Author Topic: Jesus' resurrection  (Read 3806 times)

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Offline Astreja

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #87 on: October 15, 2011, 12:27:22 PM »
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).

(Springy G's mouth drops open in amazement)  That's right!  Eve ate the magic fruit before she offered it to Adam, didn't she?  So she supposedly already knew the difference between good and evil when she did that.

That would suggest that Biblegod actually tainted this mythical snack with a propensity to mischief right from the beginning.  Perhaps Yahweh is actually a trickster god.
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Offline One Above All

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #88 on: October 15, 2011, 12:33:20 PM »
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).

(Springy G's mouth drops open in amazement)  That's right!  Eve ate the magic fruit before she offered it to Adam, didn't she?  So she supposedly already knew the difference between good and evil when she did that.

That would suggest that Biblegod actually tainted this mythical snack with a propensity to mischief right from the beginning.  Perhaps Yahweh is actually a trickster god.

Not to mention that her husband listened to her, and he was also built perfectly. So either YHWH is evil or he wanted puppets[1].
 1. Disregarding the obvious third choice - he's not real
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
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Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #89 on: October 15, 2011, 12:38:46 PM »
So if I understand you all correctly, you do worship  a God. The God of Reason, logic and science.

At most, you could say that that's true in a metaphorical sense, but in all likelihood, most (including me) would not even allow that much.  Skepticism means not taking anything on faith.

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lets see....human (the created) demands that the creator (GOD) provide evidence to their satisfaction....Wow...you guys crack me up.

Yes, the basic idea is that we won't believe something unless and until we have some reason to think that it's true.  Why is that so peculiar?

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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.

In all likelihood, you're correct.  I've been at this for some years now, and I almost never come across a concept that I haven't heard before.  The last time it happened was some months ago on one of my podcasts, and the topic was so obscure that I'm not terribly surprised that I hadn't encountered it before.  I don't even remember when the last time was before that.  It was probably when I was in college.

However, it's not merely a question of whether anyone finds anything new.  It's also a question of enlightening people who think they have good ideas but actually don't.  For example, I've lost count of how many people I've encountered who think that Pascal's Wager is a slam-dunk, when it actually doesn't even count as a deflated basketball.

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Or is it debating you enjoy.

I do enjoy it, but not for its own sake; I wish to accomplish something.  Debating for the sake of debating would simply be a waste of time considering how many other interests I have.  (How did Jane know that Red John isn't really dead?)

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You are pretty smooth debaters. I'll give you that. No question about that.

Thank you.  It's a skill that does take a fair amount of time and effort to develop.

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But you miss the basic point. You either believe in God, or you don't.

No, we understand that, although there are a lot of people who don't.

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You have seen evidence to your satisfaction that HE does not.

Correcting another misconception, here: very few atheists insist that God does not exist.  If my admittedly-anecdotal experience is any measure, I'd say it's probably fewer than one in twenty.  Most atheists, including me, simply say that they lack theistic belief because they haven't been convinced by any evidence or argumentation.

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I have seen evidence to my satisfaction that HE does.

If it's evidence to your own satisfaction, then it isn't really evidence.

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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?

Pursuit of truth is an end unto itself.

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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.

That's fine, so long as you're familiar with, and follow, the rules of the forum.

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I have children who will someday have to face criticism about their religion, and I want to see first hand the objections to GOD.

I hope your education is proceeding well.

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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.

Yes, we're all familiar with those scriptures.

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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.

Well, since he's omniscient, I would assume that that's the case, yes.

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As GOD says in HIS book, you are either with him or against him, no middle ground.

The "middle ground" is saying that the book is a work of fiction, in which case taking sides is not only unnecessary, it's actually kind of silly.

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However, for all the science and Education and logic we use, it has not improved the human condition one bit.

You've got to be kidding.  As little as a hundred years ago, the average life expectancy was only a little over half what it is now.  We've wiped out smallpox and are on the verge of wiping out polio.  Other communicable diseases are being brought under control with vaccination and in all likelihood will be exterminated in time as well.  Some diseases and disorders, such as appendicitis, that were once highly life-threatening can now be resolved with minimal difficulty.  Stem cell research is opening up all kinds of health improvements, some of which would have been regarded as science fiction as little as twenty years ago.  Even childbirth has become significantly safer than it used to be.  All this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ways that science and education and logic has improved the human condition.  (Religion, on the other hand, hasn't done squat, and is as often as not at the forefront of the opposition to the advances that science is making.)

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After all, the point of Athiesm surely has some added benefits to it other than trying to unsuccessfully disprove the existence of GOD right.

Atheism has no point at all.  Atheism is simply lack of belief in deities, nothing more, nothing less.  If you proceed from there and say, "The world would be better without religion because of X, Y, and Z", you are certainly basing your argument on atheism, but that is not what atheism is actually about.

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I imagine you will think I am being condescending.

Somewhat.  It's OK, we're used to it.

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Knowledge, or the feeling of being smarter than those stupid Christians, permeates the Atheistic phenomenon to be sure.

I know.  It's an occupational hazard.  You'll have to forgive us.  Christianity is the doctrine that everything that is wrong with the world has, as its root cause, a woman being convinced by a talking snake to eat a piece of fruit from a magical tree.  It's hard not to feel intellectually superior to someone who believes something so bizarre.  I personally try to remain humble and keep things in perspective -- Brain Dunning recently did an excellent episode of "Skeptoid", where he demonstrated that there's a difference between believing stupid things and being a stupid person -- but it can be difficult.

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I don't however take this personally. It's not about me after all.

Glad to see you understand that.  (I sometimes forget it myself.)

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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.

There is far too much animus in this debate, and I like to do my part to provide an alternative voice, even as I recognize that the conflictual element also serves a necessary purpose.

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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?

The only thing that all atheists have in common is lack of belief in deities (all deities, not just Yahweh).  Beyond that, anything goes.  While it's true that most atheists reject all forms of the supernatural as well, for example, it is not universally the case, and if you look long enough, you'll find atheists who believe in ghosts, atheists who believe in reincarnation, and so on.

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I admit, you are a curious bunch.

Indeed we are.  We question everything.  ;-)

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Thank you for enlightening me to how your world operates.

Anytime.

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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.

We are no more against Yahweh than we are against Voldemort or Darth Vader.  You cannot regard someone as an enemy if you do not believe that he exists.
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Offline Historicity

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #90 on: October 15, 2011, 01:59:58 PM »
I do enjoy it, but not for its own sake; I wish to accomplish something.  Debating for the sake of debating would simply be a waste of time considering how many other interests I have.  (How did Jane know that Red John isn't really dead?)
Because someone stole the red headed murderer's gun to set Jane up for murder.  It could've been someone just stealing a gun as a sneak thief but it was likely that Red John's acolyte network was active.  When the CBI found the probable thief murdered by someone he knew it looked like Red John covering the trail.   When a blind woman who was Red John's lover tried to ID the body she said it was the wrong man.



Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #91 on: October 15, 2011, 02:25:20 PM »
Because someone stole the red headed murderer's gun to set Jane up for murder.  It could've been someone just stealing a gun as a sneak thief but it was likely that Red John's acolyte network was active.  When the CBI found the probable thief murdered by someone he knew it looked like Red John covering the trail.

Makes sense.  Of course, that just leaves us with a bunch of other questions, but they're all separate from how Jane knew what was going on.

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When a blind woman who was Red John's lover tried to ID the body she said it was the wrong man.

Right, I remember that, of course, but that came after Jane first voiced his conviction that Red John was still alive.

Anyway, back to the subject, to avoid derailing the thread...
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline RaymondKHessel

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #92 on: October 15, 2011, 08:05:30 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?

So you're suggesting that your god, when "inspiring" the Single Most Important Message (tm) to it's supposedly beloved creation, the one great slice of communication that it intends to spread it's Word down through the ages...

The book that is supposed to bring his widdle wost sheep back to the flock to "think like children" (this action allegedly being the one thing that this god "wants" more than anything else EVAH!)...

You're suggesting that when the all-singing, all-dancing Creator of All That Is writes his one Big Book, it allows for it's ghost writers to simply "forget" s**t? Or otherwise record faulty information?

What kind of sloppy ass editing is that lol?

I propose that if ANY holy book was actually written by a GOD, it would be the most universally inspiring, emotionally overwhelming, enlightening and eye-opening piece of literature in the history of all existence.

You wouldn't be able to read the thing without stopping every 20 seconds to catch your breath. Translations would be flawless, all the time, because a god, especially a super tight-assed and facist one like Yahweh, would NEVER allow a man to put errors in his biography. This is the sinister deity who smote a poor bastard just for catching the Ark of the Covenant as it was falling.

If the bible was written or inspired by a *GOD*, you simply would not be able to deny it's amazingness, and surely it would be absolutely unique among books; there would be NOTHING else like it. There couldn't be.

Now I'm sure there's going to be some sort of profession of amazement with the bible... I'm sure it IS *your* favorite book.

But the majority of the planet disagrees. And an often listed reason is simply "It's just not a very good book."

It's poorly written 14th century English is an odd choice to stick with, the lack of narrative structure is rather confusing (actually had a Christian friend laugh and say "DUDE, you're not supposed to read it in order from front to back! Come on!  :o) it's chock full of unlikeable and unsympathetic main characters, morally bankrupt bronze age societal laws, terrible science, hundreds upon hundreds of gaping plotholes and internal contradictions, and just straight up, poor writing. 

You need armies of translators, interpreters, apologists and preachers to make heads or tails of what it all "really" says, because apparently just reading the words that are there and assuming that the authors said X Y or Z because they MEANT X Y or Z ... Apparently this is wrong. And allll these "biblical scholars" who Christians depend on for clarity of their god's message, after like SIXTEEN HUNDRED YEARS of translating and interpreting and apologia and preaching, STILL can't come to a universally agreed-upon version of the book?

I'm sorry man, that's just freaking embarassing. You'd really think Yahweh would have shown up by now to set the record straight.

And yet... The hills are strangely quiet in this regard. Odd.  :-\

Most Christians say you need to read the thing over and over and over for YEARS to get a proper understanding of the source material (clear cut example of brainwashing there), and every denomination reads it differently anyway.

An all powerfull all knowing super being couldn't write a book straight forward enough that even the most mentally meager of it's sheep would read it and have a chance to understand Yahweh's messages in their entirity? It couldn't just SAY WHAT IT MEANS via words?   

lulz... Even Paris Hilton can write a book with a beginning, middle, and an end, that doesn't require translators or apologists or interpreters to make sense of it... It might even actually hold your attention if you're bored enough, even though it might as well be written in Crayon by a monkey.

Yet a god can't???

Of course it could. But something divinely coherent with universal appeal is not what we got, is it? We got a giant, bloated, convoluted mess of a murderbook/fablebook that apparently requires YEARS of "schooling" to "get", and is so vague and so chock full of loop holes that there's room for over 38,000 interpretations of what it means. 

Sigh... Yes, I know, I know, YOU think it's the greatest thing ever. You've polished up the mountains of awful within the confines of your brain washed consiousness, and you think it's just the most awesomest, incredible book in the history of books and it makes you feel loved big huggy bunches and you quiver with anticipation every time you turn the page.  &)

I suppose if I REALLY had myself convinced that a giant malicious space elf was going to send my eternal essence screaming into a pit of napalm BBQ for all eternity, where thorny-cocked demons raped my nostrils for the rest of time, I'd find a way to be a super-fan of that terrible manuscript, too.
 
But the truth is, the rest of us, the billions and billions standing OUTSIDE your spooky cult bubble, it's just a crappy book. Sorry, I'm not trying to offend, I'm rendering my honest review of the material. It's just not good. It's not even "decent". As a piece of literature, the bible is one of the most boring and meandering books I've ever had the displeasure of reading. I've read it several times (I'm a glutton for punishment), and it gets WORSE every time.

Big huge important question here: Why didn't your god make it's One Great Communique' to it's darling creation universal and timeless? I mean, it KNEW it wouldn't be writing a sequal right? Well, past part 2 I guess 'cos apparently Yahweh didn't get it perfect the first time (no surprise there, screwing stuff up and then smiting his way out of it is practically O.T. Yahweh's defining character trait lol).

But why is everything told within the context of bronze age jewish goat herders? Endless analogies to farming and livestock... No mention of anything outside of the ancient Middle East... No talk of magnificient South American water falls, or the Grand Canyon, which you can't deny would be pretty convincing just by themselves...

"Stuff 4:18 And Truly, I say unto you, across the furthest Eastern seas, across more horizons than man may cross in this day, I tell you will be found a chasm in the Earth so great that blah blah blah blah."

Or how about mentioning anything going on in the far East? There was a TON of fascinating stuff going on over there in Jesus alleged day, and there's zero mention of any of it. This really isn't a surprise I suppose since the Yahweh character obviously hates Asians, having sent probably 95% of them to hell over the millennia as Christianity didn't even become 1% of the population until the early 1900's.

There's virtually *nothing* on the rest of the world or what's going on in it (because the authors had no knowledge of the world) and when it tries to get universal and addresses cosmology, it fails. Miserably. EVERY time.

Anyway, my point here is, for being a god? Your guy REALLY sucks at writing compelling literature. He actually writes exactly like you'd expect a big conglomeration of mysoginistic, slave-owning, child-marrying, homophobic, genocidal primitives and Jewish Rabbis with sticks up their collective asses, looking to maintain a vice grip on their tribes' loyalties and behaviors.

It is one UGLY book. U.G.L.Y., and it ain't got no aliby, it's UGLY. And I'm supposed to believe it was written by a PERFECT super-being? It boggles the mind how someone could be played for such a rube.

I dunno. Maybe Constantine should have hired playwrites to edit the Rabbi's tribal myths before they frankensteined the bible together in the first place... I'd still never believe stories about boats that carry 60,000 species of spider on them or that having a Rabbi spit in your eyes will heal you, or that you can produce striped goats by making them fornicate in front of striped sticks...

But at least maybe hiring professional writers would have made it a more entertaining work of fiction. One people would actually be interested in reading. 


Try "On The Road" by Jack Kerouac. Now THAT is a book. And reading it actually had the unanticipated effect of making my life better, and more enjoyable!

   
« Last Edit: October 15, 2011, 08:30:30 PM by RaymondKHessel »
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Offline Ivellios

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #93 on: October 15, 2011, 09:44:53 PM »
Yeah, if it was the only book that everybody in the world could read, without having to learn the original language. Even if illeterate people would be able to understand it. The Blind able to read it, because they're not really reading it, it's just a meduim for God to communicate directly to you, but he says in the Second Covenant there will be no need of even that. He says he will tell everyone what they need to know, in thier heart. There will be no need for one person to have to tell anyone else about God because God will tell them everything already. With only 1 Billion Christians, if this is the "Second Covenant" God has failed miserably.

Offline Brakeman

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #94 on: October 15, 2011, 10:34:40 PM »
(Springy G's mouth drops open in amazement)  That's right!  Eve ate the magic fruit before she offered it to Adam, didn't she?  ..

Why would the tree need to bear any fruit in the first place? In the garden of Eden there was no death, and the garden of eden was perfect, so logically there was already the exact number of trees that was just right for the garden. No need for reproduction and no need for fruit.

Why did Adam and Eve need to eat anything?  We now know that we are made of billions of live cells and that digestion to power our bodies requires the death of many thousands just to line our stomaches with an acid barrier so we don't digest our stomach along with the food.

Why would the magic fruit cause Adam and Eve to become self conscious about their bodies? What was wrong with being naked, especially in front of only your mate?  Makes no sense does it?
« Last Edit: October 15, 2011, 10:36:15 PM by Brakeman »
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Offline RaymondKHessel

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #95 on: October 16, 2011, 09:45:20 AM »
And if being naked is wrong, why did Yahweh have them walking around the garden... well... WRONG?

Private joke maybe? Like strapping a dildo to your dog's forehead or something?  :laugh:
 
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Offline jetson

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #96 on: October 16, 2011, 10:22:41 AM »
And if being naked is wrong, why did Yahweh have them walking around the garden... well... WRONG?

Private joke maybe? Like strapping a dildo to your dog's forehead or something?  :laugh:
 

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #97 on: October 16, 2011, 09:21:03 PM »
WRT the Bible, it's hard to beat words that were once written in a review of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged: "This is not a book to be set aside lightly.  Rather, it should be thrown, with great force."  It does have its moments, I guess, in a "blind squirrel finds an acorn once in awhile" sense.  Jesus is given a few pithy things to say, most of them perfectly suited for attacking the attitudes of the very people who profess to worship him.  There's a certain humor in the scene where Yahweh offers to let Moses see his ass, because it's not quite as fatally Medusa-ugly as his face.  And, if I were ever forced to marry in a church, to keep peace with the in-laws or whatever, the Song of Solomon would be the perfect thing for me and my bride-to-be to read to one another before taking our vows.

But...the Bible really, really, really could have used a good editor.  Think about it: were the "begats" and the chapters-long descriptions of the altars, curtains, spoons, etc. for the Tabernacle really more important to have in The Book than, say, "Thou shalt not commit rape, period, nor shalt thou be a creepy stalker, thus saith the Lord" commandment, or a simplified explanation of germ theory and basic sanitation practices, or instructions for making penicillin?
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Offline Add Homonym

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #98 on: October 17, 2011, 01:32:25 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.


I think PB has gone, after his two herculean posts; obviously causing a hernia.

I shall address "Effects of God may include, but not limited not to, the Bible, Jesus, the resurrection, morality, visions, apparent design in nature, miracles."

Obviously, an atheist has to see no effects of God.

1. Bible

What you have to demonstrate is that humans are not capable of fabricating such a work. Indeed, Mohammed challenged others to write a more perfect book than the Quran. (Yes, irony)

The NT is composed of a synoptic gospel which is the same book cut and pasted a few times. Justin Martyr quotes from 2 more variants in his dialogue with Trypho. It would be ridiculous to say that each variant came from an eye-witness. The synoptic gospel accounts for one book, which is at odds with the other book, John. John writes from Greece, from a safe distance, where he can avoid being stoned by Jews. He proclaims Jesus as a God. We have only his word for this, and it's unlikely that he was an eye-witness. His accounts of how Jesus worked, contradict the synoptic. Paul in his own writings, doesn't quote or seem to know anything about a physical Jesus, and his epistles could have been fabricated by Marcion around 140AD. They are not a testament to anything, but a development of personal theology. The work of Acts is said to contain too many intricate details to have been faked, but could have been faked by someone who did a similar travel activity. There is even less evidence of Paul outside the NT than Jesus. At least some people bothered to fake the Testimonium Flavianum. Revelations, I don't need to explain.

Thus, to consider whether the NT could have been entirely faked, you only have to consider 3 books - one of which is obviously a fake, anyway: John. That leaves Acts and the synoptic. If the synoptic is not faked, it gives varying accounts of Jesus, enough to give a clue that most of it was invented by later cut-and-pasters. For example, the core of Christianity, the Sermon, although sounding Christian, was obviously inserted by someone who copied it into a version of Mark. Does this mean it really came from Jesus?

2. Jesus

Jesus really doesn't exist outside the one book worth considering as evidence of his existence: the synoptic.

3. the resurrection

The resurrection was not even believed by those who supposedly witnessed it, and Jesus looked different.

4. morality

Morality can be explained in the following way: suppose I woke up this morning, and there was no morality. My life would go a bit like this:

Got out of bed. Kicked the cat. Ate breakfast. Wandered down the street and went into a security shop. Asked the guy if he had a gun and a Taser. Walked out of the store, after shooting him. Tested the Taser on a woman. Had my way with her, while she was on the ground. Ate her hand, because I was feeling a bit peckish. Went into another shop. Walked out with a TV. Shot the security manager. Put the TV on the ground and did something indecent in the main street. Needed to get home, so I smashed a car window and stole a car. I ran over 3 people on the way home, because it was fun. When I got out of the car, I needed help lifting the TV, so I threatened my neighbour with the Taser. While I had my backed turned, he hit me on the head with an axe, and took my TV.

Do Christians seriously suppose that animals and society can exist for very long without some tacit rules? What rules has God supplied us? Well, surprisingly, they are all rules designed to further society, rather than the design of tea pots. If we can intuit the reason for the rules, then we can derive them ourselves. What we find about God's law, is that they are not laws which we find difficult to understand. God could keep order within our society by proposing rules that we would find incomprehensible, but never-the-less somehow worked. This would be evidence of God. What rules "God" actually has given us are rules that accord with our animal and selfish sexual sensibilities, and to a large extent we still transgress, anyway. They are all crap rules that we would have made up, and are no better than what chimps and dogs do.

In proposing that morals come from God, a Christian is saying that we are not capable of working out that killing our parents and everyone we meet, is a bad thing.

5.  visions

Hallucinations

6. apparent design in nature

In this case, a Christian is asking us to believe that a square dolphin would survive. Apparent design comes from an extension of the "anthropic principle", that we cannot see species which don't work, because they are all dead. Anything that is around us today must appear designed, or it dies. Apparent design is a euphemism for life. If DNA is capable of fine tuning the "design" so that species continue to survive, then a Christian has to show that there is some design which cannot be explained. However, Christians who attempt to do this seem not educated enough to demonstrate it. This is a new form of argument, known as argument ad not smart enough.

7. miracles

*cough* What miracles? Someone who sees a miracle has to buy into the idea, firstly, that they are not being conned, and secondly that their miracle was double blind placebo controlled, and was really a miracle, rather than something said to be a miracle. If miracles are proof of God, then lets see some real ones.

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Offline PhilosoB

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #99 on: October 17, 2011, 02:51:40 AM »
     In respect to the sheer number of reasonable responses, challenges, and critiques, I am simply not able to provide the necessary attention that each one deserves. Proper arguments to each response cannot be done in a few sentences without degenerating to assertions that lack appropriate references and therefore must be taken at face value. Such responses are inadequate and do a disservice to the significance of the topic.

     I have simplified my response to address the Bible’s historicity, which appears to be a significant objection to Christianity, and the stated topic of this thread, “Jesus’ Resurrection.". I hope this will suffice.

     I apologize if the length is too long to hold interest and/or inappropriate in this format of discussion. I felt there was a need to provide a more comprehensive answer to these important ideas.



     C. Sanders, in Introduction to Research in English Literary History, gives three basic principles for historiography: the bibliographical test, internal evidence test, and external evidence test. The bibliographical test examines how the text has been transmitted in order to reach us today; the internal evidence test checks for coherence within the historical text itself; the external evidence test studies other historical sources to crosscheck the text in question in regards to accuracy, reliability, and authenticity. (Further elaboration on the specific criteria of each principle can be found on the Wikipedia article for “Historical Method.”) Though these tests can be applied to the whole Bible, my purpose is to demonstrate the historicity of the New Testament in keeping with the thread topic and related issue.


     The bibliographical test uses copies, whether they are fragments or complete manuscripts, to trace the transmission of a text through history. Additionally, this test is used to provide an accurate assessment of the original autograph when the original has been lost. Since this test relies on copies through history, the more copies that are examined the more precisely we can determine how accurate our copies are in relation to the original autograph. In this regard, the New Testament is unique in all of ancient texts in several historically significant ways.

      First, over 5500 Greek fragments and manuscripts provide a wealth of information useful in tracing the original autographs. The next closest ancient text is Homer’s Iliad with less than 700 copies.

     Secondly is the closeness of the first copies to the original autographs; the closer a copy is to the source, the less time there is for copying mistakes and elaborations to enter the text. The earliest New Testament fragment can be dated even conservatively to within a hundred years of the original; entire New Testaments letters dated to c. 200 AD; most of the New Testament dated to c. 250 AD; and the entire New Testament dated to c. 325 AD, less than 300 years of the original autographs. Once again, Homer’s Iliad is the next closet text with copies dated to within 400 years of the original.

     Third, while it is acknowledged that very few copies match exactly, the sheer volume of copies allow such mistakes to be discovered as, in fact, mistakes and move us closer to the original autographs. The more frequently a word, phrase, paragraph, etc., appears across the copies, it is more likely to be from the original. No other historical text has the benefit of such a thorough analysis as the New Testament.


     The internal evidence test examines the text for coherence, contradictions and authorship among others. In order to avoid a priori assumptions of any studied text, the literary critic must give the document in question the benefit of the doubt. One should not assume upon the text any dishonesty or errors before the author has disqualified himself through contradiction or known factual errors. Furthermore, the mere appearance of contradiction is not sufficient. We must determine if we have read and interpreted the text correctly, that we are aware of all related knowledge regarding the text, and that no further advanced knowledge, research, or discovery may possibly change our understanding of the text. After all, many apparent contradictions and objections have been explained and fully resolved.

      I acknowledge the presence of difficulties in the Bible, and the New Testament, in particular. While unreasonable to address each difficulty here, I will outline a couple principles that respond more broadly to the existence of apparent contradictions.

     First, something that is unexplained does not mean it is unexplainable. With time, research, and new discoveries, many unexplained biblical passages are now clear. Just as science continues to provide further explanations to new phenomena, historical and textual analyses bring resolution to difficult biblical passages.

     Second, understand the context of the passage. A proper reading of any literature must be rooted in context. Factors such authorial intent, the author’s intended audience, cultural background of the author, type of literature, translation, and personal biases among many more must be included in a careful reading of any text.

     Third, interpret difficult passages with the knowledge of clear passages. The most important ideas and instructions are most likely to be repeated multiple times and therefore, clearer in understanding. With this knowledge, explanations of difficult passages that contradict what is clearly known can be ruled out. This principle does not tell us what the explanation is, but does instruct us as to what the explanation will not be. Keep in mind that the document maintains the benefit of the doubt until shown otherwise. Additionally, in keeping with this principle, responsible Christians do not base any major beliefs or doctrines on passages with obscure meaning.


     To understand the full extent of the New Testament’s historicity, each letter needs to be examined as separate document. In so doing, we can see there are, in fact, at least three sources for the life of Jesus (Matthew-Luke, Mark, and John; Matthew and Luke may share a common source) and four independent sources for Jesus’ resurrection (Matthew-Luke, Mark, John, and Paul’s letters). The multiple independent, first century sources attesting to the same event is of great historical significant.
The content of these sources provide further internal evidence of their accuracy.

     First, they write that Jesus was buried in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. As a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin, the ruling Jewish council responsible for persecuting the early Christians, it is unlikely that this would be included if the account of Jesus’ death and resurrection was fictitious.

     Second, the first witnesses of the empty tomb were women. Given the patriarchal culture of the time, the inclusion of such a fact could only be embarrassing to the author. Additionally, at the time, the testimony of a woman was not given any legal standing thus diminishing its authority toward its original audience but increasing the accounts’ trustworthiness by accurately recording the facts regardless of social pressures. Any inclusion of facts that would appear to be detrimental or disparaging about the author or the author’s intentions decreases the likelihood that the account is false.

     Third, the resurrection account only makes sense if the tomb is really empty for two reasons. First, the actions of Jesus’ disciples are unlikely if they had lied about Jesus’ resurrection. They went from disciples who abandoned their leader when He was arrested to followers of Jesus to the point of death. Second, the early Jewish response was to claim that the disciples had stolen the body. The point to note is that the Jewish response presupposes an empty tomb.


     The external evidence test looks at other historical texts for confirming or denying accounts of the events in question. I will simply list a few significant documents that provide substantiating accounts to the New Testament account:
•   Eusebius preserving the writings of Papias in Ecclesiastical History III.39 (130 AD)
•   Irenaeus, a student of Polycarp, who himself was a student of the disciple John: Against Heresies III, 180 AD
•   Clement of Rome (c. 95 AD)
•   Polycarp (70-156 AD)
Non-Christians who record, at least in passing, some information that can be connected to the New Testament accounts:
•   Tacitus (c. first century AD)
•   Suetonious (Life of Claudius, 25.4; Life of Nero, 16, second century AD)
•   Josephus (c. 37 – c. 100 AD)


In conclusion, the historiography of the New Testament is unique among all historical texts. The thousands of copies provide exceptional information allowing us to have remarkable certainty in reconstructing the original. To deny the historical accuracy of the New Testament is to disregard all historical texts as absolutely untrustworthy. Furthermore, while difficulties still persist, many have been resolved and the New Testament accounts remain coherent. The New Testament has been examined, analyzed, critiqued, and scrutinized like no other book in history; and yet, it withstands the test of historiography like no other book in history. It is completely reasonable to accept the New Testament as historically accurate and trustworthy.


McDowell, Josh. The New Evidence That Demands A Verdict. 1999
Craig, William Lane. "Contemporary Scholarship and the Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ," Truth 1 (1985): 89-95.

Offline Add Homonym

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #100 on: October 17, 2011, 03:43:17 AM »

     First, they write that Jesus was buried in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. As a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin, the ruling Jewish council responsible for persecuting the early Christians, it is unlikely that this would be included if the account of Jesus’ death and resurrection was fictitious.


Sigh. You can't argue whether something is true based upon how clever the author of the fiction is. In this case there were multiple authors, all critiquing each other, and slowly building the story until it reached a clever level.

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     Second, the first witnesses of the empty tomb were women. Given the patriarchal culture of the time, the inclusion of such a fact could only be embarrassing to the author. Additionally, at the time, the testimony of a woman was not given any legal standing thus diminishing its authority toward its original audience but increasing the accounts’ trustworthiness by accurately recording the facts regardless of social pressures. Any inclusion of facts that would appear to be detrimental or disparaging about the author or the author’s intentions decreases the likelihood that the account is false.


Cuts both ways. Why not pretend some non-existent women you can't question made the discovery? If you named a real man, they would question him.

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     Third, the resurrection account only makes sense if the tomb is really empty for two reasons. First, the actions of Jesus’ disciples are unlikely if they had lied about Jesus’ resurrection. They went from disciples who abandoned their leader when He was arrested to followers of Jesus to the point of death. Second, the early Jewish response was to claim that the disciples had stolen the body. The point to note is that the Jewish response presupposes an empty tomb.


What Jewish response? (Dare I ask?) Is this something also in the Bible?

Have you tried critiquing Lord of The Rings the same way? Surely Frodo must exist for some reason. Surely nobody would lie about Tom Bombadil, so the whole thing must be true. Peter Jackson even cut Tom Bombadil out of the movie, because it was so embarrassing. Testament to how real he must have been.

The authors you present, external to the Bible are a smoke-screen. None check out.

Why don't you stick to one argument you can win, instead of hitting us with a shotgun full of blanks? Start a thread on, morality, or something.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2011, 03:48:53 AM by Add Homonym »
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Offline PhilosoB

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #101 on: October 17, 2011, 04:31:59 AM »

     First, they write that Jesus was buried in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. As a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin, the ruling Jewish council responsible for persecuting the early Christians, it is unlikely that this would be included if the account of Jesus’ death and resurrection was fictitious.


Sigh. You can't argue whether something is true based upon how clever the author of the fiction is. In this case there were multiple authors, all critiquing each other, and slowly building the story until it reached a clever level.

Unfortunately, your opinion does not agree with how historical scholars determine the historicity of ancient texts. I suppose you could find some scholar who believed your collusion theory, it is opposed by the more common scholarly understanding that the New Testament is comprised of independent accounts of the same event.   


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     Second, the first witnesses of the empty tomb were women. Given the patriarchal culture of the time, the inclusion of such a fact could only be embarrassing to the author. Additionally, at the time, the testimony of a woman was not given any legal standing thus diminishing its authority toward its original audience but increasing the accounts’ trustworthiness by accurately recording the facts regardless of social pressures. Any inclusion of facts that would appear to be detrimental or disparaging about the author or the author’s intentions decreases the likelihood that the account is false.


Cuts both ways. Why not pretend some non-existent women you can't question made the discovery? If you named a real man, they would question him.

Why do you assume that these women are non-existent? Proper literary criticism gives the benefit of the doubt to the text. Your non-existent women theory seems completely arbitrary and unnecessary. Even if the women were fictional additions, the author further records two men going to check the tomb themselves.


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     Third, the resurrection account only makes sense if the tomb is really empty for two reasons. First, the actions of Jesus’ disciples are unlikely if they had lied about Jesus’ resurrection. They went from disciples who abandoned their leader when He was arrested to followers of Jesus to the point of death. Second, the early Jewish response was to claim that the disciples had stolen the body. The point to note is that the Jewish response presupposes an empty tomb.


What Jewish response? (Dare I ask?) Is this something also in the Bible?

Matthew 28:11-15 records the Jewish authority colluded with and paid Roman guards to spread the story that while the guards of the tomb slept, the disciples stole the body.


Have you tried critiquing Lord of The Rings the same way? Surely Frodo must exist for some reason. Surely nobody would lie about Tom Bombadil, so the whole thing must be true. Peter Jackson even cut Tom Bombadil out of the movie, because it was so embarrassing. Testament to how real he must have been.

I believe that you and most literary critics would be able to determine that the "Lord of the Rings" fit into the genre of fictional literature, as opposed to historical biography. That is why context is important.


The authors you present, external to the Bible are a smoke-screen. None check out.

Even if this were so, and many scholars do not agree with you, it is only supportive evidence which hardly undermines the entirety of the argument.


Why don't you stick to one argument you can win, instead of hitting us with a shotgun full of blanks? Start a thread on, morality, or something.

I think the historical evidence speaks for itself. Though I'm sure most here will agree with you.

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #102 on: October 17, 2011, 04:42:46 AM »

Have you tried critiquing Lord of The Rings the same way? Surely Frodo must exist for some reason. Surely nobody would lie about Tom Bombadil, so the whole thing must be true. Peter Jackson even cut Tom Bombadil out of the movie, because it was so embarrassing. Testament to how real he must have been.

The authors you present, external to the Bible are a smoke-screen. None check out.

Why don't you stick to one argument you can win, instead of hitting us with a shotgun full of blanks? Start a thread on, morality, or something.




http://blog.aerojockey.com/post/bombadil

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The following passage is the most significant clue about Tom's nature. This is his answer to Frodo's question, "Master, who are you?" (LOTR 129):

Eldest, that's what I am. Mark my words, my friends: Tom was here before the river and the trees; Tom remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn. He made paths before the Big People, and saw the little People arriving. He was here before the Kings and the graves and the Barrow-wights. When the Elves passed westward, Tom was here already, before the seas were bent. He knew the dark under the stars when it was fearless - before the Dark Lord came from Outside.

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One interesting thing Tom says is that he remembers the first raindrop; this means Tom actually predates the world in its current form. Almost all life on Earth needs water; therefore, we assume Tom predates life as well, at least life on land. Tom implies this when he says he remembers the first acorn. Also, he claims he was there before the river; was he there before the ocean, too?

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But what, exactly, is the "Earth"? Previous theorists have automatically accepted the account of the Earth in The Silmarillion, i.e., that it was created flat, that Melkor messed everything up so the Valar moved to the Uttermost West, and that Eru bent the flat Earth into a round sphere when the Numenorians attacked Aman.
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However, as my theory treats The Silmarillion as mythology, it cannot do that. Consider the different perspectives of the Elves and us. To the Elves, the Earth was the whole Universe. To us, the Earth is a small planet in an unimaginably vast space. Elves often use the Earth to refer to the everything that exists, because, to the Elves, the Earth was everything. We, however, have to distinguish what sense the Elves referred to the Earth in: did they mean "this big hunk of rock we walk on" or "everything that exists; the whole Universe"? Accordingly, when the Elves speak of the Early Days of Earth ("the Springtime of Arda"), do they mean the early days of the big hunk of rock we walk on, or the early days of the universe?

My theory is, when the Elves called Bombadil the "First," and when Bombadil calls himself the "Eldest," they mean he is the first and eldest in existence. The Elves might have no idea that existence could predate the Earth, but when they say "Bombadil is the First," the mean Bombadil is the First, i.e., the first to exist anywhere. Bombadil, on his part, might never mention the days before Earth existed, so as not to confuse anyone.

So, if this is true, it means that Tom existed from the Universe's early days. In this case, it becomes clear what Bombadil is. There is only one good explanation: Tom Bombadil is the Dark Matter making up 90% of the mass of the Universe.

"...but on a lighter note, demons were driven from a pig today in Gloucester."  Bill Bailey

all edits are for spelling or grammar unless specified otherwise

Offline gonegolfing

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #103 on: October 17, 2011, 10:47:18 AM »
     In respect to the sheer number of reasonable responses, challenges, and critiques, I am simply not able to provide the necessary attention that each one deserves. Proper arguments to each response cannot be done in a few sentences without degenerating to assertions that lack appropriate references and therefore must be taken at face value. Such responses are inadequate and do a disservice to the significance of the topic.

     I have simplified my response to address the Bible’s historicity, which appears to be a significant objection to Christianity, and the stated topic of this thread, “Jesus’ Resurrection.". I hope this will suffice.

     I apologize if the length is too long to hold interest and/or inappropriate in this format of discussion. I felt there was a need to provide a more comprehensive answer to these important ideas.

Quote
<ramblings snipped>
In conclusion, the historiography of the New Testament is unique among all historical texts. The thousands of copies provide exceptional information allowing us to have remarkable certainty in reconstructing the original. To deny the historical accuracy of the New Testament is to disregard all historical texts as absolutely untrustworthy. Furthermore, while difficulties still persist, many have been resolved and the New Testament accounts remain coherent. The New Testament has been examined, analyzed, critiqued, and scrutinized like no other book in history; and yet, it withstands the test of historiography like no other book in history. It is completely reasonable to accept the New Testament as historically accurate and trustworthy.


McDowell, Josh. The New Evidence That Demands A Verdict. 1999
Craig, William Lane. "Contemporary Scholarship and the Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ," Truth 1 (1985): 89-95.

I'm actually surprised that you would make such a post after the recent responses of Add Homonym, kcrady and RaymondKHessel(why no response to kc & RKH by the way? I'm expecting one)

 
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To deny the historical accuracy of the New Testament is to disregard all historical texts as absolutely untrustworthy.

Straw man. Please stop that. It's not appreciated or acceptable here at WWGHA.

Proving the truth of the christian myth and the miraculous jesus cannot be done with history. History is feeble and limited when it comes to being used as a tool to prove miraculous claims from antiquity. The claim of a bodily resurrection from the dead is a miracle claim. History is impotent when it come to proving such extraordinary ancient miracle claims. Since we do not see this event in modern times and in our reality, it can with certainty be said that there is no reason whatsoever to believe that this phenomena could occur at any time in history as well. Textual claims from a book of historical fiction is not the hard evidence that is needed to verify the possible existence this type of phenomena in our current reality, or even for that matter, in ancient Palestine 2000 years ago. Since the works in the bible we see today were formulated out of pure ancient heresay, and written after the fact at that, trying then to use the tools of history and faith are using the weakest of methods to try and prove its truth.

We do not see people bodily rising from the dead, and so it is completely rational to disbelieve the possibility of the phenomena occurring at all, ever.
We haven't disproved the possibility of a bodily resurrection of course, but, we have proved that it is completely justified to be in the position of rationally rejecting that claim by the sheer force of the complete lack of evidence to support its truth. Again, 2000 year old works of historical fiction cannot prove or be the support we need to verify the truth of the phenomena.

Since history is the only tool that christians have, then they haven't a leg to stand on with regards to the resurrection claim about the jesus character. With this realisation the theist will then claim "well you got to have faith!!". Looking for the truth of ancient miracle claims using the tools of history and faith, is an exercise in futility, and very much like like trying to find the one and only dust mite left on planet earth:--with the naked eye !.

By the way, do you disbelieve the miracles surrounding Joseph Smith, the angel Moroni, the golden plates, and the development of the book of Mormon and Mormonism ?? Much history has been written about its supposed truth, backed up with many supposed eye witness accounts, and the fact of millions of adherents. Why not believe in and choose a more recent religion to practice ? Could you be a Mormon ? Why not ?

If you can dissect and discredit and disbelieve Mormonism, a more current so called historically backed religion, why not do the same to your own christianity ? Could you be a muslim ? Why not ?

Of course you couldn't ! Because you find that the flavour of lollipop that christianity is in your mouth is what you enjoy the most. It best suits your SPAG and gives you the best options while doing the mental contortions needed to have belief in the idea of a divine dictatorial ass whooping Peeping Tom  ;)

Cheers   

"I believe that there is no God. I'm beyond atheism"....Penn Jillette.

Offline Finntroll

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #104 on: October 17, 2011, 10:55:40 AM »
The gospel and Acts descriptions of what Jesus did after the claimed resurrection are seriously contradictory. As wittness accounts they would not hold water in any court. Not even how many days Jesus spent on Earth after resurrection, did he show up in Jerusalem or Galilea and where he ascended to Heaven are not in line. No hybrid story is possible either. They nullify each other.

So, christian,  solve the so-called "Easter Challenge" (all of it, not just the bits that are insignificant) , or admit that NT stories are lousy historical proof. Or know you are a liar.
http://ffrf.org/legacy/books/lfif/?t=stone


Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #105 on: October 17, 2011, 12:13:07 PM »
Unfortunately, your opinion does not agree with how historical scholars determine the historicity of ancient texts. I suppose you could find some scholar who believed your collusion theory, it is opposed by the more common scholarly understanding that the New Testament is comprised of independent accounts of the same event.
What he said does not necessarily mean that the New Testament was a deliberate collusion between authors and editors.  The synoptic gospels were probably written separately from each other and subsequently edited in an effort to make them more cohesive and simpler to understand, which is why they've become synoptic.  Also, giving the benefit of the doubt is one thing, but when we can draw comparisons between Biblical writings and other mythological writings in terms of events and miracles, yet we have disqualified those other writings due to various problems, how can we assume that the Bible is completely accurate despite the comparisons?

Why do you assume that these women are non-existent? Proper literary criticism gives the benefit of the doubt to the text. Your non-existent women theory seems completely arbitrary and unnecessary. Even if the women were fictional additions, the author further records two men going to check the tomb themselves.
You mean, despite the fact that four gospels differ substantially on the events at the tomb, and the fact that that information is at best secondhand hearsay, we still have to give the benefit of the doubt to the text?  If you have several substantially different versions of an event, written by people who weren't there to see it but claim to have gotten the details from those who were., you most definitely do not give any of them the benefit of the doubt.

Matthew 28:11-15 records the Jewish authority colluded with and paid Roman guards to spread the story that while the guards of the tomb slept, the disciples stole the body.
This begs the question of whether the Jews actually responded at all.  This is mentioned in only one of the gospels, and none of the others mention it.  Considering the other contradictions surrounding the tomb events, it's not appropriate to count this as accurate simply because the other gospels don't mention it.

Offline Truth OT

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #106 on: October 17, 2011, 12:37:02 PM »
Considering the facts about biological/organic life forms that we know. Resurrecting from the dead of such a lifeform is impossible. The only way in could happen would have to be my non-natural, dare I say miraculous means. Given this, if one is to believe that Jesus could have been resurrected, one would have to concede that miracles happen from time to time. Why would anyone make such a concession though? We have never seen or witnessed any type of miracle, so believing they occur is very "wishful" in natural. We can wish that natural laws will one day be broken, but to expect for that to occur may very well be unwise as there is no solid reason to believe such an occurance will ever take place.
For me, I wish that Jesus' resurrection really did take place, but I believe that it was very, very, very, very, very unlikely that it did.

Offline Add Homonym

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #107 on: October 17, 2011, 10:12:03 PM »

I believe that you and most literary critics would be able to determine that the "Lord of the Rings" fit into the genre of fictional literature, as opposed to historical biography. That is why context is important.


Another load of blanks were just shot at me.

If context is so important, then why do you pretend to have the correct context? Are the gospels written as historical documents? Are they written as fiction? I've heard no author that states that they were categorically either; with their large dollops of polemic discourse, conspiracy theory, and threats of hell, they can only be of the propaganda genre, somewhat like JFK conspiracy books and 911 'truther' web sites. This means that any analysis of them is doomed to failure, because they are replete with historical-sounding information that you cannot verify, unless you have access to way-more accurate contemporary historical records - which are of course, all a government cover-up. Even if the Jews had taken extensive notes on Jesus in the Talmud, saying he was an idiot that was stoned, you would ignore all that.

In conspiracy books, the information is designed to look historical, but never quite checks out, if you have the time, resources and (most importantly) correct political bias. Their theories are honed by counter-attacks, which you have called "collusion". It's not collusion, it's a form of evolution. Conspiracy theorists know which stories work, so they bury the ideas that don't work, and carry forward with the stories that do work. They do this in unison, without collusion. They become quite diverse, after only 10 years. The NT had about 100 years, with no real history to constrain it.

The variants of the synoptic gospels are part of that evolution. Christians shoot themselves in the foot by admitting to 3 of them. I encourage you to inspect the variant/s of the synoptic that Justin used, which were none of the published ones. In his First Apology to various Romans, Justin quotes from a version of Matt that has not been published by Christians, but contains significant differences.
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0126.htm
I deal with the textual comparison, here:
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,19041.0.html
There is also his dialogue with Trypho, which contains more quotes from a Matthew-like text, and some quotes which are falsely attributed to Luke by this web site.
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0128.htm
I believe that Justin did not accept or use Luke, even though Marcion had bits of it during the same 150AD period.

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I think the historical evidence speaks for itself. Though I'm sure most here will agree with you.

If you would like to run through the fakeries of Jospehus, and the irrelevance of Tacitus and other "history", then we will be here for you.
Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.

Offline PhilosoB

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #108 on: October 18, 2011, 02:34:29 AM »
Instead of addressing specific posts, I’ve waded through the rhetoric and will cover three major objections and perhaps a couple side issues along the way.

 First, the many myth/propaganda conspiracies do not bear the weight of scrutiny on at least two counts: the inclusion of detrimental accounts and the cultural beliefs of the time. The New Testament, and the Gospels in particular, are filled with major faux pas and embarrassing accounts of the disciples which is uncharacteristic of mythological or propagandist literature; more commonly the virtues of the story’s hero are extolled and embellished. Also, the Jews were looking forward to a messiah of political and military persuasion that would overthrow the rule of the Romans. Because Jesus was so counter-cultural, it is unlikely that He was a mythical creation. These and many specific examples seriously undermine the possibility that the New Testament is either propaganda or mythology.

Second, the argument about the unimpressive and apparent conflicting nature of the New Testament and the Bible as a whole is more a philosophical challenge than a historical one. Even if there was a perfect book from God, whatever that might look like, it would not necessarily mean that more people would believe in God’s existence. Many people saw the miracles of Jesus and were not convinced. So a better revelation from God cannot be claimed to be of any necessarily greater value or evidence for God.

In regards to the lack of consensus, this is a bit of a red herring distracting us from the fact that the central tenets of the Bible are agreed upon by the vast majority of Bible-believing Christians, layman and scholars alike. Such tenets including the divine nature of the Bible; divine creation; sin; the incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus; and the existence of an afterlife. Absolute consensus of every aspect is not necessary to validate the central truths of the New Testament. Just as the meaning of the U.S. Constitution is continuously being debated, it does not undermine it as the supreme guiding document of the United States. In fact, such debate demonstrates the significance and value of the Constitution.

Addressing apparent contradictions again, before a clear contradiction can be declared it must be determined that we have all related knowledge pertaining to the text in question and reason to accept that no future study or research could provide resolution to the conflict. This is a high standard to achieve.

As a quick side note, God, as perfect judge, will hold each person accountable to how much was revealed to them. Therefore, the people of Israel and the tribes of the Amazon will be judged accordingly to how God has revealed Himself to each person. The issue of the Bible’s focus on the people of Israel and exclusion of other people groups is another example of an apparent Bible difficulty with an answer available to those that really want to find it.

Third, if a theistic worldview is not rejected a priori, the miracle of the resurrection is a valid and reasonable explanation for the New Testament accounts. As a definition, a miracle is the special acts of God in the world. As one should expect, miracles do not happen all the time. In fact, the possibility of miracles presupposes a natural order to things. If such order was not present, it would be impossible to recognize a miracle.

Furthermore, this natural order does not exclude the possibility of miracles as an appropriate explanation to particular events unless one does so a priori by assuming a closed system. Also, just because nearly all people have died and not raised back to life does not provide sufficient evidence to exclude the possibility or even plausibility of resurrection occurring. The case for resurrection must be weighed according to the evidence, not the statistics.

Offline Finntroll

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #109 on: October 18, 2011, 04:19:14 AM »
Personally I'm not dead against Jesus rising from the grave. I allways thought it would be cool. Provided it is not linked to the fundamentalist doctrine and threats such as if one does not believe it, one spends eternity in Hell. I never thought the resurrection to have universal meaning, just Jesus defeating death.

Still, the gospel descriptions ARE impossible to harmonize. That means some of them or all of them are not true. And there are things to add to that "Easter Challenge". Anyone can read those stories by himself.

Historians generally don't take the miracle stories of other religions very seriously. So why should they do so with Christianity?

I think that if Jesus really time and time again told his disciples that he was going to rise from the grave, they were programmed to see it. And many of the reported Jesus-seeings are very vague. Half of the time they are not even sure if it is Jesus!

Before going into supernatural explanations  we should also consider fraud. Fraud and producing illusions are alive and well now, particularly in religions and mysticism, and even more so in the 1:st century world.

A good modern magician such as David Copperfield or Derren Brown could certainly fake his own death, even  with the alleged spear-incident. So maybe Jesus was just a magician, just as the roman Celsus claimed?

Jesus could have had help too.
Like the centurian who supposedly confessed the divinity of Jesus at the cross. What if he was the same centurian, whose servant Jesus had healed, and a follower of Jesus?  Anyway the centurian at the cross told Pilate that Jesus died.... much sooner than the other cruxified people! So he could have protected Jesus.

Even more suspectible are the men in white/angels at the grave. In the gospels they vary from one man to an angel and two angels. What if they were simply men? This in my mind could imply that Jesus had two teams. The disciples as honest wittnesses of the miracle and then these men in white to nurse Jesus back to health or hide his body.

In modern-day cults such trickstery is not uncommon, and Jesus certainly was a cult leader.

Offline gonegolfing

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #110 on: October 18, 2011, 07:31:03 AM »
PhilosoB:

< ramblings snipped....again  &) >


Quote
Third, if a theistic worldview is not rejected a priori, the miracle of the resurrection is a valid and reasonable explanation for the New Testament accounts.

As a theist of 40 years, the experience was there, and so the rejection that finally came was obviously a result of there being unavailable real evidence to consider, and being unreasonable and irrational to consider as a phenomena.

Quote
As a definition, a miracle is the special acts of God in the world.

Yes, and we do not see them. Ever..... Furthermore:....no miracles--no god.

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As one should expect, miracles do not happen all the time.

Again, miracles never happen. Please stop fooling yourself.

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In fact, the possibility of miracles presupposes a natural order to things. If such order was not present, it would be impossible to recognize a miracle.

Wrong. False ideas cannot presuppose anything. Natural order is all there is. Show me something that is unnatural or supernatural and your thoughts will carry some weight. Can you ?

Quote
Furthermore, this natural order does not exclude the possibility of miracles as an appropriate explanation to particular events unless one does so a priori by assuming a closed system.

Subjective gibberish. Do miracles happen now ? No. Never. Just because an ancient legend makes the claim that the natural order has been suspended, does not mean we must accept such possibilities or consider them a valid and rational way of thinking in this the 21st. century.   

Quote
Also, just because nearly all people have died and not raised back to life does not provide sufficient evidence to exclude the possibility or even plausibility of resurrection occurring. The case for resurrection must be weighed according to the evidence, not the statistics.

Nearly all ? Wrong! No one. Not one individual. Not a single person has ever risen from the dead. If so, where's the current, clear, reliable, unambiguous, and definitive evidence to prove this claim ?

It couldn't be clearer to a rational mind, that the bible myth cannot be the support that is needed to prove resurrection claims to be true. It's also clear to a rational mind that this phenomena either happens now, or it has never happened and will never happen in the future.

Indeed, it must, and where's the evidence then ? You believe it's found in a supernatural myth. I know, that it's no where to found in our natural world and reality. 

 
"I believe that there is no God. I'm beyond atheism"....Penn Jillette.

Offline Petey

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #111 on: October 18, 2011, 08:08:27 AM »
Addressing apparent contradictions again, before a clear contradiction can be declared it must be determined that we have all related knowledge pertaining to the text in question and reason to accept that no future study or research could provide resolution to the conflict. This is a high standard to achieve.

Really?  Why?

Why not the other way around?  Before a clear contradiction can be dismissed it must be determined that we have all related knowledge pertaining to the text in question.

The bit about future study or research is a complete cop out.  We can only deal with the information we have available.  You can't say "according to everything we know now, this is a contradiction...but someday someone may discover something that shows otherwise, therefore it's not a contradiction" while maintaining intellectual integrity.

As a quick side note, God, as perfect judge, will hold each person accountable to how much was revealed to them. Therefore, the people of Israel and the tribes of the Amazon will be judged accordingly to how God has revealed Himself to each person. The issue of the Bible’s focus on the people of Israel and exclusion of other people groups is another example of an apparent Bible difficulty with an answer available to those that really want to find it.

How do you know this?  Was it revealed to you directly, or is it theology (The Art of Making Shit Up)?

Third, if a theistic worldview is not rejected a priori, the miracle of the resurrection is a valid and reasonable explanation for the New Testament accounts. As a definition, a miracle is the special acts of God in the world. As one should expect, miracles do not happen all the time. In fact, the possibility of miracles presupposes a natural order to things. If such order was not present, it would be impossible to recognize a miracle.

If a theistic worldview is not rejected, then anything is a valid and reasonable explanation for the New Testament accounts.  If we assume the existence of an all powerful entity which can and does interfere with the natural order of things, then any ridiculous story or claim can be validated through magic.

For your own safety, I hope you tethered yourself to something solid this morning.  You never know when god might turn off gravity.

Furthermore, this natural order does not exclude the possibility of miracles as an appropriate explanation to particular events unless one does so a priori by assuming a closed system. Also, just because nearly all people have died and not raised back to life does not provide sufficient evidence to exclude the possibility or even plausibility of resurrection occurring. The case for resurrection must be weighed according to the evidence, not the statistics.

So why are you only defending one claim of resurrection?  There are plenty of others with just as much (or more) supporting evidence, but I haven't heard you mention a single one.  Apollonius or Tyana, Osiris, Achilles, Aristeas of Proconnesus, Vlad Dracula, Heracles, Pahua, Mithra, Dionysus, etc, etc, etc.

Why do you a priori assume a closed system in regards to their resurrections, but not with your favorite one?
He never pays attention, he always knows the answer, and he can never tell you how he knows. We can't keep thrashing him. He is a bad example to the other pupils. There's no educating a smart boy.
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Offline Ivellios

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #112 on: October 18, 2011, 01:49:47 PM »

As a quick side note, God, as perfect judge, will hold each person accountable to how much was revealed to them. Therefore, the people of Israel and the tribes of the Amazon will be judged accordingly to how God has revealed Himself to each person.

Oh, here we go, more Christians treating passages from the Qu'Ran as biblical cannon. Part of Mohammed's "fix" over what he thought was wrong with the Bible.

"When someone has heard the word of Allah, he is required to submit. If he does not then he will be judged." It was put in so when they participated in Genocide, thier warriors wouldn't think twice about what they were doing. Kill, and they go to Allah, convert they go to Allah. If you try to convert and they say no, kill and they go to hell.

The Bible has an, "Ignorance of the Law is no excuse," philosophy, in fact there are chapters on what to do incase you sinned and didn't even know it, rather, what you should do, just in case you did sin. Then the 2nd Testament says that a requirement to enter the Kingdom of God is, "to confess with thier mouth[1] that Jesus Christ is Lord." You are incorrect, according to the Bible, they're all destined to hell. Since it's God's fault for having them born in a region that would take hundreds of years to reach them... but God didn't know they were there to begin with, because the Bible writers didn't know the world was much bigger than Roman Empire to Persia. That's right, God didn't know about the amazons, or aborigines or kangaroos, auroras, polar bears, squids, marianas trench or even penguins, because the SPAGing humans that wrote the scrolls didn't know.

This is a phrase adopted[2] by Christians from Muslims because even Christians know thier god's philosophy is ****.
 1. mute people are not allowed.
 2. stolen
« Last Edit: October 18, 2011, 01:53:00 PM by TruthSeeker »

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #113 on: October 18, 2011, 02:04:50 PM »
Regarding PhilosoB's latest post, it's understandable that he wouldn't be able to respond to every post in depth.  I don't think anyone here will be too upset at that as long as he makes an honest effort to address the actual points raised in those posts.  That being said...

1.  Faux pas in the gospels.  PhilosoB's point appears to be that the fact that the disciples were not portrayed as "larger than life" is a point in favor of the New Testament.  I do not agree.  Jesus was the hero of the gospels; the fumbling of the disciples contrasted with Jesus's behavior in a way that helped to enhance Jesus's reputation.  It is not until later, after Jesus passed on, that the disciples are made larger than life.  I strongly suspect that there are no accounts of apostolic embarrassment once you reach Acts, though there are amongst normal believers (the ones the letters are addressed to).  Similarly, the fact that Jesus was not reported as the kind of messiah that the Jews were waiting for has nothing to do with how accurate the gospels are.  The fact that the gospels do not match Jewish expectations might be acceptable as a reason for why Jews themselves do not accept them, but it does not affect the possibility of those gospels being propagandist or mythological fiction.

2.  Contradictions between the gospels.  Granted, Philosob's argument that a perfect book from God might not be any more convincing than reports of miracles has some merit.  But the converse is most certainly not true; the contradictions in the gospels don't prove that they are more accurate.  Furthermore, his following point, that the vast majority of Christians agree on the tenets of the Bible, has no bearing on anything.  It is nothing more than argumentum ad populum, appeal to the majority.  The fact that modern Christians accept the current tenets of Christianity has no bearing on the accuracy of those tenets.

And his statement that we cannot consider something to be a contradiction unless everyone involved has the relevant knowledge to personally check it and the expectation that no further resolution can be made comes across as an attempt to handwave away those contradictions.  The simple fact is that we can, and do, declare things to be contradictions based on current knowledge and the findings of others; the possibility that we might sometime find future knowledge that will elaborate on the contradiction is no excuse to say that it isn't a contradiction based on what we now know.

3.  Miracles in the New Testament.  PhilosoB's statement that we can accept miracles as a reasonable explanation provided we do not exclude a theistic worldview is not a reasonable statement.  It in effect states that a worldview can override actual observed reality, which is patently false.  Having the worldview that humans can survive underwater indefinitely without breathing gear provided they believe strongly enough would not allow them to actually do so.  So why should anyone accept that miracles are a reasonable explanation for the events of the New Testament if nobody can reproduce those miracles today and we have no verifiable evidence that they ever happened to begin with?  It has nothing to do with an a priori exclusion of a theistic worldview.

He is correct, however, in saying that we cannot rule out the possibility of a resurrection merely because the statistics argue against it.  So if he can provide actual evidence that shows that a resurrection occurred - the events related in the Gospels do not count because they were written long afterward by people who weren't there to see it - then it will be worth considering that evidence.  Until then, it is moot.

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #114 on: October 18, 2011, 02:17:09 PM »
Regarding PhilosoB's latest post, it's understandable that he wouldn't be able to respond to every post in depth.  I don't think anyone here will be too upset at that as long as he makes an honest effort to address the actual points raised in those posts.

I'm not, and in fact I'm hoping that PhilosoB will be able to avoid feeling overwhelmed and stay.  This is a believer who is intelligent, educated, and articulate (no Pascal's Wager, for example, and probably won't be seeing one) and who does not tell us with glee, or even with sorrow, that we're all damned.  I wish we had more people like him here with us.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline Truth OT

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Re: Jesus' resurrection
« Reply #115 on: October 18, 2011, 02:50:33 PM »
Quote
It is completely reasonable to accept the New Testament as historically accurate and trustworthy.

Is it not more likely that the writings that we have of the New Testament are extremely similar to what was available to the early church fathers in the second century as opposed to being factual in nature? Just because they had 1900 years ago what we have today does not have much bearing on whether the contents of the writings are true or false.
So to say they have been preserved and relayed accurately throughout history appears to be very likely, however that doesn't mean that the original writers of the texts, whomever they were, wrote down facts and nothing but the facts, as opposed to their own opinions and convictions of which the factuality cannot be substantiated.