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  • Originally posted by tabibito View Post
    Using those same standards of evidence in a courtroom would render it impossible to convict anyone of any crime.

    However, there is one human who knows with certainty, regardless of how flimsy or solid the evidence, whether in fact the accused has committed the crime. The fact seems to have escaped the cited author's attention.
    I don't understand your point. Would you please explain?

    Comment


    • A recent committee reached the conclusion Purgatory itself may not exist. The jury is still out on how that will affect Church teachings.

      As for Hell, the wicked are punished.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by psstein View Post
        A recent committee reached the conclusion Purgatory itself may not exist. The jury is still out on how that will affect Church teachings.

        As for Hell, the wicked are punished.
        Would you define "wicked"?

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Gary View Post
          I don't understand your point. Would you please explain?
          It should be self evident:
          No matter how skilfully and convincingly a miracle is faked, at least one person knows that it has been faked.
          Provided that there are two or more witnesses, at least one person who witnesses a genuine miracle will know beyond all doubt that neither chicanery nor delusion is involved.

          Either way, the person will have iron clad evidence of the facts that no number of persuasive words of wisdom can influence.
          sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

          Comment


          • Originally posted by psstein View Post
            A recent committee reached the conclusion Purgatory itself may not exist. The jury is still out on how that will affect Church teachings.

            As for Hell, the wicked are punished.
            Close examination of the New Testament scriptures reveals that purgatory does indeed exist. However, there were mistakes in determining who enters purgatory and when. The "who" is the committed believer, and the "when" is after baptism.
            sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

            Comment


            • Originally posted by William View Post
              I am not aware of this ample reason you speak of.
              It's the reason I gave. I find J.P. Moreland's account quite good in fact. Why? Because seeing an ear grow back is nothing that you just happen to be mistaken on nor can it be something like the placebo effect. Note that when you have that account there has to be one of three options.

              He is lying.

              He is delusional in some way.

              He's telling the truth.

              If 1 and 2 are not likely, then 3 follows. The reality is numerous other people affirm this and Keener points this out in his book with even newspapers around the event citing it. Keener spoke to eyewitnesses and he's still speaking to them. He has students from all over the world and he asks them about miracles regularly.

              And as for theism, I think the Thomistic arguments guarantee theism.


              Yeah, I guess it’s more of a position. …and I have not said, “I am skeptical, therefore it’s untrue.” Instead, I’ve explained why I am skeptical.

              You have, but you have not given a basis at the same time. Your position relies on miracle claims being false. Mine says some could be false. Some could be true. Per the Chesterton quote earlier, yours is a position of dogma. Mine says "We determine if the miracle is true or false by the evidence."






              And are all people who make mistakes either lying or deluded? I don’t think so.
              Then they are telling the truth.

              There have been other cases of mass witnessed miracles. Miracles to Catholics, hindus and Buddhists, and likely others – Tecumseh also comes to mind. If they were documented by multiple sources, would you believe all of those as much as you believe in the resurrection?
              Sure. Why not?

              I think they illustrate how masses of people can be convinced they witnessed something that didn’t really happen, either by mistaken identity or some other phenomena.
              I think this illustrates how some people will not believe anything. If you keep raising the bar of evidence, then you're not being fair to the evidence. If you make the standards impossibly high, you're also not being fair.

              And then what these people claim to have seen is so far outside what I understand about the world we live in, coupled with the fact that all other religions have similar claims, I become skeptical. Just as I am about alien abductions, despite the photographs and volumes of witnesses and accounts.

              Is this really a crazy position?
              Yes. I think it's nonsensical to think everyone who ever lived who claims seeing a miracle is either lying or deluded in some way.


              Didn’t Dionysus as well as Attis die and come back to life in Greek mythology?
              No. While Psstein referred to J.Z. Smith's excellent work, I'd also point to Mettinger's "Riddle of the Resurrection."


              I don’t understand what you’re trying to say here.
              Why does a stone fall? Does it fall because there's a natural law outside of itself that it obeys, or does it fall because that is what is in the nature of a stone? Hume couldn't say that. Once you start denying essences to objects, things start going wrong. It was one of the greatest tragedies that we abandoned Aristotelianism.


              He may not have known it’s a lie.
              Then he was not lying.

              Why do you construct these imaginary barriers as if the contents are all that is possible – especially while trying to argue that it’s perfectly reasonable that dead men can come back to life 3 days and fly.
              It's not imaginary. You made the charge that Paul is lying. I answered and then you said "Maybe he didn't know it was a lie." If he reported something false thinking it was true, then that is not lying. That is being mistaken.

              Who were the witnesses? It’s not uncommon now for someone to say, “everybody knows this,” or “100’s of others agree with me,” and they don’t have anyone in mind at all – they’re just arguing and trying to add weight to their argument. Paul wasn’t having a conversation, he was writing a letter. So to ask who were these witnesses that they might be questioned would entail drafting another letter, waiting a long period of time to see if Paul got it.
              The eyewitnesses would have been known to the community. The statement is meant to be as succinct as possible. That will aid in memorization. In an oral community, this is perfectly acceptable.

              And then any number of thing might have happened: such a letter got lost if ever sent, he got it but ignored that part of it, or he deflected and instead of naming actual witnesses just named someone who also knew about 500 people.
              And he was writing to Christians, not skeptics. So they likely do what many church goers do today, and listen to the sermon, nod their heads when they hear what they like or what “validates” their beliefs, and never ask any more in depth questions and just accept it as fact, because they trust the preacher o politician or whatever.
              So you just said earlier that Paul was seen as a liar by some and then say that everyone is going to trust Paul. Which is it? As for a letter getting lost, what letter? The only one being discussed is 1 Cor. 15 and we have it right here.





              It’s golden Because it’s all they have in many cases, especially so far back. And they often toss out outrageous events and claims of the supernatural.
              No. It's golden because it's a historical claim about a major figure that is remarkably early.


              Muhammad didn’t perform miracles because he said that Allah does that stuff. And despite what you say, Hindus and Buddhists claim to have seen miracles – maybe we’re speaking of differing sects?
              I would doubt. Our levels of what it takes to believe something is different.
              No. I said miracles are not essential to the religions. It's true. They're not. Christianity makes it central.





              Decades later means that many of the details are subject to error. Research shows that memories are not static and are influenced by all manner of things. A daily journal is less likely to contain as many honest errors of memory. It’s just a fact.
              And have you read anything such as McIver's work on Jesus, Memory, and the Synoptic Gospels? Have you studied oral societies? This wasn't a case of individual memories. This was a case of group memories. The group told the stories to each other over and over and the ones with the best memories were the gatekeepers. Also, memories were far better back then.

              This is also a misnomer anyway. You would have no problem with centuries later for ancient history, unless you're skeptical of Alexander the Great. For miracles, you think decades later is too much. Well the creed in 1 Cor. 15 is not decades later and you still throw it out. This has nothing to do with decades or centuries. This has to do with just not being willing to accept miracles.

              Ancient history is limited on what it has as evidence, but with the evidence they have, they take as being based on a true story. They interpret it to see what’s believable and what my have been embellished, omitted and added. So I am not throwing any more out than they already do. I think Tecumseh was real and pretty cool guy, but I don’t think he actually made the earthquake.
              Ancient history does not take things. It is either ancient people or historians of ancient history.


              And you are right about collusion, but you stop short. An exact carbon copy is suspect. One source is more questionable than several. Some differences are expected, but at a point, if these differences are big enough in the details, that also raises a red flag. To me and others (including scholars), these gospels have such big differences, that it appears they copied Mark for the major points, but then each tried filling in other details into their own works. It looks like they each invented stories, based upon an original, while being unaware then the other was doing the same.
              Did Hannibal cross the Alps?

              And when apologists speak on “major” details, they mean the ones regarding doctrine. Where people went, and what they did are major details in a story, and they often conflict in the gospels.
              Let's suppose this is true. So what? Once again, my case has never hinged on the Gospels.




              Well, since there are documented cases of a woman and her children living with a man they thought was their husband and father fo r3 years before they found out he was an imposter, and since we have a documented case of a woman believing some other man her was her son, and since it doesn’t take much imagination or experience to know that people misidentify things and people, and since we have reports of mass sighting of Mary and dancing suns, then the best thing, to me, that explains the data is human error over the thought that a dead man actually came back to life after being crucified. But that’s me. Simple. Easy. And with case studies. Natural and without need of any extremely rare, and potentially impossible, supernatural evens or causes.
              For the first kind, you have one case cited and this from modern times, not ancient times. The same for the son. This also assumes the people who claimed Mary didn't see anything and for the dancing sun, it's my understanding that if you stare at the sun long enough, it will cause retinal damage of a sorts that is permanent and will make the sun look like it's dancing. Sorry, but I have no desire to test this hypothesis. Again, this is why I find these cases quite weak.



              I’m just guessing, but I would begin with what any cult leaders stand to gain. Doesn’t mean they did, but it shows that “they had nothing to gain” is just invalid.
              Okay. What did the Christian cult leaders stand to gain?







              Lol, well that’s true. I guess at some point we have to evaluate the matter on our own, trying to be honest with ourselves as is possible and make up our own minds.

              But then, all of the data doesn’t end with the old documents or the scholar’s view on them. The scholars don’t all agree that there was actually a resurrection and we also include the documented cases of similar mass mistaken identities, faked miracles, false religions and science and reason into our pool of data.
              There is hardly any major claim that all scholars will agree on in a field, but the data I am using is accepted by the majority of critical scholars. I find the other explanations extraordinarily weak.







              What do you mean the only one of its kind? Other stories of deity resurrections were already in existence.
              Name one.

              Elijah had brought a boy back from the dead too.
              Who would later die again. Jesus rose in a body that would never die again.

              To accept this assumes that miracles are real.
              I accept that they could be, but that if they are they are very, very rare. Certain diseases are very, very rare – so doctors don’t usually jump to those diagnoses first, without exploring all other more common possibilities. With the apologetics, it assumes it was a miracle, and that miracle must be proven untrue, despite there being non-miraculous alternative explanation.
              No. We don't. Every Christian in this thread will agree that miracles are very very rare and if you can show a natural explanation, we will have no problem going with it.

              Maybe the symptoms could point to multiple common diseases. I am not doctor, but I’ve seen House, so I feel qualified (a joke), but I would think that a doctor might explore the multiple common disease theory over a 1 very, very rare disease theory. No?
              Maybe, but with good historiography, we tend to go with the simplest explanation because multiplying explanations leads to more difficulties.


              Well, there are more documented cases of mistaken identities than there are of resurrections, so it seems more plausible already.
              Why should I be surprised by this?

              Huh? So any ghost story in the ancient world can be trusted as being real because we can know that they were certain? Are you just making stuff up when you think it helps your argument?
              Good grief. I wonder how you misunderstand this. With a ghost story, we could be convinced the person thought they saw something. If they thought they saw someone who had been dead before, what would they conclude?

              The person was dead. It was their ghost or their angel.

              Even today I know of no case where a spouse sees their recently departed spouse and then says "Open the tomb! He must be alive!"

              Can I show that a plausible natural explanation actually happened better than you can show that a supernatural explanation happened? Am I not understanding you correctly?
              No. You're not.



              Memories were better back then?
              Yes. In an age where you could not write post-it notes or store everything on an IPhone or Laptop, you had to remember everything. Just look at people like the Rhapsodes who memorized the works of Homer entirely. Many of the educated Jews would have the whole Old Testament memorized.

              Dead seen on a day to basis makes them less susceptible to mistaken identity or superstition… when they lived in far more superstitious times, while being far less educated?
              Dead seen on a day to day basis? No more than today. As for being less educated, this has zip to do with this as they knew dead people stay dead.

              Really, are you just making stuff up on the spot or are you being totally serious?
              Totally serious. Read some scholarly works on ancient memory.

              War vets who’ve seen dead on a day to day basis… are they more stable or less table? Does PTSD make them more stable or less? Maybe seeing dead people all the time doesn’t make ancient people more trustworthy.
              Who said they see dead people all the time?

              I am having a hard time believing you’re actually resorting to this type of stuff…
              I'm not. I'm just saying they had better memories. You're adding in a bunch of other stuff.

              Maybe your memory isn't that good....

              Comment


              • Originally posted by tabibito View Post
                It should be self evident:
                No matter how skilfully and convincingly a miracle is faked, at least one person knows that it has been faked.
                Provided that there are two or more witnesses, at least one person who witnesses a genuine miracle will know beyond all doubt that neither chicanery nor delusion is involved.

                Either way, the person will have iron clad evidence of the facts that no number of persuasive words of wisdom can influence.
                You are assuming that all "miracles" are either true acts of God or an act of lying. You have left out the most common probability: human error. Example: There is a car crash. The victims are trapped in a burning vehicle. Suddenly, "out of nowhere", a being pulls them from the car and then "disappears".

                An "angel" rescued us! It is a miracle!

                No. The "being" was a homeless person living in the woods next to the road. He helped them but then "disappeared" back into the woods to avoid the police whose sirens he could hear approaching.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Gary View Post
                  You are assuming that all "miracles" are either true acts of God or an act of lying. You have left out the most common probability: human error. Example: There is a car crash. The victims are trapped in a burning vehicle. Suddenly, "out of nowhere", a being pulls them from the car and then "disappears".

                  An "angel" rescued us! It is a miracle!

                  No. The "being" was a homeless person living in the woods next to the road. He helped them but then "disappeared" back into the woods to avoid the police whose sirens he could hear approaching.
                  So - the one person who knows beyond all doubt whether the story of the angel is true is???
                  The one who actually performed the rescue miracle.
                  No matter how many convincing "proofs" to the contrary were offered - (short of deliberate brain washing) no one would be able to convince him that the event had a supernatural cause. Even if everyone else within coo-ee was convinced, yes?
                  Last edited by tabibito; 08-21-2015, 10:21 AM.
                  sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
                    It's the reason I gave. I find J.P. Moreland's account quite good in fact. Why? Because seeing an ear grow back is nothing that you just happen to be mistaken on nor can it be something like the placebo effect. Note that when you have that account there has to be one of three options.

                    He is lying.

                    He is delusional in some way.

                    He's telling the truth.

                    If 1 and 2 are not likely, then 3 follows. The reality is numerous other people affirm this and Keener points this out in his book with even newspapers around the event citing it. Keener spoke to eyewitnesses and he's still speaking to them. He has students from all over the world and he asks them about miracles regularly.

                    And as for theism, I think the Thomistic arguments guarantee theism.





                    You have, but you have not given a basis at the same time. Your position relies on miracle claims being false. Mine says some could be false. Some could be true. Per the Chesterton quote earlier, yours is a position of dogma. Mine says "We determine if the miracle is true or false by the evidence."








                    Then they are telling the truth.



                    Sure. Why not?



                    I think this illustrates how some people will not believe anything. If you keep raising the bar of evidence, then you're not being fair to the evidence. If you make the standards impossibly high, you're also not being fair.



                    Yes. I think it's nonsensical to think everyone who ever lived who claims seeing a miracle is either lying or deluded in some way.




                    No. While Psstein referred to J.Z. Smith's excellent work, I'd also point to Mettinger's "Riddle of the Resurrection."




                    Why does a stone fall? Does it fall because there's a natural law outside of itself that it obeys, or does it fall because that is what is in the nature of a stone? Hume couldn't say that. Once you start denying essences to objects, things start going wrong. It was one of the greatest tragedies that we abandoned Aristotelianism.




                    Then he was not lying.



                    It's not imaginary. You made the charge that Paul is lying. I answered and then you said "Maybe he didn't know it was a lie." If he reported something false thinking it was true, then that is not lying. That is being mistaken.



                    The eyewitnesses would have been known to the community. The statement is meant to be as succinct as possible. That will aid in memorization. In an oral community, this is perfectly acceptable.



                    So you just said earlier that Paul was seen as a liar by some and then say that everyone is going to trust Paul. Which is it? As for a letter getting lost, what letter? The only one being discussed is 1 Cor. 15 and we have it right here.







                    No. It's golden because it's a historical claim about a major figure that is remarkably early.




                    No. I said miracles are not essential to the religions. It's true. They're not. Christianity makes it central.







                    And have you read anything such as McIver's work on Jesus, Memory, and the Synoptic Gospels? Have you studied oral societies? This wasn't a case of individual memories. This was a case of group memories. The group told the stories to each other over and over and the ones with the best memories were the gatekeepers. Also, memories were far better back then.

                    This is also a misnomer anyway. You would have no problem with centuries later for ancient history, unless you're skeptical of Alexander the Great. For miracles, you think decades later is too much. Well the creed in 1 Cor. 15 is not decades later and you still throw it out. This has nothing to do with decades or centuries. This has to do with just not being willing to accept miracles.



                    Ancient history does not take things. It is either ancient people or historians of ancient history.




                    Did Hannibal cross the Alps?



                    Let's suppose this is true. So what? Once again, my case has never hinged on the Gospels.






                    For the first kind, you have one case cited and this from modern times, not ancient times. The same for the son. This also assumes the people who claimed Mary didn't see anything and for the dancing sun, it's my understanding that if you stare at the sun long enough, it will cause retinal damage of a sorts that is permanent and will make the sun look like it's dancing. Sorry, but I have no desire to test this hypothesis. Again, this is why I find these cases quite weak.





                    Okay. What did the Christian cult leaders stand to gain?









                    There is hardly any major claim that all scholars will agree on in a field, but the data I am using is accepted by the majority of critical scholars. I find the other explanations extraordinarily weak.









                    Name one.



                    Who would later die again. Jesus rose in a body that would never die again.



                    No. We don't. Every Christian in this thread will agree that miracles are very very rare and if you can show a natural explanation, we will have no problem going with it.



                    Maybe, but with good historiography, we tend to go with the simplest explanation because multiplying explanations leads to more difficulties.




                    Why should I be surprised by this?



                    Good grief. I wonder how you misunderstand this. With a ghost story, we could be convinced the person thought they saw something. If they thought they saw someone who had been dead before, what would they conclude?

                    The person was dead. It was their ghost or their angel.

                    Even today I know of no case where a spouse sees their recently departed spouse and then says "Open the tomb! He must be alive!"



                    No. You're not.





                    Yes. In an age where you could not write post-it notes or store everything on an IPhone or Laptop, you had to remember everything. Just look at people like the Rhapsodes who memorized the works of Homer entirely. Many of the educated Jews would have the whole Old Testament memorized.



                    Dead seen on a day to day basis? No more than today. As for being less educated, this has zip to do with this as they knew dead people stay dead.



                    Totally serious. Read some scholarly works on ancient memory.



                    Who said they see dead people all the time?



                    I'm not. I'm just saying they had better memories. You're adding in a bunch of other stuff.

                    Maybe your memory isn't that good....
                    "You have, but you have not given a basis at the same time. Your position relies on miracle claims being false. Mine says some could be false."

                    Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

                    Our position has never been that all miracle claims are false. Our position is that miracle claims are much less probable than other (non-miracle) explanations for odd, rare events, and, that miracle claims are unprovable.

                    You believe JP Moreland's ear sprouting story because he is a respected member of your Faith. If he were a fundamentalist Muslim claiming that Allah had caused an ear bud to sprout, would you be so willing to believe him? I doubt it.

                    Let me give you one possible explanation for Moreland's ear sprouting experience:

                    It is a faith healing service. The crowd has been whipped up into an emotional frenzy. They are all believers in miracles. Moreland and the ear-less man were not standing in front of a group of skeptical medical professionals. The man truly believed that Moreland could re-sprout his ear.

                    Moreland prayed for Jesus to start the ear-sprouting. The man, gripped with hysteria, violently grabs his head, causing a contusion to the area of the severed ear. A hematoma (collection of blood) develops and a bump/protrusion of skin/tissue begins to swell from the area of the opening of the ear canal.

                    "A new ear is growing. Praise Jesus!"

                    I challenge you to provide just ONE miracle claim from Keneer's book or any other miracle claim, for which we are unable to provide a more probable, non-miracle explanation.
                    Last edited by Gary; 08-21-2015, 10:25 AM.

                    Comment


                    • Dear Christians, why is it that you believe Christian miracle claims but most of you don't believe other "miracle" claims?

                      Take for instance "mediums": People who allege that they can talk to your dead relative. I know some very intelligent people who believe that these hucksters can really talk to dead people, even though there is evidence that mediums use all kinds of devious tricks to learn information about the dead person prior to "calling him or her up".

                      All I ask you to do in regards to Keneer's miracle claims is use the same skepticism that you would use for the "miracle" claims of mediums. People readily believe what they want to believe. If you really want miracles to be true, it won't take much to convince you that they are.
                      Last edited by Gary; 08-21-2015, 10:33 AM.

                      Comment


                      • I'm perfectly open to miracle claims in other religions. They need to stand or fall, as do Christian miracles, based on the evidence.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by psstein View Post
                          I'm perfectly open to miracle claims in other religions.
                          Just about everyone in this thread has said so repeatedly. I don't know why Gary or William thinks that this is such a powerful argument when they've been told time and time again that we're all open to non-Christian miracle claims. It occurs to me that there must be some sort of old hyper-literalist/fundamentalist thinking that goes on when this question is asked repeatedly, as though to say "when I called myself a Christian, I was never so open-minded, so therefore, all Christians must be equally close-minded". That obviously isn't the case. In fact, I'm fairly certain that isn't the case for most Christians who've thoroughly investigated and considered the truthfulness of their worldview rather than the type who kinda went along with it because that's what mommy and daddy believed, or because of some sort of airy emotional faith that was squelched when things started going south, or when the first seeds of skepticism started stirring in their minds.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by psstein View Post
                            I'm perfectly open to miracle claims in other religions. They need to stand or fall, as do Christian miracles, based on the evidence.
                            Ok. Let's see a claim, the evidence for it, and let's see if there could be a more probable explanation other than a miracle. Just present ONE miracle claim from Keneer's book. I'm sure that Nick has a copy of the book(s).

                            And here is something to think about: Have you heard of the "Long Island Medium"? She is so famous for her abilities to call up the dead that they gave her her own television show. She has the amazing ability to pick people out of a crowd and tell them things about their dead loved ones. Amazing details that she could not have known by guessing.

                            But an odd thing happens when you spring a "request" on her to speak to a dead relative without her having any advance notice. This happened when she appeared on David Letterman. Letterman was chatting away with her and suddenly asked her, "Hey, it would be cool to speak to my dead Uncle Bob. Can you call him up right here, right now?"

                            What was her response: "That's not fair!"

                            She had all kinds of excuses why it wasn't fair to be asked to do a "calling up" on the spot but the real reason is that she had not had the time to look up the details about ol' Uncle Bob ahead of time. Critics allege that she plants people in her audience who overhear someone say, "Boy I hope she picks me so I can speak to poor Aunt Susan who died in that terrible car crash last year..."

                            Now, why doesn't JP Moreland go down to the local ER and re-sprout severed ears in front of skeptical medical professionals? Why is it that miracle workers always have an excuse why they won't do that? Why do they always perform their miracles in a controlled environment? Think about that, folks.

                            Comment


                            • Seems to me that Gary might be avoiding the issue of whether the person performing the miracle might actually know whether his claims are true or faked.
                              sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by tabibito View Post
                                Seems to me that Gary might be avoiding the issue of whether the person performing the miracle might actually know whether his claims are true or faked.
                                A person who KNOWS he is faking it will know he is faking it. A person who BELIEVES a miracle has happened but is mistaken, does not know he is faking it, because he isn't. He is simply wrong in his conclusion as to cause.

                                Comment

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