief, as there is there is no reason to think that Paul did not literally mean what he said when he wrote it.
                Of course they do. The whole concept of being untimely born is a metaphor. That’s a good reason why Hooks doesn’t translate it that way because it would destroy whole argument. That’s the only logical way it makes sense here, as Hooks himself says, He was not last, he was not dad, he wasn’t dead spiritually, so was not aborted. Hooks is reading in to the passages the meaning he wants to find. The passage in question is a passage about Paul’s worthiness he clearly makes a metaphor, the reference to birth is in itself a metaphor. The guy’s major piece of evidence contradicts his whole thesis.

                Although most Evangelicals do not believe Paul stopped sinning after giving control of his life to Christ, when Paul said he had no sin and could no longer sin, he likely meant it. Paul wrote repeatedly that once he had his life controlled by Christ, he stopped sinning. Paul said he believed that before Christ controlled his life, the Law controlled him and made him sin. As well, he states quite clearly that he could not sin without the Law. In Paul’s world, he simply had the Law abolished, taken away, and replaced by grace (Rom 6:14 NIV). No Law equaled no sin. For Paul this formula probably made sense.
                I knew at the outset this debate would just be a huge exercise in reading meanings into tiny little phrases. That’s just what he’s doing. Nowhere does Paul say that Jesus controls him like a puppet and that he can’t sin. In Romans he speaks of his own sin and his own sinful condition. Moreover, if he thought he could not sin at all p physically why would he call himself an abortion? The whole primes of Hooks argument Is that he saw himself as bad and evil because he did sin. Now suddenly he says he believe he could not sin. Then why was he aborted? The metaphor of birth he uses is a reference to being born again.

                Paul repeatedly wrote that once someone gives control over to Christ, he or she has no way of sinning.[1] I cannot find a single verse where Paul claimed that he sinned after his conversion.
                There is this one:
                Romans 7: 14-21
                14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
                21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
                Not only is he speaking in present tense, he also seems to assume this the natural course of conversion. That proves he’s speaking metaphorically about death. He would hardly advocate that people literally kill themselves to become Christians.

                Hooks is still just imposing his own view of what Paul meant on the text for no good reason. The view that Paul was not saying he was a puppet and still had normal human problems is just as well supported, or probably more so. There’s no reason to take his statements to such extremes except that Hooks argument depends upon doing so.

                Note the contradiction again that Paul hates himself because he sins, but then he assumes Paul thinks he can’t sin.

                A passage that implies that Christian can still sin but have the power through the spirit to resist sin:

                Romans i8:0 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life[d] because of righteousness. 11

                14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.[

                this also demonstaes metahproical thinkingk since the idea that we are children is a metaphor and it also shows he could not have meant to call himself an abortion since that would be pointless because we are children of God, not aborted fetuses.


                Many seem to misinterpret Paul’s laments and humility as an indication that he still sinned. This interpretation does not fit Paul’s claims, however. Rather, in lamenting his imperfect life, Paul acknowledged that Christ had a lousy piece of equipment to work with when he controlled Paul’s body.[2] He seemed amazed that Christ could accomplish so much with his wretched corpse. Paul talked as if he were a reporter describing what Christ did with his corpse. Regardless, Paul reported that he, as a part of Christ and despite his humility and lamenting, had no sin and could not sin.
                This is another metaphor, spiritual death. It suits my opponent’s purpose to see it as concrete thinking but it’s clearly not. He says as much when he speaks of “we are not talking about flesh and blood but about the spirit.” It’s spiritual death and spiritual life not real death and real life.

                No statement Paul makes ever says God controls his body like a marionette. He’s talking about spiritual strength, emotions not physical control. Ironically while Hooks is continually reading the literal into statements clearly metaphorical and then using them to argue that Paul couldn’t think metaphorically. Paul never says “I can still sin” because theres’ no reason to. He’s talking about how we all sin, he says it a lot, no one was teaching that God controls our bodies and we can’t sin, so there no need to point out “I can still sin.” I never went down to the breakfast table at home and told my parents “I am still your son.” Did that mean I was no longer their son? Argument from salience proves nothing.

                Paul claimed he “died” repeatedly. In one of many examples, Paul wrote, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:20 NIV).[3] Paul told others they must die also. Nothing about this claim has a basis in reality. We know Paul did not die before writing his letters. As well, Christ—the entity that Paul claimed had taken over his corpse—could not have written them. What did Paul mean by this?
                It’s beginning to strike me that atheists can’t understand metaphor. Here my opponent, who in all respect is an intelligent and well educated man, seeks to prove that Paul didn’t think metaphorically, yet when he get’s hold of something that doesn’t’ fit until it’s a metaphor he is all the more insist that the square peg fit the found whole, it can’t be a metaphor because his arguments needs it not to be. Look at the sense it makes as a metaphor! Paul says I no longer live but Christ lives in me, Hooks says “I need to be literal and yet it can’t be because he didn’t die. It must be that he thought Christ took over his dead body. That is a most ridiculous claim.

                (1) If that is the case then how is that he spent three years in desert learning in prayer? If he was must an animated corpse who wouldn’t he just depend upon God to put the words in his mouth when he needed them rather than learning something. Why does a corps need to learn? It makes so much more sense he’s obviously using death as a metaphor. The concept that our firend Hooks is missing is that death and life are metaphors for rights. Dead men don’t have rights, so we are dead to sin (we don’t have a right to sin) we are alilve to Christ (we live to serve Christ). That doesn’t mean we are puppets it just means we renounce our rights to sin and we live to serve Christ. All of that is obviously voiced as a metaphor. Hooks can’t have Paul use metaphors so he interprets it literally.




                Evangelicals take Paul’s claims seriously and often claim they have died. In some cases, they will say that they have “died to sin” but are “alive in Christ” (Rom 6:11 NIV). If we make this a metaphor it becomes, “I live as if I died to sin as a devoted follower of Jesus’ teachings.” This translates to, “I am trying to be a good person” or “I am trying to follow the teachings of Jesus.”
                Sorry, my opponent fails to comprehend the nature of Christian belief on this point. Because he doesn’t take seriously the idea of God’s presence being real or the idea of spiritual strength these comments that explain the meaning are void form his understanding. This something people used to talk about hey called it “the interior life.” It’s all over the world of Christian mysticism. All it means is that, as he says he has it half right, we reckon we are dead to sin and live for Christ. It also means that the Spirit give us the extra stamina to stick with the way of life. It’s not control like a marionette it’s just resolve through a sense of hope conveyed by God’s presence.



                However, Paul clearly did not mean this since he did not believe that he, the abortion, had even the ability to try to be a good person. Neither do Evangelicals. Like Paul, they often believe they had a worthless existence controlled by sin. They have worth only after they give control of their lives to Christ.
                Hooks thesis needs Paul to be self hating. That contradicts the thesis that Paul believed Christ gave him the power not to sin (self hate is based upon guilt over sin—in conventional parlance). I’ve pointed out this contradiction above; Hooks resolve it by assuming without any support except taking things as literally as possible the notion of the undead Apostle. Paul is thinking of himself as literally dead and believes that he I animated by God just a vampire or the undead knight is vivified by some magic force. This concept is totally without support. Its’j ust based upon over estimating Paul’s sense of sin, and under estimating his ability speak metaphorically, interrupting the word ektroma arbitrarily and reading these assumptions into every passage regardless of the context.
                Lord what fools these mortals be.
                Puc, Mid Sumer Night's Dream, A Midsummer-Night's Dream. Act III. Scene II

                President Roosevelt to Rich republicans: "I welcome your hatred."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Response to 2 of 2: Part 2

                  Paranoid Delusional Systems
                  This is not all that sets the paranoid schizophrenic apart. The schizophrenic has a fairly well-formed, coherent delusional system. By delusions, I mean, “false ideas that are not correctable by reasoning.”[4] Paranoid schizophrenic delusions differ from many other kinds of delusions.
                  Because his or her delusional system has well-formed and seemingly coherent elements, a paranoid schizophrenic does not necessarily sound too crazy. As the DSM-IV-TR, the standard diagnostic text of the mental health profession, notes, a paranoid schizophrenic does not exhibit the disorganized speech or behavior of other schizophrenics. This does not mean that their beliefs are less delusional, only that within the bounds of the delusion the system has a certain logic that often appears to hang together well.
                  Like most atheists he assumes religious believers have to be mentally ill or unable to think properly in some way or they would give up their beliefs they are obviously illogical. He can’t figure that he doesn’t put the pieces together the way you do, that doesn’t’ mean his thinking is bad. It also harkens back to my original observations about reading gin modern prejudice against religious belief. That is so absurd and self serving to assume delusions become someone hasn’t seen the issues the way you do.

                  Paul shares this trait with schizophrenics. This trait may create a much greater barrier to understanding and communicating with a person absorbed in a delusional world than many outside that world realize.
                  There is no example of apul using this tarit atl. What Hooks is calling the trait is totally unprovable because we do not have an example of Paul turning down a logical alterative. Given who Paul was, what he experienced, where and WHEN he grew up he is thinking in a perfectly logical way. He was a first century Palestinian Rabbi from Asia minor and that’s exactly how he thinks. For the time and place of his life his logic is fine. We have no example of him refusing to believe logic or that he didn’t alter his views based upon logic. What we see is a highly educated, very committed ideologue who gave his life to a cause and once committed seldom doubt the rightness of it. That gives him traits in common with Woodrow Wilson, was he schizophrenic?



                  Again, consider this about Paul: although his letters are ostensibly about Jesus, Paul did not seem to care at all about the actual person. If we tried to describe Jesus using only Paul’s letters, we would have next to nothing to go on. Paul’s thoughts had a paucity of content—another common feature of paranoid schizophrenia[5]—outside of his otherworldly system.
                  That’s a non-sequitter. He had not seen Jesus in the flesh so why should he try to describe him? They had witnesses who had seen him he allowed them to convey that sort of thing. Trying to read in a psychological diagnosis to a foreign culture in the ancient world based upon something that could be ascribed to other reasons, seems reckless. I understand he’s saying “as traits in common” and not that Paul is crazy. I do understand that. Yet finding the traits seem more a matter of reading them in.


                  Imagine for a moment that one of your friends writes you a twenty-page letter passionately wanting to share her excitement about a new teacher. This letter has only one topic—your friend’s new teacher. At the end of her letter, you still do not know one thing about her teacher. Yet, Paul presents the central figure of his theology this way. In fact, Paul kindly tells us he could not care less about Jesus, the man from Galilee, writing:
                  So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer (2 Cor 5:16 NIV).
                  This is an argument from silence; it really has no place in third argument. He doesn’t need it for his thesis. I don’t know why he bothers with it.

                  Paul actually says a lot more about Jesus than most people realize. I have a chart on Doxa that shows many allusions Paul makes to the Jesus story of the Gospels (that’s before any Gospel was written). There are about 24 allusions to Jesus’ life. The previous chart right before it on the same page shows numerous allusions to Gospel texts, not yet written (that’s only possible because they are from pre Mark redaction of he saying source)

                  http://www.doxa.ws/Myth/Paul_Jesus.html


                  For those of us not lost in a world of delusions, it might seem impossible to imagine how Paul could avoid telling one story or parable of—or fail to note one physical trait or personal quality of—Jesus. Nevertheless, Paul’s lack of interest in or even curiosity about the life of Jesus fits a characteristic pattern of paranoid delusions. A person consumed with his or her delusions has little energy for thoughts devoted to other subjects. Rational people, having had the transformative encounter with Christ that Paul describes, might enjoy learning everything they could about him. They might want to walk where Jesus walked. They might want to meet Jesus’ friends and family. Not Paul—he tells us that he served Christ for seventeen years before seeking out Jesus’ disciples in Jerusalem aside from Peter and James, the brother of Jesus.[6] He writes emphatically that he had nothing to learn from them.
                  (1) His assumption is wrong, Paul talks about Jesus and alludes to him several times
                  (2) Hooks is reading in a motive where any number of other explainations might do. Perhaps the thought since he has not met Jesus himself he wasn’t qualified to talk about it.
                  (3) The last comment he makes about not having time for other people is an absurd comment and makes me question if Hooks has actually the letters of Paul. Look at all the people he talks about in his greetings. He’s obviously maintaining a lot of warm person friendships.

                  Through his delusions, Paul already knew everything he wanted to know about Jesus, a man he never met. Did Paul’s Christ have pierced hands? Did he wear a robe and have long hair? Did he resemble a man at all? Did Paul’s Christ like to fish? We do not know. Paul never—ever—told us!

                  He is reading in assumptions not in evidence. I would hate to go to a shrink would so freely associate by his imagination about someone like this knowing so little about them.


                  As well, based on the verses we reviewed, along with Paul’s claims that all Christians make up Christ’s body, Paul did not seem to think of Jesus as a man from Galilee.
                  Here’s another goodie, Paul couldn’t think metaphorically because that would make him less mentally ill. Therefore when we see an obviously metaphor such as the “body of Christ” (which is taken from Jewish sources, so it can’t be a symptom of illness because it’s doctrine given him by this tradition) we just decide it can’t be metaphor even though it obviously is so we just interpret it to be times more schizoid than it is.



                  Indeed, some will recognize Paul’s claim to fellow Christians where he wrote, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it” (1 Cor 12:27 NIV). We may assume too much if we take for granted that Paul thinks of Jesus in a way that even remotely resembles the man from Galilee.
                  The distinction between the personal name “Jesus” and the official title “Christ” is lost on the atheist. In speaking of the Body of Christ he’s just extending he metaphor of the body of Israel or Israel as the bride of God, which we find in the OT and in the Qumran writings. He not talking about the body of Jesus of Nazareth but about the Messiah, the Christ. He’s speaking of formal body just as Israel is the body of God. Those are handed to him by prior generations.

                  [quote]It is possible for us to contemplate facts about the life of Jesus. For example, many people doubt that Jesus had a virgin mother. Since the details of Jesus’ life have a real-world historical context, we can attempt to confirm those details in some way. In fact, many, if not most, Evangelical apologetics are dedicated to sifting through the available historical facts about first-century Palestine and the culture and the habits of persons living in that time and place.

                  However, we cannot do that with Paul’s Jesus. Paul has detached himself so much from the reality of Jesus’ earthly life that the object of his delusions, Jesus, takes on a new name—Christ. Paul describes “Christ” in his letters with passion.
                  Here he speaks as though Paul made up the term Christ. That’s so ridiculous. This is an example of why atheists need to study theology. He has this big argument this a lynch pin in the argument and tis’ totally absolutely wrong and if he knew where it comes from he would see that. He’s too busy misinterpreting Paul to study theology so doesn’t know the term “Christ” (Cristos) was used by Greek speaking Jews (at that almost all Jews in Palestine) to double for the Hebrew word Messiah. This is a cultural construct that Pual receives from his culture he did not make it up.


                  He describes that he has given Christ complete control of his body to the point where he, Paul, has died. After his death, and after his new life in Christ, he takes on the qualities and powers of Christ. By “Christ,” Paul refers to the entity from his delusions that took control of his life.
                  He doesn’t say that. He never says “I’ve given God such control of my body that I died.” He says he’s dead to sin but alive to Christ, the interpolation of “he reckons himself dead emotionally and in terms of personal rights,” is not only perfectly logical and valid but is really mandates by the theology that he teaches. There’s no reason to read Paul the way Hooks does and it seems pretty obviously he’s doing to prove his theory to know what the text says.

                  Every claim in the Gospels about Jesus could prove accurate, but that would not alter one thing about Paul’s claims about his Christ. Even if Jesus lived and then died on a cross, we should feel confident that the Apostle Paul had nothing to do with him.
                  That’s a gross exaggeration that could be put to rest by the chart I link to above.
                  Lord what fools these mortals be.
                  Puc, Mid Sumer Night's Dream, A Midsummer-Night's Dream. Act III. Scene II

                  President Roosevelt to Rich republicans: "I welcome your hatred."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Response to 2-2; part 3

                    Delusions of Grandeur and Magical Thinking

                    The delusional systems of schizophrenics differ in particulars but share certain characteristics. Such systems “tend to be grandiose, in that the patient believes himself to be special, to be powerful, often to be magical. The other side of the coin is intense mistrust of others—since he is so important; his enemies are trying to harm him.”[7] As well, the group labeled paranoid schizophrenics “includes people who consistently believe that they have a different identity from their real one, who believe that they have a function that they do not have, or who believe that other people are plotting to harm them.”[8]
                    Of course every great human has felt that he was great. Sartre talked about when he was a child he imagined the Holy Spirit came to him and told he was the best person on earth. Goethe talks about how he felt set apart from other children. How do you know when you are having mental problems and you merely are aware of being gifited? If you make it you were great, if you don’t, you were a nut case. Paul never says “I am great” he says I have this big calling. He never ascribes it to his worth. There is a catch 22, if he doesn’t say “I’m great” that’s self hatred and if he does then that’s delusions of grandeur. So whatever he said he’s destined to fulfill Hooks theory because that’s hat Hooks wants to see.

                    The first chapter of Paul’s letter to the Roman Church, which I quoted extensively above, provides a good example of this aspect of magical thinking. We have seen that Paul believes that because Christ controls his body he can know the thoughts and feelings of others (Rom 1:18–32).
                    Of course he never says “I know what Gaius Titius is thinking” he says “I know what it’s like to be human.” I’ve seen this ploy used by atheist on the boards. It’s the latest gimmick to avoid the guilt mixed with self loathing that atheists feel; refuse to accept the basic lo down on the human conditions that humans know about from being human. That’s what Paul is saying, he’s not speaking as a mind reader but as a man.


                    He can know God’s thoughts and has taken on the power and authority of God and Christ. Because of this, the enemies of God and Christ became his enemies as well, and they were “given over” to every form of depravity and wickedness. Paul tells his readers in other places that their enemies—who are God’s enemies as well—are both evil and strong. As he famously put it:
                    For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph 6:12 KJV).
                    Most of what Paul says comes from his understanding of rabbinical sources from having studied with the top Rabbi in the country. This is put over as special revelation so Hooks is doing what all Shrinks did in the Time of Freud up to late 20th century; ascribe all religious belief to some form of neurosis or mental problem. This is what I talked about in my three observations up front. He’s just interpreting his own prejudices and reading them back into the text. Religious experience is mental illness and it makes you say and think crazy things, anything Paul says he’s going to find a place to plug it in to his own massive grandiose scheme of how benighted religious people are.
                    Paul quite plainly attributes his knowledge of Christ to visions and revelation, not facts. For example, he writes:
                    I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ …
                    I did not consult any man, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus (Gal 1:11–12, 16–17 NIV).
                    We have to see that as mental illness, sure of course we do, it couldn’t possibly be true! The problem is most of the imagery he uses such as the seven heavens are part of the Mar Kaba mysticism which was the forerunner of Cabalistic systems. That means it’s not the product of some hallucination or some malfunction of the mind it’s a cultural construct. He’s just taking doctrines, images, ideas that were part of his tradition and playing with them to make points. If he really did have visions (not part of mystical experience) then those were images already part of his tradition.

                    Or again:
                    I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows—was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell (2 Cor 12:1–4 NIV).
                    One would think that would contracts the self loathing idea. If he didn’t have them he would be self loathing but he does so he’s delusional. If he just worked at a normal job and never said anything interesting he would be traumatized. Whatever he said, however he said it, it’s mental illness.



                    Paul did not distinguish facts from his visions. We have seen before that Paul knew that other people had rejected God because God’s invisible qualities were “clearly seen.” Paul expected his readers to accept that he had seen Christ in the same way they saw a tree, a fence, or any other object. For Paul, Christ became a clearly visible part of the universe. Even though Evangelicals do not have visions, they follow Paul and accept Christ as a clearly visible part of the universe.
                    Paul doesn’t tell us much about any of that stuff. It’ not surprising to me that someone with some basic training in modern psychology would try to reduce the New Testament to mental illness. He has to come to terms the fact that there’s a huge moment in modern psychology that is through with that garbage. They are now aware that religion is the norm, religious experience is good for you it’ not related to inanity or mental illness, a host of studies demonstrate that. This is really an old time out of fashion approach

                    One can read more about that movement on the site of Dr. Neilsen
                    http://www.psywww.com/psyrelig/index.htm
                    http://www.doxa.ws/experience/Instict2.html
                    Quote:

                    Amaro--
                    "Nowadays there are many who do not agree with the notion that religious behavior a priori implies a neurotic state to be decoded and eliminated by analysis (exorcism). That reductionism based on the first works by Freud is currently under review. The psychotherapist should be limited to observing the uses their clients make of the representations of the image of God in their subjective world, that is, the uses of the function of omnipotence. Among the several authors that subscribe to this position are Odilon de Mello Franco (12), .... W. R. Bion (2), one of the most notable contemporary psychoanalysts, ..."

                    [sources sited by Amaro BION, W. R. Atenção e interpretação (Attention and interpretation). Rio de Janeiro: Imago, 1973.

                    MELLO FRANCO, O. de. Religious experience and psychoanalysis: from man-as-god to man-with-god. Int. J. of Psychoanalysis (1998) 79,]
                    atheists on carm have tried to calim that I took this out of context. I sure has hell did not. The reason they think I did is because they don’t understand theology well enough to get what my view is. They think I’m a fundamentalist so when they see that Amaro is talking about views not related necessarily to fundametnailsm then they think it’s a contradiction to my beliefs and I’m talking it out of context. That comes from not understanding liberal theology. This is not out of context and it doesn’t matter that he might include spiritual atheists. That doesn’t disprove what he says above, that religious behavior does not imply mental illness.
                    Lord what fools these mortals be.
                    Puc, Mid Sumer Night's Dream, A Midsummer-Night's Dream. Act III. Scene II

                    President Roosevelt to Rich republicans: "I welcome your hatred."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      disclaimer: I recognize that Hooks is not arguing that Paul was insane but that he shames some qualities with exhibited by people that psychology labels as "schizophrenic."
                      Lord what fools these mortals be.
                      Puc, Mid Sumer Night's Dream, A Midsummer-Night's Dream. Act III. Scene II

                      President Roosevelt to Rich republicans: "I welcome your hatred."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Was Paul a Oracle of God, a Liar, or a Lunatic? (Part 1 of 2)

                        Paul tells us clearly and directly that he was an oracle of God. So, we could change the familiar trilemma applied to Jesus and apply it to Paul.
                        Was Paul an oracle of God, liar, or a lunatic?

                        Paul separates himself from most clerics by claiming to have had visions and special revelations. In fact, his claims are so clear on the subject that virtually anyone who didn’t believe he actually communicated with a god would probably take for granted that he had delusions caused by mental illness—including Christians. As a result, the only important question we have with regard to the Apostle Paul is: Did Paul communicate with a god?

                        Christians have no grounds for believing Paul communicated with a god—out of all the people of his time, who claimed to be oracles. And Metacrock, it seems, prefers to ignore Paul’s own words about his letters. Meta wrote,
                        Originally posted by Metacrock View Post
                        Most of what Paul says comes from his understanding of rabbinical sources from having studied with the top Rabbi in the country.
                        If Christians choose to believe this, then they would have to call Paul a liar. Because this is what Paul says in his own words:

                        I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ …
                        I did not consult any man, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus (Gal 1:11–12, 16–17 NIV).

                        Unlike Metacrock, and most Christians, I do not believe Paul was lying here. I believe he honestly thought he had some sort of supernatural encounter with God. It is no great leap of faith—taking Paul’s own words seriously—to conclude he probably suffered from delusions.

                        The question then becomes simply, what is the source of his visions/revelations? If it is from a competent god, then we wouldn’t expect other things Paul says to be consistent with mental illness. On the other hand, if Paul’s visions and revelations were part of pattern that was common in mental illness, the validity of Paul’s claims could be questioned. What would be more likely—Paul had personal revelations from a real god, and coincidentally displayed characteristics in common with paranoid schizophrenics, or Paul had a condition that was similar—if not identical to—paranoid schizophrenia?

                        It seems to me that it is far more likely that Paul was no different than every other oracle of god from his time, and from our time. We have no grounds for believing Paul was in communication with a god. And it is clear that Metacrock has most definitely not established any reasons why we should regard him differently than we regard any man, who claims to have direct communication with God … or Elvis, or space aliens.

                        I will show two things about Paul’s writing that are typical of paranoid schizophrenics. First I will show how his delusions are bizarre in the typical way that they are in schizophrenics. Next, I will reinforce what I made clear in the last posts, which is that Paul’s sense of worthlessness, and his beliefs about the worthlessness of the human condition are outside the bounds of normal, and cannot be validated in reality.

                        Diagnosing Paranoid Schizophrenia
                        We lack at least two pieces of evidence that would enable us to make a conclusive diagnosis of schizophrenia. First, we do not know the duration of Paul’s schizophrenic thinking. Next, did Paul have any medical conditions that could explain his symptoms? We do not know. Nor do we know anything about his diet or any environmental exposure that could have had mind-altering properties. For these reasons, ruling out other medical conditions is impossible and makes any diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia provisional.

                        Leaving the possibility of other medical conditions aside for now, can we consider whether Paul meets the other criteria for diagnosing paranoid schizophrenia? The first criterion deals with delusions. Can we say that Paul was deluded? Of course, any analysis of delusions is inherently subjective. Nonetheless, Paul’s writings have many elements that could reasonably be described as deluded. Further, certain characteristic features of a delusion recur commonly in paranoid schizophrenia, while these features rarely manifest themselves in other disorders. Indeed, in the DSM-IV’s criteria for delusions associated with paranoid schizophrenia, if a person’s delusion fits the criteria for being bizarre, that feature alone would satisfy the criteria that address thinking and reasoning in support of a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia. The DSM-IV offers this explanation of bizarre delusions:

                        Although bizarre delusions are considered to be especially characteristic of schizophrenia, “bizarreness” may be difficult to judge, especially across different cultures. Delusions are deemed bizarre if they are clearly implausible and not understandable and do not derive from ordinary life experiences … Delusions that express a loss of control over mind or body are generally considered to be bizarre; these include a person’s belief that his or her thoughts have been taken away by some outside force (“thought withdrawal”), that alien thoughts have been put into his or her mind (“thought insertion”), or that his or her body or actions are being acted on or manipulated by some outside force (“delusions of control”). If the delusions are judged to be bizarre, only this single symptom is needed to satisfy Criterion A [Characteristic symptoms] for schizophrenia.[i]

                        Do Paul’s letters demonstrate the necessary elements to judge them as containing bizarre delusions? Yes. Many examples provide all the elements for judging them bizarre. Indeed, we could make a credible case for bizarreness simply from this passage in Romans:

                        So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.
                        What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “Do not covet.” But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead. Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.
                        For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.
                        We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
                        So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.
                        What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Rom 7:4–25 NIV).

                        It would be a nice touch, in this formal debate, if Metacrock actually gave a defense of this passage in Romans. Specifically, he needs to show why this passage is anything other than a bizarre psychotic rant.

                        Furthermore, this passage has the aforementioned claimed of wretchedness and worthlessness that—although familiar to Christians—is aberrant. And if the interested reader doesn’t think so, change the word “man” to “boy” and imagine your fifth grade son saying, “What a wretched boy I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?”

                        Here are some other claims by Paul, which are utterly contemptuous of the human condition, and have no basis in reality.

                        Paul’s Texts on Worthlessness
                        I have earlier discussed Paul’s lacking sense of self and his concept of worthlessness. This theme, too, stretches across most of his writings. I have highlighted some of the places where this theme comes to the fore. (I was merely going to give the references to conserve, but I have decided to include the passages, so the reader doesn’t have to look them up.)


                        Romans

                        No one who understands, no one who seeks God … all … become worthless.… Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips … ruin and misery mark their ways (Rom 3:11–16 NIV).
                        For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23 NIV).
                        When we were still powerless (Rom 5:5 NIV).
                        When we were God’s enemies (Rom 5:10 NIV).
                        Therefore just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned (Rom 5:12 NIV).
                        For if the many died by the trespass of the one man (Rom 5:15 NIV)
                        We died to sin … Know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.… Our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.… In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.… Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life (Rom 6:2–4, 6–8, 11–13 NIV).
                        You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Those things result in death! When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. You … have become slaves to God … For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 6:18–23 NIV).
                        For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature … To the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires. The mind of sinful man is death (Rom 8:3, 5–6 NIV).
                        But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin … he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.… For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live (Rom 8:10–11, 13 NIV).

                        Galatians
                        But when God, who set me apart from birth (Gal 1:15 NIV).
                        I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me (Gal 2:20 NIV).
                        Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? (Gal 4:8–9 NIV).
                        So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law (Gal 5:16–18 NIV).
                        Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires (Gal 5:24 NIV).
                        If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself (Gal 6:3 NIV).
                        The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life (Gal 6:8 NIV).
                        The world has been crucified to me, and I to the world … What counts is a new creation.… Finally, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus (Gal 6:14–15, 17 NIV).

                        Ephesians
                        As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins.… All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath (Eph 2:1, 3 NIV).
                        For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles (Eph 3:1 NIV).
                        I am less than the least of all God’s people (Eph 3:8 NIV).
                        Put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires (Eph 4:22 NIV).
                        For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.… Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them (Eph 5:8, 11 NIV).
                        “Wake up, O sleeper,
                        rise from the dead …
                        because the days are evil” (Eph 5:14–15 NIV).

                        Philippians
                        Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far (Phil 1:20–23 NIV).
                        We who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh (Phil 3:3 NIV).
                        But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own (Phil 3:7–9 NIV).
                        The Lord Jesus Christ … under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body (Phil 3:20 NIV).

                        1. American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Text Revision (Washington DC: American Psychiatric Association, 2000), 312. 299.
                        Last edited by Hooks; 06-20-11, 05:37 PM.
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                        • #13
                          Was Paul a Oracle of God, a Liar, or a Lunatic? (Part 2 of 2)

                          Paul’s Texts on Worthlessness (continued)



                          Colossians

                          For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness (Col 1:13 NIV).
                          Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior (Col 1:21 NIV).
                          Having been buried with him in baptism … You were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature (Col 2:12–13 NIV).
                          You died with Christ (Col 2:20 NIV).
                          Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature … since you have taken off your old self with its practices … and have put on the new self (Col 3:2–5, 10 NIV).

                          1 Corinthians
                          God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are (1 Cor 1:27–28 NIV).
                          I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power (1 Cor 2:3–5 NIV).
                          You are still worldly … Are you not acting like mere men? (1 Cor 3:3 NIV).
                          For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like men condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to men. We are fools for Christ (1 Cor 4:9–10 NIV).
                          So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge (1 Cor 8:11 NIV).
                          Last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born [aborted/miscarried]. For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am (1 Cor 15:8–10 NIV).
                          If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith (1 Cor 15:14 NIV).
                          If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men (1 Cor 15:19 NIV).
                          I die every day—I mean that, brothers (1 Cor 15:31 NIV).
                          What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body (1 Cor 15:36–38 NIV).

                          2 Corinthians
                          The earthly tent we live in … We groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.… As long as we are at home in the body, we are away from the Lord.… We … would prefer to be away from the body (2 Cor 5:1–4, 6, 8 NIV).
                          If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. We are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.…
                          We regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Cor 5: 13–14, 16–17 NIV).
                          God made him who had no sin to be sin for us (2 Cor 5:21 NIV).
                          I appeal to you—I, Paul, who am “timid” when face to face with you, but “bold” when away (2 Cor 10:1 NIV).
                          For some say, “His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing” (2 Cor 10:10 NIV).
                          Last edited by Hooks; 06-20-11, 05:37 PM.
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                          • #14
                            Trilima applied to paul part 1
                            2nd negative constrcutive


                            you have actually violated the rules you agreed to debate by. I guess they are hard to follow. This is actually a rebuttal and so you shouldn't be making new arguments. I'll accept that's second affirmative. however, no new arguments after this, you still must answer the old ones.

                            Originally posted by Hooks View Post
                            Paul tells us clearly and directly that he was an oracle of God. So, we could change the familiar trilemma applied to Jesus and apply it to Paul.
                            Was Paul an oracle of God, liar, or a lunatic?
                            Where does Paul say he was an oracle? Oracle si the words itself. Paul never claimed to be divine.

                            Paul separates himself from most clerics by claiming to have had visions and special revelations. In fact, his claims are so clear on the subject that virtually anyone who didn’t believe he actually communicated with a god would probably take for granted that he had delusions caused by mental illness—including Christians. As a result, the only important question we have with regard to the Apostle Paul is: Did Paul communicate with a god?
                            Paul is hardly the first person to claim to have had had visions, but it's not clear what he means by that. Does he mean that he heard an audible voice? Of does he just mean that God expanding his understanding so that suddenly old passages had new applications he had not thought of before?

                            Moreover you are making assertions about religious that have no evidence to back up. You can't assert that having visions and voices is always the same for ever one. Just becuase one persona's visions are false delusion doesn't mean all visions are so.

                            by begging the question you are arguing in a circle.



                            Christians have no grounds for believing Paul communicated with a god—out of all the people of his time, who claimed to be oracles.
                            sure we do, that's another assertion for which you have no back up. The prima facie reason we have is that Paul said it. The Christian tradition, the magisterium and the Bishops accepted Paul's testimony so should we. We don't reasons beyond that it's a prima facie reason.



                            And Metacrock, it seems, prefers to ignore Paul’s own words about his letters. Meta wrote, If Christians choose to believe this, then they would have to call Paul a liar. Because this is what Paul says in his own words:

                            I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ …
                            that doesn't have to mean literal visions and voices. it could just as easily be the assumption he makes about get the new ideas.


                            I did not consult any man, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus (Gal 1:11–12, 16–17 NIV).
                            still doesn't say visions and voices. The only visions and voices we know about are the Damascus road experience and the one he related as "i knew a man" with the seen heavens, we know noting about it's content. Was it in a dream? or a real vision. we don't know. one thing we do know is it was a standard belief and practice of Markaba mysticism to have a vision of the seven heavens. The seven heavens were the forerunner of the Capalistic system.


                            Unlike Metacrock, and most Christians, I do not believe Paul was lying here. I believe he honestly thought he had some sort of supernatural encounter with God. It is no great leap of faith—taking Paul’s own words seriously—to conclude he probably suffered from delusions.
                            you are also interpreting him in a way that bolsters your assumptions about his sanity rather than actually taking seriously what he says. You are reading in a meaning in such a way as to bolster your argument.

                            The question then becomes simply, what is the source of his visions/revelations? If it is from a competent god, then we wouldn’t expect other things Paul says to be consistent with mental illness. On the other hand, if Paul’s visions and revelations were part of pattern that was common in mental illness, the validity of Paul’s claims could be questioned. What would be more likely—Paul had personal revelations from a real god, and coincidentally displayed characteristics in common with paranoid schizophrenics, or Paul had a condition that was similar—if not identical to—paranoid schizophrenia?
                            you have no real reason to say he's mentally ill you are reading symptoms you want to be there. I took your assertion apart in part 1 where you manipulate things and contradict yourself. Whatever he said you would say it is indicative of mental illness. if he said "voices and visions are for fools" you would say proves he was mentally ill.

                            It seems to me that it is far more likely that Paul was no different than every other oracle of god from his time, and from our time. We have no grounds for believing Paul was in communication with a god.
                            Sure as hell do. The Magisterium accepted his views as coming from God. That's the authority of the tradition. There's no need for any other basis.



                            And it is clear that Metacrock has most definitely not established any reasons why we should regard him differently than we regard any man, who claims to have direct communication with God … or Elvis, or space aliens.
                            This is a huge misconception about the nature of belief. I do not have to establish reasons and I don't have to prove them to you. It's the basis of the community and the tradition to accept the decisions of the Bishops and to respect their teaching authority. It comes with the pancake just accepting that a creed is a historically based test for membership in the fiat, so accepting the authoritative nature of Paul's words becasue they testified to by the community, is also part of the faith.

                            There is no reason why I should have to prove that any more than I have to prove that I really believe in god or I'm my parents son. Only if I want to convince others that I have to prove anything. You are outside the tradition, you are not in the club. you don't have a right to judge the club. It's a community.

                            The attestation of the chruch of Paul's day is enough.
                            Lord what fools these mortals be.
                            Puc, Mid Sumer Night's Dream, A Midsummer-Night's Dream. Act III. Scene II

                            President Roosevelt to Rich republicans: "I welcome your hatred."

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                            • #15
                              Part 2--2NC

                              I will show two things about Paul’s writing that are typical of paranoid schizophrenics. First I will show how his delusions are bizarre in the typical way that they are in schizophrenics. Next, I will reinforce what I made clear in the last posts, which is that Paul’s sense of worthlessness, and his beliefs about the worthlessness of the human condition are outside the bounds of normal, and cannot be validated in reality.

                              Diagnosing Paranoid Schizophrenia
                              We lack at least two pieces of evidence that would enable us to make a conclusive diagnosis of schizophrenia. First, we do not know the duration of Paul’s schizophrenic thinking. Next, did Paul have any medical conditions that could explain his symptoms? We do not know. Nor do we know anything about his diet or any environmental exposure that could have had mind-altering properties. For these reasons, ruling out other medical conditions is impossible and makes any diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia provisional.
                              I question your knowledge of schizophrenia. I think that's a catch all term that applies to a lot of things, the psychiatric commu8nity has always been divided on it. I have cared for a close family member with that diagnosis for 30 years and his symptoms don't' fit the one's you assign to Paul. I happen to know form 30 years of dealing with the nut hatch industry that it's not settled what the term means or what the symptoms are. In broad general terms if someone is functional they basically assume they are ok. If they are ot functional that's when they sticking fancy labels on them.

                              no one was more functional than Paul. His drive marks him as obsessive but he got things done, organized a whole wing of the chruch spread from maybe Spain thoroughgoing Asia minor. Certainly including Rome and Greece. He dished practical advice and was headed by a huge segment of the Christian movement, and admired and attested to by the major leaders of the community.

                              Leaving the possibility of other medical conditions aside for now, can we consider whether Paul meets the other criteria for diagnosing paranoid schizophrenia? The first criterion deals with delusions. Can we say that Paul was deluded?
                              circular. you are just confirming your prejudices. you start with the assumption that religion is delusion, Paul was religoius, so he was delusional. You assert that anyone who thinks they are in contact with God has to be mentally ill so therefore Paul is mentally ill a priori. You are totally ignoring huge swaths of modern psychiatric community who are done with Freud's lame assertions.


                              Of course, any analysis of delusions is inherently subjective.

                              you say that as though it means something of cousre it does not. not to you.


                              Nonetheless, Paul’s writings have many elements that could reasonably be described as deluded.
                              Yes, becasue they are religoius.

                              Further, certain characteristic features of a delusion recur commonly in paranoid schizophrenia, while these features rarely manifest themselves in other disorders. Indeed, in the DSM-IV’s criteria for delusions associated with paranoid schizophrenia, if a person’s delusion fits the criteria for being bizarre, that feature alone would satisfy the criteria that address thinking and reasoning in support of a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia. The DSM-IV offers this explanation of bizarre delusions:

                              Although bizarre delusions are considered to be especially characteristic of schizophrenia, “bizarreness” may be difficult to judge, especially across different cultures. Delusions are deemed bizarre if they are clearly implausible and not understandable and do not derive from ordinary life experiences … Delusions that express a loss of control over mind or body are generally considered to be bizarre; these include a person’s belief that his or her thoughts have been taken away by some outside force (“thought withdrawal”), that alien thoughts have been put into his or her mind (“thought insertion”), or that his or her body or actions are being acted on or manipulated by some outside force (“delusions of control”). If the delusions are judged to be bizarre, only this single symptom is needed to satisfy Criterion A [Characteristic symptoms] for schizophrenia.[i]

                              Of closure your idea of Bizarre is based upon whatever is religious. here again you are violating my original two major obs. remember? you are confusing culture with diagnosis and your consider the issues from the standpoint of a modern shrink rather than someone in the ancient world in Greaco/Roman and Hebrew culture.

                              Getting messages from God is considered bizarre in modern America but not in ancinet Rome. Not in ancinet Jerusalem. that's an accepted cultural trait to have visions and get messages. That's how it was done. Anyone who did not do that was not a good teacher. So it's just part of the community competence of teaching authority.

                              the real test is going to be functionality.

                              I also have to urge that you revoke something you are saying. you are assuming we all supposed to accept your authority. I know from dealing psychiatric characters some of them are as nuttier as the patents. You need to be quoted printed material of a scholarly nature. you have documented little.


                              Do Paul’s letters demonstrate the necessary elements to judge them as containing bizarre delusions? Yes. Many examples provide all the elements for judging them bizarre. Indeed, we could make a credible case for bizarreness simply from this passage in Romans:
                              Bizarre by the standards of modern America? bizarre by the standards of ancinet world? That makes a huge difference.

                              quotes Paul to prove he's nuts


                              So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.
                              (Rom 7:4–25 NIV).
                              All of that is based upon the understanding of Paul's milieu. he's thinking in the categories of Rabbinical lore and of Biblical scholarship of Jews in first century Palestine and Asia minor. you are doing exactly what I said you would do way back in my first post. you are confusing the culture and theology of Paul's say with something bizarre beaus it's different from the categories of a modern American.


                              It would be a nice touch, in this formal debate, if Metacrock actually gave a defense of this passage in Romans. Specifically, he needs to show why this passage is anything other than a bizarre psychotic rant.
                              you have not yet established why it is a bizarre rant. You are acting like a Xenophobic school marm. "it's something different from what I know'd, so it must be evil!" Come on man you are an educated adult surely you have heard of cultural differences haven't you? In the more rural hinterlands of modern America where extremely primitive types still live in a manner much the pioneers, such as Dallas and Houston, Paul's utterance isn't bizarre at all. Its' quite normal. Not only are you Xenophobic about cultures thousands of years and miles from your current orientation but your views are also culturally bound and separate you from whole societies in modern America.

                              with your assertions you would put every Baptist in Dallas (about a half million) on prosaic and stick hem in institutions. That may give us a chuckle was we consider what it would to the Republican vote (hey, can you get started right away?) it doesn't really any basis in fact.

                              Its' just as simple as this, like Shrinks in the soviet union your just judging those with the other ideology as ill becasue they don't agree with your world view.

                              Furthermore, this passage has the aforementioned claimed of wretchedness and worthlessness that—although familiar to Christians—is aberrant. And if the interested reader doesn’t think so, change the word “man” to “boy” and imagine your fifth grade son saying, “What a wretched boy I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?”
                              the passage is not at all aberrant it's exactly the kind of thing Rabbis talked about and just the way people thought in that era. The whole "I'm ok, you are Ok" thing is modern did you not know that? Before about 1900 it was not normal to assume that you are good and people are good it was normal to assume people are bad.

                              The real standard is going to be functionality not how close to your world view a utterance comes.

                              remember my three original observations:

                              I. We must avoid confusing modern cultural phenomena with universal principles about humanity. Aka imposing our cuture as mental health

                              Just because we find that in our time and our culture that psychosis takes a ****** form that all behaviors in history that seem similar to that form are therefore pyschosis. This is important because he has to avoid reading in his own modern understanding from culture and imposing it on a time and a place where it may not apply. There is no empirical scientific study form the ancient world establishing that their mental health was the same as our mental health.

                              II. We must avoid confusing spiritual experience and belief with bad mental health.
                              Aka imposing mutualism at mental health


                              We can’t assume that just because we feel we know better than ancient world people that this means their beliefs are the result of mental illness. So we have to watch for Hooks to read into the words of Paul assumptions about his mental state based upon a sense of norm form our own culture, and ignoring the spiritual insight and belief of Paul’s day. What appears to be psychosis to a modern person might just be normal belief to an ancient world person.

                              In other words I expect him to read in his own ideas to Paul’s words.

                              III. We must avoid the assumption that mythical experience is mental illness.
                              Aka preoscriging religions as mental illness.


                              I think his assumptions are coming from a basic distrust of religious experience. A huge number of studies demonstrate that mystical experience is not mental illness. Based upon these insights we have to give Paul the benefit of a doubt.

                              Therefore Paul has presumption. That means Hooks has the burden of proof he must prove his case with data not merely with interpretation.

                              Look at his first speech and I will show that he is merely imposing his own views.
                              Last edited by Metacrock; 06-23-11, 06:26 PM.
                              Lord what fools these mortals be.
                              Puc, Mid Sumer Night's Dream, A Midsummer-Night's Dream. Act III. Scene II

                              President Roosevelt to Rich republicans: "I welcome your hatred."

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