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Job Versus Paul in Two Allegories


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#1    Ben Masada

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 07:42 PM

JOB VERSUS PAUL IN TWO ALLEGORIES


Job 1:8 - And the Lord said to Satan: "Have you noticed my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; blameless and upright." But Satan answered the Lord and said: "Is it for nothing if you bless him in every thing he does? Remove your blessings and see if he won't blaspheme." "Well, said the Lord, "He is in your power; only no attempts at his own life." And Satan lost the bid as Job proved to be what he was: A faithful servant.

I Corinthians 15:31 - And the Lord said to Satan: "Have you noticed my servant Paul? There is no one on earth like him to face death every day and still cherish his faith in Jesus." But Satan answered the Lord and said: "Is it for nothing if you bless him in every thing he does? Tell him that the resurrection of the dead is an illusion and see if he won't blaspheme." "He is under your power," said the Lord; only no attempts at his life. Satan appeared to Paul in a dream as an angel from Heaven and told him that there will be no such a thing as resurrection of the dead. A disappointed Paul cried for an hour or two and said, "If that's so, 'let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die.'" (I Cor. 15:32) And the Lord lost the bid, as the faith of Paul proved to be a farse.

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#2    freetoroam

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:48 PM

Even the lord had slaves!  oh sorry, they called them servants.

In an ideal World a law would be passed were NO guns were allowed and all those out there destroyed, trouble is the law makers are not going to take a risk of trying to pass that without making sure they are armed first.

#3    Paranoid Android

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 06:34 AM

View PostBen Masada, on 04 February 2013 - 07:42 PM, said:

And the Lord lost the bid, as the faith of Paul proved to be a farse.

Ben
Luckily for Paul, if Satan told him that there was no resurrection of the dead, then Satan was lying :devil:

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#4    Frank Merton

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 06:44 AM

Someone please explain all this to me.


#5    Paranoid Android

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 06:51 AM

View PostFrank Merton, on 05 February 2013 - 06:44 AM, said:

Someone please explain all this to me.
Ben Masada doesn't believe in a resurrection.  As such, he's put a situation where Job (a Hebrew, forbearer of the Jews) was tested by God and came through with flying colours.  Ben invented a testing by God meant to let Paul (if he still existed) know that there was no resurrection.  As the resurrection is the most essential point of Christianity (according to the quote) Satan saying that there was no resurrection led Paul to fail the test that Job passed.

Hope it helps :tu:

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#6    Frank Merton

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 07:13 AM

View PostParanoid Android, on 05 February 2013 - 06:51 AM, said:

Ben Masada doesn't believe in a resurrection.  As such, he's put a situation where Job (a Hebrew, forbearer of the Jews) was tested by God and came through with flying colours.  Ben invented a testing by God meant to let Paul (if he still existed) know that there was no resurrection.  As the resurrection is the most essential point of Christianity (according to the quote) Satan saying that there was no resurrection led Paul to fail the test that Job passed.

Hope it helps :tu:
So this is extra-Biblical?  What basis does the story have for saying that Paul failed the test?  I don't get the point.

I do have a slight problem with the idea of resurrection that maybe someone would also like to address.  Buddhists say we are reborn -- that aspects of what was us go into a womb and become another person -- there is some continuity of existence there.

Star Trek has a device where people are transported from one point to another, presumably by being recreated atom by atom at the destination while being destroyed atom by atom at the origin.  In this case, how do I know the new person is still "me?"  There is no continuity of existence.  The new me certainly thinks it is me, but the reality is that it isn't.

Now with resurrection -- if you are dead for awhile (non-existent) and then you are recreated in a different body but I presume with the same personality and memories, how can you know that the new entity is really you?  The continuity of existence seems broken just as in Star Trek.


#7    Paranoid Android

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 08:37 AM

Siddhartha Gautama, however, also taught that the "self" (what you refer to as "me") was just an illusion. I know you were getting at a point, but when you are reborn, in buddhist philosophy, you aren't "you". You are a collection of thoughts and ideas that have bought into the illusion that it is a separate individual. In a hypothetical transporter incident, neither entity would be you, it would just be a collection of thoughts that think it is you.

And no, I don't think Ben's comment was intended as "extra-biblical", he was inventing a story to try and prove Paul wrong (that was my reading, at least).

Edited by Paranoid Android, 05 February 2013 - 08:39 AM.

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#8    Frank Merton

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 08:44 AM

The Buddhist idea is that there is no "self," no thing like a "soul."  This is an illusion.  Remember however that illusions are not out of thin air.  Those are delusions.  Illusions have a source in something that is real -- the illusion is only that we have misinterpreted it.

The post was not in a Buddhist but in a Christian context.  Basically my question was what happens to this soul when we are dead awaiting resurrection.  It it is alive somewhere, then the idea of resurrection as the central Christian hope kinda loses its centrality.

To a Buddhist we have no continuity whatsoever, even from moment to moment, let alone rebirth to rebirth.  The illusion of self or continuity comes from memories that the mind process accesses and gives us this sense of being something.  Our mind is not a thing but an ongoing process, comparable roughly with a wave or the flame of a candle.  It seems to be a thing but in fact is a natural ongoing process.


#9    Paranoid Android

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 09:45 AM

Sorry, I missed your intent to apply this to Christianity.  I was answering within a Buddhist frame (which, while not being a scholar or believer in it, I have studied a little here and there).  In Christianity the soul survives past death (and depending on your exact views, it may be an eternal soul (though some Christians, myself being one of them, believe that the soul can forfeit its eternity if it does not wish to follow that which created it).  If teleportation were ever discovered, I'm sure it would be an interesting philosophical discussion to what happens to the person - before the transport, after the transport, are they the same person?

Have you ever seen "The Prestige"?  It's a movie about two illusionists, stage magicians, who have a heated rivalry.  This theme breaks into that movie a little bit, and I think you'd like that film if you haven't seen it already.

Back to your question on the "extra-biblical text", I don't think Ben is saying that Paul failed any test.  He's using an invention from his mind and saying that IF God ever chose to test Paul that way, then Paul would fail.

~ Regards, PA

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#10    eight bits

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 10:27 AM

Quote

So this is extra-Biblical?  What basis does the story have for saying that Paul failed the test?  I don't get the point.

It is a genre sometimes called midrash. The idea is to reimagine Bible stories.

It is the religious equivalent of fanfic, like deciding that Harry should have married Hermione, and so you write something like the blow-off scene in The Graduate, and have Hermione discover, right at the brink, that she really wants to spend her life with Harry. The End.

There must be some point to doing it, although I am not the person to ask what that point is. The alternative theory is that Ben thinks the "eat drink and be merry" line in 1 Corinthians was Paul's advice to his congregation, rather than an ironic comment on a popular aphorism. That's happened before, that Ben misreads things, especially when the author shows any writing skill.


Quote

Now with resurrection -- if you are dead for awhile (non-existent) and then you are recreated in a different body but I presume with the same personality and memories, how can you know that the new entity is really you?  The continuity of existence seems broken just as in Star Trek.

That's part of what Paul was writing about in the part of 1 Corinthians 15 that Ben misreads for us. There are a number of objections to general resurrection, which is a Pharisaic (that is, Jewish, but sectarian, not shared among Jews generally) doctrine imported into Chrisitanity by Paul. Like any other learned Pharisee of his day, Paul would have had ample opportunity to think about these objections. Also like any other learned Pharisee, he wouldn't have had ready answers to all of them. So, he plays the mystery card, at verse 51,

Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed,

The Christian sketch-solution is borrowed from some Greeks, that there is a persistent "soul" that is "the essential you" in some sense, even if your body changes (which, of course, it has and will, of which changes, death is but one among many). An alternative, sometimes called Buddhist in the West, although it is equally the teaching of Heraclitus, is that there is no real continuity or persistence of self anyway, even from one day to the next. Your identity is an inference you have made, and it is a mistake or illusion which doesn't reflect the actual situation.

You can't step into the same river twice

For two reasons. Not only has the river changed, but two different people are stepping in.

Heraclitus would approve of the Star Trek transporter as a good solution and would teach that its method of operation makes no real difference to your actual circumstances. Much the same thing happens when you go by car, except the continual dissolution and rebuilding of a self that occurs along the way makes no useful contribution to getting you where you're going

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#11    Ben Masada

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 08:10 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 05 February 2013 - 06:34 AM, said:

Luckily for Paul, if Satan told him that there was no resurrection of the dead, then Satan was lying :devil:

Only that Satan was not the one being tested by Job first and then Paul.


#12    Ben Masada

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 08:13 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 05 February 2013 - 06:51 AM, said:

Ben Masada doesn't believe in a resurrection.  As such, he's put a situation where Job (a Hebrew, forbearer of the Jews) was tested by God and came through with flying colours.  Ben invented a testing by God meant to let Paul (if he still existed) know that there was no resurrection.  As the resurrection is the most essential point of Christianity (according to the quote) Satan saying that there was no resurrection led Paul to fail the test that Job passed.

Hope it helps :tu:

You forgot the quote PA. Frank might thing it is all in the mind of Ben Masada. That's in I Corinthians 15:31,32.



#13    Ben Masada

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 08:16 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 05 February 2013 - 08:37 AM, said:

Siddhartha Gautama, however, also taught that the "self" (what you refer to as "me") was just an illusion. I know you were getting at a point, but when you are reborn, in buddhist philosophy, you aren't "you". You are a collection of thoughts and ideas that have bought into the illusion that it is a separate individual. In a hypothetical transporter incident, neither entity would be you, it would just be a collection of thoughts that think it is you.

And no, I don't think Ben's comment was intended as "extra-biblical", he was inventing a story to try and prove Paul wrong (that was my reading, at least).

And Paul proved himself wrong.


#14    Ben Masada

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 08:26 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 05 February 2013 - 09:45 AM, said:

Sorry, I missed your intent to apply this to Christianity.  I was answering within a Buddhist frame (which, while not being a scholar or believer in it, I have studied a little here and there).  In Christianity the soul survives past death (and depending on your exact views, it may be an eternal soul (though some Christians, myself being one of them, believe that the soul can forfeit its eternity if it does not wish to follow that which created it).  If teleportation were ever discovered, I'm sure it would be an interesting philosophical discussion to what happens to the person - before the transport, after the transport, are they the same person?

Have you ever seen "The Prestige"?  It's a movie about two illusionists, stage magicians, who have a heated rivalry.  This theme breaks into that movie a little bit, and I think you'd like that film if you haven't seen it already.

Back to your question on the "extra-biblical text", I don't think Ben is saying that Paul failed any test.  He's using an invention from his mind and saying that IF God ever chose to test Paul that way, then Paul would fail.

~ Regards, PA

Paul must have been tested somehow. Someone must have asked him something about resurrection; or something like, "What about if there
is no resurrection?" Then Paul had to flip the real side of his coin: That the real reason for his loyalty to God was his hope in the resurrection. Conditional loyalty based on the reward of an afterlife. You know, like the a tasty pellet that is given to a dog in eschange of something funny.

Ben


#15    J. K.

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 07:01 PM

Ben has a vendetta against Paul.

The Scripture reference that he used for his allegory does not have Satan and God in conversation.

I Corinthians 15 does talk about resurrection from the dead: the resurrection of Jesus which is the linchpin of Christianity.  Paul is not the only one who discusses this resurrection:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.  (I Peter 1:3)

One's reality is another's nightmare.




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