You just blurted out that i was not a "true critical thinker". And on what basis? ON NOTHING but simply because I reached a different conclusion about whether the NT were reliable historical documents than you do.
Ridiculous. I've explained why I think you aren't a critical thinker. Anyway, read on and you'll learn more.
No you haven't. You only keep repeating that since I believe in miracles, then I must not be a critical thinker.
That's been you're ENTIRE argument!!!!!
THAT IS BEGGING THE QUESTION!!! That's ASSUMING the very thing that divides us about what critical thinking is BECAUSE THERE IS NO WHERE IN THE ENTIRE WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE ON CRITICAL THINKING ANYTHING ABOUT MIRACLES.
You just blurted out that I was not a "TRUE CRITICAL THINKER"... BEFORE... BEFORE... BEFORE... BEFORE you even investigated and asked why I believe the NT documents to be historically reliable.
There is no amount of "reliability" from historical documents that a critical thinker would accept as evidence of supernatural events - that's why.
THAT IS BEGGING THE QUESTION!!!
That's the main area where you fail as a critical thinker.
I"m not begging the question or refusing to look at the evidence together BEFORE we even start. You are... not me.
It doesn't matter what you believe in the area of using historical documents to accept supernatural events - somebody taught you wrong - you have a erroneous belief that you can accept wild claims from historical documents as evidence of deities.
There you go again. You are ASSUMING beforehand that claims about miracles are wild and erroneous WITH NO DISCUSSION WHATSOEVER... BASED ENTIRELY ON YOUR OWN BIAS AND PREJUDICE ASSUMPTION AGAINST MIRACLES!!!!!
That begs the question.
That's a failure of critical thinking.
With all due respect, you need this class more than I do. Your emotions have blinded you and preventing you from using every criteria listed in the Wikipedia article you pasted.
You need to unlearn that particular class. Also, notice I said from historical documents. I am not saying there is no amount of evidence that would convince me of the supernatural.
Yes... and so? Are you now saying that historical documents, if objectively deemed reliable, are not evidence?
Neither did we engage in together (because you've cut us off from that avenue)...
Now then, I didn't cut off anything from you, I presented the most important aspects from my point of view. You did read this didn't you -
Now, I invite you and others to discuss critical thinking and why you think I am wrong about you, and why you might think I or other atheists on WWGHA are not critical thinkers.
That means you are free to post whatever you want to (which you did) - nothing has been cut off. I don't know why you went on that tirade, because I certainly didn't tell you what to or what not to post.
?????? You just don't get it do you? You're making the same mistake Velkyn does. Your invitation HAD NOTHING WHASOEVER to do with any needed discussion on the historical reliability of the NT documents!!!! YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT CRITICAL THINKING IN RELATION TO YOUR CLASS!!!!
And not only that... but I NEVER said other atheists on WWGHA are not critical thinkers when we were discussing the issue about YOUR claim that dealt with whether or not you thought I was a critical thinker. It may be true that others in here are making the same logical mistakes as you are, but I certainly didn't name names or point to other atheists in our discussion. This is once again a false imposition by you on what the facts are.
I'm going to cut to the chase on what I think is the main issues regarding critical thinking and why, in my opinion, you are not using it properly. You seem to think my mind is somehow closed to new ideas .
I never said any such thing.. so this is a red herring... not to mention it is just patently false. Whether you made that false statement deliberately or unknowingly.. I can't say.
No, it is not, but as you can see from my post about verification of supernatural forces (yes, it could be done - any comments on that post Here?), it has to be verified and documented with unbiased tools, as you can read in my post.
And for you to apply this consistently and rigouresly, you would have to demonstrate that the NT writers were so biased that they were incapable of writing the truth... or at least get the important details correct.
Not just people's opinion of what they may have thought they witnessed about something they could not explain.
They weren't JUST GIVING opinions.. but they claimed that they were reporting facts as they saw it... facts that could easily have been supported or shown to be false by the people (friends and foes) who lived at that time and were directly involved in many of the events the documents talks about.
all the written material was done out in the open within the lifetimes of the people it spoke about. The writers did not wait until everyone died off so that there could be no challenges to the veracity of what they wrote.
Why? Because a witness account is the worst kind of documentation there is,
Sometimes that is all there is. For example... I defy you to prove that Washington wasn't a real person without any witness accounts being used. It's impossible!!! Pictures? How do you know it's really a picture of him? Written material? How do you know it's really his? You see, you can't go back into history and interview everybody or anybody about George Washington.... so you are stuck with what people claim about Washington. That is what historians do.
especially for forces which they know not the least about.
I don't need to understand a force to describe an event or give testimony of what I saw!!!! I may not know what caused the event and I may not be able to explain the event completely, but I certainly can give an account of what I saw.
Why would I accept an account of an event from somebody that didn't even know the first thing about how to explain what they saw?
You assume they didn't know it was a miracle they were witnessing. And who can explain a miracle? Before black holes were understood, you could certainly describe them and take pictures of them (well... at least what is around them). You can see the effects of the event and still not know why the event is occuring and how it is occuring. But you can still observe it and describe it. There are many things in the this world like that where an event wasn't understood, but still reported about.
That's just asking for wild speculation and their own made-up stories that they will create to explain (in their minds) what happened.
Or it could be a statement of truth as to what Jesus told them. Maybe you could argue that they couldn't explain or completely understand what was happening... but if that event can speak for itself (as Jesus could), then the listeners would understand. A black hole can't tell us anything and so we have to figure it out on our own. Not so with Christ's resurrection. He didn't go into heaven mute... He explained what was happening before it happened.. .and after it happened. Not made up stories were therefore necessary.
What you are going to get is their best explanation of it within the bounds their own personal worldview and experience.
Sure.. if they are trying to explain something that doesn't speak back to them and explain things for them about what they are seeing.
Not good evidence for a critical thinker. The answer for such events is not "god did it" or some other unverifiable explanation. It's "I don't know how that happened".
If we talking about an event that can't speak back to us. Like radiation and sound waves and mircowaves and black holes and other phenomena encountered for the first time by man who has nothing in his history to prepare him for the event he is witnessing. But that is not the case here.
In your own manner of shouting -
I DON"T KNOW - I DON"T KNOW - I DON"T KNOW - I DON"T KNOW - I DON"T KNOW
That's the answer
I DO KNOW - I DO KNOW - I DO KNOW - I DO KNOW - I DO KNOW - I DO KNOW
That's the answer
I don't care if 10,679 people witness a mountain supernaturally rising 4,000 years ago, and they all atested to it, and somebody dug up 5 different documents from different groups that all said the same thing - without any physical evidence, and just that historical testimony, and with no repeatable events ever happening again in the history of Earth - a critical thinker cannot accept it as a highly probable event.
This makes sense only if they think like you.. and that is to rule out apriorily that a God couldn't have done it... if those same people saw God do it. You keep asking for physical evidence when there is no reason to assume there should be any in a particular event.
Not only that, but let's examine what you just wrote in light of your other statements. Even if God was to repeat raising a mountain supernaturally over and over and over and over... SUPERNATURALLY... not using any known laws of physics... why would you accept what you are seeing when you will have to admit that you CAN'T explain how it is done?You yourself said:"Why would I accept an account of an event from somebody that didn't even know the first thing about how to explain what they saw?" and you said:"Not just people's opinion of what they may have thought they witnessed about something they could not explain."
Well why would anyone accept your account (as you try to explain what you saw repeatedly) when there is no way you can use any known laws of physics to explain how it is done or explain what you saw?
See... I think you are asking of others what you yourself will not ask of yourself.
It would be called at best, an unexplainable event, and probably just a local cultural story dreamed up by the locals to explain something they could not otherwise understand.
And how would you explain the mountain rising supernaturally if God is showing you that he is doing? How would you explain what you saw to someone who did not see what you saw without sounding EXACTLY like the NT writers who saw Jesus' miracles?
In order for a critical thinker to accept it as an actual factual event, you'd have to duplicate it today with all manner of instruments running.
And what if the event isn't duplicated? Does that mean it never happened? And what if the event happened, but you didn't have your instruments up and running because you had no idea when or where the event would occur? Does that also mean it didn't happen? And what if your instruments couldn't record what happened because of some kind of phenomena or effect the event had on the instruments? Does that also mean it didn't happen?
And what events that happened in the past before these instruments existed? Does that mean the past did not exist? Infinite skepticism is philosophically untenable and unsustainable because no matter what you ask for, a person who was more critical and skeptical than you can say there was not enough evidence. The real world does not work that way.
Duplication (verification) and unbiased tools (instruments), that's what you are leaving out of your toolbox.
No... not all. When it can be applied, that is wonderful. When it isn't duplicated and if there were not instruments around, then I have to deal with what evidence is there. And this is the situation for all of history, especially ancient history. That's a fact i'm willing to live with. And so do historians. And critical thinkers.
You've gone head-over-heels for a one-off supernatural (you think) event and based your whole worldview on it.
No. That's an incomplete picture of what occurs in truly born again Christians. There is the inner change and knowledge and assurance that occurs when you accept Christ as your Lord and Saviour which the Holy Spirit gives you. Now... that cannot be verified independtly at all. And I wouldn't even dream of you to accept that kind of personal testimony and evidence. And so we don't.
But I'm not having a discussion with you based on that kind of personal evidence. I'm asking that you treat and challenge and test the NT documents as you would do with any documents that claim to be historical knowledge and factual. That is the kind of evidence that can be handled and looked at and analyzed objectively and independently of any experiental evidence.
For me, the objective evidence came first.. .and then the experiential evidence came after and confirmed the former.
IMHO, it's a big, big mistake and sloppy critical thinking. Sorry to have to say that.
This is only true if I'm doing what you claim.. but since I'm not, this statement of yours is irrelevant in my case.
The other bad thing for you is, you have the entire burden of proof, and for what you are attempting to prove - it's about as hard a task as you can imagine.
But as difficult as it maybe... I think it is still very persuasive and compelling for the open mind.
So that's what I want to focus on, because it's the main thing that troubles me about how you use your critical thinking skills.
I'm not the one who is begging the question and who was cutting off any discussion over evidence and facts by apriorily dismissing my argument because you've already assumed in your conclusion the very thing in quesion. It is your use of your claimed critical thinking skills that I find troubling.