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Main Discussion Zone => Formal Debates => Topic started by: Inactive_1 on January 27, 2010, 07:13:14 PM

Title: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Inactive_1 on January 27, 2010, 07:13:14 PM
Post all comments for this debate here please.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Ambassador Pony on January 27, 2010, 07:34:05 PM
bm
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: HAL on January 27, 2010, 07:39:41 PM
Peanut gallery present and accounted for!  :D
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Fran on January 27, 2010, 09:47:15 PM
Hi Kcrady... I've never done this before in a forum like this.  How do you want to start?
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Operator_A25 on January 27, 2010, 09:59:52 PM
Hi Fran, welcome back.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Deus ex Machina on January 28, 2010, 03:20:22 AM
Cool. Who's going to moderate this? I would, but (a) it wouldn't be fair to Fran; (b) my broadband connection has been a bit flaky lately; and (c) I recently bought Mass Effect so I'm a bit... distracted at the moment.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: velkyn on January 28, 2010, 12:42:29 PM
bookmark
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Operator_A25 on January 28, 2010, 01:05:42 PM
Moderation might have to be a team effort.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Dragnet on January 28, 2010, 01:08:24 PM
< checks preconceptions at the door, takes a seat >
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: HAL on January 28, 2010, 01:11:04 PM
Will this debate be 48 pages too?

(http://www.atheistthinktank.net/HAL/threadbombs/human_shrug.jpg)
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Ambassador Pony on January 28, 2010, 04:32:49 PM
Yes, HAL. Yes it will. Just have a look at Fran's latest post in the ressurrection thread. It's pathetic.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: HAL on January 28, 2010, 04:57:55 PM
Yes, HAL. Yes it will. Just have a look at Fran's latest post in the ressurrection thread. It's pathetic.

Bwahahahahaha! I'm still laughing! I commented on it over there.

 :D :D :D :D :D
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Emily on January 28, 2010, 07:30:20 PM
These debates are better then sex.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Dragnet on January 28, 2010, 07:38:16 PM
^^ Then yer doin it wrong
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: knot on January 29, 2010, 02:00:43 AM
These debates are better then sex.

You need a new partner or maybe get one!

BM
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Anfauglir on January 30, 2010, 08:16:38 AM
These debates are better then sex.


Um.....spare a thought for the participants in the debates when you say things like that.  I'm sure Fran is a lovely guy, but....!!!!!!   :-[
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: velkyn on February 01, 2010, 10:56:19 AM
Quote
Rejecting a hypothesis IS demonstrating AN opinion.

I love how Fran has no concept of what these words mean. 
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: GetMeThere on February 02, 2010, 12:10:13 PM
jesus! I'm sick of this debate ALREADY--and it hasn't even started.

It IS good to see Fran explicitly acknowledge that he's UNWILLING to even DEBATE the "four facts." They've been validated by (hehe) "the vast majority of historians" so there's nothing to debate.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: HAL on February 02, 2010, 12:17:46 PM
Fran,

Can a group of scholars be wrong?

Has every group of scholars in the history of this planet that have decided to agree on a set of "facts" always been right 100% of the time, and in the history of this planet, have groups of scholars agreeing NEVER been proven to be wrong, ever?

Are groups of scholars immune to being disagreed and proven wrong with by people who aren't scholars? Does the title of "Scholar" make them immune to criticism?

That's the problem you have with your group of scholars, you assume they are absolutely right, and you tell us we can't disagree with them because we aren't scholars. Sorry, but you and they don't get a pass on that. I can disagree with their assertions if I want to, after applying critical thinking to what they assert, and if it shows them to be incorrect, then that's too bad for the scholars. It's very possible for groups of scholars to be incorrect Fran, and if you don't think so, then you are delusional about more than just your religion.

Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: HAL on February 02, 2010, 07:32:20 PM
But remember this, you can't ask of me something that you are not going to apply to yourself.  For ANY NATURAL explanation you put forth,  then you must support it WITH FACTS.. and not wishful thinking.  At the very least,  bring to the table as much as I do... which is written material  written around the same time period as the written material I use.  In fact, the earlier the better.

Fran,

We've told you a million times now it seems like -

WRITTEN MATERIAL CAN NEVER BE EVIDENCE OR LEAD TO CONCLUSIONS THAT SUPERNATURAL RESURRECTIONS CAN BE A SOLUTION TO YOUR SCENARIO

Fran, prove that a god exists and can resurrect rotting corpses, then and only then can you use it as an explanation.

You've been told this over and over and over and over ... and you can't or won't understand it to this day. You always put the cart (a resurrection) before the horse (proving a god exists that can do such things). You have it

TOTALLY BACKWARDS

It won't work Fran, and I hope kcrady sets you straight on this once and for all.

edited for clarity
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: jedweber on February 03, 2010, 11:36:15 AM
bookmark
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Anfauglir on February 04, 2010, 06:21:48 AM
Reading Kcrady's latest posts, it looks as if the debates have been divided as follows:

Room 2: Anfauglir's extra-normal solution (aliens) vs. Fran's extra-normal solution (resurrection).
Room 3: Kcrady's normal solution vs. Fran's extra-normal solution, plus examination of the facts themselves.

Fran should, it seems, have an easier job against me, surely?  We're both arguing "extra-normal" solutions, AND I'm giving him a complete "bye" that:
Jesus really and completely died on the cross.
That his body was placed in a tomb, which was later found empty.
That his disciples, and others, became completely convinced that Jesus had returned from the dead as a result of their experiences post-crucifiction with a being claiming to be Jesus.

Surely easier to defeat me, one would have thought.....?   ;D
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: GetMeThere on February 10, 2010, 07:10:57 PM
Update: Fran replies!!!!!!!!!!

Summary:

1) Penalty to kcrady: ungentlemanly conduct. 10 yards.

2) Penalty to Fran: Out of bounds--claims disciples wrote the gospels: free kick

3) Fran wins by attrition: Sticking to the Experts Claim defense without letup!!! Nice play Fran!!

4) Commentator note: I thought it was rude to read all 315 posts that Fran has just made. I settled for only the first one.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: GetMeThere on February 10, 2010, 07:35:21 PM
I'd just like to report, after reading a bit further, that it can be seen now that Fran has utterly BULLDOZED OVER the point many of us tried to help him understand--and clearly FAILED to make him understand.

He is now stating OUTRIGHT, as his fact #3: It is a FACT that the disciples saw, communicated with, whatever, jesus after his death. I've noticed Habermas AND WLC do this same thing as it suits them. When pressed, they will admit that the "historical fact" is that the disciples REPORTED seeing jesus after his death...but when no one is looking, they return to the "fact" being the disciples SAW jesus after his death.

It's VERY telling that Fran simply WILL NOT ALLOW THIS DISTINCTION TO EVEN ENTER HIS MIND. In his latest series of posts he acts as if the issue had never been raised, and that the historical fact is that "the disciples saw jesus after his death."

This is why this debate can never proceed: Fran has REFUSED to even ACKNOWLEDGE the points of others. He takes as a last resort that he's simply unable to understand the point. He has done this with Fact #3, and the result is he is now claiming something FAR BEYOND the actual "Fact #3" (for which he can't be blamed too much, because Habermas HIMSELF makes the unwarranted expansion of the fact whenever he can).
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: HAL on February 10, 2010, 07:39:41 PM
It's VERY telling that Fran simply WILL NOT ALLOW THIS DISTINCTION TO EVEN ENTER HIS MIND. In his latest series of posts he acts as if the issue had never been raised, and that the historical fact is that "the disciples saw jesus after his death."

Yep. Welcome to our world. We've been fighting this since way last year.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Azdgari on February 10, 2010, 07:43:44 PM
The fact that Fran regularly makes ~8-page responses rather than concise ones, making progress nigh-impossible, indicates, to me, that he values the existence of the debate more than a resolution to the debate.  Keeping the debate going without conclusion is his ultimate goal.  It is an exercise in trolling.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: GetMeThere on February 10, 2010, 07:58:11 PM
It's VERY telling that Fran simply WILL NOT ALLOW THIS DISTINCTION TO EVEN ENTER HIS MIND. In his latest series of posts he acts as if the issue had never been raised, and that the historical fact is that "the disciples saw jesus after his death."

Yep. Welcome to our world. We've been fighting this since way last year.

That's why I've always pushed for "micro debates" that concentrate on very SPECIFIC issues, and that can progress with SHORT posts, and a clear back and forth on sticking points. This debate can't proceed in any kind of realistic manner with the Fact #3 disparity floating through it--yet, we ALL ganged up on him over this issue for PAGES, and simply couldn't break through. It's DEEPLY ENTRENCHED cognitive dissonance that's as strong as iron--which is why, ultimately, it's pointless to have these kinds of debates with believers. Highly FOCUSED debates can work, because these sticking points are hit EASILY, focused on, and either broken through or seen to be intractable--ending the debate. There' so much crap floating in the air over this debate that it's impossible to get anywhere.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Gnu Ordure on February 10, 2010, 07:58:54 PM
It's ridiculous. A waste of time and space.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: HAL on February 10, 2010, 08:01:02 PM
Fran said this in his word-wall post -

Quote
History deals in probabilities.

That one small snippet is all I need, out of that massive dump.

Yes Fran, it does, and that's all we need to dismiss the claims of an actual resurrection. That's it. Simple. That's why we don't dismiss claims of ancient wars or leaders or journeys or ships or cities or ... - because WE KNOW THESE THINGS CAN HAPPEN AND ARE POSSIBLE.

A resurrection? The probability of it actually happening is so low as to be near Zero, and you know damn well why. There is NO corroborating evidence of such a thing EVER happening, and NO evidence of the force that enables such an event. NONE - ZERO - NADA.

Case closed dear.

kcrady, I feel sorry that you have to wade through that muck, but I wish you the best of luck.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: GetMeThere on February 10, 2010, 08:14:28 PM
I'm going to write this simple scenario in the hopes that Fran will see it and perhaps even "get it."


What will be the report of the historian?

1) Fifty years ago, GetMeThere reported to many people that he saw a UFO?

Or

2) Fifty years ago, GetMeThere saw a UFO?

Of course, not only is it painfully obvious that the FACT is #1. It should ALSO be obvious, that without some sort of independent PHYSICAL evidence, that it could NEVER be stated as fact that I saw a UFO. To do so is to claim that one can know for a fact an event that happened in another's MIND. This is IMPOSSIBLE.

In the same way, it might be possible to claim as an historical fact that the disciples REPORTED to others that they saw jesus after his death (although I would argue even THAT to be questionable). It is IMPOSSIBLE for it to be an ESTABLISHED FACT that the disciples SAW jesus after his death (even though it could IN FACT be true--it would be a truth that, nevertheless, others could never fairly claim to be a fact).

It's a problem having a debate with someone who can apparently not understand the above.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: GetMeThere on February 10, 2010, 08:34:46 PM
A resurrection? The probability of it actually happening is so low as to be near Zero, and you know damn well why. There is NO corroborating evidence of such a thing EVER happening, and NO evidence of the force that enables such an event. NONE - ZERO - NADA.

In a way, though, I think you're WRONG, and by being wrong you weaken OUR side of the debate.

I think there COULD be quite excellent historical evidence that the resurrection actually occurred. I've mentioned this before. When jesus was teleporting around Palestine and visiting with the disciples, he could have ALSO been teleporting around China and giving sermons, and North and South America giving sermons to the Indians, and telling them all about his resurrection. If reports were unearthed describing THAT it would, in fact, be quite suggestive evidence of a supernatural occurrence. If there were enough reports, with DETAILS, etc., etc., I myself would perhaps find them compelling, and would consider believing them.

To say that no evidence could demonstrate the supernatural event means that you dismiss even the possibility. To say that you ACCEPT the possibility, and that the evidence COULD exist--but DOESN'T, is a fairer position, and makes a rejection of the current evidence a fairer rejection.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Levan on February 10, 2010, 08:35:46 PM
Wow. Just... wow.

I think Fran just won due to argumentum ad verbosium.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: HAL on February 10, 2010, 08:40:23 PM
In a way, though, I think you're WRONG, and by being wrong you weaken OUR side of the debate.

So be it - but I've explained it in all my past posts very clearly. I stand by my position. If you want to read all my posts regarding this you are welcome to do so.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Azdgari on February 10, 2010, 08:43:55 PM
I'm looking through HAL's post for where he said that no evidence of a force that enables ressurrection could ever come to light, and I'm not seeing it.  He talks a lot about the utter lack of such evidence, but he in no way suggests - in that post, at least - that such evidence is impossible.

HAL, am I missing something in your post that GMT did not miss?
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: HAL on February 10, 2010, 08:46:14 PM
HAL, am I missing something in your post that GMT did not miss?

Nope, you aren't missing anything.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: GetMeThere on February 10, 2010, 08:59:06 PM
In a way, though, I think you're WRONG, and by being wrong you weaken OUR side of the debate.
So be it - but I've explained it in all my past posts very clearly. I stand by my position. If you want to read all my posts regarding this you are welcome to do so.

You make the point often that NO EVIDENCE has ever been shown of supernatural occurrences. It's an IMPORTANT POINT, and one that believers don't properly acknowledge. I'm only saying that I like to point out to believers that there easily COULD be such evidence--but it happens to be totally lacking. I think that believers too often take skeptics to mean to say that supernatural events are IMPOSSIBLE (which, strictly, they may be, because once they happen they aren't supernatural anymore--but you know what I mean).

I think believers let THEMSELVES off the hook too easily by never clearly acknowledging that there COULD and SHOULD be abundant evidence of supernatural events if their belief is to be justified. Instead, they act as though it should be EXPECTED that supernatural events would be "cloaked" or "unprovable."
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: HAL on February 10, 2010, 09:03:26 PM
I'm only saying that I like to point out to believers that there easily COULD be such evidence--but it happens to be totally lacking.

Getmethere, please read this post of mine, asking Fran to help me try to determine how evidence for the supernatural could be determined, for both atheists and theists (he blew it off of course), before jumping my case again -

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=9647.msg217490#msg217490
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: GetMeThere on February 10, 2010, 09:38:35 PM
I'm only saying that I like to point out to believers that there easily COULD be such evidence--but it happens to be totally lacking.

Getmethere, please read this post of mine, asking Fran to help me try to determine how evidence for the supernatural could be determined, for both atheists and theists (he blew it off of course), before jumping my case again -

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=9647.msg217490#msg217490

I am NOT "jumping on your case."

I have read your link. I agree that supernatural effects should be measurable since, afterall, they ARE effects--something in the world is claimed to have changed in response to them.

What I am trying to bring to the fore is that there could also be HISTORICAL evidence which substantially supports reports of ancient supernatural events. I bring it up because it interests me--and I'm certainly not the first one to come up with this idea. If it was jesus' mission to come to earth and give his message to people, then he could EASILY have teleported all over earth after his resurrection, and given the message to everyone. Historical EVIDENCE of his message being in all cultures (with the right details, etc.) could serve as pretty substantial evidence of a supernatural event. Clearly, it was jesus' INTENTION to demonstrate supernatural events, and to demonstrate his resurrection. So it can't be argued that he wanted to HIDE supernatural events. Therefore, there's no good reason for him to NOT teleport around and leave evidence that could be FOREVER judged to be genuinely supernatural--even thousands of years later.

It's my impression that atheists of course DISMISS ancient claims of supernatural events ESPECIALLY (it's my habit, too) . Hearsay testimony over such a span of time could not be robust enough to substantiate supernatural events. But a supernatural RESULT, such as records from all cultures of visitations by jesus COULD establish the events to a reasonable likelihood. I think it should be up to BELIEVERS to ALSO acknowledge that there COULD in fact be evidence of ancient supernatural events, but there isn't. If one only looks at ancient records of "witness testimony" then that's equivalent to saying that there could NOT be evidence of supernatural events because--few would argue--two thousand year old witness testimony could probably never offer evidence that would satisfy many critics. By detailing a scenario as I have, one clearly acknowledges to believers that there COULD EASILY exist evidence of a supernatural resurrection of jesus, but the evidence isn't there. But that can only be done if one OFFERS a scenario in which the evidence could exist. Unless one offers that scenario, I think the implication is clear that one thinks it's IMPOSSIBLE to find ancient evidence of a supernatural event.

I think Fran should be made to explain why, since jesus clearly INTENDED for reports to be made of his resurrected body, that jesus didn't visit TENS OF THOUSANDS at least, including at least a trip to Rome. He could have hovered permanently in the sky above Jerusalem for forty days, instead of just hanging out with his boys. If he gave regular sermons in Jerusalem as a "resurrected body," floating through walls, etc., I'm quite sure that fact would have been independently chronicled by NUMEROUS ancient scribes. Fran should have to EXPLAIN why jesus apparently chose to HIDE what is supposed to be a REVELATION (a revealing).

He was apparently all too comfortable performing healings in front of crowds, and of making fish and wine for thousands. Why was he so stingy with his resurrection show--since, indeed, THAT would be the thing that could really get contemporaneous chroniclers excited enough to report on? Of course, the  herd of zombies, darkness, and ground shaking should ALSO have been quite reportable--but EVERYBODY seems to very politely avoid that one ;)
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Levan on February 10, 2010, 09:46:34 PM
GetMeThere, what you just mentioned would violate free will.

God doesn't want to make us mindless robots. Miracles undermine that.

^______^
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: GetMeThere on February 10, 2010, 10:21:47 PM
GetMeThere, what you just mentioned would violate free will.

God doesn't want to make us mindless robots. Miracles undermine that.

^______^

Actually it wouldn't (even under the spurious christian logic). There would still be LOTS of people who would dismiss it as crowd delusion or whatever (if it were just in Jerusalem--but lots of locals recording it AT THE TIME, in writing). But it would be true that a lot more people in the middle would have reason to find it plausible. And who knows, with such a buzz discussed for hundreds of years in the ancient world, Islam might not have gotten invented--thereby saving billions of souls.

I don't think "free will" can so easily get believers out of this particular one. Even with WORLDWIDE records, validated in the modern day, lots of people would claim simply that trade throughout the world was more advanced than we realized. But at the same time, believers could offer a MUCH stronger argument, and surely win more converts. Believers are out there offerring arguments to potential converts--so god must WANT that. A BETTER argument will win more converts--while at the same time allowing for free will to still offer a way out for the doomed non-believers.

The free will contingent wins the argument only with the weekly, big-face-in-the-sky sermons, with world wide coverage, and extending into modern times. Everyone WOULD convert then.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Levan on February 11, 2010, 01:23:11 AM
But I was just being a poe :(
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: GetMeThere on February 11, 2010, 01:40:32 AM
But I was just being a poe :(

My argument was directed AT you, it was directed toward someone who would ACTUALLY try to make the free will argument. I know that's not your position.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Anfauglir on February 11, 2010, 04:49:34 AM
I'm only saying that I like to point out to believers that there easily COULD be such evidence--but it happens to be totally lacking.

Getmethere, please read this post of mine, asking Fran to help me try to determine how evidence for the supernatural could be determined, for both atheists and theists (he blew it off of course), before jumping my case again -

Zero evidence for something does not mean it did not happen.  My glance just flicked out the window: this happened, but there is no way I can prove it.  Just because something cannot be conclusively proven does not mean it did not happen.

So we then have to look at balance of probabilities.  We all know about windows.  We all know about eyes.  We all know that we sometimes glance away from our PCs.  And hence the "Anf looked out the window" event becomes eminently plausible, even if not proven, and there is no issue with taking it as fact.

Where an event is postulated with no conclusive evidence, we must therefore look at whether similar things have happened - whether such an event becomes reasonable to countenance.  Fran's suggestion is that "a man came back from the dead - from the really, trully, definitely dead".  And there is no comparable event that we can look at to say "well, we know for sure it happened here, so maybe it DID happen there". 

So we are left with a possible singular event that goes AGAINST every other comparable case - the billions of times people were really, truly, definitely dead, but did NOT come back to life.  So unless there is verifiable evidence that the event happened, in the light of the weight of evidence against (the "natural" world that Fran suggests I do not share with him  ;D )it is quite reasonable to say "no, it did not" - no matter how many "eye-witness" accounts there are.

Frankly, ever since I discovered how many people didn't spot the gorilla, I take eye-witness accounts with a HUGE grain of salt.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: HAL on February 11, 2010, 08:54:45 AM
I think there COULD be quite excellent historical evidence that the resurrection actually occurred. I've mentioned this before. When jesus was teleporting around Palestine and visiting with the disciples, he could have ALSO been teleporting around China and giving sermons, and North and South America giving sermons to the Indians, and telling them all about his resurrection. If reports were unearthed describing THAT it would, in fact, be quite suggestive evidence of a supernatural occurrence. If there were enough reports, with DETAILS, etc., etc., I myself would perhaps find them compelling, and would consider believing them.

So then GetMeThere, how would you know Jesus was doing all these things supernaturally, or because he had advanced capabilities that even today would be indistinguishable from magic; i.e., he was an alien with technology millions of years advanced from anything we can imagine? How sir, would you know this only by uncovering ancient written records?
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Anfauglir on February 11, 2010, 09:25:19 AM
They also were willing to suffer scorn, ridicule, mockery and become outcasts from their friends, families, and culture.  They were also willing to throw out and leave behind they're MOST CHERSIHED beliefs and rituals and cultural IDENTITY as Jews to accept that Jesus was literally resurrected and had appeared before them... and ate with them... and walked with them... and fished with them... and talked with them... and spent 40 days with them.

I mentioned this before, but I think it bears repeating.  MOST SOURCES CLAIM FAR, FAR LESS THAN FOTY DAYS.

In John, Mary sees a man "and knew not that it was Jesus" until he told them so.
Then someone appears to the disciples - who do not recognise him until he shows them his wounds.
Eight days later, "Jesus" appears again to Thomas and the others.
Some time later, someone again appears "but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus" until he told them he was, EVEN THOUGH HE HAD ALREADY APPEARED TO THEM TWICE BEFORE.  (John also mentions "many other things" this new man (who looked nothing like Jesus) did....but without any detail.)

Matthew reports only that he sees them twice, once near the tomb and once on a mountain.  There is no mention of eating with him - though they do (in this account) all seem to recognise him.  How long does he stay?  We don't know.

In Mark he appears to 2 disciples, then soon(?) after to eleven, and then goes to heaven.  Again, there seems no confusion as to what he looks like.

In Luke, two disciples walk with him and talk with him for some time, not recognising him at all.  Then all of a sudden they recognise him, and he vanishes.  He was clearly unrecognisable as the same man, even with prolonged contact and conversation.  Shortly(?) afterwards he appeared to them all - and has to reassure them that he IS flesh and blood, despite vanishing earlier on.  This is the only account where he actually eats, by the way.  He then leads them out of the city, and was carried to heaven.  Again, no mention of "40 days", and the impression is that it was pretty much instant, given the context.

Only in Acts do we suddenly hear about "40 days" - and, again, I hope nobody is seriously considering this a LITERAL 40 days?  Consider also that this "40 day period" is disposed of in just 9 lines of text - an incredible contraction, given how outlandish this experience of a resurrected being must have been.

So we have 5 mentions of Christ after the cruxifiction.  One says 40 consecutive days.  Another has wo brief appearances before his "ascention", another appears to speak of events happening in a day or two at most.  In many, he is unrecognicable until he actually says who he is.  Only in one is he specifically recorded as eating.

To claim therefore that Jesus "ate with them... and walked with them... and fished with them... and talked with them... and spent 40 days with them" is, at best, a stretch.

Was this person observed for just a couple of occasions (Mark), for a consistent 40 days (Acts), or somewhere in between (Matthew, John, Luke)?  Was he immediately recognisable (Matthew, Mark), or a complete stranger up until the point he revealed himself (Luke, John)?

John and Acts tally for time...but shed doubt on how obvious it was this was the same man they knew before.  Matthew and Mark make him recognisable, but cut the length of time he was observed very short.  Luke makes him unrecognisable, AND gives them only one meal and a walk to observe him.  

Fran picks the "best" parts of the five accounts, to give the "he was obvious and stayed with them for ages".  But why is that a more plausible bit of cherry picking than to say that John and Luke were right when they say he was unrecognisable, and Luke and Mark correct that he stayed only a short time?
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: GetMeThere on February 11, 2010, 11:21:52 AM
So then GetMeThere, how would you know Jesus was doing all these things supernaturally, or because he had advanced capabilities that even today would be indistinguishable from magic; i.e., he was an alien with technology millions of years advanced from anything we can imagine? How sir, would you know this only by uncovering ancient written records?

If jesus had merely floated around ALL of Jerusalem for the forty days, and walked through walls in front of EVERYONE there, Roman officials and all (instead of just some smallish groups), then actual documentation of that, from MANY independent and contemporaneous sources, would surely be available. Since similar documentation of supernatural events has never been made OTHERWISE in the history of the world, it COULD BE argued somewhat persuasively that an extraordinary event HAD occurred as a basis for the reports. (that's in contrast to the small reports by INTERESTED reporters of supernatural phenomena, with which history it littered)

IDEALLY, jesus could have travelled all over the world, and visited all cultures to the extent that they ALL generated numerous independent reports all over the world. It would in fact be quite difficult to explain the existence of such reports now, in the modern age, without giving some significant credence to some sort of "supernatural" underlying event.

I think believers should somehow acknowledge (and consider) as they try to make their cases with such pathetic evidence, that jesus could EASILY have provided far better evidence, but apparently chose NOT to.

I don't think believers have a clear conception of the fact that the evidence could easily have been MUCH BETTER. If they understood that fact, then I think it might...open their eyes a bit about their process of delusion, and their dependence on faith WITHOUT evidence, in order to believe what they believe.

My problems with believers has NEVER been that they believe things without evidence; it's that they insist on asserting that there IS evidence. If they insist on that, then I would like them to offer an explanation for why there isn't ENOUGH evidence to easily and straightforwardly make a case. At minimum, they might conclude that jesus doesn't WANT THEM to try to make a case--and that would shut them up, or at least compel them to make their case on a purely faith basis.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Azdgari on February 11, 2010, 11:26:14 AM
GMT is learning from Fran:  The art and skill of burying the lack of an answer in an excessive volume of words.  True, he's not at the 8-page-response level, but 8 pages are not needed to obscure the dodge of HAL's question to a casual reader.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: GetMeThere on February 11, 2010, 11:44:20 AM
GMT is learning from Fran:  The art and skill of burying the lack of an answer in an excessive volume of words.  True, he's not at the 8-page-response level, but 8 pages are not needed to obscure the dodge of HAL's question to a casual reader.

I do think my comment is short enough to read in about thirty seconds, and then offer a substantive response to (instead of an insulting one).

A more direct response to HAL's last sentence is this: Simultaneous reports from all over the ancient world of a hovering, preaching, wall-penetrating, resurrected jesus would be taken in modern times to reliably describe an actual event (of some kind, at least). This is already true for ancient astronomical events and climatic events (as resulting from, say, volcanic eruptions).

Modern historians would probably give some credence to the need for an "extraordinary" explanation of some sort for the existence of such a widespread and correlated message in the ancient world--especially in the absence of any evidence for other means of worldwide communication at the time.

A supernatural explanation would be plausible (especially since that phenomenon described ITSELF as supernatural).
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Azdgari on February 11, 2010, 12:47:32 PM
Well, you're still making a multi-paragraph answer to a question that HAL did not ask, while ignoring the question that he did ask.  It's right there for reference, too.  I don't know if this is intentional deception, or a simple failure on your part.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Deus ex Machina on February 11, 2010, 01:51:34 PM
TL;DR

I'm bloody glad I'm not moderating this. Fran's latest wheeze, it seems, is to misapply the fallacies he's apparently recently learned in every possible situation. That he is apparently unable to distinguish between colourful language used for entertainment value and loaded language used in lieu of a logical argument is telling.

There isn't a facepalm image big enough for this. I'll be in the car...
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Petey on February 11, 2010, 02:32:59 PM
I second what Deus said.

Also, I noticed the following sentence (many, many times in a variety of wordings) which is quite telling to Fran's bias:
Quote from: Fran
The debate is not about whether someone can come up with a natural explanation... it has always been about coming up with a natural explanation that is MORE REASONABLE... and EXPLAINS BETTER the FMF than the Resurrection hypothesis.

What he fails to realize is that any natural explanation is more reasonable than miraculous resurrection.

Otherwise, I suggest that he needs to go back through every story of a resurrected man, god, or god-man and provide natural explanations that "better explain" those resurrections...given only the "facts" that are available in those stories themselves.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Operator_A25 on February 11, 2010, 02:55:19 PM
I have notifications enabled for this topic and will moderate it, if no one else is.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Fran on February 11, 2010, 06:08:41 PM
They also were willing to suffer scorn, ridicule, mockery and become outcasts from their friends, families, and culture.  They were also willing to throw out and leave behind they're MOST CHERSIHED beliefs and rituals and cultural IDENTITY as Jews to accept that Jesus was literally resurrected and had appeared before them... and ate with them... and walked with them... and fished with them... and talked with them... and spent 40 days with them.

I mentioned this before, but I think it bears repeating.  MOST SOURCES CLAIM FAR, FAR LESS THAN FOTY DAYS.

In John, Mary sees a man "and knew not that it was Jesus" until he told them so.
Then someone appears to the disciples - who do not recognise him until he shows them his wounds.
Eight days later, "Jesus" appears again to Thomas and the others.
Some time later, someone again appears "but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus" until he told them he was, EVEN THOUGH HE HAD ALREADY APPEARED TO THEM TWICE BEFORE.  (John also mentions "many other things" this new man (who looked nothing like Jesus) did....but without any detail.)

Matthew reports only that he sees them twice, once near the tomb and once on a mountain.  There is no mention of eating with him - though they do (in this account) all seem to recognise him.  How long does he stay?  We don't know.

In Mark he appears to 2 disciples, then soon(?) after to eleven, and then goes to heaven.  Again, there seems no confusion as to what he looks like.

In Luke, two disciples walk with him and talk with him for some time, not recognising him at all.  Then all of a sudden they recognise him, and he vanishes.  He was clearly unrecognisable as the same man, even with prolonged contact and conversation.  Shortly(?) afterwards he appeared to them all - and has to reassure them that he IS flesh and blood, despite vanishing earlier on.  This is the only account where he actually eats, by the way.  He then leads them out of the city, and was carried to heaven.  Again, no mention of "40 days", and the impression is that it was pretty much instant, given the context.

Only in Acts do we suddenly hear about "40 days" - and, again, I hope nobody is seriously considering this a LITERAL 40 days?  Consider also that this "40 day period" is disposed of in just 9 lines of text - an incredible contraction, given how outlandish this experience of a resurrected being must have been.

So we have 5 mentions of Christ after the cruxifiction.  One says 40 consecutive days.  Another has wo brief appearances before his "ascention", another appears to speak of events happening in a day or two at most.  In many, he is unrecognicable until he actually says who he is.  Only in one is he specifically recorded as eating.

To claim therefore that Jesus "ate with them... and walked with them... and fished with them... and talked with them... and spent 40 days with them" is, at best, a stretch.

Was this person observed for just a couple of occasions (Mark), for a consistent 40 days (Acts), or somewhere in between (Matthew, John, Luke)?  Was he immediately recognisable (Matthew, Mark), or a complete stranger up until the point he revealed himself (Luke, John)?

John and Acts tally for time...but shed doubt on how obvious it was this was the same man they knew before.  Matthew and Mark make him recognisable, but cut the length of time he was observed very short.  Luke makes him unrecognisable, AND gives them only one meal and a walk to observe him.  

Fran picks the "best" parts of the five accounts, to give the "he was obvious and stayed with them for ages".  But why is that a more plausible bit of cherry picking than to say that John and Luke were right when they say he was unrecognisable, and Luke and Mark correct that he stayed only a short time?

Forget the 40 days then!!!  I've already told Kcrady that if this is going to be a stumbling block, then forget that entire specific description which he had concerns with about the 40 days.  Isn't that simple?

The bottom line is that they saw something which CONVINCED them that they saw the real Jesus after his death.  That's the bottom line and that is what Fact #3 says.   So if this was going to be a stumbling block, then I was very willing to stick with the language in Fact #3.

How much more gracious and accomodating and fair can I be?  I wrote my response to Kcrady before I came in here out of curiousity and before you posted the above comment to my latest post to him.    So why is this an issue at all?  Are you looking for excuses to be confrontational and contrary and contentious?

Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Ambassador Pony on February 11, 2010, 06:11:53 PM
or contemporaneous, or cantankerous, or cannabalistic, or consequential......
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Fran on February 11, 2010, 06:11:59 PM
I second what Deus said.

Also, I noticed the following sentence (many, many times in a variety of wordings) which is quite telling to Fran's bias:
Quote from: Fran
The debate is not about whether someone can come up with a natural explanation... it has always been about coming up with a natural explanation that is MORE REASONABLE... and EXPLAINS BETTER the FMF than the Resurrection hypothesis.

What he fails to realize is that any natural explanation is more reasonable than miraculous resurrection.

Otherwise, I suggest that he needs to go back through every story of a resurrected man, god, or god-man and provide natural explanations that "better explain" those resurrections...given only the "facts" that are available in those stories themselves.

Petey... you are begging the question.  It's that simple.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: none on February 11, 2010, 06:26:47 PM
Petey... you are begging the question.  It's that simple.
Fran answer my post in your thread, please.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Fran on February 11, 2010, 06:30:24 PM
Petey... you are begging the question.  It's that simple.
Fran answer my post in your thread, please.

Who are you and what thread are you talking about?
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Ambassador Pony on February 11, 2010, 06:31:51 PM
LOL

1 Point --> Fran

fail --> none
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: HAL on February 11, 2010, 06:33:48 PM
Who are you and what thread are you talking about?

LOL! A Fran smackdown to none. Ouch!
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: none on February 11, 2010, 06:35:38 PM
Petey... you are begging the question.  It's that simple.
Fran answer my post in your thread, please.

Who are you and what thread are you talking about?
my user id is "none", the thread is "Did a man name jesus rise from the dead".
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=6776.msg245065#msg245065
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Fran on February 11, 2010, 06:44:09 PM
Petey... you are begging the question.  It's that simple.
Fran answer my post in your thread, please.

Who are you and what thread are you talking about?
my user id is "none", the thread is "Did a man name jesus rise from the dead".
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=6776.msg245065#msg245065


I still don't get it.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Fran on February 11, 2010, 06:46:33 PM
Sorry "none".  I didn't mean that to come across as a diss or a put down.  I haven't been at the other thread and so I wasn't sure which one you were refering to.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Ambassador Pony on February 11, 2010, 06:53:26 PM
Good thing it didn't get physical, eh, tough guy?
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: none on February 11, 2010, 06:58:20 PM
Fran, I can discuss this futher in your thread "Did a man jesus rise from the dead", but you have to be explicit in charaterizing what you don't understand.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Anfauglir on February 12, 2010, 04:36:52 AM
The bottom line is that they saw something which CONVINCED them that they saw the real Jesus after his death.  That's the bottom line and that is what Fact #3 says.   So if this was going to be a stumbling block, then I was very willing to stick with the language in Fact #3.

How much more gracious and accomodating and fair can I be?  I wrote my response to Kcrady before I came in here out of curiousity and before you posted the above comment to my latest post to him.    So why is this an issue at all?
It is an issue, I think, for the following reason.

Your point is, as you say, that the disciples saw a person that they believed to be Jesus.  Fine.  But we need to look at the justification for that belief.  At one end of the scale, it is possible that a disciple saw a vague shape disappearing into the darkness that walked like Jesus, and from that point on believed he really had seen Jesus.  His belief would be sincere, but would say little about the reality of what he saw - we have all, I'm sure, thought we saw a friend only to find we were mistaken.

So the issue is on how justified their beliefs actually were - and that is why the question of "did they see (someone) twice, for a few minutes (a la Mark) or consistently for 40 days (a la Acts)" becomes so important.  I honestly think it is vital that you and Kcrady agree just exactly how much exposure to the person claiming to be Jesus you will accept the disciples actually had.  Given that in many cases, as I said, they initially did NOT think it was Jesus until he said "hey guys, I'm Jesus", it is an important question.  An imposter, for example, might be able to fool them for a few minutes, a few hours.....but its less likely for over a month.

THAT is why it is so important we know exactly how much contact we are talking about.

Are you looking for excuses to be confrontational and contrary and contentious?

Hopefully the above explains why I'm not just raising it for the sake of being a c- whatever.  I regard it as an extremely pertinent part of the debate.  If my tone was strong, perhaps it reflects my irritation that despite meeting all your requirements for answering additional questions, it has been 2 weeks since you last responded in "our" debate.....
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2?
Post by: Anfauglir on February 12, 2010, 04:41:57 AM
It seems there can only be two choices available in such a case.  Either reserve judgment about the Resurrection, or agree that the Resurrection is the best explanation.  What other choice is there if you can't produce a natural explanation that is more reasonable than the Resurrection hypothesis?

Well, there's always Debate Room 2........   ;D
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: kcrady on February 12, 2010, 05:29:13 AM
Forget the 40 days then!!!  I've already told Kcrady that if this is going to be a stumbling block, then forget that entire specific description which he had concerns with about the 40 days.  Isn't that simple?

Fran, it's not the "40 days" that's the stumbling block.  If it's a historical fact that the vast majority of historians accept, then provide citations.  If you can cite one mainstream secular or other-religion (Jewish, Hindu, etc.) scholar/historian who accepts as a historical fact that Jesus lived with his disciples, abruptly appearing and disappearing (teleportation) eating, letting them explore his wounds with their hands, fishing, ascending into the sky, etc., then I will accept that any proposed naturalistic explanation needs to incorporate an explanation for Jesus' post-mortem tangible presence, ability to teleport and/or phase through solid matter[1] etc..  If you can't--if your consensus of historians does not accept these events as historical facts, then I do not think a naturalistic explanation needs to explain such accounts beyond counting them as examples of the progressive growth of legend. 

Nutshell:
I do not think the skeptic is required to explain how Jesus could appear physically to his disciples, let them touch him, etc. if your "consensus of historians" does not even accept such things as historical fact.

Here's where the stumbling block is:

Statement #1:
The bottom line is that they saw something which CONVINCED them that they saw the real Jesus after his death.  That's the bottom line and that is what Fact #3 says.

Statement #2:
They were also willing to throw out and leave behind they're MOST CHERSIHED beliefs and rituals and cultural IDENTITY as Jews to accept that Jesus was literally resurrected and had appeared before them... and ate with them... and walked with them... and fished with them... and talked with them... and spent 40 days with them.

They got to CLOSELY EXAMINE the evidence before them.  As I did in here about what you wrote to me. 


>snip<

They had that very hard evidence and 40 days of living with Jesus after His Resurrection to know the difference between bad memory and good memory. Between perception and hard evidence.  Between wishful thinking and reality.  They saw something spectacular... spectacular evidence that they were willing to lose everything and be tortured and killed rather than back down.


Can you not see the enormous gulf between the two statements? 

Statement #1 could easily refer to ecstatic visions like Paul's, or various sorts of hallucinations, or disciples identifying other people (like the person they met on the road to Emmaus) as "Jesus" in retrospect, motivated by a passionate desire to believe that their beloved Master had been raised from the dead and that their dedication of their lives to him and his mission had not been in vain.  Or (to be fair) actual apparitions of an exalted spiritual Christ comparable to Marian apparitions in Catholicism, the Christ/Logos manifesting through other people (the guy on the road to Emmaus), etc.  Or the actual nature of whatever appearances or apparitions of Christ convinced his followers could be unknown--all that's known is that the early Christians believed in a resurrected Christ on the basis of some (unspecified) sort of manifestations some of them believed they experienced.

Statement #1 is the sort of thing I think a majority of Bible scholars and historians could probably accept as a historical fact, i.e., that Jesus' followers had experiences of some sort (quite possibly subjective, ecstatic visions or hallucinations) that convinced them that he had risen from the dead.

Statement #2 requires a whole other order of explanation.  I very much doubt that scholars who are not Evangelical Christians accept as a fact that Jesus appeared in tangible form to his disciples for 40 days after his death, teleporting around, changing his appearance to look like other people, etc..  I'm willing to be corrected on that score though.  If it's true that most historians/Bible scholars (regardless of their religious positions) do accept these accounts as accurate history, then I'm sure you will be able to cite an example or two.

If you can't, then you don't get to invoke Statement #2 as if it were equivalent to Statement #1.  That's goalpost moving.

Analogy:

Statement #1: Travis Walton was missing for five days, and claims to have spent that time aboard a flying saucer.  His friends claimed to have seen the saucer strike him with a beam of light before they fled and returned to discover that he was missing.

Statement #2: Travis Walton lived aboard a flying saucer for five days.  He sat in its command chair, handled the vessel's controls, encountered and spoke with aliens and humans, and underwent a medical examination.

As far as I know, there are no UFO researchers, skeptic or believer, who would not accept Statement #1 as a fact.  That does not mean that all UFO researchers accept Statement #2 as a fact.  It's much easier for a UFO skeptic to explain Statement #1 ("Travis Walton and his friends are lying") than to explain Statement #2 ("Um...the CIA built a spaceship set, drugged Walton and put him in it, then used actors and animatronics to represent the humans and aliens respectively?").

This is why I'm asking you to stipulate exactly what Four (or however many) Facts your consensus of historians (including non-Christians) actually accepts.  If they accept that the disciples lived with post-mortem Jesus for 40 days physically examining his wounds, etc., then fine.  Just show that they do, and give some kind of summary of their basis for doing so.  If you can, that would be part of Fact #3 and a skeptic like me would need to explain it naturally in order to show that no paranormal explanation (divine miracle, aliens, Satan trying to trick people into abandoning Judaism, etc.) is necessary.

If they don't accept the Doubting Thomas story etc. as historical fact (opting for Statement #1), then a natural explanation doesn't have to incorporate tangible appearances of Jesus alive after his death.  Your tactic so far has been to assert that the scholars accept Statement #1 (which may well be true), but then treat Statement #2 as if it were equivalent to and/or incorporated within Statement #1, when the consensus of scholars may not (and AFAIK, do not) accept Statement #2 as historical fact or equivalent to their actual consensus.
 1. The Gospels mention that he joins the disciples in a locked room without specifying whether he teleported in or walked through the door.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Inactive_1 on February 12, 2010, 08:22:20 AM
Don't you want the above post to be in the Main debate thread kcrady?
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Petey on February 12, 2010, 08:36:53 AM
Quote from: Fran
Petey... you are begging the question.  It's that simple.

Nice dodge.

/shrug

I guess I shouldn't expect anything else from you by now anyway.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Operator_A25 on February 12, 2010, 09:23:14 AM
Petey... you are begging the question.  It's that simple.

Fran, can you explain to me how Petey is begging the question? Because I don't see how.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: HAL on February 12, 2010, 09:36:27 AM
Also, I noticed the following sentence (many, many times in a variety of wordings) which is quite telling to Fran's bias:

Quote from: Fran
The debate is not about whether someone can come up with a natural explanation... it has always been about coming up with a natural explanation that is MORE REASONABLE... and EXPLAINS BETTER the FMF than the Resurrection hypothesis.

Poor Fran, his delusion engine is running at the highest level I've ever seen.

If you have a resurrection hypothesis, then you have to be working towards a method of explaining such a phenomenon.

"A hypothesis (from Greek ????????; plural hypotheses) is a proposed explanation for an observable phenomenon. The term derives from the Greek, ?????????? – hypotithenai meaning "to put under" or "to suppose." For a hypothesis to be put forward as a scientific hypothesis, the scientific method requires that one can test it. Scientists generally base scientific hypotheses on previous observations that cannot be satisfactorily explained with the available scientific theories. Even though the words "hypothesis" and "theory" are often used synonymously in common and informal usage, a scientific hypothesis is not the same as a scientific theory – although the difference is sometimes more one of degree than of principle."[1]

Fran doesn't have a clue about what hypothesis means, nor does he have a clue as to how he would test it even if he really had one. Claiming a resurrection happened in this context begs the question as to how you would explain the workings of this phenomenon. He has no methodology in place to test and explain the workings of a resurrection.

In other words - he's clueless.

Fran dear - please stop using the word hypothesis when you clearly can't use it in the proper context. It offends many of us when you do this.
 1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypothesis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypothesis)
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Deus ex Machina on February 12, 2010, 11:17:23 AM
He's either a complete idiot, a compulsive liar or a highly-accomplished troll - a troll shaman, I would say.

He nitpicks over others' use of colourful language, complaining about the most pathetic slights and kicking and screaming until he gets his way - like some Political Correctness Nazi who attempts to censor every word and phrase that could possibly be considered offensive by anyone. He overuses ALL CAPS and repeats words for emphasis when it is totally unnecessary in forum discourse, and sounds like he's trying to give a lecture. He drowns people in acres more verbiage than could ever be considered necessary to make a point, presumably in the hopes that people will get tired of talking to him and go away, but without ever making any substantive point that withstands critical scrutiny. He's lately learned the neat trick of trying to bury people in (often false) accusations of logical fallacies. He flips from stronger assertions to weaker ones when the stronger assertions are challenged, then flips back to the stronger ones when he thinks no-one will notice.

Add to that his frequent absences when pressed on any topic in which he's received a thorough drubbing, only to turn up like a bad penny weeks or months later and carry on making his assertions as if nothing has happened, and what we have here is a genuine, bona fide, 100%, absolute cretin with less integrity than a used-car salesman, whose tactics are deliberately obfuscatory.

I wonder why any of you - including the forum staff - bother with this fool. As a wise new forum member said, "Swimming upstream against poor arguments garners nothing but exhaustion."

YHBT. YHL. HAND.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2?
Post by: HAL on February 12, 2010, 12:33:31 PM
It seems there can only be two choices available in such a case.  Either reserve judgment about the Resurrection, ...

Yes Fran, and what have I told you over and over and over again? We don't have to provide answers to these ancient riddles if we don't feel there is enough evidence. Did you, perhaps, maybe, finally get it? I know it's probably too much to expect, but I can always hope.

All we have to say is "I don't know, I don't think there is enough evidence to make a definitive statement - come back when you can demonstrate resurrections can actually happen in front of a group of researchers in a laboratory environment"

Quote
FINALLY THE END

Yep.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Deus ex Machina on February 12, 2010, 12:47:52 PM
Merged Anfauglir and HAL's posts into this thread from the other one. Get it right, people! :D
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Deus ex Machina on February 12, 2010, 08:00:55 PM
This simply does not compute:

Six times in my prior post I said I was willing to drop the specific description of his followers eating and fishing, etc with a post-mortem Jesus.   Six times.  It is actually seven times if I count my response to Anfauglir in the comment thread.  So why are you still bringing it up?

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.


I have to ask, how is one supposed to address a supposed "fact" if one is being discouraged from discussing the so-called evidence? This is a nonsense. Fran simply has no clue how to conduct a debate without trying to privilege his own position and put it beyond the scope of critical inquiry at every unprintable opportunity.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: none on February 12, 2010, 08:10:00 PM
sounds like he is claiming "various circumstances" is irrelevant to the witnessing.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Deus ex Machina on February 12, 2010, 08:29:34 PM
sounds like he is claiming "various circumstances" is irrelevant to the witnessing.


I'd have thought the circumstances of those supposed visitations was pretty crucial, wouldn't you?
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: none on February 12, 2010, 08:37:29 PM
only if the testimony of the witness is critical would a person want to know the circumstances under which the observations were made.
I gather that Fran is trying to narrow the "various circumstances" down to the point where only certain aspects of the "various circumstances" are legitimate.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Deus ex Machina on February 12, 2010, 09:35:13 PM
only if the testimony of the witness is critical would a person want to know the circumstances under which the observations were made.
I gather that Fran is trying to narrow the "various circumstances" down to the point where only certain aspects of the "various circumstances" are legitimate.

That's no good if he's attempting to cherry-pick. The credibility of a witness rests on the entirety of the claim; if a witness starts making extraordinary claims, selectively stripping them out does not make the witness more credible. It merely makes the person doing the selecting less credible, in that they're ignoring adverse evidence.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: kcrady on February 13, 2010, 11:07:59 AM
I think there's two distinct issues here:

1) Fran's scholarly consensus--which resurrection-appearance accounts (if any) do experts in the field find credible (i.e., which ones are included in "Fact #3")?

2) Assuming (by Fran's reaction) that the scholarly consensus does not accept all of the Resurrection accounts (i.e, rejecting the Doubting Thomas story, etc.), why do they reject these accounts and what impact does that have on the credibility of the "witness" of the Gospels as a whole with regard to the alleged resurrection of Jesus?

Until now, Fran has been trying to imply that the scholarly consensus accepted the Doubting Thomas story and the Acts account ("They lived with him for 40 days...") as historical fact.  The ease with which he has been compelled to retreat from that position indicates that his vaunted scholarly consensus does not count the Doubting Thomas story and the other similar accounts (living with the disciples for an extended time, fishing with them, eating, etc.) as historical fact.

That being the case, the scope of "Fact #3" is considerably reduced from what it would be if it included such things as Thomas sticking his fingers in the resurrected Jesus' wounds.  This relates to the issue of what a naturalistic explanation of the 4MF would actually have to explain, assuming the 4MF are accepted as historical facts.  This is a distinct issue from a cross-examination of the Gospel accounts as a whole as part of a discussion of the credibility of the Gospel accounts as history. 

In the first case, the issue is to decide which elements of the Gospel resurrection accounts (if any) are accepted by historians and Bible scholars as historically credible or as the basis for a "fact" that some of the earliest Christians claimed to have experienced a resurrected Jesus, and that this was the motive power for the foundation and early spread of Christianity.  As I understand it, these historians would accept that early Christians had these beliefs and some of them claimed various experiences of post-mortem Jesus, but that the "extraordinary claims" that they (the historians) do not accept could represent a later accretion of legend.  In paring those down, the scholars would be trying to get to the "kernel of fact" buried within the matrix of legend, just like scholars of the Trojan War would try to sort out the real history from the Illiad's myth and legend.

The second approach, "the credibility of a witness rests on the entirety of the claim," seems to me to be more oriented toward debunking the Gospels as a whole by pointing to historically-unsupported extraordinary claims as evidence that the narratives themselves are not credible.  This approach would be more like an attempt to debunk the 4MF themselves (and the consensus of Fran's scholars) rather than finding a naturalistic explanation for the elements the scholars accept as genuine history.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Anfauglir on February 14, 2010, 02:59:04 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.   

If we are not going to discuss the actual written testimony of what the disciples claim to have experienced, then what evidence do we actually have that they experienced anything? 

If we throw out the disciples' claims of what went on, we essentially strike through ALL the evidence for a resurrected Jesus, and all we are left with are people that (maybe) died for their beliefs.  What beliefs?  We don't know, we're not looking at the evidence.  We could just as equally say that what they saw were visions experienced while they slept of the return of Jesus, visions so strong that they were utterly convincing.

You cannot claim as fact "the disciples saw Jesus" and at the same time claim that the detail of what they saw is both irrelevant and unexaminable!! 
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: kcrady on February 14, 2010, 09:29:36 AM
The hard part is determining which part of the Gospel accounts are authentic as "the disciples' testimony" and what was added later as the oral tales grew in the telling.  That "Fact #3" is non-detailed is an indication that Fran's scholarly consensus does not extend to any claim that the Gospels are accurate in their details about what the disciples claimed about the Resurrection.  That's hardly surprising, since the Gospel details conflict with one another, and more details creep into Gospels as they date later.  The original ending of Mark's Gospel (the earliest canonical Gospel) doesn't have any post-mortem appearances at all, only a declaration by an angel that Jesus had been raised from death.

As Fran explained in his replies, scholars can use a chain of deductions to come to the conclusion that belief in the Resurrection traces back fairly close to the time of the alleged event.  This sort of thing is arguably good enough to substantiate the existence of the belief early on, but it seems awfully weak as evidence that the belief in Jesus' resurrection is true.

Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: none on February 14, 2010, 10:16:42 AM
...As Fran explained in his replies, scholars can use a chain of deductions to come to the conclusion that belief in the Resurrection traces back fairly close to the time of the alleged event.  This sort of thing is arguably good enough to substantiate the existence of the belief early on, but it seems awfully weak as evidence that the belief in Jesus' resurrection is true.
So basically Fran is saying that the record of the belief existed around the time the belief was conceptualized, but this record or belief does not relate to what really happened?
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: none on February 14, 2010, 10:26:06 AM
Upon further reflection I think that Fran is suggesting that the record of the belief not the belief itself is sufficient for the belief to be credible.
Which might go back to one of my other posts way back when I suggested that if the records of the beliefs that jesus existed were sufficient to prove the existence of jesus then any lack of record or a contradictory record is sufficient to disprove the existence of jesus.
In other words there could be a million records of jesus's existence but that isn't all records, therefore jesus did not exist.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Petey on February 15, 2010, 02:09:45 PM
"Begging the question".

Used 6 times in Fran's latest response.  To quote Inigo Montoya:

"You keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means."
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Operator_A25 on February 15, 2010, 02:32:59 PM
It sounds like he has only recently learned that it is a logical fallacy and doesn't actually mean the same thing as "raises the question." So now he's just flinging it out whenever he comes across something he doesn't want to answer.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: HAL on February 15, 2010, 03:04:43 PM
Each FMF in the Resurrection hypothesis meets two criteria:  They are well evidenced and nearly every scholar accepts them.


WHAT!


What scholars, where?
Who are they?
Which ones don't?
If they don't, why don't they?
Why won't the minority of these scholars (whoever they are) accept what the majority does? Are they good reasons?
What reasons?
Are they the same reasons the critically-thinking atheists here don't accept them?

Good grief!

Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Fran on February 15, 2010, 03:17:19 PM
Petey... you are begging the question.  It's that simple.

Fran, can you explain to me how Petey is begging the question? Because I don't see how.

Petey is begging the question because he is assuming as factual, the very thing we are debating.  The debate is whether Jesus was resurrected.  That's the debate.    I have put forth facts and evidences for my case to show that the Resurrection is more reasonable than any natural explanation.   The skeptic must rebut my case and offer a postive case for their contention that the Resurrection hypothesis is less reasonable than any natural explanation.

Essentially what Petey has done is wave his hand around and claim that the Resurrection hypothesis as less reasonable because.... well... because... because... he said so.  He offers no rebuttal of the case being made for the Resurrection... nor has he offered a positive case for his side.  He just ASSERTS that "any natural explanation is more reasonable than miraculous resurrection".. and that's it.  Well... what are debating?  We are debating the Resurrection to begin with!!!!   

He never said anything like: "any natural explanation is more reasonable than miraculous resurrection BECAUSE of....."  He just says it is more reasonable.  That's it.  Nothing else.  He's assuming the very thing we are debating.  He's assuming as factual that the Resurrection is less reasonable than any natural explanation.  That is begging the question.  Because whether the Resurrection is less reasonable or not is the very thing we are debating.  His entire case is his assertion. 
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: HAL on February 15, 2010, 03:21:03 PM

Essentially what Petey has done is wave his hand around and claim that the Resurrection hypothesis as less reasonable because.... well... because... because... he said so.

It's less NOT EVEN A CONSIDERATION because -

THERE IS NO TESTABLE, VERIFIABLE, INDEPENDENT EVIDENCE THAT RESURRECTIONS ARE POSSIBLE AND NO EXPLANATION AVAILABLE AS TO THE MECHANISM INVOLVED!
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Fran on February 15, 2010, 03:28:28 PM
Petey... you are begging the question.  It's that simple.

Fran, can you explain to me how Petey is begging the question? Because I don't see how.

Since begging the question and circular argments are the same thing, it might help to see it this way.

The question is... "is the Resurrection hypothesis less or more reasonable than any natural hypothesis for the FMF?"

What is Petey's response?  He says the Resurrection hypothesis is less reasonable than any natural explanation. How does he know? Because any natural explanation is more reasonable than the Resurrection hypothesis.  How does he know?  Because anything natural is more reasonable as an explanation than a miraculous explanation.

Can you see the circularity of Petey's argument?  He's assuming the very thing we are debating
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: HAL on February 15, 2010, 03:41:19 PM
What is Petey's response?  He says the Resurrection hypothesis is less reasonable than any natural explanation. How does he know? Because any natural explanation is more reasonable than the Resurrection hypothesis.  How does he know?  Because anything natural is more reasonable as an explanation than a miraculous explanation.

Petey is RIGHT.

Why? Because you can't demonstrate how a resurrection works - it's an unverified hypothesis inside your other hypothesis. You can't use resurrections as a solution until they are proven to be a real thing.

THEY AREN'T!

Quote
Can you see the circularity of Petey's argument?  He's assuming the very thing we are debating

No Fran, he isn't. He is being reasonable and prudent. I will continue to call you out on this as long as you enter the commentary thread!
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Operator_A25 on February 15, 2010, 03:42:35 PM
Can you see the circularity of Petey's argument?  He's assuming the very thing we are debating

It is assumed that a natural explanation trumps the supernatural until you show otherwise. The burden of proof is yours. You make a wild claim, you have to back it up. Until then the default position will be that the wild claim is nothing more than fantasy.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Petey on February 15, 2010, 04:38:13 PM
Fran, we went over the natural vs. supernatural issue ad nauseum in the original "rise from the dead" thread.  It was clearly established (and has been many, many times in many, many threads) that natural explanations are better than supernatural by default.  Therefore, I didn't feel the need to re-explain something that you apparently didn't read in the first place, didn't understand, or simply forgot.

If you feel that supernatural explanations are equally or more valid in explanatory power, then you've got a lot of work to do.  Why do you accept natural explanations for the hundreds of other resurrection claims throughout history, when supernatural ones better fit the "facts"?
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Fran on February 15, 2010, 05:44:21 PM
Fran, we went over the natural vs. supernatural issue ad nauseum in the original "rise from the dead" thread.  It was clearly established (and has been many, many times in many, many threads) that natural explanations are better than supernatural by default.  Therefore, I didn't feel the need to re-explain something that you apparently didn't read in the first place, didn't understand, or simply forgot.

If you feel that supernatural explanations are equally or more valid in explanatory power, then you've got a lot of work to do.  Why do you accept natural explanations for the hundreds of other resurrection claims throughout history, when supernatural ones better fit the "facts"?


Petey... it was never clearly established that natural explanations are better than supernatural by default.  Using your logic, then NO ONE can ever debate whether the supernatural can happen anywhere becaue you would have arbitarily defined the terms in the debate in such a manner that that no debate can exist.

To me, it seems you are guilty of the Persuasive Definition Fallacy or the Definist Fallacy.   It appears that you are trying to win the argument by getting me to accept your faulty definition of terms like supernatural and natural.  The fact is that the terms are never defined scientifically or in the dictionary as being  mutually exclusive.  No where in logic or science or philosophy or in the dictionary are the terms defined in such a way that states that both can't co-exist in our world.

A skeptic's opinion that the supernatural does not exist is just that, an opinion... a philosophical opinion.  It's not a scientific principle or a scientific law.  

Instead, what I have consistently maintained in this forum is that in the abscence of any persuasive evidence for a natural explanation... which is more reasonable than the evidence for the supernatural explanation...  then the supernatural must be seriously considered.  That is... if you are open-minded and objective...  not closed minded and prejudiced against facts and evidence.

Like Flew... we must be brave enough to let the evidence lead us to where it will... not the other way around... which is what you are trying to do by arguing in circles/begging the question.

Why do I accept natural explanations for the hundreds of other resurrection claims throughout history, when supernatural ones better fit the facts?   Well first off, I think you are vastly overstating the figure.   There might be 100's of claims of people coming back from the dead throughout the history... but not so with Resurrection claims.

Secondly... i don't think in such cases, the supernatural claims fit the facts better.  

And thirdly... I think the case for the Resurrection hypothesis for Jesus is far more persuasive in terms of facts and evidences than any other claim that deals with a person rising from the dead.   That is why I accept natural explanations for the hundreds of raising from the dead claims throughout history.  

Take care...
Fran
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Fran on February 15, 2010, 05:53:38 PM
Can you see the circularity of Petey's argument?  He's assuming the very thing we are debating

It is assumed that a natural explanation trumps the supernatural until you show otherwise. The burden of proof is yours. You make a wild claim, you have to back it up. Until then the default position will be that the wild claim is nothing more than fantasy.

No... you're mistaken.  I've already went over this with Kcrady early on in the other thread.  We are debating a question, not a proposition.  And as such, we both have a burden to present positive facts and evidences for our respective cases... and to rebut the other side's case and facts.

And in fact... I have presented a positive case for my side... and Kcrady earlier had tried to present a natural explanation for his side and rebut my evidences.   Since then, he has withdrawn the particular rebuttal and line of reasoning he was first employing (if i understand his statement: "When I wrote those earlier scenarios--which I've publicly withdrawn at least three times now")

Take Care
Fran
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: HAL on February 15, 2010, 06:07:08 PM
Using your logic, then NO ONE can ever debate whether the supernatural can happen anywhere becaue you would have arbitarily defined the terms in the debate in such a manner that that no debate can exist.

Don't let Fran run over you Petey.

Fran, the supernatural is not a proven thing. It isn't. No. It surely is not. It's never been established as existing -NEVER.

Therefore YOU CANNOT EVEN USE IT AS A SOLUTION

BECAUSE - LISTEN CAREFULLY FRAN - IT HAS NO BASIS IN PROVEN ESTABLISHED REALITY.


Quote
A skeptic's opinion that the supernatural does not exist is just that, an opinion... a philosophical opinion.  It's not a scientific principle or a scientific law.  

My opinion is it doesn't exist because it has no basis in verifiable provable reality. Guess what  Fran - that's a rational position. Yours isn't because you HAVE NO PROOF OF THE SUPERNATURAL.

Care to challenge me on that? I dare you.

I double dare you.

I triple dare you.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Anfauglir on February 16, 2010, 07:05:29 AM
... we must be brave enough to let the evidence lead us to where it will... not the other way around...

Aliens.  You Know It Makes Sense!   ;D
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: HAL on February 16, 2010, 08:58:04 AM
This minimal facts approach considers only those data for  the premises that are so strongly attested historically that they are granted by nearly every scholar who studies the subject, even the rather  skeptical ones.  

And that is what is important... trying to find those facts agreed upon by both skeptics and non-skeptics.  A common ground if  you will.   Each FMF in the Resurrection hypothesis meets two criteria:
  
They are well evidenced and nearly every scholar accepts them.  

I repeat - how are you able to make these assertions! You keep saying stuff like this as if we have to accept it out of your mouth! As if we can't challenge it!
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Petey on February 16, 2010, 10:07:17 AM
No worries about getting run over, HAL.  My only concern (albeit slight) is getting talked over, while he completely misses the point.  See above posts for some examples.


Quote from: Fran
Petey... it was never clearly established that natural explanations are better than supernatural by default.

Oh really?  Show me one peer reviewed paper published in a scientific journal that proposes a supernatural explanation to anything.  I can list dozens of examples of formerly accepted supernatural explanations that have since been trumped by natural ones.  Until you can demonstrate the explanatory power of the supernatural, the natural is indeed better by default.

Quote from: Fran
Using your logic, then NO ONE can ever debate whether the supernatural can happen anywhere becaue you would have arbitarily defined the terms in the debate in such a manner that that no debate can exist.

There is nothing arbitrary about it (see above), and a debate can indeed take place.  You seem to be under the impression that in order to have a debate, both sides need to bear equal burden of proof.  This is simply not the case.  The track record of natural explanations is pretty impeccable.  If you want to debate in support of a supernatural explanation of anything, the onus is on you to show not only that your explanation better fits the "facts", but that no natural explanation is even plausible.

You can throw around semantics about "debating a question" until you're blue in the face, but nobody is buying into it.  It's not our fault that you chose to represent a defendant with an extensive prior record, fingerprints on the murder weapon, DNA in and around the victim, multiple eyewitnesses, and no alibi.  Given this analogy, it should surprise no one that your arguments sound very similar to those coming from an extremely "slippery" defense attorney.

Quote from: Fran
To me, it seems you are guilty of the Persuasive Definition Fallacy or the Definist Fallacy.   It appears that you are trying to win the argument by getting me to accept your faulty definition of terms like supernatural and natural.  The fact is that the terms are never defined scientifically or in the dictionary as being  mutually exclusive.  No where in logic or science or philosophy or in the dictionary are the terms defined in such a way that states that both can't co-exist in our world.

More semantics, this time with definitions.  Nobody ever said that they are mutually exclusive or could not co-exist.  I think the whole point all along (that HAL has been trying to hammer through your cranium for months) is that until you (or anyone) can actually demonstrate that the supernatural exists, it can effectively be dismissed as nonexistent.  See my first paragraph in this post.

Also, people would have a lot more respect for you here if you simply addressed their points, rather than trying trying to shoehorn them into some type of logical fallacy.  Any argument can be dodged by logical fallacies, if you are inclined to go that route.  However, this does absolutely nothing to move the debate forward.  Your constant appeals to authority have been pointed out multiple times by multiple people, but has it changed your stance or tactics?  Not one iota.

Quote from: Fran
A skeptic's opinion that the supernatural does not exist is just that, an opinion... a philosophical opinion.  It's not a scientific principle or a scientific law. 

Again, see paragraph 1.  It may not be a scientific law, but it is based on scientific track records of natural vs. supernatural.

Quote from: Fran
Instead, what I have consistently maintained in this forum is that in the abscence of any persuasive evidence for a natural explanation... which is more reasonable than the evidence for the supernatural explanation...  then the supernatural must be seriously considered.  That is... if you are open-minded and objective...  not closed minded and prejudiced against facts and evidence.

Like Flew... we must be brave enough to let the evidence lead us to where it will... not the other way around... which is what you are trying to do by arguing in circles/begging the question.

Yes Fran, skeptics are certainly in the habit of being prejudiced against facts and evidence.   &)

It just so happens that the evidence leads us to a realization that your "facts" are not facts at all.  It's that simple.

Quote from: Fran
Why do I accept natural explanations for the hundreds of other resurrection claims throughout history, when supernatural ones better fit the facts?   Well first off, I think you are vastly overstating the figure.   There might be 100's of claims of people coming back from the dead throughout the history... but not so with Resurrection claims.

Secondly... i don't think in such cases, the supernatural claims fit the facts better. 

Pure BS.  You haven't reviewed a single other resurrection claim to even 1/10th the detail that you have with your pet case, and we both know it.  You simply dismiss them out of hand as being myth, without looking at the actual "facts" of each case.

Quote from: Fran
And thirdly... I think the case for the Resurrection hypothesis for Jesus is far more persuasive in terms of facts and evidences than any other claim that deals with a person rising from the dead.   That is why I accept natural explanations for the hundreds of raising from the dead claims throughout history.

The Jesus story has nothing to do with other resurrection claims.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Grimm on February 16, 2010, 10:45:58 AM
Fran -

The problem you have is that there /are/ natural explanations for events.  They're not kind to your faith, true, but they're not gainsaid by the evidence at hand, and no contrary evidence exists to counter their far simpler premises.

Granting, for the sake of argument, that Jesus existed - here's one possible path:

- Jesus was a Jewish apocalyptic teacher who had a small following at the time.  Where he was born is largely immaterial, and the place and time of his birth was assigned mythologically at a later date.
- He was killed by the Romans as a subversive element.  The Romans were a pretty brutal people, and they didn't handle dissident, itinerant Zionists well, that's certain.
- Stories were passed around about his life that grew with each telling.  Mark was written down about thirty years later, including many of the exaggerations that had come into common belief at the time.  The original version didn't include a ressurection.
- As the stories grew, other versions of the prophet's life were written.  These grew steadily more fantastic, incorporating prayer promises and the ressurection, which was now canon, written down a full two generations after the prophet had passed on. 
- Paul converts the apocalyptic cult into something with a more coherent leadership.  He establishes the early dogma of the faith.

Jesus died.  His teachings were changed by those that followed him, and the stories that were written down were exaggerations at best.. but were supported by millenial fanatacism and what we would now  politely call ignorance.

This requires no conspiracy.  It mirrors the growth of the Cargo Cults, which are fairly well-documented (at least historically) and took place over roughly the same time period in a preliterate, unscientific culture.  Where the Cargo Cults dogma has run into modern society, it fails, as we understand that airplanes are scientific; we're innoculated against that kind of thinking.  Imagine how far the Cargo Cults could have gone in ancient Judea.

This is what you're failing to address; your very sources are suspect.  Your 'Historical Facts' are not facts at all, and the ressurection doesn't fit events that transpired unless you make the very difficult assumption that the Biblical evidence is, somehow, literal - that those books are, say, eyewitness events.

Which they're just not.  Not even the least informed scholar makes that assumption these days.

If you start with 'the bible is right', then, sure, the Ressurection makes sense.  However, if I start with 'Dianetics is Right' then L. Ron makes sense.  The source material is in question, Fran - these 'facts' presume that it is not.  I don't believe Jesus withered a fig tree.  I see only stories that Jesus rose from the dead.

Let's use another analogy:

It is not difficult to assume that a steel pin driver named John Henry probably lived and worked on the railroad lines in the middle nineteenth century.  I have no problem picturing a big, burly fellow (white or black - I doubt chinese, with that name, though that's a possibility) singing as he used a sledgehammer to drive steel.  It is not outside the realm of possibility that he did, in fact, exist.

Did he race a machine?  Maybe.  Truth be told, that kind of spectacle was common at the dawn of the industrial revolution.  Did he die beating the machine?  ... maybe, but the possibility is slimmer.  That sort of thing would probably have been independantly reported.  It's not an impossibility - especially if John Henry were of african descent - that it would have been missed or ignored, but the Ballad of John Henry's basis in truth probably doesn't extend that far. 

Now, if they went on to say that John Henry was raised from the dead by a passing preacher - like Lazarus - we've now gone over into skepticville.   Imagine that's in the song - why would it be nowhere else?  Why did the newspapers at the time not report it?  If he had turned up with this fantastic story, would he have been believed?  Before you say no - remember, people believed Joseph Smith could read golden plates he didn't have by sticking his head in his hat during the same time period...

Your 'facts' rely on 'evidence' that is in question.  How do you salvage your evidence? Thus will you win the debate.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Anfauglir on February 17, 2010, 03:33:20 AM
Petey... it was never clearly established that natural explanations are better than supernatural by default.  Using your logic, then NO ONE can ever debate whether the supernatural can happen anywhere becaue you would have arbitarily defined the terms in the debate in such a manner that that no debate can exist.

To me, it seems you are guilty of the Persuasive Definition Fallacy or the Definist Fallacy.   It appears that you are trying to win the argument by getting me to accept your faulty definition of terms like supernatural and natural.  The fact is that the terms are never defined scientifically or in the dictionary as being  mutually exclusive.  No where in logic or science or philosophy or in the dictionary are the terms defined in such a way that states that both can't co-exist in our world.

Gosh...if ONLY there was a debate thread that was started specifically to look at what could be considered "natural" or not.....and if there were, if only the person who posed the original questions could be persuaded to post in it.....

Fran, your posts above confuse me.  You have said on many occasions that because no natural explanation DOES work, we must accept the supernatural - the resurrection.  Therefore it is YOU YOURSELF who is posing the resurrection as a supernatural event, one that goes against all known physical laws and precedent, and requires the intervention of fantastic powers that literally re-write the fabric of the universe.

That's a hell of a big leap to take - especially when you have been able to provide no evidence that such a thing took place (or no evidence greater than eye-witness accounts - and NOBODY who has looked seriously into that field will automatically assume eye-witness accounts are invariably reliable or correct).

Your solution requires a scrapping of damn near all our knowledge of how the world works.  Not just little bits, mark you, but huge great swathes.  Biology, chemistry, physics....all would need to be tossed aside and re-written to say.....what?  That everything is mutable?  That there is a directed force that can, at will, overrule every law of the universe?  That can change things and leave no subsidiary evidence?  What a horrendous world to live in.  You chuckled at whether I considered "aliens" as normal (I don't).....but consider what YOUR alternative means.

It means that we can no longer be sure of ANYTHING.  Ever.  Anything we thought was, now may not have been.  All that text above?  Did I really type it?  I can no longer tell, because the Great Power might have done it instead....and I would have NO WAY of telling.  Put that way, postulating "aliens" no longer seems so ridiculous.

But I digress: Fran, please explain how you can say "when normal explanations fail, we must accept the supernatural" .....and yet simultaneously claim that the terms are not defined.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Anfauglir on February 17, 2010, 03:51:29 AM
Just read Fran's latest response to Kcrady, which seems to say that there is general acceptance that the disciples believed they saw something, but no consensus on the validity of any of the reported experiences.  That it is therefore up to the observer to explain them.

Sorry, but I don't get it.

If I said "I believe I saw Bigfoot", how can that be challenged?  Unless I provide the CONTEXT for my alleged experience, there is no way it can be legitimately discussed.  The skeptic could, for example, suggest that conditions were too dark - "ah, but it was broad daylight!" I say.  So the skeptic suggests that it was actually a monkey that I saw - "ah, but I am a professor of monkeys and I KNOW it was not a monkey".....and so on.

I believe that - in this debate - it is encumbent on Fran to either state from the outset which of the Gospel descriptions he believes are valid and must be explained, or to agree that none of them can later be called in by him as rebuttal to a particular scenario.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: jedweber on February 19, 2010, 11:32:36 AM

Quote
Fran:

I have repeatedly stated that the 40 days thing was a description/testimony of the appearances which is part of the NT documents.   That much is a fact.  It is a fact that what they witnessed was testified to and written in Acts and Gospels.  It's there in black and white for  everyone to read.  Even Anfauglir was able to read it and confirm that the description was written in the NT documents because he tells us  about it.

I have to quibble here. It is a fact that witness testimony appears in the New Testament, that is true. But it's NOT a fact that the underlying witness experiences ever actually took place as described. Fran seems to be conflating the events themselves with the later descriptions of these events, and passing them off as 'facts' which much be explained.

For example, it's a fact that the gospels tell us that the risen Jesus appeared on the Road to Emmaus. For Fran, it then follows that this is an event which much be explained, whether we attribute it to a vision, a hoax, a hallucination or physical resurrection. But the only real "fact" here is that a gospel written decades later contains this story.  There could be some actual event behind it, but I don't see how Fran has begun to establish that. In other words, we can't assume it's a "fact" that anything ever happened to anybody on the road to Emmaus (or any other road) - it could simply be a legend or invention that arose later.

Even by arguing for a natural explanation, we've already made a huge concession that an actual experience took place at all. I don't think Fran's earned that concession.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Inactive_1 on February 19, 2010, 11:53:06 AM
Temporary lock until I get my post up in the commentary thread. I want this other issue resolved.

This will be unlocked shortly.

Thanks.
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: HAL on February 21, 2010, 10:36:56 AM
You've hit it on the nail and proves that I don't have any original things that come from my head concerning this material.  I don't have the brain power to respond originally.  So it's not a "for all we know" case... but it's a CERTAINITY that I NEED to scour WLC's and Habermas' stuff to respond to debate points in here.

Fran,

Based upon what you said above, I don't understand how you can operate in the real world when presented with new situations and ideas you've never heard of. What if you were debating kcrady in person with no way to look in a book or on the internet? Are you telling us you would have nothing to say when presented with an idea you've never heard of? You would just stare back when presented with ideas you've never heard of, like a deer in the headlights? You would be so afraid to say what --> you<-- think that you would just not say anything? You would have no personal opinions on anything new that you've never heard of before? You wouldn't be able to use the knowledge of this subject you do have to entertain and express an opinion on new ideas?

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I don't have the brain power to respond originally

If that's not true, then what in the world do you mean by that ^^^?

Please explain this to us?
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: Deus ex Machina on February 22, 2010, 04:02:24 AM
Can someone explain what's going on here?

I was notified that kcrady wishes to work this thread for a while longer. I will take the responsibility to moderate it until we reach a termination. However, per my notice in the main debate, which has now been shipped back to the GRD, we need to hear your own ideas and your own concerns and your own responses for the most part, supported by occasional citetions when needed.

Thanks kcrady.

AFAICT there's still some confusion about what the terms of debate are. So is this an actual debate or is it still a discussion about what the parameters of the debate ought to be?

If it's the former, then what are the terms of debate?

If it's the latter, then shouldn't these comments be elsewhere until the terms are agreed (perhaps as described here (http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=12780.0)?) - and can the moderator restrain the antagonists from debate on substantive points before the debate actually starts?
Title: Re: Did a man named Jesus rise from the dead - Thread #2 Commentary Thread?
Post by: kcrady on February 22, 2010, 04:27:58 AM
I'm still trying to narrow Fran down on specifically what a naturalistic explanation is supposed to be explaining.  He's added a fifth "Minimal Fact" now, which doesn't help matters, especially since said "fact" involves mind-reading people who've been dead for 2,000 years ("Why did Paul and James convert?").  Since nailing Fran down on exactly what resurrection accounts his historians accept as the components of "Fact" #3 is proving to be all but impossible, I'm thinking I should just go ahead and post a proposed debate format for Fran's approval and get underway.  Once Fran whips out some Gospel detail in rebuttal ("But Thomas stuck his finger in Jesus' side!  That refutes your explanation!"), then I'll challenge him to cite evidence that said Gospel detail is part of the historians' consensus.