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Author Topic:   The Tension of Faith
Paboss
Junior Member
Posts: 15
Joined: 10-01-2017
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 556 of 793 (823428)
11-10-2017 9:28 AM
Reply to: Message 555 by jar
11-10-2017 9:20 AM


Re: The Bible's worst enemy
I think you’re making a good point there, Jar, you do know your Bible. It would be good if most christians did.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 555 by jar, posted 11-10-2017 9:20 AM jar has not yet responded

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 16158
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 557 of 793 (823429)
11-10-2017 10:07 AM
Reply to: Message 535 by NoNukes
11-09-2017 9:43 AM


Re: How Faith is based on evidence and yet a gift
NoNukes writes:

You don't consider, for example, newspaper articles described contemporary events to be evidence? Because that kind of evidence is frequently cited here. Yet your current description does not distinguish the Gospel According to Luke, from a story in the Wall Street Journal. Perhaps a little more care in explaining why Bible stories are not evidence, or at least are not reliable evidence may be in order.

I've been distinguishing between information (newspaper articles, Gospel stories) and evidence. Just scribbling words on paper doesn't turn it in to evidence. A Gospel story about turning water to wine? That's information. Evidence that the story is true? Completely lacking. A WSJ article about Trump's meetings in Asia? That's information. Evidence that the story is true? Completely lacking. A WSJ video with a timestamp and a watermark of authenticity of Trump addressing an audience in Asia? That's both information and very strong evidence.

But we can also look at this more from Faith's point of view. We read and trust the WSJ article because the WSJ has a long history of reliable and accurate reporting, and there is corroborating reporting from equally reliable sources, and so we trust the information they provide. But the articles themselves are not evidence. And if the articles disagree on some points, settling the differences isn't a matter of deeper analysis of the articles (though that might be helpful, depending upon the nature of the differences), but of going back to the original evidence. Which isn't descriptions on paper, or today descriptions on a screen.

We do frequently refer to newspaper articles and scientific articles here, but they are not evidence, and if challenged then we must respond by tracing back to the original evidence. We tend to trust news articles from the mainstream media because they mainly report nearly identical information, and they've built a trustworthy reputation over time, and so most news articles are not challenged. Usually we all believe what they say. For example, no one rational is challenging the reported events at the church in Texas, but if someone did then we could go back to the video actually shot in the church and to ambulance, hospital, and morgue records and to eyewitnesses, which is where the evidence lies. In fact, had the perpetrator survived and there was a trial, this is the sort of evidence that would be presented in the courtroom, not newspaper articles.

All I'm really saying is that there's a difference between original evidence and descriptions of the original evidence. Original evidence is all that really counts. So when we have linked to an article and say something like, "I linked to the evidence of what Trump tweeted," we all know that the article didn't really contain evidence. All it contained was one of those tweet-formatted things. That's not evidence. It's probably pretty reliable information that few would challenge, particularly since multiple sources probably reported the exact same thing, but it isn't evidence, and consider the number of joke tweets that have been produced using the identical format. To prove it was an actual Trump tweet we'd have to dig deeper and find the original evidence. Maybe finding the tweet in Trump's twitter feed would be sufficient evidence, I don't know, this electronic era with URL redirections and fake websites and photoshopped images and so forth confuses the issue of what constitutes reliable evidence.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 535 by NoNukes, posted 11-09-2017 9:43 AM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 564 by GDR, posted 11-10-2017 2:05 PM Percy has responded
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Percy
Member
Posts: 16158
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 558 of 793 (823458)
11-10-2017 12:21 PM
Reply to: Message 540 by Faith
11-09-2017 3:41 PM


Re: How Faith is based on evidence and yet a gift
Faith writes:

True stories can be evidence, and John described miracles performed by Jesus as evidence of His deity so that people reading about them might believe in Him.

Stories can be accurate or wrong or lie somewhere on the spectrum in between, but they cannot be evidence. They don't present newspaper articles about crimes in court, they present the actual evidence likely described in the articles, like fingerprints and hair analysis and blood analysis and DNA analysis and photographs and weapons and ballistic reports and eyewitness accounts and so forth. The articles might be accurate, they might not be accurate, but the determination of what actually happened will depend upon the evidence and it's analysis, not what someone wrote about it.

Just as reporters writing newspaper articles about events are not evidence, John writing stories about miracles is not evidence.

There you go with the two types of faith again, one evidenced, one not. There is really only one type of religious faith, the kind that comes from within and that stands firm no matter the evidence from the real world.

There is no such thing. Human beings need to have some reason for believing anything.

You are undoubtedly wrong. Many are like me with a personal inner faith little influenced by the teachings of any religion.

Once we believe that Jesus is the Son of God/Messiah then we also believe all the things He tells us and don't need evidence other than His saying them in order to believe them. That is faith in things unseen, based on our knowledge that Jesus is God and Lord.

But you believe Jesus is the Son of God/Messiah based upon faith, not evidence. There is no evidence, only claims in a book whose reliability is self-evidently broadly inconsistent.

As John said, he wrote about Jesus' miracles as evidence that He is deity. It's evidence I believe. John produced tons of evidence. It's evidence if it's true.

No, it is not evidence if it is true. It is accurate reporting if it is true, but not evidence. And there is no evidence it is true.

You dismiss it as false so it can't be evidence for you.

But I don't dismiss it as false. I dismiss it as unevidenced supernatural claims of a religious nature, the kind of claims religious people are prone to making. John's claim that Jesus asked the servants to fill jars with water is something people did every day back then, so no one particularly cares (from a religious standpoint) whether it really happened or not. But John's claim that Jesus turned the water to wine is an unevidenced supernatural claim. There is no evidence for it.

It is evidence for me because I believe the writers are honest reporters of what they actually witnessed.

Did John believe what he wrote? Who could know, and what difference does it make? There's no evidence for any of it.

I think it takes a very strange kind of blindness to deny the reality of Jesus or John, but in any case I have evidence because of their reality that you don't have.

In reality, real evidence can be seen by everyone. Only in religion is there evidence seeable only by believers.

John was not writing down evidence. He was writing down stories that had been passed down to him from others. When you write, "The car went down the road," you are not writing down evidence. Words on paper are not evidence. You are merely recording your observations, which may or may not be accurate.

Have you personally performed the experiments and observations Watson and Crick [corrected from "Francis and rick"] performed, or Newton or Einstein? Or do you believe their conclusions as written down?

Well, there's a solid failed argument. In science the experimental procedures and the resulting evidence are carefully documented and distributed for peer review, and the results are not accepted until the experiments are repeated by others. I can, for example, actually see some of Crick/Watson's evidence, like this X-Ray crystallography image that revealed the double helix structure of DNA:

Where's John's evidence that Jesus turned the water to wine?

"The car went down the road" may very well be evidence, say in a trial as reported by a witness to the events the defendant is being tried for. It may be very important to know that the car went down the road in this case, rather than standing still or going off the road etc. If another witness says the same thing it becomes even more trustworthy evidence, and of course John in many of his accounts is describing the same events the other gospel writers also describe.

You've changed the context from mine, where someone merely writes, "The car went down the road," to a courtroom context where an eyewitness is testifying. While eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable, in part indicated by the number of people convicted on eyewitness testimony later being freed from prison based upon DNA evidence, it *is* a form of evidence. But some reporter writing, "The eyewitness said, 'The car went down the road.'" is not evidence. At best if there's written evidence of what the eyewitness said it's in the trial transcript.

John was not repeating stories told by others, he was an eyewitness of what he described, and his presence with Jesus is confirmed by the other gospels.

You have no idea who John was or whether he was an eyewitness. There is no evidence of who he was. Even among sincere Christian believers the identity of John is debated. From Wikipedia on the Gospel of John:

quote:
The Gospel of John is anonymous. Traditionally, Christians have identified the author as "the Disciple whom Jesus loved" mentioned in John 21:24,[15] who is understood to be John son of Zebedee, one of Jesus' Twelve Apostles. These identifications, however, are rejected by many modern biblical scholars.[1][16][Notes 5] Nevertheless, the author of the fourth Gospel is sometimes called John the Evangelist, often out of convenience since the definitive name of the author is still debated.

Anything you believe about the identify of John and whether he was an eyewitness to the events he describes you accept on faith, not evidence.

The Bible is evidence, just as the written reports of Francis [actually Watson] and Crick's studies of the DNA molecule are evidence of its double helix form.

The Watson/Crick paper contained evidence, see above image for an example. The Bible does not contain evidence.

Nobody makes a blind leap of faith in anything whatever. You have to have reasons.

So now you speak for everyone in the world. How interesting, but not entirely unexpected given your history. I offer myself up as someone who has no reasons, no evidence, for what he believes, his beliefs just are. Since like everyone I'm in part a product of my culture, likely that had a heavy influence (I do, after all, believe that God exists, just like everyone I knew of in the culture I was raised in), and I do believe the universe has a purpose, but I can offer no reasons, no evidence, no arguments for my beliefs. They are simply what I believe. I can't explain them or defend them, they just are.

And by the way, the word "faith" really properly only belongs to Christianity.

Gee, how did all the dictionaries miss this? The Online Etymology Dictionary begs to differ. This part is particularly informative:

quote:
From early 14c. as "assent of the mind to the truth of a statement for which there is incomplete evidence," especially "belief in religious matters" (matched with hope and charity). Since mid-14c. in reference to the Christian church or religion; from late 14c. in reference to any religious persuasion.

Modern dictionaries disagree with you, too.

It is its central tenet, that we are "saved by faith and not by works lest any man should boast." By believing that salvation comes through Christ's death on the cross we are saved. That is faith, and it is faith in "things unseen" based on our being convinced that Christ has the power and the will to do this for us.

This reads like a very nice statement of faith. Not evidence.

That is an active faith that accomplishes salvation. In reality there is no faith required in any other religion. Allah didn't do anything one has to have faith in, one just believes he is God and can tell us what to do. Pretty much the same with other religions. Faith is specific to Christianity, we have an actual Person whose character is presented on every page, in whom we are to have faith, meaning trust for salvation, trust to guide us, trust to protect us where promised, and so on. Allah doesn't promise such things so there is no need for faith. Hinduism says if you're good enough you may escape coming back as an animal. Where's faith required in that scenario? Buddhism says if you are adept at meditation you may achieve Nirvana and the extinguishing of the bad karma that would have you come back as an animal or put you in one or more of the Buddhist hells. If you have to work for your salvation faith is not involved. But we are to give ourselves up completely to Christ as the sole cause of our salvation. That's faith, total dependence on Him.

You have a record of poor accuracy when commenting on other religions, you've ignored the errors I pointed out that you've made about other religions earlier in this thread, so given the unlikelihood of a meaningful response from you about this I judge that it would be an unwise investment of my time to respond in any detailed way. I'll just repeat again that faith does not require evidence.

Because I recognize the truthfulness of the reporters and all those who have believed they really happened. They're very convincing if you pry yourself loose from your baseless prejudices against them.

I have no prejudices against the anonymous (excepting Paul) Biblical authors whatsoever. I just reject your claim that what they wrote is literally true and without error.

I think for most Christians answering that would involve describing our daily experience of evidences that it all works together in amazing ways, all of it mutually confirming.

Any objective evidence for this claim?

This idea that anyone could have the ability to design such a book is really so ludicrous it's beyond explaining.

A book with the qualities you've imbued in the Bible would indeed be amazing, but no such book exists.

People write what they know or believe with sincerity.

Welllll, sometimes yes, sometimes no, most times probably some combination. What we do know is that much persuasive writing has an agenda, and what we know of human nature tells us that most people involved in persuasion are flexible with the facts.

Even the Satan-inspired Mohammed...

And the evidence that Mohammed was Satan-inspired is...?

...was convinced of what he was writing.

Maybe. How would you know?

Nobody has the ability or the desire to invent such stuff, but especially the Bible.

Oh, yes, I'm sure a talking snake and a woman turning into a pillar of salt and a man spending three days inside a giant fish could not possibly be invented.

Only God would know enough to write the Bible.

The Bible was written by men. There's no evidence of contributions from anyone else, including God.

Anyway don't you think we've done this to death by now?

No, not really, mainly because you haven't yet mustered a rational defense of your position, but if you want to abandon yet another discussion that is something not under my control.

--Percy


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Replies to this message:
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Percy
Member
Posts: 16158
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 559 of 793 (823459)
11-10-2017 12:33 PM
Reply to: Message 544 by Faith
11-09-2017 11:15 PM


Re: how faith is based on faith, not evidence
Faith writes:

They aren't believable miracles and I don't even know if they are miracles. The comparison with Biblical descriptions of miracles is too pathetic to bother with.

Given the nature of your God for whom all is possible, there should be no such thing as an unbelievable miracle. You're dismissing rather than addressing the miracle of the split moon simply because it's non-Biblical and is not from your preferred religious book, in other words because of prejudice, not because you have any actual reasons.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
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Percy
Member
Posts: 16158
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 560 of 793 (823462)
11-10-2017 12:47 PM
Reply to: Message 549 by Faith
11-09-2017 11:36 PM


Re: How Faith is based on evidence and yet a gift
Faith writes:

Which of course is ridiculous if one is far and away of higher quality in every conceivable category of believability and sheer greatness of thought as Christianity so obviously is.

The only argument you've offered so far, if I may paraphrase, is "This religion does not have the same precise qualities as Christianity and so is a false religion."

Worse, most of your criticisms of other religions have been inaccurate or untrue.

So believe as you will, I've said all I can think of to say and failed to convince you so there's no point in continuing to beat my head against this wall.

How can you hope to convince people of the impossible, that there's a book called the Bible that is literally true and inerrant and that contains evidence of its truth and inerrancy, including the miracles and that Jesus is the Messiah and the Son of God who died to save us from our sins and to provide redemption and salvation?

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 549 by Faith, posted 11-09-2017 11:36 PM Faith has not yet responded

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 16158
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 561 of 793 (823463)
11-10-2017 1:01 PM
Reply to: Message 552 by Faith
11-10-2017 12:04 AM


Re: How Faith is based on evidence and yet a gift
Faith writes:

Words written in an ancient book, certainly do not qualify for that.

That is just plain stupid, sorry.

Really? You're resuming with the insulting one-sentence content-free posts again? If religion is truly making you a better person, I'd hate to see the person you'd be without it.

Have you considered the possibility that your failure to persuade is due to the poor quality of your evidence and arguments and is not the fault of your audience?

--Percy


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Tangle
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Posts: 5155
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 562 of 793 (823464)
11-10-2017 1:18 PM
Reply to: Message 558 by Percy
11-10-2017 12:21 PM


Re: How Faith is based on evidence and yet a gift
Percy writes:

You've changed the context from mine, where someone merely writes, "The car went down the road," to a courtroom context where an eyewitness is testifying. While eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable, in part indicated by the number of people convicted on eyewitness testimony later being freed from prison based upon DNA evidence, it *is* a form of evidence. But some reporter writing, "The eyewitness said, 'The car went down the road.'" is not evidence. At best if there's written evidence of what the eyewitness said it's in the trial transcript.

Just to add to the 'what is evidence?' bit, John's writings would not be allowed into a court of law as evidence because it is hearsay.

Unless John actually witnessed the events he is describing - and probably also making contemporaneous notes of it - it can not be included as evidence.

Hearsay is remarkably close to heresy......


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 558 by Percy, posted 11-10-2017 12:21 PM Percy has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
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Modulous
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Posts: 7507
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 563 of 793 (823465)
11-10-2017 1:50 PM
Reply to: Message 544 by Faith
11-09-2017 11:15 PM


Re: how faith is based on faith, not evidence
They aren't believable miracles and I don't even know if they are miracles.

You don't think dividing the moon into two, and then putting it back together is miraculous? I'm not sure I understand your criteria. Funny thing is - the Quran prophesied your reaction:

quote:
The Hour has come near, and the moon has split [in two]. And if they see a miracle, they turn away and say, "Passing magic." And they denied and followed their inclinations.

It doesn't matter if they are 'believable'. You said "If Jesus performed the miracles John describes ...it certainly is evidence. "

I'm asking 'If God performed the miracles Mohammed described, is that also evidence?' Believability is not relevant.

I should also point out that Noah's flood and Moses' parting of the red sea are described. Are these not believable? I'm confused as to what you are trying to communicate here.

Can you explain why you trust the Biblical authors. Surely, writing historical narratives cannot be sufficient to earn your trust. Describing miracles cannot be sufficient to justify your faith. So why do you have faith in the truth of the Gospel testimony?

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


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GDR
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Posts: 4349
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 564 of 793 (823469)
11-10-2017 2:05 PM
Reply to: Message 557 by Percy
11-10-2017 10:07 AM


Re: How Faith is based on evidence and yet a gift
Percy writes:

I've been distinguishing between information (newspaper articles, Gospel stories) and evidence. Just scribbling words on paper doesn't turn it in to evidence. A Gospel story about turning water to wine? That's information. Evidence that the story is true? Completely lacking. A WSJ article about Trump's meetings in Asia? That's information. Evidence that the story is true? Completely lacking. A WSJ video with a time stamp and a watermark of authenticity of Trump addressing an audience in Asia? That's both information and very strong evidence.

Sorry that I haven´t been able to respond to all of the posts but I have been following the discussion. I think that you are showing that your point is invalid. What you call is information is evidence. If it wasn´t there would be no longer the need to look for further information to either verify or discount the original account. Once again, it is about the strength of the evidence.

As far as supporting evidence for the Gospel accounts there is actually quite a bit. For example here is a quote from Paul´s first letter to the Corinthians written between 20 and 25 years after the crucifixion. Many of the eye witnesses would still be alive.

quote:
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born

There was enough evidence for Paul that he gave up a life of privilege to serve Jesus´message to his ultimate death after spending considerable time in prison for it.

There were numerous messianic movements in the 200 year period after the Maccabees and all of them, failed when their leaders were put to death. Some of those failed messiahs had achieved some military success. Nobody later assumed that their messianic movement should continue. In Jesus we see a messiah who not only didn't achieve any military success but suffered the most shameful, humiliating death possible at the hands of not only the Romans but His own people. Paul is very aware of that by saying that he is not ashamed to preach a crucified messiah.

The rise of the early church is also evidence. As far as crucifixion is concerned, it was considered a curse by the Jews, and as Paul says folly to the Gentiles. Obviously something happened post resurrection, otherwise there is no reasonable explanation for the rise of the church. The simplest explanation is to take at face value the NT claims of a resurrected Jesus.

So, not only do we have the evidence of the Gospel accounts but we have supporting evidence in the Epistles and in the rise of the early Christian church.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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jar
Member
Posts: 29609
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 565 of 793 (823473)
11-10-2017 2:49 PM
Reply to: Message 562 by Tangle
11-10-2017 1:18 PM


the Bible stories attributed to "John" are worse than just hearsay.
Tangle writes:

Just to add to the 'what is evidence?' bit, John's writings would not be allowed into a court of law as evidence because it is hearsay.

There is an even bigger problem getting it admitted as evidence than the fact that it is hearsay; there is no evidence that it was even written by a John or any John. The author is totally unknown so it is not just hearsay but hearsay from an anonymous source.

It is simply hearsay from a John or Evan or Giovanni or Jean or Juan Doe.

Edited by jar, : fix sub-title


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PaulK
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Posts: 13307
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 566 of 793 (823474)
11-10-2017 3:00 PM
Reply to: Message 564 by GDR
11-10-2017 2:05 PM


Re: How Faith is based on evidence and yet a gift
It’s funny that you forget to mention that according to Paul’s own account he was converted by a visionary experience and not by evidence.

Moreover presuming that the first Christians had good evidence rather than being convinced for other reasons is hardly warranted. That they were convinced cannot tells us what convinced them. After all, the Jehovah’s Witnesses are still going despite the continued failure of their end-of-the-world predictions (already more than a century late), the Mormons survived some pretty serious problems, Scientology - an even bigger fraud than the Mormons - somehow goes on.

Why assume that the early Christians were more rational than the followers of those failures ?


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Replies to this message:
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Faith
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Posts: 26593
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 567 of 793 (823475)
11-10-2017 3:25 PM


Real faith, real knowledge
When I said the concept of faith is really only a Christian concept, I supposed that it isn't even mentioned in the writings of other religions, certainly not in the same kind of context. Anybody know how to find out? Faith is central to Christianity, it's all over the New Testament, we are to put our lives on the line if necessary for faith in Christ's gift of eternal life.

It's true that jihadis are willing to die for the promise of going to paradise to be served by 70 virgins, but that's a pretty odd idea of faith since they commit murder to deserve it, whereas Christians are to submit to being murdered if it comes to that. Still, I suppose one COULD say the jihadi is acting in some sort of "faith." I would, however, point out that Islam began in the seventh century after Christ and is known for incorporating parts of the Bible, weirdly twisted however.

Anyway it's a question someone with better eyes than mine might be able to answer.

Yes I do get very impatient when unbelievers carry on as if they know better than Christians do what Christianity is all about, and say stupid things as if we never thought of them ourselves and know they are false. Yes I've already said all I want to say so far on this thread, barring something new that catches my attention.

I took something like five years of reading about all kinds of religions before I became a Christian in my forties, and since then I've read hundreds upon hundreds of books on the subject and heard probably thousands of sermons, and in my old age I'm getting very impatient with know-nothings who feel free to pontificate against my accurate statements, yes even including in some cases other Christians or some who claim to be. I suppose I'm getting impatient with debate as such, what a waste of time in an atmosphere where so many are determined to kill the truth.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


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Faith
Member
Posts: 26593
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 568 of 793 (823476)
11-10-2017 3:28 PM
Reply to: Message 566 by PaulK
11-10-2017 3:00 PM


Re: How Faith is based on evidence and yet a gift
Paul's "visionary experience" was an actual encounter with the real living risen Christ from heaven, and even a visionary experience alone can be evidence a person might base conversion on.

As for Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses, lots of people join religions for all kinds of reasons, but they don't have to put their lives on the line for their belief. Chrsitians do. When it comes to that we'll find out how many of us REALLY believe in Christ's salvation.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


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Percy
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Posts: 16158
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.7


(1)
Message 569 of 793 (823478)
11-10-2017 3:35 PM
Reply to: Message 564 by GDR
11-10-2017 2:05 PM


Re: How Faith is based on evidence and yet a gift
GDR writes:

I think that you are showing that your point is invalid. What you call is information is evidence. If it wasn´t there would be no longer the need to look for further information to either verify or discount the original account. Once again, it is about the strength of the evidence.

I couldn't make sense of this paragraph, but let me take another stab at it by rephrasing it. Would it be an accurate paraphrase to say, "I think your argument disproves itself. What you call information is evidence. If the information wasn't evidence then there would no longer be the need to look for further information to verify the original information."

Hmmm. I thought rephrasing would help me understand what you were saying, but I still can't make sense out of it, at least not as a response to what I said. I'll try explaining again.

A newspaper article that says, "The fingerprints at the crime scene matched the suspect's," is presenting information, not evidence, and wouldn't appear at trial. Images of the fingerprints at the crime scene and the fingerprints of the suspect is both information *and* evidence, and would be introduced as evidence at trial. The Bible contains information, not evidence.

As far as supporting evidence for the Gospel accounts there is actually quite a bit. For example here is a quote from Paul´s first letter to the Corinthians written between 20 and 25 years after the crucifixion. Many of the eye witnesses would still be alive.

quote:
15:3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born,...

What in this passage resembles evidence to you? For example, what is the evidence of the "five hundred of the bothers and sisters"? Where is the evidence that tells us it was 500, not 400 or 600, and definitely not made up? What form would that evidence take? In a similar situation when Trump claimed the largest inaugural crowd in history, the evidence that he was wrong was made through the estimates of park police and photographs.

For another example, where is the evidence that "he appeared to Cephas"? It's just a statement of something that may or may not have happened. And if the earlier part of the story about Jesus is true, that he died on the cross, then most certainly the statement that after his death "he appeared to Cephas" must be false. Anyway, the Gospels disagree that Cephas (Peter) was the first to see the risen Jesus.

I don't have to go through each part of the passages to show that it is just describing a series of events without including a single bit of evidence. Stories are not evidence. This particular story contains a number of details (information) that are, at this point in time and even when Paul wrote them, unverifiable, and given their supernatural nature and religious connection, unlikely in the extreme to be true.

There was enough evidence for Paul that he gave up a life of privilege to serve Jesus´message to his ultimate death after spending considerable time in prison for it.

A life of privilege? I thought he was a tentmaker. Anyway, Paul may have believed everything he said, maybe not. If he had evidence for what he believed then he never mentioned it, though he, like you, seemed to find that claiming (sic) "Lots of people saw it" was a very effective form of persuasion.

There were numerous messianic movements in the 200 year period after the Maccabees and all of them, failed when their leaders were put to death. Some of those failed messiahs had achieved some military success. Nobody later assumed that their messianic movement should continue. In Jesus we see a messiah who not only didn't achieve any military success but suffered the most shameful, humiliating death possible at the hands of not only the Romans but His own people. Paul is very aware of that by saying that he is not ashamed to preach a crucified messiah.

Again, you keep expressing this sentiment. We get it. You're saying, "What nut in his right mind would begin a religious movement by saying their leader had been humiliatingly crucified by the Romans." My own understanding of Paul's message, and I thought it was a common one, was that a return of the kingdom meant a kingdom not of armies and territory but of the spirit, and that the first victory was when Jesus overwhelmed the Roman's mere crucifixion by returning to life, reassuring and reinvigorating his followers, and then ascending to heaven. It seems a great and very effective story, not an unlikely one that proves itself true by its very unlikelihood, which seems to be your position.

Obviously something happened post resurrection, otherwise there is no reasonable explanation for the rise of the church.

What happened post-resurrection (a resurrection for which there is no evidence) is that Paul began his ministry with his message of a victory of the spirit over armies.

So, not only do we have the evidence of the Gospel accounts but we have supporting evidence in the Epistles and in the rise of the early Christian church.

I still see only unevidenced stories.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 564 by GDR, posted 11-10-2017 2:05 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 572 by kbertsche, posted 11-10-2017 5:08 PM Percy has responded
 Message 621 by GDR, posted 11-13-2017 3:44 PM Percy has responded

    
PaulK
Member
Posts: 13307
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 570 of 793 (823479)
11-10-2017 3:40 PM
Reply to: Message 568 by Faith
11-10-2017 3:28 PM


Re: How Faith is based on evidence and yet a gift
quote:

Paul's "visionary experience" was an actual encounter with the real living risen Christ from heaven, and even a visionary experience alone can be evidence a person might base conversion on.

Or it can be hallucination and delusion. But certainly it is not evidence in the sense that GDR meant.

quote:

As for Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses, lots of people join religions for all kinds of reasons, but they don't have to put their lives on the line for their belief. Chrsitians do. When it comes to that we'll find out how many of us REALLY believe in Christ's salvation.

That may be true of modern Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses - at least those living in the West. Just as it is true for Christians living in the same countries. On the other hand the early Mormons were persecuted, and Jehovah’s Witnesses suffered persecution in Nazi Germany.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 568 by Faith, posted 11-10-2017 3:28 PM Faith has not yet responded

    
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