Author Topic: Jesus' resurrection  (Read 3633 times)

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Offline JeffPT

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #58 on: October 14, 2011, 06:36:41 PM »
Whenever events that are purported to occur in our best interest are as numerous as the events that will just as soon kill us, then intent is hard, if not impossible to assert. NDT

Offline Brakeman

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #59 on: October 14, 2011, 10:28:53 PM »
B2,

Why did god like sacrifices?  What possible desire was god fulfilling when he made the rules and regulations of sacrifices up? Why did god like Abel's sacrifice of animals better than Cain's sacrifice of vegetables? Any personal thoughts on the matter?
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Offline PhilosoB

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #60 on: October 14, 2011, 10:54:23 PM »
1.  You can't see, hear, taste, smell or touch God in any way.

This kind of argument would also rule out things like gravity, energy, logic, etc, as none of this can be experienced with the five senses (not to mention the fact that the truth of this statement cannot be verified by its own criteria).

2.  There are no tests or measurements you can take to determine if the claims about God are real. 

If by tests and measurements you mean to say that we have not found empirical evidence of God, I would generally agree. Since God, by definition, is supernatural, I would not expect tests of the natural world to find such evidence. Of course, there are philosophical tests and thought experiments that certainly provide plausible reasons to think God might exist.


3.  Prayer to God is equally as effective as a prayer to a rock.

Such a statement makes at least a couple significant assumptions. First, if God does answer prayer, we would know and recognize all the possible ways God would answer it so as to evaluate God’s effectiveness. In other words, you assume humans are intelligent enough to be able to judge the way in which God decides to answer prayer. Secondly, you assume that humans are intelligent enough to know how God should best answer prayer. To accept both these assumptions, you must accept the corollary belief that you are as smart as God, that is, omniscient.


4.  There are thousands of proposed gods that the world has been exposed to and all of them suffer from the same lack of verifiable evidence.

The lack of verifiable evidence is a problem for many faiths and religions. Fortunately, even after casual glance at the Bible, it should be apparent that it is a book that records a history that is verifiable and contains truth claims that can be logically and historically tested. All this being said, while not being definitive but certainly pertinent, the fact is the Christian God has withstood the breadth of history while many more have been forgotten.


5.  Believers of other religions are equally fervent about their beliefs, even to the point of dying for them.

Granted. That is why this is statement is never used in a serious discussion about the validity or truth of a religion.


6.  The bible is written by fallible men.

This statement commits the genetic fallacy. As an example, if you found out that your elementary math teacher turned out to be a compulsive liar, would this invalidate the truth of the multiplication table? Certainly not. Even though the Bible is written by fallible men, the truth of its content needs to be examined separately from its source.


7.  We do not know who wrote the gospels.  They were later attributed to certain apostolic characters in order to provide authority to the stories. 
8.  We have no original copies of any of the bible stories. 
9.  There are thousands of biblical manuscripts in multiple languages and when you compare and contrast them, there are hundreds of thousands of discrepancies.

I address these together as they all seem to challenge the historicity of the Bible. Far from being a liability, the mass volume of the manuscripts is extremely useful in historical and textual study of the Bible. Scholars use the various manuscripts and through observing and noting similarities and differences are able to get an accurate record of the original. As F.F. Bruce, a former professor of biblical criticism and exegesis at the University of Manchester, states, “There is no body of ancient literature in the world which enjoys such a wealth of good textual attestation as the New Testament.” The same can be said of the Old Testament which I can provide more textual and scholarly evidence for if necessary. 


10.   The gospel accounts are different accounts of supposedly the same person.

The differing gospel accounts offer only a superficial difficulty once the intention of the authors is considered. The gospels are not intended to be strict historical biography of the life of Christ. Each gospel author was writing to a different audience and chooses which events of Jesus’ life are to be included or emphasized. The result is an account that tailored to a specific message to a specific audience. The authors change HOW they tell the account of Jesus’ life, not the history of Jesus’ life.


11.  There is no evidence for the resurrection of Jesus outside of the biblical story.

Given the textual attestation of the historicity of the Bible and the New Testament in particular, even if the Bible is the only place that records the resurrection, it would seem to be a very reliable source. Furthermore, while there may not be direct extra-biblical account of the resurrection, there is extra-biblical accounts of the activities of the early Christians, activities that can be attributed to a belief in a resurrected Savior. This may only be inferential but still noteworthy.

12.  We have millions of natural explanations for the phenomena we encounter in our every day lives (wind, sun, rain, plants, animals, etc, etc) thus making the God theory of explanation completely obsolete.  The phenomena we have yet to understand are not automatically classified under 'supernatural' via the Christian God.

Any concept of the Christian God, must be a God who is in control of everything, not just the gaps. Christians can be rightly accused of using God to fill in gaps in knowledge over the millennia; but, it must also be admitted that for many scientist, both past and present, belief in God is an impetus to understand the natural world.
   
Another problem to the natural explanation of everything is the problem of determinism. If determinism is true, all thoughts are simply caused by chemical and synaptic impulses. In other words, “I” do not control mine own thoughts which would rule out rational thought and moral responsibility because everything is caused by natural processes. I could not act or think differently than I do.

 
13.  Evolution is a fact. 

Without opening this topic up too far, Darwinian evolution still has a few significant holes. First, evolution must answer the philosophical problem of naturalism leading to determinism as I mentioned earlier. Second, the more we learn about nature the more complex things seem to appear, specifically complex. Two specifically complex things: DNA and language. This seems to permit a rational inference to design in the universe. Third, the cosmological argument still maintains its strength even if Darwinian evolution is assumed.


14.  There is no evidence that a human being has ever died for more than a few days and come back, despite what your special book says.  Therefore there is no evidence of heaven or hell.

I’m not sure what evidence you are looking for specifically but the rational inferences and historical analysis do not rule out a resurrection, unless the possibility of a resurrection is discarded a priori, for which there is no reason to do so. Additionally, many things in history have only occurred once and only once.


15.  Omnipotence and omniscience in the same being is logically impossible. 

I would like to comment on this statement but I fail to see the conflict in possessing both omnipotence and omniscience in the same being at the same time. Perhaps if this was in the form of a philosophical argument, it would become clearer.


16.  The notion that God loves all people is not in evidence.  Humans endure suffering on unimaginable scales regardless of their religious affiliation. 

Though I believe that God loves all people, I have not seen it used as a foundation in an argument about God’s existence. It would be relevant if we were discussing who God is, but then we would have to assume He existed in the first place.



Offline b2

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #61 on: October 14, 2011, 11:01:51 PM »
JeffPT,

There is a difference between the way God answers prayer. I have witnessed the answer to prayer many times. You will say that is just happenstance that what I prayed for actually happened, but that is a convenient argument.  In your example, there is no evidence that God doesn't exist, only evidence that the response is the same. But I have experienced answer to prayer as a real and undisputed event in my life many times. So when we experience something, it is always attributed to????  seems like you are predisposed to not accepting anything that could be a possibility.

You are correct, you could predict something will happen, and ask God for the obvious, and that would result in the prediction coming true. That's all that is. That's not actual prayer, because as I said before, God does not take requests / challenges from non-believers. But, a believer  can ask God for something that is totally unrealistic and seemingly impossible, and there are many documented cases for this type of event....and he will provide. Miracles, answer to prayers...you may refer to it as dumb luck, happenstance.

Nice try about the biblical authors putting in the don't test God line. We all know that there was this huge conspiracy at the beginning of time to fool mankind...Sorry, I missed your reference to this point. I believe this was a direct quote from God in Deuteronomy. I'm sorry, the "hypothetical God" as it were. So that would be Moses. Did he exist? or i'm guessing he was a liar too?

You are incorrect in your assumption that concludes that God answers prayers the same way regardless of belief because he doesn't exist. That's a huge leap based on this conversation. and in closing,

Quote
What is the objective, measurable difference between the way your God answers prayers, and the way a God that doesn't exist answers prayers?

Easy, a God that doesn't exist can't answer prayer. However, in contrast, the way the God of the bible answers prayers is concrete, definable, experiences of millions of people who have been blessed by answered prayer. Who are you to say that they didn't, it was mere coincidence. You have no evidence to the contrary. all you have is  "opinion".

But on to round two, I have no doubt you're just getting started. and BTW, thank you for the posting tips. That was thoughtful.

Offline b2

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #62 on: October 14, 2011, 11:07:13 PM »
Philosob, wow. Thanks. clear, articulate, even tempered. Welcome aboard. I look forward to your thoughts.

Online Azdgari

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #63 on: October 14, 2011, 11:39:43 PM »
This kind of argument would also rule out things like gravity, energy, logic, etc, as none of this can be experienced with the five senses (not to mention the fact that the truth of this statement cannot be verified by its own criteria).

1. The effects of gravity can be experienced with a number of our senses.  Since gravity is a description of effects, you're wrong about it.  Energy, too, is a description of effects, and can be measured through a wide variety of sensory-detectable means.  Logic is a tool of thought, whose existence can be observed through its implimentation.  Try again?
2. No original statement of criteria can be verified by its own criteria.  If it could, then it is not an original statement of criteria, and the original one is the one that cannot be self-verified.  Because of this, your objection is disingenuous:  If you really held to it, then you would logically have to object to all criteria for assessing absolutely everything, and you don't.

If by tests and measurements you mean to say that we have not found empirical evidence of God, I would generally agree. Since God, by definition, is supernatural, I would not expect tests of the natural world to find such evidence. Of course, there are philosophical tests and thought experiments that certainly provide plausible reasons to think God might exist.
What does "supernatural" mean?  "Natural" merely means something that behaves in a logically coherent, describable fashion.  If a god is not natural, then nothing whatsoever can be said about it.  Its existence is incoherent.

Such a statement makes at least a couple significant assumptions. First, if God does answer prayer, we would know and recognize all the possible ways God would answer it so as to evaluate God’s effectiveness. In other words, you assume humans are intelligent enough to be able to judge the way in which God decides to answer prayer. Secondly, you assume that humans are intelligent enough to know how God should best answer prayer. To accept both these assumptions, you must accept the corollary belief that you are as smart as God, that is, omniscient.

We do have the ability to assess this already, PB.  Tests have been run.  They have found that the effects of prayer (when the intended benefactor of the prayer doesn't know it's happening) are indistinguishable from the effects of non-prayer.

Why would a prayer-granting god deliberately mimic non-existence in this way?

The lack of verifiable evidence is a problem for many faiths and religions. Fortunately, even after casual glance at the Bible, it should be apparent that it is a book that records a history that is verifiable and contains truth claims that can be logically and historically tested. All this being said, while not being definitive but certainly pertinent, the fact is the Christian God has withstood the breadth of history while many more have been forgotten.

So what you're saying is that the Earth is 6000 years old and has experienced a single global flood that wiped out all of Humanity except for a single family who then re-populated it from their limited genetic breadth?

Because if you're not saying that, then you yourself don't believe what you just wrote.  Which would make what you wrote a deliberate lie.  Pick your poison.

Granted. That is why this is statement is never used in a serious discussion about the validity or truth of a religion.

Sure it is, just run a search.  Do you ever wonder why believers feel the need to resort to it?  And why they find it to be convincing?

This statement commits the genetic fallacy. As an example, if you found out that your elementary math teacher turned out to be a compulsive liar, would this invalidate the truth of the multiplication table? Certainly not. Even though the Bible is written by fallible men, the truth of its content needs to be examined separately from its source.

Granted, but you must also grant that appealing to the Bible's infallibility as a means of demonstrating things about the divine is...problematic.  And it happens a lot.

I address these together as they all seem to challenge the historicity of the Bible. Far from being a liability, the mass volume of the manuscripts is extremely useful in historical and textual study of the Bible. Scholars use the various manuscripts and through observing and noting similarities and differences are able to get an accurate record of the original. As F.F. Bruce, a former professor of biblical criticism and exegesis at the University of Manchester, states, “There is no body of ancient literature in the world which enjoys such a wealth of good textual attestation as the New Testament.” The same can be said of the Old Testament which I can provide more textual and scholarly evidence for if necessary.

A large volume of varied manuscripts about what are supposedly a handful of accounts makes it difficult to determine what those original accounts were.  And despite claiming that you were going to do so, you never addressed #7, which - of the three points cited - is by far the most critical.  Why would you choose to ignore that one, after claiming that you would address it?

The differing gospel accounts offer only a superficial difficulty once the intention of the authors is considered. The gospels are not intended to be strict historical biography of the life of Christ. Each gospel author was writing to a different audience and chooses which events of Jesus’ life are to be included or emphasized. The result is an account that tailored to a specific message to a specific audience. The authors change HOW they tell the account of Jesus’ life, not the history of Jesus’ life.

Then they should not disagree in their assertions of fact.  Yet, they do.  Why would they do this?

Given the textual attestation of the historicity of the Bible and the New Testament in particular, even if the Bible is the only place that records the resurrection, it would seem to be a very reliable source. Furthermore, while there may not be direct extra-biblical account of the resurrection, there is extra-biblical accounts of the activities of the early Christians, activities that can be attributed to a belief in a resurrected Savior. This may only be inferential but still noteworthy.

I take it that you are both a Mormon and a Muslim, given your stated standard above.  Or are you only pretending to adhere to it?

Any concept of the Christian God, must be a God who is in control of everything, not just the gaps. Christians can be rightly accused of using God to fill in gaps in knowledge over the millennia; but, it must also be admitted that for many scientist, both past and present, belief in God is an impetus to understand the natural world.

This is akin to the fundamentalist Islamic version of "God".  That version is in direct, conscious control of every movement of every particle in existence.  This makes all events basically arbitrary, a result of Allah's will rather than of cause-and-effect.  When you turn on your computer, it is God who wills it to activate; he could equally will it to turn into lava and flow onto the floor.  This view is the antithesis of all scientific reasoning, as it denies the existence of a remotely natural order to the universe.

Is this really what you believe?
   
Another problem to the natural explanation of everything is the problem of determinism. If determinism is true, all thoughts are simply caused by chemical and synaptic impulses. In other words, “I” do not control mine own thoughts which would rule out rational thought and moral responsibility because everything is caused by natural processes. I could not act or think differently than I do.

The same is true in any paradigm you might think of that is logically consistent:  Your thoughts can never be anything but what they are.  And who you are now must always be a control on who you are in the next moment.  Otherwise the universe is utterly incoherent.  Theism does not escape this supposed "problem", and supernaturalism merely means an incoherent universe from the outset.  But most people don't act as if the universe is supernatural in practice.  I wonder why that is?
 
Without opening this topic up too far, Darwinian evolution still has a few significant holes. First, evolution must answer the philosophical problem of naturalism leading to determinism as I mentioned earlier. Second, the more we learn about nature the more complex things seem to appear, specifically complex. Two specifically complex things: DNA and language. This seems to permit a rational inference to design in the universe. Third, the cosmological argument still maintains its strength even if Darwinian evolution is assumed.

1. Evolution has nothing to say one way or the other about the deterministic "problem" you mentioned earlier, and neither does any form of creation-from-nothing, as espoused by most theists.
2. Complexity can arise along any entropic gradient (the Earth lies along an entropic gradient).  And if the design for DNA is too complex to arise naturally, then what caused it to arise in the mind of your god?  Where did the information come from?

I’m not sure what evidence you are looking for specifically but the rational inferences and historical analysis do not rule out a resurrection, unless the possibility of a resurrection is discarded a priori, for which there is no reason to do so. Additionally, many things in history have only occurred once and only once.

Fully-described, down to the last subatomic detail, everything macroscopic in all of the universe's history has occurred once and only once.

I would like to comment on this statement but I fail to see the conflict in possessing both omnipotence and omniscience in the same being at the same time. Perhaps if this was in the form of a philosophical argument, it would become clearer.

Omniscience necessitated determinism.  Omnipotence necessitates the ability to violate the determined time-line.  Both cannot be true in this form, though something short of omniscience and/or something short of omnipotence can still coexist.

Though I believe that God loves all people, I have not seen it used as a foundation in an argument about God’s existence. It would be relevant if we were discussing who God is, but then we would have to assume He existed in the first place.

It is a necessary component of such an argument, in that it is a part of the definition of the "God" whose existence is being argued.  It is relevant in the sense that rationally, this attribute must be either established or discarded.
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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #64 on: October 14, 2011, 11:41:51 PM »
There is a difference between the way God answers prayer. I have witnessed the answer to prayer many times. You will say that is just happenstance that what I prayed for actually happened, but that is a convenient argument.

A football game is on.  The coaches of both teams pray that their team will win.  One of them wins, the other loses.

Is the coach of the winning team justified in considering his prayer to have resulted in divine intervention - to have been answered?
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Offline Aaron123

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #65 on: October 15, 2011, 12:24:03 AM »
Hello and welcome PhilosoB.  I won't comment on every point you made, but a few highlights...


This kind of argument would also rule out things like gravity, energy, logic, etc, as none of this can be experienced with the five senses (not to mention the fact that the truth of this statement cannot be verified by its own criteria).

We have ways of measuring and testing things like gravity, energy, etc.  Can the same be said for your god?  If so, I'd like to hear it.


Quote
If by tests and measurements you mean to say that we have not found empirical evidence of God, I would generally agree. Since God, by definition, is supernatural, I would not expect tests of the natural world to find such evidence. Of course, there are philosophical tests and thought experiments that certainly provide plausible reasons to think God might exist.


What is the difference then, between a god that cannot be detected, and a god that does not exist?  If there are philosophical tests and thought experiments that can provide evidence, then please, go on in more details.



Quote
The lack of verifiable evidence is a problem for many faiths and religions. Fortunately, even after casual glance at the Bible, it should be apparent that it is a book that records a history that is verifiable and contains truth claims that can be logically and historically tested. All this being said, while not being definitive but certainly pertinent, the fact is the Christian God has withstood the breadth of history while many more have been forgotten.


Elaborate then.  What truth claims does the bible possess that can be logically tested?  What history does it contain that can be historically tested?  Those are the type of statement that needs to be explained in more details.

I am aware that at least a few things in the bible are historical or at least have some basic in historical reality (such as the babylonian exile), but many of the major stories (such as Moses and the events of his life) has little or no known historical collaboration.  If you can show otherwise, then please do so.
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #66 on: October 15, 2011, 12:42:42 AM »
1.  You can't see, hear, taste, smell or touch God in any way.

This kind of argument would also rule out things like gravity, energy, logic, etc, as none of this can be experienced with the five senses (not to mention the fact that the truth of this statement cannot be verified by its own criteria).
Oh, come on, do you honestly think something like gravity cannot be experienced with our senses[1]?  Similarly, we can experience various kinds of energy through our senses as well, all the way to basic electromagnetism[2].  And logic isn't a 'thing', it's an internal thought process.  And the fact that the truth of his statement cannot be verified by its own criteria is canceled out by the fact that it also cannot be falsified by its own criteria.

2.  There are no tests or measurements you can take to determine if the claims about God are real. 

If by tests and measurements you mean to say that we have not found empirical evidence of God, I would generally agree. Since God, by definition, is supernatural, I would not expect tests of the natural world to find such evidence. Of course, there are philosophical tests and thought experiments that certainly provide plausible reasons to think God might exist.
 1. Jump up and you'll 'experience' gravity as you fall back to the ground.
 2. The whole sense of touch is built around electromagnetism, which is a form of energy.
There are also philosophical tests and thought experiments that provide plausible reasons to think God might not exist, so that's canceled out.  And I beg to differ; whether or not we could detect God, we could certainly detect the effect of God's actions on the natural world.  If we cannot detect those effects, then there are only two reasonable conclusions; that God is producing the same effect that we would get from a completely natural process that produced the same result, or that God is in fact not acting on the natural world.

3.  Prayer to God is equally as effective as a prayer to a rock.

Such a statement makes at least a couple significant assumptions. First, if God does answer prayer, we would know and recognize all the possible ways God would answer it so as to evaluate God’s effectiveness. In other words, you assume humans are intelligent enough to be able to judge the way in which God decides to answer prayer. Secondly, you assume that humans are intelligent enough to know how God should best answer prayer. To accept both these assumptions, you must accept the corollary belief that you are as smart as God, that is, omniscient.
Except, of course, that prayer is never answered in a way that we can recognize as a deliberate causal effect; that is, someone prays and they get an answer that can be independently confirmed as being a direct result of the prayer.  Furthermore, God in the Old Testament was more than willing to act in ways that were easily detectible by the humans who worshiped him.  Too many sinners in a town?  Nuke it.  Believers are in the middle of a desert and can't get food?  Rain manna down on them.  It stands to reason that God would have been more than willing to continue doing so, especially with the presumed qualities of omnipotence and omniscience.

4.  There are thousands of proposed gods that the world has been exposed to and all of them suffer from the same lack of verifiable evidence.

The lack of verifiable evidence is a problem for many faiths and religions. Fortunately, even after casual glance at the Bible, it should be apparent that it is a book that records a history that is verifiable and contains truth claims that can be logically and historically tested. All this being said, while not being definitive but certainly pertinent, the fact is the Christian God has withstood the breadth of history while many more have been forgotten.
This disregards the huge number of discrepancies in the Bible.  It is not enough for something to be verifiable and to contain truth claims; it must also be consistent and falsifiable.  The Bible certainly has neither of the latter two categories; as for the first two, while individual, specific parts of the Bible might be verified by comparing them to other surviving historical records, that does not mean the Bible itself is verified.  By that logic, an alternate history story of the American Civil War is 'verified' because you can prove that there was a General Lee, General Grant, etc.  And truth claims are meaningless unless they can be proven true, which most of the Bible's claims cannot be (mostly due to sheer lack of evidence).

5.  Believers of other religions are equally fervent about their beliefs, even to the point of dying for them.

Granted. That is why this is statement is never used in a serious discussion about the validity or truth of a religion.
In other words, the fervor of a belief should have no bearing on the how accurate it might be.

6.  The bible is written by fallible men.

This statement commits the genetic fallacy. As an example, if you found out that your elementary math teacher turned out to be a compulsive liar, would this invalidate the truth of the multiplication table? Certainly not. Even though the Bible is written by fallible men, the truth of its content needs to be examined separately from its source.
If the multiplication table were as internally inconsistent and erratic as the Bible is, then it could hardly be called 'truth'.  Furthermore, math is not a belief of something which cannot be demonstrated or shown to be truly axiomatic, it is an understanding of basic principles that are internally consistent and independently verifiable, among other things.  The problem with the Bible is not just that it was written by fallible men, it is because the fallibility of those men who wrote it cannot be separated from the fallibility of the writings themselves.

7.  We do not know who wrote the gospels.  They were later attributed to certain apostolic characters in order to provide authority to the stories. 
8.  We have no original copies of any of the bible stories. 
9.  There are thousands of biblical manuscripts in multiple languages and when you compare and contrast them, there are hundreds of thousands of discrepancies.

I address these together as they all seem to challenge the historicity of the Bible. Far from being a liability, the mass volume of the manuscripts is extremely useful in historical and textual study of the Bible. Scholars use the various manuscripts and through observing and noting similarities and differences are able to get an accurate record of the original. As F.F. Bruce, a former professor of biblical criticism and exegesis at the University of Manchester, states, “There is no body of ancient literature in the world which enjoys such a wealth of good textual attestation as the New Testament.” The same can be said of the Old Testament which I can provide more textual and scholarly evidence for if necessary.
It's still just a matter of them making their best guess as to which happens to be more accurate.  And they are still hampered by several serious problems, including the fact that the oldest manuscripts are nowhere to be found and probably lost; the fact that, as the books of the Bible were written by different people, the accuracy of one section says nothing about the accuracy of any other sections; and the fact that textual attestation in this case refers primarily to documents written by Christians and/or Jews.


10.   The gospel accounts are different accounts of supposedly the same person.

The differing gospel accounts offer only a superficial difficulty once the intention of the authors is considered. The gospels are not intended to be strict historical biography of the life of Christ. Each gospel author was writing to a different audience and chooses which events of Jesus’ life are to be included or emphasized. The result is an account that tailored to a specific message to a specific audience. The authors change HOW they tell the account of Jesus’ life, not the history of Jesus’ life.
It is patently obvious that the authors of the Gospels were writing for different purposes.  The problem lies with that fact; because they were written by different people, at different times, for different reasons, to different audiences, there is no way to form a good composite of them.  In fact, they directly contradict each other on occasion, especially as you consult older manuscripts before scribal editors started changing them to match each other better.

11.  There is no evidence for the resurrection of Jesus outside of the biblical story.

Given the textual attestation of the historicity of the Bible and the New Testament in particular, even if the Bible is the only place that records the resurrection, it would seem to be a very reliable source. Furthermore, while there may not be direct extra-biblical account of the resurrection, there is extra-biblical accounts of the activities of the early Christians, activities that can be attributed to a belief in a resurrected Savior. This may only be inferential but still noteworthy.
As I stated earlier, much of the textual attestation of the Bible comes from Christians and Jews.  Most of what came from external sources were fairly generic in nature, rather than specific to anything pertaining to Christian or Jewish beliefs.  Much of the New Testament, especially the part that matters (the life and death of Jesus) is not attested at all by any outside source.  And while nobody is denying that there were accounts of early Christians, their particular beliefs have no bearing on anything.  Many of the activities of the ancient Greeks could be attributed to their beliefs in their pantheon, so should we conclude that their beliefs were in fact noteworthy?

12.  We have millions of natural explanations for the phenomena we encounter in our every day lives (wind, sun, rain, plants, animals, etc, etc) thus making the God theory of explanation completely obsolete.  The phenomena we have yet to understand are not automatically classified under 'supernatural' via the Christian God.

Any concept of the Christian God, must be a God who is in control of everything, not just the gaps. Christians can be rightly accused of using God to fill in gaps in knowledge over the millennia; but, it must also be admitted that for many scientist, both past and present, belief in God is an impetus to understand the natural world.
This is true, but it does not actually say anything meaningful as it pertains to his original point.  For example, what do you mean by "in control of everything"?  Are you saying that it is only by God's will that science works the way it does, and if he changed his mind, it could completely stop working that way?  Or is it something else?  And the motivations that scientists had to try to understand the natural world have very little bearing on anything in and of themselves.  It is the result that matters, not so much the reason they sought the result.  You might as well argue that many scientists, past and present, sought fame as an impetus to understand the natural world.
   
Another problem to the natural explanation of everything is the problem of determinism. If determinism is true, all thoughts are simply caused by chemical and synaptic impulses. In other words, “I” do not control mine own thoughts which would rule out rational thought and moral responsibility because everything is caused by natural processes. I could not act or think differently than I do.
I personally do not accept a pure deterministic explanation of how the mind functions, although I would certainly not try to argue that the brain does not function through deterministic principles.  For one thing, randomness also has an effect, such as when people flip a coin in order to break a decision deadlock.  For another, determinism is fundamentally and fanatically rational.  Something purely deterministic not only does not have a choice in how it can react, it cannot even recognize that such a choice exists.  Even if conscious choice and free well are only effects of the dissonance between inherently rational brain processes and an inherently irrational mental worldview, they still exist.  The irrationality of one's worldview can influence the determinism of the brain in ways that cannot necessarily be predicted.

But that aside, I do not think divine intervention is necessary for this.  I believe it is the result of a being intelligent enough to foresee the inevitability of its own death, yet unwilling to accept that inevitability.
 
13.  Evolution is a fact. 

Without opening this topic up too far, Darwinian evolution still has a few significant holes. First, evolution must answer the philosophical problem of naturalism leading to determinism as I mentioned earlier. Second, the more we learn about nature the more complex things seem to appear, specifically complex. Two specifically complex things: DNA and language. This seems to permit a rational inference to design in the universe. Third, the cosmological argument still maintains its strength even if Darwinian evolution is assumed.
I've already answered the first.  Second, the fact that something is complex or ordered does not mean that it could only have been designed that way.  If I take a hamper full of Lego blocks and upend it, a few of those blocks can stick together.  If I continue to gather the Lego blocks and dump them without separating the blocks that stuck together, it is not difficult to foresee that something seemingly complex could arise out of nothing but random chance.[3]  And third, the fact that there may have been an uncaused cause doesn't mean anything in and of itself, certainly not that some being did it.

14.  There is no evidence that a human being has ever died for more than a few days and come back, despite what your special book says.  Therefore there is no evidence of heaven or hell.

I’m not sure what evidence you are looking for specifically but the rational inferences and historical analysis do not rule out a resurrection, unless the possibility of a resurrection is discarded a priori, for which there is no reason to do so. Additionally, many things in history have only occurred once and only once.
 3. Same thing with order; a box full of corn flakes will generally have the smaller flakes at the bottom without anyone putting them there by design.
The fact that something is not ruled out does not necessarily mean that it is worth consideration.  Also, like what?  I mean, much of human history is predicated on the fact that something that happens can be observed and duplicated, thus even if it was itself a one-off random event, there's no reason at all that it could not happen again (or be made to happen).

15.  Omnipotence and omniscience in the same being is logically impossible. 

I would like to comment on this statement but I fail to see the conflict in possessing both omnipotence and omniscience in the same being at the same time. Perhaps if this was in the form of a philosophical argument, it would become clearer.
I also don't see a conflict between the two by themselves.  It was my understanding that there were four qualities attributed to God by Christians - omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnibenevolent.  That is, all-powerful, all-knowing, present everywhere, and perfectly good.  I've heard the argument here that omnipotence itself incorporates omnipresence, but even granting that, you still have to allow for the remaining three categories.

16.  The notion that God loves all people is not in evidence.  Humans endure suffering on unimaginable scales regardless of their religious affiliation. 

Though I believe that God loves all people, I have not seen it used as a foundation in an argument about God’s existence. It would be relevant if we were discussing who God is, but then we would have to assume He existed in the first place.
On the contrary, even if some omnipotent and omniscient god existed, he would not be as Christians describe him without the quality of omnibenevolence.  Furthermore, you don't have to presume the existence of God to hypothetically discuss his qualities, or for such a discussion to be relevant; if you cannot logically incorporate those three qualities into the same being, then it is pointless to presume his existence in the first place.

Offline Aaron123

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #67 on: October 15, 2011, 12:44:31 AM »
I believe this was a direct quote from God in Deuteronomy. I'm sorry, the "hypothetical God" as it were. So that would be Moses. Did he exist? or i'm guessing he was a liar too?

This is actually a pretty good question.  The fact is; no one knows.  No one knows at what point the Old Testament were placed into written forms, we have no idea how the stories changed from when they were first spoken and passed on as oral tradition, to written fixed form.  We do have some idea about how there were different versions of the stories (in particular, the Torah), but this tells us only so much.  Many of the bible characters have little or no outside historical sources (in fact, David is the oldest bible character to have an known outside reference.)

Certainly, it's possible that there was a Moses of some sort, and that he was an important priest of the early faith.  It's possible he might have wrote down some of the laws attributed to him.  Or was he fictional?  A character that started as part of a story, then was thought to be historical?  Without outside historical reference, either idea is a possibility.  That's part of the problem with the bible; it's hard to get a bead on how much of it is based on history, and how much of it is fictional and/or embellished.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2011, 12:46:44 AM by Aaron123 »
Being a Christian, I've made my decision. That decision offers no compromise; therefore, I'm closed to anything else.

Offline Astreja

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #68 on: October 15, 2011, 01:06:38 AM »
.. Basically, no one in any of your comments, has given me one shred of evidence against God.

We actually don't have to provide the evidence.  If you are asserting that a super-powerful invisible entity is out there somewhere, it's up to you to convince us.

To put this in perspective, I challenge you to provide evidence that I, Astreja K. Odinsdóttir, am *not* the Goddess of the Northern Hemisphere Vernal Equinox, chocolate, punctuation, and random equipment malfunctions.

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Either way, you have the freedom to choose. God made you that way.

Until you can demonstrate to our satisfaction that your god actually exists, it's meaningless to speak of what it made or how it made it.

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The burden of proof is not on Christians...

Oh, yes, it is.  If you make an extraordinary claim about someone coming back from the dead, for instance, we want something more than your favourite book of mythology.

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Josephus...

Not even born at the time of the cruciFiction.  Not an eye witness.

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Tacitus? A Roman Historian.

Not an eye witness, either.

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How about a succinct statement. I don't believe in God because......just give me one at a time...

I do not believe in your god because there are no physical signs of its presence or its interactions with the physical universe.

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Science was created by God, and prooves his existence.

Logical fallacy:  Petitio principii.  You have created a logical loop in which literally any mythical entity can be substituted:

________ was created by ________ and proves his/her/its existence

Olive trees were created by Athena and prove Her existence.
The world was created by Oðinn, Vili and Ve and proves Their existence.
Random equipment malfunctions were created by Me and prove My existence.

Get the picture?  A circular argument is essentially useless, no matter how you fill in the blanks.

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But I will pray to the One true God in heaven for you guys and gals tonight. be back in a bit.......adios

(stamps *REJECTED* on B2's prayer) If I ever decide I want to deal with your alleged god, I will do so Myself, thankyouverymuch.
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Offline PhilosoB

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #69 on: October 15, 2011, 03:54:16 AM »
This kind of argument would also rule out things like gravity, energy, logic, etc, as none of this can be experienced with the five senses (not to mention the fact that the truth of this statement cannot be verified by its own criteria).

1. The effects of gravity can be experienced with a number of our senses.  Since gravity is a description of effects, you're wrong about it.  Energy, too, is a description of effects, and can be measured through a wide variety of sensory-detectable means.  Logic is a tool of thought, whose existence can be observed through its implimentation.  Try again?
2. No original statement of criteria can be verified by its own criteria.  If it could, then it is not an original statement of criteria, and the original one is the one that cannot be self-verified.  Because of this, your objection is disingenuous:  If you really held to it, then you would logically have to object to all criteria for assessing absolutely everything, and you don't.


The effects of gravity and energy can be experienced; however, you cannot say you have seen gravity or energy, only its effects (unless you are willing to equate the cause and the effect as identical). Even though you have not seen the force called gravity, you still believe that it exists. Relating to the existence of God, by similar reasoning, one who experiences the effects of God is rational to believe in the existence of God, even if that experience is not shared by all people. Effects of God may include, but not limited not to, the Bible, Jesus, the resurrection, morality, visions, apparent design in nature, miracles.



If by tests and measurements you mean to say that we have not found empirical evidence of God, I would generally agree. Since God, by definition, is supernatural, I would not expect tests of the natural world to find such evidence. Of course, there are philosophical tests and thought experiments that certainly provide plausible reasons to think God might exist.
What does "supernatural" mean?  "Natural" merely means something that behaves in a logically coherent, describable fashion.  If a god is not natural, then nothing whatsoever can be said about it.  Its existence is incoherent.

Your definition of natural is obviously different from how I was using it. I intended "natural" to be used in a materialistic sense, that is, everything exists materially. In contrast to this, "supernatural" is something outside of the natural or beyond the material world. Using these definitions, God is a supernatural being, not comprised of materialistic objects. Additionally, just because God exists supernaturally, it does not necessarily follow that God is unable to interact with the material world and as such, we are able to know God. Within these definitions of "natural" and "supernatural", God is completely coherent. Your definition changes the entire context of my original statement and simply confuses the argument.


Such a statement makes at least a couple significant assumptions. First, if God does answer prayer, we would know and recognize all the possible ways God would answer it so as to evaluate God’s effectiveness. In other words, you assume humans are intelligent enough to be able to judge the way in which God decides to answer prayer. Secondly, you assume that humans are intelligent enough to know how God should best answer prayer. To accept both these assumptions, you must accept the corollary belief that you are as smart as God, that is, omniscient.

We do have the ability to assess this already, PB.  Tests have been run.  They have found that the effects of prayer (when the intended benefactor of the prayer doesn't know it's happening) are indistinguishable from the effects of non-prayer.

Why would a prayer-granting god deliberately mimic non-existence in this way?


Since you did not address the actual argument I made and simply rephrased the original statement, I am not sure if you accept the assumptions that I outlined. Before judging the effectiveness of God's response, we must assume we are capable of knowing the best possible answer and measure God be that standard. In essence, finite humans become the judge of an omniscient God. Christians would not say God is mimicking non-existence but that He has decided to act differently from how we would want Him to act.



The lack of verifiable evidence is a problem for many faiths and religions. Fortunately, even after casual glance at the Bible, it should be apparent that it is a book that records a history that is verifiable and contains truth claims that can be logically and historically tested. All this being said, while not being definitive but certainly pertinent, the fact is the Christian God has withstood the breadth of history while many more have been forgotten.

So what you're saying is that the Earth is 6000 years old and has experienced a single global flood that wiped out all of Humanity except for a single family who then re-populated it from their limited genetic breadth?

Because if you're not saying that, then you yourself don't believe what you just wrote.  Which would make what you wrote a deliberate lie.  Pick your poison.

Given the false dilemma, I choose neither. Further study would illustrate the fact that many interpretations are equally plausible while maintaining the integrity of the Bible. Moving beyond a casual glance, one can see that the Bible is composed of many kinds of literature such as poetry, narrative, law, apocryphal, etc, all being necessary read in a particular way so as to honor the original intent of the author. I personally believe that the universe is billions of years old (accepting Genesis 1 as prosaic instead on strictly historical) and that there was a large flood that potentially covered the whole earth (accepting, for various reasons, that Genesis 6-9 as more historical).



Granted. That is why this is statement is never used in a serious discussion about the validity or truth of a religion.

Sure it is, just run a search.  Do you ever wonder why believers feel the need to resort to it?  And why they find it to be convincing?

If it is used, it is only used in a supportive sense. Someone who has won a lottery is expected to before certain actions as a result, i.e. buy a house, car, go on vacation. If such actions are not performed, doubt may arise. These actions are not sufficient to prove anything, but if they do occur, lend viability to the stated claim. One would expect Christians to behave in a certain way if they thought Jesus had been raised from the dead. Because we seem such actions in the lives of the early Christians in particular, it provides some inferential weight to their truth claim.



This statement commits the genetic fallacy. As an example, if you found out that your elementary math teacher turned out to be a compulsive liar, would this invalidate the truth of the multiplication table? Certainly not. Even though the Bible is written by fallible men, the truth of its content needs to be examined separately from its source.

Granted, but you must also grant that appealing to the Bible's infallibility as a means of demonstrating things about the divine is...problematic.  And it happens a lot.


Sure, but I do not think I have used the Bible as a divine book in any of my arguments. I have referenced the Bible as I would any other book of historicity.



I address these together as they all seem to challenge the historicity of the Bible. Far from being a liability, the mass volume of the manuscripts is extremely useful in historical and textual study of the Bible. Scholars use the various manuscripts and through observing and noting similarities and differences are able to get an accurate record of the original. As F.F. Bruce, a former professor of biblical criticism and exegesis at the University of Manchester, states, “There is no body of ancient literature in the world which enjoys such a wealth of good textual attestation as the New Testament.” The same can be said of the Old Testament which I can provide more textual and scholarly evidence for if necessary.

A large volume of varied manuscripts about what are supposedly a handful of accounts makes it difficult to determine what those original accounts were.  And despite claiming that you were going to do so, you never addressed #7, which - of the three points cited - is by far the most critical.  Why would you choose to ignore that one, after claiming that you would address it?

If you are more versed in textual form criticism and historical analysis than the scholars I have read, I will then defer to your judgment in regard to your opening statement. As for part 2 on question 7, it partially falls in the genetic fallacy category. Regardless of who actually wrote it, the fact is the original writings have been dated, once again by respected scholars, to within a few decades of the actual events. Furthermore, given the known accuracy of the writing, precise authorship is a non-issue though there is little reason to doubt the authors are as believed.



The differing gospel accounts offer only a superficial difficulty once the intention of the authors is considered. The gospels are not intended to be strict historical biography of the life of Christ. Each gospel author was writing to a different audience and chooses which events of Jesus’ life are to be included or emphasized. The result is an account that tailored to a specific message to a specific audience. The authors change HOW they tell the account of Jesus’ life, not the history of Jesus’ life.

Then they should not disagree in their assertions of fact.  Yet, they do.  Why would they do this?

While apparent contradictions may appear on the surface, they are not without reasonable and rational explanations. If you prefer to start a new topic on the Gospels, I would take up specific issues there. This is not meant to sidestep the issue, but merely to allow it to be addressed fully in an appropriate thread if this a serious obstacle to believing the validity of the Bible.



Given the textual attestation of the historicity of the Bible and the New Testament in particular, even if the Bible is the only place that records the resurrection, it would seem to be a very reliable source. Furthermore, while there may not be direct extra-biblical account of the resurrection, there is extra-biblical accounts of the activities of the early Christians, activities that can be attributed to a belief in a resurrected Savior. This may only be inferential but still noteworthy.

I take it that you are both a Mormon and a Muslim, given your stated standard above.  Or are you only pretending to adhere to it?


I'm not sure how your comments relate to my statement. The Bible is a book that has withstood the tests of historical and textual analysis. I have not personally read articles on the historicity of the Book of Mormon or the Koran; however, since the Bible has been upheld under such scrutiny, contradictions in other religious writing to the Bible would seem to be false.



Any concept of the Christian God, must be a God who is in control of everything, not just the gaps. Christians can be rightly accused of using God to fill in gaps in knowledge over the millennia; but, it must also be admitted that for many scientist, both past and present, belief in God is an impetus to understand the natural world.

This is akin to the fundamentalist Islamic version of "God".  That version is in direct, conscious control of every movement of every particle in existence.  This makes all events basically arbitrary, a result of Allah's will rather than of cause-and-effect.  When you turn on your computer, it is God who wills it to activate; he could equally will it to turn into lava and flow onto the floor.  This view is the antithesis of all scientific reasoning, as it denies the existence of a remotely natural order to the universe.

Is this really what you believe?


I think you are confusing two statement: "God controls" and "God is in control". This is where semantics is important. A God who controls would be the type you appear to be thinking of. It is a God who dictates how everything is going to happen including how people are going to act. The God who is in control, the Christian idea of God, is one who is foundational to everything. He is the basis for lawfulness and predictability of the universe. If there was no such immutable foundation to the universe, science would be impossible. What keeps the law of gravity from constant fluctuations? Why does the speed of light never change? To answer materialistically, nothing does which means it could change at any moment. From a theistic viewpoint, God's existence provides the necessary foundation to the order and lawfulness of the universe.
   


Another problem to the natural explanation of everything is the problem of determinism. If determinism is true, all thoughts are simply caused by chemical and synaptic impulses. In other words, “I” do not control mine own thoughts which would rule out rational thought and moral responsibility because everything is caused by natural processes. I could not act or think differently than I do.

The same is true in any paradigm you might think of that is logically consistent:  Your thoughts can never be anything but what they are.  And who you are now must always be a control on who you are in the next moment.  Otherwise the universe is utterly incoherent.  Theism does not escape this supposed "problem", and supernaturalism merely means an incoherent universe from the outset.  But most people don't act as if the universe is supernatural in practice.  I wonder why that is?

This is entering deeper philosophical territory. In libertarian free will, the choice is always made by the individual "self". "I" choose A but COULD have chosen B. No other force or caused decided for me. In determinism, there is no "I". All apparent choices are simply another step in a long, long, long chain of cause and effect. Synapse A fired so you "choose" A. In other words, you NECESSARILY choose A; it could not have happened differently, you could not have acted any other way.
 


Without opening this topic up too far, Darwinian evolution still has a few significant holes. First, evolution must answer the philosophical problem of naturalism leading to determinism as I mentioned earlier. Second, the more we learn about nature the more complex things seem to appear, specifically complex. Two specifically complex things: DNA and language. This seems to permit a rational inference to design in the universe. Third, the cosmological argument still maintains its strength even if Darwinian evolution is assumed.

1. Evolution has nothing to say one way or the other about the deterministic "problem" you mentioned earlier, and neither does any form of creation-from-nothing, as espoused by most theists.
2. Complexity can arise along any entropic gradient (the Earth lies along an entropic gradient).  And if the design for DNA is too complex to arise naturally, then what caused it to arise in the mind of your god?  Where did the information come from?

1. Evolution directly may not, but Darwinian evolution is a strictly materialistic account development of life; as such, most who accept evolution also accept a materialistic worldview of which determinism follows necessarily.
2. What "causes" you to have any particular thought? It seems rational to accept that the apparent intelligent design of DNA is because it was actually intelligently designed. Additionally, information coming from an omniscient God seems more plausible than information coming from an undirected, random process.



I would like to comment on this statement but I fail to see the conflict in possessing both omnipotence and omniscience in the same being at the same time. Perhaps if this was in the form of a philosophical argument, it would become clearer.

Omniscience necessitated determinism.  Omnipotence necessitates the ability to violate the determined time-line.  Both cannot be true in this form, though something short of omniscience and/or something short of omnipotence can still coexist.

Once again, I fail to see how determinism follows from omniscience. If I happen to know that you will receive a car on your birthday, it does not follow that I have either caused you to receive a car on your birthday or necessitated that you will receive a car on your birthday. All that my foreknowledge guarantees is that you will get a car. I could just as easily had known you were getting a bike. Likewise with omnipotence, while I may possess the ability to determine all things, I does not follow that I necessarily must determine all things. I can decide not to interfere,



Though I believe that God loves all people, I have not seen it used as a foundation in an argument about God’s existence. It would be relevant if we were discussing who God is, but then we would have to assume He existed in the first place.

It is a necessary component of such an argument, in that it is a part of the definition of the "God" whose existence is being argued.  It is relevant in the sense that rationally, this attribute must be either established or discarded.


I agree. I answered the original quoted statement poorly. The character of any potential God would seem to play a role in the validity of His existence.



As much as I enjoy the challenge of covering such a wide range of topics in one post, might I suggest that it be pruned to one or two of particular interest as to allow a more focused discussion.

Also, to all the challenges to my original post by others, I will try my best to respond appropriately and as my time allows. Thanks


Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #70 on: October 15, 2011, 07:54:36 AM »
Hi, PhilosoB, welcome to WWGHA.  I hope you find your stay here an entertaining and informative one.  Atheists are obviously in the majority here, so you may find yourself being overwhelmed with responses (I have the same problem when I try to participate in Christian forums, which is the main reason I don't do it).  If so, please feel free to state that you need some time to "take a breath".  I'd hate for you to feel like you have to leave because you can't keep up.


1.  You can't see, hear, taste, smell or touch God in any way.

This kind of argument would also rule out things like gravity, energy, logic, etc, as none of this can be experienced with the five senses (not to mention the fact that the truth of this statement cannot be verified by its own criteria).

Gravity cannot be directly observed, true, but we observe its effects directly every single moment of our lives; I am not flying off of my recliner right now as I compose this response, for example.  The same can be said for probably just about anything else you could name, but it is not true for Yahweh.  There has never been an occasion, for example, where science has stated, definitively, that any particular effect or phenomenon cannot have a natural explanation and must have a supernatural cause.

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2.  There are no tests or measurements you can take to determine if the claims about God are real. 

If by tests and measurements you mean to say that we have not found empirical evidence of God, I would generally agree. Since God, by definition, is supernatural, I would not expect tests of the natural world to find such evidence.

I would generally agree with that, with the caveat that if Yahweh interacts with the physical world, then tests of the natural world would be expected to find such evidence.  Of course, this applies only to an interactionist deity and would not be true of, say, the deistic view of Yahweh.

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Of course, there are philosophical tests and thought experiments that certainly provide plausible reasons to think God might exist.

True, but when you examine them carefully, they tend to be little more than word games.  There are also converse thought experiments to demonstrate that Yahweh does not exist.  Personally, I hold with Kant that metaphysical questions are completely unanswerable, even in principle, and the existence of deities is definitely a metaphysical question.

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3.  Prayer to God is equally as effective as a prayer to a rock.

Such a statement makes at least a couple significant assumptions. First, if God does answer prayer, we would know and recognize all the possible ways God would answer it so as to evaluate God’s effectiveness. In other words, you assume humans are intelligent enough to be able to judge the way in which God decides to answer prayer. Secondly, you assume that humans are intelligent enough to know how God should best answer prayer. To accept both these assumptions, you must accept the corollary belief that you are as smart as God, that is, omniscient.

There have been experiments regarding this, where you take a group of sick people and a group of people who will pray for some of the sick people and not for the others, with the sick people not knowing who is receiving the prayers.  The people being prayed for fare no better than those not receiving prayers.  If I recall correctly, there have even been experiments where the sick people were told who was and was not receiving prayers, and the people receiving prayers actually did worse.  My memory may be playing tricks on me with that one, though, so please don't hold me to it.

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4.  There are thousands of proposed gods that the world has been exposed to and all of them suffer from the same lack of verifiable evidence.

The lack of verifiable evidence is a problem for many faiths and religions.

Probably just about all of them, actually.  ;-)

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Fortunately, even after casual glance at the Bible, it should be apparent that it is a book that records a history that is verifiable and contains truth claims that can be logically and historically tested.

And, indeed, some historical facts in the Bible are true.  However, this does not exonerate the entire text; if that were the case, you would have to say that Spider-Man comic books are true because we know that New York City actually exists.  Further, there are also "historical events" reported in the Bible that we know to be false, including the global flood and the exodus.  There are other events that haven't been proven false, per se, but which are certainly problematic, such as the masses of dead people rising up from their graves and walking around Jerusalem.  We don't know for certain that that never happened, but considering that dead people don't usually come back to life, and considering further that this event is not reported anywhere else (which you would certainly expect it to be, considering how extraordinary it is), the most likely explanation is that it never happened.

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All this being said, while not being definitive but certainly pertinent, the fact is the Christian God has withstood the breadth of history while many more have been forgotten.

Historically, it is not difficult to understand why Christianity has survived and persisted.  In the Fourth Century, Christianity was established as the state religion and was the only one authorized by the emperor.  Considering how large the Roman Empire was, and considering that it was not generally wise to disobey the emperor, the spread of Christianity is simple to understand.

Its persistence after the decline of the Roman Empire is not difficult to understand, either, inasmuch as openly stating that you were not a Christian gave you a good chance of being tortured into conversion or burned at the stake.  If such a state still existed today, I'd probably say I was a Christian, too, even though it wouldn't be true.  We also see that Christianity, having lost those tools for retaining "believers", is now on the decline.  Most of Europe has been secularized, and the trend toward secularization is continuing.  Australia's Prime Minister is an atheist, and secularization is increasing there as well.  In the United States, membership in all religious groups is falling; the only "religious" group whose numbers are on the rise is "none".

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5.  Believers of other religions are equally fervent about their beliefs, even to the point of dying for them.

Granted. That is why this is statement is never used in a serious discussion about the validity or truth of a religion.

Actually, it comes up quite a bit.  Unless you're saying that people using the argument aren't participating in a serious discussion, which I would agree with.

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6.  The bible is written by fallible men.

This statement commits the genetic fallacy. As an example, if you found out that your elementary math teacher turned out to be a compulsive liar, would this invalidate the truth of the multiplication table?

It might, if the multiplication table were created by that math teacher.  But it wasn't.

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Certainly not. Even though the Bible is written by fallible men, the truth of its content needs to be examined separately from its source.

Well, that's kind of the thing, isn't it?  So far as we know, those fallible men were the source.  One claiming that the source was something else bear a burden of proof to show it.

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7.  We do not know who wrote the gospels.  They were later attributed to certain apostolic characters in order to provide authority to the stories. 
8.  We have no original copies of any of the bible stories. 
9.  There are thousands of biblical manuscripts in multiple languages and when you compare and contrast them, there are hundreds of thousands of discrepancies.

I address these together as they all seem to challenge the historicity of the Bible. Far from being a liability, the mass volume of the manuscripts is extremely useful in historical and textual study of the Bible. Scholars use the various manuscripts and through observing and noting similarities and differences are able to get an accurate record of the original.

To some extent, yes, but the matter is still problematic.  Regarding the synoptic gospels, for example, the prevailing theory is the Two-Source Hypothesis, and it is accepted by most Bible scholars.  However, even at that, there are competing theories that do have some logical support, such as the Farrer hypothesis.

Another problem is that Bible scholarship does not always vindicate the texts.  In fact, quite the contrary is true in some cases.  For example, there are fourteen books in the New Testament ascribed to Paul.  Of these, seven are agreed to be genuine.  However, three are hotly debated, and four are now almost universally agreed -- by skeptics and believers alike -- to be forgeries.  1 Peter is probably a forgery as well, and 2 Peter almost certainly is.

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while there may not be direct extra-biblical account of the resurrection, there is extra-biblical accounts of the activities of the early Christians, activities that can be attributed to a belief in a resurrected Savior.

That doesn't really demonstrate anything.  You can also find accounts in today's newspaper about the activities of today's Christians, activities that can be attributed to a belief in a resurrected Savior.  That says nothing about whether such a resurrection actually occurred.

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Another problem to the natural explanation of everything is the problem of determinism. If determinism is true, all thoughts are simply caused by chemical and synaptic impulses. In other words, “I” do not control mine own thoughts which would rule out rational thought and moral responsibility because everything is caused by natural processes. I could not act or think differently than I do.

Why is this a "problem"?
 
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15.  Omnipotence and omniscience in the same being is logically impossible.

I would like to comment on this statement but I fail to see the conflict in possessing both omnipotence and omniscience in the same being at the same time. Perhaps if this was in the form of a philosophical argument, it would become clearer.

An omniscient being knows everything, past, present, and future.  For example, it knows what it is going to do at 9:30 AM on the morning of May 2nd, 2478.  Since it knows this with certainty, it cannot change what will happen at that time.  Therefore, an omniscient being cannot be omnipotent.

An omnipotent being can do absolutely anything.  It can decide for itself what it will do at 9:30 AM on the morning of May 2nd, 2478.  It can also change its mind once that time actually arrives, or even go back in time and change what happened afterward!  Therefore, since it cannot know for certain what will happen, or what did happen, at that time, it cannot be omniscient.

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Though I believe that God loves all people

Actually -- according to the Bible, anyway -- God hates quite a few people.

God Hates
Hypocrites (Matthew 24:51), The Unforgiving (Mark 11:26), Homosexuals (Romans 1:26, 27), Fornicators (Romans 1:29), The Wicked (Romans 1:29), The Covetous (Romans 1:29), The Malicious (Romans 1:29), The Envious (Romans 1:29), Murderers (Romans 1:29), The Deceitful (Romans 1:29), Backbiters (Romans 1:30), Haters of God (Romans 1:30), The Despiteful (Romans 1:30), The Proud (Romans 1:30), Boasters (Romans 1:30), Inventors of evil (Romans 1:30), Disobedient to parents (Romans 1:30), Covenant breakers (Romans 1:31), The Unmerciful (Romans 1:31), The Implacable (Romans 1:31), The Unrighteous (1Corinthians 6:9), Idolaters (1Corinthians 6:9), Adulterers (1Corinthians 6:9), The Effeminate (1Corinthians 6:9), Thieves (1Corinthians 6:10), Drunkards (1Corinthians 6:10), Reviler (1Corinthians 6:10), Extortioners (1Corinthians 6:10), The Fearful (Revelation 21:8 ), The Unbelieving (Revelation 21:8 ), The Abominable (Revelation 21:8 ), Whoremongers (Revelation 21:8 ), Sorcerers (Revelation 21:8 ), All Liars (Revelation 21:8 )

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I have not seen it used as a foundation in an argument about God’s existence. It would be relevant if we were discussing who God is, but then we would have to assume He existed in the first place.

I agree, so we can set that aside.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline b2

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #71 on: October 15, 2011, 08:43:02 AM »
So if I understand you all correctly, you do worship  a God. The God of Reason, logic and science. Alas, i imagine, just another one to throw on the brush pile. lets see....human (the created) demands that the creator (GOD) provide evidence to their satisfaction....Wow...you guys crack me up. You are an arrogant bunch. But strangely entertaining.

After all the writings of educated men aka scholars defending both sides of the argument Does God Exist, you somehow think this forum is coming up with fresh new ideas to disprove GOD? It's never going to happen. Or is it debating you enjoy. You are pretty smooth debaters. I'll give you that. No question about that. But you miss the basic point. You either believe in God, or you don't. You have seen evidence to your satisfaction that HE does not. I have seen evidence to my satisfaction that HE does. You can find millions to agree with you. I can find millions who agree with me. Scholars, PHD's, scientists, historians it goes on and on...To what end?

 There is no way to sway you, and I don't have a problem with that. That's not my intent. I am only here to see how those who have differing views IE. "the other side" thinks and interacts. I have children who will someday have to face criticism about their religion, and I want to see first hand the objections to GOD. But there's nothing earth shattering here that would cause one to disbelieve. The bible makes reference to this in many places. It warns of people who deceive and try to twist GODs truth. This is nothing more than that. The Creator has seen you coming a mile off, and called you out long before you were even born my friends. I realize some of you may not see yourselves as trying to twist the truth or deceive others, but that is the ultimate effect. 

As GOD says in HIS book, you are either with him or against him, no middle ground. And that really bothers alot of you. Yet you display no middle ground in your arguments...well at least most of you.Somehow, you have deceived yourselves into thinking that we live in the middle or gray area. You have chosen to be against HIM. No sweat, that's a choice you make based on your thought process and evidence.  However, for all the science and Education and logic we use, it has not improved the human condition one bit. After all, the point of Athiesm surely has some added benefits to it other than trying to unsuccessfully disprove the existence of GOD right. Otherwise, this would only be a side show, a self serving endeavor. There is a greater good here correct? Ahhh yes, to rid the world of one more non-sensical believer is probably the greater good I imagine. hey, everyone has their hobby's.

Now before the deluge begins, and it will begin, because that is your nature, the last word, the logic and reason express building to a wild frenzy....I imagine you will think I am being condescending. A favorite word here on this forum. One displayed by many here on this forum actually. It is displayed in every thread throughout. Knowledge, or the feeling of being smarter than those stupid Christians, permeates the Atheistic phenomenon to be sure. Don't take my word for it. Go read your own writings. I don't however take this personally. It's not about me after all.

Now there are those of you who display a certain decorum and politeness here, and that is refreshing to see. It is appreciated and I would offer that it is those individuals who although I disagree with them, I respect their position and right to communicate it. After all, an Atheist is way to smart to believe in the spiritual, the supernatural correct? Or is it just the Word of God that offends?

I admit, you are a curious bunch. Thank you for enlightening me to how your world operates. In the end, you are against GOD. Sugar coat it, wrap it in a bow, call it the quest for knowledge and truth....but I digress...seen this movie before.

My apologies to PhilosoB, Aaron123, PianoDwarf, and JeffpT as you are great hosts. I could imagine sitting across from you at a table and having some great conversations....



Offline kcrady

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #72 on: October 15, 2011, 08:58:41 AM »
Welcome to the Forum, b2.  I'm sorry, but whatever apologetics book or other source you're getting these claims from has failed you to an absolutely unconscionable degree.


Simple answer is, Jesus resurrection was not faked. It was an actual historically documented event. The bible is historically accurate in every way.

This is, I am afraid, logically impossible, in the same way as a square circle.  You see, the Gospel resurrection accounts contradict one another.  They cannot be "historically accurate in every way."  Test this for yourself: try to write one, single coherent account of the resurrection of Jesus without omitting any Biblical detail.  Please post your results here in this thread.

Even historians that do not believe in religion agree that given standard proof and documentation criteria, that the bible is more accurate and contains a higher standard of proof than most history books and the events contained in them.

This is simply not true, or at best a wild distortion of what mainstream historians believe about the Bible.  This sounds like an extreme distortion of the fact that we have a larger number of New Testament manuscripts dated closer to the alleged events they relate, than we do for other ancient historical texts like the writings of Josephus or Tacitus.  This is, however, far from proof that the New Testament miracle stories are more historically reliable than accounts of Julius Caesar's assassination.  Even if we had video interviews of Jesus' disciples talking about his miracles, we would only have the same level of proof for their extraordinary claims as we do for those of UFO abductees. 

Do you really think you will find Jewish historians who think Jesus rose from the dead while retaining their belief in Judaism, atheist historians convinced that a snake once spoke (apparently with flawless diction), or that once upon a time it was really possible to reach "heaven" by means of a mud-brick ziggurat (Genesis 11:1-6)?

Not so hard to comprehend. I would ask any of you a simple question, and that is, why do you feel the bible does not qualify as a historical document?

Again, your sources have utterly failed to provide you a worthwhile education on this topic.  "The Bible" is not a document, historical or otherwise.  It is an anthology, a collection of ancient texts, with differing (often unknown) authors, from different times and places, and with differing degrees of historical validity.  When you talk about the "book" of Exodus, or the "book" of Romans, this is because they are actually, separate books (originally, scrolls) that were later compiled by the proto-Roman Catholic Church into a single volume during the late Roman Empire.

and a follow up would be, what evidence (historically valid) would you give me that the bible accounts are not historically accurate? Would be interested to see what you come up with. God Bless you Guys.....

First of all, reality is an indivisible whole, and our knowledge of it (to be considered accurate) has to be also.  When we try to evaluate the historical validity of an ancient story, Biblical or otherwise, we must take into account not only the kinds of criteria historical scholars use (e.g. dating of the earliest extant manuscripts, corroboration from external sources, archaeology, etc.), we must also take into account what we know from the other sciences, like physics, biology, and astronomy. 

For example, let us say that there was a letter from a Doge of Venice during the Renaissance that made reference to a claim that Leonardo da Vinci had invented a perpetual motion machine.  Even if we had no doubt that the letter had been written by the Doge, that it had not been altered in any way, etc., so that we were completely convinced of its historical provenance, that would not be enough to compel belief that Leonardo da Vinci had invented a perpetual motion machine.  In this case, the evidence from physics--that perpetual motion machines are impossible--must also be weighed on the scales.  It would take "extraordinary evidence"[1], such as drawings of the machine we could use to build a working replica, that actually worked, before we would overturn our understanding of physics and accept the historical claim of Da Vinci's perpetual motion machine as valid.

In the case of Biblical texts, we are often confronted with events that conflict with what we know from other sciences, or just plain everyday observation.  Serpents do not talk, nor are they more cunning than all other animals.  The evidence of Egyptology is not compatible with the claim that, some time in the 19th Dynasty, Egypt was laid waste by what the Egyptians would have regarded as a foreign magician.  We do have Egyptian inscriptions and writings invoking defense against magical attack by wizards from Libya and Ethiopia (Cush), but never any reference to Hebrew magicians who, after Moses (if he had exited as described in the Book of Exodus), would have been the most feared of all, by far. 

There is no evidence for a massive population of Hebrews in Egypt, nor for a 40 year habitation/journey of these people in/through the Sinai region.  The evidence of city sizes, ancient trash heaps, climate, etc. does not allow for the possibility that King David could have been able to field an army larger than that of the United States.[2]  Such large human populations leave indelible traces, and no historical clues have been sought with greater determination or greater willingness to believe,[3] than those relating to Biblical accounts.

The Bible frequently contradicts other sciences, such as astronomy--claiming that stars are "lesser lights" [than the Sun] placed in a firmament dome over the Earth, "for times and seasons and to give light upon the Earth," or meteorology--that rain comes down from "the waters above the firmament" when windows in this firmament are opened and stops when they are closed (Genesis 7:11, 8:2).
   
Then there is the fact that Biblical texts frequently contradict one another.  It is simply not possible that Mary Magdalene, going to Jesus' tomb, could have encountered an angel sitting on the rolled-away stone outside the tomb, and encountered a pair of angels later inside the tomb, and had the angels only appear after she had went inside and failed to find a body and not encountered any angels at all, but ran back to the disciples to tell them of a stolen body and encounter Jesus (mistaking him for a gardener) on her second trip to the tomb, with no angels involved.
 1. As in Carl Sagan's maxim, "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."
 2. I Chronicles 21:5
 3. The earliest archaeologists were devout Christians who went around with a Bible in one hand and a spade in the other, each hoping to be the one to find proof of one of the great Bible stories.  Even today, people scour Mt. Ararat hoping to find some remnant of Noah's Ark.
"The question of whether atheists are, you know, right, typically gets sidestepped in favor of what is apparently the much more compelling question of whether atheists are jerks."

--Greta Christina

Offline Ivellios

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #73 on: October 15, 2011, 09:46:05 AM »
People have been busy while I was asleep then at work.


Truthseeker, the difference between us is which evidence we want/choose to believe,

If A exists therefore B is True. The fact the seasons change Proves Hades and Persephone exists.

Negative.

I "believe" in Astronomy, because I look at the evidence. The Bible doesn't mention Auroras or Kangaroos or anything else that some primitive bronze age goat herders didn't know. Why, since it was the "truth" from an All-Knowing God? It shouldn't be limited upon thier knowledge and filled with the same primitive superstitions we know to be false today.

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,17537.0.html My intro thread. I've added more detail during my time here in multiple posts, but I've never updated my Intro thread.

Since you've approached from another angle, I'll add a little bit more detail after a short recap.

I found out my Sunday School teacher lied about us[1] covering the entire bible every 7 years. I was in High School at the time, and I knew there was stuff we still never covered. So I read the Bible.

There are many scholars in both camps,

There are people that believe that the Earth is Flat and others that believe the Earth is spherical. The fact that there are opposing sides on something that there is an absolute fact one way or the other means absolutely nothing. As said before, "People are going to believe what they want to believe." This is a nul point.

so I am curious why you value your sources more than the Christian scholars?


There are over 38,000 different Christian denominations. That's 38,000 different versions on what God/Jesus "really meant." Christian Scholars field of study is the Bible. Nothing else. They have no authority in any other field. There are many many things we use today the authors of the Bible couldn't even imagine and other things that we have today are the realization of thier worst fears. Are you going to listen to that electrician or pastor when talking about the dangers of electricity? Are you going to discuss a building's structrual integrity with an architect/engineer or a youth minister? Who do you want doing Construction inspections: someone trained in it or a nun?

There must be something that swayed your view?

Reading the bible.

Not quite sure how you assess the created being, given all our limitations, could be smarter than or superior to the creator? I am curious, if you don't mind me asking, what event in your life was the straw that broke the camels back for you.

Women are property. Rape is neither crime or sin. Rape isn't even considered theft. For theft you must pay back, 3x to 5x the value of the item you stole. A woman's maximum worth as a virgin is 50 shekels of silver, period. She gets raped, the rapist must pay her father 50 shekels, then she must share his bed for the rest of her life and she can never get a divorce no matter what. Rape in the context of the Bible is simply the man forfitting his right to negotiate a price for her, and instead opting to go ahead and pay the maximum price for a "test drive." This is of course, only if they get caught in the act. If not? She gets stoned to death, because she wouldn't be a virgin on her wedding night at a later date, and father gets sued for 300 shekels for selling defective merchandise.

Anti-Scientific nonsense. "the sky rolls up like a scroll" because it's a solid object. "windows in the firmement" "like clay that has been pressed into a seal." blah blah all other flat earth stuff... Nothing says that an Omniscient being doesn't know **** better than one that doesn't know how he made the Earth. Seriously, it gives me pleasure pointing out, how if you look in the context that the Earth is flat, then stuff makes sense. There is another post made by someone else regarding the Star of Bethlehem. I know who it is, but I don't want to misspell thier name.

My nitpicks over that[2] is: There is No eastern star. As the Earth rotates every star that appears in the East, appears to move up, then west. So if you follow an "Eastern star" you'll go east from dusk till it hits it's zenith then you'll head west. So you'll end up roughly where you started. I'm not even going to mention how gravity that would affect Earth if a star was close enough to be "above" a point on the Earth. I think the smallest are Earth sized anyways. The sun's mass in a spot the size of Earth... that close to Earth...

Am I superior/smarter than the creator? Damn straight I am. Especially if that alleged creator is YHWH.

if there is another thread, please point me there....You don't owe me any explanations, just curious...and there is an up side to child like faith, and that was what I believe Jesus was referring to.

I have a coworker and whenever the topic of Mormonism, Scientology or any other religious system he asks, "How could anyone believe any of that stuff?"

I started with, "I don't know," but I did. Most recent time it came up I said, "People will believe anything, aparrently." I've considered already to be blunt about it if he asks again. "Well, there IS that thing about 'Child-like faith.' "

Could you please elaborate on the "upside to child like faith?" That's the equilevent of turning off your BS-ometer, and being the very definition of gullible.
 1. the Church
 2. Star of Bethlehem
« Last Edit: October 15, 2011, 09:57:43 AM by TruthSeeker »

Offline b2

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #74 on: October 15, 2011, 10:24:56 AM »
Truthseeker, or should I call you by your self proclaimed name, STG (smarter than God)

I'll give you one thing, the bible has some pretty tough stuff in there to understand, and I would be a liar if I said I did. But you want to throw the baby out with the bath water. if you find one thing, or say 150 things that urk you, or can't be proven or appear to be contradictions, you say, God is not real, Christ was not a person and he never was raised from the dead. That's ridiculous.

And smarter than the creator, ahhh..yes...I'll bet you are. Just ask you or any other of the people here who believe the same thing...they'll be the first in line to tell you as much. However, when the day comes and you get your wish to meet him, you may not be as bold. Just guessing here...nothing scientific mind you...

You see, the issue is one of the heart, and you've missed that in all your "reasoning and science". You are impotent outside of your worship of science and knowledge. God is spirit, and you don't get it. makes perfect sense to me. i know, you can't deal with things that don't have measurements and charts and numbers....and that's the problem. The knowledge of God is not measured with Science and charts and hypothesis. He has been revealed in HIS word, on earth in the form of a man named Jesus, by his resurrection, which by the way the bible does not contradict itself.  Accounts differ, so what. if they were perfectly the same, One would say something is fishy. But they are not. and one does not contradict the other. if so, give it to me. in addition, his creation proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that he is orderly, all knowing and complex.  lets see...the last time man created something out of nothing without ripping off GOD and using what he created was???? never. Utter foolishness.

I agree with your assessment that if I need a DR, i go to the doctor. An engineer, of course I'd go to an engineer. Therefore, on matters of God, I go to the bible and bible scholars. am I square with everything in there? Nope. So what? that disproves nothing. I, unlike you, am not smarter than my creator, so I have a disadvantage that you obviously don't share...you know...cause you are smarter...you really are a curious fellow...entertaining to....Even GOD must look at you and smile...

Offline One Above All

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #75 on: October 15, 2011, 10:34:02 AM »
<snip>

You know what your problem is? You come here assuming you're right without presenting any evidence and go from there. You either start showing some evidence or I start reporting you for preaching
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

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Offline Ivellios

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #76 on: October 15, 2011, 11:30:39 AM »
Truthseeker, or should I call you by your self proclaimed name, STG (smarter than God)

I'll give you one thing, the bible has some pretty tough stuff in there to understand, and I would be a liar if I said I did. But you want to throw the baby out with the bath water. if you find one thing, or say 150 things that urk you, or can't be proven or appear to be contradictions, you say, God is not real, Christ was not a person and he never was raised from the dead. That's ridiculous.

And smarter than the creator, ahhh..yes...I'll bet you are. Just ask you or any other of the people here who believe the same thing...they'll be the first in line to tell you as much. However, when the day comes and you get your wish to meet him, you may not be as bold. Just guessing here...nothing scientific mind you...

You see, the issue is one of the heart, and you've missed that in all your "reasoning and science". You are impotent outside of your worship of science and knowledge. God is spirit, and you don't get it. makes perfect sense to me. i know, you can't deal with things that don't have measurements and charts and numbers....and that's the problem. The knowledge of God is not measured with Science and charts and hypothesis. He has been revealed in HIS word, on earth in the form of a man named Jesus, by his resurrection, which by the way the bible does not contradict itself.  Accounts differ, so what. if they were perfectly the same, One would say something is fishy. But they are not. and one does not contradict the other. if so, give it to me. in addition, his creation proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that he is orderly, all knowing and complex.  lets see...the last time man created something out of nothing without ripping off GOD and using what he created was???? never. Utter foolishness.

I agree with your assessment that if I need a DR, i go to the doctor. An engineer, of course I'd go to an engineer. Therefore, on matters of God, I go to the bible and bible scholars. am I square with everything in there? Nope. So what? that disproves nothing. I, unlike you, am not smarter than my creator, so I have a disadvantage that you obviously don't share...you know...cause you are smarter...you really are a curious fellow...entertaining to....Even GOD must look at you and smile...

If you found a chocolate bar in a pile of animal feces, would you eat it or avoid eating it because the feces "urks" you? If there is one thing incorrect in an "inerrant word from a perfect all-knowing all-loving all-powerful being" it is wrong. It is a lie.

I don't "worship science" any more than I worship grass or cars or anything else. I acknoledge science explains reality in a consistent testable manner. If you say I have "faith" or "believe" science, it's in the manner I have faith and believe that when I'm asleep, my shoes are not flying around my house. Why? Because that is not the way the world works. We have Science to thank for that, just like Cars, Planes and Microwave Ovens.

The accounts do differ. It's not so this ius what happens to him between 5-20 and this other goes from 20-30 or whatever. One book says, "Judas died this way" and another says, "Judas died that way." and the "reason it is called the field of blood is because of this" but the other says, "the reason it is called the field of blood is because of that." This isn't that campfire game where one person starts a story then they get to a part then the next person takes it from there and it goes around and around till everyone's finished. As you've been told by teachers, because I was told that same thing... but, no, it contradicts. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are for the most part are 4 people having a screaming match trying to get thier version heard over the others. That is of course excuding the parts that were plagerised and "Jesus' childhood." It's amazing how you have this carpenter yet he never made anything. If I had a chair made by Jesus, (or a scam artist to make that claim) You would think someone would have capitalized on that, but what... from 13-30 he never made a single thing.

Edit: You know you're going to win the biggest lotto the world has ever seen and will ever know. All you have to do is be executed in a traditional manner. At most you'll spend 3 hours on a cross where people spend days till they died of thirst, or suffocation. Then you go to sleep. When you wake up. Bam! You've got the keys to the Universe.. BACK. So his is sacrifice is that he gave up some of his powers for part of 33 years. Oh Jesus can cry me a river, poor him. Then he gets to die a criminal's death, but it's very short compared to normal. People sacrifice themselves for thier loved ones or country all the time. For some it's short, for others they are tortured for weeks or even months before they are killed. Then unlike all the others he comes back, negating that he called it a "sacrifice" especially considering he already knew he would be comming back, where as everyone else knows, when they throw themselves on top of that grenade that flew into the foxhole, they know, they know they'll never, never see thier loved ones again.

So, is it a sacrifice winning the biggest rigged lotto the world has ever seen, or knowing when you die, you're dead, but you still do it, for your friends, for your family, for your comrades?
« Last Edit: October 15, 2011, 11:43:03 AM by TruthSeeker »

Offline b2

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #77 on: October 15, 2011, 11:38:44 AM »
Actually, that was pretty funny Blaziken_rjcf...I have to laugh at that...and I admit, you have some of those here on your site too...beware...

proof...ok. lets start with the bible. It is a book that was written over a thousand years, by different men, of different cultures, different beliefs, and yet when put together, is extremely cohesive in general. yet you don't allow this as proof of anything.  lets set aside the event at which the books of the bible were chosen. It would be like me saying, you can't prove a scientific theory using science. All science books are bogus. They all lie and are developed to deceive. and to be honest, science is nothing more than discovering what God has created and knows already. We're finally catching up to HIM. So lets start there. I imagine one could say, if you are trying to prove that God exists, then you can't start with "in the beginning God"....

But that's not what is being done in my case. I read the bible, many times through, and although I find some odd things in there, nothing is serious enough to invalidate the claims of Christ, the gospel writers, the epistles of Paul, Johns writing, Timothy, James. After reading the books, to me they support one another and draw the same conclusions. And then there's the empty tomb thing....

But its not fair of me to proceed and go off on a tangent. Why exactly can one not specific books of the bible to validate others?.


Online Azdgari

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #78 on: October 15, 2011, 11:47:15 AM »
The effects of gravity and energy can be experienced; however, you cannot say you have seen gravity or energy, only its effects (unless you are willing to equate the cause and the effect as identical). Even though you have not seen the force called gravity, you still believe that it exists. Relating to the existence of God, by similar reasoning, one who experiences the effects of God is rational to believe in the existence of God, even if that experience is not shared by all people. Effects of God may include, but not limited not to, the Bible, Jesus, the resurrection, morality, visions, apparent design in nature, miracles.

1. All we ever observe of anything are its effects.  Observing effects is observing the thing in question.  For example, we cannot "see" matter, in the sense you're talking about.  What we see is, to put it simply, the light that has been reflected from or emitted from matter.  Those are some of matter's effects, and since we observe those effects with our eyes, we can say we "see" matter.  The same applies to gravity.
2. Effects are subject to interpretation.  Some interpretations are reasonable.  Other interpretations are mind-crogglingly stupid.  Interpreting gravity to be the result of pull-down fairies would be mind-crogglingly stupid, for a number of reasons that I can cite if you really want me to.  Coming to supernatural conclusions about the other things you list is a similar exercise.
3. You ignored my #2 from this part of my last post.  Here it is again:
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2. No original statement of criteria can be verified by its own criteria.  If it could, then it is not an original statement of criteria, and the original one is the one that cannot be self-verified.  Because of this, your objection is disingenuous:  If you really held to it, then you would logically have to object to all criteria for assessing absolutely everything, and you don't.


I am curious as to why you engaged in such blatantly disingenuous behaviour.  Care to address that?

Your definition of natural is obviously different from how I was using it. I intended "natural" to be used in a materialistic sense, that is, everything exists materially. In contrast to this, "supernatural" is something outside of the natural or beyond the material world. Using these definitions, God is a supernatural being, not comprised of materialistic objects. Additionally, just because God exists supernaturally, it does not necessarily follow that God is unable to interact with the material world and as such, we are able to know God. Within these definitions of "natural" and "supernatural", God is completely coherent. Your definition changes the entire context of my original statement and simply confuses the argument.

Our definitions of "natural" appear to be identical.  I simply explain mine in more detail.  Materialism refers to things that behave in a coherent manner.  A "supernatural" thing that behaves in a coherent manner becomes a part of the natural, material world:  It begins to be describable scientifically, etc.

So for example, a god whose thoughts in one moment are the result of the previous moment, is a naturalistic god.  And the alternative is incoherent randomness.

Since you did not address the actual argument I made and simply rephrased the original statement, I am not sure if you accept the assumptions that I outlined. Before judging the effectiveness of God's response, we must assume we are capable of knowing the best possible answer and measure God be that standard. In essence, finite humans become the judge of an omniscient God. Christians would not say God is mimicking non-existence but that He has decided to act differently from how we would want Him to act.

Now you're talking like someone who believes in a supernatural god, by my definition.  That being, a god who cannot be understood.  Such a god shares that attribute with other things that cannot be understood, such as utter nonsense.  Are you saying your god is utterly nonsensical?

Given the false dilemma, I choose neither. Further study would illustrate the fact that many interpretations are equally plausible while maintaining the integrity of the Bible.

Interpreting its stories as non-historical accounts certainly damages its integrity as a historical account.  If you meant specific books, then my criticism may not apply.  After all, the Bible is not really a unified document.

Moving beyond a casual glance, one can see that the Bible is composed of many kinds of literature such as poetry, narrative, law, apocryphal, etc, all being necessary read in a particular way so as to honor the original intent of the author. I personally believe that the universe is billions of years old (accepting Genesis 1 as prosaic instead on strictly historical) and that there was a large flood that potentially covered the whole earth (accepting, for various reasons, that Genesis 6-9 as more historical).

Regardless of this flood business and whatever other clearly, demonstrably false beliefs you hold, and more to your point:  I'm sure there is some history in there.  But it's quite biased, no?  After all, the OT records the political and religious perspective of a single tribe.  Even today, with all our methods of verification, stuff gets slipped into commonly-accepted history that has no business being there, such as the idea that "In God We Trust" was always on American money.    Need we accept as historical fact the idea that the walls of Jericho were yelled down as well, for example?  If the "history" cannot be verified by any other source, and contains assertions that conflict with how we know the Earth to normally operate, then on what basis should it be accepted as history at all?

If it is used, it is only used in a supportive sense. Someone who has won a lottery is expected to before certain actions as a result, i.e. buy a house, car, go on vacation. If such actions are not performed, doubt may arise. These actions are not sufficient to prove anything, but if they do occur, lend viability to the stated claim. One would expect Christians to behave in a certain way if they thought Jesus had been raised from the dead. Because we seem such actions in the lives of the early Christians in particular, it provides some inferential weight to their truth claim.

No, they typically use it as if it were solid proof positive.

Sure, but I do not think I have used the Bible as a divine book in any of my arguments. I have referenced the Bible as I would any other book of historicity.

I never meant to imply that you had done so.  And I'm sure your 2nd statement is true, though doing so is utterly unjustified.  One might as well treat Epic of Gilgamesh as any other "book of historicity".  Certainly the Bible gives us some information about the cultures whose contributions were selected for inclusion in it.  But directly deferring to those cultures' accounts of events would be very irresponsible.

If you are more versed in textual form criticism and historical analysis than the scholars I have read, I will then defer to your judgment in regard to your opening statement.

Since I don't know who you've read, what their agenda was, and how prevalent their interpretations are among unbiased analysts, there's little I can draw from this.

As for part 2 on question 7, it partially falls in the genetic fallacy category. Regardless of who actually wrote it, the fact is the original writings have been dated, once again by respected scholars, to within a few decades of the actual events. Furthermore, given the known accuracy of the writing, precise authorship is a non-issue though there is little reason to doubt the authors are as believed.

"Known accuracy of the writing"? lol!  Against what standard were the details of the writing checked for accuracy?  I mean, really, do you even realize what you're saying here?  The only details available are from the very set of writings to which you refer.  So how were they checked for accuracy?

As for the unknown authorship, it is a problem when one does not have other ways of verifying the details.  It means you cannot simply trust the authority of the author(s), given their anonymity.

While apparent contradictions may appear on the surface, they are not without reasonable and rational explanations. If you prefer to start a new topic on the Gospels, I would take up specific issues there. This is not meant to sidestep the issue, but merely to allow it to be addressed fully in an appropriate thread if this a serious obstacle to believing the validity of the Bible.

Oh, I agree that it's a topic worthy of a thread of its own.  But I am not the most qualified here to debate it.  I agree that there are reasonable and rational explanations for the discrepancies between the gospels.  The reasonability and rationality of such explanations suffer when one decides apriori that the gospels must all be true.

I'm not sure how your comments relate to my statement. The Bible is a book that has withstood the tests of historical and textual analysis. I have not personally read articles on the historicity of the Book of Mormon or the Koran; however, since the Bible has been upheld under such scrutiny, contradictions in other religious writing to the Bible would seem to be false.

I was talking about the extra-biblical accounts of early Christians.  There are extra-"biblical" (for lack of a better word) accounts of the activities of early Mormons, too.  They are quite well-documented.  The same applies to early Muslims.  Do these accounts make their respective religions likely to be correct?

If not, then why did you bring it up?

I think you are confusing two statement: "God controls" and "God is in control". This is where semantics is important. A God who controls would be the type you appear to be thinking of. It is a God who dictates how everything is going to happen including how people are going to act. The God who is in control, the Christian idea of God, is one who is foundational to everything. He is the basis for lawfulness and predictability of the universe.
   
Your explanation of "God is in control" is utterly indistinguishable from mine of "God controls".  It is God's decision to continue to provide that foundation.  Being omnipotent, he could remove it or manipulate it selectively at any time.  The predictability of the universe is thus, in either case, directly dependent on the will of the deity.  Under your explanation, the god could equally decide to refrain from enforcing its "law" that your computer will turn on when you activate it, and instead enforce a "law" that it will turn into lava and run onto the floor.  Reality is no less arbitrary under what you've described.

If there was no such immutable foundation to the universe, science would be impossible. What keeps the law of gravity from constant fluctuations? Why does the speed of light never change? To answer materialistically, nothing does which means it could change at any moment. From a theistic viewpoint, God's existence provides the necessary foundation to the order and lawfulness of the universe.

This is either a lie, or you have no clue of what materialism is about, even on a most basic level of understanding.  Since you seem to be a bright lad, I'm going to tentatively go with "a lie".

There are no laws of gravity.  The speed of light may change.  What we in have science are observations of what happens in practice.  Theories and laws are descriptive, not prescriptive.  "Law" is a misnomer, often disingenuously equivocated by religious apologists with the legal definition of the word "law".

Regarding the need for a foundation, under a naturalist philosophy, physical reality is the foundation, and science describes how it works.  Since it is taken to be non-conscious and subject to cause-and-effect, we don't have to worry about the random incoherence that the momentary whims of a supernatural god could cause.

This is entering deeper philosophical territory. In libertarian free will, the choice is always made by the individual "self". "I" choose A but COULD have chosen B. No other force or caused decided for me.

And what I am saying is that the "self" has a state of being.  That state of being is what determines choices, just as you describe.  The results are not random.  Simply put, choices are determined by the definite state of what the person wants.

In determinism, there is no "I". All apparent choices are simply another step in a long, long, long chain of cause and effect. Synapse A fired so you "choose" A. In other words, you NECESSARILY choose A; it could not have happened differently, you could not have acted any other way.
 
There is still an "I" in determinism.  That "I" makes choices based on what it wants, just as in the libertarian case.  Any attempt to avoid determinism is an appeal to incoherent randomness.

1. Evolution directly may not, but Darwinian evolution is a strictly materialistic account development of life; as such, most who accept evolution also accept a materialistic worldview of which determinism follows necessarily.

Putting aside my objection above:  This has nothing whatsoever to do with evolution - Darwinian, Lamarckian, or otherwise.  It is merely a re-statement of your objection to materialism.  Why are you pretending that it is a point of its own?

2. What "causes" you to have any particular thought? It seems rational to accept that the apparent intelligent design of DNA is because it was actually intelligently designed. Additionally, information coming from an omniscient God seems more plausible than information coming from an undirected, random process.

What causes me to have a particular thought are (1) my thought-process leading up to it, and (2) inputs that may have altered that thought process.
And no macroscopic process ever observed has been random.  For example, structures in exposed sedimentary rocks may show beautifully complex sequences of truncating, parallel curves:



Yet, this happened through a gradual and natural process rather than by the deliberate arrangement of a geological artist.  It's not random - it's the result of cause-and-effect along an entropic gradient (sun evaporating water, water eroding sediments, flowing downhill and depositing them, etc.)

If all the complexity we see in the universe was directly ordered by your god, then it is entirely arbitrary and random - God's will could have been anything, unconstrained as it is by prior experience and inputs.  The odds that things are the way they are would be basically 1/infinity without such materialistic constraints.

Once again, I fail to see how determinism follows from omniscience. If I happen to know that you will receive a car on your birthday, it does not follow that I have either caused you to receive a car on your birthday or necessitated that you will receive a car on your birthday. All that my foreknowledge guarantees is that you will get a car. I could just as easily had known you were getting a bike. Likewise with omnipotence, while I may possess the ability to determine all things, I does not follow that I necessarily must determine all things. I can decide not to interfere,

Omniscience does not cause determinism, I agree.  Rather, it requires determinism.  If you know that I will receive a car on my birthday, then receiving a car on my birthday must have been pre-determined.  If it wasn't, then you couldn't know for sure that it would happen.  Omniscience extends this to every minute detail of existence.  All must have been pre-determined in order for pre-knowledge to be possible.

As much as I enjoy the challenge of covering such a wide range of topics in one post, might I suggest that it be pruned to one or two of particular interest as to allow a more focused discussion.

Also, to all the challenges to my original post by others, I will try my best to respond appropriately and as my time allows. Thanks

Yeah, this has a lot of topics.
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Offline b2

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #79 on: October 15, 2011, 11:48:14 AM »
TS,

Don't get the differing problem. You and 5 of your friends go to an event. I then ask you to describe the event. They will all differ. Some will include things you don't and will exclude things and details you put in. Are you all liars? of course not. But your documented evidence differs and seems to contradict each other. Does it, no. I'm not pretending that all examples in the Bible are that easy. But some are. and others may just be perceived as contradictions. Can you assure me you have ruled out all those possibilities in every case?

Online Azdgari

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #80 on: October 15, 2011, 11:49:55 AM »
A point about prayer, b2:

There is a difference between the way God answers prayer. I have witnessed the answer to prayer many times. You will say that is just happenstance that what I prayed for actually happened, but that is a convenient argument.

A football game is on.  The coaches of both teams pray that their team will win.  One of them wins, the other loses.

Is the coach of the winning team justified in considering his prayer to have resulted in divine intervention - to have been answered?

Care to answer?
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Offline Ivellios

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #81 on: October 15, 2011, 11:51:01 AM »
Actually, that was pretty funny Blaziken_rjcf...I have to laugh at that...and I admit, you have some of those here on your site too...beware...

proof...ok. lets start with the bible. It is a book that was written over a thousand years, by different men, of different cultures, different beliefs, and yet when put together, is extremely cohesive in general. yet you don't allow this as proof of anything.  lets set aside the event at which the books of the bible were chosen. It would be like me saying, you can't prove a scientific theory using science. All science books are bogus. They all lie and are developed to deceive. and to be honest, science is nothing more than discovering what God has created and knows already. We're finally catching up to HIM. So lets start there. I imagine one could say, if you are trying to prove that God exists, then you can't start with "in the beginning God"....

But that's not what is being done in my case. I read the bible, many times through, and although I find some odd things in there, nothing is serious enough to invalidate the claims of Christ, the gospel writers, the epistles of Paul, Johns writing, Timothy, James. After reading the books, to me they support one another and draw the same conclusions. And then there's the empty tomb thing....

But its not fair of me to proceed and go off on a tangent. Why exactly can one not specific books of the bible to validate others?.

Many of this can be said of Santa Claus. Go to Germany, Mexico, USA, almost any nation that has Christians practicing in it. As any of over 1 Billion people: Who wears a red suit and says, "Ho Ho Ho?"

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different cultures, different beliefs,

This is a laughable joke. All Jews. All child indoctrinated into that culture. In a society where there is no Religious freedom and even so, with indoctrination it's difficult to have anything but: A Jew begats a Jew. A Christian begats a Christian. A Muslim begats a Muslim. Hmmm. I wonder why that is?

Next using the Bible to prove the Bible is like using Dune to prove Dune. It cannot be "more historically accurate than history" if it cannot be verified on the outside.

Offline Aaron123

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #82 on: October 15, 2011, 11:57:50 AM »
So if I understand you all correctly, you do worship  a God. The God of Reason, logic and science. Alas, i imagine, just another one to throw on the brush pile. lets see....human (the created) demands that the creator (GOD) provide evidence to their satisfaction....Wow...you guys crack me up. You are an arrogant bunch. But strangely entertaining.

At this point, I think you're getting heated.  Believe me, I understand how easy it is to get heated with this sort of subject.  But at some point, it might be best to step back, take a breather, then go back in with a cooler head.


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After all the writings of educated men aka scholars defending both sides of the argument Does God Exist, you somehow think this forum is coming up with fresh new ideas to disprove GOD? It's never going to happen.


Did anyone say that they using fresh new ideas concerning the non-existence of god?  I don't think they did.  I think most, if not all, of the ideas presented on both sides are very old, and have been debated long before any of our great-grandparents were born.  This shouldn't be surprising, as christianity had almost 2,000 years to be debated.



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The bible makes reference to this in many places. It warns of people who deceive and try to twist GODs truth. This is nothing more than that. The Creator has seen you coming a mile off, and called you out long before you were even born my friends. I realize some of you may not see yourselves as trying to twist the truth or deceive others, but that is the ultimate effect. 

As GOD says in HIS book, you are either with him or against him, no middle ground. And that really bothers alot of you. Yet you display no middle ground in your arguments...well at least most of you.Somehow, you have deceived yourselves into thinking that we live in the middle or gray area. You have chosen to be against HIM. No sweat, that's a choice you make based on your thought process and evidence.  However, for all the science and Education and logic we use, it has not improved the human condition one bit. After all, the point of Athiesm surely has some added benefits to it other than trying to unsuccessfully disprove the existence of GOD right. Otherwise, this would only be a side show, a self serving endeavor. There is a greater good here correct? Ahhh yes, to rid the world of one more non-sensical believer is probably the greater good I imagine. hey, everyone has their hobby's.

Now this, I have to warn you, is considered "preaching" around here, and not looked upon very kindly.  You also need to keep in mind, that we don't believe that your god exists, so such statements are unlikely to "send a shiver up the spine", if that's what you're thinking.  Imagine, if you will, a Muslim trying to convert you to the Islamic faith.  You say no, and then he delivers the same statement that you've gave above.  Do you think he has a point, or do you think he's just venting?
Being a Christian, I've made my decision. That decision offers no compromise; therefore, I'm closed to anything else.

Offline One Above All

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #83 on: October 15, 2011, 12:04:59 PM »
Actually, that was pretty funny Blaziken_rjcf...

A theist who gets my name right! You'd get a +1 just for that, but most of the rest of your post is utter garbage, as I have explained below

I have to laugh at that...and I admit, you have some of those here on your site too...beware...

"some of those"? Who would "those" be?


proof...ok. lets start with the bible.

Let's start with the Qur'an. I like it more.
In case you didn't get it: The Qur'an has all the properties you ascribe to the Bible. Why isn't it just as valid to you?

It is a book that was written over a thousand years,

True. So was the Qur'an.

by different men,

True. So was the Qur'an.

of different cultures,

Probably not true.

different beliefs,

Blatant lie. If they had different beliefs, the Bible would have more contradictions than it already does.

and yet when put together, is extremely cohesive in general.

So is the Qur'an. In fact, any book by multiple authors is "extremely cohesive in general" when you ignore all the blatant contradictions like (in the Bible's case) man being created before all the animals, then the animals being created before man. Note that that's just off the top of my head. There are literally hundreds of other contradictions, if you're willing to actually read the Bible.

yet you don't allow this as proof of anything.

I allow it as proof that the Bible exists and that the men who wrote them really had those beliefs. However, you cannot use the Bible to prove that the information in it is true. You need multiple contemporary sources, all of them agreeing with each other. You also need physical evidence, like evidence of weapons fire etc in case of a battle.

lets set aside the event at which the books of the bible were chosen.

We probably should, considering they're not real.

It would be like me saying, you can't prove a scientific theory using science.

False analogy.

All science books are bogus. They all lie and are developed to deceive.

Now we have conspiracy theories...

and to be honest, science is nothing more than discovering what God has created and knows already. We're finally catching up to HIM. So lets start there. I imagine one could say, if you are trying to prove that God exists, then you can't start with "in the beginning God"....

And we come back to your arrogance in assuming you're right, despite the mountains of evidence to the contrary

But that's not what is being done in my case. I read the bible, many times through, and although I find some odd things in there, nothing is serious enough to invalidate the claims of Christ, the gospel writers, the epistles of Paul, Johns writing, Timothy, James. After reading the books, to me they support one another and draw the same conclusions. And then there's the empty tomb thing....

Of course nothing is serious enough to invalidate their claims. Like, for example, the fact that there's virtually no record of Jesus. Or that a rib woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a tree that gave her knowledge of good and evil. Or that she then told her husband to eat from it, despite having knowledge of good and evil, thus proving that she was doing the right thing (since she was built perfectly). Or that the Earth is most definitely not 6000 years old; there were other civilizations 6000 years ago, you know

But its not fair of me to proceed and go off on a tangent. Why exactly can one not specific books of the bible to validate others?.

Read above
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

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Offline One Above All

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #84 on: October 15, 2011, 12:07:44 PM »
So if I understand you all correctly, you do worship  a God. The God of Reason, logic and science.

Disregarding the enormous error there, I demand my tax exemption status. My home is a place of worship to all atheists and as such, deserves tax exemption status
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

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Offline Ivellios

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #85 on: October 15, 2011, 12:13:11 PM »
TS,

Don't get the differing problem. You and 5 of your friends go to an event. I then ask you to describe the event. They will all differ. Some will include things you don't and will exclude things and details you put in. Are you all liars? of course not. But your documented evidence differs and seems to contradict each other. Does it, no. I'm not pretending that all examples in the Bible are that easy. But some are. and others may just be perceived as contradictions. Can you assure me you have ruled out all those possibilities in every case?

Friend A: There were 3 Guitars, 1 Bass, 1 set of Drums and Keyboard.
Friend B: There were 2 Guitars, 1 Bass, 2 Sets of Drums.
Friend C: There were 3 Guitars, 2 Keyboards, 1 Vocal[1].
Friend D: There was 1 Guitar, 2 Bass, 1 Keyboard, No drums.
Me: There were 2 Guitars, 1 Bass, 1 Set of Drums and each performer also participated in vocals.

We all agree, there were no equipment changes during concert.

Is anyone lying? At least 4 of us. Maybe all of us. Intentionally? Maybe not, maybe some or all of us got high. However you cut is, thare are not 5 "truths" there is only one and it doesn't give a **** about anyone's feelings.

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But some are. and others may just be perceived as contradictions. Can you assure me you have ruled out all those possibilities in every case?

Of course not. I don't need to. I just needed enough to know beyond a reasonable doubt... but no... I know beyond a shadow of a doubt it was just written by superstitious, powerhungry, sexist, racist, warmongering, control freaks. As I said, I'm not going to eat a chocolate bar from a pile of ****. Regardless of how much I like chocolate. All it takes is one rotten apple to ruin the whole barrel. All there needed to be was one thing wrong from an "inerrant" Bible.

Edit: In saying that, no there's lots and lots and lots of contradictions and well... I guess telling you that it proposes "Flat Earth Hypothesis" just wasn't enough. Sorry, I've been around the Earth. I know it's a sphere and I know we're not living under some solid dome as high as you can build a mud and brick tower.
 1. indicating did not play an instrument
« Last Edit: October 15, 2011, 12:23:29 PM by TruthSeeker »

Offline jetson

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #86 on: October 15, 2011, 12:15:11 PM »
B2,

It is nice to see you responding, but you will need to start supporting your assertions and claims if you want them to be considered.  Contrary to what you seem to believe about the members here, every one of them is willing to consider anything provided by an opposing view.  But just saying it, an then using ad-hominem attacks holistically over members is just going to make the members ridicule your approach.

It's really a bad idea to generalize what this group does or does not believe without much of a history of posting here.