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Old 04-29-2001, 08:03 PM   #51
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bd from kg: Much of your post [ChristianSkeptic]…

ChristianSkeptic (CS): As usual bd-from-kg you’re all smiles.

bd-from-kg: …while [my post] was about what would be required to justify rational belief .

CS: However, your illustration dealt with the process of how someone could convince others of their claim and/or why others would reject someone’s claim.

As I pointed out in my post the rejection was based on prejudice and that not even science or professional sports are immune from it. Apparently you agree.

As for the general question of how do we rationally justify our claim; it’s simply a matter of having ones believe pass the coherence and correspondence test for truth.

bd-from-kg: Some things are intrinsically improbable – that is, they have a low a priori probability.

CS: Please, explain what would give something an a priori low probability apart from presumption?

bd-from-kg: Of course I was excluding [Christian historians], since it is precisely their procedure that is in question.

CS: I do not know of any special or different Christian procedure to historical investigation by such noted Christian historians like Paul Johnson.

Really bd-from-kg what you are calling into question are their operational presumptions.

bd-from-kg: It seems possible that [Christian historians] have an axe to grind.

CS: I think it would be more accurate to say they have a cross to bear. Seriously, Christian historians are no more biased in their work than non-Christians.

bd-from-kg: What is their justification for treating Christian miracle claims differently?

CS: The law of non-contradiction. If Christianity is true, then all miracle claims that contradict it cannot be true. Also, the reason some Christians rule out other miraculous claim is that they know, or at least think they know, enough about the Bible to know that what is being claimed contradicts it.

CS: So when did historical investigation or history become reliable?
Bd-from-kg: This looks like a rhetorical question. Do you have a point?


CS: No it is not. I raised the question since your statement begs the question. You wrote, “...none of the “historians” writing in Roman times (or before) is very reliable…”

OK, if you are granted this point then the question becomes when did history, in your opinion become reliable?

Also, I still await your definition [for] history. I will slightly modify mine. History is the story/narrative of power, purpose and meaning in (micro history) and the meaning of (marco history) life.

I would also, stress that this is no small matter because if history is a story then it cannot be written apart from presumption.

bd-from-kg: Since Christianity is based on the supposed historicity of these miracles, it is circular to argue that we should believe them because they are consistent with, or “in the context of” Christianity.

CS: You are missing the point. My point was that your analogy breaks down without taking into consideration the larger context not that you must simply accept my assumptions.

bd-from-kg: Do you really think that the need for appropriate evidence of an extraordinary claim is negated because the claim “occurs in a religious context”?

CS: No, since I have never made such a point. My point is we should first settle the question of Does God exists before we rule out miraculous claims, which is the opposite of your approach. You wrote, “…the alleged event being discussed is extraordinarily unlikely a priori.”

bd-from-kg: Does this apply to the claims of Joseph Smith? To the Islamic miracles? Why should only the Christian claims be privileged?

CS: Firstly, I can readily disprove Islam.

Moreover, I believe that the most important question in ones life is, “How do I know what I believe is true?” Therefore, I think everyone should subject what he or she believes to the coherency and correspondence test for truth.

By the way the second most important question, in my opinion, is, where do I belong?

bd-from-kg: The question [is do] we have a right to make demands on men who make claims about things that God supposedly did.

CS: Yes, but your point was to demand a repeat performance.

bd-from-kg:…Let’s assume that his claims were made in a religious context. Would that reduce the “burden of proof” that you would demand to have met?

CS: His claim would have to pass the two tests for truth I noted above.

bd-from-kd: Why would more miraculous claims be easier to disprove in general than less miraculous ones? And as I said before, why do you assume that there is no religious context? Why would it matter?

CS: Well if its within an historical religious context he would have to produce a manuscript, or better yet point to passages in the Bible that makes the miraculous claim that “there will come a day when a man shall run the mile in three seconds said the Lord your God.”

bd-from-kg: I already explained what the results would be of applying the standards of ordinary historical investigation. How such claims could be examined “scientifically” in any other sense is beyond me.

CS: Since in the case of Christianity we are dealing with an historical claim we should use standard scientific historical investigation.

bd-from-kg: Suppose a Mormon complained that your attitude was “Joseph Smith’s claims were miraculous. Therefore the things he claimed did not happen. Those Mormons are so irrational.” How would you answer him?

CS: You are projecting onto me your presumptions. I like you too bg-from kg, but I need to get to know you more [fefore we get so close.]

I reject Joseph Smith’s claims because his claims do not correspond with the Bible and historical facts (some of his eyewitness recanted their story).

bd-from-kg: Why isn’t it unlikely a priori?

CS: Because God exits, or at least there is good reason to believe that God and Christianity is true.

Surely, for the love of God, I’m sorry, for the love of gravity bg-from-kg you do agree with me that it’s impossible that Jesus naturally rose from the dead.

You see we agree, and I’m a great kisser too.

bd-from-kg: God doesn’t exactly raise people from the dead on a routine basis.

CS: Is that what you want?

CS: How is “better proof” something more than good evidence in a court of law?
bd-from-kg: Is there a relevant point here?


CS: I'll be direct, what on earth is your definition for “better proof?”

bd-from-kg: Do you have evidence for the Resurrection that would hold up in a court of law? Do you have any evidence that would even be admissible?

CS: Of course, I think so. What good reason [based on evidence] do you have to think to the contrary?

bd-from-kg: ..there is a relation between its importance and the standard of proof that must be met before it is rational to act on it.

CS: and to my knowledge the standard of history and law is good evidence not “better proof.”

bd-from-kg: We send a child to his room on evidence that we would consider inadequate to justify expelling him from school.

CS: The punishment should always fit the crime [the conviction of which,]is based on good evidence and the best explanation of the real state of affairs.


[This message has been edited by ChristianSkeptic (edited April 29, 2001).]
 
Old 04-29-2001, 08:17 PM   #52
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
This is another inaccurate description of the use of sources. It is very established that Luke used Mark, Q, and L, as sources. The fact is that there is much agreement between Luke and Matthew when they are not using Mark, and that agreement is known as Q. The agreement is so strong many scholars believe that Q was in fact a written document. </font>
We have no mention of the nativity in either Mark or Q; in Matthew and Luke, we have disparate ones. We have no mention of a geneology in either Mark or Q; in Matthew and Luke we have disparate ones.

Original Mark mentions nothing of the post-resurrection activities, and very little is found in verses 9-20. Matthew sets these activities in Galilee; Luke in Jerusalem and Judea.

Then, considering the special Matthean material not found in Luke, and the special Lukan material not found in Matthew, shows that each either had material, written or oral, beyond Mark and Q, or were uniquely creative. Funk writes in his Introduction to The Five Gospels "Agreement between Matthew and Luke begins where Mark begins and ends where Mark ends."
 
Old 05-01-2001, 09:24 AM   #53
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Valar1:
We have no mention of the nativity in either Mark or Q; in Matthew and Luke, we have disparate ones. We have no mention of a geneology in either Mark or Q; in Matthew and Luke we have disparate ones.

Original Mark mentions nothing of the post-resurrection activities, and very little is found in verses 9-20. Matthew sets these activities in Galilee; Luke in Jerusalem and Judea.

Then, considering the special Matthean material not found in Luke, and the special Lukan material not found in Matthew, shows that each either had material, written or oral, beyond Mark and Q, or were uniquely creative. Funk writes in his Introduction to The Five Gospels "Agreement between Matthew and Luke begins where Mark begins and ends where Mark ends."
</font>
I think we were discussing Luke's use of sources. And I was pointing out that Luke seems to be pretty devoted to using his sources. He, like Matthew, use Mark and Q. And, judging from Mark and Matthew, he uses the Gospel of Mark faithfully. And, judging from Matthew, Luke uses Q faithfully. And, as I discussed, it also appears that Luke was relying on at least one large preexisting, written tradition, L.

Because of this practice, I suggest that it is most likely that Acts is not simply a work of Luke's creativity, but rests on his own experiences and the sources he accumalated during and after those experiences.

With that in mind, I don't see what the significance of Mark's lacking a birth narrative has. Or, that Matthew and Luke focus on different geographic locations for some resurrection experiences. The fact remains that Luke has relied, for most of his gospel, on at least three identified sources.
Differences with Matthew are of no consequence to this point. And the fact that Mark and Q did not contain everything in Luke is, of course, obvious. In fact, it was my point. I brought up the fact that Luke was drawing on different sources.
 
Old 05-02-2001, 05:57 AM   #54
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
I think we were discussing Luke's use of sources. And I was pointing out that Luke seems to be pretty devoted to using his sources. He, like Matthew, use Mark and Q. And, judging from Mark and Matthew, he uses the Gospel of Mark faithfully. And, judging from Matthew, Luke uses Q faithfully. And, as I discussed, it also appears that Luke was relying on at least one large preexisting, written tradition, L. </font>
Hypothetical L. As with Q, it is now presupposed that L (and M) existed.

I find it rather amusing, being an agnostic, that I at time find myself sitting on the fence about Q. &lt;G&gt; One the one hand I will say unhesitantingly that Q exists; I have two books next to me that contain it. The question no longer is "does Q exist" but rather "when was it produced?" Is it a first century creation, or a 20th century one?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Because of this practice, I suggest that it is most likely that Acts is not simply a work of Luke's creativity, but rests on his own experiences and the sources he accumalated during and after those experiences.</font>
We do seem to be having a hard time understanding each other, Layman. I didn't intend to imply that all of Acts was a purely fictional work; undoubtedly the author was gathering stories from prior sources. My point is only that with the disagreements between Matthew and Luke on various "facts", it is clear at least one of them can't be correct, and therefore either had bad sources or embellished what little he had in his own way.

Going back to Luke's (corrected by me! &lt;G&gt; ) nativity: he places Quirinius as governor back into a time prior to his holding that office (by at least 12 years, if we are to believe Matthew's chronology.) He cites a call by Augustus for a census although the records do not support that.

He compounds this by having Galileans travel to Judea to be registered. This leads to a number of problems. If, as Luke would have us believe, Herod the Great was still king, and the Galilee and Judea were in fact both parts of one kingdom, Augustus would not have called for a census in that region. It was not the Roman fashion to tax individuals; they levied against regions, and allowed the regions to figure out for themselves how that levy would be paid. As Augustus had great respect for Herod's administrative skills, he would have left well enough alone.

On the other hand, if we are talking about when the kingdom was split, and after the fall of Archelaeus (when Quirinius was indeed in charge of Judea, but not the Galilee) then we are talking about separate regions, and it would have made no sense whatever to have people who paid their taxes to Sepphoris travel to Judea to be registered.

( A question for my own edification: I am aware of the contemporary usage of "going UP to Jerusalem", regardless of which direction you travelled. However, I am unaware of that usage being generalized to all sites in Judea. Is anyone else familiar with that? is Luke's usage 2:4 a valid one, or is it evidence that he was unsure of what he was writing?)

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">With that in mind, I don't see what the significance of Mark's lacking a birth narrative has. Or, that Matthew and Luke focus on different geographic locations for some resurrection experiences. The fact remains that Luke has relied, for most of his gospel, on at least three identified sources.
Differences with Matthew are of no consequence to this point. And the fact that Mark and Q did not contain everything in Luke is, of course, obvious. In fact, it was my point. I brought up the fact that Luke was drawing on different sources.
</font>
The relevance is intended to counter what I considered to be too broad a statement made by you, that where Matthew and Luke used Mark they were in complete agreement, and where they used Q they were in complete agreement. You let this statement finish there, as if special M and special L did not exist.

That there are differences between the two, and telling ones, indicates, as I said, that at least one or the other is in error. Again, this could be because they used faulty sources, and/or became uniquely creative.

Hence, we can not say, with any degree of certainty, that Luke used sources for Acts, or that if he had, his sources were accurate ones.

 
 

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