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Old 03-26-2001, 02:32 PM   #171
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by jmcanany:
Many Christians have been told that there is no historical evidence for their faith

Showing Christians that, yes, there is some (as opposed to no) 'historical evidence' for some of their beliefs (as already held), is certainly not the same as to say (as you have) that the historical evidence provides sufficient warrant for having faith.
Btw it's Meier himself in his "why bother" who denies 'historical evidence' as a grounds or warrant for establishing faith. Rather, he affirms that perhaps the 'historical Jesus' is useful for theology for those who already have faith.
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So your problem is one of degree?

I repeat this question: If you find my methods of apologetics inadequate, perhaps you would be better off demonstrating the superiority of your own, rather than attacking your Christian brother and sisters who do not share your view of apologetics. I would rather see internal debates about our faith settled as an internal matter, you choose to do so in our opponents stronghold. Perhaps an exchange of email would be a better approach?"

[This message has been edited by Layman (edited March 26, 2001).]
 
Old 03-27-2001, 02:45 PM   #172
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by lpetrich:
[Polycarp:]
I didn't say Jesus COULD not have remained on earth, I said he DID not remain on earth. This ties into the whole issue I brought up about telling god how to run things. ...

[LP:]
That's a common bit of theological illogic. Theorizing about what some entity could have done is NOT the same as controlling it. After all, if Polycarp theorizes about what I'm likely to do, he is not controlling me when he does that.
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My statement was said in response to a person who demanded to see Jesus today at their front door. The obvious implication being that they would believe if such a thing occurred. Contrary to what you say, that IS an attempt at manipulation - "I'll believe, if you do what I say. If you don't do what I say, then I won't believe." You'll notice I never said we control god, only that the person making the claim WANTED to control god.

There is no "theological illogic" involved.

Peace,

Polycarp

 
Old 03-28-2001, 02:36 AM   #173
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Polycarp:

Your words:
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">My statement was said in response to a person who demanded to see Jesus today at their front door. The obvious implication being that they would believe if such a thing occurred. Contrary to what you say, that IS an attempt at manipulation - "I'll believe, if you do what I say. If you don't do what I say, then I won't believe." You'll notice I never said we control god, only that the person making the claim WANTED to control god.</font>
What's the big deal with manipulation of gods?

Why is it that when atheists/agnostics/skeptics create and require standards for gods including requiring gods to show themselves and perform deeds that prove they are gods that theists/Xns eventually if not immediately come up with this "manipulation" complaint? And as if that complaint is illegal/illogical/irrational/unreasonable?

Why is "Shows us the gods!" an unreasonable requirement?

Why is it that having standards is somehow manipulating anyone or anything or any gods/demons?

Why is it that standards are not merely standards by which people/things/events/gods/demons/etc. can be analyze/evaluated/judged and not necessarily unreasonable manipulations of ... ANYTHING?

If we are judged by standards, why can we not judge by standards?

Why are we such pieces of crap that we cannot do this?

Why is it that we are required to believe in a theology presented in an old book with so many flaws [historical inaccuracies/contradictions/etc.] that normal/logical/rational/reasonable/etc. people should be able/can/do question/reject its theology?

Why is it that the gods do not continue appearing among men, proving themselves to men, and talking with men?

To set up standards means to set up standards.

Requiring gods to prove themselves is a standard.

Otherwise, how would you know a god if/when you saw one/were contacted by one?

Furthermore, since the Bible has injunctions against believing in false gods/prophets, how would you know a false god/prophet if/when you saw one/were contacted by one?

For that matter, since in the Bible you are required to believe not only in gods but also in demons/devils/Satans/etc. [as in JC post baptismal temptation stories], how would you be able to distinguish a demon from a god if/when you were to see one/be contacted by one?

Why is it that requiring proof is seen as a manipulative demand that is somehow outrageous and offensive to both you and the gods?

Surely you can speak for yourself. But that is only opinion if you have not contacted/have not been contacted by gods and have been given instructions regarding what the gods want from humans/what to say to humans.

How is it that you speak for the gods?

Why can't the gods speak for themselves?

Or do they speak through you? Or anyone who "feels" the urge to make pronouncements regarding what gods want from humans/what humans should want from gods?

CAUTION: "Feelings" = Emotionalism. Emotional proofs = If it feels good, it must be true; if it feels bad, it must be false. Without objective proof to feel good/bad about, emotionalism is not necessarily indicative of truth/falsity.

If my memory serves me well, I recall that you have said that you will get your proof of the existence/nonexistence of gods when you die.

What kind of proof is that?

Why is THAT proof a good standard by which to live and to pass judgment upon fellow human beings who do not accept the theology of a flawed book?

Are you not believing because of Pascal's wager? That somehow the odds are better for belief in the existence of gods despite a lack of positive proof than no belief in the existence of gods or belief in the nonexistence of gods?

Is there not a possibility that when you are dead you are dead? Have no desires? No feelings? No awareness? Is it not possible that if you have no awareness/knowledge of being a being/soul/spirit before life that THAT lack of awareness is what will befall us upon our deaths?

If death means no desires/feelings/awareness, then is death not so bad a finality? Of what, then should we be afraid?

The biblical stories talk about an afterlife, but the Bible is flawed. How do we know for certain that there is an afterlife?

How do we prove anything in the Bible is true?

By reading and believing?

Why should we believe?

Because believing feels good? Because not believing feels bad?

Multiple attestations/dissimilarities/embarrassments in so-called holy books including the Bible are flawed historicalcriticism “techniques” and don't compel belief in the content of such books.

Fictions such as prophecies in the OT which, according to their words, have nothing to do with JC are included in the NT as proof that JC is the fulfillment of the OT prophecies, which can easily be disproven by the words in the Bible itself, and which fictions prove that at least some biblical authors/editors/copyists/translators are liars, hence at least parts of the Bible are lies, hence not credible for belief, which makes the task of determining which parts are true, especially of theological claims, difficult if not impossible.

Other than multiple attestations/dissimilarities/embarrassments, what are the standards of historical-criticism that should compel us to believe any of claims truth of the authors of the books of the Bible?

Why are human standards for proof of the existence and behavior of gods so bad/wrong for humans?

Show us the gods!

[This message has been edited by Bob K (edited March 28, 2001).]
 
Old 03-28-2001, 04:58 AM   #174
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Bob K:
Why is it that when atheists/agnostics/skeptics create and require standards for gods including requiring gods to show themselves and perform deeds that prove they are gods that theists/Xns eventually if not immediately come up with this "manipulation" complaint? And as if that complaint is illegal/illogical/irrational/unreasonable?</font>
I counted no fewer than 30 questions in your message. It was basically one long laundry list of questions. Do you really expect me to go through each of your 30-something questions ? Gimme a break...

You and Omnedon need to wake up and smell the coffee. The last time I looked this wasn't an "interrogation board" - its a "discussion board". We're way off topic in this thread. If you want to narrow your list of questions to a few, then I'll be glad to respond when I have time. When you do post your message and people answer your questions, then please answer the questions posed to you. Its only fair. Maybe you could start a new thread and other people could get involved because this has nothing to do with the historical method.

Peace,

Polycarp



[This message has been edited by Polycarp (edited March 28, 2001).]
 
Old 03-28-2001, 09:40 AM   #175
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So your problem is one of degree?

No it's a problem of logic: one cannot provide a sufficient warrant based on fallacious arguments as you seem to think.....

As for your other plea - it's irrelevant. whether I even have an apologetic or not, it's clear you don't.

Thanks for the discussion. You have taught me alot about the futility of your methods -and for that I thank you - it bolsters my fideistic faith all that much more.

Godspeed.
 
Old 03-28-2001, 07:52 PM   #176
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
Its gonna be declared that you just don't get it. Turtonm and EJ get it. Ask them to explain it to you.

The possibility of miracles is a philosophical issue, not a historical one. You want to muddy the waters by combining the two. The fact that you absolutely refuse to present a positive case for your alleged criteria speaks volumes.
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I think you better check again. ej is not on your side. He denies miracles as real, actual events:

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When historians conclude Jesus performed miracles, they mean it the same way skeptics are saying Sai Baba is performing "miracles" - that he is doing things that other people take as supernatural events.
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If you want to discuss this topic any further with me, then please refrain from the discussion of miracles.
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You should have thought of that before you broached the topic yourself, as turtonm showed you.


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As to replying to your recent post - I'm still waiting for you to show the probability math for your 90% and 95% claims. A 95% claim is a strong claim for solid proof.

I presented a case with supporting arguments to demonstrate the likelihood of my claim that Jesus taught in parables. You? Well, you haven’t even presented a case using any examples.
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That's because I made no claims. Do I need to remind you again? Only he who claims is required to prove or provide evidence.

And contrary to your whiny defense, you have still not given me what I asked for. I want to see the probability mathematics that led you to the numbers above.


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That is my case for believing it to be “highly probable” that Jesus taught in parables. I’m sure I’ve left out some supporting arguments, but it should suffice.”
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Yeah, you left out a lot. Like the probability math showing us how you arrived at these numbers. All the other crap you posted is totally besides the point, since it is not what I am asking you about.

1. You had specific numbers associated with these activities you say that Christ did.
2. These numbers were not fuzzy, rough guesses; they were very precise numbers.
3. They were very HIGH numbers, close to being certainty (100%).


So how did you decide on 90? 95%? Instead of 70%? or 82%? I am still waiting.


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The data was provided a long time ago. You’ve just been ignoring it while providing absolutely none of your own..
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You never provided the data at all.


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We don't believe in the miracles. But we are using your own "six criteria" here to beat you. By giving you an example that satisfies your busted six criteria, you and deLayman have a decision to make. You must concede that the case is much stronger for Sai Baba, than for Christ.

Did you just say something? You’ve done nothing of the sort. Proving that one example is false does not prove an analogous one to also be false.
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Sigh.

That paragraph I wrote above isn't discussing an attempt to prove which set of miracles are true or false (Christ vs Sai Baba). It's discussing why you theists do not consistently apply your famous "six criteria". Because if you did so, then you would have to admit that the case for Sai Baba meets and exceeds the criteria.

Here; in baby-talk:

* I don't believe in the criteria.
* But you say you do.
* If that's true, then you should be a convert to Sai Baba.
* Since the evidence for his miracles is way stronger than for Christ's.
* Evidence, that is, according to YOUR six criteria.
* But you haven't converted to Sai Baba; why is that?
* Evidently, you don't really care about the criteria at all; you ignore them out when they don't give you the answer you want.

Got it now?


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Do you know what fallacy that is? I’ll give you a dollar if you know. Proving something is an impostor does not mean the real thing does not exist.
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Do you know how truly far off base you are yet, as to the topic of that paragraph?


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If you don’t like getting a lesson from a theist on how to debate, then go half-way up page 4 of this thread and read “EJ’s” post about 10 times until it makes sense to you. Maybe EJ charges less for lessons than me, too.
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I know how to debate. You just can't handle the questions.




[This message has been edited by Omnedon1 (edited March 28, 2001).]
 
Old 03-28-2001, 07:56 PM   #177
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
A note on this "deLayman" jab. I strive to answer questions comprehensively. Such as the miracle worker post, such as my responses to your accusations about the Josephus reference to miracles, and the latest one regarding his independence, as well as questions about the Talmud. I go back to the books, evaluate the evidence, and try and give comprehensive posts with supporting references. This takes time. Much more time than pretending we can't know anything about history and refusing to answer ANY question asked of you be a theist.

So, despite the obvious vitriol that has developed between us, surely you can be fair on this one, little, issue?
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You're kidding.

Have another look at what you just said:

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Much more time than pretending we can't know anything about history and refusing to answer ANY question asked of you be a theist.
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You post another one of your strawmen and call it my position.
You accuse me of never answering questions posed to me.

And then you want to be treated nicely? Gimme a break. I'm already nicer to you than you deserve.

And in this particular case, none of the excuses you list above suffice. You're almost A MONTH AND A HALF late in getting the bugs in your original "miracle worker" post fixed. In the time you've been responding to 30 other threads, you should have been working on that one post. Hell, you should have ignored ME, and worked on that post instead. That would have been the approach of the true scholar. Besides, the majority of my objections were eloquently raised by turtonm and SingleDad anyhow in their critiques of that post- so if you answer their questions, you'll finish 98% of mine off as well.


As for the idea of "fairness":
I also remind you that on our first encounter, I tried to de-fuse a very lengthy argument by apologizing to you, taking a few steps back, and trying to refocus the conversation. Part of this was to potentially salvage an online discussion, and since you seemed to be noticeably better to discuss things with than the likes of egoNomad, I thought it was worth a shot:

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I thought that when I caught and publicly admitted my mistake with the Oxford Companion, that such an act of integrity might at least make you grant me some credit in the "honest debater" department. Evidently I was wrong.
So I'm going to go out on a limb here once again. We'll see how far it takes me.

You say you admit that your analogy was "imperfect." And that your intent was never to characterize the gospel authors as all being first-person eyewitnesses. Fine. I'll drop the analogy point here, and apologize to you for losing my temper.

And if I called you a liar, I retract that as well. Now, the slate is clean.

Perhaps we should discuss the difference between a historical reference, and a historical witness.

Your move.

</font>

You threw that olive branch back in my face as well.

So as far as I am concerned, you've have your chances and used them up.




[This message has been edited by Omnedon1 (edited March 28, 2001).]
 
Old 03-28-2001, 08:41 PM   #178
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Omnedon1:
I think you better check again. ej is not on your side. He denies miracles as real, actual events:
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</font>
Uhhh… Earth to Omnedon. I’m pretty sure “EJ’s” comments were directed to you. Apparently you didn’t read the first two sentences where he says:

“It's really discouraging for me as a Humanist to see the ill-informed "skeptics" here on this board. They make easy comparison with the worst of the supernaturalists.”

Yep. He’s definitely referring to you. I don’t see any other “ill-informed skeptics” in the room. Do you even read the things on which you comment? Please do EJ a favor and stop talking about this topic, you’re giving your fellow free-thinkers a bad name.


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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> That's because I made no claims. Do I need to remind you again? Only he who claims is required to prove or provide evidence.
And contrary to your whiny defense, you have still not given me what I asked for. I want to see the probability mathematics that led you to the numbers above.
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</font>
Sheer nonsense. You’ve made all sorts of claims – namely that my claims are wrong. I listed evidence for my claims, you listed none for yours. I claimed 95% probability and cited several lines of argumentation. You claimed I was way out of line with my figure, but you made absolutely no counter-arguments to rebut any of my supporting arguments. Do you see the pattern? I’m the one providing evidence for my claims. You’re the one who is NOT providing evidence for your claims.

As far as my “probability math” is concerned, I use the same basic approach as Richard Carrier does in his articles. If you can understand his math in the article here, then you can understand mine:
http://www.infidels.org/library/mode...ection/2b.html

On second thought... Maybe you haven't made any claims, at least ones that are logical...

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> So how did you decide on 90? 95%? Instead of 70%? or 82%? I am still waiting.
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Ask Richard Carrier the same question and let me know what he tells you. My probabilities are estimates as I’ve already said. It’s the same concept as when meteorologists say there is a 40% chance of rain today. How did you decide on knowing that it was “way less” than 90% ? You haven’t shown any math yourself. Heck, you haven’t even made an argument for your belief nor given a probability of your own. Time to leave the starting gate, Omnedon…

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Here; in baby-talk:
* I don't believe in the criteria.
* But you say you do.
* If that's true, then you should be a convert to Sai Baba.
* Since the evidence for his miracles is way stronger than for Christ's.
* Evidence, that is, according to YOUR six criteria.
* But you haven't converted to Sai Baba; why is that?
* Evidently, you don't really care about the criteria at all; you ignore them out when they don't give you the answer you want.
Got it now?
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</font>
Here, in Omnedon-talk: You’re wrong. You’re wrong. You’re wrong.

The evidence for Sai Baba’s miracles is not stronger than it is for Christ because Sai Baba has already been debunked. Have you ever seen magic tricks? You know those guys like David Blaine or David Copperfield? As soon as somebody comes back to life after being dead for two days then we can talk about something comparable to Christ. Until then I’ll watch those magic shows on TV. I like David Blaine. He’s kinda got that spooky image goin’…

I do care about the criteria. You are the one who is so opposed to basic historical methods that you can’t even come up with criteria of your own to demonstrate the likelihood of basic historical claims like “Aristotle wrote ‘Metaphysics’”.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Do you know how truly far off base you are yet, as to the topic of that paragraph?
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I’m already rounding second base and you’re still standing in the batter’s box. Let me explain my point again in “Bible-buddy” talk: The fact that you prove an alleged dollar bill is a counterfeit does not mean that there are no real dollar bills in existence. Does that help you understand a little better? Using your “Sai Baba” logic you would be forced to conclude that no real dollar bills exist if you were to ever find a counterfeit.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> I know how to debate. You just can't handle the questions.
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I can see that you put a lot of thought into this part of your response. I actually see the early stages of an argument being formed. Keep it up and in no time you can discuss things just like the rest of the people on these boards.


Peace,

Your Bible Buddy

 
Old 03-28-2001, 09:22 PM   #179
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Uhhh… Earth to Omnedon. I’m pretty sure “EJ’s” comments were directed to you.
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Uhhh, hey idiot. Wake up.
ej can direct his comments wherever he wants to. I reject them wholesale.

And what I am saying to you still stands unrefuted:

I think you better check again. ej is not on your side. He denies miracles as real, actual events.

So when you claim that he supports you or that he "understands" and I don't, just remember that he thinks all your miracles are hogwash - just like I do.


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Sheer nonsense. You’ve made all sorts of claims – namely that my claims are wrong.
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You're clueless. My rejection of your claims is not a claim in itself. If you haven't proven your claims, then I'm perfectly free to say that they're wrong and you need evidence.

Here are the rules again, PolyCoward:


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1. He who asserts must prove. The burden of proof is on the person making the claim; it is not the audience's responsibility to rebut the claim.
2. He who asserts first, must prove first.
3. The quality of evidence must be in harmony with the character of the claim: extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.
4. Before you can prove that something happened, you have to prove that particular something is even possible in the first place.
5. Asking questions about someone's claim does not require that I have a position or belief on that topic at all.

</font>
Got it this time?


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I listed evidence for my claims, you listed none for yours. I claimed 95% probability and cited several lines of argumentation.
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The math.

That's all I want to see. If you're too scared to provide it, then just say so.


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As far as my “probability math” is concerned, I use the same basic approach as Richard Carrier does in his articles.
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Just provide the math, PolyCoward. Don't point me to someone else's article; just show me the math. If you have any guts or integrity at all. Which I sincerely doubt.

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So how did you decide on 90? 95%? Instead of 70%? or 82%? I am still waiting.


Ask Richard Carrier the same question and let me know what he tells you.
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Huh?
I'm asking you. Did Richard make these silly claims about Christ? No. You're the one who made the claims, not Richard. You shouldn't be running and hiding behind other people and asking them to fight your battles for you.


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My probabilities are estimates as I’ve already said. It’s the same concept as when meteorologists say there is a 40% chance of rain today.
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No, it isn't. When a meteorologist does it, they actually measure it out with probability and past meteorological records. It's not a gut feeling, which is apparently all you really have here. But I guess you figured it would be more impressive if you dressed up your subjective, gut desire by attaching a probability number to it. "Ooooooh, Aaaaah, why, that's a 95% probability! Sounds good enuf fer me!"

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How did you decide on knowing that it was “way less” than 90% ? You haven’t shown any math yourself. Heck, you haven’t even made an argument for your belief nor given a probability of your own. Time to leave the starting gate, Omnedon…
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When did I say it was "way less than 90%"?
I don't have to provide any math. So I have no obligation to provide anything here.

And even if I had ever made such a statement, the rules are still that he who asserts first, must prove first. Since you shot off your mouth first about these trumped-up numbers of yours, it's up to you to provide your math first.

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Here, in Omnedon-talk: You’re wrong. You’re wrong. You’re wrong.
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Not likely. But go ahead and make a fool of yourself.


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The evidence for Sai Baba’s miracles is not stronger than it is for Christ because Sai Baba has already been debunked.
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Two comments:

1. In a sense, we have debunked Christ's miracles. They exist only as 3rd or 4th generation textual claims from 2000 years ago, and are known to violate the laws of the universe. So they are debunked in the same sense that Homer's description of the sea monsters Scylla and Charybdis are debunked.

2. Our ability to debunk Sai Baba is only because we were able to apply scientific method to them, today, in the 20th century. If these claims, like those about Christ, were removed from today by 100 years, we would likewise be unable to debunk them in the rigorous sense. But starting from the material evidence alone and your silly "six criteria", Sai Baba wins hands-down over Christ.

Which brings me to another point: the other Daoist claims have not been debunked. So my argument above stands; just substitute "Daoist magic" for Sai Baba. You're still stuck in the same problem now.


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I do care about the criteria. You are the one who is so opposed to basic historical methods that you can’t even come up with criteria of your own to demonstrate the likelihood of basic historical claims like “Aristotle wrote ‘Metaphysics’”.
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As I told you before:

5. Asking questions about someone's claim does not require that I have a position or belief on that topic at all.


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Do you know how truly far off base you are yet, as to the topic of that paragraph?

I’m already rounding second base and you’re still standing in the batter’s box.
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Yes, but you're going the wrong way around the baseball diamond - typical PolyCoward.


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Let me explain my point again in “Bible-buddy” talk: The fact that you prove an alleged dollar bill is a counterfeit does not mean that there are no real dollar bills in existence. Does that help you understand a little better? Using your “Sai Baba” logic you would be forced to conclude that no real dollar bills exist if you were to ever find a counterfeit.
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I wsa never arguing that because Sai Baba's miracles are fakes, then all miracles must be fakes. See what a total idiot you made of yourself?

You're still off-topic, PolyCoward. I am not comparing the miracle claims. I was only pointing out the fact that you do not apply the six criteria in a consistent manner.


 
Old 03-28-2001, 09:43 PM   #180
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Attention all replyers!

Please address the person to whom you are replying; or otherwise please provde the quote to which you are responding.

Polycarp:

If you need breathing room, then here are the questions one-at-a-time:

Question #1: Why is it that when atheists/agnostics/skeptics create and require standards for gods including requiring gods to show themselves and perform deeds that prove they are gods that theists/Xns eventually if not immediately come up with the "manipulation" complaint as if that complaint is somehow illegal/illogical/irrational/unreasonable?
 
 

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