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  • Originally posted by Gary View Post
    The place is "RAN" by manical fundies???

    You are starting to talk like one, Nickster.
    Obviously someone who cannot recognize sarcasm.

    You also have been claiming that I agreed to accept certain claims with you.

    I did no such thing.

    Your statement elsewhere is

    So I debated, but I debated going out of my way to break the “debate rules”. I used analogies to demonstrate that the Christian supernatural (Nick HATES that word) claims are just as unbelievable and nonsensical as the belief in the Tooth Fairy and leprechauns.”


    http://danielbwallace.com/2014/03/24...#comment-44395

    This tells us you're someone who knows the rules and tries to violate them for what purpose?

    Tie this in with what you said on your blog.

    I tell you what. I'm going to make this debate much easier for Nick and the other Christians participating in this discussion. Nick and I have already agreed to accept the following three points as historical facts for this discussion:

    1. The empty tomb.
    2. The first gospel, Mark, was written no earlier than the mid 60's AD and the other three gospels were written one to several decades later.
    3. None of the gospels were written by eyewitnesses.


    http://www.lutherwasnotbornagain.com...claim-and.html

    I agreed to no such thing.

    This means you are a known rulebreaker and you spread dishonest claims.

    And yet you're supposed to be seen as a person who knows the truth.

    I suspect Dave and William can engage the data far better than you can.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Dave View Post
      Sorry to jump in, but I'd like to add some thoughts. I enjoy these discussions if they can be civil and I want to outline another possible scenario. (Sorry in advance if I don't reply very frequently)
      I would prefer that, but some people don't play nice.

      If we said hypothetically that the first person to see Jesus was Peter, then the first group of people he would have told would have been the other disciples, right? I don't think this would be a shameful confession, but rather he would have been viewed as a hero.
      Here are some concerns.

      First off, just seeing Jesus would mean nothing. In fact, in the ancient world, if you saw someone like that, it meant one thing. They were definitely dead. How many of us know of even today a loved one seeing a deceased loved one and wanting to say "Go open up that tomb! They're risen again!" It cements their death. An appearance without the empty tomb is useless.

      A few days may pass and then another disciple may think that he's seen Jesus too. It's not long before most of the disciples have "seen" Jesus, perhaps in a dream or just vaguely seeing someone who looks like Jesus. Now the followers are getting excited and realizing that Jesus may have been the messiah after all and is coming back to usher in a new kingdom.
      Again, without an empty tomb, no. They wouldn't. Also, this doesn't explain group appearances, especially the appearance to the 500 and it doesn't explain why later fact-checkers with high honor status would join the movement.

      Nick, do you have any evidence that the local authorities were challenged at this point?
      The book of Acts and the testimony of Paul.

      And do we know that Saul was a skeptic? Perhaps he was just following orders.
      Yes. Philippians and Galatians tell us that he was a persecutor of the church.

      I don't think large numbers of people can all hallucinate at the same time, but I do think they can all be mistaken at the same time by the power of suggestion. The Virgin Mary Apparition in Zeitoun, Egypt is one example.
      What we have to ask is what happened with Mary. Did they all see something or not? I'm entirely open to the possibility that something appeared.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Gary View Post
        I'm not trying to be rude or insulting. I am trying to shake you and others awake from the delusion your cult has convinced you to be truth. If I were speaking to a friend caught up in Heaven's Gate, Branch Davidianism, or some similar cult, I would not reinforce my friend's false belief by calling the leader of his group, "his holiness" or "his excellency" or whatever other power/authority-reinforcing term the group uses for him. I would call him "your cult leader". If my friend's cult had invented a new deity called Zorkan, I would not refer to this entity as "God" I would refer to it as "your cult's imaginary deity".
        Gary, I do want to thank you for gems such as this, wherein you function perfectly as the agnostic version of what certain conservative Christians here sound like when they comment on gay/transgender people. And for making a moderator say this:
        Moderator Notice

        Please tone down the offensive language

        ***If you wish to take issue with this notice DO NOT do so in this thread.***
        Contact the forum moderator or an administrator in Private Message or email instead. If you feel you must publicly complain or whine, please take it to the Psychotherapy Room unless told otherwise.

        ...which fills me with delightful amusement, considering how often certain commenters endlessly whine about some vague alleged evils of "PC culture" and how "people are too easily offended these days."


        But that said, come on, man. Your posting behavior has devolved so much that at this point, your posts don't bear even a semblance of constructive or insightful dialogue. Your conclusions about the veracity of various religions may ultimately turn out to be correct, but your epistemological approach is a disaster, quite frankly. You come across sounding like the naysayers who insisted to the Wright brothers that human-powered flight was impossible, and that they didn't need any further study or education to know it. As if you won't even genuinely consider the possibility. And while I'm not fond of certain implications that some people have drawn out from their theology, I think it's clear that the Christian commenters here are substantially different from the cultists to whom you alluded. No one is demanding that people commit mass suicide for the sake of a divine kingdom.

        At this point, it appears that instead of trying to be productive, you're only trying to be gratuitously provocative. Not that being provocative is inherently bad, but this type clearly doesn't accomplish anything positive.
        Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.--Isaiah 1:17

        I don't think that all forms o[f] slavery are inherently immoral.--seer

        Comment


        • Originally posted by fm93 View Post
          ...which fills me with delightful amusement, considering how often certain commenters endlessly whine about some vague alleged evils of "PC culture" and how "people are too easily offended these days."
          This is disappointing, but not all that surprising. You complained bitterly that I wasn't taking you seriously, so I changed my attitude toward you, and this is what I get. And your out of context quote is downright misleading.

          I guess you're showing your true colors.
          The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Irate Canadian View Post
            Try asking SoR or any of the other non-believers who have been able to be on the site for over 4-7 years for tips. Calling theists Morons and essentially going for the fundy atheist approach of mischaracterizing God isn't going to work as well. You need to learn to be a part of a rational debate like Boxing Pythagoras and Sea of Red (two atheists who I respect quite a bit).
            iloveyoumantrailer.jpg

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Sea of red View Post
              [ATTACH=CONFIG]8324[/ATTACH]
              It's a trap IC. Don't give him your Bud Lite!

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                This is disappointing, but not all that surprising. You complained bitterly that I wasn't taking you seriously, so I changed my attitude toward you, and this is what I get.
                You're conflating events. You "changed your attitude" in terms of being nicer for about two weeks before reverting back to snide dismissiveness. Also, what I complained about was that you weren't taking me seriously when *I* clearly WAS taking YOU seriously and was genuinely trying to have serious discussions with you. You think I'd care about how you respond to me if I didn't value you as a potential source of constructive, serious dialogue? But you ignored most of my questions and wouldn't even give me a straight answer when I asked what I could do to be taken seriously by you. So I consequently gave up taking you seriously.

                I'm more than willing to have mutual serious discussions, of course. It's what I wanted right from the get-go. But I'm not even going to bother unless it's a two-way deal.

                And your out of context quote is downright misleading.
                I know what you meant in that part wasn't quite the same thing that you meant in other posts. But nevertheless, I can't pretend I didn't find it deeply amusing that you used those specific phrases here in juxtaposition with elsewhere.

                I guess you're showing your true colors.
                See, here's an example of where I sometimes face a catch-22 with your posts. I'm not sure what specifically you mean by this. In the past, I've asked you if you could please clarify what you mean by something, but you respond with a dismissive non-answer. Later, after this has happened repeatedly and I grow frustrated of your non-answers, I'm forced to venture a guess as to what you might specifically mean, only for you to respond with some snide rant about jumping to assumptions.
                Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.--Isaiah 1:17

                I don't think that all forms o[f] slavery are inherently immoral.--seer

                Comment


                • Originally posted by fm93 View Post
                  Gary, I do want to thank you for gems such as this, wherein you function perfectly as the agnostic version of what certain conservative Christians here sound like when they comment on gay/transgender people. And for making a moderator say this:

                  ...which fills me with delightful amusement, considering how often certain commenters endlessly whine about some vague alleged evils of "PC culture" and how "people are too easily offended these days."



                  But that said, come on, man. Your posting behavior has devolved so much that at this point, your posts don't bear even a semblance of constructive or insightful dialogue. Your conclusions about the veracity of various religions may ultimately turn out to be correct, but your epistemological approach is a disaster, quite frankly. You come across sounding like the naysayers who insisted to the Wright brothers that human-powered flight was impossible, and that they didn't need any further study or education to know it. As if you won't even genuinely consider the possibility. And while I'm not fond of certain implications that some people have drawn out from their theology, I think it's clear that the Christian commenters here are substantially different from the cultists to whom you alluded. No one is demanding that people commit mass suicide for the sake of a divine kingdom.

                  At this point, it appears that instead of trying to be productive, you're only trying to be gratuitously provocative. Not that being provocative is inherently bad, but this type clearly doesn't accomplish anything positive.
                  They like to offend others while being protected from offense themselves. Conservative types like Nick, IC, One Bad Pig, and Leonhard have a thick skin enough to deal with the backlash of whatever they might do to set off a negative response and actually deal with the arguments. Hell, I went after Nicks wife and he still deals with my arguments.

                  OTOH: Gary has done a fine job of embarrassing each of us in the past week.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by fm93 View Post
                    You're conflating events.
                    Whatever you say, fm. You can have the last word.
                    The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
                      It's a trap IC. Don't give him your Bud Lite!
                      bud-light-the-worst.jpg

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Sea of red View Post
                        They like to offend others while being protected from offense themselves. Conservative types like Nick, IC, One Bad Pig, and Leonhard have a thick skin enough to deal with the backlash of whatever they might do to set off a negative response and actually deal with the arguments. Hell, I went after Nicks wife and he still deals with my arguments.

                        OTOH: Gary has done a fine job of embarrassing each of us in the past week.
                        And frankly, I enjoyed the conversation that we had earlier in this thread and I do appreciate that I saw you called Tassy out on my anniversary thread. Kudos to you.

                        There are some atheists here I have no doubt I could go out and share a pizza with and have a good discussion with.

                        There are too many (And in fact too many Christians as well) that that doesn't seem possible to conceive of.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
                          And frankly, I enjoyed the conversation that we had earlier in this thread and I do appreciate that I saw you called Tassy out on my anniversary thread. Kudos to you.

                          There are some atheists here I have no doubt I could go out and share a pizza with and have a good discussion with.

                          There are too many (And in fact too many Christians as well) that that doesn't seem possible to conceive of.
                          He did apologize and told me privately it was sincere. It was his decision to apologize, I merely pointed out your original post to him.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Sea of red View Post
                            He did apologize and told me privately it was sincere. It was his decision to apologize, I merely pointed out your original post to him.
                            Okay. And I did accept the apology. It looked from my perspective like you pointed out something he missed.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
                              Here are some concerns.

                              First off, just seeing Jesus would mean nothing. In fact, in the ancient world, if you saw someone like that, it meant one thing. They were definitely dead. How many of us know of even today a loved one seeing a deceased loved one and wanting to say "Go open up that tomb! They're risen again!" It cements their death. An appearance without the empty tomb is useless.
                              Sorry, I should have included more details in my description. Let me try again:

                              Jesus is arrested and put to death by the Romans for claiming to be the king of the Jews or for being a zealot. Some of his followers watch from a distance as he is given a shameful death by crucifixion. Jesus' body is later buried in a common grave with other crucified men and the location is unknown to his followers. His followers go back to their usual life but still gather in secret on occasion to listen to what the head disciples have to say. They are still teaching as Jesus did how to love their fellow man and that the kingdom of God is nigh. Some of them, including Peter, thought that Jesus was the messiah and was going to save them from Roman occupation and usher in a new kingdom. One night, Peter sees Jesus in a dream giving him instructions to prepare the others for the new kingdom at hand. The next day Peter tells everyone that Jesus has appeared to him and will be returning soon. A spark of hope is lit and from that day on everyone is on the lookout for Jesus. This is when more followers start seeing Jesus, perhaps from a distance they think they see him, or perhaps in a dream, or perhaps some lie and say they spoke with Jesus to raise their status among their peers. (similar to sightings of Elvis Presley after his death)

                              Fast forward a few years to when the followers of "The Way" have grown their numbers and several dozen of them are meeting in a garden. There is sunlight dancing off of a building, perhaps the temple, creating the illusion of a halo above a figure and someone says, "look I see Jesus!", everyone else looks and sees it too. (similar to "Our Lady of Zeitoun" appearance) They all go off to tell the head disciples that Jesus is watching over them and by the time this story reaches Paul several years later it has been exaggerated to 500 people!

                              Paul is a very zealous pharisee and like others has made it his mission to persecute any of the followers of The Way for their heretical teachings. He learns what they believe and thinks it is outrageous. The messiah crucified and risen? It makes no sense until one day he has a major breakthrough, a light-bulb moment, and realizes that a crucified messiah could be the ultimate sacrifice for sin. His idea is so amazing that it transforms his life. (if you're a zealous person with light-bulb ideas you probably know what this feels like) Rather than persecuting the Christians at his next destination he preaches to them. He does not stop preaching for the rest of his life. Yes, there are other men teaching other gospels, but Paul's gospel resonates the most and especially with gentiles. Slowly he builds churches in different cities and eventually writes letters to them. When he meets with the original followers they clash over some major details and they never really see eye-to-eye, but this does not stop Paul. Eventually he dies as the traditions say, perhaps during the Nero persecution. Many other major players from the original movement are also killed. The Christians were blamed by Nero for starting a fire because they were an easy scapegoat. Then the siege takes place in Jerusalem causing even more turmoil. The teachings live on and the stories of Jesus which have grown through the decades are eventually put to paper. No one today is certain who these writers are, but we can surmise their mission: to convert more people to follow Jesus and join their churches. They search the scriptures and bring some "prophecies" to life in the stories of Jesus.

                              In summary, the empty tomb could be a story invented either by the author of Mark or it could have been passed down to him from someone else who told it.

                              I could write more, but I think this is already too long. I welcome your criticism as it will help me adapt this as needed. Thanks.

                              Comment


                              • Okay. This is definitely more thought out than anything Gary gave, so let's go.

                                Originally posted by Dave View Post
                                Sorry, I should have included more details in my description. Let me try again:

                                Jesus is arrested and put to death by the Romans for claiming to be the king of the Jews or for being a zealot.
                                A problem here is Jesus does not match a zealot at all in the Gospels. There have been a small handful of scholars who have tried to say Jesus as a zealot and I don't mean Reza Aslan, but it's never really caught on. This is something that reminds me that Schweitzer said that in the quest for the historical Jesus, it's amazing that so many people who studied had a Jesus that looked just like them. In Five Views on the Historical Jesus, for instance, Crossan argues a kind of Jesus that was peace and love and toned things down after John the Baptist's Death. Problem I see here is this is not a Jesus worth crucifying.

                                Some of his followers watch from a distance as he is given a shameful death by crucifixion. Jesus' body is later buried in a common grave with other crucified men and the location is unknown to his followers.
                                I'm concerned at this point because I really see no grounds for thinking the empty tomb is an invention. For one thing, it too was something shameful. People could make up false details, but not shameful ones. It passes then the criteria of embarrassment and of multiple attestation.

                                His followers go back to their usual life but still gather in secret on occasion to listen to what the head disciples have to say.
                                This kind of thing didn't happen. Jesus was seen as a blasphemer at this point. In fact, I've contested Gary Habermas on this point when we were talking and he said could we consider the disciples' undergoing grief as a certainty? I said no. They could have just as well been experiencing anger. They spent about three years of their lives undergoing shame and ridicule for this guy and he turned out to be a phony and they were laughingstocks.

                                They are still teaching as Jesus did how to love their fellow man and that the kingdom of God is nigh. Some of them, including Peter, thought that Jesus was the messiah and was going to save them from Roman occupation and usher in a new kingdom.
                                And why would he do that?

                                One night, Peter sees Jesus in a dream giving him instructions to prepare the others for the new kingdom at hand. The next day Peter tells everyone that Jesus has appeared to him and will be returning soon. A spark of hope is lit and from that day on everyone is on the lookout for Jesus. This is when more followers start seeing Jesus, perhaps from a distance they think they see him, or perhaps in a dream, or perhaps some lie and say they spoke with Jesus to raise their status among their peers. (similar to sightings of Elvis Presley after his death)
                                This also assumes Jesus spoke about His return. It's very rare to see that happening. He spoke about His coming often, but not as much is said about His return. Also, these are people making a major major life change. They will want to make absolutely sure before they abandon Torah and go against Rome. Furthermore, what about James, the brother of Jesus?

                                Fast forward a few years to when the followers of "The Way" have grown their numbers and several dozen of them are meeting in a garden. There is sunlight dancing off of a building, perhaps the temple, creating the illusion of a halo above a figure and someone says, "look I see Jesus!", everyone else looks and sees it too. (similar to "Our Lady of Zeitoun" appearance) They all go off to tell the head disciples that Jesus is watching over them and by the time this story reaches Paul several years later it has been exaggerated to 500 people!
                                Except this doesn't match the time frame. Consider Paul next. Paul could have been converted within one year of the event. Note also this all happens soon.

                                “The only thing that we can certainly say to be historical is that there were resurrection appearances in Galilee (and in Jerusalem) soon after Jesus’s death. These appearances cannot be denied” (Gerd Ludemann. .”What Really Happened To Jesus?” p. 81)

                                “We can say with complete certainty that some of his disciples at some later time insisted that . . . he soon appeared to them, convincing them that he had been raised from the dead.” (Bart Ehrman, Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium, pg 230).

                                “That Jesus’ followers (and later Paul) had resurrection experiences is, in my judgment, a fact. What the reality was that gave rise to the experiences I do not know.” (E.P. Sanders, The Historical Figure of Jesus, pg 280)

                                “That the experiences did occur, even if they are explained in purely natural terms, is a fact upon which both believer and unbeliever can agree.” (Reginald H. Fuller, Foundations of New Testament Christology, 142)

                                Paul is a very zealous pharisee and like others has made it his mission to persecute any of the followers of The Way for their heretical teachings. He learns what they believe and thinks it is outrageous. The messiah crucified and risen? It makes no sense until one day he has a major breakthrough, a light-bulb moment, and realizes that a crucified messiah could be the ultimate sacrifice for sin. His idea is so amazing that it transforms his life. (if you're a zealous person with light-bulb ideas you probably know what this feels like)
                                We have some autobiographical material from Paul. None of it matches this. In every case, it's about Jesus appearing to him and revealing Himself to Paul.

                                Rather than persecuting the Christians at his next destination he preaches to them. He does not stop preaching for the rest of his life. Yes, there are other men teaching other gospels, but Paul's gospel resonates the most and especially with gentiles. Slowly he builds churches in different cities and eventually writes letters to them. When he meets with the original followers they clash over some major details and they never really see eye-to-eye, but this does not stop Paul.
                                This also doesn't match. Galatians has the right hand of fellowship and if 2 Peter is from Peter, Peter accepted Paul entirely. Clement of Rome was Peter's loyal disciple and he spoke glowingly of Paul.

                                Eventually he dies as the traditions say, perhaps during the Nero persecution. Many other major players from the original movement are also killed. The Christians were blamed by Nero for starting a fire because they were an easy scapegoat. Then the siege takes place in Jerusalem causing even more turmoil. The teachings live on and the stories of Jesus which have grown through the decades are eventually put to paper. No one today is certain who these writers are, but we can surmise their mission: to convert more people to follow Jesus and join their churches. They search the scriptures and bring some "prophecies" to life in the stories of Jesus.
                                The problem is there were a lot of prophecies that were in no way Messianic and yet the Christians used them. Also, if these were written in such a timeframe, they amazingly speak regularly on subjects of no relevance to the church and are absolutely silent on matters that are relevant to the church. Nothing from Jesus on circumcision or meat offered to idols or other great controversies. There's a whole lot about Jesus as the Son of Man (not used in the epistles) and about the relationship of Jesus to the temple.

                                In summary, the empty tomb could be a story invented either by the author of Mark or it could have been passed down to him from someone else who told it.

                                I could write more, but I think this is already too long. I welcome your criticism as it will help me adapt this as needed. Thanks.
                                It could be, but this doesn't at all convince me.

                                Comment

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