quote:1. The Bible which proves itself to be reliable via fulfilled history coupled with history, archeological discoveries, it's effect on peoples and nations, etc.
...and yet, when we ask you for the specifics, the nitty-gritty details of this so-called "evidence" you cannot deliver and must resort to simply denying any counterevidence we present or accusations of bias.
quote:2. Testimony of ex-spiritualists, missionaries who've witnessed the evil supernatural of the jungles, and other such sources.
We also have very impassioned testimonies of people who claim to have been abducted by aliens, who claim to have been reincarnated (past life regression), and who say that God told them to kill their wife and children.
You are engaging in the logical fallacy of Confirmation Bias again, Buz:
"Confirmation bias refers to a type of selective thinking whereby one tends to notice and to look for what confirms one's beliefs, and to ignore, not look for, or undervalue the relevance of what contradicts one's beliefs."
You see the testimonies which you agree with, yet you ignore all evidence and testimonies which contradict your preferred belief.
So, the result for you, Buz, is that you are not a seeker of truth, but a seeker of comfort.
quote:3. The accuracy of Biblical description of the demonic, as well as all other satanic evil and it's effects on society. For example, the Bible claims false religious doctrines to be demonically inspired. Interestingly it is often the anti-Christian/Biblical religious doctrines tend to be the violent doctrines which teach violence to compel others to be adherants or which persecute passive Christian churches and organizations.
Of course, you engage in Confirmation bias again, because you ignore the centuries of endorsed violent treatment of non-Christians by Christians.
You also ignore the terribly violent Old Testament.
You ignore the fact that both Christianity and Islam have their roots in Judaism, which the Old Testament shows us was a very, very warlike, "kill-em-if-they-don't-believe" culture.
You also ignore other completely non-violent major world religions, such as Buddhism and Hinduism, both of which take their non-violent philosophy so far as to forbid the killing of animals for food.
quote:4. Muhammed, Joseph Smith, the Buddah, Shakyamuni and others all had visions or alleged supernatural experiences which inspired them to originate their religions. Either their experiences were of Satan's kingdom or of God's kingdom. Since all these originated doctrines contrary to the Bible, as a Biblical Christian, my opinion is that they are of the kingdom of evil, even though there is some good in all these. As with examples in the Bible, the evil laces the false and the evil with enough good so as to attract adherants and deceive.
Yet more mere personal opinion from you, Buz, not evidence.
quote:5. People know as "cutters" are a good example of Biblical demonism. I know of a person whose daughter has this need to cut herself. A number of cults and pagan religions do/did things to draw blood in their rituals as well as ofering human sacrifices.
"Cutters" are mentally-ill people, buz.
I cannot actually believe that in this day and age that someone would still believe in demonic posession, but I suppose fear and ignorance and superstition are persistent problems in any age.
Tell me, do you agree with the pastor and family who killed an autistic child while trying to rid him of a "demon"?
Ok...lemme let all ya'lls wisdom sink in....the "Moby Dick" analogy is being touted primarily to suggest that the Bible, rather than being an inerrent book, is just another storybook with some cool philosophy. At least for those of us who ascribe to human wisdom as the final judge of validity.(The relativist truth seekers) On the other hand, the Biblical inerrency believers would say that either the codes are a means for an omnipotant "commander in chief" to speak wisdom to His children who are caught up in a supernatural battle on earth, or proof of a deeper mystery within a deep book. Personally, I DO believe that there is a form of "spiritual warfare" on earth...that is, within the arena that we all live, breathe, and think in. Rrhain, you talk about mathematical necessity. Do you theorize, then, that all prophecy is nothing more than a manifestation of mathematical chance? (sooner or later, someone will fullfill that specific combination of words and will attach a meaning to them) Rrhain..I will agree with your approach in a scientific way. Biblical inerrency and reality are very implausible. Demonic supernatural activity is implausible. It is unprovable to observers. Oftentimes, though, the easy explanations are the wrong ones. It was easy to think that the earth was flat. It was easy to imagine that the Sun rotated around the earth. My good friend Stuart, who works at Ball Aerospace, is comfortable thinking about Jesus as an alien, since to him this is more plausible than thinking of an Omnipotant Creator, a Virgin Birth, and a great war with supernatural entities. I, on the other hand, have a strong belief in God manifested through human flesh and experienced with the Holy Spirit because when I "got saved", I received that Holy Spirit. I cannot prove this fact to any observers, but while I am unafraid to question the validity of it, I am a believer. To a relativist, being a believer is a term subject to modification or revision. To an absolutist, however, being a believer is a done deal, unchangeable and unbending. A limitation to progressive thought, perhaps, but we may ask where the thought process is taking us. Truth is not "out there" for us. Truth is "in here." To a scientist, wisdom is "in here" rather than "up there"( with God). To an absolutist, wisdom is both "up there", "in here" and "out there". We think too little and stick to our Faith perhaps too much. You guys think too much, and are awaiting a "provable" measureable faith when, perhaps, you should take a leap into it.
[This message has been edited by Phatboy, 01-11-2004]
Well, you've made some interesting epistemological choices, which you are free to do, as I am. Most of what you say is simply untrue, and cannot be confirmed with quotes or analysis or any facts from the rebuttals of the Code critics. It is standard practise in science publication, in my experience, to never publish a rebuttal of a refereed article, without allowing the rebutted authors to review (they are peers, after all, and no more likely to have an ax to grind than the critics.) And, normally, a answer to the critics is also considered playing by the rules.
And the codes are statistically improbable, unless Witztum and a dozen other statisticians/mathematicians are lying.
But, your choice precludes you from understanding all this. Perhaps other readers have made different choices, and will check out the material available.
Pity to see such energy wasted on unsupported assertions.
Confucious say, "Ostrich with head in sand soon become pile of lion shit."
quote:Ok...lemme let all ya'lls wisdom sink in....the "Moby Dick" analogy is being touted primarily to suggest that the Bible, rather than being an inerrent book, is just another storybook with some cool philosophy.
The fact that we find similar messages when we do the bible code thing to Moby Dick, War and Peace, etc. means that there is nothing special about the code found in the bible.
However, this is not evidence that the Bible is "just another story book" nor is it evidence that the bible isn't inerrant.
There's other positive evidence for that.
quote:At least for those of us who ascribe to human wisdom as the final judge of validity.(The relativist truth seekers)
It all depends upon what you are judging the valitiy of.
quote:We think too little and stick to our Faith perhaps too much. You guys think too much, and are awaiting a "provable" measureable faith when, perhaps, you should take a leap into it.
Please do not confuse methodological naturalism with ontological naturalism.
Not being a Code Researcher myself, I read critiques and rebuttals, efforts by honorable or acknowledged scholars and scientists, to replicate, debate, and judge the work. If a professional statistician or mathematician describes a work following the original protocol for statistical testing, to replicate or confirm the findings, and fails, then I would question the Codes. The existing critiques, according to the original authors, did not follow the original protocols, the materials and methods as published. They would have pointed out the differences to the critic in a peer review, but were not allowed such review. They would have published their rebuttal, but they were not allowed to do that either, because (according to documents they have in hand), the journal involved said that "there was insufficient interest for further discussion." Not, I noted, that there was insufficient evidence of a failure to follow protocols.
Now, at one point, having a doctorate in biomathematics, I bought a Code program and was going to start doing some testing of my own. And, if push comes to shove, that's what I will do. Meaning, if some confirm, but others do not, and the controversy becomes respectable, I might be able to make a contribution, or at least satisfy myself. But, as a forensic judge of debates, this is a no-brainer. The critics are cheating, and really, when called on it, have little or no evidence that the original authors are mistaken. (There is one website, replicating a study by Gans, that failed to replicate. Gans is slow but sure in responding. So, I'm waiting here.) But there are so many confirmable, respectable replications, and the research field is expanding so fast, that it has become a research programme in the Lakatosian sense. Which means that there almost certainly has to be something there, the only question might be, what is it? Failures to replicate in this case recommend ad hoc revision of the hypothesis, not the "utter nonsense" of the critics.
I am especially distressed by the weakness, and the religious bias, of the Moby Dick Codes refutes argument. In some religions at least, the postulated existence of Muses would lead us to expect codes in all sorts of art, where the Muse signed the art or literature, just as God is supposed to have "signed" the Bible. The existence of improbable codes anywhere would confirm these religious beliefs. Comparison of the sophistication of the Codes in different places would then allow us to compare the powers of the various gods, belief in which are the basis of these religions. Might be a useful contribution of science to the human inclination to be religious.
You might be interested to know that the once reputable BBC Science documentary series Horizon had a programme on Bible Codes where they ran their own statistical analysis which appeared to debunk the codes. It did however conclude with the usual wishy-washy ending ("the wrangling will go on...").
The real evil inherent in the invention of non-existent supernatural demons and other entities on whom to blame one's follies (or sins if you wish) is that now one has an out via redemption (and don't get me started on the evils of redemption) for all the hurtfull transgressions inflicted upon one's neighbor and against nature. This false theology establishes a pattern of repeat violations of human and natural laws because all one has to do is blame a transgression on a "demon" and beseach "god" for forgiveness, over and over and over again, rather than altering one's behavior to avoid transgressions against one's neighbors and against nature in the first place.
Im pretty edgy on these "Codes", they don't seem to be reliable and frankly, I think that they are very bad. Christains are drifting farther away from the Bible itself, and focusing on codes that are based on chance.Revelation 22:16 - I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
Im pretty edgy on these "Codes", they don't seem to be reliable and frankly, I think that they are very bad. Christains are drifting farther away from the Bible itself, and focusing on codes that are based on chance.
Very wise, IM. This sort of stuff runs the risk of making some individuals more skeptical of the Bible.
After all if they suggest that this stuff somehow 'proves' devine intervention then, at least a few, individuals will, if the codes are shown to be bogus, suggest that the disproof of the codes in some way disproves God. Proving the codes false doesn't do that, of course. But that is the impression that will be left in some minds.
Any ill founded attempt to make God a part of the natural world. To supply concrete proof runs this risk.
To honor Moose's gentle guidance, I'll just thank you for the tip, which I found most useful, and comment on topic. To wit,
Let's suppose there are demons. If so, what evidence might manifest to confirm their presence? I suggest that the Codes study that Rips participated in ought to be redone, with and without prayer for deliverance from demonic influence. The suggestion (finding, given confirmation by one of the committee members) that experts made a lot of mistakes might be evidence that demons were messing with the study.
It seems reasonable, as well, that demons, if they exist, could and might put codes into works they inspire.
We would predict, then, that spiritual individuals praying against demons would have better success getting improbable codes from the Bible, and less success getting codes from misleading literature, compared to atheistic scientists.
Since demons are postulated by the Bible, this prediction is utterly scientific.
The beauty of science is that supernatural inventions, or models, can be shown implausible through proper testing. Of course, we don't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater, especially this baby. Clearly, if there does exist ontologically a malign supernatural agent, they will be expected to work by generating distracting covers, false, "invented" versions of themselves. Inventions that only enhance their evil agenda.
But, if they are smarter than we are, and more powerful, we need a very protected laboratory to research them. This we must seek God to obtain. Epistemologically, we will never know any more about Satan than he wants us to know, unless there is a God more powerful than he is to help us. It's the only way we can win, so we have to play that way. And it works, or has for me. God does have Satan on a sort of leash, and does teach those who ask how to "wrestle with principalities and powers."