Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 85 (8984 total)
45 online now:
AZPaul3, PaulK, Tangle (3 members, 42 visitors)
Newest Member: Jerry Johnson
Post Volume: Total: 877,687 Year: 9,435/23,288 Month: 450/1,544 Week: 164/561 Day: 4/63 Hour: 0/1


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   A Way to Think About Free Will and God: Open Theism
Percy
Member
Posts: 19844
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 15 of 378 (844418)
11-29-2018 11:41 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Phat
11-29-2018 1:15 AM


Re: Reply To Percy
Phat writes:

What are your ideas about God? What is His/Her/Its role in all of this? Is God the eventual "rewarder"?

My faith in God comes from within and not from any evidence. Since there *is* no evidence, I know nothing about him. My internal unevidenced feeling is that He gives purpose to the universe and is not a personal God. He may not even know or care about us on this tiny planet orbiting an average sun in a sparse portion of an arm of an unremarkable galaxy.

I do believe in free will. I think Open Theism is just a renaming of an existing concept.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Phat, posted 11-29-2018 1:15 AM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by Phat, posted 11-30-2018 6:57 AM Percy has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 19844
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 18 of 378 (844452)
11-30-2018 9:12 AM
Reply to: Message 17 by Phat
11-30-2018 6:57 AM


Re: Reply To Percy
Phat writes:

Looking at GDRs argument in the other rapture thread, he apparently believes that Scripture was how humans interpreted God speaking to them.

Are you sure you understand GDR's position? In Message 1063 of the Tribute Thread For the Recently Raptured Faith thread about the gospel writers he says, "They aren't saying that God told them this..."

As GDR says, he believes that "the authors got it right."

GDR also freely makes his own personal interpretations and picks and chooses among passages seeking those he thinks better reflect God's nature as he sees it (incredibly apparently rejecting the entire OT in favor of the NT) in order to create a God that is, as Ringo so aptly puts it, "palatable" to him.

Believers seem to choose belief based on trusting those who inspire and persuade them. Skeptics are more likely to trust hard evidence and are unimpressed with the storytellers.(or the stories themselves)

The Koran and the Book of Mormon tell plenty of stories, too. There need to be credible reasons for rejecting them and accepting the Bible's.

Religion is a scam because it attracts so many con men, hustlers and swindlers, though it also attracts a great many very good people. We can't forget that religions' history includes both good and bad people, including those who wrote scripture. Oftentimes the good and the bad are combined in the same person. Look at all the Catholic priests who either protected sexual abusers, turned a blind eye to it, or actually committed it. They also performed many very good works. And just because the Catholic Church is receiving all the attention doesn't mean that the problem is confined to the Catholics. It just means that in other churches the abuse is probably more evenly distributed between the sexes, since there's no vow of celibacy. For example see The sin of silence: The epidemic of denial about sexual abuse in the evangelical church.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by Phat, posted 11-30-2018 6:57 AM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 199 by Phat, posted 12-26-2018 3:01 PM Percy has acknowledged this reply

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 19844
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 271 of 378 (846371)
01-05-2019 12:17 PM
Reply to: Message 260 by GDR
01-04-2019 9:55 PM


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

The resurrection is recorded as historical...It does require faith that the Gospel accounts are essentially accurate.

You can't it both ways, both historical and faith driven. The resurrection is a core religious belief of Christianity, not history.

The resurrection requires that the laws of science as we currently know them have to be suspended.

As you said, this is what you believe on faith. It isn't reality. The laws of science were never suspended. Nothing violating the laws of science has ever been shown to happen.

Science cannot be used to repudiate or confirm resurrection.

Well, yes, of course, in the same way that science can't be used to repudiate or confirm Harry Potter. There's no evidence to confirm or repudiate, plus it violates known laws of science, plus it's obviously religious which places it in the same grabbag of fantastical claims with other religions.

You can have a favorite religion. Yours happens to be Christianity, others Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Judasim or any of a number of others. All their beliefs are based upon faith. None of these religions are historical or factual or scientific when it comes to things like resurrections.

However, I agree with Tangle that without the resurrection being historical Christianity is a false religion.

You just finished saying that the resurrection being historical has to be accepted on faith, which means you have no objective evidence that the resurrection is historical. Objectively Christianity is a false religion (so are all the others) - it can only be accepted on faith, which is as it should be. All those who march off to objectively prove their religion are on a fool's errand.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 260 by GDR, posted 01-04-2019 9:55 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 272 by Phat, posted 01-05-2019 1:59 PM Percy has acknowledged this reply
 Message 283 by GDR, posted 01-05-2019 3:43 PM Percy has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 19844
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 291 of 378 (846423)
01-05-2019 5:29 PM
Reply to: Message 283 by GDR
01-05-2019 3:43 PM


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

percy writes:

You can't it both ways, both historical and faith driven. The resurrection is a core religious belief of Christianity, not history.

Of course it can be had both ways. I believe by faith that the resurrection is an historical event.

You're talking nonsense. You can believe by faith that George Washington chopped down a cherry tree, but that doesn't turn it into a historical event. Faith is the last resort of those with no evidence. Actual historical events leave evidence behind. This shouldn't have to be explained.

percy writes:

As you said, this is what you believe on faith. It isn't reality. The laws of science were never suspended. Nothing violating the laws of science has ever been shown to happen.

The Gospels say that you are wrong.

So what? The gospels (lowercase) are something you accept on faith, not evidence. You said so yourself. Harry Potter says I'm wrong about magic. So does The Lord of the Rings. Again, so what?

Percy writes:

Well, yes, of course, in the same way that science can't be used to repudiate or confirm Harry Potter. There's no evidence to confirm or repudiate, plus it violates known laws of science, plus it's obviously religious which places it in the same grabbag of fantastical claims with other religions.

So what? One can be right and the others wrong, they can all be right or they can all be wrong. One thing they do agree on and that is that there is a deity.

Well, actually, they don't agree about "there is a deity" either. Some religions have multiple deities. All religions are attestations without evidence, and such can be dismissed without evidence.

Percy writes:

You can have a favorite religion. Yours happens to be Christianity, others Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Judasim or any of a number of others. All their beliefs are based upon faith. None of these religions are historical or factual or scientific when it comes to things like resurrections.

If you are talking about miracles,...

I am talking about any evidence-free claim, but sure, miracles, too.

I have never claimed that they are scientific but that has nothing to do as to whether or not they are factual or historic.

If they have no evidence then they are neither factual nor historical. And if they are scientifically impossible plus just a religious claim, whose contrived nature is well established, then all you've got is faith in miracles. And there's nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is making false claims that evidence-based fields like history and science provide any support for faith-based ideas.

Percy writes:

You just finished saying that the resurrection being historical has to be accepted on faith, which means you have no objective evidence that the resurrection is historical. Objectively Christianity is a false religion (so are all the others) - it can only be accepted on faith, which is as it should be. All those who march off to objectively prove their religion are on a fool's errand.

I'm not trying to prove anything.

Sure you are. You're trying to prove the gospels historical, but finding it a tough go for lack of evidence.

I do have objective evidence in the physical writings in the Gospels,...

This vague statement isn't going to confuse anyone but you. The gospels (lowercase) contain no objective evidence for their religious claims.

I do however by faith form a subjective view as to their veracity.

Yes, exactly. By faith, not by evidence. Subjective, not objective. Religious (with all that entails), not secular.

--Percy

Edited by Percy, : Typo.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 283 by GDR, posted 01-05-2019 3:43 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 295 by GDR, posted 01-05-2019 6:09 PM Percy has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 19844
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 294 of 378 (846426)
01-05-2019 5:47 PM
Reply to: Message 289 by GDR
01-05-2019 5:23 PM


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

Of course it is historical evidence.

No, it is scripture, with all that entails. Scripture isn't history. (Of course that doesn't mean scripture can't have a historical backdrop, such as being set in real places like Jerusalem or mentioning actual historical personages like Herod the Great or Pontius Pilate.)

What you are talking about is its reliability.

We are saying it isn't history, it is scripture. You can no more talk about the reliability of Christian scripture than you can of Norse myths.

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.

I don't want to speak for Ringo, but I think our views are fairly similar. That the resurrection (assuming you believe Jesus was really dead for three days and then came back to life, and not that he wasn't really dead but the apostles just thought he was) violates science just makes it more clear that it is religion, whose strong tendency toward fantastical claims we understand very well. You'd like to believe that the nature of religion doesn't hold for the religion that you prefer, that unlike other religions Christianity's claims are actually true, nay, even historical. That you have to pick among the claims for what you think true and what you think not belies this.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 289 by GDR, posted 01-05-2019 5:23 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 297 by GDR, posted 01-05-2019 6:50 PM Percy has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 19844
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 298 of 378 (846431)
01-05-2019 7:46 PM
Reply to: Message 290 by NosyNed
01-05-2019 5:28 PM


Re: Evidence or Not
NosyNed writes:

I'd say to Ringo, the bible is evidence.

Of its religious claims? Given the clear nature of religion? If the Bible is evidence of Christianity's religious views then wouldn't any writing be evidence, including obvious fiction?

We went down the "everything is evidence" path in another thread. That way lies madness, in the sense that the discussion is endless and leads nowhere. If we learned anything from that thread it's that evidence is specific. You can't just say you've have evidence the way GDR keeps saying, "The gospels are evidence." Just what are they specifically evidence of, and what is that evidence. Just saying Harry Potter is evidence or Lysistrata is evidence is meaningless. They might contain evidence, like Harry Potter containing evidence that London is a real place or Lysistrata having evidence that the Peloponnesian war actually occurred, but just saying they're evidence is an empty claim.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 290 by NosyNed, posted 01-05-2019 5:28 PM NosyNed has not yet responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 19844
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 311 of 378 (846451)
01-06-2019 10:11 AM
Reply to: Message 295 by GDR
01-05-2019 6:09 PM


Re: The Gospels as evidence
GDR writes:

Percy writes:

You're talking nonsense. You can believe by faith that George Washington chopped down a cherry tree, but that doesn't turn it into a historical event. Faith is the last resort of those with no evidence. Actual historical events leave evidence behind. This shouldn't have to be explained.

There is evidence left behind. The NT.

No, there is no evidence left behind. You just like to say there is. Let's do a comparison between the gospels and Harry Potter. This is from Matthew:

quote:
Matthew 28:2 And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.

There is no evidence supporting anything in that passage.

This is from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone:

quote:
Harry saw it. In a great rush of excitement he dived downward after the streak of gold. Slytherin Seeker Terence Higgs had seen it, too. Neck and neck they hurtled toward the Snitch ‐ all the Chasers seemed to have forgotten what they were supposed to be doing as they hung in midair to watch.

There is no evidence supporting anything in that passage, either.

Let's look at Caesar's crossing of the Rubicon. It only happened once. The only evidence is what we have written. All we have are written accounts and subjectively we can accept or reject the accounts.

First you argued that there was evidence left behind, and now you're arguing that such events left no evidence behind, including actual historical events like Caesar's crossing of the Rubicon. You can't even keep your arguments consistent. You're just saying whatever's expedient that pops into your head.

Anyway, based upon your second argument, the lack of evidence, we agree that events with no evidence should be questioned. Historians, many of them and some of them contemporary, wrote of Caesar, and Caesar wrote a great deal himself about his life and military campaigns. There are multiple independent sources for the history of Rome, which is not true of the gospels. About the crossing of the Rubicon, how did Caesar reach Rome if he didn't cross it? If he remained on the other side of the Rubicon, how did he enter Rome with his legion, chase Pompey toward Spain, become dictator, and conduct all his subsequent campaigns.

As I said to ringo, the real argument is not the fact that the Gospels are evidence but how reliable we consider the evidence.

What evidence? You have a made up and fantastical story about amazing events that somehow completely escaped the notice of history. You actually have four stories that draw upon an earlier version and upon each other. And you have Paul's epistles that agree with very little in the gospels. Where Jesus is concerned the NT is not a history.

Percy writes:

So what? The gospels (lowercase) are something you accept on faith, not evidence.

We both keep repeating what we have already said. The Gospels are evidence and I accept the veracity of the accounts of the resurrection by faith.

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

Percy writes:

What is wrong is making false claims that evidence-based fields like history and science provide any support for faith-based ideas.

Science provides no support.

Science provides even less than "no support." It says that your miracles are unlikely in the extreme.

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

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.

Percy writes:

Sure you are. You're trying to prove the gospels historical, but finding it a tough go for lack of evidence.

Why keep using the word "prove". I have stated categorically several times that there is no proof, and that it can't be proven. I don't think I can be any clearer.

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

Percy writes:

The gospels (lowercase) contain no objective evidence for their religious claims.

I agree. However we do objectively know that the Gospels exist.

Of course we objectively know the gospels (lowercase - just can't keep your little finger off that shift key, can you) exist. And we objectively know the Harry Potter books exist. That they objectively exist is not objective evidence for any of their content. This shouldn't have to be explained.

Two of them clearly state that they were compiled in order to provide an account of the facts.

In other words, two of them state, "Trust me," and your answer is, "Okay, sure."

We know that objectively. We subjectively form our own conclusions about their veracity and by faith, not knowledge, we accept our conclusions.

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.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 295 by GDR, posted 01-05-2019 6:09 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 312 by NosyNed, posted 01-06-2019 11:07 AM Percy has responded
 Message 314 by GDR, posted 01-06-2019 8:07 PM Percy has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 19844
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 313 of 378 (846460)
01-06-2019 7:45 PM
Reply to: Message 312 by NosyNed
01-06-2019 11:07 AM


Re: The gospels are evidence!
NosyNed writes:

I disagree here. The gospels are evidence and the JK Rowling books are kind of evidence too.
...
<rest of message not included>

I discussed this already in my earlier reply to you, Message 298. If you just missed it then the answers lie there. If you ignored it then I don't understand.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 312 by NosyNed, posted 01-06-2019 11:07 AM NosyNed has not yet responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 19844
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 315 of 378 (846462)
01-06-2019 8:14 PM
Reply to: Message 297 by GDR
01-05-2019 6:50 PM


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

I believe that the resurrected Jesus was experienced in a body that bridged our universe and God's universe.

This is closer to Unitarianism than Anglicanism, and to science fiction than to either.

I haven't commented on the claims of other religions and I have already stated that there are things that are consistent.

Yeah, like their focus on the fantastical.

If we read the first part of the Book of Buddha we find essentially the same social message proclaimed by Jesus.

You're just repeating yourself while ignoring what I already said in reply to this. Have you forgotten, or is this some weird kind of debating strategy?

I am quite prepared to accept that it was a revelation from God.

This is just more "I stand by what I said," more nolo contendere.

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

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?

I haven't put that same time into other religious claims so I won't offer an opinion one way or the other.

That miracles are a common element of many religions is just common knowledge, not something that requires study. You're being evasive.

The claims of the miraculous in other religions, whether historical or not, has nothing to do with the claim of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Now you're in denial.

Richard Feynman: "The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool." You're constructing your own fantasy world and then telling yourself that it's real.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 297 by GDR, posted 01-05-2019 6:50 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 331 by GDR, posted 01-07-2019 3:58 PM Percy has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 19844
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.8


(1)
Message 334 of 378 (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: 19844
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 335 of 378 (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: 19844
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 336 of 378 (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

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 19844
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 342 of 378 (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: 19844
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 343 of 378 (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

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 19844
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 351 of 378 (846590)
01-09-2019 11:10 AM
Reply to: Message 346 by Phat
01-08-2019 9:48 AM


Re: The Gospels as evidence
I think I already addressed most of your comments when I said to GDR in the message you're replying to, Message 343:

Percy in Message 343 writes:

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.

No answer as of yet. About this:

Phat writes:

GDR...pleads for allowing the belief to stand as valid evidence.

You're missing something fundamental. Belief untethered by evidence is about the furthest thing from evidence one could imagine. GDR has abandoned faith as sufficient and embarked upon a mistaken search for evidence for his faith. Finding no actual evidence he has simply declared the NT to be evidence. Then, strangely because it fully compromises his argument, he says he only has faith that it is evidence.

You seem to like reading articles, so you might like this one since it argues for GDR's position: Is Evidence Needed for Faith? What I like about it is that it states the question succinctly (I modified his sentence a little):

quote:
If you have to have “evidence” to believe, would faith really be faith?

If you feel like it, try to identify where his argument first breaks down. It's the same place where he diverges from reasoned argument and switches to making bald declarations.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 346 by Phat, posted 01-08-2019 9:48 AM Phat has not yet responded

  
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2020