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Thread: Faith

  1. #101  
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    Of course you don't. Your pattern established. Since you did not object, I will assume you agree with my proposal.
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  2. #102  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    cypress

    I did not make a claim of scale, but I agree with what iNow said. The old principle is that extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence.

    If some stranger told you that he had seen and photographed flying saucers with little grey aliens at the helm, would you believe him? If he showed you a photo that could just as easily be a frisbee, would you accept this as evidence? Hopefully you are smarter than that!
    Surely you are not equating biblical texts to a Frisbee hoax. Can I presume that you generally agree with the argument I put forward in my prior post? That there are elements of religious doctrinal texts that can and have been corroborated? If so we can address your amended argument, which is that while there is some empirical evidence that corroborates historical religious texts, the extraordinary claims are not supported by evidence.

    If you are talking of a deity who is all powerful etc., that is an extraordinary claim and needs good evidence. Simply saying that someone had a rush of blood to the head and 'felt' the presense of this deity, or that the deity was described in a mish mash of a book written 2000 years ago - well, come on now. Is that the extraordinary evidence required to demonstrate the veracity of that extraordinary claim?
    Indeed, good evidence is needed for this claim just as is needed for any of the alternative(s). So have you accepted Mitchell's arguments that your assumptions were in error and agreed your prior objection that the characteristics ascribed to the Christian God don't match observations may be in error?
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  3. #103  
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    cypress

    If the qualities attributed to a Christian deity are modified, then the Christian position becomes less untenable. However, Mitchell did not actually do that. I thought for a while he had suggested that the Christian deity might not be omniscient, which changes the argument. But he kind of took that back.

    As I have said before, I am not fixed in my views, and I accept the possibility of a deity of some kind, though this remains undemonstrated by credible evidence. The Christian deity, though, still seems incredible, unless the Christian model of said deity is altered. Something no-one on the Christian camp appears willing to do.

    I have seen no credible claim that my assumptions are at fault.
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  4. #104  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    cypress

    If the qualities attributed to a Christian deity are modified, then the Christian position becomes less untenable. However, Mitchell did not actually do that. I thought for a while he had suggested that the Christian deity might not be omniscient, which changes the argument. But he kind of took that back.

    As I have said before, I am not fixed in my views, and I accept the possibility of a deity of some kind, though this remains undemonstrated by credible evidence.
    Yes I have seen you say that and I accept it. You have been true to your word.

    The Christian deity, though, still seems incredible, unless the Christian model of said deity is altered. Something no-one on the Christian camp appears willing to do.

    I have seen no credible claim that my assumptions are at fault.
    Hmm, Mitchell described how free will requires uncertainty and uncertainty implies consequences. He also described how one could know (within the confines of self imposed uncertainty) but still not act. You disagree with his descriptions?
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  5. #105  
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    To cypress

    Re free will.

    Free will that leads the owner of said free will into disaster is something that needs to be curtailed. Humans do this all the time. If a parent lets a child have the free will to play with a tin of petrol and a box of matches, guess what is likely to happen? In reality, parents do not give their children that level of free will. Their actions are curtailed in such a way as to prevent the child harming himself.

    The same applies to a large degree with adults. For example : Certain drugs are restricted, to stop people harming themselves. eg : phenobarbitol is not available across the counter, since it is an excellent suicide drug.

    If God is the loving father than Christians describe, then God is not going to give unrestricted free will. According to traditional Christian teachings, if a person does certain sinful actions, he or she will end up in hell. Now for God to give the free will that will lead to eternal damnation is like a parent giving a child the keys to the laboratory cabinet that contains the most dangerous chemicals, and saying "I am going away now for about an hour. Be a good boy and do not open that cabinet." Obviously no parent would do that. But a loving God can do the equivalent action, leading to eternal damnation???

    As I told Mitchell, I do not like the free will argument. That argument is utterly full of holes, assuming the Christian model of God is correct.
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  6. #106  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    To cypress

    Re free will.

    Free will that leads the owner of said free will into disaster is something that needs to be curtailed. Humans do this all the time. If a parent lets a child have the free will to play with a tin of petrol and a box of matches, guess what is likely to happen? In reality, parents do not give their children that level of free will. Their actions are curtailed in such a way as to prevent the child harming himself.

    The same applies to a large degree with adults. For example : Certain drugs are restricted, to stop people harming themselves. eg : phenobarbitol is not available across the counter, since it is an excellent suicide drug.
    Interesting opinions on the topic.

    If God is the loving father than Christians describe, then God is not going to give unrestricted free will. According to traditional Christian teachings, if a person does certain sinful actions, he or she will end up in hell.
    Not as I understand it. As I understand doctrine, hell is separation from God. Only those who choose not to be with God choose hell.

    Now for God to give the free will that will lead to eternal damnation is like a parent giving a child the keys to the laboratory cabinet that contains the most dangerous chemicals, and saying "I am going away now for about an hour. Be a good boy and do not open that cabinet." Obviously no parent would do that. But a loving God can do the equivalent action, leading to eternal damnation???
    A loving parent will grant a grown up child the choice to leave.

    As I told Mitchell, I do not like the free will argument. That argument is utterly full of holes, assuming the Christian model of God is correct.
    As Mitchell indicated, it seems to be a misunderstanding (wrong assumptions) on your part. I don't think there is any way to progress if you see a fundamental flaw in the religious doctrine as you do. It would be an impasse. With this objection of yours, it is easy to see why you find the concept so far fetched understandable why your reasoning and faith would lead you in a different direction.
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  7. #107  
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    skeptic and cypress,

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    As I told Mitchell, I do not like the free will argument.
    And you have yet to respond to my reply where I asked you to explain that inappropriate declaration. Do I need to repeat the post or can you find it near the bottom of page 6?


    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Most, if not all of the objections that religious faith is informed by evidence and experience centers around contradicting the evidence in that the objectors argument is that there is no evidence significant enough to justify the kind of faith they have.
    Significance like value and meaning are completely subjective judgements in general. These have more specialized applications that may be more objective, like the meaning of a word in a language, or value of a denomination of currency, or the significance of certain facts to a scientific inquiry. But there are many things in life that cannot be reduced to things like this, and for personal decisions about how to live ones life, we have to make our own judgements about what information is of significance to us personally, what activities are value to us and what meaning we can find in the living of our life.


    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    The objections seem to take the form "A creator implied by this evidence would not ....." therefore the evidence that suggests this form of creator should be rejected. In the above examples we have "God would be more visible" and "God would not let bad things happen to good people" and "God would not let free will result in severe consequences". Others mentioned previously are "God would not hold the ignorant accountable" and "god would not allow for poor design".

    I have several questions about this argument. I will begin with two. Is it a valid line of inquiry?
    Well first you need to identify the inquiry.

    What would an all-powerful all-knowing being do? What sort of activity would He find worthwhile? Are these questions actually being asked by anyone here? I certainly do. But I see little evidence that any of these fundie atheists here has done anything of the sort. Instead I see this VERY pseudo-science like activity of just searching for any nonsense argument that supports their contention, much in the same way that creationists search for any bit of nonsense in order to denounce the theory of evolution. I really don't see them asking any honest questions along this line.


    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Is it a metaphysical argument or an empirical argument?
    Neither. These are purely speculative determinations made for highly subjective reasons. Personally, I find these declaration about what God should do, to sound a great deal like the silly prouncements of a five year old about what they would do if they were president.
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  8. #108  
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    inow said:

    daytonturner wrote:
    I think it is accurate to state that, generally speaking, atheists and agnostics share the position that they will not be held accountable before a God.
    Are you not paying attention? Repeating an invalid claim does not suddenly make it valid. They hold that position because of the lack of evidence... because the god concept is not compelling. This is not difficult to understand. Stop pretending it is.
    Oh, OK. So you do believe you will be held accountable before God but you think you will make it through that scrutiny with flying colors.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  9. #109  
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    Korbin: I have been working on a response to your question as to why I believe in the Christian God rather than some other God or some other philosophy. The first two were just way too long and a third attempt I tried to post but, apparently, the forum server was temporarily down or something and that effort was lost forever in eternal cyberspace.

    Nevertheless, I think that is a reasonable question and in no way offensive. I will try to again respond in a reasonable length of space but, if you have ever had to rewrite something, you know the second attempt is never as eloquent as the first. Before I can explain "why" I believe, it is first necessary to explain what I believe.

    I'm not all that sure how much belief preceded belief and how much belief developed after belief. However, it is safe to say that I believe that the Universe and life are the results of the efforts of a God who is still actively involved in the Universe.

    I also believe this God created a special material living being in the image of his spirtual essense which we call human beings. This was done for the purpose of having fellowship. However, in order to have genuine fellowship, the human being had to have the free will ability to reject God, just as God retained the ability to reject humans. I also believe this God is holy and just and loving and perfectly righteous. In addition, this God instilled within each human being, an eternal spiritual essense which survives the physical body and which, during the physical life, is invited to spend eternity in His holy, just, loving and righteous eternal place. Those who reject this invitation are permitted to dwell in eternity in an existience which lacks these holy, just, loving and righteous qualities.

    In the exercise of their free will, humans operate on a self serving, self preserving level in which they occasionally hurt or harm themselves or others. As a resuilt, the just aspect of God's character is offended and angered because something he loves has been harmed. And, as a just God, he must consider punishment of the offender. His sentence is that the person is declared unrighteous and impefect and unfit for admission into God's home.

    Now then, it seems that we all are in some way and to some degree guilty of harming or hurting others and we have each one become the object of God's anger. The result is that we are estranged from God and he has withdrawn his invitation to spend eternity with him.

    So, at this point, I can say that the reason I believe in the Christian God is that because of his love for his creation, He resolves this problem of estrangement more effectively than any other God or system to which I have been introduced.

    His resolution was to send his son, who we call Jesus, in the form of a human and to live a perfectly righteous life in which he always obeyed the Father and was innocent of any wrong doing toward God or humanity. However, he was executed despite the fact that he was guilty of nothing. As such, he fulfilled the law of the Old Testament which required the shedding of blood by an innocent lamb to atone for the wrongs of the wrong doer.

    In the Old Testament rites of atonement, there was a scapegoat upon which the priest laid his hand in a symbolic gesture of laying the wrongs of the people on the back of the goat which was then taken into the wilderness along with the wrongs of the people. In this way, the people were absolved of their wrongs as the wrongs were imputed to the scapegoat. God declared them free of the penalty of wrongdoing but, unfortunately, this act did not delcare them righteous.

    In the same way, when Jesus was executed, God placed on his back all the wrongs of the people and phaysical Jesus experienced the feeling of being totally without God. The wrongs of the people were imputed to Him. But that is not the end. Not only were the wrongs of the people imputed to Jesus, but His righteousness was imputed to the wrong doers on the condition that they believe and trust this symbolic meaning of the death of Jesus.

    The only requirements that the human needs to meet to be included in those who have had their wrongs imputed to Jesus and Jesus' righteousness imputed to them is to admit to God that they are sorry for their acts and that they will trust that Jesus' sacrifice restores their relationship with God.

    I am not aware of any other religion in which the solution to man's imperfections have been provided by God himself through his son's death. Mohammed did not die for his people. Bhudda did not die for his people. Vishnu, or whoever is the main Hindu, did not die for his people.

    I am aware that I have done things which have harmed or hurt others. I realize that these actions have put me in bad stead with a holy and righteous God. And I realize there is nothing I can do on my own to restore my connection to God other than what God Himself has done. That is why I continue to believe in this God rather than any other God or system I have been exposed to.

    I am sure there some right now, having read this, who are saying "How could anyone believe a story like that.?" My only reply is, "How can you not believe it?"

    When it comes to that final judgement, you must rely on your own righteousness or the righteousness of Jesus, remembering that God requires perfection.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  10. #110  
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    When it comes to that final judgement, you must rely on your own righteousness or the righteousness of Jesus, remembering that God requires perfection.
    Then he should have done a better job on the prostate.
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  11. #111  
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    I see little evidence that any of these fundie atheists here has done anything of the sort.
    As has already been explained to you, atheism is not itself a worldview or belief system, so there is no "fundamental" or basic set of tenets about which they can be "fundamental." You are yet again merely tossing this out as an ad hominem (essentially trying to poison the well) instead of focusing on the substance of the discussion and making a meritorious argument in support of your own stance.


    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Instead I see this VERY pseudo-science like activity of just searching for any nonsense argument that supports their contention, much in the same way that creationists search for any bit of nonsense in order to denounce the theory of evolution. I really don't see them asking any honest questions along this line.
    Try reading more closely. Honest questions have been repeatedly put forth, and the only response has been evasion and personal bullshit such as the unsubstantiated labeling of those with whom you disagree as "fundie atheists."





    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    inow said:

    daytonturner wrote:
    I think it is accurate to state that, generally speaking, atheists and agnostics share the position that they will not be held accountable before a God.
    Are you not paying attention? Repeating an invalid claim does not suddenly make it valid. They hold that position because of the lack of evidence... because the god concept is not compelling. This is not difficult to understand. Stop pretending it is.
    Oh, OK. So you do believe you will be held accountable before God but you think you will make it through that scrutiny with flying colors.
    Again, dayton, this is not a difficult point I'm making.

    The question of accountability never factors into it since the concept of god itself is so vague and uncompelling. If someone makes a reasonable case for existence which ultimately causes me to accept your claims of a deity as valid and noteworthy, it is at that point in time that I will begin to consider any issues of accountability or judgment before it... but not before.

    Again, it's like you're asking me to consider the possibility of being pooped on by a unicorn as somehow important when I don't accept the unicorn as a valid entity to begin with.
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  12. #112  
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    inow:

    This seems to be something of a circular internal disagreement on your part.

    I think the question must be asked: Do you or do you not believe there is a God before whom you will be held accountable for all your deeds and thoughts when you physically die?

    I don't understand how you can equivocate on such a question. There are not that many potential answers or caviats available.

    If you don't believe this, then my statement is fully and completely accurate and describes a part of your belief system.

    If you do believe this, then the statement does not relate to you, because you could be neither atheist nor agnostic.

    Whether you also have other objections or other reasons is not important. My point is that if you did believe there was such a God, you would probably have to reasses your life priorities, no matter your other reasons.

    Your silliness in some of these discussions you enter into are, well, just plain silly.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  13. #113  
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I think the question must be asked: Do you or do you not believe there is a God...
    No.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Your silliness in some of these discussions you enter into are, well, just plain silly.
    I understand that's how you feel, and I'm sorry some of my points are lost on you.
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  14. #114  
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    Ok inow, lets start by undoing your rather DISHONEST editing of my comments.
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    What would an all-powerful all-knowing being do? What sort of activity would He find worthwhile? Are these questions actually being asked by anyone here? I certainly do. But I see little evidence that any of these fundie atheists here has done anything of the sort. Instead I see this VERY pseudo-science like activity of just searching for any nonsense argument that supports their contention, much in the same way that creationists search for any bit of nonsense in order to denounce the theory of evolution. I really don't see them asking any honest questions along this line.
    Try reading more closely.
    So you see I read VERY closely and uncover ALL of your deceptions, like this dishonest editing of what I wrote to take it out of context.

    So back in its proper contexts, lets see your honest inquiry into these question:

    What would an all-powerful all-knowing being do? What sort of activity would He find worthwhile?

    Lets see if you can demonstrate ANY comprehension of the difference between asking honest questions and searching for nonsense arguments to support your bullshit?

    I predict that you have absolutely no interest in doing anything of the kind.
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  15. #115  
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Ok inow, lets start by undoing your rather DISHONEST editing of my comments.
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    What would an all-powerful all-knowing being do? What sort of activity would He find worthwhile? Are these questions actually being asked by anyone here? I certainly do. But I see little evidence that any of these fundie atheists here has done anything of the sort. Instead I see this VERY pseudo-science like activity of just searching for any nonsense argument that supports their contention, much in the same way that creationists search for any bit of nonsense in order to denounce the theory of evolution. I really don't see them asking any honest questions along this line.
    Try reading more closely.
    So you see I read VERY closely and uncover ALL of your deceptions, like this dishonest editing of what I wrote to take it out of context.
    Mitchell - I am sorry if you found the part I chose to quote and respond to offensive somehow, but I ask that you please understand I was not trying to be dishonest, nor was I trying to misrepresent you. I did not change your words, I merely quoted the part to which I was responding. I am somewhat confused by your reply, as there was nothing deceitful, dishonest, nor edited when I typed what I did.



    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    So back in its proper contexts, lets see your honest inquiry into these question:

    What would an all-powerful all-knowing being do? What sort of activity would He find worthwhile?
    I don't accept the premise of your question. It comes across to me like you're asking about the aerodynamics of a unicorn, and how that would be impacted by having a toddler versus a fully grown adult riding on its back.


    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Lets see if you can demonstrate ANY comprehension of the difference between asking honest questions and searching for nonsense arguments to support your bullshit?
    Again, I fail to see where you think I've been dishonest. Offensive? Maybe, but you have no right not to be offended, so I really don't care (especially since it seems to happen so easily).
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  16. #116  
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    inow:

    Hmmm, you are on the verge of convincing me you may actually believe in unicorns.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  17. #117  
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    inow:

    Hmmm, you are on the verge of convincing me you may actually believe in unicorns.
    Okay. And this is relevant to our exchange, how exactly?
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  18. #118  
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    It is fully as relevant as any comparison between unicorns and spirtual beings.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  19. #119  
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    This discussion is getting ridiculous.

    And the reason it is getting ridiculous is because both sides are misunderstanding the other. I see this so often in debates. Each side has a fixation on their ideas and do not want to comprehend the other side's ideas. It is much easier to call the other an idiot. This is a form of mental laziness. It leads to anger and prevents understanding.

    Dayton presented a post which supposedly showed why he accepted the Christian model of God. I am sorry, Dayton, but your post may be meaningful to you, but it is pretty much meaningless to iNow and myself. It was merely a litany of beliefs without anything to support those beliefs. ie. No evidence.

    This is what we atheists and agnostics are looking for. Evidence. Simply to say, I believe because I feel it is right, is insufficient to convince non believers. We need the sort of evidence that will stand up in a scientific basis. That is ; evidence that is derived empirically; which is objective; and which can be tested and fail to be falsified by rigorous testing. That is : scientific evidence.

    In the same way, quoting the bible is not evidence. Some parts of the bible may correlate with history, but a hell of a lot of it does not, and is clearly myth only.

    As I have pointed out repeatedly, the Christian model of God is incompatible with reality. The free will argument does not wash since a loving god would not give the kind of free will that leads to personal destruction, any more than a loving parent would give that to his/her children.

    The claims made by Christians are extraordinary, and require extraordinary evidence. We have not seen that. We could probably get some degree of satisfaction here if the parties of Dayton and Mitchell admit that they are convinced by minimal evidence, while the atheist side of the argument states that we require good scientific evidence.
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  20. #120  
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    skeptic said:
    No evidence.
    The problem, skeptic, is that you are lookiing for the wrong kind of evidence in the all the wrong places. You and inow are materialists looking for material evidence of a spirtual being. And the material evidence which is there -- his creation, for example -- you attribute to something else -- but you know not what. Your explanation of creation has no more evidence than ours.

    You rail about the condition of the human race which is exactly as describe in our book and continue to look in other directions for a solution.

    I did not expect you to agree with me, I mean in view of your rejection of even the plausibilty that God exists.

    As to "quoting" the Bible -- what chapter and verse. Surely, if I believe in the God of the Bible, there must be something there which I rely on and should be allowed to point to what I rely upon whether that is your point of reliance or not.

    What you are doing is suggesting that someone, in a scientific application, cannot be allowed to support his position with something with which you disagree because you are among a minority group of people who think the evidence does not support that position. And let us not forget that you are in a very small minority of people who think there is no evidence of God.

    Possibly, the minority is correct. But I don't think so. When you start looking for the right kind of evidence in the right places, it will be so obvious to you that you will wonder how you missed it before.

    As long as you insist that God reveal himself to you on your terms, you are placing yourself above God. You do find him looking down. You find someone else.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  21. #121  
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    Dayton

    As I said before, I accept there are two explanations of the nature of creation, either of which could be right. One is a creator god, and the other is the anthropic principle relying on the concept of a multiverse. I do not tell you which is correct, because I am honest enough to admit I do not know. I will not know until sufficient evidence is gathered.

    You seem to draw a distinction between materialist evidence and other evidence. That is not my distinction. My distinction is between credible evidence and non credible. If you say you feel the presense of God in your heart, that to me is non credible evidence.

    I have not rejected the possibility of God existing. I have just looked at the Christian description of God, and seen an incompatibility with what we know of reality. This leads me to assign a very low probability to the Christian model of God. A deity of another description might have a lesser improbability. The thing is that, lacking credible evidence one way or another, I admit I do not know.

    The difference between you and I is that, we both lack credible evidence, but only I am able to look reality in the face and say : I do not know!
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  22. #122  
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Your explanation of creation has no more evidence than ours.
    Cosmologists would tend to disagree with you.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    What you are doing is suggesting that someone, in a scientific application, cannot be allowed to support his position with something with which you disagree because you are among a minority group of people who think the evidence does not support that position.
    Close, but not quite. The key issue here is the standard of evidence. As clearly stated by skeptic, your standard of evidence seems so low as to be of no use or merit.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    And let us not forget that you are in a very small minority of people who think there is no evidence of God.
    For the umpteenth time... Truth is not based on popularity. Geesh.



    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    When you start looking for the right kind of evidence in the right places, it will be so obvious to you that you will wonder how you missed it before.
    And how is your "right kind of evidence" for your god somehow more valid that the same type of "evidence" put forth by someone who believes in a different god?

    HINT: It's not. They feel it in their heart, too, which is why that's not an acceptable form of evidence to satisfy the burden of proof.

    Your belief is really no different from theirs, which is part of the reason non-believers like me ask for something more objective by which to review your claims and make a decision for myself.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    As long as you insist that God reveal himself to you on your terms, you are placing yourself above God.
    How does one place themselves above an entity with no valid evidence of existence? It's not about placing ourselves above some deity... it's about holding your deity to same standard evidence to which we hold everything else. It's about being consistent. It's about being logical and rational. It's about no longer accepting the double standards and special pleading your approach mandates.
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  23. #123  
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    Well, I am not prepared to actually argue the "proofs" of God in the length that such a discussion requires. I don't know if you are at all interested in reading what others argue on this matter, but I do have a site with some interesting things to consider.

    They are lecture notes by philosopher Alvin Plantinga for a speach, "Two Dozen (or so) Theistic Arguments." They can be found at http://www.homestead.com/philofrelig...arguments.html

    The notes are not always fully developed. One must assume that Platinga filled in the blanks in his lecture which must have lasted for at least a week!!!

    Michael J. Murray's book, "Reason for the Hope within," also contains theistic arguments by William C. Davis in Chapter 2 which is included in a Google preview of the book at
    http://goo.gl/TJBr [Google Books] The relavent chapter starts on page 20.

    Now then, I would not expect any of the arguments presented to intellectually convince anyone. Nor do I know if any of you is willing to wade through the cited texts. It is not like Christians have no arguments and no evidence. But there are people who are far better prepared than I to state them.

    I do not find all the arguements compelling and some of them are beyond my knowledge and difficult for me to comprehend. But for people who may be more knowledgable in those areas, they are possibly interesting.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  24. #124  
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    Thanks, dayton. Just to be clear, though... I am not looking for arguments in favor of gods existence, I'm looking for evidence. Again, that "feeling in your heart" fails completely, especially since other people have the same exact feelings in their heart and yet believe in completely different gods.
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  25. #125  
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    I agree with iNow on that. Also, I want to know why you, Dayton, believe in a Christian god. Preferably with an argument that makes scientific sense.

    I had a quick skim of your references. The arguments seem to be the same, tired old arguments that I rejected many years ago. The only one that actually makes sense is the one I already referred to, about physical constants in the universe.

    I also had a look at the beginning of the Murray book. I got as far as his definition of a skeptic.
    ...someone who thinks that people are duty bound to refrain from coming to hold beliefs in some matter or other.

    I did not bother to read any further. If that is the level of his arguments, clearly they are based on a very biased viewpoint.
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  26. #126  
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    I'm in agreement with inow and skeptic. In addition, this is a science forum so philosophical arguments take a distinct and empiricism and observations in the material universe. Let's pull this discussion back in to a scientific one if it was ever there.

    As skeptic, I believe was the one, said in an earlier post, we can look at faith scientifically by drawing on relevant disciplines. That is to say, psychology, sociology, anthropology and, even, archaeology. We can discuss faith on these terms, but its utility is limited, as already established early on in the thread, by the manner in which it is employed as a word.

    If we now want to discuss the philosophical "proofs" of gods, then perhaps we should adjourn to Philosophy, or Pseudoscience.
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  27. #127  
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    Well, then -- what you are actually saying is not that we have "no" evidence, but rather that we do not have evidence which you find meaningful or compelling.

    To say we have "no" evidence is tantamount to our skeptics saying you have "no" evidence of Godless Big Bang, Godless abiogenisis, or evolution above the speciation level. It is not that you have "no" evidence, it is that your evidence is not meaningful and compelling to skeptics of those ideas.

    So, it would appear, whatever your skeptics say about the evidence our people find meaningful and significant is pretty much the same as what our skeptics have to say about the evidence you find meanful and convincing.

    skeptic's objection to someone being biased is laughable -- anyone commenting on any of these topics -- including skeptic hisself or herself -- is vastly biased toward their own position. Who do you thing you are -- Gomer Pyle? "Surprize, surprize, surprize, Seargeant. The opposition is biased." Sheesh.

    The problem here is that you folks continue to operate under the extremely biased position that religion can be subject to some scientific disection and quantification.

    News flash -- science and relgion are different.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  28. #128  
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    The problem here is that you folks continue to operate under the extremely biased position that religion can be subject to some scientific disection and quantification.
    Of course religion can be studied by science. And it is. There are entire peer-reviewed journals, university degrees, and researchers dedicated to this very thing. And I've been dissecting and quantifying you from the moment you first posted :-)

    News flash -- science and relgion are different.
    It would be boring to study something that wasn't different.
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  29. #129  
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    Well, skinwalker, you are surely smart enough to realize that no matter what the thread, we are prettty much having the same conversation which is why the conversations always seem to wend their way around through a lot of areas.

    I recently had a conversation with a very conservative Christian who was ragging on how much he disagreed with evoltuion. I asked him, do you know what alleles are? No. Do you know what punctuated equilibrium is? No. Do you know what the cambriam layer is? No.

    It became obvious to me that the person knew absolutely nothing about evolution other than that he did not believe it. I could tell this, just as you can, by what he had to say.

    In the same way, I can tell that you folks don't really know a lot about God by the things you say and the ways you attempt to approach Him.

    Your scientific inquiry is sort of like a scientific inquiry into being drunk. You can scientifically describe everything that happens chemically and physically. Many people who have been drunk could tell you what it was like. But, until you actually consumed enough alcohol to become intoxicated, you would not REALLY know what it is like to be drunk.

    How much credibility would you give to a virgin trying to explain to you what sexual intercourse feels like. Or someone who has never held a hammer trying to tell you how to drive a nail. Some things in life can only be known on an experiencial level.

    God is one of those things.

    And when you try to quantify Him in scientific terms, you are merely using the wrong scales of measurement. It is like trying to find out how many quarts of 2x4's you have. You might be able to calculate that, but it would be rather meaningless when you went to build something. Or, I have 23 feet of antifreeze. What the hell is that? Even if true, it is a meaningless figure. These are meaningless and irrelavent measurements which communicate nothing about the object being described.

    The same is true when you attempt to define spiritual things in material terms.
    It is the improper standard of measurement. But even if you were successful in finding ways to express your measurments, they would no more define the experience of a relationship with God anymore than all the scientific data describing intoxication would teach you what it is like to be intoxicated.

    Religion, whether Christian, Islam, Hindu or Budhist or whatever else, is experiencial and no amount of scientific inquiry can define or describe that experience. It might be able to tell you some things about the experience, but it could not describe the experience itself.

    Just as each person individually can experience intoxication, or sex for that matter, the experience is probably different for each individual. This does not mean they did not have an experience. It just tells us that experiential stuff cannot be quantified as a constant. I suppose someone could feign an experience, but a bit if inquiry would probably expose the sham.

    God, and faith in God, are experiential, they are not constants which can be quantified and predicted.

    And that is the objective of scientific method -- to quantify something to the point of reliable predictability.

    A million pounds of scientific inquiry is not worth one miligram of experiencing God.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  30. #130  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
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    You're overlooking one thing: I've been drunk before. Not for a long time -I've long since seen the wisdom in not allowing myself to be diluted by alcohol. I take my scotch neat, but in moderation now.

    But your analogy is a poor one since there really does exist alcohol, which can be empirically observed. When I was drunk, I didn't pretend to be intoxicated or believe I was intoxicated. I was diluted not deluded.

    There is no empirical evidence for a god. No on has actually seen one. Least of all the nutjob of Christian mythology that calls itself "thy Lord thy God," Yahweh.

    This pretense or delusion of "knowing" a god is a psychological construct, one that used to afflict me as well. If a bit of knowledge exists only in your mind, and it withstands the ability to share it empirically at will with others, then it very probably isn't real.

    I'm not saying the belief in the supernatural isn't real. I'm saying the supernatural agent almost certainly isn't. I'll leave myself open to revise that statement if the claimants (the religious) can produce evidence. Real evidence that exists independent of the brains. I'm willing to look at fMRI results, but, again, this only shows us evidence of belief -delusion if you will- not the supernatural agency involved.

    This is a science forum. If you're opposed to discussing religion on those terms, then you should visit another section of the forum. Here, we will look at religious superstition in scientific terms.
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  31. #131  
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    I am not at all opposed to this except that if you scrutinize both pro and anti religious commentary with the same acumen, a large percent of this section of the forum would have to be discarded fior lack of scientific relevance.

    However, never once do I recall any objection to non-scientific anti-religious postings.

    Secondarily, I do not see the same restriction being applied in the philosophy forum. I just went through and looked at several threads there and found very little of a scientific nature in them.

    I can't imagine what the reaction would be if you convinced (In)Sanity that he should also change the name of the philosopy section to "The scientific study of philosophy." Haha. The real philosophers would love that!!!!

    I would suspect there are other areas which do not ALWAYS follow strictly along scientific lines.

    There seems to be some incapacity with some people here and elsewhere that there are things in this world which are not readily subject to evaluation via scientific methods or values. Religion, philosophy, God, love and hate are among them.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  32. #132  
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    Dayton

    I understand what you are saying. I just do not agree. If the Christian model of deity was correct, there should be no shortage of empirical evidence. An all powerful god who intervenes in human affairs should leave tracks 100 kms wide.

    The fact that there are no tracks that are measurable by material means is a very, very good indication that one or more of the Christian assumptions about deity are wrong. This is solid logic.

    Again, I have to say that a different model of deity - say a god who does not intervene in human affairs, and really does not give a damn - would be impossible to shoot down by such logic.

    And as Skinwalker said, evidence that is found only inside the heads of worshippers is not evidence. It may be evidence of strange mental quirks, but it is not evidence of deity.
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  33. #133  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Dayton

    I understand what you are saying. I just do not agree. If the Christian model of deity was correct, there should be no shortage of empirical evidence. An all powerful god who intervenes in human affairs should leave tracks 100 kms wide.
    It's as you say, skeptic few on either side is able to objectively see the evidence presented by the other. You have constructed a false model of Christian doctrine which shield you from available evidence. Most atheists focus on empirical science as the primary or in some cases single source of truth when objective truth can come from many other sources. The religious tend to downplay or reject inference in evaluating empirical evidence. Nearly everyone is selective in evaluating cause and effect and applying uniform experience.

    Though everybody would like the other person to suspend judgement and see their evidence, and some even believe they would willingly listen, few actually do. Worse there are several people who are so firmly entrenched in plausible deniability they won't even allow a proper discussion of evidence.

    The fact that there are no tracks that are measurable by material means is a very, very good indication that one or more of the Christian assumptions about deity are wrong. This is solid logic.
    Case in point, there are tracks. But they don't look like the tracks you have come to believe they should be and therefore you can't/won't see them.

    Again, I have to say that a different model of deity - say a god who does not intervene in human affairs, and really does not give a damn - would be impossible to shoot down by such logic.
    Indeed, and it wouldn't be a god many would have practical interest in either. You would do better to stop building uninteresting constructs unless you don't have interest in understanding this concept of faith the others speak of.

    And as Skinwalker said, evidence that is found only inside the heads of worshippers is not evidence. It may be evidence of strange mental quirks, but it is not evidence of deity.
    If we rely on science to tell us what is and isn't evidence then you cannot say if this is evidence or not since you cannot objectively demonstrate the truth of your assumption that it is nothing more than mental "quirks". If you are going to insist that everything be supported by empirical data, then your criteria for what is evidence must also be supported or we will have no way to tell who is correct, the person who claims a mental state is evidence or the person who firmly says it is not.
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  34. #134  
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    About evidence solely inside someone's head.

    This is so common. It is known as psychosis. Schizophrenics hear voices in their head. No-one else can hear those voices.

    Someone tells me that he or she can hear the voice of God in their head. I do not hear this voice. Do you wonder that I do not accept it as evidence?

    And if I did, what would that prove? That I also was nuts?
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  35. #135  
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    However, never once do I recall any objection to non-scientific anti-religious postings.
    I've moved many of these to Philosophy or other suitable subforums

    Secondarily, I do not see the same restriction being applied in the philosophy forum. I just went through and looked at several threads there and found very little of a scientific nature in them.
    As you noted, it isn't titled The Scientific Study of Philosophy.

    Where I used the word "this" below, I'm referring to this subforum.
    Quote Originally Posted by me
    This is a science forum. If you're opposed to discussing religion on those terms, then you should visit another section of the forum. Here, we will look at religious superstition in scientific terms.
    ...there are things in this world which are not readily subject to evaluation via scientific methods or values. Religion, philosophy, God, love and hate are among them.
    As long as it contains a human element, it can be evaluated in scientific terms. Religion and philosophy can be evaluated under psychological and anthropological models. Gods are evaluated under sociological, anthropological, psycholocial, and even archaeological models. Love and hate are evaluated under pscyhological and neurological models.

    There's very little that cannot be discussed in the light of scientific discourse.
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  36. #136  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    About evidence solely inside someone's head.

    This is so common. It is known as psychosis. Schizophrenics hear voices in their head. No-one else can hear those voices.

    Someone tells me that he or she can hear the voice of God in their head. I do not hear this voice. Do you wonder that I do not accept it as evidence?
    No I don't spend any time wondering about that.

    And if I did, what would that prove?
    It would prove nothing. I think we are in agreement now.

    That I also was nuts?
    No I don't think so.
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  37. #137  
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    Well, when every shred of evidence for one side of an issue is rejected by the juror, he can come to only one conclusion. In that case, no amount of circumstantial evidence, or solid forensic evidence or even eye witness testimony will provide the quantum of evidence needed to sway the juror the other way.

    You reject the idea of the man-God Jesus who actually did leave a lot of footprints. Despite all the evidence of his existence and despite all the evidence that he fulfilled many of the messianic prophesies in the Old Testament. Even the eye witness testimony of at least two of the writers of the gospels and the reports of eyewitnesses such as you might get in today's news reports. The fact that none of the contemporaries of the time disputed these reports.

    Your ilk continue to contend that these reports were written years later while scientific carbon dating methods show the earliest copies of some texts date back to about 100 A.D. meaning the originals had to have been written before that. All of that solid evidence is rejected and dismissed as either fraudulent or fabricated even though literary scholars testify to their authenticity and validity.

    But there is also circumstantial evidence such as the rule of contingency. Everything we know is contingent upon some causal factor other than itself. This would suggest there was a causal precendent to the Big Bang. This does not prove the causation was God, but it is a circumstantial clue that among the causes could have been God.

    There is the regularity and dependability of nature. We can, by faith, rely on the belief that water will boil the same way tomorrow as it does today. We can rely on almost everything in nature to be the same tomorrow as it is today. (Well, the weather is an exception except that the regularity of certain conditions producing certain weather is fairly reliable.) It could be that this is just the way things are and they might change tomorrow. But the fact that they don't is, again, a minor clue, circumstantial evidence.

    There are numbers of these little clues and bits of circumstantial evidence which you categorically dismiss without considering the accumulation of them. You tend to label them as coincidences, but a large number of such coincidences eventually begin to look like a pattern.

    I am sure you would have fit right in with the OJ Simpson jury. It is sort of like discussing relativity and someone saying he will not accept any evidence from the world of physics which is, of course, what young earth people do.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  38. #138  
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Well, when every shred of evidence for one side of an issue is rejected by the juror, he can come to only one conclusion. In that case, no amount of circumstantial evidence, or solid forensic evidence or even eye witness testimony will provide the quantum of evidence needed to sway the juror the other way.
    Dayton - I would actually quite welcome some forensic evidence of god. Unfortunately, all you have is forensic evidence of humans, or forensic evidence of people gathering, or forensic evidence of other perfectly normal things.

    Have you found forensic evidence of god? As I said, I would quite welcome reviewing that.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    It is sort of like discussing relativity and someone saying he will not accept any evidence from the world of physics
    No, actually. It's not like that at all.
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  39. #139  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Well, when every shred of evidence for one side of an issue is rejected by the juror, he can come to only one conclusion. In that case, no amount of circumstantial evidence, or solid forensic evidence or even eye witness testimony will provide the quantum of evidence needed to sway the juror the other way.
    Luckily for scientists, science isn't at the mercy of the biases created by flim-flam attorneys and prosecutors who seek to influence with psychological motivations rather than reliance on physical evidence. Science relies on evidence in a manner that is far more consistent than court cases that are decided by opinion.

    You reject the idea of the man-God Jesus who actually did leave a lot of footprints. Despite all the evidence of his existence and despite all the evidence that he fulfilled many of the messianic prophesies in the Old Testament. Even the eye witness testimony of at least two of the writers of the gospels and the reports of eyewitnesses such as you might get in today's news reports. The fact that none of the contemporaries of the time disputed these reports.
    Footprints? Evidence? While there may have been a cult-leader named Jesus (or perhaps this moniker was attached later), there is absolutely no evidence that supports a "man-god." This is pure fantasy and myth. The self-fulfilled prophecies of biblical mythology are more likely to have been either added *after* the cult leader was long dead or by the cult leader seeking to deceive followers into his "birth right." As to the writers of the 'gospels,' just who are these? Presumably Mark is one, but there's not a single shred of evidence that the author of this gospel was actually named "Mark." The other gospel that John, Luke, and Matthew are based upon doesn't exist in textual form -perhaps it never did as it may have been an oral story, though I suspect it was a written mythology like Mark. This one is referred to by scholars as the "Q" gospel.

    So Q and Mark informed Matthew and Luke. John's anonymous author did his own thing. And these 'gospels' -these "testimonies"- contradict each other at places where one might not expect actual observers of the events, but in just the way consistent with authors who are penning oral mythology.

    These authors were not contemporary to the alleged Jesus. Nor is there any reason to support that they were when their texts are looked at within the lens of literary criticism.

    Your ilk continue to contend that these reports were written years later while scientific carbon dating methods show the earliest copies of some texts date back to about 100 A.D. meaning the originals had to have been written before that. All of that solid evidence is rejected and dismissed as either fraudulent or fabricated even though literary scholars testify to their authenticity and validity.
    Actually, I think an early version of Mark, which doesn't mention anything about a resurrection dates back to about 75 CE, but I could be mistaken. This is still nearly 50 years after Jesus is alleged to have started his dirt nap. The Q document is perhaps older, but not by much. It seems very suspicious that the "disciples" and anonymous authors of the gospels didn't feel the events important enough to distribute or write down sooner. But I can accept that they were being oppressed by Romans and perhaps Jews and had to live with an oral tradition for a time. But, given the circumstances and through the lens of literary criticism, it is also expected that the stories get embellished. The embellishments are clear when the gospels are compared and contrasted with one another -there's every reason to expect that they were embellished when compared and contrasted to reality as well.

    But there is also circumstantial evidence such as the rule of contingency. Everything we know is contingent upon some causal factor other than itself. This would suggest there was a causal precendent to the Big Bang. This does not prove the causation was God, but it is a circumstantial clue that among the causes could have been God
    .

    This is, of course, an argument from ignorance and not one of science. Indeed, scientific modeling thus far has shown that, when quantum mechanics are introduced, the net energy of the universe works out to be zero and can begin from nothing. I posted links to scholarly scientific sources in another thread to this. This is a far more parsimonious way of explaining the universe than inventing gods who magically need no cause just because you're ignorant. At the very least, it suggests that possibilities exist that might not be considered.

    There is the regularity and dependability of nature. We can, by faith, rely on the belief that water will boil the same way tomorrow as it does today. We can rely on almost everything in nature to be the same tomorrow as it is today. (Well, the weather is an exception except that the regularity of certain conditions producing certain weather is fairly reliable.) It could be that this is just the way things are and they might change tomorrow. But the fact that they don't is, again, a minor clue, circumstantial evidence.
    Again, this is more of an argument from ignorance than an actual bit of evidence for magical deities.

    I am sure you would have fit right in with the OJ Simpson jury. It is sort of like discussing relativity and someone saying he will not accept any evidence from the world of physics which is, of course, what young earth people do.
    Ah. One of my favorite logical fallacies. A subtle one as well, when employed effectively. A special ad hominem known as poisoning the well. However, it's a dishonest and, intellectually, a cowardly way of arguing your point. Don't worry, I haven't lost respect for you and I realize it's difficult to defend and apologize for superstition in the face of reason and science, so perhaps its to be expected if not allowed for.
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  40. #140  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Ok inow, lets start by undoing your rather DISHONEST editing of my comments.
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    What would an all-powerful all-knowing being do? What sort of activity would He find worthwhile? Are these questions actually being asked by anyone here? I certainly do. But I see little evidence that any of these fundie atheists here has done anything of the sort. Instead I see this VERY pseudo-science like activity of just searching for any nonsense argument that supports their contention, much in the same way that creationists search for any bit of nonsense in order to denounce the theory of evolution. I really don't see them asking any honest questions along this line.
    Try reading more closely. Honest questions have been repeatedly put forth...
    So you see I read VERY closely and uncover ALL of your deceptions, like this dishonest editing of what I wrote to take it out of context.
    Mitchell - I am sorry if you found the part I chose to quote and respond to offensive somehow, but I ask that you please understand I was not trying to be dishonest, ...
    LOL You really are comical. You edit my post to take something out of context in order to pretend that I am accusing you of asking no honest questions as part of a rambling ad-hominem attack while hypocrically accusing me of making the ad-hominem attack. Then when I point out your deception you reply with this nonsense about being shocked that I could offended by your perfectly innocent behavior. LOL


    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    So back in its proper contexts, lets see your honest inquiry into these question:

    What would an all-powerful all-knowing being do? What sort of activity would He find worthwhile?
    I don't accept the premise of your question. It comes across to me like you're asking about the aerodynamics of a unicorn, and how that would be impacted by having a toddler versus a fully grown adult riding on its back.
    Exactly! Just like i said, you have no interest in an honest inquiry into this matter you ONLY say these "if God were this then God would do that" sorts of things in order to manifacture nonsense argument in exactly the same way that creationist manufactures nonsense arguments against evolution. The creationists have no intention of accepting the premise of scientific inquiry any more than you have the intention of honestly addressing the questions behind these comments you make about God.


    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    I predict that you have absolutely no interest in doing anything of the kind.
    Prediction fulfilled perfectly.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
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  41. #141  
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    Skinwalker's post is well developed although I found three flaws in it.

    1. It's wrong.

    2. It's all wrong.

    3. It's all completely wrong.

    Other than those three things, it was a fine post.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  42. #142  
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    Splendid refutation of each of my points. Well informed and insightful. I shall have to rethink my entire position now. Okay. I'm done. Nope... no change.
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  43. #143  
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    But your response is precisely what one would expect from another who is used to not thinking about his superstitions critically.
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  44. #144  
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    I believe this aspect of the discussion has sunk below the level of discussion when you traipes out all that kind of crap that no legitimate scholar of ancient literature supports. They, in fact, scoff at it. Find me a legitimate, respected by his peers, scholar of ancient literature who supports any of the fiction you posted.

    (edit: Oh, by the way, there were SOME accuracies in that post. Those were the places where you quoted me.)
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  45. #145  
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    What, specifically, did you find inaccurate. Presumably every word I typed since you're admittedly predisposed to consider only your own words. But I ask since, depending on which you disagree with, I have several scholars to cite. Indeed, this is all so well-accepted among genuine literary and academic scholarship, that it is surprising you object to it so.
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  46. #146  
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    LOL You really are comical. You edit my post to take something out of context in order to pretend that I am accusing you of asking no honest questions as part of a rambling ad-hominem attack while hypocrically accusing me of making the ad-hominem attack. Then when I point out your deception you reply with this nonsense about being shocked that I could offended by your perfectly innocent behavior. LOL
    I don't know what to tell you. All I can do is repeat that it was not my intent to misrepresent you. Accept that, don't accept that... Whatever. It's the truth.



    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by iNow
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    So back in its proper contexts, lets see your honest inquiry into these question:

    What would an all-powerful all-knowing being do? What sort of activity would He find worthwhile?
    I don't accept the premise of your question. It comes across to me like you're asking about the aerodynamics of a unicorn, and how that would be impacted by having a toddler versus a fully grown adult riding on its back.
    Exactly! Just like i said, you have no interest in an honest inquiry into this matter you ONLY say these "if God were this then God would do that" sorts of things in order to manifacture nonsense argument in exactly the same way that creationist manufactures nonsense arguments against evolution.
    No. My approach is, quite simply, this. I am not inclined to discuss the various potential attributes and characteristics of an entity when the question of existence of that entity has been so insufficiently addressed. I am very willing to discuss the aforementioned characteristics and attributes once you satisfy the existence question, but not before.

    Comparing me to a creationist, calling me dishonest, and misrepresenting my position neither negates nor impacts the appropriateness or logic of my approach in the least.
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  47. #147  
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Well, when every shred of evidence for one side of an issue is rejected by the juror, he can come to only one conclusion. In that case, no amount of circumstantial evidence, or solid forensic evidence or even eye witness testimony will provide the quantum of evidence needed to sway the juror the other way.
    While scientific investigation is admitidly a difficult endevour, I wonder how many readers realize that statistical studies of recent published peer-reviewed research finds that over 50% of the conclusions reached in those science papers are wrong.

    I wonder how accurate historical texts are compared to science research particularly the cutting edge and tentative science that must be cited when discussing this topic. I wonder how well juries and attorneys do compared to this 50% number. I wonder how reliable individual and corroborated eye-witnesses are compared to 50%.
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  48. #148  
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    I predict that you have absolutely no interest in doing anything of the kind.
    Prediction fulfilled perfectly.
    Yes, Inow and skinwalker do a very poor job of representing the atheist as interested in a balanced discussion on faith. It's not too difficult to see why either. When the evidence is accumulated and weighed on a fair balance, the unbiased evaluator would likely conclude that the evidence today points away from materialism, though there is ample uncertainty to fit copious volumes of faith. The better approach is to avoid facing this situation. The idea is to divert and deny so you don't ever have to place your evidence on the scale while vigorously attacking any evidence the other side offers.
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  49. #149  
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    Cypress

    Your statement about 50% wrong is quite irrelevent. At least 50% of everything humans do is wrong. The whole success of science is that it exercises scepticism, followed by testing, and ends up with the 50% that is right.

    As far as evidence is concerned, I have repeatedly asked the Christian side of this debate for evidence that is not
    1. subjective in nature
    2. from a historical document that is more about myths and legends than reality.

    So far those of us who are looking at scientific evidence (myself, iNow and skinwalker) have seen no such evidence.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Cypress

    Your statement about 50% wrong is quite irrelevent. At least 50% of everything humans do is wrong. The whole success of science is that it exercises scepticism, followed by testing, and ends up with the 50% that is right.
    It is relevent because many hold up science as a superior method of arriving at truth. Many accept a scientific conclusion over a historical conclusion. However in doing this it is relevent to understand the accuracy of each method, before assuming that evidence derived from scientific research is superior to evidence derived from historical research for example. Surely you agree this comparison is relevent.

    As far as evidence is concerned, I have repeatedly asked the Christian side of this debate for evidence that is not
    1. subjective in nature
    2. from a historical document that is more about myths and legends than reality.
    Yes you have, and unfortunately I have noticed that the attempted responses tend to get poisoned by readers (mostly other than you) who are not interested in evaluating them at face value. However even here you expose in yourself a bias against historical evidence.

    So far those of us who are looking at scientific evidence (myself, iNow and skinwalker) have seen no such evidence.
    It would be pointless to attempt, as I did in the past, to offer physical evidence for a creator. It is impossible to discuss it at face value on this site. Again though why do you reject, with predjudice, perfectly valid sources of evidence? What justification do you have to accept one form of evidence that is known to be in error often, but reject another form that is not significantly less reliable?
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  51. #151  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    I wonder how many readers realize that statistical studies of recent published peer-reviewed research finds that over 50% of the conclusions reached in those science papers are wrong.
    I wonder if you might cite this statistical study?
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  52. #152  
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    I wonder how many readers realize that statistical studies of recent published peer-reviewed research finds that over 50% of the conclusions reached in those science papers are wrong.
    I wonder if you might cite this statistical study?
    He has in the past. It was specific to medical research, not science in general as he continually insinuates when sharing that particular metric. Further, his interpretation of the actual results of the study he cited is little more than spin and misdirection.


    Here's me addressing his misrepresentation of the study in context of climate change: http://www.thescienceforum.com/viewt...=222424#222424


    Here's the study itself: http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/...l.pmed.0020124
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  53. #153  
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    Ah.. so it wasn't a revelation that 50% of all geology research was wrong or archaeological papers were flat out wrong, etc....

    It was medical research. I see. More "honesty" and "balance" from Mr. cypress.
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  54. #154  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    I wonder how many readers realize that statistical studies of recent published peer-reviewed research finds that over 50% of the conclusions reached in those science papers are wrong.
    I wonder if you might cite this statistical study?
    He has in the past. It was specific to medical research, not science in general as he continually insinuates when sharing that particular metric. Further, his interpretation of the actual results of the study he cited is little more than spin and misdirection.


    Here's me addressing his misrepresentation of the study in context of climate change: http://www.thescienceforum.com/viewt...=222424#222424
    No you are incorrectly assuming the study exclusively addressed medical research. You should have read the entire study and notes more carefully. If you did you would see that it applies more broadly.



    Here is updated article that references the earlier one with some updated information and again it is intended to apply broadly, with examples in medicine and not.

    http://www.sciencenews.org/view/feat...Are,_Its_Wrong
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  55. #155  
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    Cypress, science is a superior method of arriving at truth. However, it is not perfect, because science is a human institution and humans are imperfect. However, it is still the best method humanity has found. Certainly, scientific research frequently turns up conclusions that are later found to be invalid. The problem with other methods, especially religious, is that their invalid conclusions are often never uncovered, and people labour with untruth for lifetimes. Therefore, comparing the scientific method to an inferior method is not a valid comparison.
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  56. #156  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Here is updated article that references the earlier one with some updated information and again it is intended to apply broadly, with examples in medicine and not.

    http://www.sciencenews.org/view/feat...Are,_Its_Wrong
    I think many of the comments after that article address this more appropriately than I can. For example:


    This article has the flavor of science and math bashing. Box 4, for example, which a poster above lauded, is very standard material. We teach it to freshmen. It is just an illustration of false positives. Anyone worthy of the name "scientist" knows such stuff thoroughly.

    Mistakes in reasoning like that certainly do come up. There are several famous examples involving law suits and criminal trials where the jury was bamboozled into the wrong verdict by a clever lawyer. Sometimes neither the lawyers know the judge realize that that kind of false statistical "reasoning" is being used. I seem to recall a recent famous case in Denmark.

    Saying that science is flawed because it uses statistics is nonsense.
    In a nutshell, the author reminds everyone to be careful when interpreting p-values, that effect size is just as important to consider as the statistical significance of the effect, and that replication should be done more often. All good points. Now, if the author can get over his need to bash all of statistics, he might be more credible and clear when making these good points.
    I agree with the other commentators who lament the identification of statistics as the culprit.

    Yes arguments can be made that published research is a biased view of the sum total evidence collected by science, and yes, null hypothesis testing is oft misunderstood and applied when more subtle approaches are more appropriate. But to call statistics itself the culprit is frankly irresponsible science reporting.
    This article is awful. I can't see why the editors would let this garbage out on to the website. Statistics is not the issue, education is. If this is the kind of thing Science News is going to start publishing, I think my paper subscription is unlikely to be renewed.
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    The comments reveal interesting alternate possible explanations for why scientific research is often wrong. Though they may disagree with the causal explanations I don't think any of the comments argue that the articles conclusion, that research is often wrong, is in error.

    So we have ample evidence that scientific conclusions from a broad range of fields is more often incorrect. This evidence is supported by observation and statistical methods. Can anyone show that conclusions based on cutting edge scientific research (the kind that is used to support materialism) is more reliable than conclusions based on historical evidence?

    Skeptic, what objective evidence do you have to suggest scientific evidence is more reliable than historical evidence, or corroborated eye-witness reports, or legal testimony etc.
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    To cypress

    Re eye witness testimony.

    In fact, as numerous studies carried out by psychology researchers have shown, eye witness testimony is one of the least reliable of all forms of evidence.

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

    Humans have unreliable memory, and are extremely easy to lead into false identifications. Since DNA evidence has led to the release of several hundred people from death row, has come the realisation that the prime cause of conviction of innocent people is faulty eye witness testimony.

    http://agora.stanford.edu/sjls/Issue...er&tversky.htm

    I quote :

    "Several studies have been conducted on human memory and on subjects’ propensity to remember erroneously events and details that did not occur. Elizabeth Loftus performed experiments in the mid-seventies demonstrating the effect of a third party’s introducing false facts into memory.4 Subjects were shown a slide of a car at an intersection with either a yield sign or a stop sign. Experimenters asked participants questions, falsely introducing the term "stop sign" into the question instead of referring to the yield sign participants had actually seen. Similarly, experimenters falsely substituted the term "yield sign" in questions directed to participants who had actually seen the stop sign slide. The results indicated that subjects remembered seeing the false image. In the initial part of the experiment, subjects also viewed a slide showing a car accident. Some subjects were later asked how fast the cars were traveling when they "hit" each other, others were asked how fast the cars were traveling when they "smashed" into each other. Those subjects questioned using the word "smashed" were more likely to report having seen broken glass in the original slide. The introduction of false cues altered participants’ memories."
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    yes, I should have been more obvious in specifying "corroborated eye-witness" evidence. A single eye-witness is quite unreliable however evidence from two independent eye-witnesses is quite reliable and several independent eye-witnesses is nearly rock solid, far far better than 50% especially when interview design was good.

    http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/j...56709/abstract

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/y1674k0083tq004j/

    So, perhaps you might like make another attempt at answering the question?
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    Cypress

    There is a method that absolutely guarantees several eye witnesses give unanimous details. It is called collaboration. For example, the four gospels and Acts in the New Testament were written decades after the events they describe, and by people who knew each other. What is the betting that they had discussed those events in detail before writing them down? And even then, there are numerous contradictions.
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  61. #161  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Cypress

    There is a method that absolutely guarantees several eye witnesses give unanimous details. It is called collaboration. For example, the four gospels and Acts in the New Testament were written decades after the events they describe, and by people who knew each other. What is the betting that they had discussed those events in detail before writing them down? And even then, there are numerous contradictions.
    We can speculate as you have all week long about these writings and never come to a definitive conclusion when we look at them in isolation. As you say, we know they are not independent since they clearly knew each other but the inconsistency suggests they may not have collaborated.

    However let's discuss the accuracy of scientific evidence verses corroborated eye-witnesses and other forms of historical evidence that we can evaluate. It is difficult to show that conclusions derived especially from scientific research into these difficult questions of the origin of the universe and its physical parameters and the origin of life where these questions of competing world views is relevant are more accurate when comparing undirected materialism to purposed creator. When you consider that other forms of arriving at objective fact are often more accurate than scientific research, the story gets quite difficult to unravel.
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  62. #162  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Cypress, science is a superior method of arriving at truth.
    I find this puzzling for a variety of reasons. First I cannot find what you are replying to, in addressing Cypress. Second and most important, what is this supposed method of arriving at the truth in religion that you are comparing science to? How is this different than saying that arithmetic has a superior method of adding numbers than does debate? It doesn't make any sense because there is no such thing in debate. Third is that your statement is a bit of a red herring with regards to religion, because the things that science has a method for arriving at the truth about are not the principle concern of religion, and with regards to those concerns science does NOT have a method for arriving at the truth at all.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
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  63. #163  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    And even then, there are numerous contradictions.
    I would be far more suspicious if there were no contradictions. Contradictions are one of the features one expects in genuine, honest eye witness testimony.
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  64. #164  
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    The problem is very little if any of biblical literature can be corroborated as actually "eye-witness." Certainly not the "gospels."
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  65. #165  
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    skinwalker said:

    The problem is very little if any of biblical literature can be corroborated as actually "eye-witness." Certainly not the "gospels."

    This is very easy to say when you deny that Mathew and John were desciples who traveled with Jesus. However, there is very little support for such an idea from ancient literature and Bible experts. Next, Mark was a companion of Peter and was certainly familiar with the stories Peter told about Jesus. Luke, in addition to being a physician, was an historian who recorded the stories he heard and perhaps interviewed some of the people involved.

    The most accepted explanation by ancient literature experts is that Mark and Matthew were the first written and one of them may have had access to the writing of the other. Luke may have used one or both of them as reference material. John's book was likely written indepently of the others which is why it is has different information in it.

    If you would like, I will go back and try to find the post where I listed arpund 50 scholars who would take the position. Or I will try to duplicate it, but only on the condition that you can find 25 reputable mainstream scholars who hold to the position you have stated.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  66. #166  
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    And aren't the oldest copies of these books dated to at least 50 years after the death of Jesus?
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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  67. #167  
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    I'm really not interested in measuring our dicks or "the number of scholars." I'd rather address each issue/contention with applicable scholarly works. At that point, the claims live or die with data. Appealing to popularity is but a logical fallacy since either side could claim a high number of apologists who are convinced by their conclusions and suffer confirmation biases that are invalidated with the work of a single scholar who presents clear objective data.

    when you deny that Mathew and John were desciples who traveled with Jesus. However, there is very little support for such an idea from ancient literature and Bible experts.
    Quite the contrary. There is, actually, no data to support that the anonymous authors of these two synoptic gospels were either the people they are named after or that these were the disciples of the alleged messiah.

    Matthew, like Luke, are stories largely copied from Mark and the Q document (Quelle, in German, "source" -a document that is known from literary forensics found in other texts but no longer exists in original form). Moreover, they were written at a time when the two disciples were very likely dead since they originate at around 100 CE (keep in mind, the alleged messiah started his dirt nap at around 34 CE, nearly 70 years prior). Q material finds its way into Matthew and Luke, but not John or Mark. Material from Mark finds its way into Matthew and Luke.

    The anonymous author of John presents a very different account of the alleged messiah from the other three. And the writing style is different as well, which I find interesting -not necessarily a criticism, but interesting since this appears to be someone who isn't in contact with the other story tellers. Which is one of the reasons why I consider that Jesus was a real person, just not with the magical powers and supernatural nonsense embellished in these myths that built up around him. Part of the style, however, is to have Jesus spend a lot of time telling who he is and self-fulfilling prophecies to prove it.

    One interesting story shared with John and Mark is the "overturning the tables of the money changers." This is actually the kind of thing that, when the New Testament is critically evaluated as ancient literature, shows that the anonymous author of John wasn't an observer of the event. John's author puts the event at the very beginning of Jesus' ministry (see John 2). Mark, however, puts this event in the last week of Jesus' life (see Mark 11). We know Mark was written significantly earlier than John. And this isn't the sort of observation you get wrong, even as an eye witness (it isn't a minor detail like the color of someone's hair or the name of a minor participant). But it is the sort of thing that is expected when a third party is putting together accounts from other sources that may or may not be genuine accounts. In other words, even though John doesn't seem to use the Q document, it is copied from other, pre-existing myths.

    This sort of copy, and recopy of both written and oral stories will always -always- result in changes and embellishments. Epigraphers who study ancient texts and the literary evolution of these myths (Gilgamesh, for instance) note this trend over and over -and they depend on it, along with archaeological contexts, to trace origins and develop timelines.

    The most accepted explanation by ancient literature experts is that Mark and Matthew were the first written and one of them may have had access to the writing of the other.
    Almost correct. Nearly every scholar of ancient literature, particularly of biblical mythology, understands that Mark and the Q document were first. Matthew and Luke next. John last.

    This is pretty much off the top of my head, but is all discussed in one or more of the following works. I'm willing to go into far more detail after work today or tomorrow when I'm back at my library of sources. There, I can cite specific pages of these and many more.

    References

    Ehrman, Bart D. (2009). Jesus Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (and Why We Don't Know About Them). New York: Harper-Collins

    Ehrman, Bart D (2003). Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Ehrman, Bart D. (2007). Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why. New York: Oxford University Press.
    Gamble, Harry (1985). The New Testament Canon: Its Making and Meaning. Philadelphia: Fortress Press.[/quote]
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    Appealing to subjective redaction scholarship ( cleverly couched as literary forensics) is a cute technique to make it appear one is being objective when one is not. It's even funnier to first suggest that we not count scholars and then that the opponent has no data to support multiple authors and then proceed to make an appeal to authorities who constructed a subjective redaction beginning 1800 years after the fact and actually believe that this analysis is more accurate than the analysis carried by tradition that dates back to 120-170 AD, less than 150 years after the fact and further to the point having been passed down by an unbroken line of direct acquaintances back to the authors identified by them.

    If one is going to make the argument that objective data is required to support historical claims, then use of redaction is out of the question. Let's try to be consistent less we expose our severe bias. I don't think it serves any purpose to try to use subjective literary analysis as evidence until we agree that subjective evidence is acceptable in the first place.
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  69. #169  
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    Appealing to subjective redaction scholarship
    Except it isn't "appealing" to redactive scholarship. It's making objective observations. It's recognizing that literary works evolve and biblical stories are just as subject to this evolution as they are transformed from oral stories to written compendiums. This literary evolution naturally includes embellishments that compound. These embellishments are more than redaction.

    The literary criticism I outlined above demonstrates far more than mere redaction -in some cases it's embellishment, in others its wholesale invention. In other cases it might be accurate observation, but the contradictions between these "synoptic" gospels leaves one wondering what is real and what's invented. Given this, one can start by eliminating the supernatural and the fantastic. That done, we're left with a very different Jesus. One who is mortal and a man. One who is charismatic and, perhaps, a leader with good intent.

    The person he was and the character he was made out to be in the resulting mythology are vastly different beings.

    There simply is no good reason to conclude that the resulting Jesus described by biblical mythology actually existed. Particularly when the only evidence appears decades after he was allegedly killed and not before. One would expect a person as significant and imporant as the resulting mythology made him out to be, might get mention in the many, many texts of the period that were independent of the early Christian cults. One would not necessarily expect this of someone who was one of many cult leaders of the time, regardless of his charisma.

    There's just no good reason to accept biblical mythology at face value.
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  70. #170  
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    skinwalker said:

    There is, actually, no data to support that the anonymous authors of these two synoptic gospels were either the people they are named after or that these were the disciples of the alleged messiah.
    Sorry, but there is plenty of data to suggest that the authors of these texts were, indeed, the people they purport to be and this is the position that most literary and Bible scholars take. It is only revisionist writers of the last half century or so who have come up with these cocamamie ideas based on the very same information which as been available and used by those of the opposite view. The recent revisionists have no more data to support their position that is available to the others. So, whatever data you think is missing to traditional, mainstream scholars is certainly not enough to support revisionism.

    skinwalker later said:

    There simply is no good reason to conclude that the resulting Jesus described by biblical mythology actually existed.
    Well, actually, since there is absolutely no evidence that he did not exist, there are only unsupported and bad reasons to conclude that the Jesus described in Bible did not exist. Such a conclusion is not only lacking a bad reason, it is without any reason whatsoever.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Here is how the evidence is stacking up so far. We have multiple corroborating eye-witness accounts for which studies indicate the accuracy rate is near 100%.

    Countering that we have subjective inference from literary redaction of writings by authors that the redactors know very little about. The accuracy of this method is unknown as there is no documented case I know of where redaction of corroborated writings older than 500 years has been confirmed by physical evidence, while there are numerous cases where redaction has later been demonstrated to have been wrong. Accuracy rate is therefore near 0%.

    But we have evidence inferred by conclusions from scientific research. However studies indicate research conclusion are more often incorrect than correct. Accuracy rates <50%.

    Those who argue that we should trust scientific research and literary analysis over historical evidence and eye-witness accounts have some serious catching up to do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Sorry, but there is plenty of data to suggest that the authors of these texts were, indeed, the people they purport to be and this is the position that most literary and Bible scholars take.
    Cite some.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    There simply is no good reason to conclude that the resulting Jesus described by biblical mythology actually existed.
    Well, actually, since there is absolutely no evidence that he did not exist, there are only unsupported and bad reasons to conclude that the Jesus described in Bible did not exist. Such a conclusion is not only lacking a bad reason, it is without any reason whatsoever.
    The claim is yours. And its an extraordinary claim with only mythology to support it. The evidence against the mythical being of Jesus (not the normal, mortal, non-magical human that this mythical being is based upon) is reality. People don't walk on water, turn to zombies after three days, or find themselves born of virgins without the sperm donation of a human father. Nor do they cast demons out of the possessed, put those demons in pigs, and send the pigs into the sea.

    These and many others are extraordinary claims that have only mythology to support. We might as well accept that Hades sent Persephone to the underworld after tricking her; that the Hero Twins of the Maya, Hunahpú and Xbalanqué, truly ascended to the sky to become the Sun and Moon, and that Set really did eat Horus' penis so Osiris couldn't find it to put him back together after Set killed him and scattered him in 13 pieces.

    What are the data that support your claim that Matthew and John were disciples of Jesus and the actual authors? I'm very eager to read this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Here is how the evidence is stacking up so far. We have multiple corroborating eye-witness accounts for which studies indicate the accuracy rate is near 100%.
    Which accounts are actually "eye-witness?" And what studies indicate an "accuracy rate [...] near 100%?"

    Those who argue that we should trust scientific research and literary analysis over historical evidence and eye-witness accounts have some serious catching up to do.
    Where are the "historical data?" Biblical mythology is just that: myth. It cannot be held up as historical any more than Huck Finn or Moby Dick. Both of these were historical novels, based on real periods of history and consistent with the vernacular and aesthetic of the day. But they are not history. Biblical literature is the same.
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    References were previously provided that indicate multiple corroborated eye-witness accounts generate accuracy rates near 100%. Many narratives of the biblical writings make very clear claims of literal eye-witness accounts of claimed historical events. some of the writings are more metaphorical. Careful analysis of the culture and traditions make it rather easy to discern what is intended to be literal history, as compared to doctrinal or metaphorical.

    The Biblical texts make hundreds of historical claims with hundreds confirmed by archeological evidence and none that I know of overturned, though I have not studied this in recent years. Perhaps you can offer some ... If not we have historical claims made by biblical text running near or at 100% so far. There is a substantial difference between biblical texts like Acts and Luke and Romans where each author directly states that it is literal truth and Moby Dick where the author clearly labeled it fiction.

    Some more valid questions would be to ask how you do you validate the labels you assign to historical text? How does one objectively demonstrate that a narrative is conclusively false mythology? What positive evidence do you offer for those labels? What objective evidence do you have that literary redaction generates accurate conclusions?

    Once again studies give us important indicators. Corroborated eye-witness accounts are near 100%. Confirmed historical events in biblical text are near 100%. Subjective literary analysis and redaction, near 0% confirmed. Subjective labels that historical text containing 100's of confirmed historical events should be considered mythology also near 0% confirmed. Results from scientific research less than 50%.

    You are way way behind.
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  75. #175  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    References were previously provided that indicate multiple corroborated eye-witness accounts generate accuracy rates near 100%.
    Where? Perhaps you'd be kind enough to link to the post, copy/paste the references, or give the post#.

    Many narratives of the biblical writings make very clear claims of literal eye-witness accounts of claimed historical events.
    Many narratives of biblical mythology may have been inspired by observation. Describing the act of a fisherman, someone riding an ass, clothing, etc. This doesn't make them historical. Nor does claiming "true story" in the story. Moby Dick, if not for the honesty of the author, would appear to be penned by Ishmael, who narrates the story. The same with Huck Finn, who, if memory serves correctly, claimed in his narrative that the story was true.

    The Biblical texts make hundreds of historical claims with hundreds confirmed by archeological evidence and none that I know of overturned, though I have not studied this in recent years.
    Name one historical claim by the bible, which is tied to one of the bible's supernatural or divine claims, which is confirmed by archaeology. As an archaeologist, I think I'll be qualified to comment on it.

    Perhaps you can offer some ...
    Sure. Egypt existed. It is confirmed by archaeology and mentioned in biblical mythology. Only the people that are supposed to have "escaped" from Egypt don't appear to have existed at all. The equivalent of the population of Vancouver has somehow managed to evade archaeologists who are able to spot evidence of a few dozen hunter-gatherers in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic in the same regions nearly a million wandering Jews were supposed to spend 40 years.

    If not we have historical claims made by biblical text running near or at 100% so far
    .

    100% of what? Which historical claims? The bible isn't history. Where are the corroborations? You keep talking as though there are significant corroborations but you continue to decline to produce them.

    Some more valid questions would be to ask how you do you validate the labels you assign to historical text? How does one objectively demonstrate that a narrative is conclusively false mythology
    Where did I use the adjective "false?" What's the difference between mythology and "false mythology?" Moreover, what good reason is there to assume that biblical narratives are anything more than mythology? Everything about judeo-christian texts is consistent with myth.

    What objective evidence do you have that literary redaction generates accurate conclusions?
    Your question isn't making sense. First, I don't think redaction generates accurate conclusions, necessarily. It can, if the redaction is one of merely cleaning up idioms of translation or syntax. However, there is far more going on in the writings of judeo-christian texts than mere redaction. In some places, there is wholesale embellishment and and invention. I've only mentioned a bare few in my posts above, which neither you or daytonturner have bothered to address. I can only assume you're burying your head in the sand in hopes that these sorts of contradictions will disappear on their own. I assure you, they will not. One of the single best sources for discounting biblical mythology as historical account is citing biblical mythology. Finally, I also think you misunderstand the terms you're using, which is why the question you've posed above doesn't make sense.

    Are you sure you want to have this debate? I've barely warmed up.

    Once again studies give us important indicators. Corroborated eye-witness accounts are near 100%
    .

    Which studies? Which "eye-witness accounts?" 100% of what, precisely?

    Please fill in some gaps.

    Confirmed historical events in biblical text are near 100%.
    Which "historical events" confirmed by whom at "near 100%" of what?

    Subjective literary analysis and redaction, near 0% confirmed.
    I cited some very real problems to which you refuse to address beyond saying "subjective...." and randomly assign a null percentage. Your not making sense. 0% of what?

    You are way way behind.
    You've yet to even demonstrate you understand what's being discussed let alone address a single point I've made. But, if it masturbates your ego to make up imaginary scores, feel free to carry on.

    If you really want to score points, answer each question mark above.
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    Tell you what: I'll do you a favor and handicap myself.

    I'm going to be at work until about 15:30 CST tomorrow and if I reply at all, it'll be straight from memory since my texts and journals are here at home.

    If you want, you've got all day to scour the web and visit your local library. Dig up some citations on what you're claiming.

    You're saying that there are "eye-witness accounts" that are corroborated. That there's archaeological evidence that corroborates biblical narrative. That there are "studies" that confirm the "accuracy" of "historical events" in biblical narrative.

    Just to be fair, I'll stop calling it myth if you can show that the significant stories of the bible are "corroborated" and "accurate."
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    There is no need to get any reference material for your straw man arguments because the purpose of this discussion has been accomplished. I am well aware of your past studies and know quite well that you are aware of this evidence. Your only purpose in asking for it is to provide a false venue to deny the evidence yet again and substitute opinions unsupported by the empirical evidence you demand in its place. You cannot progress with your argument because you have presented your case and there is simply no evidence on your side to offer. Your counter arguments need no rebuttal.

    For the casual reader, multiple eye-witness accounts are accurate, see the link in a previous post last page. Archeology does corroborate biblical historical claims. There are numerous links that provide a range of discussion supporting this view. This one is fairly balanced. Don't be fooled by clever debate tactics that divert from the issue.
    Quote Originally Posted by skinwalker
    Only the people that are supposed to have "escaped" from Egypt don't appear to have existed at all
    Except the Jews very clearly do exist. Lack of evidence does not make the Jewish population go away. The challenge is to provide positive evidence that the Jewish people relocated from somewhere other than Egypt. Even here there is good physical evidence supporting the Hebrew account as I suspect skinwalker knows.

    It makes no difference to this argument that you are able to interject your opinions to attempt to reduce the veracity of the claims of your opponents because you can do nothing to provide any of the kind of empirical evidence you claim you use and that your opponents have. Throw it all into question and you still have nothing positive to support your view. Although I could (and you know it), I don't need to throw more evidence onto our side of the scale.

    It is a real problem for your side that you insist from the beginning on empirical evidence because your arguments against the claims of historical texts lack empirical evidence. Without empirical evidence on your side, we have multiple corroborating accounts validated by physical evidence as unchanged as far back as 90-150 AD. Corroboration for older events go back as far as 300BC. Archeological evidence as far back as 1500 BC. The discussion has shown that your arguments are entirely subjective, nearly all of it is the opinion of you and like minded others and completely void of empirical corroboration. The discussion shows that you label the text mythology (false tales) despite the fact that you offer no evidence that the biblical events happened differently than the claims. You don't need to prove a negative here, what you need is to make a positive case based on empirical evidence that the events occurred differently, your trouble is that there is only empirical evidence that supports the biblical historical accounts and no empirical evidence that something different occurred.

    Once again available empirical evidence favors the theistic view. The evidence is far stronger. Corroborated eye-witness evidence is very accurate. Historical evidence is less so but still very accurate. Scientific evidence based on research is not so accurate, less than 50%. Literary analysis, thus far, has a very poor record, near zero. Evidence that biblical texts should be labeled myth is nil.

    Edited to add an additional link covering the Exodus.
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    skinwalker, what you are doing is tantamount to someone coming along now and saying John Wilkes Boothe did not really assinate Abraham Lincoln, using for support, the work of some revisionist historians. (You know, there are those who say JWB was not really the shooter, in spite of all the evidence.)

    What we have is people who have come along here nearly 2,000 years after the events, suggesting, without any conflicting evidence whatsoever and based only on their skeptcism, that the recordings of those events (which were recorded near the time of their occurance)are inaccurate.

    But, at the same time, I wonder if you would question Caesar's accounts of his Gallic Wars? Somehow, I suspect you hold the Bible up to far more scrutiny than you would the single, one man's self aggrandizing accounts of his own deeds.

    I would not say there is a great deal of world historical data included in the New Testament other than the mentioning of the names of important people such as Caesar Agustus, Pontius Pilate along with Herod Agrippa and some of his successors. These are well documented persons who lived in those times and certainly verified by other historical literature. There are also many cities and places mentions which are accurately described and placed and confirmed by archeology.

    In view of all the archeological confirmations of places and events and people from the Old Testament, it would seem far more incumbent upon skinwalker to produce archeological refutations of things in the Old Testament.

    There are some things which seem to be ill-timed in the Old Testament, but one must remember that in that culture, timing was not an important factor. The significance of an event was more important such that it was not uncommon for records of historical events to list the more significant and important events or people before the lesser ones.

    I think one of the more graphic archeological confirmations of the Bible accouts is the Hittites. For years, skeptics pooh-poohed the existence of such an ethnic group. What we have found is that there were, apparently, several people groups located in the Middle East who were called Hittites. Whether or how these groups may or may not have been related to the Biblical Hittites has not been determined, but we do now know from archeological finds that there were groups called Hittites. It may be that the term was also some generic term used to describe some kinds of peoples much like we have sometimes used the word banshees to colloquially refer to some wild and unruly people.

    There are so many archeological confirmations of Biblical data, it seems incredulous that a reasonably well educated person who has an interest in this topic could be unaware of them and demand such proofs.

    (edited after accidentally hitting submit rather than preview.)
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  79. #179  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    There is no need to get any reference material for your straw man arguments because the purpose of this discussion has been accomplished.
    Sure there is. I think you're lying. Moreover, you've not demonstrated that I've mischaracterized anything, so the accusation of a strawman is false.
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    I am well aware of your past studies and know quite well that you are aware of this evidence.
    I'm aware of many alleged lines of evidence that are often made up by various apologists. I'm aware of several archaeological myths perpetuated by those that want to believe them. I'm aware of not a single shred of actual data that supports any of the significant claims of biblical mythology. By these significant claims, I'm referring to those that support the divinity and supernatural aspects. We can agree on place-names and kings and rulers all day long. I can do the same by looking at Huck Finn and Moby Dick.
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Your only purpose in asking for it is to provide a false venue to deny the evidence yet again and substitute opinions unsupported by the empirical evidence you demand in its place.
    My purpose for asking for it is to ensure that we're discussing the same thing. Your purpose for not sharing it is to perpetuate the myth that there is "evidence" to support the supernatural bullshit of the bible. There isn't. Not a shred.
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    You cannot progress with your argument because you have presented your case and there is simply no evidence on your side to offer. Your counter arguments need no rebuttal.
    You're the claimer. I have no need to present a case. I have only need to ask questions regarding your claim. I've asked many and received no answers. Your claim, it would seem, is bullshit.
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    For the casual reader, multiple eye-witness accounts are accurate,
    What "eye-witnesses?" Where is the evidence that we actually have eye-witness testimony and not hearsay? The so-called "synoptic" gospels are consistent with hearsay -a demonstration I've already made to which the best rebuttal is "not true."
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    see the link in a previous post last page. Archeology does corroborate biblical historical claims.
    I can agree with that. Where biblical narratives actually make historical claims. But there are numerous instances in which biblical narratives fail at this as well. Jericho for instance. The "historical" claim of the bible is that Joshua sacked it. The archeaology of this and several other towns, villages, and hamlets doesn't support that claim. The "walls" of jericho were hardly defensive (more to keep livestock in/out or prevent flooding). This is one of many, many "historical" claims of biblical narrative that are completely false. But I agree that there are some historical claimst that hold up as well. There is support for kings and places, but shouldn't these be expected?
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    It makes no difference to this argument that you are able to interject your opinions to attempt to reduce the veracity of the claims of your opponents because you can do nothing to provide any of the kind of empirical evidence you claim you use and that your opponents have. Throw it all into question and you still have nothing positive to support your view. Although I could (and you know it), I don't need to throw more evidence onto our side of the scale.
    I'm not required to provide any evidence at all. The claims of biblical divinity and the supernatural require evidence. None is provided. None. Not a shred. So-called "eye-witnesses" are no more reliable than hearsay since nothing they say is corroborated. So when it comes to empirical evidence, I'm ready to see it. Until then, there's simply no good reason to accept that biblical narrative amounts to anything more than myth.

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    It is a real problem for your side that you insist from the beginning on empirical evidence because your arguments against the claims of historical texts lack empirical evidence.
    First, I'm not arguing against "the claims of historical texts." I'm arguing against the claims of texts that claim to be historical. By doing so, I've demonstrated, in just a few short paragraphs and lines, that the biblical narratives you claim are historical are not. They're embellished myth that may or may not be based on kernels of truth. A truth that provides us with no good reason to accept any divine or supernatural origins. As far as empirical evidence, I can empirically demonstrate that ancient cultures of the day routinely practiced embellishment of existing narratives, borrowing them from other cultures, often word-for-word, from both written and oral sources. My only question is how many would suffice?
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Without empirical evidence on your side, we have multiple corroborating accounts validated by physical evidence as unchanged as far back as 90-150 AD. Corroboration for older events go back as far as 300BC. Archeological evidence as far back as 1500 BC.
    Again, I'm not required to produce empirical evidence since the claim of divinity and supernaturalism is on your side. These are extraordinary claims without even a modicum of evidence. Furthermore, and I ask yet again, what "corroborating accounts" to what "physical evidence?" What "corroboration for older events?" What, specific, "archaeological evidence?" There are much archaeological data, but which are relevant to your claims and why?
    Refusing to answer these and the other questions I posed to your claims, demonstrates the dishonesty and weak nature of your claims.
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    The discussion has shown that your arguments are entirely subjective, nearly all of it is the opinion of you and like minded others and completely void of empirical corroboration.
    You say that, yet you refuse to acknowledge any of the questions I've posed or to address why my counter claims are alleged to be "subjective."
    Just saying it ain't so and repeating your mantra doesn't make it so.
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    The discussion shows that you label the text mythology (false tales) despite the fact that you offer no evidence that the biblical events happened differently than the claims.
    I have offered evidence. I made several sharp, lucid points that you completely refuse to address. Refusing to do so is intellectual cowardice.
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    You don't need to prove a negative here, what you need is to make a positive case based on empirical evidence that the events occurred differently, your trouble is that there is only empirical evidence that supports the biblical historical accounts and no empirical evidence that something different occurred.
    Again, there has been no evidence shown that supports the divinity and supernatural claims of the bible. And, again, I'm under no obligation to provide evidence to counter the claims. The claims are yours. Your obligation is to showt the evidence. Which you refuse to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Once again available empirical evidence favors the theistic view.
    Which evidence is this?
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    The evidence is far stronger.
    Which evidence is this?
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Corroborated eye-witness evidence is very accurate.
    Corroborated with forensic evidence. Yes. But there isn't even any established eye-witness evidence. You'll first need to demonstrate this claim to be accurate. I've already debunked it.
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Scientific evidence based on research is not so accurate, less than 50%.
    More out-of-context, anti-science rhetoric.
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Literary analysis, thus far, has a very poor record, near zero. Evidence that biblical texts should be labeled myth is nil.
    Only from the point of view of a hole in the sand your head is firmly planted in.




    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    skinwalker, what you are doing is tantamount to someone coming along now and saying John Wilkes Boothe did not really assinate Abraham Lincoln, using for support, the work of some revisionist historians. (You know, there are those who say JWB was not really the shooter, in spite of all the evidence.)
    Strawman argument and poor analogy. Neither JWB nor Lincoln claim to be messiahs, gods, or Either address the points and questions I've raised or admit ignorance.

    I would not say there is a great deal of world historical data included in the New Testament other than the mentioning of the names of important people such as Caesar Agustus, Pontius Pilate along with Herod Agrippa and some of his successors. These are well documented persons who lived in those times and certainly verified by other historical literature. There are also many cities and places mentions which are accurately described and placed and confirmed by archeology.
    Agreed. What's at contention here are the divine/supernatural claims of the bible, which dominate it such that it becomes mythology.

    In view of all the archeological confirmations of places and events and people from the Old Testament, it would seem far more incumbent upon skinwalker to produce archeological refutations of things in the Old Testament.
    Sure. I'll do this later this evening. I thought we talking about the NT, so I've tried to avoid OT except as an example. But if this is what you're wanting, I can do that too.

    I think one of the more graphic archeological confirmations of the Bible accouts is the Hittites. For years, skeptics pooh-poohed the existence of such an ethnic group.
    Skeptics are right to question that which doesn't have evidence until such time evidence is available. As you noted, there are still some questions to the Hittite culture that we know exists in antiquity being the same as the Hittite culture mentioned in biblical mythology.

    There are so many archeological confirmations of Biblical data, it seems incredulous that a reasonably well educated person who has an interest in this topic could be unaware of them and demand such proofs.
    I'm aware of many archaeological sites that are consistent with biblical mythology. I'm aware of many archaeological sites that are consistent with Sumerian, Greek and Persian mythology as well. Which of these supports your claims of divine/supernatural "truth" of the bible?
    Either Jesus and the other gods of the Judeo-Christian cult doctrines are real and there is empirical evidence. Or there isn't and their doctrines are myth.
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    I suspect you think you have a strong rebuttal, but I disagree. I don't see anything worth addressing over again. With the exception of Jericho, I am satisfied with the points I have made and I note yet again that you have yet to provide any empirical evidence or direct support for even your minor complaints. Your arguments are little more than opinion.

    On Jericho, your opinion is disputed and the evidence is far more consistent with the Biblical narrative.

    Synopsis of Agnostic Archaeologist David Rohl's book
    Archaeology Supports Jericho Narrative
    Detailed evidence supporting the Biblical narrative.

    Also reread this link that previously summarized the evidence for Jericho.
    Even here there is good physical evidence supporting the Hebrew account
    I suppose you don't read the material presented to you.

    Again I am satisfied with my previous posts and the assessment that your responses are weak and without empirical support.

    edited to add previous link.
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  81. #181  
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    The bible is not 100% correct.

    Here is a very simple contradiction. Taken from the New International Bible.

    Matthew 27.

    "3When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. 4"I have sinned," he said, "for I have betrayed innocent blood."
    "What is that to us?" they replied. "That's your responsibility."

    5So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.

    6The chief priests picked up the coins and said, "It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money." 7So they decided to use the money to buy the potter's field as a burial place for foreigners. 8That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day. 9Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: "They took the thirty silver coins, the price set on him by the people of Israel, 10and they used them to buy the potter's field, as the Lord commanded me."[a]"


    Acts 1.

    "concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus— 17he was one of our number and shared in this ministry."

    18(With the reward he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. 19Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) "



    This is not even one of the extraordinary claims. This is just an account of how Judas died. And they caint even get something so simple correct!
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  82. #182  
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    Just a few more contradictions from the bible.



    War or Peace?
    EXO 15:3 The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.

    ROM 15:33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.


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    Who is the father of Joseph?
    MAT 1:16 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

    LUK 3:23 And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli.


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    Who was at the Empty Tomb? Is it:
    MAT 28:1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

    MAR 16:1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.

    JOH 20:1 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.


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    Is Jesus equal to or lesser than?
    JOH 10:30 I and my Father are one.

    JOH 14:28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.


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    Which first--beasts or man?
    GEN 1:25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
    GEN 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

    GEN 2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
    GEN 2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.


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    The number of beasts in the ark
    GEN 7:2 Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.

    GEN 7:8 Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and of every thing that creepeth upon the earth, GEN 7:9 There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah.


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    How many stalls and horsemen?
    1KI 4:26 And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen.

    2CH 9:25 And Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen; whom he bestowed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem.


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

    Is it folly to be wise or not?
    PRO 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

    ECC 1:18 For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

    1CO 1:19: "For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent."


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    Human vs. ghostly impregnation
    ACT 2:30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;

    MAT 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.


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    The sins of the father
    ISA 14:21 Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities.

    DEU 24:16 The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.


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    The bat is not a bird
    LEV 11:13 And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray,
    LEV 11:14 And the vulture, and the kite after his kind;
    LEV 11:15 Every raven after his kind;
    LEV 11:16 And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind,
    LEV 11:17 And the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl,
    LEV 11:18 And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle,
    LEV 11:19 And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat.

    DEU 14:11 Of all clean birds ye shall eat.
    DEU 14:12 But these are they of which ye shall not eat: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray,
    DEU 14:13 And the glede, and the kite, and the vulture after his kind,
    DEU 14:14 And every raven after his kind,
    DEU 14:15 And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind,
    DEU 14:16 The little owl, and the great owl, and the swan,
    DEU 14:17 And the pelican, and the gier eagle, and the cormorant,
    DEU 14:18 And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat.


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    Rabbits do not chew their cud
    LEV 11:6 And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.

    "Gerah," the term which appears in the MT means (chewed) cud, and also perhaps grain, or berry (also a 20th of a sheckel, but I think that we can agree that that is irrelevant here). It does *not* mean dung, and there is a perfectly adequate Hebrew word for that, which could have been used. Furthermore, the phrase translated "chew the cud" in the KJV is more exactly "bring up the cud." Rabbits do not bring up anything; they let it go all the way through, then eat it again. The description given in Leviticus is inaccurate, and that's that. Rabbits do eat their own dung; they do not bring anything up and chew on it.


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    Snails do not melt
    PSA 58:8 As a snail which melteth, let every one of them pass away: like the untimely birth of a woman, that they may not see the sun.


    This is just a small smattering of these. The internet contains a wealth of data on biblical contradictions, and it would be real easy to swamp the bible believers with these.
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  83. #183  
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    Yes you could post all 600 or so of them here and it would still be irrelevant to the context of this discussion. Transcription and translation take its toll on ancient texts and introduce countless insignificant errors that have little bearing on the historical claims. Reading out of context is also a major source of introduced error. Likewise independent corroborating testimony is viewed as genuine when there are differences that are not significant to the primary claims because it demonstrates the testimonies were not arrived at through collaboration or collusion. This point has been made by Ophiolite and myself earlier.

    Meanwhile we are still waiting for you to explain how conclusions reached by scientific research which have a track record of less than 50% correct IS superior at discovering truth than other methods. Historical accounts and eye-witness testimony as well as other methods seem to a far better track record.
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  84. #184  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Meanwhile we are still waiting for you to explain how conclusions reached by scientific research which have a track record of less than 50% correct IS superior at discovering truth than other methods. Historical accounts and eye-witness testimony as well as other methods seem to a far better track record.
    Actually, they don't. The scientific method is superior for one sole reason. There exist no absolutes in science
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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  85. #185  
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    Funny. Cypress' claim of a 50% failure rate in science has been refuted in this thread and others, yet he continues to share it as if it's true. Round and round we go... where we'll stop, nobody knows.


    I'd also just like to give a nod to SkinWalker for the calm consistency in posts. Very clear, very precise, and well supported. Unfortunately, his questions remain unaddressed, and cypress continues to do little more than evade and attempt to distract.


    Look over there! A pterodactyl!
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  86. #186  
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    Actually, there has been no refutation of the reports that most scientific research reaches wrong conclusions. Just because you say something is so do not make it correct. You have to do much better than that.

    Skinwalkers points are an interesting reflection of his opinions and very little more. His questions have been addressed in prior posts and it seems pointless to rehash them. If you have new evidence to show that subjective literary analysis is accurate or if you have evidence that biblical historical accounts occurred differently than claimed or if you can demonstrate through evidence that materialism is more parsimonious than alternate explanations for this universe and life in it then it may be possible to claim that materialism requires less faith than alternatives. As it stands now that seems doubtful.
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  87. #187  
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    Cypress

    Scientific research makes lots of mistakes and comes to lots of incorrect conclusions. So what? The thing about science that makes it reliable is that testing never stops. This means that mistakes are discovered, and incorrect conclusions are corrected. I do not know what the percentage of errors are - whether your 50% or (more likely) 5%. However, I do know that the errors that are never discovered and corrected are very few and far between.

    However, in religion, errors are never discovered and corrected. Idiocy remains idiotic. The myth that Moses parted the Red Sea was invented by some fiction writer at least 3,000 years ago, and it is still being told as if it is fact.

    Science is self correcting, which makes it reliable. Religion never corrects anything, which shows that it is a load of codswallop.
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  88. #188  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Cypress

    Scientific research makes lots of mistakes and comes to lots of incorrect conclusions. So what? The thing about science that makes it reliable is that testing never stops. This means that mistakes are discovered, and incorrect conclusions are corrected. I do not know what the percentage of errors are - whether your 50% or (more likely) 5%. However, I do know that the errors that are never discovered and corrected are very few and far between.

    However, in religion, errors are never discovered and corrected. Idiocy remains idiotic. The myth that Moses parted the Red Sea was invented by some fiction writer at least 3,000 years ago, and it is still being told as if it is fact.

    Science is self correcting, which makes it reliable. Religion never corrects anything, which shows that it is a load of codswallop.
    I understand science quite well. I understand it enough to know that on the points in question (origin of the universe and life) there has been little in the way of correction and nearly everything regarding a materialistic cause that has been proposed in the past has been found wanting. Methodological materialism has offered nothing thus far in way of evidence except to confirm that it is intractable to material causation.

    However, like science I have noted that religion does undergo adjustments, in contrast to your false claim. Biblical scholars acknowledge many errors in the text. I remember a count of over several hundred. I don't see why one should alter historical claims though unless good evidence is uncovered to suggest an alternate explanation. If an historical fact is objective truth why should it undergo adjustment? I don't know of any evidence to suggest the Exodus from Egypt occurred differently than described so I am at a loss to see how you have concluded it is false.

    Quite frankly, I don't see your point at all.
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  89. #189  
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    Well, skinwalker, you started this tack, as I recall, by ragging on the historicity and accuracy of the Bible as a reasonable justification for denying any claims therein of divinity of Jesus.

    Having seen that this tack is of no value because the historicity of the Bible is well-documented, you now seem to be changing your tune to the idea that just because the Bible is quite historically accurate, that is not justification for accepting the divinity of Jesus.

    This sounds like a heads I win, tails you lose approach..
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  90. #190  
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    The point is that, no matter how many testimonies you have that a group of people walked out of Egypt, or that some guy handed some other guy some bread... NONE of that is evidence of the supernatural and mythological claims in this already inconsistent and contradictory book written by barely literate tribal peoples in the bronze age.
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  91. #191  
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    Re the evidence for Jesus.

    If we exclude religious writings, such as the gospels, and other works by those who had already been converted to Christianity, and hence were severely biased, and we exclude derivative writings (those writings that simply repeated what the gospels etc said) then we are left with only one historical source.

    This was Flavius Josephus, a Roman citizen, and a jew. Even his writings are suspect in that many scholars think that his work has been altered by Christians who came afterwards.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus

    Josephus said very little. However, his work confirms that there was a man, whose followers called the Christ, who preached in Israel at that time.

    This cannot be used to confirm the full mythology of Christianity. All it confirms is that Jesus (Yeshua ben Yosef) existed, and preached. Beyond that, there is no historical evidence outside the writing of Christians themselves, who were interested in exaggerating and perpetuating his myth.

    And yes. I persist in my statement that the parting of the Red Sea was not historically true. Nor was Noah's story. Nor the fiery furnace that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego supposedly survived. Nor Daniel in the Lion's den. Nor any other Old or New Testament miracle. If you want to make claims that extraordinary, you need evidence that is highly credible, and powerful. And that does not exist. These stories are myths.
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  92. #192  
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    I have always found it curious (even while being a theist) that the very people God called His people and the people the whole old testament is about and for whom the coming of a saviour was predicted didn't even believe in the divinity of Jesus.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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  93. #193  
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    Since the topic has found its way far and beyond "faith" in general, I've started a new thread.

    The Bible as Mythology.

    Read or don't read. Participate or not.
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  94. #194  
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    I have always found it curious (even while being a theist) that the very people God called His people and the people the whole old testament is about and for whom the coming of a saviour was predicted didn't even believe in the divinity of Jesus.
    The earliest Christians were primarily Jews.
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  95. #195  
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    The earliest Christians were primarily Jews.
    Yeah, what percentage of the whole bunch would you say were convinced back then (you know, other than the rest of the sects that were around back then?)? What about today?
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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  96. #196  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    I have always found it curious (even while being a theist) that the very people God called His people and the people the whole old testament is about and for whom the coming of a saviour was predicted didn't even believe in the divinity of Jesus.
    The earliest Christians were primarily Jews.
    And yet that's wholly irrelevant to his point since not ALL Jews became Christians, and those who did not convert were ALSO part of the same "gods people" referenced in the OT.
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  97. #197  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Re the evidence for Jesus.

    If we exclude religious writings, such as the gospels, and other works by those who had already been converted to Christianity, and hence were severely biased, and we exclude derivative writings (those writings that simply repeated what the gospels etc said) then we are left with only one historical source.
    Yes, if you throw out the strongest evidence for Christianity then you don't have to consider it any longer, and you can falsely claim that these Christians have faith in spite of the evidence. Nice. What we have shown is that theists have faith in part because of the evidence not in spite of the evidence. We have yet to see where materialist have faith because of the evidence.

    All it confirms is that Jesus (Yeshua ben Yosef) existed, and preached. Beyond that, there is no historical evidence outside the writing of Christians themselves, who were interested in exaggerating and perpetuating his myth.
    To claim exaggeration is easy. Unfortunately there is no evidence that these writers were liars or cheats or exaggerated. You label them this way so you can throw out the evidence. It is transparent.

    And yes. I persist in my statement that the parting of the Red Sea was not historically true. Nor was Noah's story. Nor the fiery furnace that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego supposedly survived. Nor Daniel in the Lion's den. Nor any other Old or New Testament miracle. If you want to make claims that extraordinary, you need evidence that is highly credible, and powerful. And that does not exist. These stories are myths.
    I don't claim these are true. I only properly point out that evidence that the events occurred differently than described has not been offered. Also you have now mentioned some narratives that have a more metaphorical nature than the history we were speaking of before. These Genesis narratives require an understanding of the culture that I lack. I'm not sure what to make of them.

    I am glad that you brought up the requirement that extraordinary claims require extraordinary support. It is true that theists lack the extraordinary evidence to support for example the parting of the Red Sea and thus we would properly label that claim unresolved as opposed to myth as you have improperly done.

    This same requirement applies to the alternative to a creator, namely materialism. This claim of materialism is completely unsupported. There is no evidence that this universe has a materialistic cause and there is no evidence that origin of life has a materialistic cause. These claim are absolutely extraordinary and yet we are completely absent this highly credible and powerful evidence you quite rightly require. There is far less evidence for materialism than for theism.

    Those supporting materialism have claimed that they have faith based on evidence, while theists have faith despite the evidence. The discussion demonstrates the opposite is true. Perhaps this is one reason why theists and deists outnumber materialists by a wide margin. Skeptic, I can see and respect your agnostic worldview. I can easily see myself in that position, but these ridiculous claims by materialists that theists are irrational when, on close inspection, it seems the materialists have far less to go on amuses me.
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  98. #198  
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    Cypress

    If you claim that the New Testament is the strongest evidence for the divinity of Christ, you need to admit that your evidence is weak. The NT was written by largely uneducated people, and many decades after the events they describe.

    We know that human memory is malleable (from research) and we also know (also from proper scientific research) the the human memory can be altered by discussing events at great length with others, so that what is remembered more closely resembles what we want to remember rather than what actually happened.

    The classic example from everyday life is the fisherman who caught a 300 mm long trout. Ten years later, it is remembered as a 500 mm long trout. And no-one was deliberately lying. This, I am picking, is what happened with the gospels. The writers were not deliberately being dishonest, but the events they described had been exaggerated beyond recognition by decades of discussing them.

    As I said, the only independent historical evidence (Flavius Josephus) shows that Yeshua ben Yosef lived, and preached. That is it. There is no other independent evidence. We can conclude (from the impact he had) that he was probably charismatic, and one hell of a preacher. So what? We know that to be true also of L. Ron Hubbard of the fraudulent Church of Scientology, and that most influential swindler, Joseph Smith, who founded Mormonism.

    I would suggest that your label of materialism as alternative to theism, is inaccurate. I am agnostic and some of the others on this forum are atheist. A better inclusive term would be non believer, which does not carry the baggage of the word 'materialist'. Careless use of terminology can lead to pointless and irrelevent arguments.
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    To be fair to cypress, I think he does this because I, and others, use terms he views as loaded when dealing with religious concepts.

    What I do, however, is maintain an even keel with my use of terms. I'm accustomed to using words like "cult," "superstition," and "myth" when dealing with extant and extinct world cultures that aren't Judeo-Christian (Mesopotamian myths, Egyptian afterlife superstitions, Greek mystery cults, etc.). I refuse to accommodate his apparent religion of choice simply because they are a dominant superstition and a primary cult of worship for the majority living in the culture I reside amongst.

    Doing so would be dishonest, and I'm not going to be overly concerned with the sensibilities of the religious simply because they outnumber me.

    His intent is to also use loaded terms in a kind of tu quoque argument where he can say, "you too" -it just isn't fair, from his perspective that the rational, material world is in reality and his superstitious and supernatural world exists in fantasy.
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  100. #200  
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    skeptic said:

    The classic example from everyday life is the fisherman who caught a 300 mm long trout. Ten years later, it is remembered as a 500 mm long trout. And no-one was deliberately lying.
    But, would you then take this miniscule difference to first try to prove that he never caught a fish, and then that he never went fishing, and then that men did not fish when he was alive, and that trout do not exist.

    The thing is, that the things you people raise objections to have absolutely nothing to do with what Christians believe and put their faith in -- 1. that there is a holy and righteous creator God; 2. that our unrighteousness subjects us to His wrath rather than His grace; 3. that He, Himself provided solution whereby we can avoid His wrath and, instead, enjoy His grace for all eternity; 4. that the solution is belief in the righteous life and the unjust death of Jesus of Nazareth.

    skeptic added:

    I would suggest that your label of materialism as alternative to theism, is inaccurate. I am agnostic and some of the others on this forum are atheist. A better inclusive term would be non believer, which does not carry the baggage of the word 'materialist'.
    I suppose if someone was referring to me in some way that I recognized as being accurate in so far as the meaning of the label and that it was accurately applied to me, but I knew it was wrong for me to be in that camp, I would protest, too. Not all non-believers are materialist; some are actually more spirit oriented than believers. I do think, however, that any materialist would be a non-believer. Just claiming to be agnostic instead of atheist does not automatically remove you from the materialist camp any more than it removes you from the spiritualist camp. In fact, saying "I dunno" does not remove you from either camp.

    skinwalker said:

    His intent is to also use loaded terms in a kind of tu quoque argument where he can say, "you too" -it just isn't fair, from his perspective that the rational, material world is in reality and his superstitious and supernatural world exists in fantasy.
    What you are saying here is that, in your opinion, not only is God implausible, not only is he unlikely, but moreover God is impossible. To you it isn't fair that the supernatural world does not exist in a form that your rational, realistic, material world can quantify.

    Among our beliefs in reformed Christianity is the idea that God has already, even before He created, elected those who the sacrifice I mentioned above will save from His wrath based on His foreknowledge of those He knew would believe. The others are left to the consequences of their own choice to disbelieve. I have no idea if any of the non-believers here are among the elect but if there is one or more, then I am happy to try to help someone realize he (or she) is among the elect.

    It would be really neat someday in glory to suddenly look over and find myself saying, "Why skinwalker, what are YOU doing here?" or the same to inow or skeptic or (Q) or Jeremy (remember him?). Mitchell and I will probably laugh at each other about all the things we did not understand about God, but we will be very glad that God knew we would believe. (haha! Mitchell doesn't quite believe that.)

    I think it is far wiser to put one's faith in the creator rather than that which He created.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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