Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 96 (8883 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 01-18-2019 12:27 PM
208 online now:
Aussie, frako, PaulK, ringo, Tangle, Tanypteryx (6 members, 202 visitors)
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: candle2
Post Volume:
Total: 845,860 Year: 897/19,786 Month: 897/1,731 Week: 254/438 Day: 39/33 Hour: 6/11


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
RewPrev1
...
202122
23
2425Next
Author Topic:   A Way to Think About Free Will and God: Open Theism
GDR
Member
Posts: 4726
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 331 of 374 (846492)
01-07-2019 3:58 PM
Reply to: Message 315 by Percy
01-06-2019 8:14 PM


Re: Calling evil good or good evil.
GDR writes:

I have put a lot of time into understanding the concept of resurrection in its historical Jewish context.

Percy writes:

Two questions: 1) Why do you mention this but then say nothing about it? 2) How is this rebuttal to the fact that miracles are one of the identifying characteristics of religion?

....because I've covered it in several earlier threads. It involves an understanding of what resurrection meant to the Jewish culture and in the OT. There were numerous other messianic movements that ended with the leaders being put to death, whereas this movement did not end. It is the way the accounts are written. It treats the leaders in a derogatory fashion, it has women as the first people to meet the resurrected Jesus, it is clear that the writers of the Gospels believed in the resurrection and there is, in spite of what you and others have written, no motivation for compiling these accounts.

Some not all religions have miracles which has nothing to say about whether any or all of them are true. If you believe as I understand you do that even if there is a deity, this deity does not in any way intervene in our world, then obviously the miraculous is not possible and there are only natural explanations for occurrences.

If however you are wrong and there is a theistic deity then the miraculous is not only possible but likely, and so we can judge any accounts on their own merits.


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:
 Message 315 by Percy, posted 01-06-2019 8:14 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 342 by Percy, posted 01-07-2019 7:40 PM GDR has not yet responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4726
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 332 of 374 (846494)
01-07-2019 4:09 PM
Reply to: Message 316 by ringo
01-07-2019 10:47 AM


Re: Calling evil good or good evil.
ringo writes:

The Bible is evidence that the Bible was written. We can not conclude from that evidence that anything in the Bible is true.

OK, but once again there were 66 books written and so they are not all to be evaluated in the same way. Also, the Gospels were compilations and 2 of them claim to be accurate.

However, as you say that does not mean that they have to be accepted as true.

GDR writes:

I have agreed that if the resurrection is historical then it happened outside of the laws of known science. Your point is that the laws of science are immutable and as a result resurrection is impossible.

ringo writes:

You're saying it backwards. If something is possible, we can determine whether or not it happened.

Both statements say the same thing. If we start from the POV that the resurrection is impossible then obviously we will reject the idea of it being historical. If however we are theistic, we can accept the possibilty that the resurrection is historical. Even then though we can still only subjectively determine whether or not we believe it happened.

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:
 Message 316 by ringo, posted 01-07-2019 10:47 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 349 by ringo, posted 01-08-2019 11:08 AM GDR has not yet responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4726
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 333 of 374 (846495)
01-07-2019 4:14 PM
Reply to: Message 317 by ringo
01-07-2019 11:04 AM


Re: Calling evil good or good evil.
GDR writes:

I don't believe that He came back to life as we know it. I believe that the resurrected Jesus was experienced in a body that bridged our universe and God's universe.

ringo writes:

That isn't what resurrection means. You've been wasting everybody's time by claiming that you believe in the resurrection.
If He came back in a different spooky body, the wounds that He showed off were counterfeit and His whole "proof" that He was alive was a lie.

I just wrote about this recently. It was a physical body but different. He could be touched and He ate food. However it was a body that moved between and bridged God's universe and our own. It was a body no longer subject to entropy.

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:
 Message 317 by ringo, posted 01-07-2019 11:04 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 350 by ringo, posted 01-08-2019 11:10 AM GDR has responded

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 18119
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.0


(1)
Message 334 of 374 (846498)
01-07-2019 5:01 PM
Reply to: Message 314 by GDR
01-06-2019 8:07 PM


Re: The Gospels as evidence
GDR writes:

Please read what I wrote. I did not say that there is no evidence left behind. I simply said that the evidence is contained in written accounts. Historical events usually don't leave physical evidence behind. Yes, there is written evidence of Caesar's crossing the Rubicon.

There is physical evidence of Caesar's presence in Rome after 49 AD when he purportedly crossed the Rubicon. For example, the Forum Julium in Rome is one of his public works, so he must have gotten to Rome somehow. It doesn't particularly matter whether he did it by crossing the Rubicon - what's important is that he took his legion into Roman Italy, which was illegal. While there is no surviving physical evidence of something as minor as Caesar crossing the small Rubicon River, especially since it existed in an active flood plain and can't even be identified with certainty today, we know he got to Rome.

Why do Christians when claiming evidence for Christ so often mention Caesar, probably the best documented person of history from that era. Some of Caesar's public works (see Caesar's Impact on Rome), busts and writings survive until today. He was written about contemporaneously by Cicero and Sallust, and later by Plutarch and Suetonius. He instituted the Julian calendar. His influence was enormous and widespread. If Caesar did not cross the Rubicon in fact then he most certainly crossed it in spirit (he could have avoided the river by traveling first west before turning south, though this is a doubtful route because of its much greater difficulty), because he most certainly entered Rome with his legion and was declared dictator, thereby marking the end of the Republic of Rome and the beginnings of The Roman Empire.

You then go on to argue that the evidence for the crossing is stronger as there are independent sources confirming it. What you are in essence saying is that the evidence for the crossing is stronger than the evidence for the resurrection. I'll take that as true, and will even add that the crossing requires less evidence as there is nothing in that that calls for the suspension of scientific laws.

That Caesar arrived in Rome in 49 BC (very likely by crossing the Rubicon) is a historical necessity. The documentary and physical evidence we have of Caesar post 49 BC could not exist had he not arrived in Rome in 49 BC.

But the evidence for the very existence of Jesus is circumstantial at best. It isn't just that the evidence that Caesar arrived in Rome is stronger than the evidence of the resurrection. It's that the evidence that Caesar arrived in Rome is ironclad, while the evidence for the resurrection is completely absent and physically impossible anyway.

However, regardless in saying what you said you are saying that the Gospels (I capitalize it out of respect), are evidence, but just very weak evidence.

I capitalize out of respect for others' religions, but only words traditionally capitalized by those religions, like God, Jesus, Christ, He, His, Allah, etc. Why capitalize gospels? Why just that and not psalms, scriptures, resurrection and ascension? I think Wikipedia respects the gospels, but it doesn't capitalize them. No biggie, just seems weird and inconsistent, though I just did a search and found a few places on the web that capitalize gospels. So capitalize away, sorry for mentioning it over and over again.

The gospels are not evidence at all because they are religious and contain all the reliability problems of religious writings, including their fantastical nature. There is nothing restricting how people string words together, but once so strung they are not suddenly evidence. They must be based upon observations of reality, something a resurrection cannot claim.

Percy writes:

If the gospels (lowercase) are evidence, cite some specific piece of gospel evidence so that we may discuss it.

I'm not sure why you are asking this but the whole NT exists because of the resurrection. Here is one account.

quote:
On the Road to Emmaus
Luke 24 13Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem...etc...

I know that you will reject this account on numerous grounds. However it does show that the compiler of the Gospel is confirming Jesus' resurrection.

This is just a story. There is no evidence confirming the resurrection. Now if after the resurrection Jesus had miraculously erected a monument along the road to Emmaus to mark the encounter, and if its sudden appearance had been recorded in the gospels, and if its ruins survived until today, then you've got evidence. Damn fine evidence.

GDR writes:

However the fact that the early church rose in circumstances that would strongly dictate against it without the resurrection, is historical evidence.

Percy writes:

You keep repeating this without addressing the rebuttals. In the end you just ignore the rebuttals and say stuff like, "I stand by what I said," which is just nolo contendere.

I have gone into the details before and they are refuted. You obviously totally reject my beliefs...

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, let's be absolutely clear about this. I do not totally or even in part reject your religious beliefs. What I reject is your belief that you have evidence that your religious beliefs are indeed true. For instance, your belief that Jesus spans two parallel universes (or whatever it is) I totally respect. This is what you believe as a matter of faith, and I respect that. But if you believe you have evidence of this then yes, I totally reject that belief.

...largely based on your belief that science dictates that the resurrection can't possibly be historical.

It's less that and more that fantastical tales and miracles are the very familiar and well known realm of religion.

Fair enough. I believe that there is reality beyond the world of science. It becomes a matter of belief and if it is considered as an impossibility in the first place there isn't a lot of point in trying to present the case all over again. I've done that numerous times over the years. I don't expect to convince anyone that isn't already convinced. It is just an attempt to put my position out there.

Your religious beliefs are understood and respected. It's your belief that you have evidence supporting your beliefs that I object to and think are unfounded. The way you yourself express it says the same thing, that you belief on faith that you have evidence that the gospels are historical. Once faith enters the equation then efforts toward objectivity go out the window.

Percy writes:

Then why do you keep arguing for the historicity of the gospels if it's merely something you accept on faith?

I believe that the resurrection is historical.

Then you are wrong. The resurrection is religious. It has no more evidence than Muhammad splitting the moon, which is also religious.

I don't have conclusive evidence that I am correct.

You don't have any evidence, let alone conclusive evidence.

However, I have faith that I am correct, and with that faith I understand Jesus' life and message to be representative of a God of love, and then work out what that means to my life and how I live it.

I'm fine with anything anyone believes on faith, although their right to exercise their faith stops at my right to freely live my life.

Percy writes:

So by your own admission the objective existence of the gospels is not objective evidence of their content, which must be accepted on faith. History is not accepted on faith. The gospels are not history.

No, the content is objective evidence...

No, the content (that is, what the words actually say or claim) is not objective evidence. Nothing you've said has been more wrong than this. Even a reporter's account of the day's press conference is subjective. All individual observations are subjective. We only begin to have some assurance that we're approaching objectivity through replication and/or multiple observations or accounts. Technology (I'm thinking recording technology mostly) has proven very helpful in documenting history over the past century, though it is now becoming less and less so as approaches to faking documentation are becoming more prevalent and accessible, see, for example, A reason to despair about the digital future: Deepfakes.

...but we subjectively come to a conclusion about their veracity.

Subjectively I'm fine with.

If we come to the conclusion that the resurrection is historical we have varying degrees of faith in our conclusion.

There is no historical evidence of the resurrection, every indication that it is a religious belief, and likely that there is only one religious account upon which all others are ultimately based.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 314 by GDR, posted 01-06-2019 8:07 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 339 by GDR, posted 01-07-2019 6:09 PM Percy has responded

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 18119
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 335 of 374 (846499)
01-07-2019 5:17 PM
Reply to: Message 320 by Phat
01-07-2019 11:32 AM


Re: The gospels are evidence!
Phat writes:

Pauls credentials are usually stated without controversy among scholars.

I've read a lot about Paul, and except that he was both a Jew and a Roman citizen I don't think I've seen anyone mention any credentials. What kind of credentials are you thinking of?

Muslims think Paul corrupted Jesus's teachings. Through most of Christian history Jews have ignored Paul, and probably Buddhists and Hindus haven't even acknowledged his existence.

Why do you insist on challenging them?

Why do you think some things can't be challenged? If no one ever challenged Paul's veracity, how would it be validated?

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 320 by Phat, posted 01-07-2019 11:32 AM Phat has not yet responded

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 18119
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 336 of 374 (846500)
01-07-2019 5:35 PM
Reply to: Message 323 by Phat
01-07-2019 12:50 PM


Re: It Never Would Have Spread Otherwise
Phat writes:

More precisely, the Christian Church would never exist if Jesus had never risen. Nobody would have ever heard of Him

And no one would ever have heard of King Author had he not pulled the sword from the stone. And no one would ever have heard of William Tell had he not shot the apple off his son's head. Oh, wait, they're fictional, but everyone's heard of them anyway. How can that be?

You claim essentially that Paul took up the "myth" and ran with it to spread his own franchise, but that franchise never would have taken off either had the story never happened.

When Paul went up to, say, Corinth to there found a church, what evidence did he present that Christ had performed dozens of miracles, preached to thousands, brought chaos to Jerusalem, and was crucified then resurrected after 3 days to sit beside his Father in heaven and forgive us our sins so that we, too, may go to heaven? I only ask because I'm having a hard time imagining the evidence he could have produced. Do you think maybe he just told them stories and enough people believed him to found a church?

You often talk about a person's persuasive power, using it to judge veracity when evidence is insufficient. Do you think Paul was a persuasive person?

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 323 by Phat, posted 01-07-2019 12:50 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply

    
Tangle
Member
Posts: 6497
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.5


(1)
Message 337 of 374 (846501)
01-07-2019 5:48 PM


Hey, let's have a thread on Paul

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.


  
Theodoric
Member
Posts: 5791
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 6.1


Message 338 of 374 (846502)
01-07-2019 5:55 PM
Reply to: Message 323 by Phat
01-07-2019 12:50 PM


Re: It Never Would Have Spread Otherwise
More precisely, the Christian Church would never exist if Jesus had never risen. Nobody would have ever heard of Him. You claim essentially that Paul took up the "myth" and ran with it to spread his own franchise, but that franchise never would have taken off either had the story never happened.

There are too many examples to debunk this it is not worth addressing.

Why if Jesus was a historical figure does Paul never talk about a historical Jesus? Why does he not mention anything that is in the gospels?


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

"God did it" is not an argument. It is an excuse for intellectual laziness.

If your viewpoint has merits and facts to back it up why would you have to lie?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 323 by Phat, posted 01-07-2019 12:50 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4726
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 339 of 374 (846503)
01-07-2019 6:09 PM
Reply to: Message 334 by Percy
01-07-2019 5:01 PM


Re: The Gospels as evidence
Percy writes:

That Caesar arrived in Rome in 49 BC (very likely by crossing the Rubicon) is a historical necessity. The documentary and physical evidence we have of Caesar post 49 BC could not exist had he not arrived in Rome in 49 BC.

But the evidence for the very existence of Jesus is circumstantial at best. It isn't just that the evidence that Caesar arrived in Rome is stronger than the evidence of the resurrection. It's that the evidence that Caesar arrived in Rome is ironclad, while the evidence for the resurrection is completely absent and physically impossible anyway.

I guess we're discussing this on two fronts. The first is whether or not the Gospels themselves are evidence. This isn't about the strength of the argument. I cannot for the life of me understand your point that they aren't evidence. I agree that the evidence for the crossing of the Rubicon is very strong. And, yes we can argue about the strength of evidence that the Gospels provide, but they are evidence no matter how weak the evidence.

The last part of that is the point. You start from the position that the resurrection is an impossibility. Obviously then, from that POV, the Gospels have to be wrong and can't possibly be used as evidence.

Percy writes:

The gospels are not evidence at all because they are religious and contain all the reliability problems of religious writings, including their fantastical nature. There is nothing restricting how people string words together, but once so strung they are not suddenly evidence. They must be based upon observations of reality, something a resurrection cannot claim.

They claim that they are observations of reality, but as you stated the resurrection is a physical impossibility, then it is only evidence that they are wrong, they lied or they were writing metaphorically.

Percy writes:

This is just a story. There is no evidence confirming the resurrection. Now if after the resurrection Jesus had miraculously erected a monument along the road to Emmaus to mark the encounter, and if its sudden appearance had been recorded in the gospels, and if its ruins survived until today, then you've got evidence. Damn fine evidence.

This is pretty consistent with what most of the non-theists on this forum have written. You want certainty or something very near to it. That isn't available.

The only physical evidence other than that, is that the Christian faith came into existence when without the resurrection there is no good reason for it to have done so. Every debate and book that I have read on this subject sees the detractors starting from the premise that it is an impossibility, so any other explanation is more likely. If however we start with the premise that it is a possibility then the case for resurrection is much stronger than the case against it.

Percy writes:

For instance, your belief that Jesus spans two parallel universes (or whatever it is) I totally respect. This is what you believe as a matter of faith, and I respect that. But if you believe you have evidence of this then yes, I totally reject that belief.

I thought I'd comment on this. I have no evidence of this and I'm not sure I would characterize this as belief but as speculation. It just seems to fit my limited conceptual knowledge of physics.

Physics talks about parallel universes, multi universes etc. It does seem to me that this universe is the way it is because this is how we perceive it with our 5 senses. If we are only 4.5% of the detectable universe, I as a Christian can't help but speculate about God's universe and our own. Maybe with a different set of senses we would perceive a very different universe.

Percy writes:

There is no historical evidence of the resurrection, every indication that it is a religious belief, and likely that there is only one religious account upon which all others are ultimately based.

...and we have the freedom to disagree which is what makes faith possible.

BTW. Thank you again for the existence of this forum. I assume there is an ongoing internet record which will provide very strong evidence for its existence 2000 years from now. Hopefully anyway.

Maybe by then science will have discovered God's universe.


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:
 Message 334 by Percy, posted 01-07-2019 5:01 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 340 by Tangle, posted 01-07-2019 7:01 PM GDR has not yet responded
 Message 343 by Percy, posted 01-07-2019 9:28 PM GDR has not yet responded

    
Tangle
Member
Posts: 6497
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 340 of 374 (846505)
01-07-2019 7:01 PM
Reply to: Message 339 by GDR
01-07-2019 6:09 PM


Re: The Gospels as evidence
GDR writes:

Every debate and book that I have read on this subject sees the detractors starting from the premise that it [the Christian faith came into existence when without the resurrection there is no good reason for it to have done so] is an impossibility, so any other explanation is more likely.

Really? Have you never heard explanations of how myths are founded? Or have you just selected them out? How about Cargo cults? Mormonism?

There's absolutely no need for the resurrection to have been real for the system to have been created. None. It didn't even need Jesus.

If however we start with the premise that it is a possibility then the case for resurrection is much stronger than the case against it.

You just said that if you wish upon a star your dream will come true.


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 339 by GDR, posted 01-07-2019 6:09 PM GDR has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 341 by Phat, posted 01-07-2019 7:13 PM Tangle has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 11882
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 341 of 374 (846507)
01-07-2019 7:13 PM
Reply to: Message 340 by Tangle
01-07-2019 7:01 PM


Re: The Gospels as evidence
Tangle, to GDR writes:

You just said that if you wish upon a star your dream will come true.

Thats an oversimplification. Everyone knows that stars are incapable of changing anything..unless we were to take astrology seriously.

And so what if many believers have a preconceived outcome? You won't find life in a test-tube. You seem to be saying that believers have a need to believe and that sociology proves that they make things up. While I agree that we have a need to continue to believe, I would argue that in the solid cases, the belief was concluded from experience...not propaganda.

I have a question, though. If for the sake of argument we assume that your prior belief was every bit as strong as mine and that you also had some confirming experiences, what fact, facts, or bit of information caused you to reconsider your belief?


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith

You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

Subjectivism may very well undermine Christianity.
In the same way that "allowing people to choose what they want to be when they grow up" undermines communism.
~Stile


This message is a reply to:
 Message 340 by Tangle, posted 01-07-2019 7:01 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 344 by Tangle, posted 01-08-2019 3:49 AM Phat has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 18119
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 342 of 374 (846508)
01-07-2019 7:40 PM
Reply to: Message 331 by GDR
01-07-2019 3:58 PM


Re: Calling evil good or good evil.
GDR writes:

GDR writes:

I have put a lot of time into understanding the concept of resurrection in its historical Jewish context.

Percy writes:

Two questions: 1) Why do you mention this but then say nothing about it? 2) How is this rebuttal to the fact that miracles are one of the identifying characteristics of religion?

....because I've covered it in several earlier threads. It involves an understanding of what resurrection meant to the Jewish culture and in the OT. There were numerous other messianic movements that ended with the leaders being put to death, whereas this movement did not end.

Oh, you were just referring to one of your earlier already rebutted arguments, not adding anything new.

It is the way the accounts are written. It treats the leaders in a derogatory fashion, it has women as the first people to meet the resurrected Jesus, it is clear that the writers of the Gospels believed in the resurrection and there is, in spite of what you and others have written, no motivation for compiling these accounts.

This is yet another "I stand by what I say" nolo contendere response. If you have nothing to say but to reaffirm what you've already said without further elaboration, why respond at all?

Some not all religions have miracles which has nothing to say about whether any or all of them are true.

Ideas that are likely true accumulate a growing body of evidence (the Higgs boson). Ideas that are not true are eventually falsified (the luminiferous ether). Ideas in between are without affirmative evidence or falsification (string theory, which is consistent with much evidence but not more so than the standard theory). And ideas unconnected to evidence are fiction. Miracles fit in this last category. Despite thousands of years of imagined miracles, they still exist only in the minds of men and not in any body of evidence.

That is, miracles are not true or false in any real world sense. They're just fiction. Made up.

If you believe as I understand you do that even if there is a deity, this deity does not in any way intervene in our world, then obviously the miraculous is not possible and there are only natural explanations for occurrences.

My spiritual beliefs have nothing to do with how I interpret the real world, which is by following the evidence where it leads. Nothing's changed since I explained that my views of the relationship between religion and science feel much like Stephen Jay Gould's non-overlapping magisteria.

If however you are wrong and there is a theistic deity then the miraculous is not only possible but likely, and so we can judge any accounts on their own merits.

Your illogic and obscurity continues, and you've crammed a great deal of nonsense into a small number of words. Do you even know what a theistic deity is? How come if I'm wrong about my deity (which is impossible since I've never claimed my spiritual beliefs are evidenced or correct or even have anything to do with reality) then the only other possibility is this vague, undefined theistic deity? Why does the existence of this theistic deity automatically make the miraculous "not only possible but likely"? And how does it then follow that we can "judge any accounts on their own merits"? What merits would those be? Is evidence involved at all?

Why is it not enough for you just to have faith in your beliefs? Why this additional faith that your beliefs are evidenced? How, in any rational way, does faith that there's evidence lead to conclusions of fact like historicity?

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 331 by GDR, posted 01-07-2019 3:58 PM GDR has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 362 by Phat, posted 01-13-2019 9:32 AM Percy has responded

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 18119
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 343 of 374 (846509)
01-07-2019 9:28 PM
Reply to: Message 339 by GDR
01-07-2019 6:09 PM


Re: The Gospels as evidence
GDR writes:

I cannot for the life of me understand your point that they [the gospels] aren't evidence...And, yes we can argue about the strength of evidence that the Gospels provide, but they are evidence no matter how weak the evidence.

You're doing it again. You're simply affirming what you've already said without addressing the rebuttal. Telling me you don't "understand your point that they [the gospels] aren't evidence" gives me nothing to go on. At least ask a question.

What I said that I think key was that people can string together any words they like, but that doesn't mean there's any connection between those words and the real world. Where is your evidence tying anything in the gospels to the real world? Besides the backdrop, meaning Israel, the Romans, etc.

I agree that the evidence for the crossing of the Rubicon is very strong.

I should have clarified before, but I was already running long and so decided not to. Let me clarify now.

The evidence for Caesar's crossing the Rubicon as it comes down to us by way of Suetonius and Plutarch writing maybe 50 to 100 years later is highly suspect to my mind. For one, the two accounts do not agree about what Caesar said. For another, Sallust, an historian (but at the time a legion commander) who was with Caesar when he crossed the Rubicon, doesn't mention Caesar's saying anything, as far as I've been able to uncover. So I have grave doubts about the Suetonius and Plutarch accounts.

But those of us in the modern world who speed across landscapes without noticing the many rivers and streams can be forgiven for not realizing that an army in Caesar's day would have had to ford a great many rivers and streams, few of any particular significance. The small Rubicon would certainly have had no significance were it not for one thing: it marked the northern border of Roman Italy. But for that Caesar's crossing of it would have drawn little to no notice, not by him or anyone else.

In my view the crossing of the Rubicon was a matter of great political significance whose material details were not recorded or thought important at the time. The details came later and were likely fictional. Caesar likely never said, "The die has been cast."

So when, to make a point, you question the evidence for the crossing of the Rubicon, there is none. But what does it matter? The crossing of a minor river is of no significance and cannot be compared to a claimed resurrection. The actual event of significance was that Caesar brought his legion into Roman Italy, a crime punishable by death, not just his but all his men, too. That he did this there can be no doubt. The repercussions caromed throughout European history for the next 500 years.

I'm going way off topic now, but one thing I don't understand is why the Senate ordered Caesar back to Rome when they knew he realized he could face the death penalty for conducting unauthorized military campaigns. I suppose the Senate assumed that Pompey could defend Rome, but anyway, their order left Caesar only two choices: refuse the order and become a fugitive, or march on Rome with his legion. He chose the latter, Pompey fled, and the Roman Senate became Caesar's lackey. Gee, sorta like the US Senate today.

The last part of that is the point. You start from the position that the resurrection is an impossibility.

I start from the point that the resurrection is unevidenced and just the sort of claim one would expect from religion. That today we also know it's scientifically impossible is just icing on the cake.

Obviously then, from that POV, the Gospels have to be wrong and can't possibly be used as evidence.

The Jesus story in the gospels is unevidenced, and so of course the gospels themselves cannot be evidence. You have to build a chain of evidence. Start by finding evidence that Jesus was a real person. Maybe find a reference in a Roman archive. Then start finding evidence for events in Jesus's life, like the sermons to the four thousand and the five thousand (or however many it was), or independent contemporaneous mention of any of the miracles, or a complaint about a stolen body, or any of a thousand different things. Then as you grow your body of evidence the credibility of the gospels as evidence in their own right can begin to grow.

But Christianity hasn't done that, and you can't have nothing as an evidentiary foundation. And as said before, words strung together into stories with no ties to the real world are not evidence.

Percy writes:

The gospels are not evidence at all because they are religious and contain all the reliability problems of religious writings, including their fantastical nature. There is nothing restricting how people string words together, but once so strung they are not suddenly evidence. They must be based upon observations of reality, something a resurrection cannot claim.

They claim that they are observations of reality, but as you stated the resurrection is a physical impossibility, then it is only evidence that they are wrong, they lied or they were writing metaphorically.

That miracles are impossible in the real world is just one more nail in the coffin. It just one of several significant reasons why the gospels are not evidence.

Percy writes:

This is just a story. There is no evidence confirming the resurrection. Now if after the resurrection Jesus had miraculously erected a monument along the road to Emmaus to mark the encounter, and if its sudden appearance had been recorded in the gospels, and if its ruins survived until today, then you've got evidence. Damn fine evidence.

This is pretty consistent with what most of the non-theists on this forum have written. You want certainty or something very near to it. That isn't available.

Of course scientific certainty isn't available. Why should it be? This is religious faith we're talking about, not science.
Do you have faith in God and certainty in your religious beliefs? You do, right? Why isn't that enough? Why do you need the additional validation of ties to real world evidence? An even bigger question is why you can't see that you're just fooling yourself. Concerning religion and the real world there is no there there. But the spiritual life religion provides is all one needs. Real world evidence is not required to live this spiritual life. You're making the exact same mistake as Faith, and just as persistently, though much more politely.

The only physical evidence other than that, is that the Christian faith came into existence when without the resurrection there is no good reason for it to have done so. Every debate and book that I have read on this subject sees the detractors starting from the premise that it is an impossibility, so any other explanation is more likely. If however we start with the premise that it is a possibility then the case for resurrection is much stronger than the case against it.

If you begin accepting conclusions without evidence then all that follows is folly. Religion doesn't change how one establishes what is likely true about reality.

Percy writes:

For instance, your belief that Jesus spans two parallel universes (or whatever it is) I totally respect. This is what you believe as a matter of faith, and I respect that. But if you believe you have evidence of this then yes, I totally reject that belief.

I thought I'd comment on this. I have no evidence of this and I'm not sure I would characterize this as belief but as speculation. It just seems to fit my limited conceptual knowledge of physics.

Physics talks about parallel universes, multi universes etc. It does seem to me that this universe is the way it is because this is how we perceive it with our 5 senses. If we are only 4.5% of the detectable universe, I as a Christian can't help but speculate about God's universe and our own. Maybe with a different set of senses we would perceive a very different universe.

Speculation is good.

Percy writes:

There is no historical evidence of the resurrection, every indication that it is a religious belief, and likely that there is only one religious account upon which all others are ultimately based.

...and we have the freedom to disagree which is what makes faith possible.

Well, we can disagree, but one should at least make a good case that one's reasoning and evidence has a firm foundation. No one can convince Trump of anything, but it isn't because he's ever able to make a good case. As I often said to Faith, the strength of your ideas doesn't lie in how firmly you hold them, but the strength of their appeal to others. I'm not trying to convince anyone away from anything or toward anything, but I do have a horse in this race, and that's the importance of the proper way to establish that you do really know what you think you know.

BTW. Thank you again for the existence of this forum.

My pleasure, without doubt. I get far more out of this than I put in.

I assume there is an ongoing Internet record which will provide very strong evidence for its existence 2000 years from now. Hopefully anyway.

Maybe by then science will have discovered God's universe.

Internet content evaporates with time. Visit any old thread and you'll find many dead links and images.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 339 by GDR, posted 01-07-2019 6:09 PM GDR has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 346 by Phat, posted 01-08-2019 9:48 AM Percy has responded

    
Tangle
Member
Posts: 6497
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.5


(1)
Message 344 of 374 (846513)
01-08-2019 3:49 AM
Reply to: Message 341 by Phat
01-07-2019 7:13 PM


Re: The Gospels as evidence
Phat writes:

Thats an oversimplification. Everyone knows that stars are incapable of changing anything.


Not true, many people believe (wrongly) that the stars influence their lives.

.unless we were to take astrology seriously.

Or stories about kings following stars to witness important religious births.

All utter fantacies but you're simply special pleading; you're beliefs are true, all others are not. Nonsense.

And so what if many believers have a preconceived outcome?

I think that actual knowledge is important and false beliefs are dangerous.

You seem to be saying that believers have a need to believe and that sociology proves that they make things up.

It's obvious that people have a need to believe in something that gives them meaning, it seems to be universal.

While I agree that we have a need to continue to believe, I would argue that in the solid cases, the belief was concluded from experience...not propaganda.

If the experience is purely your own, why would it impress anyone else?

I have a question, though. If for the sake of argument we assume that your prior belief was every bit as strong as mine and that you also had some confirming experiences, what fact, facts, or bit of information caused you to reconsider your belief?

You're just going to have to take my word for it that my belief was very, very real to me. I didn't have any facts or experiences that changed my belief, I simply grew out of it. Exactly like I did with Santa - I didn't pull his beard off to suddenly reveal the truth, it just became obvious that it was all a total fabrication by a conspiracy of grown-ups.


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 341 by Phat, posted 01-07-2019 7:13 PM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 345 by Phat, posted 01-08-2019 9:34 AM Tangle has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 11882
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 345 of 374 (846519)
01-08-2019 9:34 AM
Reply to: Message 344 by Tangle
01-08-2019 3:49 AM


Re: The Gospels as evidence
Tangle writes:

I didn't have any facts or experiences that changed my belief, I simply grew out of it.

I have seen few adults grow out of anything. It would be an interesting statistic to examine, however...lets see what I can find on the internet:
What Is Magical Thinking And Do We Grow Out Of It?

Why People Fear Growing Up and Functioning as Adults
And this from Quora:
Why don't more people grow out of believing in God the way they grow out of believing in Santa Claus?

Interesting articles.


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith

You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

Subjectivism may very well undermine Christianity.
In the same way that "allowing people to choose what they want to be when they grow up" undermines communism.
~Stile


This message is a reply to:
 Message 344 by Tangle, posted 01-08-2019 3:49 AM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 347 by Tangle, posted 01-08-2019 9:53 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
RewPrev1
...
202122
23
2425Next
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2019