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Old 11-05-2001, 09:48 PM   #21
Tercel
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Quote:
Originally posted by MOJO-JOJO:
Tercel, regarding contradictions, this essay by Dan Barker is worth reading and thinking about (if you haven't already).

Leave No Stone Unturned
I don't have that much time, but I skim read it okay? I'm already quite familiar with all the discrepancies in the accounts at anyrate. And I do not think it is possible to reconcile the accounts without losing a single detail as Dan Barker wants. However I completely disagree with his that this has any grave implications for Christian belief: My belief is that Christ was raised from the dead, not that the New Testament writers accurately recorded his raising. That said, you seem to agree with me on this so on to the next.

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I am not a fundamentalist inerrantist. I'm not demanding that the evangelists must have been expert, infallible witnesses. (None
of them claims to have been at the tomb itself, anyway.) But what if one person said the auto accident happened in Chicago and
the other said it happened in Milwaukee? At least one of these witnesses has serious problems with the truth.

Luke says the post-resurrection appearance happened in Jerusalem, but Matthew says it happened in Galilee, sixty to one hundred miles away! Could they all have traveled 150 miles that day, by foot, trudging up to Galilee for the first appearance, then back to Jerusalem for the evening meal? There is no mention of any horses, but twelve well-conditioned thoroughbreds racing at breakneck speed, as the crow flies, would need about five hours for the trip, without a rest.
Luke says "For forty days after his death he appeared to them many times in ways that proved beyond doubt that he was alive" Acts 1:3.
That Jesus made many different appearences over a long period quite legitimitely solves many reconciliation problems with regard to his differently describes appearences.

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And during this madcap scenario, could Jesus have found time for a leisurely stroll to Emmaus, accepting, "toward evening," an invitation to dinner?
Something is very wrong here.
I'm sure over the course of 40 days Jesus had plenty of time to accept an invitation to dinner. Why can't the ressurrected Jesus be two places at once anyway?

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This challenge could be harder. I could ask why reports of supernatural beings, vanishing and materializing out of thin air, long-dead corpses coming back to life, and people levitating should be given serious consideration at all. Thomas Paine was one of the first to point out that outrageous claims require outrageous proof.
Thomas Paine was wrong. He is equivicating. An extremely improbable claim does require super-strong proof. However questions like "do miracles happen" or in this case "did God act to bring Jesus back from the dead" are not improbable but merely unknown. They don't as such require any super level of proof, but merely a reasonable level which we would apply to anything we didn't know.

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Paine also points out that everything in the bible is hearsay. For example, the message at the tomb (if it happened at all) took this path, at minimum, before it got to our eyes: God, angel(s), Mary, disciples, Gospel writers, copyists, translators.
So? God to angels isn't a big step. Angels to Mary to the disciples is probably not going to lose us anything more than small details. Disciples to Gospel writers might lose a few more/ change some of the details. Copyists, translators don't really matter much because the Bible exists in so many of each.

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(The Gospels are all anonymous and we have no original versions.)
I agree we have no original versions. But why do you assert that they are all anonymous? All four Gospels have names attached to them which head all the manuscript copies we have, and we know the Gospels were known by those names at least as far back as the 2nd Century. And all 2nd century writings on the subject attribute the Gospels to their named authors. (Although Papias' reference to Matthew isn't entirely clear)

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But first things first: Christians, either tell me exactly what happened on Easter Sunday, or let's leave the Jesus myth buried next to Eastre (Ishtar, Astarte), the pagan Goddess of Spring after whom your holiday was named."
Some women went to Jesus' tomb and found it empty where they encountered one or two beings who were probably angels who pretty much told them that Jesus wasn't there and to tell his disciples that Jesus was risen. Peter and John upon hearing the women's story ran to the tomb and were suprised to find it empty. Jesus later appeared to the disciples and proved beyond doubt that he was alive.

That's sufficient. Sure there are plenty of details and sub-stories I've left out, but the basic account of the resurrection is what I believe and what Christians believe.

Tercel
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Old 11-05-2001, 11:20 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tercel:
<STRONG>Why can't the ressurrected Jesus be two places at once anyway?
</STRONG>
Toto sings "How can you be in two places at once, if you're not anywhere at all?"

Oh sorry, I was having a flashback. Do people still listen to the Firesign Theater?

Tercel, miracles are highly improbable, not just unknown. You can calculate the energy required to turn a dead body back into a living one, and it is extraordinary. This phemomenon has not been observed. If you can produce a miracle like this under controlled conditions, Randi will give you a million bucks.

Tercel:
Quote:
They don't as such require any super level of proof, but merely a reasonable level which we would apply to anything we didn't know.
So are the gospels even a reasonable level of proof? Legendary tales that can't be verified, written most likely some time after the events alleged to have occurred? I don't think so.
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Old 11-06-2001, 02:14 PM   #23
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Originally posted by Toto:
Tercel, miracles are <STRONG>highly improbable</STRONG>, not just unknown.

If there exist non-physical beings which can interfere with physical reality then miracles are possible: It is not highly improbable that such beings exist but simply unknown.

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You can calculate the energy required to turn a dead body back into a living one, and it is extraordinary.
Um, okay, I would like to know how the heck you do any sort of calculations on the subject. Even if you could somehow calculate that it needed at lot of energy, what is that to God?

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This phemomenon has not been observed.
Yes it has: At least people say they have observed it. You can disbelieve them if you want.

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If you can produce a miracle like this under controlled conditions, Randi will give you a million bucks.
So what? I've come across Randi's silly challenge before and I think it proves nothing. I don't believe anyone has their own supernatural powers.
I think any power anyone does have is either from God or some other spirit and comes at the providers violition and discretion: Which in all probability is not going to include proving their existence to Randi under controlled conditions solely for the sake of giving someone one million dollars.
Let me tell you, even if I did have a supernatural power which I could reproduce under any conditions any time I liked, I would not go near Randi on the basis that if I did prove my power I'm more likely to end up with some idiotic materialist killing me and cutting me up to see how I did it than I am to enjoy the money.

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So are the gospels even a reasonable level of proof? Legendary tales that can't be verified, written most likely some time after the events alleged to have occurred? I don't think so.
It depends. The Gospels aren't simply "legendary tales" by themselves, but rather they have the rest of the New Testament and the whole Christian Tradition supporting them. The Gospels are rather the tip of the iceburg of evidence which is the belief of the first Christian: The Gospels simply make clear what that belief was.

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Old 11-06-2001, 02:46 PM   #24
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You can calculate the energy required to turn a dead body back into a living one, and it is extraordinary.
Wow!

Who did the calculations?

When were the calculations done?

Where did they get their numbers from?
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Old 11-06-2001, 02:51 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tercel:
<STRONG>I think any power anyone does have is either from God or some other spirit and comes at the providers violition and discretion: Which in all probability is not going to include proving their existence to Randi under controlled conditions solely for the sake of giving someone one million dollars.</STRONG>
I love this. It's just so convenient. So, they reveal themselves, but only in special circumstances: in the dark, at graveyards, around a few believers, or in the very distant past -- but never, never, never to skeptics under controlled conditions. No, that would just ruin everything, wouldn't it?

You know what, Tercel? Leprechauns are visible when your back is turned and there aren't any video cameras around.

[ November 06, 2001: Message edited by: Wyrdsmyth ]
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Old 11-06-2001, 03:11 PM   #26
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Thumbs down

**sigh**

Tercel, you have nothing more than the revelation of the Bible to support your assertions or those of Christianity. There is no solid, irrefutable, extra-biblical evidence corroborating the claims of the New Testament. And as Thomas Paine "correctly" pointed out, scriptural revelation is revelation ONLY to those upon whom the supposed revelation was given to. The experience was told to others (and she told two friends, and she told two friends, and so on, and so on.....), and eventually it was written down by those who were reportedly "inspired" by the holy spirit (Christian code speak for other Jesus-freaks), and so it is ONLY hearsay to everyone else (including you and I) who did not witness the "revelation" first hand. We each then are free to decide whether to believe it or not, based on the evidence we examine.

This argument/apologetic can just as easily and persuasively be argued by a Mormon about the Book of Mormon, or by a Muslim about the Quor'ran, or by an extremist Islamic Taliban nutcase about his interpretation of the Quor'ran, or by a Jehovah Witness about the Watchtower Tracts, or by a Jew about the Torah, yadda yadda. YOUR claim that the Bible is correct because the Bible says it's correct has no more valid evidence than these others! DO YOU UNDERSTAND!!?? I don't think you do because your entire argument above means absolutely nothing and makes NO sense whatsoever.

How can Jesus be in two places physically when he was resurrected in "one glorified body"? I know, I know....all things are possble with God. More Christian code speak for "if you can't baffle them with brilliance, befuddle them with bullshit!" (basically, the entire premise to Christianity). Read your Bible, he was NOT spirit, he was flesh and bones, supposedly the same glorified flesh and bones that ALL believers will be resurrected to one day, even cremated people (now THAT will be interesting to observe....). Furthermore, as a resurrected being, Jesus supposedly occupies "physical space" SOMEwhere in the Universe at THIS very moment. Where?! I DON'T KNOW! Go ask the top pastors in the country like Hank Hannegraaf and John MacArthur Jr. They're the ones who say this, and ask them how Jesus could be in two places at one time.

One more thing....how LONG was Jesus roaming around after his resurrection?? By which book do you support you answer and why?? Because as Mr. Barker points out, if you say Acts, then it's 40 days, another Gospel says 8 days, two other Gospels say he was taken up to heaven that day. So which is it? Yeah, yeah, you don't care if the Bible can even keep the story straight. I suppose that Judge in a rape trial wouldn't care if a rapist was in Milwaukee or Sheboygen on the night of an attack, as long as someone said she was raped by him, that would be sufficient enough to convict him, right?



Obviously, no matter what amount of reason and evidence is laid before your eyes, the fog of supersticious and mythical belief will never evacuate from your senses. You're simply no different than your fellow believer, Kurt Wise, as noted here by Richard Dawkins:

Blinded by belief

As the old saying goes, you can believe anything you want to believe, no matter how absurd or ridiculous it seems.

[ November 06, 2001: Message edited by: MOJO-JOJO ]
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Old 11-06-2001, 06:52 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by MOJO-JOJO:
Tercel, you have nothing more than the revelation of the Bible to support your assertions or those of Christianity. There is no solid, irrefutable, extra-biblical evidence corroborating the claims of the New Testament.
Which particular claims were you thinking of? We certainly have solid archeological evidence supporting some of its claims.

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.... and so it is ONLY hearsay to everyone else (including you and I) who did not witness the "revelation" first hand. We each then are free to decide whether to believe it or not, based on the evidence we examine.
Of course, believe it or not at your discretion. Did I ever say otherwise?

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YOUR claim that the Bible is correct because the Bible says it's correct has no more valid evidence than these others! DO YOU UNDERSTAND!!??
<STRONG>I DON'T CLAIM THE BIBLE IS CORRECT BECAUSE IT SAYS IT'S CORRECT. THAT WOULD BE CIRCULAR LOGIC. DO YOU UNDERSTAND?</STRONG>

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I don't think you do because your entire argument above means absolutely nothing and makes NO sense whatsoever.
That's not very nice.

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How can Jesus be in two places physically when he was resurrected in "one glorified body"?
He could walk through walls, appear and disappear at will. That should be enough of a hint that he didn't have a normal body. If He is not bound by space in His resurrected body then why should He not be able to be in two places at once or be bound by time?

Quote:
I know, I know....all things are possble with God. More Christian code speak for "if you can't baffle them with brilliance, befuddle them with bullshit!"
LOL!!
The trouble is that you skeptics seem to continually confuse the brilliance with bullshit.

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Read your Bible, he was NOT spirit, he was flesh and bones, supposedly the same glorified flesh and bones that ALL believers will be resurrected to one day,
Read your Bible, He walked through walls, appeared and disappeared at will and final ascended from the physical world completely.

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even cremated people (now THAT will be interesting to observe....).
Why? You think God would bother using the old bodies? Like Jesus said: New wine requires new wineskins. Even if God decided for some random reason to use what's left of the old bodies, do you think that there being only ashes left of some of them is going to stop Him?

Quote:
Furthermore, as a resurrected being, Jesus supposedly occupies "physical space" SOMEwhere in the Universe at THIS very moment.
Hmm, It depends what you mean by "Universe". If you are merely referring to our 4 dimensional physical universe then you're wrong. If by "universe" you mean "everything there is", then it's trivially true.

Quote:
One more thing....how LONG was Jesus roaming around after his resurrection?? By which book do you support you answer and why?? Because as Mr. Barker points out, if you say Acts, then it's 40 days, another Gospel says 8 days, two other Gospels say he was taken up to heaven that day. So which is it?
Mr Barker is being silly.
Matthew doesn't mention the subject and Barker leaves him out of this.
Barker thinks Mark says it's the same day (he bases this on something he pulls from John no less ). Actually Mark is very unclear on the subject and uses such words as "After this" 6:12 and "Last of all" 16:14 and "After" 16:19 which could allow the passage of any amount of time. There is nothing in Mark to suggest that this all happened on the same day.
Barker is right with John: Exact time unspecified but at least 8 days.
Now we get to Luke and Acts, and I would just like to point out that everyone in their right mind agrees that the writer of Luke also wrote Acts. If Barker gets vastly different periods of time from the two accounts then it merely proves the stupidity of his exegeses in general. According to Barker, Luke says 1 day and Acts 40 days.
A more carefully reading of the text will demonstrate that, like Mark, Luke is extremely unclear about the lengths of time involved.

So, in summary:
Matthew: Not mentioned
Mark: Unclear
Luke: Unclear
John: At least 8 days
Acts: 40 days

The contradiction is where exactly? I do not deny contradictions exist: I think there are plenty. But you and Barker could at least keep to what are really contraditions.

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Obviously, no matter what amount of reason and evidence is laid before your eyes, the fog of supersticious and mythical belief will never evacuate from your senses.
That's not very nice. Furthermore, I would say that if you knew me but didn't know I was a Christian you would think me to be a very logical, reasonable, rational and intelligent person.
I have yet to see any large amount of "reason and evidence" against Christianity. What I see mainly around here is unreason and evidence-ignoring.

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You're simply no different than your fellow believer, Kurt Wise, as noted here by Richard Dawkins:

Blinded by belief
"Blinded by belief" would be, from what I've seen, a good title with reference to Dawkins. But I must agree for once in my life with Dawkins that Wise sounds pretty sad. You might be pleased to know that I'm not a six day creationist...

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As the old saying goes, you can believe anything you want to believe, no matter how absurd or ridiculous it seems.
If you want to see a case of people believing what they want to believe in spite of arguments, go look at atheist David Gould in this thread on the existence of God board.

Tercel

[ November 07, 2001: Message edited by: Tercel ]
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Old 11-07-2001, 09:43 AM   #28
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Hey, people--a couple of points.

First off, anyone with any legal knowledge or anyone who has ever served on a jury surely knows that jurors are traditionally told that when they talk about the trial, the best they can talk about is what they remember occurred not what actually did in fact occurred.

A trial is not a search for the truth, but a means for resolving a disagreement over facts. Which brings me to the resurrection accounts.

Anyone who has read the New Testament accounts in parallel can easily see that the reasons both for the glaring inconsistencies andthe physical unrecordability of the miraculous "events" at Easter come down to one thing:

The gospel stories about Easter are not factual, historical accounts but religious myths.
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Old 11-07-2001, 02:05 PM   #29
MOJO-JOJO
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Arrow

aikido7, Tercel apparently has enough overwhelming evidence to think otherwise, although he is unable to share that with us because the gospel record is completely unsupportable, and I'm talking about the "meat" of the Bible, Tercel, not some archealogical digs that support many of the physical refernces in the OT. BFD...so the people that wrote the OT and the NT, really existed in those days, so what. Joseph Smith and the nutcases that signed off on the Book of Mormon actually existed too. That means absolutely nothing. Their "witness" to the "truths" contained in the Book of Mormon is absolute rubbish as well. Just because some of the physical places and events described in the Bible have been verified doesn't mean that all the accounts in the Bible MUST be true!

By "universe" I mean u-n-i-v-e-r-s-e, all that there is around us, seen and unseen, 4th dimension or 24th dimension, stretching out to infiniti. According to your belief, he occupies space SOMEwhere in the universe at any given moment. Christians believe he is everywhere all at once, watching their every move, and he knows if they are naughty or nice, so they better watch out and better not cry, cause Jayzus Christ is com-ing to town, right?

It's obvious that our little exchange will never help you to wake from your supersticious slumber. Maybe you are more like Kurt Wise than you realize. BTW, if you are not believing everything as exegeted in Scripture (as Kurt does), than you are nothing more than a Salad-bar Christian, picking and choosing what you are able to chew and swallow. Don't you understand that every time you and your fellowship of liberal theolgians confess this to others, that it completely undermines the foundation of your belief system? The more you are willing to say that Scripture means something other than what it says, the more you are showing it to be nothing more than tripe and myth written by man. Christians can not even agree on what they are SUPPOSE to believe.

Your arguments are nothing that haven't been presented here and soundly refuted many, many times. I personally have nothing more to say to you other than we will just have to agree to disagree.

Take about 6 months and read the many threads on this chat board, and the voluminous number of peer-reviewed essays and research papers in the Secular Web library. If after all that research and (I'm certain) related debates with other SecWeb posters, you are STILL convinced that your mythical belief system is real...then power to you "Kurt", there is nothing anyone can show you to wake you up.

BTW...like many others on this board, I was like you when I began here. Totally blinded and indoctrinated by my righteous "faith" in Jesus Christ and the Bible above all reason, logic and evidence to the contrary. Like you, I was feeling sorry for all these poor dumb heathen and infidels that were doomed to "Hell" for their heresy and disbelief. Taking off your wings and leaping down off of the cloud of supersticious, supernatural belief is a VERY difficult thing to do, I know. And you are, right now, a testament to that as well.


PS - Dawkins isn't "blinded by belief". He, at least, has facts and evidence to support his "beliefs", irregardless of the fact that Christians ignore these facts and evidence as valid. Like Kurt Wise, you are free to believe in anything you wish to.....Gods, Jesus, Santa Claus, the tooth Fairy, flying reindeer or even a vengeful Allah that will reward you with 72 virgins in Allah-land (that all look like Janet Reno.....which is why they are virgins), if you simply KILL the infidels of the west! But just cause you choose to believe, it doesn't make it any more real. The mind is a terrible thing to waste, Tercel. You seem intelligent enough....why are you wasting yours on fanciful fairy tales?

[ November 07, 2001: Message edited by: MOJO-JOJO ]
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Old 11-07-2001, 03:17 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally posted by MOJO-JOJO:
aikido7, Tercel apparently has enough overwhelming evidence to think otherwise, although he is unable to share that with us because the gospel record is completely unsupportable, and I'm talking about the "meat" of the Bible, Tercel, not some archealogical digs that support many of the physical refernces in the OT.
What precisely qualifies as "meat" and what support would you expect to find outside the Bible? It seems to me you are engaging in some very strange logic by demanding support to be provided on a subject which you conviently define to be that part of the Bible which is by nature unsupportable.
The whole idea of finding support "outside the Bible" is flawed at anyrate because if there did exist other authorative accounts of what happened then they would be in the Bible and hence there would still be no support outside the Bible and the task simplifies to "finding evidence other than the evidence we have" which is nonsensical.

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Just because some of the physical places and events described in the Bible have been verified doesn't mean that all the accounts in the Bible MUST be true!
Of course not. However finding that they whole thing is not entirely made up puts us in a dilemma of trying to work out where the truth stops.

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BTW, if you are not believing everything as exegeted in Scripture (as Kurt does), than you are nothing more than a Salad-bar Christian, picking and choosing what you are able to chew and swallow.
Am I supposed to be sorry for logically and rationally working out what I believe instead of saying "Duh, uh, the Bible is the WORD OF GOD so it must be ALL TRUE, especially the bits which contradict each other which of course don't exist"?

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Don't you understand that every time you and your fellowship of liberal theolgians confess this to others, that it completely undermines the foundation of your belief system?
No. I think you misunderstand by thinking that it does. Subscribing to belief in Christianity does not involve signing your brain away.

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The more you are willing to say that Scripture means something other than what it says,
When do I say this?

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Christians can not even agree on what they are SUPPOSE to believe.
That's hardly suprising given that we're human. Scientists can't agree on their explainations of sub-atomic physics either. Doesn't make science as a whole wrong or mean scientists are stupid, does it?

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Take about 6 months and read the many threads on this chat board, and the voluminous number of peer-reviewed essays and research papers in the Secular Web library.
I've already been here 8 months. I'm not impressed by most of the papers in the Secular Web library: Those that don't contain blatent fallacies or straw men generally contain large amounts of unsound reasoning or misguided conclusions.

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If after all that research and (I'm certain) related debates with other SecWeb posters, you are STILL convinced that your mythical belief system is real...then power to you "Kurt", there is nothing anyone can show you to wake you up.
Just because I'm not an atheist after reading the supposedly brilliant (*Cough*) skeptic articles, that puts me on the level of fact-ignoring Kurt??

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BTW...like many others on this board, I was like you when I began here. Totally blinded and indoctrinated by my righteous "faith" in Jesus Christ and the Bible above all reason, logic and evidence to the contrary. Like you, I was feeling sorry for all these poor dumb heathen and infidels that were doomed to "Hell" for their heresy and disbelief.
You were a Christian apologist when you started posting here? Really?

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PS - Dawkins isn't "blinded by belief". He, at least, has facts and evidence to support his "beliefs", irregardless of the fact that Christians ignore these facts and evidence as valid.
Dawkins puts his own interpretation on those facts and sees only what he wants to see. To me that is just as willfully blind as ignoring the facts themselves.

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Like Kurt Wise, you are free to believe in anything you wish to.....Gods, Jesus, Santa Claus, the tooth Fairy, flying reindeer
Why do people insist on comparing Christian belief to mythical creatures? A brief glimpse of reality would demonstrate to you that there is a reasonable large argument from authority to be said for Christian belief while there there is universal argument from authority against those mythical creatures. That puts Christian belief in a different category to the others even before we consider the evidential arguments.

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But just cause you choose to believe, it doesn't make it any more real.
True and I am well aware of that. I am also aware that choosing not to believe wouldn't make it any less real. You would perhaps be suprised at the number of times I have come across the statement in Christian writings that what is true is true regardless of what we believe.

Tercel
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