What constitutes sufficient evidence to convince a reasonable person about a conclusive result is a little more problematic but science has some rules about such things. And of course nothing religious has even approached the level of confidence necessary to pass such a test
So, since you have some objective test in mind, what is it?
We have not one single confirmed miracle and the biblical accounts of them in your book do not even begin to approach the level of even poor evidence. That's why it's called a belief and it can't be changed by evidence.
This probably relates back to my question above, but what evidence is sufficient? If it isn't a subjective standard, then what specifically is it?
That would depend on the particular thing that you're looking to test. What do you have in mind?
Again, there are multiple methods, what did you have in mind? If we're talking about testing modern day miracles, that's very easy you have a set up like Randi's.
Well, if there was an objective test, it doesn't matter what the particular thing is. Having a differing test dependent on a particular thing would be subjective then. But maybe you didn't mean any objective tests.
I wasn't thinking of any "modern day miracles", or perhaps I don't know what that would constitute. But what about historical reports, like the resurrection of Christ? Or perhaps fulfillment of prophecy in the Bible?
There are no historical reports of this. The only reports on these, not historical reports, are from the your bible. You cannot use the bible as evidence for itself. There is no independent, historical evidence for any of these events.
Oh please! By what standard can you exclude the gospels, Acts, and Paul's letters as not being historical?
They were independent accounts of events that occurred in the first century and were extensively publicized. If there was any credible denial of the events, they would have been brought up immediately and been effective. But that didnt happen. Even enemies of Christianity of the time (your independent sources) did not deny many of the events that were reported.
As for just an example of prophecy, both destructions of Jerusalem we're written about in some detail well before the events occurred. How did that come about?
As far as this Jesus guy is concerned there is almost nothing.
LOL! So, let's ignore all the Christian writings of the first century. Why again? Oh, cause you don't like them. Great reason. Despite the accounts becoming pretty common knowledge by the second century and nobody writing to dispute that he was a historical figure.
Fine, don't like Christian writings? Then contemporaries Josephus, Tacitus, and Pliny all attest to him being a real person.
They can be ignored as evidence because they're simply anononymous stories of fictional events that have nor independent corroboration.
That the gospel writers didnt name themselves is irrelevant. There is enough attribution to the authors by other sources that it is not seriously contended as who wrote it. Though that is irrelevant as well, since the documents were written. There is also enough evidence of the time frame of when they were written, evidence of them being well distributed in the 1st-2nd century, and even critics of Christianity do not write in disputing the accounts.
That they were fictional stories is merely your opinion, which is not surprising since you "already had the answer and therefore anything that seems to contradict it is wrong".
To save you time, here's the full list with the reasons why they provide insifficient evidence
Well, you at least know how to cut and paste well. Unfortunately, the RationalWiki is not very rational and is wrong (or irrelevant) on much of what they say.
quote:All of the writers were born after the Crucifixion and could not have been eyewitnesses to Jesus
is BS. It's rather a stretch of a claim. Besides, if supposedly, they don't know who wrote the gospels (your charge of them being anonymous), how could they know when the writers we're born. Most scholars do not agree that they we're born after the Crucifixion (which by the way was a historical event that is not seriously disputed). And there is plenty of textual evidence to suggest the writers we're (or at least claimed) to be eyewitnesses.
quote:Moreover in many cases our oldest copies of their works are centuries after they were supposedly written, allowing ample time for copyists to "improve" them.
With the number of ancient copies of the gospels being in the thousands, some less than extant within 100 years of the events they report, and with textual criticism being able to compare the numerous copies, what changes we're introduced are easy to identify. We know generally what the originals said.
Josephus - though the Testimonium Flavianum portion is somewhat debated, the "Jamesian Reference" is not generally disputed and is recognized by most serious textual scholars. You're whole argument is against the former, .... and so what.
Tacitus - a entry rather full of equivocation. That the name Tacitus wrote could have been spelled differently (or changed in copy) is not a big deal since both spellings of the name were not uncommon. The supposed evidence of tampering and the 'missing Annals' are all from the same reference. Frankly, that the phrase might be an interpolation is what is without evidence, and not a charge that is seriously taken by scholars, since if it was an interpolation, the context and flow of the rest of Tacitus passage would make no sense. The supposed missing annals is irrelevant, as they would not pertain to the passage Tacitus is writing about anyways. That there is disagreement between Tacitus and the apocryphal books is also irrelevant, as Christians rejected those books at that time.
Pliny - please! That when he wrote about "Christians" it could have meant somebody other than the group associated with "Christ" at that time? Like whom? What other group would this passage make sense in referring to? Modern scholars do not take this charge seriously.
That's the sum of all the available 'independent' evidence for simply the existence of someone called Christ. It's entirely unpersuasive but tells us nothing at all about whether the things he's supposed to have done or said are true.
Umm, no, that is not the sum of "all the available 'independent' evidence' It rather is just the evidence that is restricted to a particular time period. You seem to want to ignore all the evidence in history after a particular point (which is voluminous) just because you think it is too 'old'.
Frankly, I would love to see you apply the same amount of hyper-skepticism you hold to any other non-Christian historical accounts. By your standard, we could not know anything about ancient history.