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Old 11-09-2001, 01:58 PM   #41
Tercel
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Quote:
Originally posted by Toto:
Your argument is somewhat convuluted, but I think your point is that your argument is not from authority, but from the consensus of informed opinion.
Why do you bother to distinguish them: What do you see as the difference between "informed opinion" and "authority"?

Quote:
But you don't have any real survey results.
I have sufficient. I'm sure you've seen some stats before on the number of believers of Christianity in the world. As well there are plenty of famous intelligent people in the current and the past who are/were Christians: Newton, Pascal, Occam, Galileo and Darwin to name a few of the more famous figure of the past who are known for their intelligent reasoning and contribution on that front to humanity.

Quote:
In fact, I notice that a lot of idiots and charlatans believe in Christianity and/or god, and a lot of intelligent people are atheists or agnostics.
Indeed. I also note that many atheists or agnostics do not actually understand very well the Christianity they say they are rejecting. The arguments go both ways, but they do not add up to much as all that is required for my argument outlined above to work is that some reasonable and rational people somewhere have a belief in Christianity and some reasonable and rational people somewhere are atheists and/or agnostics. Out of the 2 billion or so Christians in the world I think it is reasonable to believe some of them are intelligent and reasonable in their beliefs. I think a very large burden of proof is on you if you want to assert otherwise.

Quote:
Most scientists do not believe in a personal god.
The trouble with that statistic is that it most probably is effected in a large degree by secondary influences: Those who do not believe in God appear to think science provides a plausible alternative explaination for the world, and I think therefore the average atheist is more likely to become a scientist than the average Christian.
What would be more interesting would be statistics on how many people have changed their beliefs after becoming a scientist. Though this would still be unfortunately subject to some secondary influences such as peer-pressure in the scientific community.

Quote:
And I think you should go to EOG and read the thread about trying to disprove the existence of Santa to 8 year olds at the Santa Trial before you try to claim persecution by having your god compared to Santa.
Sorry but 8 year olds are not yet sufficiently intelligent and rational and reasonable in their beliefs to fit my criteria. On the other hand I would be suprised if a very large proportion of 8 year olds did believe in Santa.

Quote:
It's nice to have you here demonstrating the complete lack of coherence to the Christian position.
Similiarly it is nice to have you here to demonstrate the lack of coherence of the Atheistic position.

Tercel
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Old 11-09-2001, 02:41 PM   #42
Toto
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The difference between arguments from authority and from the consensus of informed opinion: no one person has the time to read everything and evaluate everything. We all rely on other people, who we assume use their critical facilities, to decide certain facts. I have to rely on medical researchers using double blind tests who decide which medicines are safe and effective enough to be allowed on the market. I have to rely on experts in different languages who translate documents to know what those documents say. I rely on the community of experts to check each other's work through peer review and repeating experiments.

In the case of the lawyer's brief that started this thread, you would like to rely on that as expert testimony because the man who wrote it was an expert who is still quoted in briefs to the Supreme Court(! but does the Supreme Court cite his work as authoritative??) without looking at the document itself, or subjecting it to peer review, where I am sure it would fail. (Even Layman would not defend it.) This is an appeal to authority but not to the consensus of experts.

You are trying to argue that because some people with intelligence believe in God(s), that there must be some logic behind a belief in God(s). I reject this. I know some very intelligent people who believe in strange things that I reject - UFO's, communism, fascism, vegetarian diets, among other things. Most intelligent, reasonable people have some aspect of their lives in which they act unreasonably - it's part of human psychology. It is not proof of the reasonableness of those beliefs.

Your argument appears to be that everyone knows that Santa is a myth; not everyone concedes that God is a myth; therefore it is unfair to compare belief in your God to belief in Santa - a willfully committed logical fallacy in an attempt to make Christianity look stupid.

This does not follow.

I don't see the logical fallacy in using a metaphor. Perhaps you could give a name to this fallacy, with a reference. Or perhaps you are making this up as you go along.

You give every indication of having made up your mind before you came to this site. You show a great deal of imagination in fitting any set of facts into your preconceived framework. You claim that the secweb library is full of easily refuted illogical, etc. scholarhip, but you don't give any examples. You're not giving me any reason to revise my own state of unbelief.
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Old 11-10-2001, 05:03 PM   #43
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Toto,
I see consensus of informed opinion as a special case of the more general "Argument from Authority", where in this case the authority is "the consensus of informed opinion". Therefore if I am in fact referring to something that is a consensus of informed opinion I can (correctly) either call it such or call it an argument from authority - since it is. Agreed?

Quote:
In the case of the lawyer's brief that started this thread, you would like to rely on that as expert testimony because the man who wrote it was an expert who is still quoted in briefs to the Supreme Court(! but does the Supreme Court cite his work as authoritative??) without looking at the document itself, or subjecting it to peer review, where I am sure it would fail. (Even Layman would not defend it.)
I think you misunderstand my position. I am not particularly interested in defending the book. Like Layman, I've never read the book and I don't plan to: Personally I don't think a lawyer could have much to say on the matter of the historicity of Christianity that I would want to hear and I am more interested in what scholars have to say about the evidence than whether it would stand up in court. But for those who are interested in hearing what a lawyer has to say on the matter, then it looks to me like the book might be worth reading.
So I'm not defending the book as such, I am rather attacking your criticisms of it, which in my opinion are misguided.

Quote:
You are trying to argue that because some people with intelligence believe in God(s), that there must be some logic behind a belief in God(s).
I am not really arguing that there "must be some logic" behind a belief in God, so much as "it isn't totally unreasonable to the extent that belief in the other things is".

Quote:
I reject this. I know some very intelligent people who believe in strange things that I reject - UFO's, communism, fascism, vegetarian diets, among other things. Most intelligent, reasonable people have some aspect of their lives in which they act unreasonably - it's part of human psychology. It is not proof of the reasonableness of those beliefs.
I do not doubt that small groups of intelligent people can believe unreasonable things. (Just 'cos you disagree with them doesn't make them unreasonable btw) However I think it is unlikely in the extreme for large numbers of intelligent people, over a long period, to all believe one particular unreasonable thing to be reasonable.

Quote:
Your argument appears to be that everyone knows that Santa is a myth; not everyone concedes that God is a myth; therefore it is unfair to compare belief in your God to belief in Santa - a willfully committed logical fallacy in an attempt to make Christianity look stupid.

This does not follow.

I don't see the logical fallacy in using a metaphor. Perhaps you could give a name to this fallacy, with a reference. Or perhaps you are making this up as you go along.
The first fallacy is that it's a faulty analogy for the reasons I've already stated and the second is that it's an appeal to emotion.

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You're not giving me any reason to revise my own state of unbelief.
Toto, I doubt I could shift your unbelief with a bulldozer.

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Old 11-10-2001, 06:52 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tercel:
<STRONG>Toto,
I see consensus of informed opinion as a special case of the more general "Argument from Authority", where in this case the authority is "the consensus of informed opinion". Therefore if I am in fact referring to something that is a consensus of informed opinion I can (correctly) either call it such or call it an argument from authority - since it is. Agreed?
</STRONG>
No, not agreed. I see a big difference between arguing that something is true because an authority says so, and arguing that it is most likely true because a number of intelligent people have looked into the matter, and, using reason and observation, decided that it is true.

Part of the difference is that the consensus of informed opinion shifts as new information is discovered and evaluated. Look at any of the medical treatments that were standard in the past, that have now been rejected. People who rely on this consensus have to be ready to revise their opinions all the time. The authority, however, never changes.

But I see now the problems that I have had in the past with Nomad's arguments on the existence of the historical Jesus. He cites the consensus of scholarship as if it were an authority, when of course it is not.

Quote:
<STRONG>
Toto, I doubt I could shift your unbelief with a bulldozer.

Tercel</STRONG>
So far you have not convinced me that reasonable people can believe in the validity of the New Testament based on anything other than their faith.
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Old 11-13-2001, 08:39 PM   #45
Douglas J. Bender
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Someone said (I forget who):

Quote:
I'm talking about the scholars who have PhD's in Theology, Religious Studies and Christology, and who are always willing to have their theses and dissertations peer reviewed by anyone and everyone (not just others that hold their beliefs?). People that come to mind are Farrell Till, Dan Barker, Robert Price, and just about EVERYONE that is a fellow of the Jesus Seminar, as well as many others that finally awoke from their Christian slumber.
The "Jesus Seminar" scholars? Don't make me laugh. What a bunch of pseudo-scholarly hooey that bunch came up with. "Voting" on what in the Bible were accurate quotes of Jesus.


By the way, there are NO discrepancies in the accounts of the resurrection. I spent a few hours one day, carefully going through each account, and comparing, and seeing if there was any way one scenario could explain the different accounts - and there is, and it's not too terribly difficult to find. People are just either too lazy, or too opposed to the Bible, to see it or seriously look for it.


In Christ,

Douglas
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Old 11-15-2001, 01:19 PM   #46
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Talking

Well bubbahead, congratulations then. You are the first to pass Dan Barker's challenge;
Resurrection challenge

...so now you need to contact him at the Freedom from Religion Foundation, demonstrate your findings to him and collect the prize. Make sure you bring the version of the Bible that YOU used (because it must be one that YOU wrote). None of the known versions of Scripture have similar resurrection accounts.

Pretty incredible that you are unable to find contradictory accounts of the resurrection when even your own fellow believing NT scholars admit that there are contradictions (not to mention that they are SPELLED OUT at the above link). You could at least be honest, as they are, and say that "it doesn't matter".

In addition to the fact that you believe in man-made supersticious myths, you have now fully demonstrated your ignorance.
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Old 11-15-2001, 02:14 PM   #47
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Thumbs down

Quote:
Originally posted by Douglas J. Bender:

The "Jesus Seminar" scholars? Don't make me laugh. What a bunch of pseudo-scholarly hooey that bunch came up with. "Voting" on what in the Bible were accurate quotes of Jesus.
[/QB]
BTW, Expert Bender, for the benefit of those who would like to examine the credentials of the Westar Institute for themselves, I will provide this link;
Jesus Seminar Fellows

I'm sure that NONE of them is quite as scholarly or as knowledgeable about religion or Christianity as YOU are. Your automatic, Hank Hannegraff-style response is expected, of course...immediately "hooey"-ing them off because they aren't quite as willing to believe in supersticion and fairy tales as you are (not to mention that they have most likely examined volumes more evidence than Douglas "J." Bender has...).

Also, and I recommend this to everyone reading this, click on the names of the Fellows listed at this link. Each has her or her credentials reported. The minimum requirement is a Ph.D. in religious studies. You'll also note that many of them are listed as Pastors at various churches or Professors at theological seminaries. So, Dougie, are your credentials any better? I bet you are nothing more than a high school educated, backwater, bible-thumpin, son of a Preacher-man....born and raised on a farm and the Word of God (hallelujah!!) and "ain't no damn heathen college-educated pukes gonna tell me differ'nt!!"

We know you're righteous, but don't be so damned righteous.....


In the Real World,

MOJO

(sorry about the name calling, I'll try to contain myself in the future)

[ November 16, 2001: Message edited by: MOJO-JOJO ]
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Old 11-15-2001, 02:25 PM   #48
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(error in posting)

[ November 16, 2001: Message edited by: MOJO-JOJO ]
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Old 11-15-2001, 09:48 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally posted by MOJO-JOJO:
<STRONG>(sorry about the name calling, I'll try to contain myself in the future)</STRONG>
Please do; it's nice to keep things civil around here.
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Old 11-16-2001, 07:01 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally posted by Muad'Dib:
<STRONG>
Please do; it's nice to keep things civil around here.</STRONG>
Sorry Maud, I often have to remind myself that even trolls have feelings and should be treated with kindness and respect (and "holier-than-thou" trolls need to be respectful of methodist trolls, right Douglas??).
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