Atheism requires as much faith as religion?

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Atheism requires as much faith as religion? bearvspuma : The only problem with this rationalization is that ita s assuming all athiests are so because theya re intelligent in the ways of science and reasoning and all people that believe in a form of god are unintelligent.
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“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

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#172604
Jul 20, 2013
 
Roman Apologist wrote:
<quoted text>
You're correct that early Christians didn't refer to themselves as Christians. They referred to themselves as "The Way." But that's off the subject. Paul did write before the gospels. We know Corinthians and Romans were very early.
<quoted text>
In 1 Timothy, Paul clearly wrote that Jesus was a flesh and blood human being.
“For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.”- 1 Timothy 2:5
In Philippians:
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross -Philippians 2:5
In Romans:
“Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh" -Romans 1:3
I have to ask, is your source for your claims the 2004 book, "The Pagan Christ" by Tom Harpur?
Those are not written by Paul, but by someone writing AS Paul.

So no...

“a.k.a. GhostWriter2U”

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#172605
Jul 20, 2013
 
Bob of Quantum-Faith wrote:
<quoted text>
That's nice. Still does not work-- over each generation the "tradition" is EDITED to fit the biases of what is currently popular within the culture.
ALWAYS.
You are being naive here, if you think that doesn't happen.
In ancient high context cultures, it just didn't happen Bob. I'm sorry, but it just didn't. The traditions were not edited so far that the facts became tainted or of dubious quality. The very nature of oral tradition is that it's entirely self-correcting. I realize it's a very difficult concept to wrap our modern minds around. We don't have to do that. We're a modern, literate, technologically advanced culture. In some ways, that is actually a detriment to our understanding of ancient cultures. We look at them through the lenses of our own modern culture.

I respectfully say here, that you're making an assertion that is based more likely upon your doubts as to how an ancient culture could be so accurate with oral tradition than on facts.

For your consideration along with a link to the page it came from:

"Oral tradition is important in all societies, despite the reliance of some cultures on written records and accounts. These traditions account for the ways things are and often the way they should be, and assist people in educating the young and teaching important lessons about the past and about life. Because many oral traditions are highly structured and are told faithfully without alteration, they can be as reliable as other non-oral ways of recording and passing on experiences. While oral traditions can vary from teller to teller, variations are also open to contradiction in the same ways that written accounts are. In this way, the force of oral tradition can continue through generations although small details in the telling may change. Because of this, oral traditions which relate past events and have been passed down through time cannot be dismissed simply as “myth” in the sense that Western society polarizes the differences between “myth” and “science” or “fact.” Ideas about truth, rationality, logic, causality, and ways of knowing the world are contextualized within all societies: they are entirely valid within their cultural contexts and should be respected as such."

http://www.mpm.edu/wirp/icw-14.html

And this excellent article on oral tradition:

http://www.ku.edu.np/bodhi/vol3_no1/07.%20Dee...

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

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#172606
Jul 20, 2013
 

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Roman Apologist wrote:
<quoted text>
How am I supposed to answer them when they're mostly condescending remarks and taunts? I'll go with your statement of why the gospels don't match up. I doubt you'll agree, but then my goal really isn't to get you to agree with me. So it won't be a disappointment at all when you don't. My victory will be complete when I answer you to the best of my ability according to my own understanding. It's the best I can do.
I treat the gospels as primitive historical documents. I apply the ten tests of historicity that virtually all historical scholars use when analyzing historical documents.
1) Do we possess copies of the original ancient document(s) that are REASONABLY close to the original?(They don't need to be verbatim copies)
No. Impossible to say, really. If we had the original?**THAT** would be the oldest we have.

What we have, in fact, are copies of copies many generations too late to be original.

And back in the day? Spelling was a fine art--**not** based on rules we enjoy today.

So with each copy? The author likely used his **own** spelling rules-- why not? And modified the document he was "copying".

As language evolved, these changes became even more removed from the original.

So what we **do** have likely bears little resemblance to what was originally written.

Which is why I fault Jesus-- if he was, IN FACT, a god?

He **so** should have written his words onto Unobtainum, Invulnerable Plates of Enormous Size, so as to prevent them from being hidden or destroyed by history.

That is the very **least** I expect from a Godly Standard.

At a bare minimum of behavior.

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

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#172607
Jul 20, 2013
 
Roman Apologist wrote:
2) Did the document intend to communicate history or is it intended to be fictitious?
That depends: was the author delusional? Did the author suffer from egomania, in that he wanted to prop himself up in some way?

Perhaps the author had been seriously indoctrinated by someone else, and was not his own person.

Each of those examples, the author would have been intending to communicated "history", but all the while, he was writing fiction.

Human biases again...

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

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#172608
Jul 20, 2013
 
Roman Apologist wrote:
3) Was the author of the document in a position to witness the history he or she is reporting?
In the case of the bible?

No.

A resounding ... no.

Especially the New Testament books-- none of it's authors were direct witnesses of any of the events they describe.

This is pretty much well established by modern biblical scholarship.

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

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#172609
Jul 20, 2013
 
Roman Apologist wrote:
4) How much of the author's bias (and ALL historical authors have bias to some degree. History isn't 100% objective) is present in the document? And how do the biases affect the document?
In the case of all Theological Writ?

The biases would necessarily be quite high.

For one, to have sufficient ego to **write** in a culture where writing was rare? The author certainly had An Agenda to keep, in writing.

And so, in the case of the bible, specifically the NT, all of it's authors had An Agenda to keep.

And that would have tainted everything they wrote to a rather high degree.

They were not **interested** in history-- they wanted to pass on This Amazing Tale Of Amazement!

A Fish Story, if you will... and the one they "caught" was ... THIS big!

No, it was! Really! You just **had** to be there!

Human nature being what it is...

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

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#172610
Jul 20, 2013
 
Roman Apologist wrote:
5) Does the document include details that are typical of eye-witness testimony?
I'll counter this one with a technique YOU use: cultural bias.

Modern cultures have a bias for reality (thanks to the Scientific Method).

We also tend to favor objectivity.

Neither of these ideas even existed back in the time when the bible's authors were scratching on parchment.

The ancient peoples literally had no clue what "objective" even means.

Besides-- it's very easy to write fiction that has the appearance of "eye witness".

It's a classic method bullshitters use to draw the audience into the story.

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

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#172611
Jul 20, 2013
 
Roman Apologist wrote:
6) Does the document include embarrassing details that would counter any bias on the author's part? In other words, does the author admit to mistakes or shortcomings? This is usually a sign of truth in historical reporting.
So what if he did?

It's another classic bullshitter method to draw the audience into the story-- to make the audience **identify** with the author, to better reduce the skepticism of the target audience.

Once the audience has identified with the author? They are much more likely to believe the fantastic tale that is unfolding.

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

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#172612
Jul 20, 2013
 
Roman Apologist wrote:
7) Are the documents self-consistent or consistent with other documentation that report the same event?
In the case of the new testament?

A resounding **no**.

One of many reasons why the bible cannot possibly be Divine in any way-- too many inconsistencies.

Example: name the players who attended Jesus tomb, on Easter.

Can you do this?

No-- in the examples where this Wild Tale is told, the players are radically different.

Same event.

Different people attend.

That's a pretty glaring contradiction right there.

Second example:

The last words of Jesus, right before he dies.

What are they?

Answer: contradiction again!

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

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#172613
Jul 20, 2013
 
Roman Apologist wrote:
8) Are the events recorded intrinsically believable or unbelievable?
Need I even bother with this one?

:D

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

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#172614
Jul 20, 2013
 
Roman Apologist wrote:
10) is there any archeological evidence to support the literary evidence?
Sadly, in the case of the bible?

Extremely little-- and in the case of the NT? None at all...

Hmmmm...
Imhotep

Tampa, FL

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#172615
Jul 20, 2013
 
Roman Apologist wrote:
<quoted text>
First of all, you're making an assumption without any proof that the Tacitus or Josephus accounts of Jesus are forgeries. This just isn't true. If you have conclusive proof (not opinion) I'll need to see it for myself.
Tacitus mentions the report of the fire that burned much of Rome. This is a historical fact. He mentions that Nero wanted to shift the So here just in the Tacitus passage, we have facts:
1) There was a major fire in Rome during the reign of Nero.
2) Christians were in Rome during the reign of Nero.
3) The origins of Christianity are traced back to Judea.
4) Pontius Pilate was the Roman installed governor of Judea, confirmed by archeological discovery of the Pilate Stone.
5) Tacitus is obviously dubious of Christian claims because he calls them "superstitions".
To be continued in next post
Once again... ;)

Tacitus?

Like those of the Jewish writer Josephus, the works of the ancient historians Pliny, Suetonius and Tacitus do not provide proof that Jesus Christ ever existed as a "historical" character.

Pliny the Younger, Roman Official and Historian (62-113 CE)
Tacitus, Roman Politician and Historian,(c. 56-120 CE)
Suetonius, Roman Historian (c. 69-c. 122 CE)

When addressing the mythical nature of Jesus Christ, one issue repeatedly raised is the purported "evidence" of his existence to be found in the writings of Flavius Josephus, the famed Jewish general and historian who lived from about 37 to 100 CE.

In Josephus's Antiquities of the Jews appears the notorious passage regarding Christ called the "Testimonium Flavianum" ("TF"):

"Now, there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works,--a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day."

The are: No sculptures, no drawings, no markings in stone, nothing written in his own hand; and no letters, no commentaries, indeed no authentic documents written by his Jewish and Gentile contemporaries, Justice of Tiberius, Philo, Josephus, Seneca, Petronius Arbiter, Pliny the Elder, et al., to lend credence to his historicity."

In the final analysis there is no evidence that the biblical character called "Jesus Christ" ever existed.

All of these historians were born well after the alleged events.

'Hearsay' is not 'evidence' for a reason!

Caesar by comparison is easily verified as is Nero.

BTW - The same problem exists with Moses!
Egyptian history does not mention Moses.

“a.k.a. GhostWriter2U”

Since: Jul 13

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#172616
Jul 20, 2013
 

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polymath257 wrote:
By the very nature of 'supernatural' it is impossible to test. And yes, any hypothesis that is untestable, even in theory, is excluded. THAT is what Lewontin was attempting to say in your quote.

it is not intellectual dishonesty to require testable hypotheses while doing science. Lewontin's point is that the supernatural is, by definition, untestable.
I disagree. Look at the passage again.

"Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science IN SPITE OF [emphases are in the original article] the patent absurdity of some of its constructs... IN SPITE OF the tolerance the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our A PRIORI adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door." -Richard Lewontin, "Billions and Billions of Demons," New York Review of Books, January 4, 1997.

Notice how he writes "IN SPITE OF?" This shows that secularist science is willing to dismiss supernatural phenomena IN SPITE OF evidence or logical conclusions to the contrary.

Next, look at his own emphasis on the words A PRIORI and the fact he is ADMITTING that secular science does this for the most damaging of all agendas by his words at the very end:

Keeping the Divine Foot out! That's not science Polymath. That's a cultural agenda wrapped up in a lab coat to resemble science.

You've done an admirable job at damage control, but when a respected member of the scientific community admits to intellectual dishonesty through the medium of cultural agenda, then I have a real problem trusting the institutions and methodologies. In an earlier post on this topic you commented about how it isn't possible to test or conduct research on the supernatural. I don't think that's an accurate statement. There are paranormal societies and clubs all over the world. Now with the popular theme of reality based tv shows, I understand how a skeptic might claim that such shows are just for ratings, and to an extent, I would agree. But, my point here is this:

As an academic scientist, if you were called upon to investigate a haunting at some location, how would you proceed in a manner that does NOT involve presupposition? In other words, taking the statement of alleged witnesses without bias or assumptions that they're lying; how would you investigate their claims, and what measures would you use to keep your research honest with regard to your own biases and their claims?

Please don't tell me you would give them brain scans and all kinds of blood work, and polygraph tests. If I told you my house was haunted, how would you test that claim without offending me?

“a.k.a. GhostWriter2U”

Since: Jul 13

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#172617
Jul 20, 2013
 

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Imhotep wrote:
All of these historians were born well after the alleged events.
'Hearsay' is not 'evidence' for a reason!
"Hearsay" is not allowed in court cases but is EVIDENCE in historical research. Thus with regard to this discussion, your use of the word hearsay is a fallacy.

I can write an accurate history of a specific revolutionary war battle. It happened in 1777, but through careful research, it's doable. Would you like to know how?
Imhotep

Tampa, FL

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#172618
Jul 20, 2013
 
Roman Apologist wrote:
<quoted text>
"Hearsay" is not allowed in court cases but is EVIDENCE in historical research. Thus with regard to this discussion, your use of the word hearsay is a fallacy.
I can write an accurate history of a specific revolutionary war battle. It happened in 1777, but through careful research, it's doable. Would you like to know how?
There is hearsay in repeating things that acrually happened in history, However there's the actual history of things - like things of Caesar wrote, things the pharaohs wrote, During their lifetime you don't have any history for your savior Outside of your holy guidebook. He didn't manage to write a single word down. For a God gift to mankind don't you find that rather odd?

Why would your creator deliberately obfuscate his message?

Try not to fall back on the mysterious ways excuse!

And in future responses to me I think you start off with this...

"Once upon a time in a land far far away"

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

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#172619
Jul 20, 2013
 

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Roman Apologist wrote:
As an academic scientist, if you were called upon to investigate a haunting at some location, how would you proceed in a manner that does NOT involve presupposition? In other words, taking the statement of alleged witnesses without bias or assumptions that they're lying; how would you investigate their claims, and what measures would you use to keep your research honest with regard to your own biases and their claims?
Please don't tell me you would give them brain scans and all kinds of blood work, and polygraph tests. If I told you my house was haunted, how would you test that claim without offending me?
I would first listen to the effects that you claim happened. Then I would set up, for example, microphones to detect and localize sound, video cameras to pick up visual effects, thermometers to pick up changes in temperature, etc. Then I would look first for all the *natural* effects that could produce what you claim to have experienced. I would look at the structural properties of the house, the types of sounds produced by the wind moving through it, the water in the pipes, etc. I would ask about the conditions under which the effects were experienced: we you going to sleep or fully awake? Can I do so without 'offending you'? I don't know. It depends on whether I conclude you're insane or lying or not. I would also ask for the help of trained magicians (who are very adept at fooling people) to see if I had missed anything.

If you have proof of the supernatural, there is a $1 million prize offered by James Randi. He requires a controlled environment and makes sure no 'foolery' is done. And he is a professional magician, so is a bit harder to fool than most scientists, who are accustomed to people being honest, even if mistaken.

“Think&Care”

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#172620
Jul 20, 2013
 

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Roman Apologist wrote:
In an earlier post on this topic you commented about how it isn't possible to test or conduct research on the supernatural. I don't think that's an accurate statement. There are paranormal societies and clubs all over the world. Now with the popular theme of reality based tv shows, I understand how a skeptic might claim that such shows are just for ratings, and to an extent, I would agree.
More to the point, even if they were to come up with an unexplained phenomenon, would it show the existence of a supernatural? No. At best it would show the existence of a *natural* effect we didn't know before. For example, strange sounds show an ability to create pressure waves in air. Enough microphones along with video cameras can localize the source of the sound. Now, that doesn't happen with the equipment you find in 'reality' shows, but it is possible. Also, even if the effect was not known before, we would *still* judge it as a material effect because it interacts with matter.

And that is part of the point: if something interacts with matter, it is,*by definition* a material effect. This has happened over and over in science. Neutrinos we initially posited to preserve conservation of energy. They don't interact strongly with matter, so they are incredibly hard to detect, but *because* they interact with matter, they *can* be detected and are material. Going back further, electronic and magnetic forces were considered to be 'spiritual' at one time, but by repeated testing and investigation, they are part of the most precise *physical* theory we have.

And this is part of what Lewontin was talking about. If something interacts with matter, it *is* material by definition. That includes light, neutrinos, dark matter, electrons, etc. To invoke the supernatural is 'giving up' precisely because it cannot lead to precise, testable predictions.

“H-o-o-o-o-o-o-ld on thar!”

Since: Sep 08

The Borderland of Sol

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#172621
Jul 20, 2013
 
River Tam wrote:
<quoted text>
I think your hero died, Mac.
The wise man paves the road to ruin.
Appia teritur regina longarum viarum
The Long Walk:
http://readanybooks.net/horror/The_Long_Walk/...
Well, if I wanted to go between Rome and Capua...

Seems the Jesuits didn't waste all their time after all.

Hehehe.

“H-o-o-o-o-o-o-ld on thar!”

Since: Sep 08

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#172622
Jul 20, 2013
 
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
He was also horribly wronged.
Yes.

Although his Vedic quote at the Trinity Test Site ("I am become Death, destroyer of worlds.") may actually have been added later.

Good grief, to have been in such company!

Oppie, Einstein, Fermi, Teller, Bohr...

Pardon the frisson.

“a.k.a. GhostWriter2U”

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#172623
Jul 20, 2013
 
Bob of Quantum-Faith wrote:
<quoted text>
Those are not written by Paul, but by someone writing AS Paul.
So no...
Oh come on Bob! LOL. 1 Corinthians and Romans are almost universally agreed by NT scholars on as being written by Paul. You and I are mere laymen in comparison!

You'll have to show me some evidence from a bona fide New Testament scholar who says Paul didn't write Romans.

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