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Friday, November 14, 2008

The Opium of the People

Who hasn't heard the popular quote that suggests a dismissal of religion as "the opium of the people". A quote made by the coauthor of the Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx. However, in a discussion of Hegel, the word "opium" is much less simplistic in it's meaning as religious leaders would have one believe. Let's take a look at this quote in it's proper context.

"Religious distress is at the same time the expression of real distress and the protest against real distress. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people.

The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusions about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions. The criticism of religion is therefore in emrbyo the criticism of the vale of woe, the halo of which is religion.

Criticism has plucked the imaginary flowers from the chain not so that man will wear the chain without any fantasy or consolation but so that he will shake off the chain and cull the living flower."

For those that have not yet shaken off the chain, return to first principles. Why do you believe what you believe? Is your holy book moral? Is consolation enough to justify such beliefs? If your god is good...based on the lack of evidence for his existence, why would he care whether you believe or not? I mean, if he loves you, why would he punish you for something so illogical? We criticize to help you pluck these imaginary flowers off the chain, to recognize it's cold grip upon you, weighing you down, preventing you from living life; this life. The real halo is doing good without the belief in anyone watching you; without the desire for ultimate reward for such actions.

88 comments:

  1. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusions about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions.

    The latter statement is fundamentally (and fatally) false. The current state of humanity (whether you're talking about industrialized or third world countries) suggests that depression is more of an impediment to "societal health" than war or disease.

    Simply put, people actually NEED something to believe in.

    This isn't an absolute; I'll be the first person to admit that believing in the imaginary in order to be happy isn't really a proper solution. But to simply dismiss all of it and then hope that, somehow, our eyes will be opened and life will be better...

    It requires just as much faith as the fundamentalism we're so fond of.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Heh marx rulez
    [Why do you believe what you believe?]
    For many reasons, I'd like to think the main reason is the inner witness of the holy spirit

    [Is your holy book moral?]
    I think it is .If you are genuinely interested in it and learn about context and not looking to discredit it.

    [Is consolation enough to justify such beliefs?]
    I don't get what you mean

    [If your god is good...based on the lack of evidence for his existence, why would he care whether you believe or not?]
    I think god has provided a fair amount of evidence for his existence.He doesn't pander to skeptics though


    [I mean, if he loves you, why would he punish you for something so illogical?]
    He punishes us for sin. Sin isn't 'illogical'. It is rebelling and blaspheming against his perfect and holy nature.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I see what whateverman means. To appeal to happiness it takes an emotionally equivalent alternative, not just discarding the previous 'solution'. Atheism doesn't provide any emotional component to the positive or negative in itself. It can make no sense for a believer to drop faith in order to find happiness in atheism, if his faith has no negative emotions attached in his views. Of course many repress negative thoughts, try to explain away possible negative interpretations of what they read or what happens in their social circle. Reason can reach in there positively, but that still doesn't provide the emotional sense of 'completeness' many people need. I really don't know if some people actually need this more than others, or if it's just easier for someone like me to find it in finite, physical life.
    People might ask themselves, does what I believe and what I do satisfy me, does it make me happy, and if so, is it because I'm doing Jesus's will, or am I really just expressing my own compassion and attribute it or project it onto Jesus? Can my feelings be of myself, do I really need an external agent to explain them?

    This is the emotional appeal, the freedom of being honest, charitable, rational, curious, compassionate, critical, emphatic, confident and contributing to the greater good of humanity and further generations. If that appeal lacks, and religious faith lacks too for someone, then we get a miserable nihilism.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think god has provided a fair amount of evidence for his existence.He doesn't pander to skeptics though

    Where is this proof?

    I read this as: I see proof of the god I believe in because I believe. It you don't believe, you won't see it.

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  5. I have a pet hypothesis that touches on this.

    When I look at history I see a lot of wars over territory, riches, religion, resources, etc. Some were waged by egotistical kings, dictators and plain old despots and that's the way it was for many a day.

    Since democracies have taken root, it seems to me that we rarely find one democracy waging war on another, and we rarely find the people electing an outright despot to be their leader(s.)

    The Fundies are fond of saying that the humanistic (atheistic) approach lends itself to situations like Pol Pot, Hitler, Stalin, etc. The difference is that under certain types of dictators, atheism is imposed. That can't work and the authors of the US Constitution knew that. But while we cannot impose atheism we should not impose theism. In democracies and republics, atheism/theism is a choice.

    That basic concept is what makes republics and democracies free.

    While there will be safeguards to protect the personal conscience, there are also safeguards to keep the Republic from becoming a theocracy, because under theocracy, it is obvious, that we lose our freedom of conscience.

    And therein lies the problem we see in the US. Some fundamentalist theists, while enjoying complete freedom to practice their religion, would change our system of government and the constitution to include their irrational belief systems in the form of legislating the morality of their ancient books of myths.

    Mainstream American Christians are our friends and neighbors to a large degree. I never have a problem with that. They are what I refer to as "Practical" Christians and have no problem with our Constitution.

    The only major fault I find with most Practical Christians is their reluctance to criticize their Fundy cousins, for fear they will annoy them and "they are good christians too, don't cha know..."

    I doubt if the most militant atheist is calling for a ban on religion, we are just asking that they quit trying to take over the fucking place and impose their shit on other people.

    So, do people "need" religion? In my opinion, yes, some think they do. But, in any case, religion is not going away anytime soon, but I have stated that the internet will be to organized religion, what the printing press was to the demise of the power of the RC Church.

    Theocracies only survive well when "The masses" are kept rather ignorant. Once the masses become more educated and information moves freely through society, the religion must then be imposed, to the peril of the members of that society.

    Now, I know this is merely me looking through the broad spectrum of my experience and I expect, and hope, to get some heat on this!

    The Saturday morning Frogosopher.

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  6. PS

    It seems to me that most of the democratic founding and governing documents were written to eliminate theocratic and/ or despotic rule.

    Long Live the Magna Carta!

    ReplyDelete
  7. A man has a sharp rock in his shoe that makes it painful to walk. He takes tylenol #3 to dull the pain so he can get through the day. As long as the pain is dulled he can ignore the rock in his shoe. How will the person recognize the cause of his pain and the solution if his senses are dulled by narcotics? First he must stop the drugs and feel his pain so he can correctly identify its source and find a solution. Without the drugs he will find the rock in his shoe and remove it.

    That is my interpretation of the passage. The abolition of religion is necessary so that the real issues can be addressed.

    ReplyDelete
  8. "I think god has provided a fair amount of evidence for his existence...."

    WHERE? WHAT IS IT? SHOW ME! LINKS PLEASE!

    Hi, there, MrFreeThinker! Now you've gone from bragging that you have "no problem" providing evidence for the existence of your imaginary friend, to asserting that your imaginary friend has provided such evidence.

    Exxxcellllennnnnt. (rubs hands Monty-Burns-style) So you'll have no trouble showing it to me.

    Waiting.

    ReplyDelete
  9. MFT,

    You were probably hoping that Weemayanne would just disappear, but, as you can see, she is still watching you. hehe.

    Wee's Kharma has run over you dogma. Again.

    ReplyDelete
  10. @Weemaryanne
    I think I made an airtight historical case for the resurrection of Jesus in my posts. Hisotry isn't your thing?

    If your bored of that argument and want to discuss something else, I guess we can.
    What do you think of this argument

    ReplyDelete
  11. ["legislating the morality of their ancient books of myths."]
    Should morality be legislated? I really don't know. What do you think?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Mft,
    I don't know what Wee thinks of that new argument but I think it is bullshit of the highest order.

    Please for the sake of your sanity, read and tell me what is wrong in the second premise

    "1. Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence (either in the
    necessity of its own nature or in an external cause)."

    OK for now.

    "2. If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God."

    Wait a freaking minute!!!!!!!!!!!
    WTF? You. Can't. Be. Serious!???

    ReplyDelete
  13. Mft,
    In #1, "either in the
    necessity of its own nature or in an external cause."

    Two causes are offered.

    Then in #2 God is chosen arbitraliy.

    FAILED>>>>>>>>>>>>
    RETRY
    FAILED>>>>>>>>>>>>
    RETRY
    FAILED>>>>>>>>>>>>

    DOES NOT COMPUTE
    404 error
    END

    ReplyDelete
  14. God wasn't chosen arbitrarily.w. Craig explained wny the cause was god
    From link-
    "For think of what the universe is: all of space-time reality, including all matter and energy. It follows that if the universe has a cause of its existence, that cause must be a non-physical, immaterial being beyond space and time. Now there are only two sorts of thing that could fit that description: either an abstract object like a number or else an unembodied mind. But abstract objects can’t cause anything. That’s part of what it means to be abstract. The number 7, for example, can’t cause any effects. So the cause of the existence of the universe must be a transcendent Mind, which is what believers understand God to be."

    ReplyDelete
  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  16. MFT,
    "For think of what the universe is: all of space-time reality, including all matter and energy."

    Correct, mostly.

    "It follows that if the universe has a cause of its existence, that cause must be a non-physical, immaterial being......"

    "It follows?" Same flawed logic as before. Argument from cedulity.
    There are any number of causes to be considered.

    FAILED>>>>>>>>>>>>
    RETRY
    FAILED>>>>>>>>>>>>
    RETRY
    FAILED>>>>>>>>>>>>

    DOES NOT COMPUTE
    404 error
    END

    ReplyDelete
  17. @Froggie
    [There are any number of causes to be considered. ]
    Could you please present these causes so we can consider them?
    Remember this cause is causally prior to space-time, and all matter and energy.
    I'd be glad to hear those other causes

    ReplyDelete
  18. Mft,

    OK, for one...there was this large turtle.....

    Get it?

    Hmmmmmm?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Then you have the Enuma Elish

    When in the height heaven was not named,
    And the earth beneath did not yet bear a name,
    And the primeval Apsu, who begat them,
    And chaos, Tiamut, the mother of them both
    Their waters were mingled together,
    And no field was formed, no marsh was to be seen;
    When of the gods none had been called into being,
    And none bore a name, and no destinies were ordained;
    Then were created the gods in the midst of heaven,
    Lahmu and Lahamu were called into being...
    Ages increased,...
    Then Ansar and Kisar were created, and over them....
    Long were the days, then there came forth.....
    Anu, their son,...
    Ansar and Anu...
    And the god Anu...
    Nudimmud, whom his fathers, his begetters.....
    Abounding in all wisdom,...'
    He was exceeding strong...
    He had no rival -
    Thus were established and were... the great gods.

    This is the oldest known manuscript on the face of the earth so far discovered that bears the name of the author.

    Look it up. Very interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Let's not forget one of the hypotheses from M theory: multidimnensional branes colliding, resulting in a "big bang".

    ReplyDelete
  21. @Milo,

    "A man has a sharp rock in his shoe that makes it painful to walk. He takes tylenol #3 to dull the pain so he can get through the day. As long as the pain is dulled he can ignore the rock in his shoe. How will the person recognize the cause of his pain and the solution if his senses are dulled by narcotics? First he must stop the drugs and feel his pain so he can correctly identify its source and find a solution. Without the drugs he will find the rock in his shoe and remove it.

    That is my interpretation of the passage. The abolition of religion is necessary so that the real issues can be addressed."

    This is precisely my interpretation of this passage as well.

    @whateverman,

    "Let's not forget one of the hypotheses from M theory: multidimnensional branes colliding, resulting in a "big bang"."

    Exactly. Also, dark matter and energy. While not a cosmologist, I have heard several top cosmologists suggest these observations indirectly point to a multiverse.

    WL Craig is a used carsalesman. Fast talking, often confusing, but when you examine his claims closely it is not difficult to see the fallacies in his reasoning.

    @Mr. F,

    Sorry, pal, it is ridiculous to claim an "airtight" argument for the truth of the resurrection. The very thought is laughable. Why can't you just admit that your beliefs are a FAITH...beliefs without evidence.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Yes, indeed, WEM, oooooooorrrrrrrr,
    A previous universe could have collapsed upon itself until critical mass was achieved and the big bang ensued.

    or our univese is one of the multiverses that formed out a much larger universe.

    ReplyDelete
  23. But,
    It's better just to say we don't know, for now. No need to attach some fairy tale to the event.
    OK Mft?

    ReplyDelete
  24. What I love is that theists will make the deistic argument, based on fine-tuning and where did space and time come from...and then they arbitrarily pick amongst thousands of gods that humans have worshipped and tell us that they have identified the correct one! Fine-tuning = Jesus. Who knew?

    Oh yeah, MFT has an "airtight case"!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Why do you believe what you believe?

    The core of my beliefs, that Jesus is alive, God loves me and is who he says he is, and that the Bible is true in what it teaches, all come from the fact that I have spoken with Christ.

    What the Bible teaches, and who God says he is is at times very clear cut and at times very vague. God want's to be sought out by me, and so my knowledge in those not-so-clear areas comes from my own study and discussions with others whom I have allowed to have a greater impact on my life than the rest of the human race. And, in those areas that are vague, I am open to the idea that I may be wrong. Because the fact that I have a reasonable explanation doesn't mean that I should stop searching for a better one.


    Is your holy book moral?

    Which book?
    I don't view the Bible as "a book." I tend to look at it more like a library or compilation.

    And, actually, I rather dislike calling it that. I am trying to train myself into referring to it as The Canon rather than The Bible.

    As for whether it's moral or not, I suppose that depends on one's definition of moral. If by "moral," one means "matches up with what I believe to be moral or immoral," then the Canon's moral quality differs from one person to the next. If by "moral" one means "matches up with an objective standard of morality," I would argue that the contents of the Canon are that standard.

    If I'm not mistaken, your definition of morality is that it is subjective, but that when you have multiple subjective moralities interact with each other, they move closer to some objective morality. Or, at least, they become more unified into what will be called an objective morality.

    If I'm right in that assumption, then I would say that only you can answer that question. For me, I don't judge the morality of the Canon as compared to other moralities. Rather, I judge other moralities as compared to the Canon.


    Is consolation enough to justify such beliefs?

    I don't need consolation. I need truth. If I want consolation, I'll seek out a friend or my mommy.

    I don't need to justify any belief beyond "I know this to be true," or "I believe this to be true, and will adopt truth if I find it to be untrue" in some cases.


    If your god is good...based on the lack of evidence for his existence, why would he care whether you believe or not?

    I believe that this is a poor question.

    God doesn't want us to believe that he exists, or that he is good, or that he is omnipotent or omniscient.

    He wants a relationship with us.
    We just can't have that relationship if we don't believe he exists, or that he is who he says he is.


    I mean, if he loves you, why would he punish you for something so illogical?

    Rather than work off of my assumptions as to what you mean by this, could you clarify the punishment and illogical thing for me?

    I assume you're speaking about Hell and lack of belief, but I just want to be sure.


    We criticize to help you pluck these imaginary flowers off the chain, to recognize it's cold grip upon you, weighing you down, preventing you from living life; this life. The real halo is doing good without the belief in anyone watching you; without the desire for ultimate reward for such actions.

    Such a statement comes from a lack of understanding of what Christianity really is. Not that it's your fault; it comes from your observation of the church I'm sure.

    Christianity, at it's truest heart, it not about a crown in Heaven or a better afterlife.
    Christianity is about this life. Christ, and the Kingdom of Heaven, are here. We don't have to wait to get a taste of it.

    The Kingdom of Heaven is wherever Jesus is. People who have a relationship with Christ (what Paul would call "In Christ" the same way a Roman was "In the Pax Romana") are in and a part of the Kingdom of Heaven right now.

    And Christianity isn't about doing good things for a reward. In fact, it's about doing good things because that's just what you do.
    Those who are in a real relationship with Christ are changed over time. They become more like him, they desire to do what he wants them to do, and they desire to do good. Before long, it's not about the "crown" or about getting to go to Heaven (because we're already in heaven). It's just what you do.


    This post sounds an awful lot like one that some one else posted way back early on in the semester on Ray's blog, and I responded to it in a similar fashion. I wonder if I can find that post and my response...

    His post ended with "It is your choise to continue to worship death. I choose life."

    Was that Quasar?

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  26. @Robb Penn
    What do you mean by a relationship?
    I always thought of it like a patron-client relationship.

    ReplyDelete
  27. [This is the oldest known manuscript on the face of the earth so far discovered that bears the name of the author.

    Look it up. Very interesting.]

    Great (Don't see the relevance though)

    [A previous universe could have collapsed upon itself until critical mass was achieved and the big bang ensued.

    or our univese is one of the multiverses that formed out a much larger universe.]

    I'd recommend you look at the argument again. The definition he used of the universe was all of space-time and its constituents. Those other "universes" would still be part of space-time and still be contingent. All you are doing is introducing other entities without showing what they are contingent upon.

    [No need to attach some fairy tale to the event.
    OK Mft?]
    I agree . No fairy tales. All I did was logically show it is reasonable to think the universe is contingent and that it was caused by a transcendent mind.

    ReplyDelete
  28. [Sorry, pal, it is ridiculous to claim an "airtight" argument for the truth of the resurrection. The very thought is laughable.]
    Did you actually look at my posts?

    [Why can't you just admit that your beliefs are a FAITH...beliefs without evidence.]
    Are you trying to tell me why I believe what I do? That's mighty presumptuous of you.


    [What I love is that theists will make the deistic argument, based on fine-tuning and where did space and time come from...and then they arbitrarily pick amongst thousands of gods that humans have worshipped and tell us that they have identified the correct one! Fine-tuning = Jesus. Who knew?]
    *huh* Weemaryanne asked for evidence for the existence of God and I provided it. Are you admitting that these arguments are good but you are not sure which god is right?

    [Oh yeah, MFT has an "airtight case"!]
    Oh thank you!!
    God bless....

    ReplyDelete
  29. @ MrFreeThinker:

    YHWH wants a father-child relationship with us. That's why he calls us "his children" and "co-heirs with Christ."

    You know, as a father loves his son, so does God love his children.


    Christ, who is God, desires us to be co-heirs with him, which implies some kind of sibling like relationship.


    Of course, our relationship with God and Jesus is a multi-faceted one, just like any other relationship. It's possible for a brother to be one's boss at the same time. Or, it's possible for one's lover to be one's friend also.


    I'm not excluding the idea that God and Christ are to be our master. I simply won't play down the other aspects of our relationship, either. That of friendship, father-son love, brotherly love, and the love that a Rabbi shows for his pupils in educaong them.

    ReplyDelete
  30. @ MrFreeThinker:

    Not really. Over a period of 30 years or so during his lifetime , Mohammed would recite verses he said came from god and anyone who was nearby would write it down on something available. After Mohammed's death they collected all the pieces of writing and decided what to put in the book.Later Uthman standardized the Koran and burned all the other copies of the other people with variant verses.

    *checks notes*

    My mistake. Must have had him confused with some other prophet.

    Regardless, the idea that the two books were compiled in the same manner is a mistaken one.

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  31. MFT,

    I think I made an airtight historical case for the resurrection of Jesus in my posts. Hisotry isn't your thing?

    1. Your "evidence" was about other "historical" stuff that, according to you and those you took the data from, had their "best explanation" as "this can only be explained if Jesus did resurrect." Even if all those things you claimed to be true were so, that still does not mean there was any resurrection. You jump from plausible events (some not that plausible), to an implausible one that actually requires extraordinary evidence (as Carl Sagan would say).

    2. Many of us showed you why those somewhat plausible events might not have happened and why we would not trust your source (a "PhD" who only published in fundie "journals" and works for a fundie "university").

    G.E.

    ReplyDelete
  32. MFT,

    The only way those arguments "make sense" is if you are already convinced, and constantly hold, a concept of "god" in your mind.

    Look (but please do look):

    For think of what the universe is: all of space-time reality, including all matter and energy.

    OK, no problem there ...

    It follows that if the universe has a cause of its existence,

    IF it has a cause!

    that cause must be a non-physical, immaterial being beyond space and time.

    Completely puzzled: why a non-physical cause? Why a "being"? Why an "immaterial" being? You see MFT? Failed so soon!

    Now there are only two sorts of thing that could fit that description:

    Sure only two things? (but it is pretty absurd since the previous part)

    either an abstract object like a number

    What? Like a number? Can you try and make a more ridiculous argument?

    or else an unembodied mind.

    Why the hell an unembodied mind? What about some natural forces/whatever? Why not some property instead of some intelligence? Why an intelligence whatsoever? I cannot see why it should be an unembodied mind at all. REMEMBER: This is supposed to be LOGICAL. If it were, it would be a bit more obvious. To put it lightly.

    But abstract objects can’t cause anything. That’s part of what it means to be abstract.

    Sure? Depends on how you define "cause anything." Also remember that you are already deep in shit with so many fallacies (non-sequiturs and false dichotomies, mostly).

    The number 7, for example, can’t cause any effects. So the cause of the existence of the universe must be a transcendent Mind,

    Again, besides the false dichotomy, I cannot see why it should be a transcendental mind.

    which is what believers understand God to be.

    And, since there is some imaginary thing that looks like the fallaciously arrived at "cause." It has to be this imaginary thing? What about something we have not discovered, nor imagined before? In science, we have arrived at lots of things we never thought of before. Thus, why should we expect this "cause" (if there is such a cause) to comport to and truly be something we have imagined before?

    G.E.

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  33. These arguments are designed MFT to reassure the believer, not to convince skeptics. Believers feel so happy because it does sound convincing. But if you think carefully, if you put yourself in the skeptical seat, you will see that they fail miserably. The only thing you can claim to have is your faith. Plain and simple MFT.

    G.E.

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  34. [Completely puzzled: why a non-physical cause?]
    Because this cause is causally prior to all matter and energy
    [ Why a "being"?]
    It can be an entity if you please.It doesn't affect the argument
    [ Why an "immaterial" being?]
    Because it is causally prior to all material

    [Sure only two things?]
    yep
    [What? Like a number?]
    Unlike you some mathematicians and philosopers think that numbers exist.

    ReplyDelete
  35. [You jump from plausible events (some not that plausible), to an implausible one that actually requires extraordinary evidence (as Carl Sagan would say).]
    "Extraordinary evidence" is subjective nonsense.

    [2. Many of us showed you why those somewhat plausible events might not have happened and why we would not trust your source (a "PhD" who only published in fundie "journals" and works for a fundie "university").]
    Never mind the fact that I provided surveys done that showed that these events were accepted by the majority of scholars of New testament history

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  36. MFT: "Extraordinary evidence" is subjective nonsense.

    You must live in a crazy world. Do you really _act_ like you believe that to be true?

    ReplyDelete
  37. [You must live in a crazy world. Do you really _act_ like you believe that to be true?]
    It is useless rhetoric to use in a debate.It is not historical at all.Unless both participants can agree on some objective standard by which to differentiate "ordinary" and "extraordinary" it is meaningless

    ReplyDelete
  38. MFT,

    Sometimes you get the bear, and sometimes the bear gets you.

    Today, the bear got you.

    Your feeble and flimsy arguments work much better, but are no more valid, if you are preaching to the choir. Take a lesson lil buddy.

    Your friend the frog ***wink***

    ReplyDelete
  39. MrFreeThinker,

    As Froggie, Clos and Whateverman have made admirably clear in my absence, you did NOT provide evidence. You linked to a popular apologist making a poor argument.

    Bzzt. Fail. Again.

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  40. [As Froggie, Clos and Whateverman have made admirably clear in my absence, you did NOT provide evidence. You linked to a popular apologist making a poor argument.]
    Oh you're here WMA. What part of he argument do you reject? I would be glad to discuss it.

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  41. Oh you're here WMA. What part of he argument do you reject? I would be glad to discuss it.

    Well, I am not WMA, but what about all of the argument?

    MFT: "Extraordinary evidence" is subjective nonsense.

    Really? Then if I said that I can make things burst into flames just by thinking about it you do not need extraordinary evidence? My word would suffice?

    Or you mean that for YOUR extraordinary beliefs there is no need for extraordinary evidence? Now that would be subjective! Very, very subjective.

    Never mind the fact that I provided surveys done that showed that these events were accepted by the majority of scholars of New testament history

    Yeah, surveys provided by the same fundie working for a fundie university and published in a fundie journal. Those surveys? Again, remember that those are about the events that might be plausible, not about the resurrection. Do not miss the point. Lots of people have died for false beliefs. Take a look at such events as wako texas. Many sects lead that way too. Does that mean that their extraordinary claims are true?

    Finally, you left many many many things out of your answer. Again, I know I will not convince you, and I have no problem with you believing in a god. However, I do think you can actually see why these arguments fail. You just do not want to accept it. Take a careful look, and you will see there is nothing airtight in any of those arguments you presented. They are "nice sounding" arguments, but crappy nonetheless. Even after you accept lots of the fallacies (or contentious premises) to see where they go, they fail.

    G.E.

    ReplyDelete
  42. It is useless rhetoric to use in a debate.It is not historical at all.Unless both participants can agree on some objective standard by which to differentiate "ordinary" and "extraordinary" it is meaningless

    This is a very dishonest tactic MFT. You are the one getting into useless rhetoric in this very statement. Can you see why or you need an explanation?

    1. Why the hell do you need to say that "Extraordinary" is not "historical"? Did I say or imply "extraordinary" to be historical?

    2. Why do you claim to need an objective standard to call something "extraordinary"? Is it not self evident to you? Sure you are not engaging into useless rhetoric yourself?

    3. Are you saying that you would not consider Jesus's resurrection an extraordinary event? If this is so, then why are you so worried about having evidence for it?

    Overall, if yours is not useless rhetoric and "extraordinary evidence" is, then you cannot claim to have airtight evidence for anything. You can only claim that you have "airtight evidence" according to your twisted definitions of evidence. Which we do not share.

    G.E.

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  43. MFT,

    You might want to look for a new blog to troll.

    I think your shelf life is fairly well exhausted here.

    Just my opinion.

    The entertainment value of your irrational arguments is pretty well worn out.

    Peace.

    One last question. Are you lonely?
    I'm serial

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  44. [1. Why the hell do you need to say that "Extraordinary" is not "historical"? Did I say or imply "extraordinary" to be historical?]
    I meant that Carl Sagan's maxim "Extroadinary claims require ....." is not a historical criteria.

    2. [Why do you claim to need an objective standard to call something "extraordinary"?]
    Because you would just throw the word vaguely around no matter how much evidence people present.
    [Is it not self evident to you?]
    Well of course you and I would disagree on what "extroadinary"
    is , coming from different worldviews, just as a muslim or hindu and I may disagree on what extraordinary is.
    [3. Are you saying that you would not consider Jesus's resurrection an extraordinary event?]
    Since I come from a worldview where I believe in god i would find it more probable than a naturalist or someone else who does not believe in an interventionist god.It would still be fairly improbable though.

    [If this is so, then why are you so worried about having evidence for it?]
    Oh WMA asked for evidence

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  45. GE,
    I do admit that I have a morbid curiosity, a love/hate relationship with people like MFT.

    I chalk it up to another case study of abject stupidity. Yet, there is something to be learned.

    And that is that I am totally convinced that I feed these trolls far to well.

    MFT will take this nonsense to five thousand comments if we allow him to do so. It makes me laugh at myself, which is a very cathardic in one sense, but sadly, a waste of time.

    I have to wonder if this person is getting off on this, or what is he trying to prove.

    One time when I first bought the property where I live, almost twenty five years ago, I bought a baby goat. We were pals for a while until he started butting me in the knee, and sometimes in the backside when I wasn't looking.

    I named him Dratleaf. I finally fenced him into a one acre plot where there was plenty of feed and diversions for him to take advantage of, but what did he do? He started head butting trees. He was the craziest fucking animal I ever owned.

    I felt so sorry for him that I often went into his area and let him have a go at butting me.

    That is a perfect analogy of what I am doing with MFT.

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  46. OK MFT, I am tired of the nonsense. If Jesus resurrection is not extraordinary then he is no god, no nothing. If anyone can resurrect then there is nothing special about your Jesus. Also, I find it hypocrite to say Oh WMA asked for evidence when you have a blog with an entry on this very thing, and since you presented this piece of crap to us before.

    I cannot see how your rhetoric is any better than asking for the proper evidence for the proper claim. For anything like a resurrection to be historically demonstrated you need evidence according to the size of the claim. If you will sit there and tell me that you have airtight evidence, and then you say that the rules for the evidence have to be relaxed because the kind of evidence necessary to be convincing is not "historical" then you have nothing. Just rhetoric. So, what other rules are you going to change now to be able to call this airtight?

    Peace,

    G.E.

    ---

    Froggie,

    I know what yo are saying.

    G.E.

    ReplyDelete
  47. MFT,

    Sure that you do not have any intellectual dissonance when you answer our questions and arguments?

    G.E.

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  48. @ get education:

    Was that last post supposed to be "cognitive dissonance," or "intellectual dishonesty?"

    What do you mean by "intellectual dissonance?"

    ReplyDelete
  49. Rob,

    Sorry, "cognitive dissonance." Though I have seen both ways used before to mean the same thing. But true, "cognitive" is the prevalent form. But you did know what I meant by the context, right?

    G.E.

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  50. @ get educated:

    Yeah, I figured that you meant "cognitive dissonance," but I've also seen "intellectual dishonesty" thrown around here too, and I figured that it could just have easily meant that.

    ^_^

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  51. Not a problem Rob. I do have some slips here and there, so it is only natural to exchange one thought for another in the middle of a sentence.

    Best,
    G.E.
    :)

    ReplyDelete
  52. And also, with scmike's visits, I talk a lot about intellectual dishonesty, of course. After all, he personifies the concept quite well. Thus, I should not be surprised that you were in doubt about my meaning.

    G.E.

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  53. Nice try, MFT, but you don't get to derail the discussion. I'm not interested in W.L. Craig's argument, I'm interested in YOUR promise of evidence.

    So, bring on the evidence, already!

    ReplyDelete
  54. That is the evidence. W.C. provided evidence that the universe was contingent and was caused by a transcendent mind(i.e. god). What do you disagree with?

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  55. I personally think Scmike is very honest. The people who heckle him and poison the well when they cannot present any kind of philosophical defense for their worldview seem to be the dishonest one to me.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Nnnooo, W.L.C. actually did the following:

    1) observed that the universe is freakin' huge, and then

    2) non-sequitured to "thass how Ah knows it wuz kreeated by somethin' even bigger that ain't even made o' matter, durrr."

    FAIL

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  57. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  58. No W.C.
    used reasoning to show
    1)The universe posseses properties that lead us to conclude it is a contingent entity
    2)used logical deduction to show that the entity that caused it must be a disembodied transcendent mind
    WIN! for theism

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  59. "Deducing" that something "must" have been caused by something that ain't there can be called many things, MFT.

    But "logical" it ain't.

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  60. What objections do you have to the argument WMA? What problem do you have with Craig's deduction?

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  61. All WLC does is conjure up an explanation that explains nothing. He might as well have said ABRACADABRA, it would have been just as meaningful.

    I know you don't see that. You can't see it, because you already believe and arguments like this can only convince believers, not skeptics.

    And BTW, you're still skating around the -- AHEM -- request for evidence. No more palming off the responsibility on someone else. Put up or give up.

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  62. Why don't you explain why craigs argument is at fault?
    [He might as well have said ABRACADABRA, it would have been just as meaningful.]
    What!!! Craig appealed to contingency and necessity and other meaningful and well established concepts.
    Which of the premises do you reject?

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  63. Dangit, MFT, wake up willya. The "necessity" is merely WLC's need to stop the infinite regress somewhere. So he just picked an arbitrary stop and declaims "The Regress Stops Here":

    ....if the universe has a cause of its existence, that cause must be a non-physical, immaterial being beyond space and time....

    "Must" be? Er, why must it be? How does WLC know that? What's his evidence (beyond his desperate grab for something solid that catches only a handful of diddlysquat)?

    AND BY-THE-FUCKEN-WAY:

    Why isn't MRFREETHINKER answering the damned question that was asked of MRFREETHINKER AND NOT OF WILLIAM GODDAMN LANE CRAIG.

    I repeat:

    What. Is. The. Evidence. For. The. Existence. Of. A. Deity. Question mark full stop.

    Don't tell me what WLC says or what anyone else says. Tell me what you think and why you think so. Make your argument and support it with evidence.

    No folktales of empty tombs.

    No "Paul got it from a guy who got it from a guy whose second cousin followed an itinerant rabbi all over Palestine for three years."

    No rhetorical flourishes such as "Infinite regress is simply too, too tiresome, so we must put a stop to it...."

    TALK to me, MFT, don't just condescend to me. I can tell the difference even over the intertoobs and it's damned annoying.

    And please save it for tomorrow, as I'm turning in now. Good night.

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  64. @ weemaryanne:

    Forgive the rudeness of coming in on a conversation that wasn't mine...

    but, even if the evidence provided by WLC isn't sufficient, why would we discard it just because it didn't come from MFT?

    All of secular science is built upon the evidences given to scientists by some one before them. Why is it so bad for MFT to differ to some one else's work?


    I can imagine if every one who was looking for truth was told not to speak of what any one else said, but only what they believe and why, that technology and science in general would be a great deal behind what it is today.

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  65. The infinite regress is caused by the teleological argument itself. To solve this by resorting to special pleading is neither logically sound nor necessary. The solution is dropping the teleology and looking at the evidence - which tells us that there was no 'nothing' that caused 'something'.
    Causality, action, processes, creation or existence all make no sense outside spatiotemporality. Causation without temporality is not definable. No will without intelligence, no intelligence without complexity, no complexity without development from simplicity. The theological reasoning to make a god persona simple and having immensely complex attributes at the same time is silly gibberish. Words don't mean whatever you want them to mean (Humpty Dumpty).

    Existence is not a logical predicate, as the ontological proofs try to make it - that would mean that everything that doesn't exist must have the predicate 'non-existence', thus making it existent and self-contradicting. Existence can only be a grammatical predicate - and that means it needs to be explained without circularity to be a meaningful concept.

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  66. [Causation without temporality is not definable. ]
    A cause can be simultaneous with its effects , no?

    [No will without intelligence, no intelligence without complexity, no complexity without development from simplicity. ]
    You're kind of question-begging here.If you're a materialist, of course you will believe that. But if you're a dualist you would disagree

    [The theological reasoning to make a god persona simple and having immensely complex attributes at the same time is silly gibberish. ]
    Define complex.

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  67. http://i48.photobucket.com/albums/f204/hedonisticpleasureseeker/Please_Do_Not_Feed_The_Troll.jpg

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  68. MFT,

    We all have explained to you. The whole thing only "makes sense" to someone who already believes in a god, and holds such concept in mind. But it only appears to make sense. Take a good look with a skeptical mind, and you will see.

    I personally think Scmike is very honest. The people who heckle him and poison the well when they cannot present any kind of philosophical defense for their worldview seem to be the dishonest one to me.

    OK, have you seen how scmike starts his crap?

    Someone says:
    OK, if the bible is the word of god, explain why does it has so many contradictions

    He answers:
    Before we can discuss this I would like to know how do you account for the [as many adjectives as possible] laws of logic, how those necessarily apply to the bible

    Now, tell me, does he have the slightest intention of answering about the bible contradictions? NO! This makes him a liar. If he prefers to talk about something else he should honestly say so.

    Another example:

    Someone answers his question by stating:
    Logic is a human construct to try and distinguish proper thinking, or the workings of the universe.

    His answer:
    So, could the sun be the sun and not the sun at the same time and in the same way before humans created logic?

    If you cannot see the dishonesty behind this one you are too much of a self-delusive asshole. I am not going to explain it to you. From your general comments, you should be able to spot the problem yourself.

    SC Mike is plainly and willfully dishonest. I showed you problems with the presupp argumentation when you tried to use it before. But it seems like you are not willing to learn. Are you a troll as others here are suggesting?

    I have also suggested that scmike and Sye could be trolls who mock both sides: the christian by showing them to be oblivious to the dishonesty if the arguments are to their favor, and the atheists by irritating them with the dishonest tactics. Maybe he's laughing at you for being oblivious to the trickery.

    G.E.

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  69. @ Free

    You have written that ""Extraordinary evidence" is subjective nonsense" & "not historical criteria."

    I am sick & tired of you trying to prostitute my discipline to spport your cult.

    You have no qualifications in history. You don't know anything about how historians work yet you continually state what is and isn't used by historians.

    Either put up a reliable cite from an accredited, peer reviewed source that substatiates your claim that historians don't use the maxim that "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" or admit that you lied.

    Your choice Free.

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  70. @ Everyone

    By the way the quote doesn't originate from Sagan. It originates from Hume.

    I believe that everyone, except Free, will agree with the following:

    "A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence; the moe evidence there is for something the more likely it is to have been the case."

    He continues "Equally, the evidence of others is assessed according to their reliability."

    Now for a quote dealing with miracles themselves [e.g. resurrection].

    "A miracle is a violation of the laws of nature; and as a firm and unalterable experience has established these laws, the proof against a miracle, from the very nature of the fact, is as entire as any argument from experience can possibly be imagined. Why is it more probable that all men must die; that fire consumes wood, and is extinguished by water; unless it be, that these events are found agreeable to the laws of nature, and there is required a violation of these laws, or in other words, a miracle to prevent them? NOTHING is esteemed a miracle if it ever happen in the common course of nature. ... The plain consequence is...That no testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle , unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous, than the fact, which it endevours to establish."

    What does all this mean? Simply this - If I claim "don't sit on this seat because it's just been painted" then the level of evidence needed to support my claim is trivial indeed.

    If however I claim "Last night I was kidnapped by bunny aliens from the planet bunnytopia who took me to their home planet in their flying saucer & returned me again" then a little bit more evidence would be required than just my word. Why? Because some people lie & others are crackers.

    Now merely on probability which is more likely? That I visited bunnytopia or that I am lying?

    The same question must be asked concerning the stories of the ressurection of Jesus. When all is said and done five people have left us accounts - four of them anonymously. So which is more likely? That they were lying? That they were deluded? Or that they saw what they said they saw?

    Respectfully five accounts do not fullfill hume's criteria.

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  71. @Chris
    One would think it is the other way around? Do you think historians publish stuff in journal about the methodology they DO NOT USE?
    I would think you would try to refute me by pointing out that some historian who published stuff in a journal and said he does use ECREE(Extraordinary claims ......).
    But what do you think of my objection that we need and objective basis to diffrentiate between ordinary and extraordinary claims?

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  72. I will say this Free.

    According to Popper every hypothesis must have grunds for falsifiability or it remains forever a hypothesis.

    I will provide my grounds for falsifiability [i.e. objective grounds on which I will accept that my religion is wrong] if you will do the same.

    In other words no personal revelations, no convincing each other of an intepretation of a text just hard evidence by which we accept that our religions have been shown to be wrong.

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  73. @Chris

    You ever heard of Hume's abject failure. I'm sure you can find some material on it online. Hume' argument is a tired one.
    By Hume's criteria a person who lives in the tropics could deny all testimonies to the existence of ice with the same justifications.

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  74. @ free.

    Let's deal with your more ludicrous post first shall we?

    Could a person in the tropics object to ice formation? Not really - ever heard of snow capped mountains free?

    But let's say your childish argument held shall we? All anyone would have to do is turn on a freezer & bingo no more scepticism regarding ice.

    Show me your resurrection Free.

    Now let's deal with you statement concerning historical research criteria. I can show you many journals Free that deal with the level of eidene required to establish certain historical events.

    That my child is empriacism in action. Or, if you prefer, the working out of the maxim "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

    But if you prefer we can write to a historical journal or you can come here [I live in Australia] & I'll introduce you to professors who teach history at the university level in accredited universities.

    All these lines of evidence will say the same thing free. I.e. that free doesn't know what the hell he's talking about.

    Just like when you were arguing that historians accepted the statements of texts at face value until proven otherwise.

    I provided several cites against you then Free. Perhaps you should reread that thread.

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  75. I did google Hume's abject failure.

    I found a huge amount of lies from tektonics - you do know that Turkel [the fraudster who auns the place] lies almost compulsively didn't you free?

    I also found a great deal of claims from an apologist. And zip else.

    This is your response to hume's tired old argument? Boy are you easily convinced or what?

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  76. @ free

    To sum up you seem to be hyper skeptial you are concerned with examining evidence against your faith.

    But your standard of evidence drops considerably when you are concerned with examining evidence FOR your faith.

    I'm confused Free. Isn't a double standard defined as hypocracy? Isn't hypocracy condemned by your faith? Then why are you doing it?

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  77. @ free

    One last point. You pointed out in one post that the burden of proof was something I was required to meet since I was the one making a positive claim concerning the use of empiricism in historical research.

    You are quite correct.

    However you then added "But what do you think of my objection that we need an objective basis to differentiate between ordinary and extraordinary claims?"

    If you mean to start off the whole silly presup argument - then not much!

    If, on the other hand you aretalking strictly about a pragmatic use of objective criteria, then we can set such criteria up through falsifiability - i.e. the evidence which would be required to prove a claim false. Or at least increase the probability of the claim being false.

    One method is to use predictions. That's not the supernatural kind but a stated expectation of evidence which is implied in a particular claim.

    E.g. if I claim X is true then we may reasonably expect to find Y. We do NOT find Y we find Z. Therefore the claim has been falsified and must be modified or abandoned.

    Quite frankly I don't know what sorts of predictions you could make concerning the resurrection.

    It would seem to be unfalsifiable and therefore a matter of faith and never history.

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  78. @ everyone

    I should point out something.

    To declare that there is insufficient evidence for the resurrection [i.e. that it is unfalsifiable] is NOT to make the claim that the resurrection didn't happen.

    There may be insufficient evidence for a range of claims that are none the less true.

    One example is my flying saucer argument. Let us say, for the sake of argument, that i really was taken away to the planet of bunnytopia by a flying saucer which then dropped me off & took off again.

    Would there be sufficient evidence to ever back my claims? Probably not. Does that mean it never happened? NO! Since we are assuming for the sake of the argument that it did.

    So what should be our reaction? The wisest course, I would argue, would be for the one who claims the trip is true to go on believing it but for the rest of us to express reservation until more evidence is acquired.

    According to Michael Shermer a true skeptic NEVER says that a claim wrong but merely that there is insufficient evidence to back that claim.

    In other words the only two options are "proven" and "unproven" but NOT wrong.

    After all who knows what evidence the future will bring.

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  79. @ everyone

    You might be interested in the following.

    Hume, the achetypal skeptic, wrote that he had observed what he agued fullfilled the requirement to be considered a miracle.

    The case was as follows:
    Several adult nuns fell about in hysterical abandon [the people believed they had been possessed].
    Hume actually measured their limbs and wrote that their bones were actually bending.

    Now, assuming for the sake of argument that Hume's account is accurate, is this a violation of the laws of nature?

    The facts of the case:

    >All the women [to my knowledge] were nuns.

    > Their ages ranged enormously although Hume wrote that they were all adults.

    > The episode had been going on for several weeks.

    > Each occurance woud last a particular amount of time [it varied] and then stop.

    > After each episode the women seemed to be in reasonable health although the wose for wear emotionally.

    My guess would probably be psychotic bouts but the bending limbs stumps me. Assuming for the moment that they were experiencing bouts of psychosis so strong that muscular contractions were bending their limbs wouldn't the bones weaken to the point of breaking after weeks of this abuse?

    Does anyone have any idea what could cause this?

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  80. "Does anyone have any idea what could cause this?"

    Crystal Meth?

    ReplyDelete
  81. Hi guys,

    MFT,

    You are missing the point completely, you started by saying that you had airtight evidence of Jesus' resurrection. Correct?

    Then I told you all the reasons why your "airtight evidence" was not such thing. AND, besides many other things, I told you that these arguments only appear to make sense to a believer due to their particular beliefs, and, of course, they tend to ignore the problems because all sounds so nice.

    You answer by saying that the resurrection is not extraordinary to you (killing Jesus's supposed importance in the statement). Thus showing exactly what I said: these arguments only appear to make sense to a believer.

    So, no airtight whatsoever, only apparently airtight if you are already convinced and willing to forgo your logical reasoning for an argument that sounds nice to you.

    Da ya see?

    G.E.

    Chris,

    Why would limbs bend? Maybe lack of vitamin D?

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  82. @ Expat

    LMAO. I love it.

    @ GE

    That's something I hadn't considered. But the main problem, as I see it anyway, isn't that the bones bent but that they straightened again after the bout was over.

    I would have thought any bone that was continually bent even slightly and then straightened again would break in short order.

    Not that this episode proves the existence of the supernatural. But it does raise fascinating questions.

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  83. Hi Chris,

    Actually bones are flexible (somewhat), not petrified. So, the measured bends might have been noticeable enough, but not so bad to break them. I once bended my humerous in a spectacular way (a stupid movement I made). I was surprised by both, the extent of the bend, and that it did not break. Then I learned about bone flexibility and such. I also learned that too much calcium can be bad too, because it reduces the flexibility, you want some flexibility, otherwise you can get hurt ... hum, interesting story Chris.

    G.E.

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  84. [Dangit, MFT, wake up willya. The "necessity" is merely WLC's need to stop the infinite regress somewhere. So he just picked an arbitrary stop and declaims "The Regress Stops Here":]
    It's conceppt that I know goes back as far as Lebiniz. Normally things like abstract objects (like mathematical and logical concepts) are thought to be necessary entities.

    [....if the universe has a cause of its existence, that cause must be a non-physical, immaterial being beyond space and time....

    "Must" be? Er, why must it be?]
    Because the cause is causally prior to the universe. The universe is by definition space-time and all its constituents, including matter and energy.

    [How does WLC know that? What's his evidence (beyond his desperate grab for something solid that catches only a handful of diddlysquat)?]
    Please re-read it. Craig gives several good reasons to support the universe being contingent.

    [Why isn't MRFREETHINKER answering the damned question that was asked of MRFREETHINKER AND NOT OF WILLIAM GODDAMN LANE CRAIG.]
    Well I'm sorry Wma. I usually just pick up where other philosophers and historians left off. I could make the argument from contingency but it would probaly be similar to Craig's own.


    [No folktales of empty tombs.]
    What about historical documentation for empty tombs (which are accepted by the majority of historical scholars)?

    ["Paul got it from a guy who got it from a guy whose second cousin followed an itinerant rabbi all over Palestine for three years."]
    What about Paul got it from the apostles who followed Jesus?

    [No rhetorical flourishes such as "Infinite regress is simply too, too tiresome, so we must put a stop to it...."]
    I never brought up the regress

    [TALK to me, MFT, don't just condescend to me. I can tell the difference even over the intertoobs and it's damned annoying.]
    Well I'm sorry, but you do see all the stuff I had to deal with on this thread.

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  85. [If, on the other hand you aretalking strictly about a pragmatic use of objective criteria, then we can set such criteria up through falsifiability - i.e. the evidence which would be required to prove a claim false. Or at least increase the probability of the claim being false.]
    Thing I can think of that would falsify the resrrection
    1) A source that predates the NT documents that shows that someone was in possesion of Jess' body
    2) Archeological evidence (ie finding Jesus' bones)
    3) An early document showing that the apostles recanted and admitted they really didn't see Jesus

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  86. @ Free

    When I was a fundie christian I still wouldn't have accepted your list of falsifying evidence Free.

    Let's take them one by one shall we?

    1) A source that predates the NT documents that shows that someone was in possesion of Jess' body

    My response: First the author of said source would be admitting to a crime punishable by death so I would treat with great suspicion any source written by someone who admitted that they robbed a grave.
    Secondly since said source woud only be written after the big broo ha ha was made about jesus' resurrection [i.e. after the gospels] then I would treat with suspicion the dating of said text.
    Thirdly I would find the text suspicious for cultural reasons. Most people in the ancient world were illiterate. That meant that most books were written BY the rich & powerful FOR the rich & powerful. So if such a text were written who would it be written for? The rich & powerful? Why would they be interested? Christianity wasn't even a blip on the radar screen in the 1st century. The jewish congregations? But they considered christianity another version of judahism until the invasion of Palestine by the Romans. So why would they badmouth one of their own?

    If such a document were found I'd consider it a fake. It wouldn'tconvince me one way or another.

    2) Archeological evidence (ie finding Jesus' bones).

    My response: You do realise that this is impossible Free. We don't have Jesus' DNA. Hell we don't even have his fingerprints or a decent desription of him. How in the world would his body be recognised if it was found?

    For all we know Jesus' body has been found but NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW!

    3) An early document showing that the apostles recanted and admitted they really didn't see Jesus.

    My response: This has several assumptions built into it.

    1) That only the physical resurrection of Jesus was importantto the apostles. Not true. Many jews believed in a spiritual resurrection. Therefore the apostles could have declared that jesus NEVER rose physically and still believed that he rose. It would still have made perfect sense in Jewish theology.

    2) Such evidence also assumes that Jesus' resurrection wasn't meant metaphorically. [Gnostics anyone?].

    3) But let's say that jesus resurrection was only ever meant as a physical resurrection which was witnessed by the apostles. Ask yourself this: Why would the apostles state that they had lied & such a statement be written down? One good reason would be greed [they'd been given an offer to make them rich & they caved] or fear [they'd been threatened with harm & they'd caved].

    Either way how would the fact that the apostles were greedy or fearful men prove that the resurrection didn't happen?

    Sorry Free but I don't find these suggestions remotely credble.

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  87. @ free

    I also think you've misunderstood the principle of falsifiability.

    Under this principle we actually go looking for evidence hich confirms our view not proves it wrong. But it has two further points.

    1) The evidence must be hard evidence which comes as a direct result of the resurrection itself [texts do NOT count].

    2) Such hard evidence must be predicted BEFORE we go looking.

    Example: There are some accounts in the gospels of a light surrounding jesus immediately after the resurrection. Light is a result of energy. If it could be ascertained what type of energy this was then a study could be done of the burial site to look for traces of that energy. No such energy found would mean either jesus wasn't buried there [hypothesis is modified] or jesus never rose [hypothesis is abandoned].

    Trying to find supporting texts does NOT follow the principle of falsification.

    Get the idea now?

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  88. @ Free

    try thinking of it this way. The gospels & pauls account are the hypothesis.

    Now using the principle of falsification we say "if this hypothesis is true what should we find?"

    Thinking of it that way you can see why texts are worthless as supporting evidence. Why? Because texts are just more hypotheses. But a hypothesis is NOT itself evidence.

    Get the idea?

    ReplyDelete

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