Author Topic: Spirituality  (Read 2314 times)

bluehillside Retd.

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Re: Spirituality
« Reply #150 on: December 02, 2020, 06:20:37 PM »
Vlad,

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Hillside. There are other posters I wish to discuss with, therefore it is extremely unreasonable for you to be howling baby like for me to 'burp' you.
If you open a thread on this issue I will gladly discuss the matter there.

Translation: “Yes you have caught me out in yet another lie, but I lack the basic decency to say so. Yours mendaciously, Vlad”.

Thought so.

Oh, and once again:

IF YOUR COMPLAINT ABOUT AN EMPIRICAL METHOD IS THAT IT CANNOT BE USED TO INVESTIGATE AND VERIFY CLAIMS OF A NON-MATERIAL “GOD”, WHAT METHOD WOULD YOU PROPOSE SHOULD BE USED FOR THIS PURPOSE INSTEAD?
The amount of energy necessary to refute BS is several orders of magnitude greater than the energy needed to produce it.

Gordon

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Re: Spirituality
« Reply #151 on: December 02, 2020, 08:03:49 PM »
I admit I am less certain that you would not mislead others than you would mislead yourself so we are back to the scenario you having witnessed this and having the evidence

So you recognise, whether it is deception by others or self-deception, that a witness could be misled without realising it?

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This is the million dollar question isn't it. As a hard bitten non supernaturalist who is noted for introducing the concept of impossibility to resurrection what do you do now? Bury the evidence, retire, Bring your evidence to the world? Bring the evidence in front of yourself?, worry about what your friends on religionethics will say? Worry whether your family will disown you?

I've never said that miracles are "impossible" but I've yet to see any basis to consider that anecdotal tales from antiquity, given the risks of human artifice, constitute sound evidence that miracles are possible.

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Well such a turn around from a public and vocal atheist such as yourself WOULD BE REMARKABLE. Nobody would expect otherwise, however I think you may be underestimating the ripple that someone like yourself changing position would constitute.

I haven't changed my position, and even if I had I doubt that would cause much of a ripple: I think you are over-estimating my influence.

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However we have strayed from my point that even if you had empirical evidence of a resurrection it would merely be evidence of a resurrection and not of the cause.

If I had empirical evidence of a resurrection that would have required a method whereby this evidence was described, collected and analysed leading to proposals regarding a possible cause. But since nobody has empirical evidence for the resurrection, other than anecdotal accounts that come with risks, then your point is pointless anyway.


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Anybody who proposes a history has a duty IMV to evidence or give grounds to it.
And by introducing a history of dishonesty, mistake and misleading you need to show that it actually happened. The evidence is there that people witnessed this. For us to say they were wrong it is necessary to show where this happened. Belief in Christ tallies with what is a history but belief, as you have, in terms of the impossibility also denies it happened and in doing so creates another alternative historical account which needs demonstrating. To then offer anything less is lack of self respect.

But I'm not proposing a history or accusing anyone of bias, making mistakes or telling lies but these are known risks when it comes to anecdotal witness accounts: I'm simply asking how those making the factual claim, as opposed to statement of personal faith, that Jesus was actually dead and was then resurrected to life, have assessed these risks in relation to the anecdotal NT accounts. I have asked this often but to no avail - it is almost if theists who believe the claimed resurrection is a historical fact can't allow themselves to even consider that the NT might not be reliable and the burden of proof that it is reliable is theirs, and not mine.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2020, 08:16:12 PM by Gordon »

DePfeffelred the Ovenready

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Re: Spirituality
« Reply #152 on: December 02, 2020, 08:37:32 PM »
So you recognise, whether it is deception by others or self-deception, that a witness could be misled without realising it?
Yes, do you have any local evidence within living memory of the events for this?
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I've never said that miracles are "impossible" but I've yet to see any basis to consider that anecdotal tales from antiquity, given the risks of human artifice, constitute sound evidence that miracles are possible.
You and I know that we have discussed this before Gordon, whether it was before and after one of the forum's deep cleans we can find out but I distinctly recall you stating that dead people do not resurrect.
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If I had empirical evidence of a resurrection that would have required a method whereby this evidence was described, collected and analysed
I'm sure it would
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  leading to proposals regarding a possible cause. But since nobody has empirical evidence for the resurrection, Other than anecdotal accounts that come with risks, then your point
 is pointless anyway.
There are reports within living memory of multiple witnesses experiencing sightings, touch and hearing of Jesus resurrected. Where are the reports within living memory of an alternative set of events happening?
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But I'm not proposing a history or accusing anyone of bias, making mistakes or telling lies
But in a sense Gordon that is exactly what you are doing.
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since these are known risks when it comes to anecdotal witness accounts:
These are known in some cases and absent in other cases Gordon. What we want is your evidence for it in this case, any documentation within living memory of the events will l do
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I'm simply asking how those making the factual claim, as opposed to statement of personal faith, that Jesus was actually dead and was then resurrected to life have assessed these risks in relation to the anecdotal NT accounts. I have asked this often but to no avail''.
Doubts about the veracity of the resurrection are documented in the epistles and you have been told this. The dialogue between certainty and doubt is recorded in the epistles and you have been told that too.
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How are we - it is almost if theists who believe the claimed resurrection is a historical fact can't allow themselves to even consider that the NT might not be reliable and the burden of proof that it is reliable is theirs, and not mine.
No. if you are suggesting an alternative history to that available then we are within our rights to ask you to provide similar counter evidence. If you are suggesting the NT is not reliable you need to show where and why it is unreliable
« Last Edit: December 02, 2020, 08:42:57 PM by Richard Skidmark »
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Re: Spirituality
« Reply #153 on: December 02, 2020, 09:36:24 PM »
Yes, do you have any local evidence within living memory of the events for this? You and I know that we have discussed this before Gordon, whether it was before and after one of the forum's deep cleans we can find out but I distinctly recall you stating that dead people do not resurrect. I'm sure it would  There are reports within living memory of multiple witnesses experiencing sightings, touch and hearing of Jesus resurrected. Where are the reports within living memory of an alternative set of events happening? But in a sense Gordon that is exactly what you are doing. These are known in some cases and absent in other cases Gordon. What we want is your evidence for it in this case, any documentation within living memory of the events will l do Doubts about the veracity of the resurrection are documented in the epistles and you have been told this. The dialogue between certainty and doubt is recorded in the epistles and you have been told that too. No. if you are suggesting an alternative history to that available then we are within our rights to ask you to provide similar counter evidence. If you are suggesting the NT is not reliable you need to show where and why it is unreliable

Don't be silly: there are numerous examples of the risks of anecdotal evidence, such as the police evidence given to the Hillsborough enquiry. So when you say "There are reports within living memory of multiple witnesses experiencing sightings, touch and hearing of Jesus resurrected. " I'd simply ask on what basis you could exclude the risks I've mentioned in relation to these specifics. The claim and associated burden of proof isn't mine since I'm not making any claim: I'm simply asking those who accept the anecdotal claims are accurate how they assessed risks, and that doesn't require me to create an alternative narrative.

That people who have been clinically dead for three days do stay dead is a fact: ask your local undertaker to confirm this, and we would only revise that if reliable evidence to the contrary emerged. However, the claim of Christians here involves anecdotes of a miracle occurring in a special case, so they've moved beyond naturalism here but the burden of proof is still theirs, and if they even can't get past checking for bias, mistakes and lies then it does looks bleak in terms of them demonstrating that this miracle really did happen.

We can reliably conclude then that people who have been dead for three days do stay dead and that resurrection wouldn't be possible in normal circumstances  - but the Christian claim here is that it did once happen in the case of Jesus due to a miracle, implying that in normal circumstances resurrection is impossible and only becomes possible if something miraculous happens: so, all that is needed now is for you to play your black swan in the shape of providing evidence for this claimed miracle with details of the method(s) used, so as to allow verification, along with confirmation of how the various risks I've mentioned can be excluded else the claim of Jesus being resurrected is indistinguishable from fiction.


DePfeffelred the Ovenready

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Re: Spirituality
« Reply #154 on: December 02, 2020, 10:39:44 PM »
Don't be silly: there are numerous examples of the risks of anecdotal evidence, such as the police evidence given to the Hillsborough enquiry. So when you say "There are reports within living memory of multiple witnesses experiencing sightings, touch and hearing of Jesus resurrected. " I'd simply ask on what basis you could exclude the risks I've mentioned in relation to these specifics. The claim and associated burden of proof isn't mine since I'm not making any claim: I'm simply asking those who accept the anecdotal claims are accurate how they assessed risks, and that doesn't require me to create an alternative narrative.

That people who have been clinically dead for three days do stay dead is a fact: ask your local undertaker to confirm this, and we would only revise that if reliable evidence to the contrary emerged. However, the claim of Christians here involves anecdotes of a miracle occurring in a special case, so they've moved beyond naturalism here but the burden of proof is still theirs, and if they even can't get past checking for bias, mistakes and lies then it does looks bleak in terms of them demonstrating that this miracle really did happen.

We can reliably conclude then that people who have been dead for three days do stay dead and that resurrection wouldn't be possible in normal circumstances  - but the Christian claim here is that it did once happen in the case of Jesus due to a miracle, implying that in normal circumstances resurrection is impossible and only becomes possible if something miraculous happens: so, all that is needed now is for you to play your black swan in the shape of providing evidence for this claimed miracle with details of the method(s) used, so as to allow verification, along with confirmation of how the various risks I've mentioned can be excluded else the claim of Jesus being resurrected is indistinguishable from fiction.
So absolutely nothing written within living memory of the events to support your suggestion that doubts were not recorded and verification was not suggested in the epistles, the letters or memos of the church(........they are).

To record and acknowledge doubts and to offer suggestions for validation is the most you could do I would have thought.

In the absence of anything from your side Gordon, I see no reason to discard the epistiolary statements that these were miraculous events, that people genuinely believed they did witness the death, the death was confirmed that they genuinely believed had met, seen, heard a resurrected person. That there was doubt in some quarters and that 500 witnesses were recommended as sources of verification in order to dispel these doubts.
I see no reason or evidence to view these 500 as co conspirators or indeed to be conjured out of thin air since to make them up would have courted humiliation on discovery of the fraud. I see no reason that these epistles were written for anybody other than the target audience. That there was a target audience and that that target audience weren't capable of questioning there own faith.

Your argument from incredulity is in contrast not so impressive. Neither is this ''yeah well at Hillsborough etc etc'' schtick.

To paraphrase the great philosopher Shania Twain ''So, you're a big wheel atheist.......that don't impress me much''

And quoting that philosopher in the case of Bluehillside ''So, you're Brad Pitt.....that don't impress me much either''.

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Gordon

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Re: Spirituality
« Reply #155 on: December 02, 2020, 10:47:23 PM »
So absolutely nothing written within living memory of the events to support your suggestion that doubts were not recorded and verification was not suggested in the epistles, the letters or memos of the church(........they are).

To record and acknowledge doubts and to offer suggestions for validation is the most you could do I would have thought.

In the absence of anything from your side Gordon, I see no reason to discard the epistiolary statements that these were miraculous events, that people genuinely believed they did witness the death, the death was confirmed that they genuinely believed had met, seen, heard a resurrected person. That there was doubt in some quarters and that 500 witnesses were recommended as sources of verification in order to dispel these doubts.
I see no reason or evidence to view these 500 as co conspirators or indeed to be conjured out of thin air since to make them up would have courted humiliation on discovery of the fraud. I see no reason that these epistles were written for anybody other than the target audience. That there was a target audience and that that target audience weren't capable of questioning there own faith.

Your argument from incredulity is in contrast not so impressive. Neither is this ''yeah well at Hillsborough etc etc'' schtick.

To paraphrase the great philosopher Shania Twain ''So, you're a big wheel atheist.......that don't impress me much''

And quoting that philosopher in the case of Bluehillside ''So, you're Brad Pitt.....that don't impress me much either''.

Not my problem, Vlad: not my claim.

The weaknesses and lack of provenance of these ancient anecdotal accounts of miracles are for you guys to wrestle with, and if you're happy to avoid considering the risks of bias, mistakes or lies in an effort to maintain that your faith beliefs equate to historic facts, then all I can do is wonder at your naivety.

DePfeffelred the Ovenready

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Re: Spirituality
« Reply #156 on: December 02, 2020, 10:57:33 PM »
Not my problem, Vlad: not my claim.

The weaknesses and lack of provenance of these ancient anecdotal accounts of miracles are for you guys to wrestle with, and if you're happy to avoid considering the risks of bias, mistakes or lies in an effort to maintain that your faith beliefs equate to historic facts, then all I can do is wonder at your naivety.
I don't think anyone involved has avoided considering  the possibility of risks, mistakes or lies. Going back to the first christians. That is another facile and intellectually slovenly caricature. If you think there were, let's have the evidence.
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DePfeffelred the Ovenready

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Re: Spirituality
« Reply #157 on: December 02, 2020, 11:07:39 PM »
I don't think anyone involved has avoided considering  the possibility of risks, mistakes or lies. Going back to the first christians. That is another facile and intellectually slovenly caricature. If you think there were, let's have the evidence.
But let's also look at what you are implying here. No one has considered risks, bias, here according to you. Why have you come to that conclusion in the absence of evidence? Because if you had you would think the same way I do.

And why do you think the way you do? Can you demonstrate how you considered the risks, the biases etc. To come up with your conclusions? Let's see it
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DePfeffelred the Ovenready

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Re: Spirituality
« Reply #158 on: December 02, 2020, 11:11:10 PM »
Not my problem, Vlad: not my claim.

The weaknesses and lack of provenance of these ancient anecdotal accounts of miracles are for you guys to wrestle with,
And the positive assertion of weakness and lack of provenance is for you to demonstrate.

« Last Edit: December 02, 2020, 11:17:37 PM by Richard Skidmark »
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Re: Spirituality
« Reply #159 on: December 02, 2020, 11:22:32 PM »
I don't think anyone involved has avoided considering  the possibility of risks, mistakes or lies. Going back to the first christians. That is another facile and intellectually slovenly caricature. If you think there were, let's have the evidence.

Again, don't be silly: if you accept that these risks should always be considered, people being people, do you consider they should apply as much to early Christians as to, say, modern policeman?

I don't need to present evidence that the anecdotes of early Christians were biased or contained mistakes or lies, since I'm not supporting the claims in these anecdotes, nor do I have a responsibility to check them for accuracy and, anyway, I'm not making any specific allegations of bias, mistakes or lies: I'm simply asking how those who do support these claims have addressed these risks, and since I can't see that they have, suspect that they'd prefer not, and further suspect that they can't anyway, then I think these NT claims are indistinguishable from fiction and, as such, are not a serious proposition.

   

Sebastian Toe

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Re: Spirituality
« Reply #160 on: December 02, 2020, 11:22:39 PM »
So absolutely nothing written within living memory of the events to support your suggestion that doubts were not recorded and verification was not suggested in the epistles, the letters or memos of the church(........they are).

To record and acknowledge doubts and to offer suggestions for validation is the most you could do I would have thought.

In the absence of anything from your side Gordon, I see no reason to discard the epistiolary statements that these were miraculous events, that people genuinely believed they did witness the death, the death was confirmed that they genuinely believed had met, seen, heard a resurrected person. That there was doubt in some quarters and that 500 witnesses were recommended as sources of verification in order to dispel these doubts.
I see no reason or evidence to view these 500 as co conspirators or indeed to be conjured out of thin air since to make them up would have courted humiliation on discovery of the fraud. I see no reason that these epistles were written for anybody other than the target audience. That there was a target audience and that that target audience weren't capable of questioning there own faith.


I presume then that you believe that the Miracle of the Sun actually occurred as described by the 30 plus thousand witnesses?
And verified later by a Pope, no less!
If not, why not?
"The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends.'
Albert Einstein

Gordon

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Re: Spirituality
« Reply #161 on: December 02, 2020, 11:26:43 PM »
And the positive assertion of weakness and lack of provenance is for you to demonstrate.

Even sillier: it is the absence of any systematic assessment of bias, mistakes or lies in the NT that I'm aware of - and heaven knows I've asked this of you guys here often enough - is an observation. However, if you have assessed these risks then perhaps you could explain how you did this: after all, the burden of proof regarding NT claims is yours and not mine.

DePfeffelred the Ovenready

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Re: Spirituality
« Reply #162 on: December 02, 2020, 11:28:05 PM »
I presume then that you believe that the Miracle of the Sun actually occurred as described by the 30 plus thousand witnesses?
And verified later by a Pope, no less!
If not, why not?
I believe there was an event of some sort yes. Whether the sun actually moved no I don't think it did, Whether shit like mass hallucination or mass hysteria is adequate to cover what happened, no, I suspect that to be mealy mouth longshot protecting philosophical empiricism.
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Re: Spirituality
« Reply #163 on: December 02, 2020, 11:29:54 PM »
But let's also look at what you are implying here. No one has considered risks, bias, here according to you. Why have you come to that conclusion in the absence of evidence? Because if you had you would think the same way I do.

And why do you think the way you do? Can you demonstrate how you considered the risks, the biases etc. To come up with your conclusions? Let's see it

For crying out loud: the claim is yours, as is the burden of proof, so my asking in effect "have you checked the details are correct, and how did you check" is a fairly reasonable question.

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Re: Spirituality
« Reply #164 on: December 02, 2020, 11:33:06 PM »
I believe there was an event of some sort yes. Whether the sun actually moved no I don't think it did, Whether shit like mass hallucination or mass hysteria is adequate to cover what happened, no, I suspect that to be mealy mouth longshot protecting philosophical empiricism.

So you think it is possible that some of the faithful, for whatever reason, made a genuine mistake and that their accounts of the Sun 'dancing' weren't literally true?

On that note, goodnight Vlad.

 

DePfeffelred the Ovenready

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Re: Spirituality
« Reply #165 on: December 02, 2020, 11:44:32 PM »
Even sillier: it is the absence of any systematic assessment of bias, mistakes or lies in the NT that I'm aware of - and heaven knows I've asked this of you guys here often enough - is an observation. However, if you have assessed these risks then perhaps you could explain how you did this: after all, the burden of proof regarding NT claims is yours and not mine.
Nope evidence and demonstration. There is recorded dated and researched evidence of doubt and assisted investigation of witness in the epistles. What more could be done than that?
What more is needed to satisfy you than an historical record within living memory of the events that Believers examined their faith and where there were doubts they were given a steer as to where to go and who to see. I don't have evidence to the contrary as not only have you not provided it you seem to be saying you don't have to, that I should just believe your philosophical position.

I have said that I have considered conspiracy theory here and found it wanting and you still assert ''... the absence of any systematic assessment of bias, mistakes or lies in the NT''

I disagree but if you disagree please demonstrate an example of what you are after so know what it is you are after. Exemplify since you are the one asserting it.
 
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DePfeffelred the Ovenready

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Re: Spirituality
« Reply #166 on: December 02, 2020, 11:46:24 PM »
So you think it is possible that some of the faithful, for whatever reason, made a genuine mistake and that their accounts of the Sun 'dancing' weren't literally true?
I think that rather just for viewers in Scotland, this was just for viewers in Fatima.
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DePfeffelred the Ovenready

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Re: Spirituality
« Reply #167 on: December 03, 2020, 12:10:18 AM »
For crying out loud: the claim is yours, as is the burden of proof, so my asking in effect "have you checked the details are correct, and how did you check" is a fairly reasonable question.
I have given evidence whether you believe that evidence is up to you.
If I have a burden of proof that this is the way history is then the status quo is that something else happened in place of these events. This is not a neutral it is not a case of this history or no history. No history is not an option however hard you wish it Gordon. So, where is your evidence for this other history that you are proposing by default, where are your checks on that history? Where is your elimination of bias?
The details are from the epistles and I have outlined them to you several times and why I go with them rather against them(e.g. They are effectively memos, entries historical snapshots of a set of communities, what was being believed, what was being doubted rather than a rounded polished Gospel).The question is what have you got? Not much at all as far as I can see.
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Re: Spirituality
« Reply #168 on: December 03, 2020, 07:48:11 AM »
I have given evidence whether you believe that evidence is up to you.
If I have a burden of proof that this is the way history is then the status quo is that something else happened in place of these events. This is not a neutral it is not a case of this history or no history. No history is not an option however hard you wish it Gordon. So, where is your evidence for this other history that you are proposing by default, where are your checks on that history? Where is your elimination of bias?
The details are from the epistles and I have outlined them to you several times and why I go with them rather against them(e.g. They are effectively memos, entries historical snapshots of a set of communities, what was being believed, what was being doubted rather than a rounded polished Gospel).The question is what have you got? Not much at all as far as I can see.

You can try to run away from the burden of proof responsibility, Vlad, but it remains your responsibility: the miracle claim is yours, and your claim is dependent on the content of the NT and, therefore, it is your responsibility to confirm that this content is free from the risks of bias, mistakes or lies in order for it to be considered a reliable source of historical facts (which in this case includes claims of miracles).

My asking how you guys have checked for and addressed these risks doesn't require me to do any more: remember it is your claim, so you should be in a position to defend the source your claim is based upon - and if you can't do that in any meaningful sense, and without falling into traps such as special pleading, then your position is solely a faith-based one and not one based on historical facts.

Your request for me to produce an alternative history is plain silly: on what basis could even I do that if the primary source, the NT, may contain bias, mistakes or lies to the extent that what it contains may not be reliable to start with? You are, by avoiding acknowledging these risks, indulging in fallacious arguments from authority and tradition and anyone, like me, who does not regard the NT as authoritative (in view of the risks I've mentioned), and does not subscribe to the traditions surrounding it, can see no reason to treat the contents as being historically sound when it comes to making fantastical claims such as dead people not staying dead.

DePfeffelred the Ovenready

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Re: Spirituality
« Reply #169 on: December 03, 2020, 09:27:03 AM »
You can try to run away from the burden of proof responsibility, Vlad, but it remains your responsibility the miracle claim is yours, and your claim is dependent on the content of the NT and, therefore, it is your responsibility to confirm that this content is free from the risks of bias, mistakes or lies in order for it to be considered a reliable source of historical facts (which in this case includes claims of miracles).
And again I ask you what bias? What mistake and what lies?. I have already told you that in my view the NT text demonstrates there were doubts about the resurrection and that these were addressed at the time by offering up 500 sources of witness. Since these accounts are in letters that were written in full ignorance of any future preservation My judgment is that we can take these as snapshots of what was believed, what was doubted and what was the response to these doubts. There is nothing here to tell me that ,given the scale and spread of these communities that due diligence was absent entirely or that the leaders did not open themselves up to full scrutiny. In terms of bias. Bias in this case it seems to me would mean that Christianity was made up by a bunch of Christians. I judge that to be an unlikely scenario. Also it is unlikely that people affected by Jesus for the first time only comprised of those previously affected by Christ

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Your request for me to produce an alternative history is plain silly: on what basis could even I do that if the primary source, the NT, may contain bias, mistakes or lies to the extent that what it contains may not be reliable to start with?
So let me get this straight, the New testament is unreliable until I prove it reliable? Again, I ask you, where is the unreliability?
[/quote]
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DePfeffelred the Ovenready

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Re: Spirituality
« Reply #170 on: December 03, 2020, 09:33:16 AM »


Your request for me to produce an alternative history is plain silly: on what basis could even I do that if the primary source, the NT, may contain bias, mistakes or lies to the extent that what it contains may not be reliable to start with? You are, by avoiding acknowledging these risks

I am acknowledging them and so do the epistles. Unlike your good self I don't start with not investigating the NT because of the risk. In fact the only way you can start the investigation you are requesting by finding out is what it saying.

What do you think the default is here?
« Last Edit: December 03, 2020, 09:39:43 AM by Richard Skidmark »
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bluehillside Retd.

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Re: Spirituality
« Reply #171 on: December 03, 2020, 10:45:45 AM »
Vlad,

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I have already told you that in my view the NT text demonstrates there were doubts about the resurrection and that these were addressed at the time by offering up 500 sources of witness.

I saw a unicorn this morning. Do you doubt that? OK, then I’m offering up the extra claim that that 500 other people saw it too.

Do you believe me now? Why not?



Quote
In fact the only way you can start the investigation you are requesting by finding out is what it saying.

No it isn’t. See whether you can work out for yourself why it isn’t.

 
The amount of energy necessary to refute BS is several orders of magnitude greater than the energy needed to produce it.

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Re: Spirituality
« Reply #172 on: December 03, 2020, 11:12:07 AM »
And again I ask you what bias? What mistake and what lies?.

No idea: but these are known risks when it comes to anecdotal accounts, and I'd have thought an essential step for you guys to take would be to exclude these risks in the source used for your claim.

If you aren't prepared to check this out then you can't be surprised if others, like me, have doubts about the veracity of the source you are dependent on.

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I have already told you that in my view the NT text demonstrates there were doubts about the resurrection and that these were addressed at the time by offering up 500 sources of witness.

So the story goes, but there is a difference between someone claiming there were 500 witnesses and that there were actually 500 witnesses - is it possible they were exaggerating or lying? Have you checked? Have you got the CCTV so we can count the numbers (and also check that the CCTV output hasn't been altered), have you got signed testimony from each?

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Since these accounts are in letters that were written in full ignorance of any future preservation My judgment is that we can take these as snapshots of what was believed, what was doubted and what was the response to these doubts.

What they believed, however sincerely, is not and indicator that these beliefs are correct: this is a critical difference, unless you're inclined to believe them as a matter of personal faith.

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There is nothing here to tell me that ,given the scale and spread of these communities that due diligence was absent entirely or that the leaders did not open themselves up to full scrutiny.

How do you know this, since to be confident in their conclusions you'd have to know that they saw the need for due diligence, especially given the nature of the miracle claim, and then establish how they did their due diligence - have you checked?

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In terms of bias. Bias in this case it seems to me would mean that Christianity was made up by a bunch of Christians. I judge that to be an unlikely scenario. Also it is unlikely that people affected by Jesus for the first time only comprised of those previously affected by Christ

Underlying all of this is special pleading: that early Christians, church fathers, disciples (or whatever other labels apply) were somehow immune from the risks of bias, making mistakes or telling lies - if so, how would you justify this without using fallacious arguments from authority/tradition, and if you accept that they were as fallible as the rest of us then you'd, presumably, be prepared to concede that some content in the NT might not be historical fact.

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So let me get this straight, the New testament is unreliable until I prove it reliable? Again, I ask you, where is the unreliability?

Yep - it is for you to show it to be reliable and, in doing so, explain how you've concluded that the risks of bias, mistake or lies are negligible and also explain why the NT stories are sufficient to conclude that miracles did indeed happen. Unless you can do that I am quite entitled to simply note that those using the NT to support miracle claims seem not to have taken account of the risks associated with accounts attributed to people, and come to the view that since it is indistinguishable from fiction I have no need to take it seriously.

Or you could just say 'it is a matter of personal faith and not historical fact', and stop painting yourself into every available corner.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2020, 12:01:34 PM by Gordon »

Gordon

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Re: Spirituality
« Reply #173 on: December 03, 2020, 11:17:51 AM »

I am acknowledging them and so do the epistles. Unlike your good self I don't start with not investigating the NT because of the risk. In fact the only way you can start the investigation you are requesting by finding out is what it saying.

What do you think the default is here?

I'd say one default is, to borrow from Carl Sagan, that "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" - and that anecdotal accounts in the NT that date from antiquity for which the risks of bias, mistakes and lies can't seemingly be excluded are insufficient to justify the miracles claims made in the NT.

ippy

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Re: Spirituality
« Reply #174 on: December 03, 2020, 11:56:12 AM »
And so do you Ipso Ha Ha that was easy.

What was easy Vlad?

ippy.