Author Topic: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead?  (Read 94646 times)

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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead?
« Reply #1711 on: February 09, 2010, 09:13:12 AM »
Can I respectfully ask though that you deal with my hypothesis as presented, rather than digressing into any debate about the plausibility of UFO sightings or alien abductions post 33(ish) CE?  

No you can't Anfauglir, this is our Fran - remember?

I have faith that Fran will respond directly on my actual hypothesis.  He specifically said to Kcrady that talking about alleged miracles OTHER than the one that explains the post-cruxifiction events was a red herring - and so likewise for him to talk about alleged alien activity OTHER than that which explains the post-cruxifiction events is, likewise, a complete red herring. 

Remember - Fran has laid out some specific circumstances: Christ died, tomb found empty, people subsequently believe they see Christ apparently brought back to life.  All we are arguing is whether "resurrection" or "alien impersonation" is a more reasonable explanation.  Fran does not have to prove Lot's wife turned into a pillar of salt (or even debate it), and I do not have to prove aliens landed at Roswell (or even debate it) - both are quite irrelevant to the question at hand.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline none

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Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead?
« Reply #1712 on: February 09, 2010, 09:18:06 AM »
alien resurrection, sounds like a movie....

Offline GetMeThere

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Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead?
« Reply #1713 on: February 10, 2010, 12:36:50 AM »
FYI: There's a debate on the issue of the thread between Gary Habermas and Arif Ahmed--professor of philosophy at Cambridge (and an atheist, not a muslim).

It's quite interesting to watch. Ahmed makes it VERY easy on Habermas by, purely for the sake of argument, ALLOWING a huge number of concessions. He does, however, present a nice, tight case about judging evidence. His case is actually quite air-tight--while taking the weakest possible stand.

Habermas is interesting (this is the first I've seen him debate). He's affable and generous. He too concedes a lot (and he specifically admitted that he does NOT consider the bible inerrant). It WAS very weird, though, to see him trying to bring in Near Death Experiences into the argument (along the lines of, if there are NDE's then god is more probable). Certainly, one can see where Fran gets his debating points. Habermas is certainly not a PRICK like WLC--at least not in this particular debate. One thing that was a bit annoying: Habermas insisted that he wouldn't claim "experts say," and then basically did just that. He "informs us" often "prof X is an atheist and says this" "scholar Y is not a conservative and says that," and I find such assurances are usually not dependable.

Anyhow, some may want to have a look:










Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead?
« Reply #1714 on: February 14, 2010, 03:05:33 AM »
Fact #3 says: "On different occasions and under various circumstances different individuals and groups of people experienced  appearances of Jesus alive from the dead."   It doesn't mention 40 days or eating or fishing or talking.  Indeed, I specifically said this was  their written testimony of what they experienced.   Fact #3 enjoys a near unimanous judgement of being classified as a historical fact, from the  vast majority of Biblical Scholars.  Jesus' followers experienced an appearance of Jesus alive from the dead.  And the disciples tell us what they  experienced.   

Fran, don't forget that in THIS thread, I am not arguing any of that.  In THIS thread, you can claim ALL the gospel descriptions as real and I will give you a free pass for them.

In THIS thread, I grant you damn near ALL of your claims as given.  I accept the facts, I accept the descriptions.  ALL you need to do is show that they were the result on extra-normal resurrection as opposed to extraterrestrial "trickery".

But, for over 2 weeks now, you have been silent on this thread.  You have never attempted to engage my actual hypothesis and explain what makes it LESS credible than yours.  You prefer, it seems, to debate minutiae with kcrady and (in the end) withdraw a lot of your claims.

In this thread, you get so much more given to you as a base.  And yet you seem wary of the debate, even AFTER I answered ALL your subsuduary questions in the other thread.

So I'll ask again - what in my aliens hypothesis makes it LESS reasonable than resurrection?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead?
« Reply #1715 on: February 14, 2010, 03:07:51 AM »
I feel like Jesus talking to the pharisees - I ask simple questions, but just don't get any reply!!!
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Inactive_1

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Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead?
« Reply #1716 on: February 14, 2010, 09:39:19 AM »
Fran,

Are you abandoning this debate?

Offline MadBunny

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Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead?
« Reply #1717 on: February 14, 2010, 12:22:14 PM »
Why don't we start a new thread on this subject and ask Fran to participate? There we can all hash out what the evidence is...

That's going to be a pretty short thread  ;)


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Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead?
« Reply #1718 on: February 14, 2010, 12:27:24 PM »
It's now 6 days since Fran apologized for "still working" on his reply.

Admin 1 has just requested clarification...

Quote
Fran,

Are you abandoning this debate?

« Last Edit: February 14, 2010, 12:29:11 PM by Gnu Ordure »

Offline Fran

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Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead?
« Reply #1719 on: February 15, 2010, 02:50:06 PM »
Fran,

Are you abandoning this debate?

If this is the alien hypothesis debate, then no, I have no abandoned it. I actually wrote a multi post response to Anfauglir... but after everyone's comments about multi-posts, I pulled back and paused,  and decided to try and rewrite what I had written.  That is almost done.  I'm pretty sure I can have it done before tomorrow morning.

Offline screwtape

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Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead?
« Reply #1720 on: February 15, 2010, 03:05:22 PM »
Why is it that Anfauglir was able to formulate his alien abduction hypothesis in about an hour, but it takes Franny weeks and multiple post theses to argue against it?  Franny, that should give you an indication that you are up Shit Creek.
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Offline Agamemnon

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Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead?
« Reply #1721 on: February 15, 2010, 10:33:26 PM »
Congratulations on your resounding victory, HAL!
So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.  --Bertrand Russell

Offline Dragnet

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Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead?
« Reply #1722 on: February 15, 2010, 10:34:24 PM »
Why do I get the feeling it has absolutely no effect on Fran?
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Offline ReasonIsOutToLunch

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Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead?
« Reply #1723 on: February 16, 2010, 12:01:34 AM »
The bible is one powerful force field, I have never seen anything deflect logic and reason like it does.
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Offline MadBunny

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Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead?
« Reply #1724 on: February 16, 2010, 12:20:21 AM »
All the historical records that Fran's scholars base the FMF on are flawed and wrong. Nobody alive today can absolutely tell me I'm wrong either, because none of us were there.

Well, not ALL of the records are wrong.  There is some slight overlap in contemporary records of the time that match a few of the items mentioned in the bible.  Granted, there are also contemporary records that match Superman comics too.

The main problem I had reading through this and the whole 4MF (doesn't that read like a date ad?) thing is that the idea of irreducible complexity has just never worked.  THE minimum fact required for the whole idea of the 4MF to work is that we have to accept a supernatural event.  The 4MF don't show that it's the most likely thing to have happened, but instead apparently rely exclusively on the idea of accepting that a supernatural event happened.  Pretty much the opposite of the way that circumstantial evidence works.

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Offline ReasonIsOutToLunch

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Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead?
« Reply #1725 on: February 16, 2010, 02:58:54 AM »
Quote
4MF (doesn't that read like a date ad?)

Well since you bring it up, I always thought so. The weird thing about all this "evidence" is if you brought this kind of evidence before a judge you wouldn't even be able to get a search warrant. Yet, people base their whole lives on this story.
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead?
« Reply #1726 on: February 16, 2010, 06:18:53 AM »
I actually wrote a multi post response to Anfauglir... but after everyone's comments about multi-posts, I pulled back and paused,  and decided to try and rewrite what I had written.  That is almost done.  I'm pretty sure I can have it done before tomorrow morning.

Personally, I'm not overly worried about the length - provided that it actually addresses the hypothesis I put forward. 
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline HAL

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Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead?
« Reply #1727 on: February 16, 2010, 08:50:21 AM »

Well, not ALL of the records are wrong.  There is some slight overlap in contemporary records of the time that match a few of the items mentioned in the bible.  Granted, there are also contemporary records that match Superman comics too.


It solves the problem naturally though. Any written record that nobody alive today can corroborate firsthand could be wrong. Is it unlikely? No more or less unlikely than supernatural doings or aliens. Fran's challenge was to explain the FMF story without a supernatural explanation. If the Biblical scholars use records that are flawed (in that they don't tell the actual facts of the era) but present a story that flows consistently as in any good fiction storybook, then the Biblical scholars would deduce facts that aren't really facts. This applies to any and all records they used to corroborate their facts.

My solution says that all the records they used to deduce their facts have the flaws required to make my solution work. Using this solution, no matter how many scholars look at the data, they will almost all come up with the same facts - but since the data records available are a flawed representation of the past (unknown to them or anyone, since they were not alive at the time), the "facts" won't really be facts at all. Any activity humans are involved in can and will have errors, so the human errors of the records and the human errors of the scholars are a completely rational and natural solution to the problem.

I solved the problem naturally. It's a possible solution, as possible as supernatural powers or visiting aliens, and nobody can deny it is a possible solution - a natural one. Nobody can say it's less likely than supernatural or aliens. To my mind, it's the most basic simple answer to the problem, and it's fully natural. Fran cannot come back and say these facts have been verified, because my solution stipulates that the verification uses flawed records and thus the facts deduced are just the end result of the flaws. This includes all records used. Also, since the supernatural isn't a verifiable, testable, measurable thing, and has never been confirmed to exist, and human error and flawed records have been confirmed to exist (i.e. these things are actual naturally existing possibilities), nobody can qualitatively measure the supernatural's or alien's value as a better explanatory solution to the problem then my natural Flawed Records Solution - the FRS.

I want the moderators to look at my solution and, if I have solved the problem with a natural solution, to grant me total victory over Fran. Deus and Mod 25 - please read and if I have presented the winning solution, advise as to how to claim my prize.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 01:20:19 PM by HAL »

Offline Ambassador Pony

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Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead?
« Reply #1728 on: February 16, 2010, 07:17:05 PM »
The mods have not uploaded victory winning according powers to my account, but I grant you an Ambassadorial win.

Unless, of course, Fran demonstrates the supernatural for us. In which case, it will be my honour to grant Francis his full win, with the authority granted to me by my new homeboy, jesus H fucking christ.

You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline Operator_A25

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Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead?
« Reply #1729 on: February 16, 2010, 08:18:15 PM »
I want the moderators to look at my solution and, if I have solved the problem with a natural solution, to grant me total victory over Fran. Deus and Mod 25 - please read and if I have presented the winning solution, advise as to how to claim my prize.

I agree that this solution meets all the requirements and is superior in every way to the supernatural solution. I expect that Fran will have something to say about it, but I can not think of any flaws in your reasoning. Unless Fran or Deus or someone else can present some plausible reasoning that would show your solution to be flawed, then I grant you total victory over Fran.

As for the prize... Uh... Maybe we can get Fran to wash your car?

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Offline Deus ex Machina

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Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead?
« Reply #1730 on: February 16, 2010, 08:33:22 PM »
If there are any records what would substantiate Fran's (or Habermas'?) scholars' 'minimal facts' aside from the records in question and those that could be considered tainted by association (e.g. works that may have originally had some canonical or 'sacred' value, but were then excluded from the canon, for instance at the Council of Nicaea or by some similar deliberation or edict), then I would have to withhold the trophy from HAL.

If, however, Fran cannot come up with any, I'd have to consider the 'flawed record' hypothesis worthy of consideration. Under the terms of the challenge - to formulate a naturalistic hypothesis that accounted for the scholars' support of the 4MF better than the notion of a supernatural occurrence for which there is, so we are told, no parallel in history (and thereby, arguably, could not possibly be a reasonable inference drawn from any amount of mere documentary evidence in any event) - I would have to consider that it has been met.

But then, I'd also consider 'heavily biased scholarship', 'cherry-picked panel of scholars' or even 'badly misrepresented scholarship' as acceptable plausible explanations, in which case the challenge was met weeks ago by myself and a few others (probably including HAL, I can't remember). For that matter, even the 'aliens' response is giving the challenge a good run for its money.

But then, what else would I say? :D
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Offline ReasonIsOutToLunch

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Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead?
« Reply #1731 on: February 16, 2010, 11:02:27 PM »
Please don't kill the thread, please pretty please. Yes, Hal's logic is flawless. But, I made up a new word for Fran and other theists like him. Pretzeling: the mental gymnastics required to take an assumption that is in no way based on logic or fact and use it to try to prove another assumption that also is in no way based on logic or fact. Who knows what words will never be invented if this debate is declared over.
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Offline Agamemnon

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Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead?
« Reply #1732 on: February 17, 2010, 01:22:05 AM »
Pretzeling. Nice word. Sort of an insulting variation on "obfuscation," eh? lol
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead?
« Reply #1733 on: February 17, 2010, 03:17:25 AM »
I solved the problem naturally. It's a possible solution, as possible as supernatural powers or visiting aliens, and nobody can deny it is a possible solution - a natural one. Nobody can say it's less likely than supernatural or aliens. To my mind, it's the most basic simple answer to the problem, and it's fully natural. Fran cannot come back and say these facts have been verified, because my solution stipulates that the verification uses flawed records and thus the facts deduced are just the end result of the flaws.

Fran will come back and claim that your logic can therefore be used for ALL historical characters of whom we have only written evidence and deny their existence.  He'll talk about George Washington, I'm sure.  But to my mind you have already answered that one:

...the supernatural isn't a verifiable, testable, measurable thing, and has never been confirmed to exist, and human error and flawed records have been confirmed to exist...

We SHOULD treat all events that are ONLY referenced by minimal contemporary accounts quite carefully.  Fortunately, in many cases we have archaeological evidence to back things up, or we have multiple records written by unbiased (and in many cases opposing) authors.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead?
« Reply #1734 on: February 17, 2010, 03:18:09 AM »
Please don't kill the thread, please pretty please.

Yeah, please don't - I've waited weeks for Fran to take a crack at my aliens!
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Deus ex Machina

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Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead?
« Reply #1735 on: February 17, 2010, 05:22:54 AM »
Please don't kill the thread, please pretty please. Yes, Hal's logic is flawless. But, I made up a new word for Fran and other theists like him. Pretzeling: the mental gymnastics required to take an assumption that is in no way based on logic or fact and use it to try to prove another assumption that also is in no way based on logic or fact. Who knows what words will never be invented if this debate is declared over.
Yeah, please don't - I've waited weeks for Fran to take a crack at my aliens!

You people are cruel. The only compassionate, humane thing to do to these train-wreckages of threads is to put them to sleep with at least a modicum of dignity.
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Offline Operator_A25

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Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead?
« Reply #1736 on: February 17, 2010, 12:18:29 PM »
I have split HAL's FMF solution into a new debate thread:

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=12675.0

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Offline Fran

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Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead?
« Reply #1737 on: February 17, 2010, 04:54:56 PM »
Hello Anfauglir...

I originally wrote a huge multi-post response to your Alien hypothesis.  But after hearing a lot of complaints about multi-posts, etc... I decided to  not send it.  Instead, I paused for awhile and tried to think how I could more effective and concise in rebutting your contention that the Alien  Hypothesis, as a natural explanation, was more reasonable than the Resurrection Hypothesis for the FMF.

It took me awhile because it was a real puzzler.  I'm not a very bright person so it sometimes takes me a little longer to think things thru than  others in here.   But then I saw something you wrote that gave me a clue as to what might be the best way to respond to you.   You wrote:  So our incredible elements are "extraterrestrial life", and "supernatural".  These are the two elements we must compare to determine the  "most reasonable" solution between the two.

I completely agree.  Although, to be a little bit more precise and careful,  I think the comparison is actually between "extraterrestrial life" and  "God"... specifically the "God of the Bible".  Because we are after all comparing two entities that can make decisions regarding the suppossed  resurrection of Jesus.  Both of our hypothesis' depend on an entity which made the Resurrection appear to happen.... whether by earth moving  machines or miracles.  For your alien hypothesis to work, your aliens must come from an technologically advanced extraterrestrial civilization.

Therefore, if i can demonstrate that the possibility of the existence of extraterrestrial life is less reasonable than the possibility of the existence  of the God of the Bible, then I have effectively shown that the Resurrection hypothesis is more reasonable than the alien hypothesis (as you  have set it up).

With that in mind, less first look at the possibility of the existence of extraterrestrial life. How likely is it that technologically advanced  extraterrestrial civilizations exist?

The first red flag I see is the fact that although your alien hypothesis may be heard on a popular level, it is never raised in any serious scholarly  context.  Period.   Not so with the Resurrection hypothesis.   I think there is a very good reason for this, and below we will begin to see why.

The supposition that life exists in the universe outside Earth is questionable.  The scientific evidence from astrophysics within the past 35 years  makes it seem increasingly improbable that ilfe exists anywhere else in the cosmos.

Cosmic constants are factors in our universe that if altered just a little, would make life impossible.  Many factors must be within an extremely  narrow range in order for a planet to meet just the most basic criteria for sustaining life.  Constants relate to planet-star relationships...  planet-moon relatonships...  the degree which a planet rotates on its axis... and many other conditions.

It is frequently stated that there must be life somewhere else in such a vast universe.  Even if cosmic constants require that a planet meet an  extremely narrow range of conditions to support life, given the immensity of our universe and the number of planets, wouldn't the existence of  life elsewhere be probable?  The estimated number of galaxies in the cosmos is a little fewer than 1 trillion.  Each galaxy has an average of  100 billion stars 10(22).  

Note: I don't know how to type the usual "to the power of".  It usually are the little numbers located in the upper right corner of the main  number.  And so for this post I'm putting the "to the power of" numbers in paranthesis.  So 10(22) would mean 10 to the power of 22.

An average estimate of the number of planets is one planet per 1,000 stars 10(19).  The existance of  10,000,000,000,000,000,000 planets  would seem almost to require that the conditions for life to exist must come together somewhere other than Earth.  Or does it?

The required constants for planet-star relationships themselves would eliminate 99.9 percent of all potential planets.  When additional  constants are considered, the odds of the existence of a planet capable of sustaining life are 1:10(25).  Since the total estimated number of  planets in the universe is 10(19), it seems that we would not expect life to exist on even one planet, much less any others.

Indeed, this would be one reason why we find that there is absolutely no evidence for advanced extraterrestrial civilizations existing somewhere  in the Universe.  This incredible fact is called the Fermi Paradox. Simply stated it goes like this: "The apparent size and age of the universe  suggests that many technologically advanced extraterrestrial civilization ought to exist.  However, this hypothesis seems inconsistent with the  lack of observational evidence to support it" (Wikipedia).
 
I would invite you to read about this paradox found on Wikipedia because this seems to go the very heart of your alien hypothesis.   Because  after all,  you did write:  In every case, what is "most reasonable" is, to me, the explanation that requires ZERO elements outside of those  we know exist.

Well, the plain unvarnished fact is this: there is absolutely no evidence for the existence of extraterrestrial lifeforms... let alone the kind of  technologically advanced extraterrestrial civilizations you would need for your alien hypothesis to work.  So your hypothesis does in fact  REQUIRE at least ONE element outside of those we know to exist.  Which is an actual technologically advanced extraterrestrial civilization.  So  right away we can see that your alien hypothesis does not even rise to the level of reasonableness you have set for it.

And to not put a too fine point on it, the numbers above indicate that we shouldn't even expect life to exist beyond our own anyway.

But this doesn't stop you, because you then want to look at things that exist in our own world, and postulate that it is probable that all the  technology needed for your alien hypothesis to work,  will likely come into existence if we just wait long enough... because science is always  progressing and advancing and discovering new things.   But to me, there are a couple of fatal flaws in your argument.  The first is that you're  essentially commiting the classic Argument To The Future Fallacy which argues that evidence will someday be discovered which will  (then) support your point.   Secondly, your argument is like the  "Hopeful Principle" i've seen being employed in scientific treatsies on the use of  Proton (beam) therapy used in an attempt to destroy cancer cells.   The roots of these fallacies are to be found in an overly optimistic attitude  towards technology and progress.

So let's look at what we have so far:  Your alien hypothesis rests on the fact that there is absolutely no evidence that technologically advanced  extraterrestrial civilizations exist.  This is confirmed by the Fermi Paradox.   Your alien hypothesis also assumes that the conditions for life to  exist must be likely in our vast universe, even though the math says otherwise.  Your alien hypothesis rests on an overly optimistic attitude  towards technology and progress and so essentially commits the Argument To The Future Fallacy.  And finally, your alien hypothesis does not  even rise to the level of reasonableness you granted it as evidenced by your earlier statement: In every case, what is "most reasonable" is,  to me, the explanation that requires ZERO elements outside of those we know exist.  We don't know that aliens exist... because there is  no evidence for them... and yet this is ONE element required for your alien hypothesis to work.

Basically all you bring to the table is that it is possible that aliens can exist and that it is possible that the kind of technology needed can also  exist.   That's all you have.  You have done nothing to substantiate with any kind of evidence that aliens even exist in the first place.  Your  argument is not any different than saying because it is possible that pink elephants might exist somewhere in the universe... then we can't say  they don't exist.  And then you use that as the foundation for your entire alien hypothesis.

But we are not done with your alien hypothesis yet.  

We observe that the life of Jesus differs substantially from typical alien accounts.  For example, the usual report of an encounter with aliens  describes them as abusive and inspiring fear, but the Jesus in the Resurrection story was loving and compassionate.  

The religio-historical context for the resurrection is not present with UFO's as it was with Jesus.  The Resurrection of Jesus fits into a context  charged with theological significance that increases its evidence as well as explanatory power.   Jesus predicting his resurrection... Jesus  claiming divinity... Jesus performing deeds that appear miraculous, performing phenomena regularly breaking the laws of nature... the talk  about the Messiah before and after the resurrection...  all this and more is far more consistent and was present within the religio-historical  context for the resurrection and for the God of the Bible,  at that time, than for any alien hypothesis.

Eyewitness testimony of alien activity is often questionable on its own grounds.  Plausible opposing theories abound to account for the  phenomena (e.g, weather balloons, military aircraft, hallucinations, and poor reporting techniques).   Indeed, the fact that these same UFO  testimonies frequently attest that these phenomena regularly break the laws of nature requires a rejection of material entities, as concluded by  scientists who have researched this phenomenon.   This observation fits better with a hypothesis that considers God in its equation, rather than  a hypothesis that is considering techonologically advanced extraterresterial civilizations.

So to sum up:

You have put forth an alien hypothesis with no attempt to substantiate that techonologically advanced extraterresterial civilizations exist in the  first place.  Now... I understand why you have made no atempt to do so, because there is absolutely no evidence for such civilizations.  This is  confirmed by Fermi's Paradox.   Also, the math shows that the  possibility of such civilizations is extremely unlikely due to the very narrow  cosmic constants required for a planet to meet just the most basic criteria for sustaining life.

But even though the math shows that it is very unprobable that these civilizations occur, you still want to argue that it is possible that the  technology required in your hypothesis could exist... even though there is no evidence that it does or that it ever will.  Such thinking is an  example of a "Argument To The Future Fallacy".

Your hypothesis does not even begin to fit into... or is consistent with the religio-historical context surrounding the Resurrection at the time.  
Your alien hypothesis requires a certain type of an alien encounter which differs substantially from typical reports of alien accounts (abuse and  fear rather than love and compassion).  

Your alien hypothesis does not rise to the level of reasonableness you set for yourself.   You had written: In every case, what is "most  reasonable" is, to me, the explanation that requires ZERO elements outside of those we know exist.  And yet we do not know that  technologically advanced extraterrestrial civilizations exists (see Fermi's Paradox).    So your alien hypothesis requires at least ONE element  outside of those we know exist.  That element being technologically advanced extraterrestrial civilizations.

Your alien hypothesis may be heard on a popular level, but it is never raised in any serious scholarly context within the Jesus resurrection  debate.  

The typical observations made by UFO eyewitnesses in which UFO's are described as regularly breaking the laws of nature argues against the  material nature of UFO's and purely natural explanations (of which you are trying to postulate).  Your alien hypothesis requires aliens and alien  technology to be material in nature... not visions or hallucinations...  for your natural explanation to work at all.

Your entire alien hypothesis rests on blind faith.  Not even on reasonable faith at the very least.  But it simply rests on complete blind faith.

PART TWO FOLLOWS:
« Last Edit: February 17, 2010, 04:57:12 PM by Fran »

Offline Fran

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Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead?
« Reply #1738 on: February 17, 2010, 04:55:18 PM »
Okay... now let's look at the possibility of God's existence and how this relates to the Resurrection debate.

While we see that your alien hypothesis rests on blind faith, the Christian faith does not rest on blind faith.  How so?  Well... whereas you make  no attempt to substantiate the existence of technologically advanced extraterrestrial civilizations (because you can't as Fermi's Paradox  indicates)... I can at least attempt to substantiate God's existence with pieces of evidences I feel is objectively persuasive.  And so my faith is  not blind... but actually rests on something we can debate and look at and analyse together.

PLEASE NOTE:!!!  This is not a debate about God's existence.  The following is just a very, very, very brief attempt to substantiate the existence of God by listing some evidences for God and is not meant to be in-depth or set up as a debate.   Whether or not you agree that the following are valid evidences is completely irrelevant to our discussion.  

I'm only interested in demonstrating that while your alien hypothesis rests on blind faith, the Resurrection hypothesis does not rest on blind faith for the existence of God.  I'm only trying to demonstrate that a belief in the existence of God is more reasonable than a belief in technologically advanced extraterrestrial civilizations.   If I can do that much, then I've shown that as far as your alien hypothesis goes, the Resurrection hypothesis is more reasonable.

With that in mind... the following are evidences that serves to verify God's existence:

1. The origin of the universe. God provides the best explanation for why the universe exists instead of nothing

Many times atheists have said the universe is just eternal and uncaused. But surely this is unreasonable. If the universe is eternal and never had a beginning, that means that the number of past events in the history of the universe is infinite. But mathematicians recognize that the idea of an actually infinite number of things leads to self-contradictions.  A series of past events can't go back forever; so the universe must have begun to exist.  Now this tends to be very awkward for the atheist.  As Anthony Kenny of Oxford University urges, "A proponent of the big bang theory, at least if he is an atheist, must believe that the . . . universe came from nothing and by nothing."   But surely that doesn't make sense! Out of nothing, nothing comes... isn't this true?

We can summarize our argument so far as follows:
1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.

Now from the very nature of the case, as the cause of space and time, this cause must be an uncaused, changeless, timeless, and immaterial  being of unimaginable power which created the universe. Moreover, I would argue, it must also be personal. For how else could a timeless  cause give rise to a temporal effect like the universe?

2. The complex order in the universe.  God provides the best explanation for the complex order in the universe

The view that Christian theists have always held, that there is an intelligent Designer of the universe, seems to make much more sense than the  atheistic view that the universe, when it popped into being uncaused out of nothing, just happened to be by chance fine-tuned to an  incomprehensible precision for the existence of intelligent life.

We can summarize my reasoning as follows:
1. The fine-tuning of the initial conditions of the universe is due to either law, chance, or design.
2. It is not due to either law or chance.
3. Therefore, it is due to design.

3. Objective moral values in the world. If God does not exist, then objective moral values do not exist.

We must be very careful here. The question here is not: "Must we believe in God in order to live moral lives?"  I'm not claiming that we must.  Nor is the question: "Can we recognize objective moral values without believing in God?"  I think that we can.    Rather the question is: "If God  does not exist, do objective moral values exist?"  Like Prof. Michael Ruse (a noted agnostic philosopher of science), I don't see any reason to  think that in the absence of God, the morality evolved by homo sapiens is objective.  It's subjective.

Thus, we can summarize this third consideration as follows:
1. If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.
2. Objective values do exist.
3. Therefore, God exists.

God provides the best explanation for the existence of objective moral values in the world

4. God provides the best explanation for the historical facts concerning the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus

The historical person Jesus of Nazareth was a remarkable individual. New Testament critics have reached something of a consensus that the  historical Jesus came on the scene with an unprecedented sense of divine authority, the authority to stand and speak in God's place. He  claimed that in himself the Kingdom of God had come, and as visible demonstrations of this fact he carried out a ministry of miracles and  exorcisms. But the supreme confirmation of his claim was his resurrection from the dead. If Jesus did rise from the dead, then it would seem  that we have a divine miracle on our hands and, thus, evidence for the existence of God.

Now most people would probably think that the resurrection of Jesus is something you just accept on faith or not. But there are actually mutliple established facts, recognized by the majority of New Testament historians today, which I believe are best explained by the resurrection of  Jesus.  I've already listed them as part of the FMF case.  

The simple fact is that there just is no plausible, naturalistic explanation of these facts... including your alien hypothesis. Therefore, it seems to me, the Christian is amply justified in believing that Jesus rose from the dead and was who he claimed to be. But that entails that God exists.

5. God provides the best explanation for the existence of abstract entities.

 In addition to tangible, concrete objects like people and trees and chairs, philosophers have noticed that there also appear to be abstract  objects, things like numbers, propositions, sets, and properties. These things have a sort of conceptual reality, rather like ideas in your mind.  And yet it's obvious that they're not just ideas in any human mind. So what is the metaphysical foundation of such abstract entities? The theist  has a plausible answer to that question. They are grounded in the mind of God.


To sum up things so far:
Your entire alien hypothesis rests on blind faith.  The existence of God does not rest on blind faith... but rests on the above pieces of evidences.

You have not attempted to substantiate the existence of technologically advanced extraterrestrial civilizations with any evidence at all.  I have attempted to substantiate the existence of God with evidence.

Your alien hypothesis may be heard on a popular level, but it is never raised in any serious scholarly context within the Jesus resurrection  debate.  The existence of God debate goes hand in hand with the Resurrection debate all over the world and on countless universities.  William Lane Craig is just one person who does both debates for college students all over the world.  

The typical observations made by UFO eyewitnesses in which UFO's are described as regularly breaking the laws of nature argues against the  material nature of UFO's, but for the immaterial nature of God.

Your hypothesis does not even begin to fit into... or is consistent with the religio-historical context surrounding the Resurrection at the time.  

Your alien hypothesis requires a certain type of an alien encounter which differs substantially from typical reports of alien accounts (abuse and  fear rather than love and compassion).  

Anyway... I think I am beginning to repeat myself.   The bottom line is that because of all the above reasons,  I think the existence of God is far more probable and reasonable than probable existence of technologically advanced extraterrestrial civilizations.  And thus.... the resurrection hypothesis is more reasonable than the alien hypothesis.

Take Care
Fran
« Last Edit: February 17, 2010, 05:06:17 PM by Fran »

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Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead?
« Reply #1739 on: February 17, 2010, 04:59:50 PM »
Quote
I completely agree.  Although, to be a little bit more precise and careful,  I think the comparison is actually between "extraterrestrial life" and  "God"... specifically the "God of the Bible".

Is this a joke? Talk about missing the fucking point.

Fran, you're not being honest, or you're the greatest troll this forum has ever encountered. 
You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.