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Author Topic: Judeo-Christian polytheism?
King of Men
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You're not being very original here, I'm afraid; this is actually the source of the Wandering Jew legend. [Smile]
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MrSquicky
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That was interesting. I didn't know that there was a Wandering Jew connection in there. I always thought the Wandering Jew was supposed to be someone cursed because he mocked Jesus on the way to the crucifixion.

Noemon,
Yeah, they'd be an interesting pair.

Set it in the present day and you can throw in a group that is trying to bring about the second coming of Christ by harvesting the genes of Jesus's family and doing human cloning.

Deliverance for the WJ from his cursed immortality (or maybe he's made accomodations with it by now), but Jesus's disciple has a troubling dilemna, assuming he (or she) is enjoying immortality.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:

But then what have all these other people been raving about, claiming there is no difference?

Nobody is saying that. People have been saying, however, that your statements describing the difference are incorrect and misinformed.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
People have been saying, however, that your statements describing the difference are incorrect and misinformed.
But Ron is the smartest, most informed of everyone here on a wide variety of issues! Just who do you think you are, anyway, mph, to question the great and powerful Ron/Oz?

--------------

Yeah, well, seeing as how Ron has repeatedly ignored direct questions insisting he back up some of his especially stupid statements, I'm not going to act like this is a real conversation, and instead just poke fun at him.

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King of Men
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
That was interesting. I didn't know that there was a Wandering Jew connection in there. I always thought the Wandering Jew was supposed to be someone cursed because he mocked Jesus on the way to the crucifixion.

Well, I guess I should say, one of the sources. The Wiki lists your explanation as well.
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Occasional
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MrSquicky, that is exactly what Mormons believe about John the beloved; that he was granted immortality. Of course, that brings up the whole Three Nephites thing who are also supposed to be granted immortality to wander the earth doing good.
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MattP
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I once met a missionary who claimed to have had met John the Beloved in a diner.
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Javert Hugo
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There are a hundred Mormon urban legends like that.
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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
Lisa said: "But things go more smoothly if controversial views of religion aren't shouted from the rooftops, and I've been trying to avoid that."

So you have been trying to drown me out, Lisa? [Smile]

With truth, yes.

quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
I hope you at least appreciate I am not among those

Yeesh. Who cares?
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pooka
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I thought I met John the Beloved in the mental Hospital, and St. Paul also. He kept calling me Charlotte.
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MightyCow
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Sorry pooka, that's what the nurse told me your name was.
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Kent
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Pooka, since you have never heard of the Council of Gods, I guess I'll take some time to educate you and everyone else. Look at the last quote which is especially pertinent to the discussion at hand.

D&C 121:32
quote:
According to that which was ordained in the midst of the Council of the Eternal God of all other gods before this dworld was, that should be reserved unto the finishing and the end thereof, when every man shall enter into his eternal epresence and into his immortal frest.
Joseph Smith in the King Follet discourse:
quote:
It read first, "The head one of the Gods brought forth the Gods"; that is the true meaning of the words. Baurau signifies to bring forth. If you do not believe it, you do not believe the learned man of God. No man can teach you more than what I have told you. Thus the head God brought forth the Gods in the grand council. I will simplify it in the English language. Oh, ye lawyers and ye doctors who have persecuted me, I want to let you know that the Holy Ghost knows something as well as you do. The head God called together the Gods, and they sat in grand council. The grand councilors sat in yonder heavens and contemplated the creation of the worlds that were created at that time.
Another link
quote:
Though Joseph’s views concerning a divine council of deities shocked many contemporary 19th century Christians, today, biblical scholars recognize that the council of Gods provides “a fundamental symbol for the Old Testament understanding of how the government of human society by the divine world is carried out”; Patrick D. Miller, “Cosmology and World Order in the Old Testament,” Israelite Religion and Biblical Theology (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2000), 432.

In an important article published in 1975, biblical scholar N.L.A. Tidwell provided a definition of the biblical council genre as

“a narrative of events in the heavenly council on an occasion when the council is gathered to make some fateful decision concerning the affairs of men. In fact, wherever in the OT the activities of the council are described, or the deliberations of the council may by thought to be alluded to, some decision of great moment is always involved.” “Wa’omar (Zech. 3:5) and the Genre of Zechariah’s Fourth Vision,” Journal of Biblical Literature, 94 (1975): 352.

In the ancient Near East, stories of the divine council typically begin with a crisis in which the head God calls together the gods of the council to resolve the dilemma. During the council, a series of proposals are offered. Finally, a “savior” steps forward, offering his services to the council. This savior then receives a commission to perform his redemptive role (this summary is based upon the pattern identified by Simon Parker, “Council,” in Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, 206).

This common Near Eastern pattern is witnessed, for example, in the Mesopotamian story of divine kingship known as Enuma Elish.

In the Babylonian myth, the head god of the pantheon calls together the gods in a council to resolve the dilemma created by the goddess Tiamat. Following a series of proposals, Marduk, the chief god of Babylon, receives a commission as savior. In the myth, Marduk agrees to perform the role of savior on the condition that his Father, Ea, the head god of the council, will grant Marduk all power and glory. The same pattern appears in the Assyrian myth Anzu, however, in this rendition, the god Ninurta agrees to serve as council savior while allowing his father to retain his position within the council.


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erosomniac
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quote:
Pooka, since you have never heard of the Council of Gods, I guess I'll take some time to educate you and everyone else.
Thank you, sir, for bequeathing thy knowledge upon us, but more for gracing us with the gift of time, that most precious of all coin!
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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Kent:
quote:
It read first, "The head one of the Gods brought forth the Gods"; that is the true meaning of the words. Baurau signifies to bring forth.

What's being referred to here is the first three words of the Bible. It says "Bereishit bara Elohim" ("In the beginning, God created"). The rabbis in the Talmud relate that when Ptolemy II wanted to have the Bible translated, he called 70 Sages together and put them in rooms separately, having each one translate the Torah. Each of the 70 men made certain changes in translation in places where they knew those who don't understand would make a mistake.

One of these was the first three words. They translated it so that it read "God created in the beginning". The reason they did that was because someone might otherwise have misunderstood and thought that the name Elohim was the plural word elohim, and that it was saying "In the beginning, He created gods", or that it said "Bereshit created God".

Joseph Smith clearly knew some Hebrew. Take Nauvoo, for example. But he also clearly learned it from an Ashkenazi Jew, as evidence by the vowels: baurau rather than bara. Nauvoo rather than navu.

Also, that verb doesn't mean "to bring forth" as such. It means creation ex nihilo, or something from nothing. Which as I understand it, goes against Mormon theology, but that's okay.

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Kent
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Lisa, I'm not arguing this with you.
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Lisa
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Who's arguing? I actually think it's cool that he knew some Hebrew.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Clearly the son of man has not yet come in his kingdom; equally clearly all who stood there listening to Jesus have in fact tasted death.
LOL I honestly could not think what scripture you would point out as I assumed it was general knowledge that the apostle John has yet to taste of death, and that he labors as an emissary of God until Jesus comes again.

I am certain their are Christians that disagree completely on whether John is still alive today.

edit: But you are right, either somebody is still alive or else Jesus thought the 2nd coming was alot sooner then it has been. Or else everyone seems to have missed it except JWs. I can understand why one would tend to think the 2nd option is more likely then the first.

Thanks for pointing that out KOM.

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MrSquicky
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quote:
I assumed it was general knowledge that the apostle John has yet to taste of death
1) Why would you assume that?
2) That's actually a legitimate LDS belief!?!

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Jon Boy
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Thanks for your respect.
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MrSquicky
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Oh come on, you've got to admit that that is extremely out there. You've got to expect a little incredulity. I thought it was just another bit of the weird things that Occ likes to claim are LDS doctrine.

I mean, I'm still not sure. LDS believe that John the Apostle is, right now, walking the earth. This is correct? It's not like a myth or something like that. Actual person, still alive, leaving no historical footprint?

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King of Men
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You know, if the beloved John wanted to really proselytize, all he'd have to do is proclaim himself as a 2000-year-old man, and prove it. I'm sure that would be fairly easy to do with modern science. All else failing, he could just live on for another hundred years without aging; that would certainly prove something. I at least would be mightily impressed by such a thing: Here would be real, tangible proof!
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dkw
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I also did not know that that was part of LDS doctrine and am somewhat baffled at the idea of it being "general knowledge."
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MattP
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quote:
I mean, I'm still not sure. LDS believe that John the Apostle is, right now, walking the earth. This is correct? It's not like a myth or something like that. Actual person, still alive, leaving no historical footprint?
Yes, they believe he's still around. It's doctrine, as far as I know.
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Occasional
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"Oh come on, you've got to admit that that is extremely out there. You've got to expect a little incredulity. I thought it was just another bit of the weird things that Occ likes to claim are LDS doctrine."

Have I ever claimed anything was LDS doctrine that was not? Certainly, I have argued for things that people said were doctrine that it wasn't. Where I have had an opinion I have stated that it is in fact my opinion.

quote:
1 And the Lord said unto me: John, my beloved, what desirest thou? For if you shall ask what you will, it shall be granted unto you.
2 And I said unto him: Lord, give unto me power over death, that I may live and bring souls unto thee.
3 And the Lord said unto me: Verily, verily, I say unto thee, because thou desirest this thou shalt tarry until I come in my glory, and shalt prophesy before nations, kindreds, tongues and people.
4 And for this cause the Lord said unto Peter: If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? For he desired of me that he might bring souls unto me, but thou desiredst that thou mightest speedily come unto me in my kingdom.
5 I say unto thee, Peter, this was a good desire; but my beloved has desired that he might do more, or a greater work yet among men than what he has before done.
6 Yea, he has undertaken a greater work; therefore I will make him as flaming fire and a aministering angel; he shall minister for those who shall be heirs of salvation who dwell on the earth.
7 And I will make thee to minister for him and for thy brother James; and unto you three I will give this power and the keys of this ministry until I come.
8 Verily I say unto you, ye shall both have according to your desires, for ye both joy in that which ye have desired. (Doctrine and Covenants 7)


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Jon Boy
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MrSquicky: Contrast your response with dkw's. Hopefully you can spot the difference.
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MattP
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quote:
1 And the Lord said unto me: John, my beloved, what desirest thou? For if you shall ask what you will, it shall be granted unto you.
2 And I said unto him: Lord, give unto me power over death, that I may live and bring souls unto thee.
3 And the Lord said unto me: Verily, verily, I say unto thee, because thou desirest this thou shalt tarry until I come in my glory, and shalt prophesy before nations, kindreds, tongues and people.

D&C Section 7 http://scriptures.lds.org/en/dc/7

* EDIT Looks like Occ beat me. [Smile]

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King of Men
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As BlackBlade said, "a different Bible".
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Occasional
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I know Mormons aren't the only ones to have at least speculated on this, but it is rare. The fact that the subject of an immortal person in relation to the scripture was brought up shows it is not outside of the realm of consideration.
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dkw
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It seems to have been a speculation even at the time that the gospel of John was written:
quote:
So the rumor spread in the community that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?”
--John 21:23

I just didn't know that any church had accepted it as doctrine. The second half of the verse argues against it for those who don't also accept the other LDS scriptures.
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Occasional
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Well, the interpretation I have heard for the second part is that Jesus is simply saying its none of your business.
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Ron Lambert
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John the Apostle couldn't be walking the earth today. Doesn't he have to remain in that hidden cave guarding the Holy Grail?
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MrSquicky
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Jon Boy,
What can I say. I was really, really, really surprised. And you know, looking at my response, I don't think you've really got much call to be jumping all over me. I expressed a great deal of surprise, which is what I felt. I did not belittle your or your beliefs at all.

It is a far enough out there belief that my first thought was that this was a hoax. It appears that it is not. I'm fine with that.

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MightyCow
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If I understand this correctly, not only is John the Apostle still alive today, but he is immortal! Why isn't he doing the super-hero act? In thousands of years of time, he could have learned every sort of beneficial, life-saving knowledge known to man, and could be the best firefighter/field medic/policeman/rescue worker in the history of the world!

He could run around mine fields setting off all the mines so no innocent children die. He could walk through the middle of armed conflicts, unharmed by bullets or explosions, brokering peace between the conflicting sides. He could show us all that his faith is capable of miracles and his God is real.

If he's supposed to be doing the Good Work of Jesus and bringing souls to God, he's really slacking off.

Maybe he's using up all his accumulated vacation time.

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Occasional
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And MightyCow is the reason that Mormons are generally closed mouthed about what they believe (I am on the edge if his comments should be whistled). As someone said on another thread, there are at least three or four levels of Mormon doctrine and theory to understand before you "questions" can be answered. The bottom line, however, is that his mission is different than changing the world and forcing everyone to "see the light."
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lynn johnson
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Lurking: here is an interesting essay by OSC Himself on polytheism & mormons

http://www.desnews.com/cgi-bin/cqcgi_plus/@plus.env?CQ_SESSION_KEY=QPHVACVEMZZM&CQ_CUR_DOCUMENT=9&CQ_TEXT_MAIN=YES

Here's a book review on the feminine side of deity: Does God have a Wife?

http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/pdf.php?filename=NjU5MjYxNDYtMTktMS5wZGY=&type=cmV2aWV3

fascinating thread. Thanks to all who have contributed.

lj

ps: MC: If you wiki Revelations and John (in one of them, I don't recall which), the early story was that the Roman emperor tried to kill John by dropping him in boiling oil, and he emerged unhurt. He then banished John to Patmos (wherein he wrote Revelation) because he couldn't kill him. For what it is worth.

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TomDavidson
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You've got to be kidding me. The myth here is that John of Patmos is the same John as John the Apostle? *laugh*
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Noemon
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quote:
He could run around mine fields setting off all the mines so no innocent children die. He could walk through the middle of armed conflicts, unharmed by bullets or explosions, brokering peace between the conflicting sides.
Well, we don't know that his ability to heal is any greater than anyone else's. He could basically just be a sentient but inert lump of flesh that stubbornly refuses to rot at this point, if he's sustained enough injuries. Kind of like in that one Ursula K. LeGuin short story.
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BlackBlade
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Mr S: I did not take offense are your incredulity. While I was writing my response it occurred to me that somebody using only the New Testament could certainly doubt that John literally has not died, and I extrapolated that it was likely many Christians do not believe that.

You should realize that even if John never died, that does not necessarily mean he has always been on the earth since Jesus' ascension, ala "Highlander" style. He could still spend a significant amount of time in God's presence, heaven, or who knows where else. I think it's pretty likely he spends alot of time on earth doing good, even if it is not necessarily proselyting.

John wouldn't be the first to have questionably died. Moses and Elijah both ended their sojourns on earth under interesting circumstances.

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MightyCow
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Occasional: Sorry if you felt my post was insulting. It was a little tongue in cheek, but at the same time it's kind of a serious question. If I just don't understand it, I can accept that.
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Threads
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quote:
Originally posted by Occasional:
And MightyCow is the reason that Mormons are generally closed mouthed about what they believe (I am on the edge if his comments should be whistled).

Whistled for what? I'm sure MightyCow is no more biased against Mormon theories than any other religious theories as well. There no evidence for the existence of an immortal human being (the very concept requires violating laws of the universe). It's a theory on the same level as Noah's Ark and literal creation. MightyCow made no personal attacks and is not responsible if you find criticism of your beliefs offensive. There is nothing wrong with exposing problems with theories (not that there is much to expose about a theory whose basic premise is impossible).

EDIT: Made slightly less abrasive [Smile]

[ December 10, 2007, 09:28 PM: Message edited by: Threads ]

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Mucus
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While I agree with your call as to whistling, I don't know about whether its on the "same level" as Noah's Ark and literal creation.

I think those two are quite a bit more ridiculous than just one guy being immortal, assuming he's of the "oh, I can live forever assuming nobody really hurts me" variety rather than the "oh, I can survive anything" variety.

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lynn johnson
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Threads, Robert Heinlein once said that when a man (sic) of science says something is possible, he is likely right; when he says something is impossible he is nearly always wrong.

Simply saying something is impossible doesn't make it so. If you google transhumanism, you will find some very serious discussions about extending human life almost indefinitely.

The problem is that you have unexamined premises such as materialism which limits what you will allow to be true. Others simply aren't bound by that and can discuss John being alive today.

Tom, I thought you used to be LDS? How could you not know that LDS doctrine is that John on Patmos is the Beloved? (There are some indications that they are not since, I am told, the style of Greek in Revelation is distinct from that in the gospel or the general epistles, but LDS doctrine is that they are one and the same.)

wikipedia interesting note:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_the_Apostle
"According to Tertullian (in The Prescription of Heretics) John was banished (presumably to Patmos) after being plunged into boiling oil in Rome and suffering nothing from it."

lj

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They all require violations of the known natural laws, but you're right in the sense that literal creation and Noah's Ark have been debunked by existing evidence.

EDIT: In response to Mucus

[ December 10, 2007, 09:48 PM: Message edited by: Threads ]

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quote:
Tom, I thought you used to be LDS?
You were mistaken.
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Out of curiosity, which natural laws does an immortal guy violate given the conditions that I specified above?

Anyways, the reason I don't say they're on the same level is that:

Noah's ark: Violates geological evidence about various natural features, biological evidence about how weird all DNA would look if a normal population was squished to two individuals and then back out again, geographic distribution of animals, not to mention archaeological evidence or heck, even historical evidence from civilizations that have records from relatively close to that time

Literal creation: same problems as the first half of Noah's Ark and adds astronomical issues about the age of the universe and the solar system

Immortal guy: Bizarro mutation that allows guy's cells to live forever and have much better repair mechanisms on the level of the individual cell

So intuitively, if I were to arrange them in order of absurdity I would have to go with:

immortal guy << literal creation < Noah's Ark

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quote:
Originally posted by lynn johnson:
Threads, Robert Heinlein once said that when a man (sic) of science says something is possible, he is likely right; when he says something is impossible he is nearly always wrong.

Given the context of his quote, I think Heinlein would make an exception for ideas that have already been debunked.

quote:
Originally posted by lynn johnson:
Simply saying something is impossible doesn't make it so. If you google transhumanism, you will find some very serious discussions about extending human life almost indefinitely.

Yes, but I was talking about the possibility of a man living from 2000 years ago to present without the use of modern technology. That is clearly not possible given what we know about the universe.

quote:
Originally posted by lynn johnson:
The problem is that you have unexamined premises such as materialism which limits what you will allow to be true. Others simply aren't bound by that and can discuss John being alive today.

I hear this come up a lot and it never makes much sense to me. To rationally believe in the existence of something you have to have evidence for it. Why would you believe that John is alive today if you don't have any evidence? The only answer I can think of is faith.

quote:
Originally posted by lynn johnson:
wikipedia interesting note:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_the_Apostle
"According to Tertullian (in The Prescription of Heretics) John was banished (presumably to Patmos) after being plunged into boiling oil in Rome and suffering nothing from it."

Is that supposed to be evidence?
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
Out of curiosity, which natural laws does an immortal guy violate given the conditions that I specified above?

The conditions for immortal that you gave don't fit the true definition. If John the Apostle can be killed then he is not immortal. I don't think the dictionary has any flexibility in this regard.
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quote:
Originally posted by Threads:
Yes, but I was talking about the possibility of a man living from 2000 years ago to present without the use of modern technology. That is clearly not possible given what we know about the universe.

Another difference in what we're considering. I figure there is a tiny possibility that advanced aliens might have gone with technology we can conceive of today and made one guy immortal just to mess with him for kicks.

The amount of technology required to wipe out practically everyone on Earth, restart everyone from two organisms or so, and fix all the evidence so it all looks consistent is at least a "level" of magnitude more than the first scenario, if not impossible.

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MightyCow, I will return the favor and say if it was not intended to be offensive and just be humorous then I won't worry about the whole whistle thing. From my perspective there are too many people who explain my faith exactly like you, only for no other reason than to mock.
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
quote:
Originally posted by Threads:
Yes, but I was talking about the possibility of a man living from 2000 years ago to present without the use of modern technology. That is clearly not possible given what we know about the universe.

Another difference in what we're considering. I figure there is a tiny possibility that advanced aliens might have gone with technology we can conceive of today and made one guy immortal just to mess with him for kicks.

Okay fine. You win. I'll have to cop out by saying that nothing in the theory about John the Apostle says anything about aliens. I guess I have to say that the most popular theory about John's immortality is not possible. [Razz]
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