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Author Topic:   Anti-theist
dwise1
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Posts: 4715
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.7


(2)
Message 421 of 479 (886650)
05-29-2021 11:36 AM
Reply to: Message 419 by Tangle
05-29-2021 7:27 AM


Re: Elvis has left the building.
As an oral tradition, it has all of the veracity of a game of telephone.

Although the second part of my college career was in computer science, the first part was in liberal arts concentrating on foreign languages. Being a German major is mostly like being an English major in that we also studied the language's literature and the history of the culture.

The 19th Century was primarily part of the Romantic period, which was a reaction against Classicism (which had been a reaction against Sturm und Drang, etc). Part of Romanticism was a growing trend of nationalism which led to a lot of dwelling on your people's (ie, des Volkes) history and mythology.

The Romantic conceit that brought this up was their fascination with folk tales and their belief that those folk tales were centuries old. Indeed, that was part of the work of the Brothers Grimm who collected their stories as part of their research in the linguistical development of the German Language (leading to the famous (world famous in linguistics classes) Grimm's Law about the first Germanic sound shift).

Well, those folk tales being part of the oral tradition means that they weren't anywhere near as old as the Romanticists thought. Instead of going back centuries and millennia, they mainly only went back a few generations. Worse than in the game of Telephone, each generation had the opportunity to embellish the story which could involve adding new information to support the story.

A case of that was an isolated tribe that anthropologists thought was untouched by the outside world. They had a myth involving Sirius (α Canis Majoris, hence the "Dog Star", the second brightest star in the sky after Sol). I think it was only in the 20th Century that our astronomers discovered Sirius B, a white dwarf companion that can only be seen with a telescope. Yet in this isolated tribe's mythology, their deified Sirius had a companion! How could they have known that all those many generations without benefit of a telescope? Well, it turns out that somebody in another team of anthropologists had mentioned that fact and it was immediately incorporated in their oral tradition. Such is how oral tradition actually works, far far worse than a game of Telephone.

For example, Genesis had been an oral tradition until the Babylonian Exile at which time the Judeans started writing it down (in part to stave off assimilation). During that writing, new material from the surrounding Babylonians made its way in (eg, the Flood Story from Gilgamesh). So in a mere generation or two the Judean oral tradition had gotten a major overhaul. Who knows what had happened to it over the preceding millennium?

 
BTW, regarding the effects of writing. Unwritten language changes very rapidly through usage, such that Old High German from about 1000 years ago is indecipherable to a modern German who had not majored in Germanistik (the German equivalent to our English degree). But then after having studied Koiné Greek at university I picked up a book on modern Greek. I was surprised that so many words were written almost the same after about 2000 years. Sure, they were pronounced differently, but they were written almost the same (disregarding verb conjugations ... and I think that declinations by case also simplified out a lot). Because ancient Greek had been written down its writing was largely retained into modern times whereas ancient German, being unwritten (our examples of it come from monks writing about it, like the incomplete Hildebrandslied), changed radically in about half that time (same as with English, but then there was also the effects of strong Frenchification post-1066 courtesy of the Frenchified Vikings known as the Normans.

Here's an interesting LangFocus video about why English spelling is the horrific trainwreck that it is:

The arrival of the printing press did play a part in cementing older English spelling to bedevil us ever after. Also, many other languages have an academy or other authority which will periodically do a language reform in which the standard language is changed even in its writing to match changes in the spoken language. That is why you can reliably pronounce any written word in Spanish, French, Italian, or German, but trying to read English out loud is akin to strolling through a minefield.

Here is the classic "I Love Lucy" clip in which Ricky attempts to read a bedtime story filled with words containing "ough", which is pronounced differently every single time:

BTW, I had married into a Mexican family in which my in-laws loved "I Love Lucy" because of Ricky's lapses into Spanish. Lucy and most of the audience could only imagine what Ricky was ranting about, but my in-laws could hear it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 419 by Tangle, posted 05-29-2021 7:27 AM Tangle has not yet responded

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 4715
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.7


(2)
Message 422 of 479 (886651)
05-29-2021 12:09 PM
Reply to: Message 419 by Tangle
05-29-2021 7:27 AM


Re: Elvis has left the building.
All that is known is written in your book and all of it is hearsay written decades after the supposed events by unknown authors - none of which are witnesses - then redacted and edited for political reasons. There is absolutely nothing there that can be relied on or confirmed by secondary evidence.

While awaiting execution during the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution (from which he escaped through the miracle of administrative incompetence), Thomas Paine wrote the first part of Age of Reason, his critique of religion in general and Christianity in particular. Regarding Revelation as hearsay (edited to smaller size, so do research the original text for full context):

quote:
Revelation, when applied to religion, means something communicated immediately from God to man.

No one will deny or dispute the power of the Almighty to make such a communication, if he pleases. But admitting, for the sake of a case, that something has been revealed to a certain person, and not revealed to any other person, it is revelation to that person only. When he tells it to a second person, a second to a third, a third to a fourth, and so on, it ceases to be a revelation to all those persons. It is revelation to the first person only, and hearsay to every other, and consequently they are not obliged to believe it.

It is a contradiction in terms and ideas, to call anything a revelation that comes to us at second-hand, either verbally or in writing. Revelation is necessarily limited to the first communication- after this, it is only an account of something which that person says was a revelation made to him; and though he may find himself obliged to believe it, it cannot be incumbent on me to believe it in the same manner; for it was not a revelation made to me, and I have only his word for it that it was made to him.

. . .

When I am told that the Koran was written in Heaven and brought to Mahomet by an angel, the account comes too near the same kind of hearsay evidence and second-hand authority as the former. I did not see the angel myself, and, therefore, I have a right not to believe it.

When also I am told that a woman called the Virgin Mary, said, or gave out, that she was with child without any cohabitation with a man, and that her betrothed husband, Joseph, said that an angel told him so, I have a right to believe them or not; such a circumstance required a much stronger evidence than their bare word for it; but we have not even this- for neither Joseph nor Mary wrote any such matter themselves; it is only reported by others that they said so- it is hearsay upon hearsay, and I do not choose to rest my belief upon such evidence.


As for theists' accusation that Thomas Paine was an "atheist":

quote:
I believe in one God, and no more; and I hope for happiness beyond this life.

. . .

As to the Christian system of faith, it appears to me as a species of Atheism- a sort of religious denial of God. It professes to believe in a man rather than in God. It is a compound made up chiefly of Manism with but little Deism, and is as near to Atheism as twilight is to darkness. It introduces between man and his Maker an opaque body, which it calls a Redeemer, as the moon introduces her opaque self between the earth and the sun, and it produces by this means a religious, or an irreligious, eclipse of light. It has put the whole orbit of reason into shade.

. . .

As to the theology that is now studied in its place, it is the study of human opinions and of human fancies concerning God. It is not the study of God himself in the works that he has made, but in the works or writings that man has made; and it is not among the least of the mischiefs that the Christian system has done to the world, that it has abandoned the original and beautiful system of theology, like a beautiful innocent, to distress and reproach, to make room for the hag of superstition.



So then, no "Shamrock gods" (ie, three in one, AKA trinitarian) for him. One of the jokes in Nuns on the Run (1990 -- two male crooks on the run from the mob hiding out as nuns in a Catholic school) came from the non-Catholic crook having to teach the theology class, so the Catholic crook tells him about using the shamrock to teach "three in one". Later on in a chase scene, one of them does a blessing in passing: "In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Shamrock."

This message is a reply to:
 Message 419 by Tangle, posted 05-29-2021 7:27 AM Tangle has not yet responded

  
anglagard
Member
Posts: 2335
From: Socorro, New Mexico USA
Joined: 03-18-2006
Member Rating: 6.4


Message 423 of 479 (886667)
05-29-2021 11:16 PM
Reply to: Message 406 by Phat
05-27-2021 1:58 AM


Re: Point Taken
Phat writes:

Just watched that video on Christianity and the summation of its history.
Based on what I've read and on my own common sense (intuition?) I agree largely with the conclusion of the author/creator. The Schism was well represented as was the politicization of the church. I am not simply an ignorant fundamentalist. (Though I can be a charismaniac at times

OK, Phat, I hope you did not stop at a single video concerning Christianity or Judaism. Overly Sarcastic Productions have hundreds of videos, Blue is history, Red is mythology.

If your preferred learning style is via video rather than books, that's OK, I can work with that. The important thing is to master the content, if nothing else it will be easier to keep up with jar and Ringo.

In the end, you owe it to yourself.


The problem with knowing everything is learning nothing.

If you don't know what you're doing, find someone who does, and do what they do.

Republican = death


This message is a reply to:
 Message 406 by Phat, posted 05-27-2021 1:58 AM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 424 by Phat, posted 05-30-2021 9:31 AM anglagard has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 15641
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003


Message 424 of 479 (886671)
05-30-2021 9:31 AM
Reply to: Message 423 by anglagard
05-29-2021 11:16 PM


DSA & Global Finance. A Real Concern
I studied Thomas Paine's theories. We had him as required reading in school, but I must have missed that day. I was fascinated yet annoyed concerning his theories on religion. It is where many of you got pieces parts of yours.

On a related note, I saw where you are a DSA member. I watched an excellent (in my opinion) video (30 minutes long) that fully explains the mysteries behind modern finance, government debt, and where we as a people have been, now are, and are going to end up financially. My question to you is this: Were the DSA in power, what would they do to skillfully wind down the problems caused by government and the wealthy and money in general? What would the average man on the street end up with? Better or worse than what we have now?


"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
***
“…far from science having buried God, not only do the results of science point towards his existence, but the scientific enterprise itself is validated by his existence.”- Dr.John Lennox

“The whole war between the atheist and the theist comes down to this: the atheist believes a 'what' created the universe; the theist believes a 'who' created the universe.”
- Criss Jami, Killo

“The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of a doubt, what is laid before him.” — Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God is Within You
(1894).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 423 by anglagard, posted 05-29-2021 11:16 PM anglagard has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 425 by ringo, posted 05-30-2021 10:36 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply
 Message 457 by anglagard, posted 06-02-2021 3:42 PM Phat has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 19251
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 425 of 479 (886672)
05-30-2021 10:36 AM
Reply to: Message 424 by Phat
05-30-2021 9:31 AM


Re: DSA & Global Finance. A Real Concern
Phat writes:

I was fascinated yet annoyed concerning his theories on religion. It is where many of you got pieces parts of yours.


I have read Thomas Paine but I wouldn't call him a source of my ideas. My main takeaway (45 years later) is that people can govern themselves better than some goober across the ocean can govern them. (I'm not sure the US is a good example of that.) I do think there is a trend toward more localized decision- making, contrary to your (wishfully-thinking) fears of One World Government.

"I've been to Moose Jaw, now I can die." -- John Wing

This message is a reply to:
 Message 424 by Phat, posted 05-30-2021 9:31 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20323
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 426 of 479 (886676)
05-30-2021 1:36 PM
Reply to: Message 416 by Raphael
05-29-2021 4:14 AM


Re: Elvis has left the building.
I'll first respond to the dominant themes in your two messages, Message 416 and Message 417, then respond to the details.

Science does not and cannot study the supernatural, only the natural. Anything about the supernatural that you think science can study is actually natural.

Religion has no epistemological methods for the natural world, and no evidence of any for the supernatural world. Revelation is not evidence of anything.

On to the details...

Raphael writes:

His audience is almost exclusively Christian.
Christians have an exceedingly casual attitude toward the possibility that Islam is right

Or, to repeat my own earlier argument, but for one deity most people are anti-theist.

If you think the argument doesn't hold up then you're misconstruing it.

For sure. I understand what he is saying,...

Declaring you understand and showing you understand are two different things. Throughout your two messages you have relied too often upon declaration instead of demonstration.

You've totally dismissed everything I wrote by chopping it up to me misunderstanding him. It's a great strategy I've seen you use often! Haha.

However, I'm pretty confident in my ability to understand what he's arguing.

Declaring your confidence in yourself is a wholly different thing from earning the confidence of others, the kind of confidence that really matters.

I can admit I did fixate on his interpretive work, but that is because, frankly, I do not think Sam Harris even understands what the Bible (or the Quran) is about. I question his interpretive work from which he is drawing conclusions. I don't blame him for his interpretation, they have been perpetuated by certain groups in the Church for many years.

You offer no evidence that Harris doesn't understand the Bible or the Quran, you simply declare it, even though you see his views as the same as those "perpetuated by certain groups in the Church." Are these "certain groups" equally uninformed?

His point, which, again, I agree is very poignant (I pretty much agree with it!) that major religions ought to consider the implications of other religions, if true, stands.

However, if he does not even understand the claim of the religion he is rebutting, his argument falls short. That was my point.

You agree with Harris yet think his argument falls short. Since you agree with him then you must know what argument he should have offered that wouldn't fall short.

You can say, "They argue this while we argue that, and we argue that while they argue this," but they are differences of detail and not of form. They're both false for the same fundamental reason: they're made up.

I respect your belief that both are made up, but to me, whether or not they are made up isn't really relevant to his argument.

You're making the "Trust first then rationalize it" mistake again. Of course I don't think the supernatural has any real-world basis in fact, because no religion in the entire history of religion has even demonstrated it. Given that history of course I don't default to trust. I would never default to trust on questions of what is real and what is not. You shouldn't either. No one should.

It is valuable, dare I say crucial for anyone to contemplate the implications of their worldview being totally wrong. With this point, I am with Harris. Where I diverge is his understanding of what the religions are and what their goals are. I question his understanding of the fundamental claims and therefore his ability to critique them. I wish he would do better!

You're again declaring your position while providing no justification for it.

Anyone who has done any higher education knows, any attempt to critique an argument/position/belief system without doing the work of understanding the opposing view comes across as elementary and unacceptable.

More declaration, which is a worse offense even if you're right, which is only possible by luck.

But your hermeneutical diversity argument is, in another sense, the epitome of the very argument you're arguing against. Amidst all this interpretational diversity, they can't all be right.

I can see how it seems that way, but I do not agree.

I hope this has some other meaning than as a claim that all hermeneutical interpretations could be true. But if that's what you meant then you'll have to explain.

The Bible itself is a document that acknowledges its own inability to actually convey truth in its truest form. The metaphor I use often is some unknown object being reflected off a multi-sided diamond. Think of "truth" as if it is the invisible object, out of view. All we have is the diamond. And so we do our best with the reflection. We "see in a glass dimly," as the Apostle Paul writes in his letter to the Corinthians. But we have no idea what it really looks like. The scriptures are self-aware in this sense.

Now you're descending into mumbo-jumbo. "Truth in its truest form"? Religion does not tell us anything that is likely true about the real world, and there is no method that can establish whether anything it tells us about the supernatural is true.

Even you, as we debate, are working from a specific hermeneutical framework you either learned or some person gave you. You are projecting a certain framework as you speak, and so does Harris. These things are inescapable. Not all frameworks are created equal. Many are, frankly, "wack" . That's my point.

Assuming you mean "hermeneutical" in a religious rather than secular sense, I have no hermeneutical framework. Neither does Harris. We both interpret evidence in a scientific context, because the scientific method (and the approximations of it we use in everyday life) is the only way we know to establish what is likely true about the real world. And there is no method that has ever been shown to reliably tell us anything true about the supernatural world.

Sometimes data points to one conclusive meaning, but more often than not, there is a range. It is then up to trusted competent members in the community to weigh in on which meanings are more valuable than others. The same is true for scripture.

In the early days of any scientific field of inquiry there can be a wide range of views, and any early consensus is also highly tentative. But as a field matures the range of views narrows and the consensus broadens to near unanimity. Of course, consensuses are never completely unanimous. There are still flat-earthers and geocentrists and an entire community of relativity deniers, it for some reason being a favorite target of the self-deluded and mathematically incompetent.

I brought this up to point to the fact that there is diversity in the way the scientific community interprets data.

Of course there are a wide variety of interpretational techniques available to science, but I think what you're actually trying to say is that there is diversity in the interpretations of the data arrived at by the scientific community. The degree of variety is a function of the amount and the quality of the data, which is completely appropriate. For example, we do not yet have enough data for there to be a consensus on dark matter, although the MACHO possibility has been largely excluded. But for relativity the amount of data is massive and the consensus is broad and deep.

You couldn't be more wrong. It's an appeal to fact and reason.

I agree with reason, but what facts? He makes a very compelling argument based on the idea that one ought to contemplate how little the catastrophic implications of other religions affect oneself. In response, I say, one ought to have done the work to understand the core message of said religion before critiquing its implications.

Again, declaration without data. Describe these "core messages" of the various religions, explain how Harris's examples (hell and damnation, the Catholic wafer) aren't related to them, and explain why any questions about a religion's truth can only focus on the "core message."

Translation: "And so I dismiss and ignore this argument without waiting to see what flaws are found in my own and move on to my next point."

Ironically, this is what you have done to me .

This is equivalent to, "No I didn't, you did," and is, again, substance free.

I understand his argument, I even said it was compelling in its own way.

This is more declaration and provides no indication you understand his argument. Except for your own religion you disbelieve all the world's religions and see them as using unproven techniques for gaining knowledge, even though your religion uses the same techniques, for example revelation.

However I do not think he views this as his strongest reason against religion.

So you think he's keeping his strongest argument against religion in his hip pocket? What makes you think this?

The mental exercise he posits is valuable in its own way. I question, though, if he has done due diligence in understanding the central claims of both religions, and his examples of their central claims demonstrate to me he has not. If he has not taken either religion seriously enough to understand their central claims, or at least acknowledge the hermeneutical diversity in each community, why should I take his argument seriously?

Obviously you're not taking it seriously since you offer no data or details to support your declarations.

It's intellectually lazy.

Look in the mirror. All this stuff about "core messages" and the "truest truth" and "see dimly" and all that are excuses for religion being intellectually bankrupt with regard to establishing anything true. Religious views will always evolve and change with time, not to mention new religions forming all the time, while what science learns about the real world is eternal but continually refined. In a billion years Boyle's Gas Law will still be a very accurate description of reality, while, if we're still around, likely no one will care about or even have heard of Jesus or Mohammed.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 416 by Raphael, posted 05-29-2021 4:14 AM Raphael has not yet responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20323
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.0


(1)
Message 427 of 479 (886682)
05-30-2021 9:16 PM
Reply to: Message 417 by Raphael
05-29-2021 5:31 AM


Re: Elvis has left the building.
Raphael writes:

There's a fundamental mistake religion makes, one Harris doesn't mention, and that's to default to trust before anything is proven. You trust the Bible before establishing facts, then work backwards to rationalize that unearned trust. An a priori examination of the facts that follows wherever the evidence leads never happens.

That is true! Religion and in particular Christianity definitely does this. But it does this for an important reason I have tried to talk about a lot here; it is a difference in epistemology. You have asked about this before, Percy, and I have been been admittedly hesitant . And I still am! Lol. I don't know that I'm ready to provide an exhaustive treatise on alternative epistemologies (I'd like to at some point!), but to speak to this point, most religions believe in divine revelation as an alternate form of epistemology. This is why we work this way.

"Believing what somebody claimed God told them" is not an epistemology.

I will agree that religion, Christianity in particular, is an optimistic faith.

You're optimistic about the reliability of Christian beliefs, but pessimistic about other religions' beliefs. Does that seem objective to you?

At the core, we trust the stories of those who have come before to be true.

Why? If it's okay for you to trust your religion's stories, why isn't it okay to trust other religion's stories? Aren't they also "the stories of those who have come before us"?

A scientist views this through the lens of the scientific method; we view it through the lens of relationship. Think of it as if the Apostle Peter (who we believe is the source of the Gospel of Mark) is handing a firsthand account down a long line of people, who eventually hand it to you, and asks "This actually happened to me. Won't you trust me?"

You wouldn't trust the message from the final person in a long game of telephone, so why are you trusting it when it's religion? In particular, why are you trusting it when it's your religion and not someone else's religion?

The fact that the gospels were written decades after Jesus' life is critical evidence for their accuracy not the other way around.

You're going to have to explain the logic behind this one.

There would be people alive who could verify the truth of the events.

Sure there could, but *did* they verify the truth of the events? Whatever your answer, how did this knowledge come to you?

Most documents from the time period have hundreds of years between the event and the account or earliest known copy.

Another bald declaration. I don't know what documents you're thinking of, but do you really give much credibility to documents based on oral accounts hundreds of years old? In the absence of independent corroboration, how would you go about persuading an historian to accept these documents as reliable?

So the Bible has all these "gaps in knowledge, inconsistencies, and blind spots" (not to mention outright errors), but you believe the stories. Why? Islam likewise has problems, but I assume you believe those real. Why?

As I said earlier, because it is relational, not scientific.

Giving bogus reasoning a label doesn't change the fact that it is bogus.

We think about it through this lens. When someone in your family, someone you trust and love, tells you something miraculous happened to them, at the least, you believe it was significant to them. Then when others corroborate the story, it becomes even more convincing.

Do you have any evidence that the Bible is based upon the accounts of trusted and loved family members that were corroborated by others? Has a trusted and loved member of your family never lied to you or tried to convince you of untrue things that they themselves were honestly convinced of? Do you maybe have any Trump supporters in your family who you trust and love, who are utterly convinced the election was stolen, and who are trying to convince you of same?

And why do you think the accounts of trusted and loved family members that found their way into the Bible should be trusted, but such accounts of the same nature that found their way into the Quran should not?

In the end, it is a faith decision we are all presented with.

You're going to try to reinvent the definition of faith later, so I'll hold back my response for now.

This doesn't mean we don't think critically.

Yes, faith does mean you don't think critically. And contradictorily too, by granting all these privileges of trust to Christian accounts and none to other religions.

I'll interject here that the training you've received only works in certain very limited contexts, mostly among other believers where a minister speaking nonsense with a straight face is interpreted as their having knowledge and understanding that the average person doesn't possess. But, of course, the reality is that the emperor has no clothes, as is quickly revealed as soon as they step outside the church's confines into the real world where the schtick has little effect.

Hence the questions I posed a few posts earlier when I was responding to Harris' 2nd argument. These are questions we intellectually ask the eyewitnesses.

What eyewitnesses?

Why was this so significant for you? If it didn't happen, why would you, and every other eyewitness die saying it did?

Why do you believe that's what happened?

Was everybody insane or indoctrinated? Not even one confession? Why would a fictional story be written with so many unnecessary parts that hinder its believability? Why would the author write-in barriers to the culture of the time being able to believe it? Why do the authors mention people on first name basis and never mention them again?

You're arguing that no one would write miraculous illogical unbelievable accounts unless they were true. It varies by religion, of course, but other religions also have miraculous illogical unbelievable accounts. Why are Christianity's true and those of other religions false?

What if there were no differences, no discrepancies, no internal or external errors? What if every copy of every Biblical book were identical, like the text of all copies of The Hobbit are identical? You'd still believe it all. Why?

Actually, I most likely wouldn't If every single copy of every Biblical book were identical, like The Hobbit, I would be infinitely more skeptical than I am now. The fact that they are different points to the organic, human process making copies actually is. If a document as large as the New Testament had zero differences it would raise my alarms more than almost anything else.

So to you differences mean it must be true, and agreement means it must be false. Gibbon's The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire probably has very few differences between versions and is therefore false by your logic. Could I propose a better way of figuring out what is true: seek out facts.

Important to note, this is actually one of the reasons scholars trust the text more, rather than less.

By scholars do you perhaps mean conservative Christian theologians, not mainstream Christian theologians or the theologians of other religions, and not secular historians?

My point was, from a Biblical perspective (again do not love this title lol), we hold that science simply does not have the tools to completely falsify or verify anything outside the natural realm. How could a system created by humans verify/falsify something completely unknowable?

If the supernatural is completely unknowable, why are you claiming to know so much about it?

This makes little sense. Faith has no need of evidence while evidence removes the need for faith. Beliefs based upon observation and analysis are scientific, upon faith religious. Once you claim evidence underlies your beliefs it is no longer faith.

You are working from a specific definition of faith, my friend.

I'm working from the actual definition of faith, the one from the dictionary. In one on-line free dictionary the relevant definition of faith is "belief that is not based on proof." I have a much better hard-copy dictionary. It has a number of definitions related to religion, but most are specific to belief in God and only one is relevant to this discussion in that it is the equivalent of the above on-line definition: "firm or unquestioning belief in something for which there is no proof."

The definition of faith that you're about to advance is not in the dictionary, it isn't even the definition in Young's Bible Dictionary:

There are different types of faith. The type you speak of is blind faith. Blind faith has no need of evidence, it simply believes things willy nilly, without critical thought or intention. Evidenced faith on the other hand, is 1) Faith in the story that 2) Searches critically for evidence that might verify/falsify the story.

Evidenced faith is a contradiction in terms.

In this sense, the scholar who works from a place of evidenced faith utilizes science a great deal!

Another declaration with no evidence.

From archeology, linguistics, carbon dating, to history, the real scholar considers the evidence critically.

Since most of the Biblical focus has been on the gospels, please describe the archeological, linguistical, and dating evidence that supports the gospel stories. I don't mean things like place names such as Jerusalem and the Sea of Galilee and so forth. I mean the census, the birth, the Star of Bethlehem, the precocious childhood, and on and on through his ministry and up to his death. Somehow or other Jesus managed to avoid leaving any evidence behind in contemporary historical or archeological records. John the Baptist has a long mention by Josephus and all he did was anger Herod Antipas and lose his head. Jesus led a major religious movement, spoke repeatedly to large throngs, performed numerous miracles, had a public trial and was convicted then crucified, yet escapes all contemporaneous historical notice, the later Christian insertion in Josephus notwithstanding and certainly not what he would have written about Jesus from the perspective of 94 AD.

We are also open to revelation as evidence, for, if the God of the text existed and the story is true, revelation could be counted on as as piece (not the whole) of evidence.

Calling it revelation, revealed truth, is just an excuse for not subjecting it to critical examination.

In summary, you seem to view faith and evidence as mutually exclusive, but I do not think this is true. That is not my kind of faith.

Of course it's not your kind of faith. The actual definition of faith is inconvenient for conservative Christianity, and so it has invented its own.

When you say, "I have faith in God," do you mean evidenced faith? If so, what is that evidence?

Maybe a more accurate one would be "I'm biased towards Republicans, you're biased towards Democrats, and we are both biased because of beliefs we hold about the world and our society."

Science has a well established history of ferreting out what is likely true of the real world. Religion has an even more well established history of changing over time, breaking into sects, inventing new religions, etc. Religion has no record of figuring out anything true about the real world.

Admitting we are all biased allows us to actually be intellectually honest, the very thing Harris says we ought to relentlessly pursue.

You're drawing a false equivalence. The compromise between the truth and a lie is not somewhere in the middle. A meaningful compromise on the stolen election isn't to say that only half as many votes were stolen as originally claimed. You are taking an unevidenced position and demanding it be granted equal status with one that has plenty of evidence. To make up for your lack of evidence you're simply declaring, without evidence, that you do too have evidence, that you have evidenced faith, and that therefore your beliefs represent what is true of reality as much as science. That's baloney.

But really, where we are missing each other, is you do not see the faith gap beneath your worldview, whereas I see my own.

It's usually those promoting flimflam who avoid facts to instead invent their own definitions and talk of world-views and biases.

I own the fact that I believe in an unverifiable story.

If you know the Jesus story is unverifiable, how can your faith in it possibly be evidenced?

On the other hand, you see the scientific method as able to verify/falsify supernatural claims.

Why do you think that? Where have you seen anyone argue that science can study the "completely unknowable" (your term)? What I said was that the argument about whether science can study the supernatural is a rathole that will never be settled. But of course anything apparent to our senses can be studied by science. My example was sightings of the Virgin Mary, since light must be involved.

I do not even think I disagree fully with this, as it pertains to superstitions, as I mentioned earlier.

Interesting. Concerning superstitious beliefs you're on science's side, and I assume concerning the beliefs of all non-Christian beliefs that you're at a minimum agnostic, and concerning Christian beliefs you refuse to allow any indications that it is hooey, just as much as superstition and all the non-Christian religions.

I just see the belief that science has the tools to test unknowable things as a faith assumption. You have no way to verify it, you simply believe it by faith. We'll probably not agree about this though, as you said. Haha.

You said "unknowable" again. Are you not aware of what you're saying, or have you made up your own definition of unknowable, too?

Why would anyone in 30 AD try to debunk stories that didn't exist until decades later.

For the same reasons you, PaulK, and AZPaul do. Lol.

I don't know if the "lol" means you get it and are just making a joke, but just in case let me say it another way. Why aren't you right now debunking false stories about you that won't be written until 2050? The question is rhetorical, intended to help you see the absurdity of what you were proposing.

That aside, I think what I meant was after the stories were written, we have no documents of anyone compiling counter-evidence or any mention of famous rebuttals to the evidence of the resurrection. Why is that? Perhaps they were destroyed by the church? Maybe. But it is interesting to ponder!

You believe the Quran false. Why are there no contemporaneous documents calling out its falsity?

Herodotus made errors. Why do we have no contemporaneous documents containing corrections? Should we consider the lack of such contemporaneous corrections as evidence that cyclopes did exist back then?

Also consider that you can't prove a negative. If someone made up a story that they saw Jesus in Jerusalem a few days after his crucifixion, there can be no evidence that they did not. If someone in 30 AD, say Paul, invented the story of Jesus out of whole cloth while preaching in the Jewish diaspora, who's to contradict him?

If the Quran is fiction, how would it spread as truth with such power and swiftness?

This is good too! Nice. In response, this is the kind of question we should be asking! This is the kind of question we ask in the scholarly community all the time. I do not believe the Quran is all fiction.

Well of course the Quran isn't all fiction. Neither is the Bible. But if Islam spread despite the Quran's falsities, why not Christianity despite the gospel falsities?

Were there eyewitnesses? Or just stories about eyewitnesses?

Indeed, this is an important question to ask.

It's an even more important question to answer, something Christianity is not seriously attempting while at the same time continually arguing, "It must be true, look at all the eyewitnesses."

Why is Islam so compelling that people were and are willing to die for it by the thousands, do anything for it, including flying planes into buildings.

Again, you are making my point for me. These are the crucial questions we should be asking about the power of story, religion, testimony, indoctrination, radicalization, etc.

Again, these are the crucial questions you should be answering. It's as if you believe asking the question is enough.

I never said the work of evidenced faith was black and white or even an easy search.

It does raise questions of how honest you're being with yourself. It should tell you something that everywhere you turn you're confronted with unanswerable foundational questions. "Yes, that's a good question," is only a good answer if offered very occasionally. When it's your stock answer then everything is called into question.

In some ways we are simply grasping at straws, fumbling around in the dark with only scraps of the map trying to see the whole. But the cost is too high. If the story is true, it matters more than any other thing in human history. So we continue to grasp in the dark, asking the hard questions, trusting the stories of those who came before.

You're finally saying something true and honest. Can you base your next sermon on this?

In conclusion, all these questions are not questions that hinder us as we cling to the story of the risen Christ, but rather they are the essential ones to ask to remain intellectually honest.

Either I completely misread your earlier posts, or you have shifted from complete certainty to complete uncertainty.

PS. I think the places where we are missing each other, in how we see the world and in this debate is:

1) The idea that science can verify/falsify all supernatural claims being an unproven faith assumption

I never argued for this point of view, see above.

2) An openness to revelation as a form of epistemology.

Make the case. Rebutting dwise1's quote from Paine's Age of Reason in Message 422 would be a good place to start.

--Percy

Edited by Percy, : Fix sig.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 417 by Raphael, posted 05-29-2021 5:31 AM Raphael has not yet responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8207
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.7


Message 428 of 479 (886684)
05-31-2021 3:38 AM


History of the Seventh-day Adventist movement

Seventh-day Adventists trace their origins to the teachings of the American preacher William Miller (1782-1849), who preached that the second coming, or "advent" of Jesus was imminent.

Unfortunately Jesus did not appear on the day in 1844 promised by Miller, which became known as the Great Disappointment, and many of his followers left his movement.

Miller was followed by Ellen G. White (1827-1915), a visionary and prophet.

White taught that Jesus had indeed come again, but not to Earth. Jesus had actually returned to the "most holy place" of the heavenly temple. Jesus, she said, had started to "cleanse" the heavenly temple, and when he had done that, he would come to start cleansing the Earth.

White also taught that the Sabbath should be held on Saturday.

BBC - Religions - Christianity: Seventh-day Adventists

I think when Raphael is explaining that his Faith is based on evidence and talking of epistemology and scholarship we need to keep in mind that his variant of Christianity was even more than usually a pure human invention. Originally based on one guy's prophesy that was proven false by events and resurrected by one woman's bonkers fantasy to keep it going.


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.


Replies to this message:
 Message 429 by dwise1, posted 05-31-2021 10:06 AM Tangle has not yet responded
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dwise1
Member
Posts: 4715
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.7


Message 429 of 479 (886685)
05-31-2021 10:06 AM
Reply to: Message 428 by Tangle
05-31-2021 3:38 AM


In addition, Seventh-Day Adventists (SDA -- if there's a more acceptable abbreviation then please let me know) have perhaps the longest history of young-earth creationism. Most of the YEC and other anti-evolution claims that "creation science" started out with circa 1970 (ie, post-Epperson v. Arkansas (1968)) had been created and developed for decades by SDA. Dr. Henry Morris is considered the "Father of Flood Geology", but he got most of his "Genesis Flood" (1961) unattributed from the work of SDA amateur geologist George McCready Price. Price, with no formal training in geology, published from 1902 to his death in 1963 (not counting two books published posthumously) -- most of his "geological" work was in the 20's, 30's, and 40's.

Miller was followed by Ellen G. White (1827-1915), a visionary and prophet.

Most of my exposure to SDA was from CompuServe member Paul Ekdahl who was active circa 1990. Obviously, he was one of the resident YECs.

And I'm not claiming that he was a shining example of SDA scholarship; rather he was rank-and-file so I would not use him to blame SDA of anything except for the kinds of things its followers would tend to believe (he also mailed me some SDA literature which read like higher quality Chick Pubs tracts, complete with an obsession with End Times and a virulent hatred for the Catholic Church).

Paul had a very distinctive writing style: he would transcribe pages of creationist books and post them. Never a word of his own until strongly pressed for it for an extended period of time. And he was so slavish in his transcribing that he even included footnote numbers in the text, but never provided any of those footnotes he was "referencing" -- perhaps he was using on-line transcripts as his sources, but that was a few years before the Internet opened up for public use so I don't know about that.

He would post a verbatim quote, I would reply, he would "reply" with another verbatim quote that on rare occasion would have something to do with my reply, I would reply to that while calling him out for what he was doing and insisting he do his own writing, another verbatim quote, rinse and repeat ad infinitum.

It took a lot of time, but I finally got him to write his own words. And the very first thing he wrote was to try to convert me! It was part of his efforts to convert me that he sent me that packet of lurid SDA pamphlets.

And he also wrote worshipfully about Ellen G. White and went on about how she would perform miracles. In particular, although she was a small woman she would go into a trance and perform incredible physical feats; eg, she would become too heavy to pick up, nobody could bend her extended arm, she could form a ring with her thumb and index finger and nobody could separate them. So I told him the truth, that when I still practiced Aikido we used to do all those same things ... and we never once had to go into any kind of trance to do it. That was the moment that he suddenly had a lot of work (he ran a mail-order business) and he completely disappeared from our section of CompuServe after that (Religion Forum, Science & Religion Section).

 

While on CompServe, I posted a number of files to the Science & Religion Library. My initial purpose in creating my web page was to repost those files (Creation/Evolution Links), but it has grown since then.

Among those first library files was my response to Paul Ekdahl having posted 23 points "criticizing evolution" -- 23 Points Against Evolution and Responses Thereto. His list was obviously copied from somewhere else, most likely a tract (again, this was before the Internet and hence the Web had opened up to the public). In typical Ekdahl fashion, he never replied except to feign confusion.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 428 by Tangle, posted 05-31-2021 3:38 AM Tangle has not yet responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 19251
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 430 of 479 (886688)
05-31-2021 12:18 PM
Reply to: Message 428 by Tangle
05-31-2021 3:38 AM


Tangle writes:

Jesus, she said, had started to "cleanse" the heavenly temple, and when he had done that, he would come to start cleansing the Earth.


Hmm.... It didn't take Him long to cleanse the temple at Jerusalem - just some yelling and whipping and turning over tables, then some curing of the blind and the lame and then He was outta there. He must be slowing down in His old age.

"I've been to Moose Jaw, now I can die." -- John Wing

This message is a reply to:
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 Message 431 by Phat, posted 05-31-2021 12:27 PM ringo has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 15641
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003


Message 431 of 479 (886689)
05-31-2021 12:27 PM
Reply to: Message 430 by ringo
05-31-2021 12:18 PM


Context
I think in context they are referring to a Heavenly Temple rather than the earthly one mentioned thousands of years ago in the book.

"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
***
“…far from science having buried God, not only do the results of science point towards his existence, but the scientific enterprise itself is validated by his existence.”- Dr.John Lennox

“The whole war between the atheist and the theist comes down to this: the atheist believes a 'what' created the universe; the theist believes a 'who' created the universe.”
- Criss Jami, Killo

“The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of a doubt, what is laid before him.” — Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God is Within You
(1894).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 430 by ringo, posted 05-31-2021 12:18 PM ringo has responded

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ringo
Member
Posts: 19251
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 432 of 479 (886690)
05-31-2021 12:57 PM
Reply to: Message 431 by Phat
05-31-2021 12:27 PM


Re: Context
Phat writes:

I think in context they are referring to a Heavenly Temple rather than the earthly one mentioned thousands of years ago in the book.


I know that. My question is why does it take so much longer to cleanse the heavenly temple than the earthly one? And how did the heavenly temple get so messed up in the first place?

"I've been to Moose Jaw, now I can die." -- John Wing

This message is a reply to:
 Message 431 by Phat, posted 05-31-2021 12:27 PM Phat has not yet responded

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Tangle
Member
Posts: 8207
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.7


(1)
Message 433 of 479 (886692)
05-31-2021 2:29 PM
Reply to: Message 432 by ringo
05-31-2021 12:57 PM


Re: Context
ringo writes:

My question is why does it take so much longer to cleanse the heavenly temple than the earthly one?

Why does it take any time at all? I mean, he's a god right?

[rhetorical]

Edited by Tangle, : No reason given.


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 432 by ringo, posted 05-31-2021 12:57 PM ringo has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 434 by Phat, posted 05-31-2021 3:38 PM Tangle has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 15641
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003


Message 434 of 479 (886694)
05-31-2021 3:38 PM
Reply to: Message 433 by Tangle
05-31-2021 2:29 PM


Re: Context
In response to the both of you, and without doing any deep and detailed study...I have arrived at an apologetic answer. I hope it satisfies the question.(I never looked this answer up and I don't know if its a common apologetic answer or not, but its what came to me) I thought back to scriptural context. Of how we would ourselves become "Living Stones". (1 Peter 2:4-6.)
Perhaps a Heavenly Temple would be made up of Living Stones, with Jesus being the "chief cornerstone." I'm just winging it on this one, but the symbolism is apt. The Living Stones themselves need to be cleaned up before any earthly temple needs scrubbing. Its just a building after all. And I've not studied anything from Ellen White, but may look into it all at a later time. One more thing. The Living Stones may have a job to do themselves on earth before finally being in Heaven.

Of course, some of you imagine either all of us or none of us being Living Stones, so we will have to put up with more relativistic arguments concerning humans and the gods they love!


"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
***
“…far from science having buried God, not only do the results of science point towards his existence, but the scientific enterprise itself is validated by his existence.”- Dr.John Lennox

“The whole war between the atheist and the theist comes down to this: the atheist believes a 'what' created the universe; the theist believes a 'who' created the universe.”
- Criss Jami, Killo

“The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of a doubt, what is laid before him.” — Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God is Within You
(1894).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 433 by Tangle, posted 05-31-2021 2:29 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 435 by Tangle, posted 05-31-2021 4:28 PM Phat has responded
 Message 438 by ringo, posted 05-31-2021 6:31 PM Phat has not yet responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8207
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.7


Message 435 of 479 (886696)
05-31-2021 4:28 PM
Reply to: Message 434 by Phat
05-31-2021 3:38 PM


Re: Context
Phat writes:

Perhaps a Heavenly Temple would be made up of Living Stones, with Jesus being the "chief cornerstone." I'm just winging it on this one, but the symbolism is apt. The Living Stones themselves need to be cleaned up before any earthly temple needs scrubbing. Its just a building after all. And I've not studied anything from Ellen White, but may look into it all at a later time. One more thing. The Living Stones may have a job to do themselves on earth before finally being in Heaven.

Wow. Did that really make any sense to you?

Why does a god need time to scrub anything?

Edited by Tangle, : No reason given.


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 434 by Phat, posted 05-31-2021 3:38 PM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 436 by Phat, posted 05-31-2021 4:56 PM Tangle has responded

  
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