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Friday, November 28, 2008

Alright, I changed my mind on evolution. The theory of evolution is false.

This video changed my mind. Even though I'm a creationist now, I'm still not ready to adopt Christianity though. Enjoy this thought-provoking, deep video which will challenge all your world views.

111 comments:

  1. Wow man he has me convinced.

    Fuck you guys I'm going to pray to get Satan out of my head.

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  2. Why not be a Christian Kaitlyn?
    Why don't you think it is the Christian God?

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  3. Just because we didn't evolve doesn't tell us anything about the truth of the Bible.

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  4. There are lots of other arguments for the truth of the bible Kaitlyn.
    Would you like me to present one?

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  5. Ok Kaitlyn
    There a 5 facts accepted by most New testament scholars[1]
    1. Jesus died by crucifixion
    2. The tomb was empty
    3. Jesus’ disciples were disheartened after he was dead.However they had experiences that led them to believe that Jesus had physically risen from the dead and appeared to them.Thwy were so convinced they suffered and some were martyred for their belief.
    4. Paul ,who was a persecutor of Jesus had an experience that led him to convert and believe in the risen Jesus
    5. James, the skeptical brother of Jesus, suddenly converted to Christianity.

    Facts 1 and 3-5 are accepted almost unanimously by scholars and 2 is accepted by 75% of scholars




    [1]Here's the study if you are hardcore
    Historian Gary Habermas obtained the figure by compiling more than 1400 publications in 3 languages on New testament studies and historical jesus.

    I will contend that the best explanation of these 5 facts is that Jesus rose from the dead.

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  6. 1) Can you link to a secular source like a University instead?

    2) Can you explain what evidence supports the five assertions you gave?

    *reads article*

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  7. 3) I'm not quite convinced, "The journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus" counts as an unbiased, peer-reviewed scientific or historical journal.

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. From the article:

    "A second research area concerns those scholars who address the subject of the empty tomb. It has been said that the majority of contemporary researchers accepts the historicity of this event.[39] But is there any way to be more specific? From the study mentioned above, I have compiled 23 arguments for the empty tomb and 14 considerations against it, as cited by recent critical scholars. Generally, the listings are what might be expected, dividing along theological “party lines.” To be sure, such a large number of arguments, both pro and con, includes very specific differentiation, including some overlap."

    In other words, people who are Christians think it happened, people who aren't are not so sure... probably not so much. -_-

    This article presents no evidence for any of the assertions you gave, it only says a large percentage of people writing about Jesus believe in the Bible.

    No duh!

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  10. Now, okay, let's say I give you the benefit of the doubt and say, "I believe in historical Jesus."

    Show me now that he is God as you claim, or was he just another preacher at the time?

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  11. @Kaitlyn
    2)I have a lot of the evidence for it in my blog post here
    Most of the arguments I use came from NT Wright's and Gary Habermas' books on the New testament.

    3)How do you tell if a journal is peer-reviewed? I don't know. I know that the author (Gary Habermas) does have credentials in history though.


    4)
    Froom link
    Of these scholars, approximately 75% favor one or more of these arguments for the empty tomb, while approximately 25% think that one or more arguments oppose it. Thus, while far from being unanimously held by critical scholars, it may surprise some that those who embrace the empty tomb as a historical fact still comprise a fairly strong majority.

    I do think the majority is in favor of the empty tomb. And the other facts are near unanimous.

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  12. This guy needs to read his own holy book. I'd suggest that he start with Leviticus 19:18.

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  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  14. [In other words, people who are Christians think it happened, people who aren't are not so sure... probably not so much. -_-]
    That is only for fact 2 (the empty tomb) . All the other facts are nearly unanimous .And even there it does say that 75% overall accept the fact.

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  15. Come on, Mr. Freethinker. You know better than to appeal to majority opinion.

    Support your claims. :)

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  16. Ok which of the facts do you disagree with Kaitlyn?

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  17. Right then MFT, let's take a look at these "facts", shall we?

    Fact 1) Your sources on your website are:
    a) Flavius Josephus
    (Antiquities 18.3.3) And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross

    b) Cornelius Tacitus
    (Annals 15.44) Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus

    c) Lucian of Samosata
    The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day–the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account.Lucian of Samosata, The Death of Peregrine 11-13 (, 49)

    In reverse order, c) is simply saying that Christians worship Christ. In other news, ancient Greeks worshipped Apollo. Big whoop; it isn't claiming that Jesus was even real, only that Christians believe it which is still true now and proves both Jack and Shit.

    b) was written about 90 years after the event that it casually refers to and Tacitus had never been anywhere near Judea, so at the very best this is hearsay, unless you think that he wrote his history of Rome by looking it up in the detailed Roman records of everyone executed across the Empire which were held centrally in Rome?

    a) Is, quite simply, a forgery; a Jewish writer under Roman patronage writes, "He was the Christ"? Very likely. Also managed to write it in magic ink so that it didn't show up for three centuries.

    Fact 2) You don't actually have any non-Biblical sources here; even your "enemy attestation" is ridiculous since the enemies in question don't attest for themselves, but are said to have done by one of the gospels. How many kings throughout the ages have had their historians write, "even his enemies loved and feared him," when their own people hated them utterly? Unless the attestation is actually from an enemy it is worthless.

    Fact 3) Your argument seems to rest upon the assertion that, "no-one knowingly and willingly dies for a lie," which is tragically naive and also assumes the martydom of the apostles which is hardly historical fact either, is it?

    Fact 4) "I was an enemy of Christ, but now I am not." Are we talking about Paul or Ray Comfort here? Or any other overly zealous convert to a religion of your choice who will claim to have murdered babies and shat on their grandmothers before they became the Most Righteous Person In The World(TM)? Is this your idea of a fact?

    Fact 5) Again, all you have is Biblical sources and the briefest of mentions by Josephus. Doesn'y prove a whole lot, does it?

    As it stands you barely have a case for the existance of Jesus as a man, never mind Jesusgodholyghost the miracle triad.

    2/10 Must try harder

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  18. That guy's stupid. (1:33)

    BIG BANG BOOOOOMMMM! BIG BANG BOOOOOMMMM! BIG BANG BOOOOOMMMM!

    Seriously, though: any rookie debater could wipe the floor with this nut.

    PS: "Why do people always use that voice to imitate others? No-one sounds like that." (7:05)

    And that's my extremely obscure reference for today.

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  19. PS: Kaitlyn, your sarcasm has not gone unnoticed. The FSM smiles upon you.

    +3 XP.

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  20. Fact 1)
    [c) Lucian of Samosata
    The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day–the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account.Lucian of Samosata, The Death of Peregrine 11-13 (, 49)

    In reverse order, c) is simply saying that Christians worship Christ.]
    Yes the man is explicitly saying that the Christian worshipped a man who was crucified. Supports my point.

    [In other news, ancient Greeks worshipped Apollo. Big whoop]
    But does it say Apollo was A MAN who was crucified? I think not.

    b) So Paul Brown do you believe that everything Tacitus wrote that occured before his life is hearsay? What about all that stuff he wrote about Julius Caesar? Are those Tacitean scholars just BSing me when they say that he is a reliable source for that?Are all the events that Tacitus describes outside of Rome unreliable?

    a)Simply no.Accrding to a study done by Louis Feldman, the premiere Jewish authority of Josephus (the study is cited here). Most scholars accept that while there may be a few interpolations in the text that the passage as a whole is authentic.

    I also note that you did not deal with any of my other sources.

    Fact 2)
    What!! skimming over all my other arguments for the empty tomb.
    But I'll deal with the enemy attestation bit.
    Why does the source have to be non-biblical?
    A lot of stuff we do know comes from enem sources. For example much o what we know of philosopher Celsus comes from what his opponent Origen says of him. Does this mean this information is wrong?

    Fact 3)
    You misrepresent my argument. I was preesenting eyewitnesses .
    I the "die for a lie" piece, I was responding to some assertion that they were deliberately lying. If you made up a lie about someone resurrecting from the dead, would you willingly die for it? I think not. Which was my point.
    Fact 4)
    Misses the point.
    Paul was a hostile eyewitness
    fact 5)
    What's wrong with my sources?
    You haven't raised any objectons to their accuracy.
    Another histile eyewitness

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  21. Question: Show the historicity of Jesus.

    Response: "Why does the source have to be non-biblical?"

    It's like showing the historicity of Harry Potter. Circular logic.

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  22. Also, the Bible makes reference to a lot of things like miracles, and sea monsters, and unicorns. It's not exactly a paradigm for accurate history recording.

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  23. Mr. FreeThinker, just out of curiosity, what do you know about the early church?

    How do you feel about earlier gods and religions like the Cult of Dionysus mirroring Christianity way before its birth.

    Many people complained that Christians stole their ideas from other religions at the time. The explanation from the Church to this day was that Satan put these other religions there to fool people because he knew Christ would come.

    Do you agree with the Church's position?

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  24. Okay MFT, sorry for the delay - I had a few things to sort out at work. Clearly my arguments against your facts weren't clear enough, so I will expand upon them one by one in seperate comments to save the comment length from getting silly, but before I do I will point out one general ground rule which is that, as Kaitlyn pointed out, any biblical evidence is automatically disqualified as evidence for facts claimed by the bible in the first place, unless you want to argue that Hogwarts is real, the Death Star really was blown up with a single proton torpedo* and Beowulf slayed Grendel for real.

    * I can't help wondering if there were "Death Star Conspircay Theorists" claiming that, "you can clearly see that the Death Star was detonated with explosives and, anyway, how could a farm boy hit a target less than two metres across?"

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  25. So, Fact No 1:
    The point of my objection to Lucian of Samosata was simply that stating that Christians worship a man who was crucified is factually correct, but proves nothing as to the existance of that man; Norsemen worshipped Odin, but that fact does not establish Odin's existance and no, Odin wasn't a man who was crucified as if that somehow makes a difference, but if I choose to start worshipping Prometheus that won't cause him to exist, even though the statement, "Paul worships a man who stole fire from the gods and was then punished for it forever," would be factually corect.

    Moving on to your question, "do you believe that everything Tacitus wrote that occured before his life is hearsay?" Well, obviously. What would you describe it as? Eye witness testimony? The point, however, is that he must have gathered his information from other sources, about which we can only speculate. Now, comparing Jesus to Caesar was a good example; Caesar was an emperor and a very influential figure throughout the empire so, whilst the information about him was subject to exaggeration and embellishment, at least there would be many sources to compare to try and get a clear picture, whereas Jesus was just another Jew from the far end of the empire and the only source of information about him would be from Christians, i.e. not exactly unbiased and unlikely to turn around and say, "do you know what? I don't even know for sure if this guy ever actually existed at all." If I were to claim today that my great grandfather met a guy called Kevin who was the second coming of Christ, lived in Manchester and performed miracles you still couldn't be sure whether Kevin ever existed even with today's information society; although you might not believe me about the "second coming" part, you couldn't be sure if Kevin the person ever existed. Now transfer that conundrum to ancient Rome and tell me that Tacitus "proves" that Jesus was a real person.

    As to Josephus, I have looked into it a bit further and there is an argument that the original text did contain a much more acceptable account of Jesus that could have been written by a Roman Jew and that later Christian scholars altered the text to make it more empahtically supportive of their position, but there are many issues with this interpretation, e.g. the more acceptable version still comes from a Christian source (Agapius the historian), the paragraphs either side of the Testimonium Flavianum seem to flow into each other, suggesting that the paragraph was a later insertion, and the likes of Origen and Justin the Philosopher failed to mention the Testimonium Flavianum, even though they were clearly familiar with Josephus as they do quote the less impressive part about James (which I will come back to later).

    As to your study by Louis Feldman, I haven't been able to find the study itself yet, so I can't really comment, but I will try to track it down and then come back to you.

    Anyway, I'll leave this here for now - I'm off to bed. I'll pick this up again later.

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  26. Dang, why ain't nobody tell me this eva? I din' neva knowz I's so stupid! All I got n' ma brain'z Big Bang Booom, an I's let that Dawkins, Hawkins, Hawkind whateva guy crap my mind so full I's neva even seen the dumb uv it all. Really man, who could'a cum up wit all that Bible stories? It's impossible for a human to do that, an' they tell me a bowl of soup did it! They can't even tell me what the names of humans one and two were - but my Bible tells me. Don't people eva read anymore?

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  27. There are lots of people who believe that person named Jesus existed, and he was a great spiritual leader. However, they do not believe he was the son of God.

    So even proving that Jesus was a living, breathing person isn't enough to convert me to Christianity. Let's use the Nicene Creed, since that pretty much defines the Christian faith, to show me what you need to demonstrate:

    1) Demonstrate as true that there is "one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible."

    2) Show that God is "in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father [the only-begotten; that is, of the essence of the Father, God of God], Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father."

    3) Show that Jesus, "for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was incarnate and was made man."

    4) Show that Jesus, "suffered, and the third day he rose again, ascended into heaven."

    5) And finally, show that God, "shall come to judge the quick and the dead."

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  28. MF'er,

    The one point I will agree with is that Paul existed and probably wrote some of the New Testament.

    In fact if Paul had not hijacked Christianity from the supposed Jesus, Christanity probably would not have made it as a religion.

    As you know, Paul never once met Jesus. His writings show that he didn't even know much about Jesus.
    He even went down to Jerusalem and argued with Peter about how his dogma should have authority over Jesus.

    If you look at what Paul actually does, one must condsider that he has some personal issues that point to paranoid schizophrenia.

    The way in which he zealously persecutes the Chriestians he is obviously paranoid. He goes off for months into seclusion and broods. He fasts until he has halucinations (schizo) and then writes his version of Christianity that we refer to as the "Pauline Doctrine."

    It is obvious that Paul is Jewish and basically remains Jewish. We see that due to his continued subjugation of women. The Jews were a paternalitic authoritarion society and Paul did not want to see that end.

    Another area where we can see that Paul remained more Jewish than christian is shown by his total omission of the the christian doctrine of hell.
    Paul claimed that he was the one to carry the message to all the infidels, yet not once does he mention hell in all his writings since the Jewish concept of hell was not the same as the christians.

    Historically speaking, It looks like Paul was motivated by far more than salvation in his efforts.

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  29. MF'er,

    If you look at the pure history of the first century, the mid-east wes teeming with messiahs. The people were highly superstitious and demanded that magic (miracles) be performed by their equivalent of Benny Hinn, et al.

    I you could go back in time and see the shenanigans that were going on, even you would have to admit that those people totally infested with superstition, and they were highly oppressed by the Romans. They were so desparate that it was rather easy to convince them that salvation was on the way. That is all they had to hope for.

    Modern christians, such as Ray and Dani'El continue in these appeals to superstition even now but those arguments don't get much traction these days, although religion remains pernicious and pervasive the world over due to humans desire to escape this earth alive.

    I will allow though, that when someone performs a scientifically documented miracle, I will rethink my entire view on these matters, and don't go wasting your time trying to prove miracles happen to me on this venue. I must witness and document the miracle and I am sure that you understand why.

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  30. Why do you, MFT, expect us to accept and believe the "facts" of the New Testament, if Paul himself did not? Paul had access to the apostles and eye witness accounts of the crucifixion and resurrection and yet he did not believe. He did not buy the story of the empty tomb. He did not believe that Jesus came back to life and was the Messiah. It took a direct confrontation with God himself to change Paul's mind. If revelation was necessary for Paul, why doesn't God give that to all of us?

    As an aside, I think the evidence that Paul did not know anything about a historical man Jesus is pretty compelling.

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  31. @Kaitlyn
    [Circular logic]
    There is nothing circular about using the New Testament documents.
    The New testament documents were written by many different authors over different periods of time, for different audiences and span genres from sermons to letters and biographies. It would be wrong to consider it as one document.

    Saying that it is circular to use the New testament documents to study Jesus is like saying it is circular to use Caesar's biographies to prove Caesar.

    (Harry Potter explicitly say that it is a book of fiction so it is not a valid comparison)

    [Also, the Bible makes reference to a lot of things like miracles, and sea monsters, and unicorns.]
    Kaitlyn this is a bit of naturalistic bias.(I do not believe the bible mentions sea monsters and "unicorn" is an archaic mistranslation found only in the 400 year old KJV).
    And again just because a historical document mentions a miracle does not make it untrue. If we just check some historians of Rome we see Vespian healing people, ghostly appearanes,ogres and many other miraculous events.
    If you wish to make an argument against miracles in general I will discuss it but you cannot say a document is inaccurate because it contains something you don't believe in.
    [ It's not exactly a paradigm for accurate history recording.]
    Kaitlyn, again there are a variety of documents in the bible. You can't just say all are wrong. If you were to completely disprove the gospels ,Paul's letters would still be reliable.

    [Mr. FreeThinker, just out of curiosity, what do you know about the early church? ]
    Not that much. I've read a few of the letters of the ante-nicene fathers.

    [How do you feel about earlier gods and religions like the Cult of Dionysus mirroring Christianity way before its birth.
    Many people complained that Christians stole their ideas from other religions at the time. The explanation from the Church to this day was that Satan put these other religions there to fool people because he knew Christ would come.]
    As far as I know Kaitlyn, this idea of pagan borrowing used to be popular in the 18th century but the idea has been abandoned by most modern scholars.I think Earl Doherty is the only guy promoting this idea today. As for the claim that the church believed that Satan put the other religions there. I believe it is based on a misreading of Justin Martyr's First apology and dialogue with Trypho. Justin was saying that the Greeks were actually stealing stuff from the Old testament (which predated those Greek myths) and the Daemons had inspired the greeks to copy the Old testament prophecies.
    Here are the full quotes so you can read them for yourself-
    "For when they tell that Bacchus, son of Jupiter, was begotten by intercourse with Semele, and that he was the discoverer of the vine; and when they relate, that being torn in pieces, and having died, he rose again, and ascended to heaven; and when they introduce wine into his mysteries, do I not perceive that [the devil] has imitated the prophecy announced by the patriarch Jacob, and recorded by Moses?"
    Justin in Dialogue with Trypho, Chapter LXIX
    "And these things were said both among the Greeks and among all nations where they [the demons] heard the prophets foretelling that Christ would specially be believed in; but that in hearing what was said by the prophets they did not accurately understand it, but imitated what was said of our Christ, like men who are in error, we will make plain." [First Apology]

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  32. @Paul Brown
    [as Kaitlyn pointed out, any biblical evidence is automatically disqualified as evidence for facts claimed by the bible in the first place]
    Read the first part of my response to Kaitlyn.But that isn't really how history works.That's like saying Ceasar's biographies claim Caesar existed so it is circular logic to use them.
    Star wars and Harry Potter are not valid analogies because they are works of fiction.
    [I choose to start worshipping Prometheus that won't cause him to exist, even though the statement, "Paul worships a man who stole fire from the gods and was then punished for it forever," would be factually corect.]
    But someone would say "Paul worships a God who stole fire" or "Paul believes that a man stole fire from the gods" , if it was obvious Christians worshipped a mythical god. However if you actually followed a real man(like say David Koresh) I would plainly say that you follow a man who died in a fire.

    And about Tacitus, I hope you do realise that Tacitus was Rome's premiere historian.He was known to be critical about his sources and sometimes even rejected the testimony of his close friends (like Pliny). He was not the kind of guy who would rely on hearsay in writing his histories. If you want to say that he is unreliable ,you have to somehow prove it.

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  33. @kaitlyn
    1)Which of the 5 facts do you disagree with?
    2)Why do you disagree with them?

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  34. @Froggie
    What to you think of NDE's ? I don't think it is evidence for any particular religion but it is evidence against materialism.

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  35. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  36. What to you think of NDE's ?

    Hallucinations. Try DMT.
    -------
    (Please don't try DMT)

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  37. last bit should read
    (Disclaimer don't try DMT)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimethyltryptamine

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  38. We did a whole post debunking this a month ago 'Freethinker' - why not go back and answer those objections before trotting out your discredited argument again?

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  39. Dr. Karl Jansen, a New Zealand-born psychiatrist, has reproduced the effects of NDEs through the use of ketamine, thus giving strong evidence that near death experiences are simply a set of physical responses.

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  40. Maragon,
    and here
    http://disco-igno.blogspot.com/2008/10/response-to-mrfreethinker-1-jesus.html

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  41. "1)Which of the 5 facts do you disagree with?"

    None.

    "2)Why do you disagree with them?"

    I don't.

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  42. @Maragon
    "debunked"- sure . If you think conjuring up ad hoc explanations is "debunking" I suppose you can consider me "debunked".
    And Chris, that piece is just some follow up questions that disco-igno asked. (I've been really bad about postponing my reply to him)

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  43. *sigh*

    One more time from one more person.

    1) Tacitus is a perfectly good historian. But what you're not getting, MFT, is that what Tacitus et. al. are saying is that there were some folks who called themselves Christians and who had certain beliefs about an executed man. That's it. You can use that as evidence that Christians existed, and even that they followed someone named Christus. But that says absolutely nothing about the validity of what they believed. Get it? (I thought not.) What you don't find in any contemporary histories are acounts of the significant events in the Bible, especially regarding what Jesus was said to have been and done. Surely, you'd think that, for example, earthquakes and the dead rising and walking around at the time of the crucifixion would have been chronicled somewhere other than in the gospels. No such luck. Finding a Roman historian who mentioned that would have been proof of something, at least.

    2) Now go look at the video of Ray that I posted earlier this week. In it, Bruce challenges Ray to prove that the god of the Bible is real while all the other gods that humans have worshiped is not. Ray's reply? The First Commandment: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." There's a perfect example of circular reasoning: using the Bible as proof that the Bible is true. If you can't see that you're guilty of the same faulty reasoning, then I can't help you.

    Word verification: smoga

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  44. MFT

    My explanations were no more ad hoc than yours, dear.

    Once again - greatest minds in all of history can't come to a consensus. But you have ALL the answers - because you read some stuff on the internet.

    It hurts to roll my eyes that hard.

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  45. @Chris
    there have been many instances of near-death experiences in which people come across information that could not be explained by hallucination or chance.
    A philosopher talks about some instances documented in medical journals here

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  46. I can't watch an hour of youtube because of a slow internet connection.
    Has this fellow published any papers I can read? Or even a website?

    [there have been many instances of near-death experiences in which people come across information that could not be explained by hallucination or chance.]

    That's what I used to think (back in the early eighties when I used to read books like "Life after Life") but time after time cases that "couldn't be explained away" kept getting explained...

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  47. MrFreeThinker said...
    "@Paul Brown
    [as Kaitlyn pointed out, any biblical evidence is automatically disqualified as evidence for facts claimed by the bible in the first place]
    Read the first part of my response to Kaitlyn.But that isn't really how history works.That's like saying Ceasar's biographies claim Caesar existed so it is circular logic to use them."

    They don't. Coins with his name on, artifacts with his likeness on and writings about him all come together to form the picture of the man that we have and even that is sketchy; history isn't about just taking one source and saying, "okay then, if this guy says that someone existed then they did." What people write has to be examined in the context of when and where it was written, by whom and what influences would've affected them - if someone under the patronage of King X, who conquered King Y, writes that King Y was an evil bastard who ate babies then that has to be seen as most likely to be an attempt to discredit King Y rather than absolute fact. Thus a religious text which claims, rather predictably, that the object of the religion really was real and really did do these amazing things is no use at all in proving that the focus of the text ever actualy existed. To claim otherwise is to claim that all gods / goddesses / wise princes / prohpets / demons / giants and other assorted strangenesses really are real after all, in which case it is no wonder that the spiritual plane keeps spilling into the real world: overcrowding must be a real problem there.

    "Star wars and Harry Potter are not valid analogies because they are works of fiction."

    They are accepted as works of fiction now, since we can ask the authors and very little time has passed since their creation. What of the Illiad and the Odessy? The Norse sagas? Fact, fiction or a combination of both? Does Homer prove that Aphrodite was real? Or would some form of additional evidence (although I can't think what the hell form this evidence could possibly take) be required?

    "[I choose to start worshipping Prometheus that won't cause him to exist, even though the statement, "Paul worships a man who stole fire from the gods and was then punished for it forever," would be factually corect.]
    But someone would say "Paul worships a God who stole fire" or "Paul believes that a man stole fire from the gods" , if it was obvious Christians worshipped a mythical god. However if you actually followed a real man(like say David Koresh) I would plainly say that you follow a man who died in a fire."

    Point of corection first, Prometheus wasn't a god, let alone a God. However, since you have missed the point I will say that I worship Kevin (the guy that my great grandfather met in Manchester in an earlier episode). Now the phrase, "Paul worships a man from Manchester," is perfectly factually correct. Is Kevin now real? Perhaps; you don't know for sure whether my great grandfather really met Kevin, whether Kevin was entirely in his imagination or if I just made the whole thing up yesterday morning and my biographer writing that I follow the teachings of Kevin of Manchester will give you no insight into Kevin's existence or lack thereof.

    "And about Tacitus, I hope you do realise that Tacitus was Rome's premiere historian.He was known to be critical about his sources and sometimes even rejected the testimony of his close friends (like Pliny). He was not the kind of guy who would rely on hearsay in writing his histories."

    What did he do then, exactly? Look up Jesus on Visage Librarium*? Recording the history of important figures would be posible from documents written by and about them, but even if Jesus was real he wasn't important to the Romans. They didn't keep detailed records of every Jew who claimed to be the messiah and they didn't record the life history of everyone that they crucified. Tacitus' only source of information regarding Jesus would be from Christians who would be unlikely to know if Jesus ever really existed (unless they were at least a hundred years old, in which case their memories wouldn't exactly be reliable) and, even if they did know or at least suspect that Jesus wasn't actually real, would be pretty unlikely to say it out loud, particularly to a Roman. All that these early documents prove is that Christians existed at the time, not Christ.

    Praise Kevin.

    *Apologies to any real scholars of Latin for my Harry Potter-esque dog Latin here.

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  48. But you see Maragon, my theory had supporting evidence. Your theory of the stolen body had no supporting evidence or people likely to steal it.
    You also had to join together another theory (hallucination) to try to make the facts fit.
    My theory fits better.
    I don't know what people have come to a consensus on, but I do think it is reasonable to see what facts we can all agree on and see whose theory best fits the facts.

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  49. MFT,

    You gotta be fucking kidding me. You mean to say that someone stealing a body isn't likely, but a human being rising from the dead to save mankind from his dad, who is really also him, and then heading off for the clouds is much more likely? Riiiight.

    ReplyDelete
  50. I'm with nonmagic on this one.

    In terms of likelihoods, rising from the dead is below alien abduction.

    ReplyDelete
  51. about stealing bodies: some people really are that sick. Somebody took the body of an Austrian billionaire out of his grave. Nobody knows how they managed to do that but strangely nobody claims that the billionaire resurrected...

    ReplyDelete
  52. NM,

    Perfect. Nicely said. You get the extra muffin this morning. You want cream cheese with that?

    ReplyDelete
  53. "I don't know what people have come to a consensus on, but I do think it is reasonable to see what facts we can all agree on and see whose theory best fits the facts."

    We're not talking about facts. We're talking about Bible stories.

    Showing me that the consensus amongst guys who believe in Jesus believe in the stories of the Bible proves nothing than the gullibility of people and your willingness to believe pretty much anything if it makes you feel like a special and unique snowflake.

    I said it in that thread, and I'll say it again here(even though NM already covered it) - do you understand how retarded you sound when you claim that THE MOST LIKELY POSSIBILITY for a dead body being missing is RESURRECTION AND ASCENSION rather than it having been stolen? If we were talking about any other body you wouldn't even entertain the notion that resurrection was a viable - let alone LIKELY - option.
    LAWL

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  54. MF'er,

    You are sooooo busted.

    You must somehow enjoy coming around here and getting your ass kicked by Maragon, Kaitlyn, Nonmagic, et al.

    Just what the fuck are you trying to accomplish?

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  55. MF'er,

    Are your parents very religious?

    Would they shun you if you told them you doubt the resurrection story?

    I hope you know that you are either deluded or crazy as evidenced by the fratured logic you are using.

    ReplyDelete
  56. By the way, MFT, I checked out your buddy Jake, the guy that you described as a "well-informed apologist who has read tonnes of books on science, Christian philosophy and New testament history" who knows "how to present strong arguments in defense of the Christian worldview". Well, if he does know how to present a strong argument he hides it well because, when I asked him three times if he had any further arguments in favour of a historical Jesus, I got called "stoopid (sic)" and "willingly (sic) ignorant". If anyone else was considering watching this guy, save yourself the bother; he has the same weak old arguments that most of these halfwits trot out and you get to listen to them in glorious mumblevision whilst the stunning visual spectacle of a chubby teenager holds your interest.
    Frankly, I can't believe that you built this guy up like you did; the only explanations I can think of are:
    1) You didn't actually watch the videos yourself and thus didn't realise how dull this guy is.
    2) You have amazingly low standards.
    3) "Jake" is actually you.
    My money is currently on 3).

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  57. Paul,

    I said here that the way you describe the contents of 'Jake's' videos and the comments are the way most of these YouTube videos on religion turn out, especially the ones made by teenagers sitting in their bedrooms, mumbling through the regurgitated left overs of some apologist they read about on a Wiki. I love your summation of 'Jake' and his videos. Well done.


    So which is it MFT? 1, 2, or 3?

    I might add a 4th possibility to the list: 4) You have no idea what the hell 'Jake' is talking about, but it sounds smart so it must be true.

    Pony up, MFT, which is it?


    :::waits for MFT to pull some ambiguous explanation out of his ass as to why everyone who disagrees with him...I mean 'Jake' is wrong, but he is somehow right:::


    word verification: mocke

    ReplyDelete
  58. I'm not Jake (he's much smarter than me) but the fact is that many Jesus mythicists he does deal with on youtube are stupid.
    You claimed Tacitus' only source would be Christians. This is just speculation.Given that Tacitus is known to be highly critical of his sources and in the passage he is rather hostile to Christians (he suggests they burnt Rome), it is highly unlikely he would use Christians as a source. He did not trust some of his own friends and he trusts some Christian he met? Unlikely..
    The facts are-
    1)Rome premiere historian mentions him
    2)Feldman's study indicates that the Testimoniumj is at least partially authentic and the Jamesian reference is fully authentic.
    3)We have at leas 4 biographies of he man written within a century of his life
    This is enough to by any consistent standard to establish the existence of any historical figure.The Jesus myth reeks of special pleading

    ReplyDelete
  59. nonmagic said...
    "I said here that the way you describe the contents of 'Jake's' videos and the comments are the way most of these YouTube videos on religion turn out"

    You did and the next time that I don't listen to you I hereby give you standing authorisation to smack me. I have officially learnt the hard way.


    Oh, and MFT, it's all very well you saying that Tacitus wouldn't have used Christians as a source of information about Christians and their beliefs, but what else could he have used exactly? Can you give me even one other potential source of information that he might possibly have used?

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  60. MFT said:

    I'm not Jake (he's much smarter than me)

    LOL! Well, we've found part of the problem!

    ReplyDelete
  61. Paul,

    Don't ever take my word for anything, we all have to find out for ourselves. I do try to give a heads up when I see stupid coming. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  62. MFT said:

    3)We have at leas 4 biographies of he man written within a century of his life

    Really? I wasn't aware any biographies had been written about He Man.

    ReplyDelete
  63. MFT wrote There are lots of other arguments for the truth of the bible

    At best, MrFreeThinker, you might be able to make a good case for truth being found *in* the Bible. However, there's a vast gulf between this idea and the kind of "truth" you've been expressing here and at Ray's.

    I will readily concede that various parts of the Bible seem to be based in historical fact. I will readily laugh at the notion that it is the literal word of the God who created existence.

    ReplyDelete
  64. MF'er,

    I could point you to experiments where it is shown that an oral story that is told within one week of an event is loaded with descrepencies, let alone 60 - 100 years later!!

    Get real.

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  65. MF'er,
    If you are calling the Gospels four separate biographies you have two problems.
    First, there are only two actual gospels. Mark, Lk, and Mt are the "synoptic gospels" and were copied from the same source. They contain minor embellishments by their authors.

    Nowhere in the gospels do the writers identify itself. To be a biography, the author must establish his identity and relationship to the biographee, otherwise, the story is historical fiction.

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  66. "This is enough to by any consistent standard to establish the existence of any historical figure.The Jesus myth reeks of special pleading"

    Do you even know what special pleading means Mr. ItsLikelyThatJesusRessurectedHimselfFromTheDead?

    ReplyDelete
  67. I know Mr. Freethinker thinks the books of the apostles are biographies, but most Christian theolgians agree that they are instead gospels and written as such.

    Gospels are literary genre to spread the "good news" through metaphor or storytelling. In this case, the story is of a man named Jesus who saves all of humanity.

    The early Christian church was fragmented, and each wrote their own version of the story. That's where the books of Mathew, Luke, John, etc... come from. The actual authors are unknown.

    Later, the earliest known works were collected by the Council of Nicea into what's known as the Bible today.

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  68. Kaitlyn,

    I remember in one of my History of the NT classes in college, the professor let us in on the little secret that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John weren't actually written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and the deal about 'Q', ect. I remember one person in the class being rather shattered by this information, as they had been brought up believing that the books were actually authored by their namesakes. The student was adamant that the professor was wrong. The professor asked the student to state their evidence that he was wrong and it went something like "My PREACHER said so!" *sigh*


    Just a memory I thought I'd share.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Yeah, in college, I had similar stories. Studying the Bible is standard fair for English majors, so we look at it from the point of view as literature... a cannon of evolving ideas.

    Anyway, we had a bunch of people in class yelling and screaming that the Bible doesn't say this or that.

    I remember when the professor mentioned the bible mentions multiple gods, some of the students screamed and walked out of the class after the professor showed them the original Hebrew translation.

    Then when I was helping out the Buddhist club in college, we had a bunch of Campus Crusaders for Christ go us to our table at share-your-religion day and tell us that we were responsible for world war 2 and harass us.

    Man... Christians are so annoying.

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  70. [Gospels are literary genre to spread the "good news" through metaphor or storytelling. In this case, the story is of a man named Jesus who saves all of humanity.]
    It is pretty clear the gospel writers were writing with the intent to accurately preserve the historical story of Jesus.
    Metaphor? I see no reason why a group of people would risk their lives being persecuted by the Roman Empire and Jewish authorities and travel long dangerous distances to spread "a metaphor"

    [The early Christian church was fragmented,]
    not really
    [and each wrote their own version of the story.]
    Huh?
    [ That's where the books of Mathew, Luke, John, etc... come from. ]
    They were mostly written for different audiences and with different focuses. Matthew wrote for Jews, Luke for gentiles, John wrote his to supplement the synoptics.
    [The actual authors are unknown.]
    Kaitlyn, there s a pretty good case for the traditional authors. There are
    1)no competing traditions or claims of authorship
    2)internal evidence that affirms traditional authorship
    3)Early attestation of authorship from Papias and Iraneous
    I don't thin there is any good reason to deny the authors unless you have some kind of motive.

    [Later, the earliest known works were collected by the Council of Nicea into what's known as the Bible today.]
    I think you are rather confused Kaitlyn. The council of nicea was when the early Christians had to deal with a heretical group called the Arians (they denied the trinity and believed Jesus and the father were separate gods).It had nothing to do with collecting the works into the bible.
    Have you been reading the Da Vinci Code?

    ReplyDelete
  71. The funny thing is that I've met a lot of scientifically-minded, open-minded, and actually intelligent Christian theologians.

    This one Christian preacher at my college did research up at the north pole. He was really nice and awesome, and he took the Buddhist group to the biggest Buddhist temple in North America... I think he was our group sponsor too.

    I guess ignorance is the enemy of not only science, but also religion.

    ReplyDelete
  72. [To be a biography, the author must establish his identity and relationship to the biographee, otherwise, the story is historical fiction.]
    Just so you know Froggie, Tacitus' annals are internally anonymous.
    But I don't think ancient writers really did have an obligation to reveal their identities

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  73. nd as to nonmagic's and Kaitlyn's contentions that miracles are so improbable that we should just rule them out from the start, the are ignoring many variables and a large part of the picture.That's just not how we calculate probabilities.

    Anyone ever heard of Baye's theorem?
    Here is it applied to the resurrection.

    B = Background knowledge
    E = Specific evidence (empty tomb, tness appearances, etc)
    R = Resurrection of Jesus
    (not-R in this case will be the body-stealing theory or whatever else you propose)
    overall probability = Pr (R/B) × Pr (E/B&R) / Pr (R/B) × Pr (E/B&R) + Pr (not-R/B) × Pr (E/B& not-R)
    (The equation comes from W.L. Crag and J. Earman)
    nonmagic is looking at Pr (R/B)(intrinsic probability of the resurrection) and ignoring all the other factors. What we also have to look at is Pr (E/B&R)(explanatory power of the resurrection given the specific pieces of evidence we have).
    As you see the overall probability can still be high even if the intrinsic probability is low as nonmagic asserts.

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  74. "Have you been reading the Da Vinci Code?"

    Nope. I was wrong, you were right. I believed a myth. The council of Nicaea didn't collect the cannon of the Bible.

    ReplyDelete
  75. "Metaphor? I see no reason why a group of people would risk their lives being persecuted by the Roman Empire and Jewish authorities and travel long dangerous distances to spread "a metaphor""

    So if people risk their lives or get themselves killed for something then it is necessarily true?

    I think you need to be looking into Islam then, pal.

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  76. [I was wrong, you were right. I believed a myth. The council of Nicaea didn't collect the cannon of the Bible.]
    Yeah I was trying to think where that idea came from. The last time I remember hearing that stuff about Nicea was in the Da Vinci Code.
    You still Buddhist Kaitlyn?

    ReplyDelete
  77. MFT,

    You're cut n paste skillz R so KeWL !!

    Seriously, though, I never said that that miracles were so improbable that we should dismiss them from the start.

    What I said is that it is MORE LIKELY THAT SOMEONE STOLE THE BODY THAN IT IS THAT A HUMAN WHO IS ALSO GOD ROSE FROM THE DEAD AND FARTED OFF INTO A CLOUD.

    Also, why assume something supernatural is involved in a situation when a perfectly logical explanation exists without interjecting the unprovable into it?

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  78. I don't think miracles are impossible, but extraordinarily unlikely. As such, you need extraordinary amounts of evidence to support such a claim.

    ReplyDelete
  79. "You still Buddhist Kaitlyn?"

    To a certain extent. But some Buddhists take their beliefs too far. When one of my friends had himself burned in a ritual, I decided I didn't want to support such an organization.

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  80. [So if people risk their lives or get themselves killed for something then it is necessarily true?]I wasn't trying to say that. It would mean that they believed it was literally true though.

    [I think you need to be looking into Islam then, pal.]
    I have (didn't like it much though)

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  81. "I wasn't trying to say that. It would mean that they believed it was literally true though."

    And what does belief have to do with truth? Absolutely nothing.
    If I literally belief that I'm George Washington, my belief has nothing to do with the validity of my claims.
    An uncountable amount of humans have believed, sincerely, in things that weren't true - enough to die for and kill for these things.

    "I have (didn't like it much though)"

    Well, they don't much like you either. Their holy book says that it's the correct one and that all you jesus lovers have things mixed up. If you're mistaken you're in for some trouble, pal.

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  82. Lots of people in Rome had crazy religious beliefs that they seriously believed 2,000 year ago. Even today, look at how Muslims are willing to kill themselves all too often for their religious beliefs which they think are absolutely true.

    However, the Romans kept pretty accurate records and news reports similarly to how we do now. If someone was walking around, performing miracles, and curing the sick, no one reported it.

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  83. Mr. FreeThinker wrote:

    "[The early Christian church was fragmented,]
    not really "

    Tell that to the Adoption Christology sects, the Ebionites, the Arianism sect, the Gnostics, the Montanists, etc...

    ReplyDelete
  84. "Kaitlyn, there s a pretty good case for the traditional authors. There are
    1)no competing traditions or claims of authorship
    2)internal evidence that affirms traditional authorship
    3)Early attestation of authorship from Papias and Iraneous
    I don't thin there is any good reason to deny the authors unless you have some kind of motive."

    From wikipedia (not that Wikipedia is the end all or be all of sources, but a good starting point for research)...

    "The gospel of Mark was written during c. 65-70, possibly motivated by the First Jewish-Roman War. The gospel of Matthew was written c. 80-85 to convince a Jewish audience that Jesus was the expected Messiah (Christ) and a greater Moses. The gospel of Luke, together with Acts (see Luke-Acts) was c. 85-90, considered the most literate and artistic of the gospels. Finally, the gospel of John was written, portraying Jesus as the incarnation of the divine Word, who primarily taught about himself as a savior. All four gospels originally circulated anonymously, and they were attributed to Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John in the 2nd century. Various authors wrote further epistles and the Apocalypse of John."

    Source

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  85. MFT,

    Metaphor? I see no reason why a group of people would risk their lives being persecuted by the Roman Empire and Jewish authorities and travel long dangerous distances to spread "a metaphor"

    I do:

    1. They did not think it was a metaphor.
    2. People are not always logical
    3. Lots of things just happen
    4. Who sold you the belief that people act rationally? (I know this one is 2 again, but I had to ask)

    Also, if you are not saying that this is evidence of their beliefs being true, than why did you say it?

    Is Jake that young asshole making videos in youtube where he just states the same crap that you try here? Dark hair covering his ears? And "that" is smarter than you? Wow, how little you think of yourself.

    G.E.

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  86. @Kaitlyn
    I think there's a bit of double standard at wikipedia. Tacitus' annals are internally anonymous. Several writers quote him without attributing the quote and the first person to say Tacitus wrote it was Tertullian, a writer in the 3rd century.(You don't see them questioning his authorship).
    Anyway I think you do have to take into account that in all the widespread Christian communites authorship was unanimously in favor of the traditional authors.Either these names were always there or added very early on before they were widely distributed.
    Anyway Kaitlyn
    Which of the 5 facts do you reject?
    For what reason do you reject them?

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  87. For the last time... I answered this already...

    I don't reject any of those facts. I don't know if they are true or not, nor do I care if Jesus was a real person or if his tomb was really empty.

    The Bible talks about monsters, and unicorns, and the universe being created in six days... things that are demonstratively false. It's not a trustworthy source when it makes such extraordinary claims like Jesus could heal the sick.

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  88. Of course, if you were like me when I was a Christian, you would say... well... okay. The Old Testament is figurative, but the New Testament and the story of Jesus really happened.

    If it did, there's little to no extrabiblical confirmation of the crucial claims made by the Bible... namely that Jesus was God.

    Maybe there was a preacher named Jesus that the New Testament was based after, but the story shows all the signs of being literary fiction.

    It follows a predictable hero pattern found in other known fictional works such as his virgin birth and a tragic, yet heroic ending at the top of a hill.

    Here's a video that explains in detail.

    I mean, just think about it for a second. Here's a man who could cure the sick in a world without any medical technology... but he only heals those he just happens to run into.

    Yeah right! I'm not buying that the Gospels are an accurate account of history for one second.

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  89. [The Bible talks about monsters]
    Where? The closest thing I can think of is giants.

    [and unicorns,]
    Come on Kaitlyn, I told you already that its a mistranslation.The only bible you will find that is in the 400 year old "ye olde english" ones.

    [and the universe being created in six days... ]
    Not six LITERAL DAYS.
    [It's not a trustworthy source when it makes such extraordinary claims like Jesus could heal the sick.]
    a lot of problems there Kaitlyn
    1)Genesis was written by a completely different author thousands of years before Jesus.The Old testament could be wrong but my 5 facts could still be right
    2)I have pointed out several instances of secular historical documents where miraculous claims are made but we still consider them trustworthy
    3)I wasn't saying you should accept any miraculous facts.I made arguments in support of these normal facts(empty tomb ,eyewitnesses) based on historical criteria.


    [If it did, there's little to no extrabiblical confirmation of the crucial claims made by the Bible... namely that Jesus was God.]
    What kind of confirmation do you want for facts like that?

    [It follows a predictable hero pattern found in other known fictional works such as his virgin birth and a tragic, yet heroic ending at the top of a hill.]
    If you think Jesus passes the mythic hero test, Lincoln has it in spades. Czar Nicholas II is probably a myth too.But in all seriousness he mythic hero test is rather circular. They often downplay the differences and stretch the parallels to force similarities.You can use to try to prove anything you like. I recall that there was one early 20th century scholar who used the same pattern to show that Jesus mythicist Kummel did not exist.

    ReplyDelete
  90. "What kind of confirmation do you want for facts like that?"

    I don't know... something... anything!!!

    If it's unverifiable, why believe it?

    ReplyDelete
  91. Mr FreeThinker,
    Even though the Abraham Lincoln and Czar Nicholas II examples show, it is possible for real people to potentially score highly on the mythical hero score.

    Your examples exaggerate to make these points, and they do not apply this test to a single piece of work as it was meant to be used.

    However, there are a high percentage of mythical heroes who score highly on this test and a very low percentage of real people who even come close.

    So while it's possible that the story of Jesus just happened to follow certain traditions, it's not likely.

    Jesus isn't the first religious savior to be born of a virgin, have stars appear when we was born, turn water into wine, perform miracles, heal the sickly, be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver, etc...

    He wasn't even the first figure to feature communion in which bread and wine represent the body and blood of this savior.

    I mean, I wouldn't be able to tell a Christian church today from the cult of Dionysus if I didn't understand what they were saying.

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  92. MFer: I told you already that its a mistranslation.

    What else is a mistranslation?

    Not...LITERAL

    What else is not literal?

    And how do you choose?

    ReplyDelete
  93. But to get back on topic;
    nice video find, Kaitlyn. Reminds me of a few people I've talked to.

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  94. ["What kind of confirmation do you want for facts like that?"

    I don't know... something... anything!!!

    If it's unverifiable, why believe it?]
    I don't know. I would tell you what I did when looking at Islam, was checking for internal consistency and how it fit in with the world.Of course I wouldn't be able to find evidence outside of Islamic sources but I check how Mohammed supported his claims to be a prophet and whether he acted as a prophet of God.
    But I could spin this around too. Why believe in naturalism? It cannot be verified by science (as science presumes methodological naturalism) or experience.

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  95. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  96. [Your examples exaggerate to make these points, and they do not apply this test to a single piece of work as it was meant to be used.]
    I think the czar nicholas one was fair, but the point of the Lincoln parody was that people were doing the same stretching in the gospels as he was doing to the Lincon biography.
    We know that it is not analgous to compare Lincoln becoming a president to a mythic king like Ulysses.In the same way it is a strech to say that jesus was a 'king' in the same sense as Ulysses.

    Kaitlyn I would also recommend you stop watching youtube videos like that.They tend to be poorly researched.These things have been abandoned by modern researchers.If you heck out the scholar interviewed in the film (Robert Price) you'll find out that his views were so far-left and fringe that he had to start his own journal to get his stuff published(couldn't make it past peer-review).
    [Jesus isn't the first religious savior to be born of a virgin, have stars appear when we was born, turn water into wine, perform miracles, heal the sickly, be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver, etc...]
    Kaitlyn outside of some Hindu traditions around Krishna(let's face it Hinduism would not be influencing monotheisitic Jews in 1st century Palestine) I don' think there were any virgin births.Dionysis was he god of wine and performed some miracles like making a spring of wine appear from the ground, so I guess you can cont that(though it wouldn't strictly be like turning water into wine). And get real, perform miraculous healings, of course Gods would perform miracles. Otherwise they wouldn't be gods.I don't know about the betrayals.

    [He wasn't even the first figure to feature communion in which bread and wine represent the body and blood of this savior.]
    I don't think this is true.But Kaitlyn you do know that the Jews celebrated Passover Seder with the bread and wine long before Jesus.I recall there was a Roman mystery religion that did have meals at festivals with wine(I don't know anything about the body and blood though) but the details are vague and come from a 2nd century document.


    [I mean, I wouldn't be able to tell a Christian church today from the cult of Dionysus if I didn't understand what they were saying.]
    [sarcasm/]Oh yeah orgies,alcohol,durnkeness and madness.Lots like Christianity today[/sarcasm]

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  97. MFT wrote Why believe in naturalism? It cannot be verified by science

    You can't honestly believe that.

    EDIT: a quick check at Wikipedia reveals some of what (I think) you were trying to say.

    It's unfair to compare belief in a literal Biblical interpretation to a belief that "natural, physical, and material approaches" to answering questions is superior to all others.

    Why?

    Naturalism (as in the definition above) does not preclude the use of other methodologies. It simply sets itself as the gold but not absolute standard.

    Biblical literalism, on the other hand, rejects everything that is not Biblical literalism. without even considering or listening to other methodolgies, it defines everything else as Wrong.

    Incidentally, considering that we human beings can only relate effectively to our world through natural means, it's disingenuous to suggest that "other methods" aren't being given a fair shake.

    Show me that prayer is effective in solving problems, and I'll immediately concede your point. Show me that belief in something provides better answers than physically investigating something, and I'll again concede your point.

    ---

    Unfortunately, your above statement is simply (but predictably) a smokescreen for your underlying opinion:

    "If you don't believe in a literal Biblical intepretation, you're doing it (re. life) wrong!"

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  98. @ Wem
    I wasn't critiquing science or methodological naturalism.I was merely pointing out it was impossble for science to verify naturalism , since by definition its methodology excludes it from commenting on the 'supernatural'.
    I think I've said that I don't believe in a literal Genesis before here too.

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  99. MFT wrote I wasn't critiquing science or methodological naturalism.I was merely pointing out it was impossble for science to verify naturalism , since by definition its methodology excludes it from commenting on the 'supernatural'.

    This is not true, depending on how you define 'supernatural'. If you take it to mean 'anything naturalism can't assess or comment on', then your statement would be true - and utterly meaningless.

    If you take it to mean 'anything which naturalism doesn't have a way of assessing today, but may tomorrow', then the statement would be false.

    Your use of the word seems to imply ... Of The Gaps. Meaning, you're lumping everything immaterial into a single bag, and then holding it up as your argument. I may believe that Ghosts exhibit quantifiable characteristics - which by your usage of the word, makes them *not* supernatural.

    Look - science is based on naturalism just as much as humanity is; we related to and manipulate our world via physical means. The minute you can show me something else that's just as effective is the minute I'll concede your point.

    Oh and by the way - that method, too, will need to be falsifiable.



    MFT wrote I think I've said that I don't believe in a literal Genesis before here too.

    If so and if I've misrepresented your opinion, I apologize for that. Sincerely. I try to avoid such things as much as possible...

    You probably restate this as often as I mention that I'm not an atheist :)

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  100. @Wem'
    You miss the point. Met. Naturalism cannot be verified, by science or any other method.

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  101. How does a methodology get verified? By producing results which appear to be valid.

    How does science verify the scientific method? By using it to create things like the computer you're typing on, and the monitor I'm reading your posts with.

    You, yourself, validate the scientific method (which utilizes naturalistic ideas) every time to take an aspirin.

    Show me a method other than physical verification of an idea that works as well (or heck, even 1/4th as well), and I'll immediately concede your point.

    Right now, it appears science does indeed verify the utility/validity of naturalistic principles every second of every day. If it weren't doing so, you and I would both be cold and living in some cave, typing in the dark.

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  102. In fact, MFT, you refuse to live your life on the assumption that science DOESN'T verify naturalistic principles.

    How do ya like them apples?

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  103. [How does science verify the scientific method?]
    It can't. To try to do so would be going in circles

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  104. I feel the strawmen coming on. I never claimed science didn't work.
    Let us use the wiki definition

    [metaphysical naturalism refers to a belief about the totality of what exists, excluding by definition gods, spirits, and any other supernatural beings, objects, or forces. It is a belief that nature is all that exists ]


    Can science verify a naturalist's belief that nature is all that exists? Can science verify that non-materially reducible entities do not exist?
    It would be nice if you could answer.

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  105. I wrote "How does science verify the scientific method?"

    MFT wrote It can't. To try to do so would be going in circles

    And yet, here you are, typing away on a piece of technology that never could have existed without science.

    Science has validated its methodology, despite your claim otherwise.

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  106. MFT wrote I feel the strawmen coming on. I never claimed science didn't work.

    No, but you have equated naturalism with science, which explains my approach here.



    MFT wrote Let us use the wiki definition

    [metaphysical naturalism refers to a belief about the totality of what exists, excluding by definition gods, spirits, and any other supernatural beings, objects, or forces. It is a belief that nature is all that exists ]


    Can science verify a naturalist's belief that nature is all that exists?


    Given that naturalism is a philosophy and not fact, no. For that matter, science can't prove or disprove Nihilism, Communism, Solipsism, Objectivism, etc ad nauseum.

    Given that you chose to use the philosophical definition, you've argued yourself into a Win. Congrats.

    Keep in mind, however, this is the first time I've *ever* seen you refer to it as an intangible system of thought - as opposed to a methodology by which reality can be assessed (the latter of which is definitely the more common usage).


    MFT wrote Can science verify that non-materially reducible entities do not exist?

    Please define that phrase. On the face of it, I don't understand what kind of "non-materially reducble" entities might possibly exist.

    And also keep in mind, science does not have to prove a negative. Never. By the same token, it does not ever assert such negatives don't exist.

    ---

    I don't really understand where you're going with this...

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  107. [No, but you have equated naturalism with science, which explains my approach here.]
    No I equated science with methodological naturalism. Naturalism is a belief, methodological naturalism is a process.
    And I'm glad you agree that naturalism is not verifiable. Tat was all I pointed out to Kaitlyn.

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  108. MFT wrote And I'm glad you agree that naturalism is not verifiable. Tat was all I pointed out to Kaitlyn.

    I absolutely concede the point as it's been defined here.

    I have a question for you: can any material-based methodology prove or disprove Solipsism?

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