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A challenge: debate the issue of religion with yours truly Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9  Next  
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01001011
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lukecash12 wrote:
01001011 wrote:
Define what is 'god'.


The most universal definition of God, is that there is an intelligent Creator.


Define 'intelligent'. Biologists are still debating how to compare the intelligence of different spices of animals. Good luck of assessing the 'intelligence' of 'the creator'.

Define 'creator'. Do you have a scientific theory of creation? Otherwise your 'creator' is just nonsense gibberish.
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Awesomelyglorious
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lukecash12 wrote:

1. Technical terms were made specifically because they have specialized and practically useful meanings. You are essentially asking me to be vague and unprofessional, which is basically the antithesis of me.

This is an online forum. It's not a professional context. Not only that, but the essence of a claim often doesn't need the most technical language anyway in a large set of circumstances. So, while philosophers use highly technical terms among themselves, they often use the other terms when trying to explain the information to their undergraduate classes and things like that. Not only that, but not even every philosophical paper is written in highly technical language.

I really don't care what's the antithesis of you is.

Quote:
2. And from what rule of inference did you infer that I'm biased out of my mind? A and B don't imply C, friend. My referencing different philosophers and technical terms does not mean I endorse certain views. You haven't any idea who I'm a party to yet, aside from my being a Christian theist. In debate, I am exceedingly explicit and literal, for just that reason. Such a careful and trained approach is the reason that academics make progress on difficult subjects while others don't. This is the reason we have cell phones, etc., because of patience, training, and technicality. You don't have to be a professor. But I see no purpose in composing arguments that are vague and obtuse. If we aren't connecting on a certain topic then we can just agree to disagree. Or you can very well decline to debate with me. It's no biggy, and I'm not like this when it comes to everything. You won't see me acting like a professor on subforums other than this one.

Lukecash12, the issue is that you're claiming to infer a lack of information on my part, when I know the allusions. The problem is that fallacious understatement of an opponent's knowledge does suggest heavy bias.

I really don't have a lot of reason to care who you are a party to anyway. You could be Catholic. You could be liberal Protestant. You could be doing your own thing. Some kinds of argument will not work for some that will work for others. However, if you're too off in doing your own thing, you'll create other dilemma for yourself anyway.

Lukecash12, 1) Philosophy doesn't make great progress. It just gets itself wrapped up in interminable debates, so it can't really work as an example. 2) The issue with refinement is that the demand for refinement really appears variable among intellectual types, which is noted by William James in Pragmatism: A New Name for Old Ways of Thinking "Refinement has its place in things, true enough. But a philosophy that breathes out nothing but refinement will never satisfy the empiricist temper of mind. It will seem rather a monument of artificiality. So we find men of science preferring to turn their backs on metaphysics as on something altogether cloistered and spectral, and practical men shaking philosophy's dust off their feet and following the call of the wild." (Lecture 1) 3) Claims on the reasons why academics make progress are inherently difficult, as truth be told, we don't really have a deep understanding of the matter where a philosopher like Thomas Kuhn points to arbitrary paradigm shifts, where Michael Polanyi believes science is driven by intuitions that scientists develop about science, and where the philosophers are really working back over the mess that scientists have already created in their puzzle solving. However, the simple issue is that patience, training, and technicality never get anywhere if one loses tough with reality, and that criticism goes on to the present towards economics, as economists have all 3 of those earlier traits in abundance, but a lot of people think that the neoclassical school is a "monument of artificiality".

The reason to compose an argument in a discussion is to make good discussion. Rigorous arguments can actually fail to do that, and many many books are written in a manner to eschew the most rigorous presentation to make for better discussion, including a lot of popular works.(Even those with a good academic bent) However, sometimes the apparent rigor of an argument is just a mask for how out of touch it is with reality, as sometimes outright folly is buried in apparent rigor.

Quote:
3. Yes, I noticed as much, considering how much you've presumed about me. You and I come from different worlds, it seems. I take a minimalist approach when I refer to my interlocutor's view, until I have the material I need, while you demonstrably do the opposite. You have, essentially, defined a parabola without any x-axis figures.

Eh, the issue is that Christianity is relatively pre-known. The issue is that while you can vary from the basic model of the Christian faith, these variations themselves create problems. So, why would God let people be so wrong? Why would Paul or some other figure in the history of the faith be wrong on the matter? Etc.

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Kierkegaard did work on quite a few subjects, just like Immanuel Kant.

Kierkegaard isn't an Immanuel Kant though, and he didn't incline to work in the same rigorous terms as Kant and his approach is not influential in epistemology or any subject of that sort. He's practically ignored in many ways and relegated to continental philosophy.

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Ah, but I've never held much hope of discussing such subjects with people who have my background, until I enter the professional world. I find it silly that you are telling me to avoid using fallacy terms and opt instead to go back to the logic. It's none of my concern whether or not other people understand the precise definition and nature of a fallacy, when I point out a fallacy (since you seem to say you know and understand fallacies, you will notice that I can, in fact, recognize them). Pointing out fallacy types is literally remedial to me, because I've been doing that since I was ten. Maybe you mean to suggest that I will pull us into a sophistical discussion, or supply you with obtuse arguments like the one you typed within quotation marks. That isn't the case either.

Most people, even ones with philosophical training and background, are so terrible at misidentifying something as a fallacy that the mere usage evokes distrust in me at this point. I mean, "Ad Hominem" is probably called out MORE OFTEN fallaciously, than it is correctly. The issue is that an ad hominem informal fallacy can be pointed out without actually needing the term, and quite easily in fact.

The argument in the quotes:
"Here is a hand.
Here is another.
Therefore there are two objects in the external universe.
Therefore an external universe exists."

Is actually a reference to a very highly influential argument by GE Moore. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Here_is_a_hand

Quote:

And who says it can't be both? One thing at a time, friend, one thing at a time. There are manuscripts to study, so historiography applies, doesn't it? This is by no means a standalone proof for the resurrection. Maybe it would be convincing to deists. There's no point in us talking past each other. If that is your sole criticism of the resurrection, then we may as well drop historiography.

The problem is that you're treating a resurrection claim as actually on the same burden of proof as a more mundane claim. That's simply bad methodology.

I doubt it'd be convincing to Deists either, as it's simply just bad methodology. The problem is we have a LOT of erroneous miracle claims, each of which with prima facie evidence. If proving them was a matter like proving I went to the grocery store yesterday, that'd be one thing, but this is a miracle. Almost any speculation is sufficient.

Quote:

Historiography has only to do with what is possible and more or less plausible, given historical data. People just happen to take more mundane things within the purview of historiography to be true, because there aren't concerns like the possibility of a miracle, when you are wondering who won the 2nd Punic War.

The issue is that we don't enter the discussion with all probabilities as equal. So, historiography is a method with a concern for a certain set of questions, and where it's success is based upon it's ability to answer those questions well. The problem with methodology is that there is no reason why a particular method should be equally successful across every domain. So, physics has a methodology, but this method probably should not be imported to social sciences where background knowledge on human psychology and social structure already exists, and is practically necessary as a short-hand. And so on and so forth.

Quote:

According to the historical data, it's more than a little plausible. Your critique pertains more to whether it's possible.

No, it actually doesn't. This is an utter failure to understand the issue. Do you really just not understand the problem of background probability?? Hannibal crossed the alps, and Hannibal cast a fireball spell carry very different background probabilities. We'd need more to prove the latter than the former just based upon the basic nature of the claims.

Quote:

An issue with that approach: you are improperly reducing the components of the twelve facts proof. What I mean by that is that the twelve facts are cumulative and complementary. The argument doesn't fall because of one little possibility being pointed out at a time, because each piece of data made to look weaker in the argument is complemented by other data, to the point that saying that they had a hallucination involves far too much contrivation, in fact impossibly too much contrivation. Not all data complements other data in the twelve facts arguments. It's just that you are reducing down the data too far.

I didn't do anything improper. The issue is that you have to actually get above background probability for an utterly implausible claim.

Frankly, I don't need for a hallucination to be true. I have no interest in actually explaining what happened. The issue is simple: miraculous claims carry a very very high burden of proof by their outright contradiction to our background knowledge where miracles do not happen. Any speculation, regardless of how bad it looks on the face of it, can still be sufficient to knock down a miracle, as at least with the speculation uses pre-known methods.

Quote:
Also, preferring what you consider a little bit less crazy of an explanation instead of the craziest one, isn't valid in terms of historiography. Maybe there is another explanation aside from the resurrection, but it certainly isn't an explanation like that. You seriously think that everyone either shared in a rare condition, or spontaneously went against their religious background, or started believing the ravings of one of their group when that person was showing episodic symptoms and trying to convince them of contrary sounding theology?

And historiography isn't valid in terms of miraculous claims.

I think that explanation is MORE plausible than a resurrection. I am not committing to whether it happened though. Do you simply not actually grasp the strategy used?

Quote:

You are just picking a lesser poison, then. If resurrection is impossible, then it is impossible. But that is also a poor explanation. One of the cornerstones of Judaism was resisting syncretism. Just because they are ancient people, doesn't mean that they are so much more likely to have such symptoms as suppression and memory erosion, and you seem to forget that two of them were skeptics. If you think that once all of the data is accumulated, that that is a good explanation, then I would think you are literally delusional.

Ummm..... I didn't pick anything. I'm pointing out that lesser poisons are possible.

I also have said nothing to date about impossibility.

Resurrections are the poorest explanation. They utterly contradict our existing background knowledge about events, and have no parallel to any existing event.

Judaism resisting syncretism doesn't mean that the Christian sub-group was doing equally well. It doesn't mean that every Jew avoided it.

I didn't say anything about "more likely" at all. These problems are actually incredibly common to this day. Living people have lots of memory alteration, and this is simply because of how memory works. Suppression of cognitive dissonance is also a very common issue for sub-groups, and it also can go to extremes.

You're mentioning two skeptics. The problem is that we can't cross examine these two skeptics, so if Paul had pre-existing psychological issues, and if James started having emotional distress over the death of his brother, those issues can easily change how the entire framework works out. The simple issue is that we don't have the kind of data we need to evaluate the psychology of either person, and the probability that either or both of them erroneously changed their mind is high enough that it fails to be forceful in a situation like a miraculous claim.

Quote:

1. Yes, it is. But in order to understand the degree of the issue of memory, one must understand Semitic oral traditions.

No, I actually do not. The issue is that we don't have a strong reason to claim that this cultic sub-group was using the best of oral tradition. They weren't the rhetorically trained rabbis. Also a lot of our information is from non-semitic sources, like Mark. Mark appears to be Latin in origin, and so Mark wouldn't be based upon Semitic Oral tradition, and the traditions based upon Mark also have their own weak link.

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2. Not a problem for people using ICOT.

Which is itself a speculative answer. You're talking about a small sub-group of people who may not have actually had the overall degree of control over the message to use an ICOT effectively.

Quote:

Something as important as the resurrection, which found it's way into several creeds, wouldn't really be subject to memory and relay issues like the telephone game or forgetting your wedding anniversary. The ICOT primarily survives through socialization. There are social controls, and it is different from the rote memory that we are used to because to them it was just social interaction, not information cramming.

And the use of an ICOT is itself speculative. The problem is that if we have a small group that later goes on to convert the larger group, the ICOT really only applies to that original smaller group. The issue is that a smaller group could have developed all sorts of memory corruptions, such as the suppression of cognitive dissonance, or the claims of some people becoming dominant across all of them.

Quote:

Or so you say, even though there are fundamental differences in thought that are involved. Just because we can give them a label does not mean we can equivocate them. You have yet to point out what it is about these groups that substantiates your views. Is it a social process that they all have in common? Do esoteric rituals have similar effects on different people from different groups? Those would be valid avenues to compare them from.

Honestly, I'm lumping all miraculous claims together as they have that similarity in terms of their background information.

Frankly, there are some distinctions, but there are some distinctions between married couples. The issue is that still we have a similar kind of issue(miracle), which is going to have a lot of common epistemic issues with other miracles, such that the rational SPR is to lump and discount.

So, here's the issue with the book of Mormon. There is actually a book of witnesses. So, we have 3 witnesses who claim to have seen an angel. 8 witnesses who claimed to have seen the golden plates of Joseph Smith. They were willing to sign the documents. The 3 witnesses who saw an angel were all excommunicated, and yet despite every reason to seek to disconfirm their earlier claims, they either rejoined the church later in life, or one actually formed a denomination of it. Now, the claim that these people ALL hallucinated an angel is absurd. They couldn't ALL have shared the same miraculous event for reasons you've already outlined for the resurrection. They would all have reason to disconfirm their earlier beliefs, but stuck true to them. Their story isn't JUST a third hand account either, but rather they all signed a document for posterity expressing their clarity of mind(something that we can't get for NT witnesses). So, for the same kinds of reasons you bring up for a resurrection, if those are reliable, we ought to believe that the three witnesses saw the Angel Gabriel. The 8 witnesses claimed to see golden plates, even handled them, and claimed to recognize them as having curious workmanship and apparent age. Now, we can argue that they were hallucinating, etc, etc, but the issue is that these people's soundness as witnesses is in many ways better attested to than NT witnesses, especially given that none of these people would have much reason to be under significant psychological distress, unlike NT witnesses. Their signatures are more explicitly eyewitness than the NT documents.

Now, we can argue that Joseph Smith found a way to trick these people, however, this makes no rational sense either. Joseph Smith wasn't just the prophet, he was also a martyr for the faith. There is almost no rational reason why a person would take these legal risks, and even basically become a martyr, for a cause they knew to be false. So, if we hold to the resurrection, we certainly ought to hold to the Golden Tablets, and if we reject the Golden Tablets, we surely ought to reject the resurrection.

Now, that's just going into Mormonism, but the problem is that most of these other claims, whether UFOs, or whatever have you, have similar attestation. We don't even NEED to worry about the ICOT in a lot of circumstances. Philosopher Matt McCormick's favorite example isn't Joseph Smith, but rather the Salem Witch trials, as he argues that the documentation is significantly better than a resurrection, but that the claim of witches is still false. http://atheismblog.blogspot.com/2008/12/more-bad-answers-to-good-questions_10.html

I mean, the simple issue is that we need to assess probability in light of other similar claims. Not only does the resurrection not really seem to stand head and shoulders above the rest, but quite simply, it exists within a category of claims that we have experience with and have historically put low weight on. Our best statistical prediction rule is going to predict that the resurrection is false.

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That is because people have entirely different education, religious upbringing, and standards than those found in the ancient world. That's the reason that different people have believed different crazy things throughout the past. They don't just indiscriminately think crazy thoughts.

I didn't say anything about indiscriminate, but the people today are more educated than those in the past, and have more experience with things to be skeptical about. I mean, the standards are just going to be higher in these circumstances, or at least, there is little reason for them to be much lower.

As for "different" the similarities are downright obvious.

Quote:

Clarification: Unsubstantiated by you. I need to know how you think about that issue in the texts to discuss it with you. How is it, specifically, that you think that they contradict one another? Can they be complementary? Do they render those NT texts basically unreliable?

............... How?? Every detail. In one Judas dies by hanging himself. In the other, Judas's fate is just that he's explained as just falling down and having his guts burst open in the middle of a field. In one fate Judas buys a field with his money, but in the other, he throws the money back to the priests. In one story the field is known as the field of blood because Judas died in that field. In the other the field is known as the field of blood because of how the priests handled the blood money thrown back at them.

Mat 27:3-8 Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, (4) saying, "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood." They said, "What is that to us? See to it yourself." (5) And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself. (6) But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, "It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since it is blood money." (7) So they took counsel and bought with them the potter's field as a burial place for strangers. (8 ) Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day.

Act 1:16-19 "Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. (17) For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry." (18 ) (Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. (19) And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)

The problem is pretty clear though. The two texts, however, clearly make claims that by the most reasonable reading contradict each other, where efforts to make the texts complement each other distort the stories, and make no sense as a presentation of a situation.

So, does this make the NT texts utterly unreliable? No. However, if we have something we have background reason to feel skeptical towards, then this shows that the texts are not sufficient to overcome that skepticism, because fact-checking was not prioritized. The issue is that if one digs, one will find a lot of examples of oddness where one loses reason to think of the texts as overly reliable. So, in Matthew, "out of Egypt I call my son" from Hosea 11:1 is taken as a Christ-fulfilled prophecy, but in Hosea 11:1, the reference is clearly to Israel being called out of Egypt in Exodus. The issue is that this is something that could easily be called out, but the author just didn't fact-check that well, and nobody else did it either even though by that time, Hosea wasn't an oral tradition any more and so fact checking would be easier than with the ICOT.

Quote:

And I agree with Ehrman, in that historians can't just prove the resurrection using historiography. It's a philosophical issue, too. We don't want historians to start claiming that Arjunas talked to Krishna, as if that was something they could prove, do we?

Well, pretty much yeah. Not that the Bhagavad Gita is ideal as a historical text.

The issue is that you seem to be seeking to do that.


Last edited by Awesomelyglorious on Sat Apr 14, 2012 1:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Awesomelyglorious
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lukecash12 wrote:

2. I do believe, given the physics that I have worked through, that naturalism fails to explain the nature and origin of the universe. Because our universe is most definitely inflationary, and inflationary models suffer from entropy, the lack of a well defined quantam mechanism to start the expanding and contracting parts of the cycle, and while thus failing to explain the big bang event opens up the problem of an infinite regression of causes.
3. That rules out material and efficient causes, leaving final and personal causes, for the universe. Other theoretical models have been proposed, but they fail to explain infinite regression, and they still suffer from entropy. So, material and efficient causes just don't work.
4. In order for there not to be an infinite regression of causes, whatever caused our universe must have a different relationship with time (by extension cause and effect) and matter.
5. The individual described by the texts found within the Bible fits these criteria. However, I don't simply insert Yahweh in there as an answer, because that would of course be God-of-gaps/proxy type logic. I insert Yahweh in that equation because of the resurrection. Naturalism, not seeming to me as a hindrance to such an one or thing which made the universe, seems to me to describe, explain, and set probability boundaries around events, but those lines may very probably get scrambled on a smaller than atomic level (and I would assert that quantam mechanics aren't normally explained properly in these discussions), and NDE's I also find potent when it comes to debunking naturalism. In fact, I think naturalism is an empirical plateau that merely represents our current powers of observation, which will be soon replaced by another empirical plateau.

So, the problem ends up being that if the individual described by the texts of the Bible is not considered plausible, then you really wouldn't have a cosmologically oriented issue towards Christianity. In short, this is at most a supplement, not a stand alone.

The issue I see is that while I agree that origins is not an easily answered question, I don't think it's reasonable to need a theory about origins of the universe. The simple issue is that any pre-big bang idea is just going to be speculation at most. I would generally urge you away from the use of a specific event as a lynchpin in your intellectual system though. The problem is that there ends up being a lot of room for cognitive bias when one makes the focus on a specific theory for how the world works, and with the nuts and bolts of a highly complicated reality.

Quote:
6. Given the remote possibility, the historical plausibility, and the high historical probability, of the resurrection, I don't simply level an a priori objection to it. I took the resurrection, and traced it's implications to see if it fits well with the considerations of these previous numbers, and it seemed to do just that. The resurrection validates the teachings of Christ, thus proving theism. The teachings of Christ explicitly validate the contents of the scriptures, meaning that the purpose and nature of creation (at least in terms of what we can glean from the scriptures) has to do with the unique experience of living things, possessing both subjective and objective senses, and their relationship with the Creator.

I am a bit confused by it. I'm going to guess that the resurrection is the only one of these events you've really looked into the apologetics for though, and the reason that is, is because most miracles and bizarre claims of this sort, have a ready-made apologetic literature, and there is a similar reliance on eyewitnesses. The simple issue is that the skeptical position is in some ways partly a posteriori, in that most skeptics find that miraculous claims exist as a set of implausible ones, where there are a lot of clear similarities between these issues.

In any case, the problem is that even if a resurrection of Jesus occurred, what's really theologically entailed? I mean, Jesus claimed to be building from the OT, and the NT claims to just be working from the revelation. But, the problem is that if we run into some obviously false, or obviously absurd claim within the overall theological structure, like the trinity, or the atonement, etc, how do we untangle the mess? Could Jesus really just be a fraud, even if the resurrection is true? (So, think of it this way: Jesus could be a puppet for malicious fairies. These fairies want to deceive people, so they have a supposed man claim to be the son of God, die and then come back. In this, we have a theory that avoids all of the theological problems of Christianity, but maintains a supernatural resurrection.) And the issue is that if one looks, there really is a lot of baggage, so I cited Deut 28:16-68 as something obviously ethically false. We can quibble on this, but even if we accept that God is a loving God, the idea that he'd give a threat like this is pretty close to absurd.

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7. Now, I ask myself, what is morality? What relationship has it with ethics? To what extent is it more descriptive or normative? What is it's relationship with intelligence? It seems to me, that from the viewpoint of a Christian theist, that morality doesn't need to be defined by descriptive or normative ethics. It can be described as contingent upon and preceded by God and His relationship with us. Intelligence seems to be the prerequisite for engaging in the relationship.

Ethics is the relationship between God and man? I'd still think that would entail some things about normative ethics. The additional issue is that descriptive ethics can't be outright thrown out, because if God created man, then God would create the neurological underpinnings for human ethical claims, which would mean that if descriptive ethics really don't work well with a notion of God, then on the face of it, we have an ethical problem. Not only that, but Christian texts do affirm descriptive ethics to some degree

Rom 2:14-15 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. (15) They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them

Quote:
8. Lastly, I ask myself, is God an exemplar deserving/undeserving of a cooperative relationship with me, and am I an exemplar deserving/undeserving of a cooperative relationship with him? The teachings endorsed by Him, seem to be the answer key, so I study biblical scholarship to determine an answer to those questions for myself.

Interesting.... because a lot of the stories are bizarre, and hard to really swallow if one maintains basic ethical intuitions. I mean, if one reads a textbook on ethics, some of the things taken as a basic starting point seem to outright be problematic with Christian theism.

Quote:
But there are other modes of confirmation than those listed. I have also had a subjective experience of God, as detailed in the NT.

The problem is that given the background rates of hallucination within the population, this actually ends up being relatively unreliable. http://www.psy-journal.com/article/S0165-1781(00)00227-4/abstract I mean, the simple issue is that various subjective experiences are reported by lots of people for lots of religions. Explaining this appears difficult, particularly explaining this within Christian theism, because there is little reason why a God would want all sorts of people to get so deluded about this. Naturalism will just claim that delusion rates are high, and that the issue is a complicated mess. A trickster fairy theory will maintain that the fairies like deluding people, so that's why we have these inconsistent revelations. But, a Christian God? I don't see the point, and yet, it isn't as if Christianity is the only religion to put a lot of emphasis on religious experiences.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

01001011 wrote:

Define 'intelligent'. Biologists are still debating how to compare the intelligence of different spices of animals. Good luck of assessing the 'intelligence' of 'the creator'.

Your arguments are still ridiculous. Even if we don't have the final definition of the term "intelligent" we still have various experiences with things that display the trait that we label "intelligent" using our language. It's not invalid for Lukecash12 to make an inference from behavior to intelligence if he believes that cognitive processing, learning, competence, etc, are displayed by a certain entity. We'd do the same if we saw a really smart ape out there, or a robot, or anything else, without having an analytical definition. We can argue that the inference may be fallible, or that existing use of intelligence fails to arrive at very good specificity, but that's nitpickery.

Quote:
Define 'creator'. Do you have a scientific theory of creation? Otherwise your 'creator' is just nonsense gibberish.

A scientific theory of creation really isn't necessary at all. And given that many details are made-up whole cloth in a theological system, it's pretty fine. Not only that, but his use of "creator" is going to go very much in line with pre-existing definitions.

Binary, the long-story-short is that your very approach fundamentally misunderstands how language works. Human language and human cognition simply don't work in clear-cut analytical frameworks, but rather human beings are naturally sloppy in their uses, and precision and formalism simply arise in response to the need for precision and formalism. This whole "You can't define something well analytically, therefore your position fails" technique is just mind-numbingly bad, and doesn't really address the problems with a theory, but rather the inherent difficulties in analytical definitions. His uses of the terms are absolutely fine UNTIL you bring up a real philosophical issue that causes a problem.

Or how about this:
Define "Define" define "Biologists" define "are" define "still" define "debating" define "how" define "to" define "compare" define "the" define "of" define "different" define "spices" define "animals" define "Good" define "luck" define "assessing".

I'm going to keep on asking this for every single sodding word you ever use until you finally realize how stupid the technique is and that words only need definition if there is real confusion or real controversy.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AG, I suspect that 01001011 was merely asking for clarification about *which* version of a creator Luke was referring to: the Deist modely which sets things into motion and then takes its hands off for the rest of the Universe's history, to the Fundamentalist model with a 6000 year old Univese and a god meddling in the vibrations of every atom, or somewhere in between.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
a 6000 year old Univese and a god meddling in the vibrations of every atom, or somewhere in between


I'd expect that kind of wording from a journalist, but not a good debate.

But, please how do you expain the vibrations of every atom?
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grebels wrote:
Quote:
a 6000 year old Univese and a god meddling in the vibrations of every atom, or somewhere in between


I'd expect that kind of wording from a journalist, but not a good debate.

But, please how do you expain the vibrations of every atom?

Atoms move and vibrate. Fast-moving atoms are in a gaseous state, intermediate-moving atoms are in a liquid state, and slow-moving atoms are in a solid state. Nuclei which have been stripped of their electrons are in a plasma state. Subatomic particles also vibrate - do you know how atomic clocks work? And, if I understand string theory enough, the field which composes subatomic particles also vibrates.
Is that enough of an explanation for you to understand what I mean?
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Lukecash12
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Joined: Apr 13, 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Awesomelyglorious:

To start with, I get the feeling that you may not be reading my entire posts before responding to them. But I don't think that's the case. I would merely like to ask that you do that, as I have done for you, so that we both can have that much more confidence in each other while debating. It can be boring getting into a redundant debate, you know?

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This is an online forum. It's not a professional context. Not only that, but the essence of a claim often doesn't need the most technical language anyway in a large set of circumstances. So, while philosophers use highly technical terms among themselves, they often use the other terms when trying to explain the information to their undergraduate classes and things like that. Not only that, but not even every philosophical paper is written in highly technical language.

I really don't care what's the antithesis of you is.


This seems to be a non-issue anyways. You see, you used fairly strong language about technical terms, as if you avoid them like the devil. I've not been terribly technical, have I? And you've followed my references well enough. So, the terms I use don't seem to be an issue. There is plenty of plain language in a good debate, too, I agree.

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Lukecash12, the issue is that you're claiming to infer a lack of information on my part, when I know the allusions. The problem is that fallacious understatement of an opponent's knowledge does suggest heavy bias.

I really don't have a lot of reason to care who you are a party to anyway. You could be Catholic. You could be liberal Protestant. You could be doing your own thing. Some kinds of argument will not work for some that will work for others. However, if you're too off in doing your own thing, you'll create other dilemma for yourself anyway.

Lukecash12, 1) Philosophy doesn't make great progress. It just gets itself wrapped up in interminable debates, so it can't really work as an example. 2) The issue with refinement is that the demand for refinement really appears variable among intellectual types, which is noted by William James in Pragmatism: A New Name for Old Ways of Thinking "Refinement has its place in things, true enough. But a philosophy that breathes out nothing but refinement will never satisfy the empiricist temper of mind. It will seem rather a monument of artificiality. So we find men of science preferring to turn their backs on metaphysics as on something altogether cloistered and spectral, and practical men shaking philosophy's dust off their feet and following the call of the wild." (Lecture 1) 3) Claims on the reasons why academics make progress are inherently difficult, as truth be told, we don't really have a deep understanding of the matter where a philosopher like Thomas Kuhn points to arbitrary paradigm shifts, where Michael Polanyi believes science is driven by intuitions that scientists develop about science, and where the philosophers are really working back over the mess that scientists have already created in their puzzle solving. However, the simple issue is that patience, training, and technicality never get anywhere if one loses tough with reality, and that criticism goes on to the present towards economics, as economists have all 3 of those earlier traits in abundance, but a lot of people think that the neoclassical school is a "monument of artificiality".

The reason to compose an argument in a discussion is to make good discussion. Rigorous arguments can actually fail to do that, and many many books are written in a manner to eschew the most rigorous presentation to make for better discussion, including a lot of popular works.(Even those with a good academic bent) However, sometimes the apparent rigor of an argument is just a mask for how out of touch it is with reality, as sometimes outright folly is buried in apparent rigor.


If you would be more clear about what fallacious understatements I have made, and to what affect those statements are fallacies, then I would understand your meaning there. I just don't see where you've made a proper inference about my level of bias.

1. You don't seem to understand the full breadth of philosophy. There is a reason doctorates are abbreviated as philosophical doctorates. Every academic endeavor we know today is a contingent part of philosophy, it's greater whole. You have merely criticized certain fields of philosophy there. At one time, science was actually called natural philosophy, because science is based upon empiricism and empiricism is a philosophical position. So, philosophy is specifically the reason why we drive cars and talk to each other using cell phones.

2. Ah, but I've not been giving you that much pilpul, so to speak. You don't seem to realize that I was responding to your extreme language, not expressing that I endorse all of the sophism that can come along with technical language. We probably agree along several lines, when it comes to criticism of sophistical refinement.

3. You are merely referring to different philosophers who make less substantial progress than others. Scientists are philosophers, too.

You speak in "cans" and "sometimes" there, at the end, not having a clue as to whether such types of rigorous arguments are representative of my own logic. Once again, we probably agree in that, for example, a lot of modal arguments have been framed that commit a basic error in logic. Especially ontological arguments that have a modal frame.

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Eh, the issue is that Christianity is relatively pre-known. The issue is that while you can vary from the basic model of the Christian faith, these variations themselves create problems. So, why would God let people be so wrong? Why would Paul or some other figure in the history of the faith be wrong on the matter? Etc.


Those considerations are irrelevant for the time being. We needn't get ahead of ourselves.

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Kierkegaard isn't an Immanuel Kant though, and he didn't incline to work in the same rigorous terms as Kant and his approach is not influential in epistemology or any subject of that sort. He's practically ignored in many ways and relegated to continental philosophy.


He was merely an example. We needn't quibble over nothing.

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Most people, even ones with philosophical training and background, are so terrible at misidentifying something as a fallacy that the mere usage evokes distrust in me at this point. I mean, "Ad Hominem" is probably called out MORE OFTEN fallaciously, than it is correctly. The issue is that an ad hominem informal fallacy can be pointed out without actually needing the term, and quite easily in fact.

The argument in the quotes:
"Here is a hand.
Here is another.
Therefore there are two objects in the external universe.
Therefore an external universe exists."

Is actually a reference to a very highly influential argument by GE Moore. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Here_is_a_hand


Yes, yes, I am familiar with those facts and am familiar with that argument. Just because I like to use technical language, doesn't mean you need to pontificate to me like this. Is it really necessary?

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The problem is that you're treating a resurrection claim as actually on the same burden of proof as a more mundane claim. That's simply bad methodology.

I doubt it'd be convincing to Deists either, as it's simply just bad methodology. The problem is we have a LOT of erroneous miracle claims, each of which with prima facie evidence. If proving them was a matter like proving I went to the grocery store yesterday, that'd be one thing, but this is a miracle. Almost any speculation is sufficient.


You have simply claimed that I treat them as if they have the same burden of proof. I haven't explicitly said that much, and in fact I don't. We differ in our approach to the subject in that you aren't segregating ideas in the same way that I do. Because historiography is one of the valid avenues, I apply it's methodology. It has something to do with the resurrection, does it not? Then it is a valid avenue to visit. Yet you make claims as to what my idea of the burden of proof is, etc., simply because I am segregating the issue down to more specific and distinct lines of inquiry than yourself.

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The issue is that we don't enter the discussion with all probabilities as equal. So, historiography is a method with a concern for a certain set of questions, and where it's success is based upon it's ability to answer those questions well. The problem with methodology is that there is no reason why a particular method should be equally successful across every domain. So, physics has a methodology, but this method probably should not be imported to social sciences where background knowledge on human psychology and social structure already exists, and is practically necessary as a short-hand. And so on and so forth.


I would invite you to take a look at sciences such as anthropology, that focus more on a comparative and relativistic approach. Because there is historical data to look at, I deemed it relevant to the issue.

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No, it actually doesn't. This is an utter failure to understand the issue. Do you really just not understand the problem of background probability?? Hannibal crossed the alps, and Hannibal cast a fireball spell carry very different background probabilities. We'd need more to prove the latter than the former just based upon the basic nature of the claims.


You have merely inferred the type of logic I use, without enough explicit material to do so. I would appreciate some patience in this matter. You could at least return the courtesy of not using language like "utter failure" everywhere just before characterizing my logic.

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I didn't do anything improper. The issue is that you have to actually get above background probability for an utterly implausible claim.

Frankly, I don't need for a hallucination to be true. I have no interest in actually explaining what happened. The issue is simple: miraculous claims carry a very very high burden of proof by their outright contradiction to our background knowledge where miracles do not happen. Any speculation, regardless of how bad it looks on the face of it, can still be sufficient to knock down a miracle, as at least with the speculation uses pre-known methods.


This just appears to be more wire crossing. Historiography, if segregated as it's own inquiry, makes both of those claims (that of a hallucination and that of a resurrection) seem pretty untenable. With historiography alone, the two just seem like remote and impossibly contrived possibilities. More pointedly, I wasn't yet out to prove the resurrection. I was out to prove those twelve facts.

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And historiography isn't valid in terms of miraculous claims.

I think that explanation is MORE plausible than a resurrection. I am not committing to whether it happened though. Do you simply not actually grasp the strategy used?


Historiography merely has to do with what we can do with historical data. At one point, it wasn't valid in terms of other things we can't understand. You've presumably read the writings of various historians throughout history, noticing the differences in what they can do with the data they have. I merely wish to establish an understanding between you and I, as to what the data is and what may it or may not indicate. We've covered some ground there, but we've yet to agree on which of the twelve facts seem tenable.

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Ummm..... I didn't pick anything. I'm pointing out that lesser poisons are possible.

I also have said nothing to date about impossibility.

Resurrections are the poorest explanation. They utterly contradict our existing background knowledge about events, and have no parallel to any existing event.

Judaism resisting syncretism doesn't mean that the Christian sub-group was doing equally well. It doesn't mean that every Jew avoided it.

I didn't say anything about "more likely" at all. These problems are actually incredibly common to this day. Living people have lots of memory alteration, and this is simply because of how memory works. Suppression of cognitive dissonance is also a very common issue for sub-groups, and it also can go to extremes.

You're mentioning two skeptics. The problem is that we can't cross examine these two skeptics, so if Paul had pre-existing psychological issues, and if James started having emotional distress over the death of his brother, those issues can easily change how the entire framework works out. The simple issue is that we don't have the kind of data we need to evaluate the psychology of either person, and the probability that either or both of them erroneously changed their mind is high enough that it fails to be forceful in a situation like a miraculous claim.


1. Correct, you haven't said anything about impossibility. I would state for myself now, that resurrection seems to be naturalistically impossible. And I would also state that we have no parallel either for such hallucinations as you have described, moreover that they seem impossible to me. We know of no such instance, under those circumstances. It would literally have to have been a page out of "One flew over the cuckoo's nest" for your poison to be tenable, and it wasn't a page out of that book. We can safely assume that they weren't all susceptible to those conditions (skepticism throwing heavy doubt on that), given their diverse backgrounds and intellectually diverse writings. On so many levels, the idea that they were hallucinatory to the point of believing it like a schizoid, is just not a conclusion I'd ever be behind.

You probably know that we can see a psychological imprint in one's writing style and use internal criticism to infer more, in terms of ideological background and what that would make them susceptible to. Say, for example, we look at a religion that endorses the use of hallucinogenic drugs, like the Native American idea of a vision quest, and we have a good idea of what such adherents are susceptible to. But that is, of course, a hyperbolic example.

We do have data, when it comes to those very pressures you talk about. People's brothers die all the time, for example. I literally thought I saw my aunt Maxine after she died. But my understanding of life and death confirmed for me that those were projections, not real. If I were in a more fragmented state, I may have believed she was still alive. Would I have convinced anyone else in that state, especially considering that for me to say that aunt Maxine was still alive, would have been very contrary to my other family member's understanding of life and death?

2. Right, but they don't fit the profile at all of syncretists. They weren't a party to the Romans, having been common folk. Their diverse educational backgrounds are apparent in their writing skills. Most importantly, one of the biggest motifs within the NT, is resisting syncretism. Paul considered Hellenic thinking to be vain philosophy, for example.

3. There are specific reasons that people have memory alteration, and it's rare for such projections to agree well with one another. Moreover, oral tradition has controls against this. If you would actually read the article, and discuss the issue instead of merely swiping it aside, we could make some progress on that issue. You have made claims about what you think their oral tradition is capable of, and what the size of their group means about their traditions, without presenting critique along the lines of proper methodology. There are available social sciences, such as cultural anthropology, that have made leaps and bounds, and while not set in stone as other sciences, they are quite useful.

You have also stated that they didn't use the rabbinic method of oral transmission, when it is actually indicated by the texts that they did. The standard introduction to a rabbinic transmission is used before several of the creeds, and 1st Corinthians 15 has been dated to within 5 years of the crucifixion because of it's rough translation from Aramaic.

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No, I actually do not. The issue is that we don't have a strong reason to claim that this cultic sub-group was using the best of oral tradition. They weren't the rhetorically trained rabbis. Also a lot of our information is from non-semitic sources, like Mark. Mark appears to be Latin in origin, and so Mark wouldn't be based upon Semitic Oral tradition, and the traditions based upon Mark also have their own weak link.


Now we're really getting ahead of ourselves. If you want to make claims of that nature, we need to discuss the origins of Mark. There is demonstrably a controlled oral tradition as well as an ICOT throughout the NT, which can be seen from the oral forms of stories, such as creeds, parables, etc. The creeds are rabbinic, while the parables are ICOT.

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Which is itself a speculative answer. You're talking about a small sub-group of people who may not have actually had the overall degree of control over the message to use an ICOT effectively.


ICOT is ingrained in Semitic culture, friend. It doesn't have group size prerequisites, etc. It is a control over oral material that is integral to the life of a Semitic person. Also, we see ICOT's that are alive and well within groups that size. Take the Bedouins as an example.

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Which is itself a speculative answer. You're talking about a small sub-group of people who may not have actually had the overall degree of control over the message to use an ICOT effectively.


Which would have to be established, and which isn't the norm in an ICOT. If you would, please read the article. I will have much more material to share later, as well, on Semitic oral traditions. You act as if ICOT is much more haphazard than it really is. Semitic people are downright anal about their ICOT's, to the point that you can't have any authority to share the traditions if you haven't been born in that village, depending on the group you look at.

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Honestly, I'm lumping all miraculous claims together as they have that similarity in terms of their background information.

Frankly, there are some distinctions, but there are some distinctions between married couples. The issue is that still we have a similar kind of issue(miracle), which is going to have a lot of common epistemic issues with other miracles, such that the rational SPR is to lump and discount.

So, here's the issue with the book of Mormon. There is actually a book of witnesses. So, we have 3 witnesses who claim to have seen an angel. 8 witnesses who claimed to have seen the golden plates of Joseph Smith. They were willing to sign the documents. The 3 witnesses who saw an angel were all excommunicated, and yet despite every reason to seek to disconfirm their earlier claims, they either rejoined the church later in life, or one actually formed a denomination of it. Now, the claim that these people ALL hallucinated an angel is absurd. They couldn't ALL have shared the same miraculous event for reasons you've already outlined for the resurrection. They would all have reason to disconfirm their earlier beliefs, but stuck true to them. Their story isn't JUST a third hand account either, but rather they all signed a document for posterity expressing their clarity of mind(something that we can't get for NT witnesses). So, for the same kinds of reasons you bring up for a resurrection, if those are reliable, we ought to believe that the three witnesses saw the Angel Gabriel. The 8 witnesses claimed to see golden plates, even handled them, and claimed to recognize them as having curious workmanship and apparent age. Now, we can argue that they were hallucinating, etc, etc, but the issue is that these people's soundness as witnesses is in many ways better attested to than NT witnesses, especially given that none of these people would have much reason to be under significant psychological distress, unlike NT witnesses. Their signatures are more explicitly eyewitness than the NT documents.

Now, we can argue that Joseph Smith found a way to trick these people, however, this makes no rational sense either. Joseph Smith wasn't just the prophet, he was also a martyr for the faith. There is almost no rational reason why a person would take these legal risks, and even basically become a martyr, for a cause they knew to be false. So, if we hold to the resurrection, we certainly ought to hold to the Golden Tablets, and if we reject the Golden Tablets, we surely ought to reject the resurrection.

Now, that's just going into Mormonism, but the problem is that most of these other claims, whether UFOs, or whatever have you, have similar attestation. We don't even NEED to worry about the ICOT in a lot of circumstances. Philosopher Matt McCormick's favorite example isn't Joseph Smith, but rather the Salem Witch trials, as he argues that the documentation is significantly better than a resurrection, but that the claim of witches is still false. http://atheismblog.blogspot.com/2008/12/more-bad-answers-to-good-questions_10.html

I mean, the simple issue is that we need to assess probability in light of other similar claims. Not only does the resurrection not really seem to stand head and shoulders above the rest, but quite simply, it exists within a category of claims that we have experience with and have historically put low weight on. Our best statistical prediction rule is going to predict that the resurrection is false.


Right, and we think that way specifically because they fit historical criteria poorly, my friend. Also, that blog is hardly a scholarly work. I would assert that the statistics are misleading because of the specific difference between other groups and this particular group that I have focused on: the early Christians. That is because, I also see no problem in using the differences within information transmission and the prior beliefs of the groups, to easily point out precedent for each of those other miraculous claims. The Salem Witch trials are like a caricature of Puritanical thought, very easy to profile along those lines.

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I didn't say anything about indiscriminate, but the people today are more educated than those in the past, and have more experience with things to be skeptical about. I mean, the standards are just going to be higher in these circumstances, or at least, there is little reason for them to be much lower.

As for "different" the similarities are downright obvious.


If you would point out those similarities, instead of acting like everything is obvious (which is beginning to sound arrogant to me, honestly), then we could get somewhere. If everything is so obvious to you, that you merely need to make references without establishing anything, then how on earth do you define "obvious"?

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............... How?? Every detail. In one Judas dies by hanging himself. In the other, Judas's fate is just that he's explained as just falling down and having his guts burst open in the middle of a field. In one fate Judas buys a field with his money, but in the other, he throws the money back to the priests. In one story the field is known as the field of blood because Judas died in that field. In the other the field is known as the field of blood because of how the priests handled the blood money thrown back at them.

Mat 27:3-8 Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, (4) saying, "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood." They said, "What is that to us? See to it yourself." (5) And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself. (6) But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, "It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since it is blood money." (7) So they took counsel and bought with them the potter's field as a burial place for strangers. (8 ) Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day.

Act 1:16-19 "Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. (17) For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry." (18 ) (Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. (19) And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)

The problem is pretty clear though. The two texts, however, clearly make claims that by the most reasonable reading contradict each other, where efforts to make the texts complement each other distort the stories, and make no sense as a presentation of a situation.

So, does this make the NT texts utterly unreliable? No. However, if we have something we have background reason to feel skeptical towards, then this shows that the texts are not sufficient to overcome that skepticism, because fact-checking was not prioritized. The issue is that if one digs, one will find a lot of examples of oddness where one loses reason to think of the texts as overly reliable. So, in Matthew, "out of Egypt I call my son" from Hosea 11:1 is taken as a Christ-fulfilled prophecy, but in Hosea 11:1, the reference is clearly to Israel being called out of Egypt in Exodus. The issue is that this is something that could easily be called out, but the author just didn't fact-check that well, and nobody else did it either even though by that time, Hosea wasn't an oral tradition any more and so fact checking would be easier than with the ICOT.


You critique seems to be anachronistic, in that it doesn't appreciate Semitic thinking very well. Semitic people aren't "fact-checkers". They focus on the important details, and don't get worked up over things that seem inconsequential to them. The differences there between why the field got it's name, don't seem mutually exclusive at all, and the whole story there of Judas seems to be from a second hand account, considering that they were no longer associated with Jesus. It was a grapevine story. The resurrection story isn't like that at all, and the resurrection story has oral material of a much different nature surrounding it. The death of Judas wasn't important enough to warrant the composition of a creed.

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Well, pretty much yeah. Not that the Bhagavad Gita is ideal as a historical text.

The issue is that you seem to be seeking to do that.


Not at all. You've gotten way ahead of yourself, friend. But I would say that I've enjoyed this discussion so far, and that you've helped me to organize my thoughts more clearly on this issue.

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So, the problem ends up being that if the individual described by the texts of the Bible is not considered plausible, then you really wouldn't have a cosmologically oriented issue towards Christianity. In short, this is at most a supplement, not a stand alone.

The issue I see is that while I agree that origins is not an easily answered question, I don't think it's reasonable to need a theory about origins of the universe. The simple issue is that any pre-big bang idea is just going to be speculation at most. I would generally urge you away from the use of a specific event as a lynchpin in your intellectual system though. The problem is that there ends up being a lot of room for cognitive bias when one makes the focus on a specific theory for how the world works, and with the nuts and bolts of a highly complicated reality.


There are no standalone arguments. However, basing a part of your epistemic model on the fact that the earth is not flat, is plenty tenable, and one would say not all that biased. I would argue that it's quickly becoming apparent that the models that Arvin, Guth, and Borde criticized are riddled with problems on all sides, and that our universe is inflationary, which has been established since Hubble.

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I am a bit confused by it. I'm going to guess that the resurrection is the only one of these events you've really looked into the apologetics for though, and the reason that is, is because most miracles and bizarre claims of this sort, have a ready-made apologetic literature, and there is a similar reliance on eyewitnesses. The simple issue is that the skeptical position is in some ways partly a posteriori, in that most skeptics find that miraculous claims exist as a set of implausible ones, where there are a lot of clear similarities between these issues.

In any case, the problem is that even if a resurrection of Jesus occurred, what's really theologically entailed? I mean, Jesus claimed to be building from the OT, and the NT claims to just be working from the revelation. But, the problem is that if we run into some obviously false, or obviously absurd claim within the overall theological structure, like the trinity, or the atonement, etc, how do we untangle the mess? Could Jesus really just be a fraud, even if the resurrection is true? (So, think of it this way: Jesus could be a puppet for malicious fairies. These fairies want to deceive people, so they have a supposed man claim to be the son of God, die and then come back. In this, we have a theory that avoids all of the theological problems of Christianity, but maintains a supernatural resurrection.) And the issue is that if one looks, there really is a lot of baggage, so I cited Deut 28:16-68 as something obviously ethically false. We can quibble on this, but even if we accept that God is a loving God, the idea that he'd give a threat like this is pretty close to absurd.


I don't go fishing through apologetic literature, I read works from certain publishers that I respect.

We must establish an understanding of the resurrection and it's relationship with different avenues of inquiry, before we discuss it's implications. Of course, I don't just expect us to agree, but with how much research I do, I'm not willing to tack on so many different fields and subfields that I have to think about and reference, all at the same time. I'm not capable of working that fast, sorry.

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Ethics is the relationship between God and man? I'd still think that would entail some things about normative ethics. The additional issue is that descriptive ethics can't be outright thrown out, because if God created man, then God would create the neurological underpinnings for human ethical claims, which would mean that if descriptive ethics really don't work well with a notion of God, then on the face of it, we have an ethical problem. Not only that, but Christian texts do affirm descriptive ethics to some degree

Rom 2:14-15 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. (15) They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them


An interesting viewpoint there, and I agree with you to a large extent. My description had mostly to do with it being less of a conflict between normative and descriptive ethics, and different hierarchal models of ethics, and more about contingency to God.

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Interesting.... because a lot of the stories are bizarre, and hard to really swallow if one maintains basic ethical intuitions. I mean, if one reads a textbook on ethics, some of the things taken as a basic starting point seem to outright be problematic with Christian theism.


I would say at this point that there are a great many misconceptions about the content of the OT, in particular, that stem from a lack of public knowledge about Semitic literature, ancient Near Eastern history, etc.

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The problem is that given the background rates of hallucination within the population, this actually ends up being relatively unreliable. http://www.psy-journal.com/article/S0165-1781(00)00227-4/abstract I mean, the simple issue is that various subjective experiences are reported by lots of people for lots of religions. Explaining this appears difficult, particularly explaining this within Christian theism, because there is little reason why a God would want all sorts of people to get so deluded about this. Naturalism will just claim that delusion rates are high, and that the issue is a complicated mess. A trickster fairy theory will maintain that the fairies like deluding people, so that's why we have these inconsistent revelations. But, a Christian God? I don't see the point, and yet, it isn't as if Christianity is the only religion to put a lot of emphasis on religious experiences.


I quote this material, but won't produce an answer for it, because of what I am willing to discuss at this point, and that I don't want to be redundant. The reason I quoted the material, is to give you the confidence that I didn't ignore it, or not want to answer it.
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Grebels
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

01001011 wrote:
Lukecash12 wrote:
01001011 wrote:
Define what is 'god'.


The most universal definition of God, is that there is an intelligent Creator.


Define 'intelligent'. Biologists are still debating how to compare the intelligence of different spices of animals. Good luck of assessing the 'intelligence' of 'the creator'.

Define 'creator'. Do you have a scientific theory of creation? Otherwise your 'creator' is just nonsense gibberish.


Do you have a scientific theory of creation? We do have what scientist and writer John Gribbin calls Desperate Remedies.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grebels wrote:
01001011 wrote:
Lukecash12 wrote:
01001011 wrote:
Define what is 'god'.


The most universal definition of God, is that there is an intelligent Creator.


Define 'intelligent'. Biologists are still debating how to compare the intelligence of different spices of animals. Good luck of assessing the 'intelligence' of 'the creator'.

Define 'creator'. Do you have a scientific theory of creation? Otherwise your 'creator' is just nonsense gibberish.


Do you have a scientific theory of creation? We do have what scientist and writer John Gribbin calls Desperate Remedies.


There is no scientific theory of creation. The very concept makes no sense. It is unscientific to assume everything was "created" and work backwards from this position to "verify" it
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lukecash12 wrote:

To start with, I get the feeling that you may not be reading my entire posts before responding to them. But I don't think that's the case. I would merely like to ask that you do that, as I have done for you, so that we both can have that much more confidence in each other while debating. It can be boring getting into a redundant debate, you know?

Why would I read entire posts first? I read subsections and respond to each subsection as it comes.

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This seems to be a non-issue anyways. You see, you used fairly strong language about technical terms, as if you avoid them like the devil. I've not been terribly technical, have I? And you've followed my references well enough. So, the terms I use don't seem to be an issue. There is plenty of plain language in a good debate, too, I agree.

I probably overstate my hatred, but there is a tendency to focus on analytics first.

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If you would be more clear about what fallacious understatements I have made, and to what affect those statements are fallacies, then I would understand your meaning there. I just don't see where you've made a proper inference about my level of bias.

"Fallacious understatement" does not entail that you have committed an argumentative fallacy. "Fallacious" simply means false. In any case, Lukecash12, the issue is your statement that I seem unfamiliar with Christian apologetics/Christian academics, and even your presumption to test my knowledge.

As for "proper inference", really?

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1. You don't seem to understand the full breadth of philosophy. There is a reason doctorates are abbreviated as philosophical doctorates. Every academic endeavor we know today is a contingent part of philosophy, it's greater whole. You have merely criticized certain fields of philosophy there. At one time, science was actually called natural philosophy, because science is based upon empiricism and empiricism is a philosophical position. So, philosophy is specifically the reason why we drive cars and talk to each other using cell phones.

..........?

Every academic endeavor we know today, except for philosophy, has split off from philosophy. We know these disciplines have split off because they no longer concern themselves with explicitly philosophical concerns, and now concern themselves with handling the data their methodologies, which are a result of historical evolutions and yes, some philosophical efforts of the past, have given them. However, there is a real branching off. This branching off is reflected in our language, in the interrelations between academic disciplines, etc. You may as well be arguing that auto mechanics is a sub-discipline of philosophy. Even further though, there is really no reason to believe what you're saying is true about the academic discipline of philosophy, as you're conflating philosophical speculation and basic epistemic claims, and the latter do not depend on the former, meaning that if we have basic epistemic beliefs and use them well in our pragmatic goals, then we may very easily find methods that "work", without actually doing any philosophical speculation, and it isn't even inconceivable that science could somehow historically develop like that. (After all, today, scientists don't really take much input from philosophers, and the input they do take may easily be window dressing)

The central issue is that you're taking an inflationary interpretation of the word "philosophy", so your speculation on my understanding is a) incredibly arrogant, and b) based upon an improper reading, and c) based upon a poor understanding of language altogether.

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3. You are merely referring to different philosophers who make less substantial progress than others. Scientists are philosophers, too.

Only by an incredibly bizarre interpretation of the word "philosophy". Frankly, my auto mechanic may be a philosopher as well by that standard, in that he uses his epistemology to deduce what is more or less likely given certain states of the world and applies this theory. Frankly though, you seem to be mistaking a definition of the word for the essence of the word, AND you're taking an unusual definition of the word "philosophy" and "philosopher" as well... which... just as a point of language use, isn't really that good of an idea.

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You speak in "cans" and "sometimes" there, at the end, not having a clue as to whether such types of rigorous arguments are representative of my own logic. Once again, we probably agree in that, for example, a lot of modal arguments have been framed that commit a basic error in logic. Especially ontological arguments that have a modal frame.

I speak in "cans" and "sometimes" because there are variations, and frankly, you giving a high emphasis on formality, jargon, etc, usually suggests that you are in the category of people that uses technical arguments when they'd be the worst way to go forward, especially given how often you emphasize how smart you are.

I am not talking about logical errors. If anything, I am talking about rhetorical problems, and issues where evaluation is made difficult.

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Those considerations are irrelevant for the time being. We needn't get ahead of ourselves.

They are absolutely relevant. What is entailed by the resurrection is a part of how probable we are to consider the event. So, if the resurrection entails a logical impossibility, then it is certainly false. If the resurrection entails a gross improbability, it becomes less likely to be true as well. The probability of an event is not disconnected from what it entails.

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He was merely an example. We needn't quibble over nothing.

Eh, it was simply an unusual example for you to pick, especially when suggesting my lack of knowledge.

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Yes, yes, I am familiar with those facts and am familiar with that argument. Just because I like to use technical language, doesn't mean you need to pontificate to me like this. Is it really necessary?

Is it really necessary on your end? Trust me, you've done more than your share of pontification. In fact, the very intro to this thread was an exultation of the grandeur of your intellect. Not only that, but I *like* GE Moore's "Here is a hand". I used to dislike it, but he's getting at something very important with presenting an argument like that.

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You have simply claimed that I treat them as if they have the same burden of proof. I haven't explicitly said that much, and in fact I don't. We differ in our approach to the subject in that you aren't segregating ideas in the same way that I do. Because historiography is one of the valid avenues, I apply it's methodology. It has something to do with the resurrection, does it not? Then it is a valid avenue to visit. Yet you make claims as to what my idea of the burden of proof is, etc., simply because I am segregating the issue down to more specific and distinct lines of inquiry than yourself.

It tells us nothing to misapply a method.

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I would invite you to take a look at sciences such as anthropology, that focus more on a comparative and relativistic approach. Because there is historical data to look at, I deemed it relevant to the issue.
I have looked at social sciences. The issue/problem is that we're not really dealing with a historical question at this point.

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You have merely inferred the type of logic I use, without enough explicit material to do so. I would appreciate some patience in this matter. You could at least return the courtesy of not using language like "utter failure" everywhere just before characterizing my logic.

You merely infer the type of logic I use in multiple situations as well, without enough explicit material to do so, as well. So, pot meet kettle.

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This just appears to be more wire crossing. Historiography, if segregated as it's own inquiry, makes both of those claims (that of a hallucination and that of a resurrection) seem pretty untenable. With historiography alone, the two just seem like remote and impossibly contrived possibilities. More pointedly, I wasn't yet out to prove the resurrection. I was out to prove those twelve facts.

You're only trying to segregate it to misuse it outside of the domain. At best that's confused methodology. At worst that's trying to conflate two different claims.

As for your method of proving those facts, it's rhetorical bait and switch and anybody who sees the circumstance can recognize that. These 12 facts are utterly unimportant in this situation BEYOND proving a resurrection, and the burden of proof they carry varies between whether we would want to independently establish one of these facts, and whether we'd want to use the fact to prove the resurrection. So, the only plausible thing you're doing, assuming you're a rational agent, is an invalid move.

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Historiography merely has to do with what we can do with historical data. At one point, it wasn't valid in terms of other things we can't understand. You've presumably read the writings of various historians throughout history, noticing the differences in what they can do with the data they have. I merely wish to establish an understanding between you and I, as to what the data is and what may it or may not indicate. We've covered some ground there, but we've yet to agree on which of the twelve facts seem tenable.

We're strongly disagreeing because your efforts are at best confused, and at worst dishonest. The thread isn't a historiographical question. It's a debate about a supernatural hypothesis. If we needed to know whether I was at home just out of curiosity, the burden of proof is minimal. If we need it to exculpate me from a murder, the demands of the situation are massively different. Switching the two is a recipe for conflation and basically just a bait and switch kind of method.

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1. Correct, you haven't said anything about impossibility. I would state for myself now, that resurrection seems to be naturalistically impossible. And I would also state that we have no parallel either for such hallucinations as you have described, moreover that they seem impossible to me. We know of no such instance, under those circumstances. It would literally have to have been a page out of "One flew over the cuckoo's nest" for your poison to be tenable, and it wasn't a page out of that book. We can safely assume that they weren't all susceptible to those conditions (skepticism throwing heavy doubt on that), given their diverse backgrounds and intellectually diverse writings. On so many levels, the idea that they were hallucinatory to the point of believing it like a schizoid, is just not a conclusion I'd ever be behind.

Actually, I haven't described very much. You're filling in more details than I have. However, I haven't described anything physically impossible. Two people having the exact same hallucination, is, strictly speaking, even holding to the WORST case scenario, grossly improbable, but not impossible.

The simple issue is that let's assume every possible thing that could go wrong in the story, DID actually go wrong. So, we have multiple hallucinations(LSD in the bread? who knows???), the hallucinators convinced themselves they had the same hallucination, the story went out and was poorly fact checked, etc. All of these kinds of things are possible. Frankly, given the bare minimalism I'm giving in my doubts, I'd simply that that you have a bias.

You don't have enough information for the kind of wild diversity you're talking about, especially given the degree to which you've EMPHATICALLY EMPHASIZED their Jewishness, so.... you can't pick both sides of the argument and say that they are both so diverse that they would not be susceptible to the same things, and yet also say they were so uniformly insular that the couldn't be susceptible to a certain kind of persuasion. The disciples were fisherman, so they weren't actually writing anything, so talking about "intellectually diverse writings" tells me nothing. Only Paul's writings really appear to be written by an original author and that is mainstream scholarship.

Finally, I've already shown that hallucinations are very common in the background population. The issue here is that then a hallucination isn't schizoid. If 40% of the population has some form of hallucinations at some point in their life, and if we're talking about a group of people under heavy stress, potentially prone to being persuaded, and all of that, then it's not really that bizarre of an idea. Hallucinations are common experiences.

That being said, the big issue is that massive hallucinations are *STILL* more probable than resurrections. And I'm not strictly to that. I mean, for all I know there was a twin that the gospels forgot, there was a cynical propaganda campaign. Who really knows what happened? I don't know how a lot of murders and crimes actually happen. I've had events in my own life that were quite confusing to most participants and where nobody would believe the story. But, I really get the feeling that this isn't about whether a resurrection is a good idea, you've just got a pet theory and you really really like it, because the kind of evidence is just not good enough. I mean, hell, given the kind of evidence that scripture represents, mythicism is more plausible than a resurrection. I'm not a mythicist by any means, but frankly, I lose less by disclaiming, reinterpreting, etc, all of these sources into saying that Christ is a myth, than by proclaiming a resurrection because of how bad the evidence is.

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You probably know that we can see a psychological imprint in one's writing style and use internal criticism to infer more, in terms of ideological background and what that would make them susceptible to. Say, for example, we look at a religion that endorses the use of hallucinogenic drugs, like the Native American idea of a vision quest, and we have a good idea of what such adherents are susceptible to. But that is, of course, a hyperbolic example.

No, you really can't. Unless they are outright psychologically disturbed, you won't have much of an ability. And once again, I'm not claiming insanity, I'm making a claim about human unreliability, not of some humans, but ALL humans. Once again, hallucinations within the population, within psychologically normal people, are actually incredibly common.

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We do have data, when it comes to those very pressures you talk about. People's brothers die all the time, for example. I literally thought I saw my aunt Maxine after she died. But my understanding of life and death confirmed for me that those were projections, not real. If I were in a more fragmented state, I may have believed she was still alive. Would I have convinced anyone else in that state, especially considering that for me to say that aunt Maxine was still alive, would have been very contrary to my other family member's understanding of life and death?

If you have an extreme situation, like a dead spouse, the chance of hallucination actually jumps up to 50-50, with many people claiming to see their dead loved one. So, here's the issue: you have a very extreme psychological distress, more than a dead aunt, impacting everybody in a community, and even a massive pressure to alleviate cognitive dissonance, AND you simply don't have to persuade everybody. So, here's what happen, massive hallucinations, a resurrection theory emerges and becomes central to a large group of people within the cult who are trying to suppress cognitive dissonance.(Like with Festinger) This suppression isn't plausible to everybody, so some people leave, but the story is told by the people who stay. The people who stay, are then invigorated, like the Gospels tell us that the disciples became, they confidently go forward into the world spreading their faith.

Is this utterly implausible? No. It really could potentially happen, and if it did happen, under the right circumstances, with the right failings in the community, and everything else, then it all goes to hell.

Your family wasn't suppressing massive cognitive dissonance or suffering from massive existential crisis when your aunt Maxine died. We have seen cults reinvent themselves when their faith is disconfirmed and pick something utterly implausible for their story. Now, even if this is just a really really weird idea, it's not WEIRDER than a resurrection, which is kind of the problem with your idea.

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2. Right, but they don't fit the profile at all of syncretists. They weren't a party to the Romans, having been common folk. Their diverse educational backgrounds are apparent in their writing skills. Most importantly, one of the biggest motifs within the NT, is resisting syncretism. Paul considered Hellenic thinking to be vain philosophy, for example.

So... it's statistically less likely? So what?? The issue is that you need certain facts for your resurrection claim. Writing analysis just isn't statistically powerful enough to be undoubtable, so if I had to doubt a resurrection or the writing analysis, I'd pick the later.

Even further, a motif of resisting syncretism doesn't prove anything. A major motif in conservative Christianity is resisting the world, but they are deeply influenced by their cultural background and the intellectual assumptions surrounding them. It doesn't prove half as much as you are pretending it does. It certainly doesn't prove enough for a resurrection claim to pop up later.

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3. There are specific reasons that people have memory alteration, and it's rare for such projections to agree well with one another. Moreover, oral tradition has controls against this. If you would actually read the article, and discuss the issue instead of merely swiping it aside, we could make some progress on that issue. You have made claims about what you think their oral tradition is capable of, and what the size of their group means about their traditions, without presenting critique along the lines of proper methodology. There are available social sciences, such as cultural anthropology, that have made leaps and bounds, and while not set in stone as other sciences, they are quite useful.

Alteration isn't projection, memory alterations frequently can be made to agree. Just make a suggestion, and people's memories all alter in similar ways.

Oral traditions can have some controls over this, but the invocation is once again a speculation. It may have some probabilistic strength but ENOUGH TO PROVE A RESURRECTION? No. I don't need much proper methodology to see this as outright faulty.

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You have also stated that they didn't use the rabbinic method of oral transmission, when it is actually indicated by the texts that they did. The standard introduction to a rabbinic transmission is used before several of the creeds, and 1st Corinthians 15 has been dated to within 5 years of the crucifixion because of it's rough translation from Aramaic.

The creeds were not actually part of scripture(or are you referring to something other than the Apostle's creed or something else). 1st Corinthians is written by Paul. I assumed we're talking about non-Pauline sources.

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Now we're really getting ahead of ourselves. If you want to make claims of that nature, we need to discuss the origins of Mark. There is demonstrably a controlled oral tradition as well as an ICOT throughout the NT, which can be seen from the oral forms of stories, such as creeds, parables, etc. The creeds are rabbinic, while the parables are ICOT.

Demonstrated to the point where we can use this to prove a resurrection? No.

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ICOT is ingrained in Semitic culture, friend. It doesn't have group size prerequisites, etc. It is a control over oral material that is integral to the life of a Semitic person. Also, we see ICOT's that are alive and well within groups that size. Take the Bedouins as an example.

But we're talking about the Christian sub-group. Group-size and function really matter, as Christians were not allowed to utterly segregate themselves like the Bedouins. The use of it is an extrapolation, not an interpolation, and that's a massive problem.

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Which would have to be established, and which isn't the norm in an ICOT. If you would, please read the article. I will have much more material to share later, as well, on Semitic oral traditions. You act as if ICOT is much more haphazard than it really is. Semitic people are downright anal about their ICOT's, to the point that you can't have any authority to share the traditions if you haven't been born in that village, depending on the group you look at.

Yes, but Christianity doesn't have a village. It didn't have a group of people born into it. The transmission wasn't just within believers.

Simply put: ICOT is referring to a certain set of socio-cultural institutions that existed in certain developed cultures. Christianity was not itself a developed culture like this. You're talking about an interpolation.

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Right, and we think that way specifically because they fit historical criteria poorly, my friend. Also, that blog is hardly a scholarly work. I would assert that the statistics are misleading because of the specific difference between other groups and this particular group that I have focused on: the early Christians. That is because, I also see no problem in using the differences within information transmission and the prior beliefs of the groups, to easily point out precedent for each of those other miraculous claims. The Salem Witch trials are like a caricature of Puritanical thought, very easy to profile along those lines.

Honestly, no. The witnesses signed documents, written much like a legal document. That's an easily verified historical fact, much much easier to verify than the Semitic history, as we don't have to concern ourselves with ICOTs and everything else. They lived and died as mormons, even the one who didn't rejoin Smith's church still affirmed the essence of Mormon doctrine which depends on Smith's revelation. I mean, to be blunt, in many ways they really are much more credible as sources than yours. I'm saying that because it's a fact.

The blog is by philosopher Matt McCormick. This argument is one that he's developed/developing for academic consumption and has presented in scholarly debate on the resurrection. At minimum, he's already written a book that's to be published this year.

Your method is called something very simple: special pleading. The basic issue is that anybody can make up a hack excuse to avoid the statistical prediction rule, so the marital couple is somehow different, therefore they're exempt, etc, etc, ect, but the statistical prediction rule still tends to win out. As for the point of precedent, the problem is that there is always a first event. It's pretty meaningless to me, this is entirely an effort on your part to protect your special idea.

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If you would point out those similarities, instead of acting like everything is obvious (which is beginning to sound arrogant to me, honestly), then we could get somewhere. If everything is so obvious to you, that you merely need to make references without establishing anything, then how on earth do you define "obvious"?

Beginning to sound arrogant? You started this entire thread in downright arrogance, you f**k. This is really all about your preening goddamn ego, and all of the statements about your "marvelous knowledge" and all of that, are just obviously gratuitous.

I don't even know your issue. You're trying to pretend the situations are utterly dissimilar to establish your particular pet idea as special. To anybody who isn't already outright enamored, this is an act of special pleading. Calling this "obvious" is just calling a spade a spade. Most people would be fine taking it for granted, as it is clear that most of these other events involve religious, religion-like, or magical properties in some way, shape, or form. I have no desire to tutor someone who has made themselves obtuse.

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You critique seems to be anachronistic, in that it doesn't appreciate Semitic thinking very well. Semitic people aren't "fact-checkers". They focus on the important details, and don't get worked up over things that seem inconsequential to them. The differences there between why the field got it's name, don't seem mutually exclusive at all, and the whole story there of Judas seems to be from a second hand account, considering that they were no longer associated with Jesus. It was a grapevine story. The resurrection story isn't like that at all, and the resurrection story has oral material of a much different nature surrounding it. The death of Judas wasn't important enough to warrant the composition of a creed.

.... The differences are explicitly mutually exclusive.

Not only that, but quite simply, if we cannot trust them to really check facts well, we're simply not going to have much reason to trust them with the essence of a claim. How do we know that a hoax wasn't pulled? How do we know that an original story was falsified? Etc. The reliability of modern scholarship is fact checking, and you seem perfectly willing to appreciate this earlier. The problem is that we know of our current FALSE miraculous issues because of fact-checking, and so if this is not occurring, we still really cannot appreciate the past events.

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There are no standalone arguments. However, basing a part of your epistemic model on the fact that the earth is not flat, is plenty tenable, and one would say not all that biased. I would argue that it's quickly becoming apparent that the models that Arvin, Guth, and Borde criticized are riddled with problems on all sides, and that our universe is inflationary, which has been established since Hubble.

Ok? I don't see you really proving anything. The Arvin, Guth, and Borde criticized models had infinite past inflation, which was considered the issue. Simply dropping that would make them viable. Not only that, but frankly, there's a thousand other ways to avoid having an actual God in the matter.

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I don't go fishing through apologetic literature, I read works from certain publishers that I respect.

We must establish an understanding of the resurrection and it's relationship with different avenues of inquiry, before we discuss it's implications. Of course, I don't just expect us to agree, but with how much research I do, I'm not willing to tack on so many different fields and subfields that I have to think about and reference, all at the same time. I'm not capable of working that fast, sorry.

No, we don't have to establish an understanding of the resurrection at all before the implications. The resurrection doesn't standalone. If it entails an absurdity, then it is obviously false.

As for fields and subfields and all of that, honestly, we're not talking about a distinct issue. If Christ is the God who proclaimed death threats to the ancient Israelites, or who is wholly good and allows evil, or he is the God who proclaimed himself a trinity, then we have reason to think he simply is not a god at all. And given that we assign no credibility to fairies whatsoever, if that becomes our best idea, then for the most part, I'd expect the entire line of a resurrection to be abandoned. I don't see very many non-Christians who believe in a resurrection.

In any case, I'm done. Miraculous claims are just an outright joke, and pretending otherwise is to require a large set of special pleading. They simply cannot even begin to approach our background implausibility issues, and this entire debate isn't even approaching that huge problem. It doesn't even care to address that the issues entailed by a resurrection are clearly absurdities. In short, it just appears to be a half-baked model of reality involved here, and there is no real point to engaging it.
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Awesomelyglorious
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LKL wrote:
AG, I suspect that 01001011 was merely asking for clarification about *which* version of a creator Luke was referring to: the Deist modely which sets things into motion and then takes its hands off for the rest of the Universe's history, to the Fundamentalist model with a 6000 year old Univese and a god meddling in the vibrations of every atom, or somewhere in between.

While that's more reasonable, his wording didn't suggest that well. My interpretation was in line with my past readings of his comments.
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Lukecash12
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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"Fallacious understatement" does not entail that you have committed an argumentative fallacy. "Fallacious" simply means false. In any case, Lukecash12, the issue is your statement that I seem unfamiliar with Christian apologetics/Christian academics, and even your presumption to test my knowledge.

As for "proper inference", really?


You hadn't made it clear what your level of education was, and remember what you've pointed out yourself: we're online. My presumption had less to do with regarding myself as being somewhere in comparison to you, and more to do with wondering what it is that we could discuss.

There are types of inferences, as you know, like reductio ad absurdum. It wasn't clear what kind of an inference you were making, so I asked you to present a type name, and/or at least explain the where the premises led to the conclusion for you.

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..........?

Every academic endeavor we know today, except for philosophy, has split off from philosophy. We know these disciplines have split off because they no longer concern themselves with explicitly philosophical concerns, and now concern themselves with handling the data their methodologies, which are a result of historical evolutions and yes, some philosophical efforts of the past, have given them. However, there is a real branching off. This branching off is reflected in our language, in the interrelations between academic disciplines, etc. You may as well be arguing that auto mechanics is a sub-discipline of philosophy. Even further though, there is really no reason to believe what you're saying is true about the academic discipline of philosophy, as you're conflating philosophical speculation and basic epistemic claims, and the latter do not depend on the former, meaning that if we have basic epistemic beliefs and use them well in our pragmatic goals, then we may very easily find methods that "work", without actually doing any philosophical speculation, and it isn't even inconceivable that science could somehow historically develop like that. (After all, today, scientists don't really take much input from philosophers, and the input they do take may easily be window dressing)

The central issue is that you're taking an inflationary interpretation of the word "philosophy", so your speculation on my understanding is a) incredibly arrogant, and b) based upon an improper reading, and c) based upon a poor understanding of language altogether.


I wasn't focusing on definition, so much as I was focusing on basic relationships like heirarchy. Science is dependent on philosophy, because scientists subscribe to empiricism in order to draw their conclusions. It was not so clear and apt of me to say that that made scientists philosophers. The thrust of that expression was that it is important to appreciate comparative relevance, at the same time that we appreciate segregation. For example: Physics, chemistry, and genetics, all have implications when it comes to looking at the issue of abiogenesis,

At this point, I'm not sure whether you are having more difficult with literal interpretation, or I am. It looks like, that the autism spectrum may contribute to this, in that we would maybe even need to stamp labels on everything in order to communicate clearly, like: this is a definition, or this denotes a relationship, or this is allegorical, etc.

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Only by an incredibly bizarre interpretation of the word "philosophy". Frankly, my auto mechanic may be a philosopher as well by that standard, in that he uses his epistemology to deduce what is more or less likely given certain states of the world and applies this theory. Frankly though, you seem to be mistaking a definition of the word for the essence of the word, AND you're taking an unusual definition of the word "philosophy" and "philosopher" as well... which... just as a point of language use, isn't really that good of an idea.


I wasn't defining philosophy or the other academic fields. I was looking at what they set out to do, and concerning myself with issues like contingency, dependency, and epistemic hierarchy.

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I speak in "cans" and "sometimes" because there are variations, and frankly, you giving a high emphasis on formality, jargon, etc, usually suggests that you are in the category of people that uses technical arguments when they'd be the worst way to go forward, especially given how often you emphasize how smart you are.

I am not talking about logical errors. If anything, I am talking about rhetorical problems, and issues where evaluation is made difficult.


Yes, I can see as much and agree. I too dislike arguments that turn into dense algebra, or modalism, because a lot of times they reduce down too many elements, and really do make evaluation difficult.

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They are absolutely relevant. What is entailed by the resurrection is a part of how probable we are to consider the event. So, if the resurrection entails a logical impossibility, then it is certainly false. If the resurrection entails a gross improbability, it becomes less likely to be true as well. The probability of an event is not disconnected from what it entails.


They are relevant in the way that you describe them there, but not so relevant to historiography. There are things that historiography can't tell, which we supplement with the accepted understanding of science and philosophy. Several Roman historians, who wrote about apotheosis, were still great historians, weren't they? I don't pretend that I am not intending to relate the twelve facts to proving the resurrection. It's just that historical data can't touch a lot of issues, and as I stated before, I don't have the time or the resources to handle so many different fields at once.

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Is it really necessary on your end? Trust me, you've done more than your share of pontification. In fact, the very intro to this thread was an exultation of the grandeur of your intellect. Not only that, but I *like* GE Moore's "Here is a hand". I used to dislike it, but he's getting at something very important with presenting an argument like that.


Yes, I guess I have done some of that, too, and I'm sorry about that. You just call me on that, and I will answer for it. It seems there is another communication breakdown here, as well. My start of the thread was more tongue-in-cheek, and probably a not so great way of trying to entice people to discuss the issues with me, as opposed to this idea you've gotten of me.

GE Moore's argument is interesting, but I guess I'm just less impressed than you because I don't think that enough criteria were established and conditions met.

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It tells us nothing to misapply a method.


Sorry, but I don't see your meaning there. Very suggestive of a statement, but I don't see what parts it's referring to, what you mean by "method" and "misapply". Your vocabulary confuses me a lot.

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I have looked at social sciences. The issue/problem is that we're not really dealing with a historical question at this point.


I don't see how it isn't. If it is alleged an event that was recorded, then is it not an historical story? I see the different fields involved as different portions of the problem, and try to figure out an order of operations just like in math, or at the very least try to segregate them and deal with each of them before I make generalizations.

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You merely infer the type of logic I use in multiple situations as well, without enough explicit material to do so, as well. So, pot meet kettle.


Right, which means that neither you nor I make "utter failures". You're not a bad guy, I don't think you're intellectually dishonest or stupid. Because of my own disposition and philosophy, I actually like and respect you, just like everyone else. Maybe things get prickly, but if we can at least establish a certain amount of trust and understand each other's intentions, we can ask openended questions when something irks us, instead of wagging our fingers at "utter failure".

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You're only trying to segregate it to misuse it outside of the domain. At best that's confused methodology. At worst that's trying to conflate two different claims.

As for your method of proving those facts, it's rhetorical bait and switch and anybody who sees the circumstance can recognize that. These 12 facts are utterly unimportant in this situation BEYOND proving a resurrection, and the burden of proof they carry varies between whether we would want to independently establish one of these facts, and whether we'd want to use the fact to prove the resurrection. So, the only plausible thing you're doing, assuming you're a rational agent, is an invalid move.


As for the first sentence, what is it that makes you think I have such a motive, and what type of misuse are you referring to? How are the claims being conflated? I would ask that you try to be demonstrative as well as descriptive, in order that we both can communicate with each other more clearly.

Why don't you just ask me what my motive is, before you tally up what you think are the options and mull over what you think is plausible? I want to do the same for you, and am trying.

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We're strongly disagreeing because your efforts are at best confused, and at worst dishonest. The thread isn't a historiographical question. It's a debate about a supernatural hypothesis. If we needed to know whether I was at home just out of curiosity, the burden of proof is minimal. If we need it to exculpate me from a murder, the demands of the situation are massively different. Switching the two is a recipe for conflation and basically just a bait and switch kind of method.


Once again, you are being heavily descriptive, but hardly demonstrative, here. You don't refer enough back to my material that you are commenting on, in order for me to understand you and you tell me that I must be either confused or dishonest, as if those are the only two options for someone who disagrees with you like I do (or at least that is how I understood it, and I invite you to explain what you meant if that isn't it).

I try not to pigeonhole you, please don't do the same to me. Maybe my suggestions offended you. I was thinking along some of the same probabilistic lines that you seem to, when coming up with suggestions. Please consider that my language hasn't actually been all that emphatic so far, and that I have actually wanted to keep an open line of communication about all the things I've suggested and inferred.

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Actually, I haven't described very much. You're filling in more details than I have. However, I haven't described anything physically impossible. Two people having the exact same hallucination, is, strictly speaking, even holding to the WORST case scenario, grossly improbable, but not impossible.

The simple issue is that let's assume every possible thing that could go wrong in the story, DID actually go wrong. So, we have multiple hallucinations(LSD in the bread? who knows???), the hallucinators convinced themselves they had the same hallucination, the story went out and was poorly fact checked, etc. All of these kinds of things are possible. Frankly, given the bare minimalism I'm giving in my doubts, I'd simply that that you have a bias.

You don't have enough information for the kind of wild diversity you're talking about, especially given the degree to which you've EMPHATICALLY EMPHASIZED their Jewishness, so.... you can't pick both sides of the argument and say that they are both so diverse that they would not be susceptible to the same things, and yet also say they were so uniformly insular that the couldn't be susceptible to a certain kind of persuasion. The disciples were fisherman, so they weren't actually writing anything, so talking about "intellectually diverse writings" tells me nothing. Only Paul's writings really appear to be written by an original author and that is mainstream scholarship.

Finally, I've already shown that hallucinations are very common in the background population. The issue here is that then a hallucination isn't schizoid. If 40% of the population has some form of hallucinations at some point in their life, and if we're talking about a group of people under heavy stress, potentially prone to being persuaded, and all of that, then it's not really that bizarre of an idea. Hallucinations are common experiences.

That being said, the big issue is that massive hallucinations are *STILL* more probable than resurrections. And I'm not strictly to that. I mean, for all I know there was a twin that the gospels forgot, there was a cynical propaganda campaign. Who really knows what happened? I don't know how a lot of murders and crimes actually happen. I've had events in my own life that were quite confusing to most participants and where nobody would believe the story. But, I really get the feeling that this isn't about whether a resurrection is a good idea, you've just got a pet theory and you really really like it, because the kind of evidence is just not good enough. I mean, hell, given the kind of evidence that scripture represents, mythicism is more plausible than a resurrection. I'm not a mythicist by any means, but frankly, I lose less by disclaiming, reinterpreting, etc, all of these sources into saying that Christ is a myth, than by proclaiming a resurrection because of how bad the evidence is.


That is quite apt, but there is an accumulation of data to account for. You seem to me, to be dismantling things one at a time, when I have been thinking along these kinds of lines: skeptics+improbability+religious background+several other datums=hallucination starts to look, after the accumulation of the evidence, as an impossible cause, because it is contrived on so many levels as to look absurd. The resurrection, on the other hand, only seems to be contrived on the levels of basic probability, and precedent for the event and interpreting it as such (after the data is accumulated).

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No, you really can't. Unless they are outright psychologically disturbed, you won't have much of an ability. And once again, I'm not claiming insanity, I'm making a claim about human unreliability, not of some humans, but ALL humans. Once again, hallucinations within the population, within psychologically normal people, are actually incredibly common.


Man, do I wish that I had my library right now... I'm not interested in an "nuh'uh" battle, friend. I've read plenty of works on psychological profiling, and how accurate it can be (and I mean established empirically, by profiling living people and seeing how well the profile fits). there is plenty of room to profile people using their writing. For example, I can see AS written all over a lot of the posts here, and I can see other personality traits and neurological traits written all over the posts here (by "here", I mean here at WP). I may not be able to profile them very accurately, because I am not a professional who does psychological profiling, but I can see at least that a person's writing has some major indications in it.

Also, hallucinations are incredibly common, you are right. However, it is highly statistically unlikely for a common person to succumb to the hallucination and start altering their memories and fundamental perceptions because of hallucinations. While I'm on the subject of memory alteration, and thinking of later portions of your post, I would ask what type of memory alteration you were referring to, because they are several types. I am thinking that you are referring to the type of memory alteration that is like this: "Hmmm... Did it happen that way, Tom? I guess it did..."

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If you have an extreme situation, like a dead spouse, the chance of hallucination actually jumps up to 50-50, with many people claiming to see their dead loved one. So, here's the issue: you have a very extreme psychological distress, more than a dead aunt, impacting everybody in a community, and even a massive pressure to alleviate cognitive dissonance, AND you simply don't have to persuade everybody. So, here's what happen, massive hallucinations, a resurrection theory emerges and becomes central to a large group of people within the cult who are trying to suppress cognitive dissonance.(Like with Festinger) This suppression isn't plausible to everybody, so some people leave, but the story is told by the people who stay. The people who stay, are then invigorated, like the Gospels tell us that the disciples became, they confidently go forward into the world spreading their faith.

Is this utterly implausible? No. It really could potentially happen, and if it did happen, under the right circumstances, with the right failings in the community, and everything else, then it all goes to hell.

Your family wasn't suppressing massive cognitive dissonance or suffering from massive existential crisis when your aunt Maxine died. We have seen cults reinvent themselves when their faith is disconfirmed and pick something utterly implausible for their story. Now, even if this is just a really really weird idea, it's not WEIRDER than a resurrection, which is kind of the problem with your idea.


Yes, I can see that and agree with a lot of it. But I was thinking of a different statistical probability than you: how much hallucinations translate into something else, especially when a hallucination seems heavily contrary to the accepted beliefs of the person hallucinating.

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So... it's statistically less likely? So what?? The issue is that you need certain facts for your resurrection claim. Writing analysis just isn't statistically powerful enough to be undoubtable, so if I had to doubt a resurrection or the writing analysis, I'd pick the later.

Even further, a motif of resisting syncretism doesn't prove anything. A major motif in conservative Christianity is resisting the world, but they are deeply influenced by their cultural background and the intellectual assumptions surrounding them. It doesn't prove half as much as you are pretending it does. It certainly doesn't prove enough for a resurrection claim to pop up later.


I never said writing analysis couldn't be doubted. I wasn't pretending the motif was concrete proof either, there are several other factors involved, amongst them being cultural background and intellectual assumptions just like you mentioned. Actually, I would say that I've shown that those two things you've mentioned are resistant to syncretism in that group. Semitic peoples were very isolationist, could be pretty xenophobic, and on many different levels self contained. Given the times, the literacy profiles of those amongst them who contributed to the NT, and how the Christian movement thought of the issue of syncretism (as seen very clearly throughout the writings of Paul, who rebukes syncretists), there appears to be even more indication that they weren't syncretists.

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Alteration isn't projection, memory alterations frequently can be made to agree. Just make a suggestion, and people's memories all alter in similar ways.

Oral traditions can have some controls over this, but the invocation is once again a speculation. It may have some probabilistic strength but ENOUGH TO PROVE A RESURRECTION? No. I don't need much proper methodology to see this as outright faulty.


1. There isn't much room for alteration in ICOT, and basically no room for alteration in the rabbinic tradition. Also, people are less open to suggestion about things they find very important, and skeptics are especially resistant to such alteration.
2. No, oral tradition alone doesn't have the probabilistic strength. However, because the resurrection is a remote possibility according to my understanding of naturalism and what is possible, and there are so many different datums that can be tallied towards the resurrection being probable, I find that the resurrection is pretty probable, and at the least a rational assumption.

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The creeds were not actually part of scripture(or are you referring to something other than the Apostle's creed or something else). 1st Corinthians is written by Paul. I assumed we're talking about non-Pauline sources.


Sorry for the confusion, I didn't mean to refer to the Catholic creeds. There are creeds imbedded in the NT, that most every critic agrees as being the oldest Christian material, most often dating to within five years of the crucifixion. Paul, when introducing his creed right at the beginning of 1st Corinthians 15, uses what everyone at the time understood to be the language of rabbinic transmission (and thus material they needed to memorize verbatim), and then he gives an account that is a pretty rough translation from Aramaic into Greek, indicating a very old original. There are many such creeds in the NT.

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Demonstrated to the point where we can use this to prove a resurrection? No.


I agree.

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But we're talking about the Christian sub-group. Group-size and function really matter, as Christians were not allowed to utterly segregate themselves like the Bedouins. The use of it is an extrapolation, not an interpolation, and that's a massive problem.


If you would, please read up on the ICOT and comment on it. I am mainly working off of the material that comes from the earliest Christians, who were Jews. The reason I keep prodding you to read the article, is for you to understand the relationship between ICOT and group size. ICOT works just fine with small families, all the way up to pretty sizable groups (like whole communities), because of it's focus on there being criteria for having the privilege of making authoritative statements about traditional material. As Paul focuses on a fair amount in his writings, the Christian beliefs being spread throughout Judea were based off of the template of the Apostolic group in Jerusalem. Paul had to confirm his authority to talk about the issue, and memorize the creeds, as is indicated in Galatians 3.

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Yes, but Christianity doesn't have a village. It didn't have a group of people born into it. The transmission wasn't just within believers.

Simply put: ICOT is referring to a certain set of socio-cultural institutions that existed in certain developed cultures. Christianity was not itself a developed culture like this. You're talking about an interpolation.


Christianity doesn't have a village, it has a city called Jerusalem, with a smaller Christian community within it. The Apostles there had the ultimate authority as to the contents and message of the gospel, which is why Paul had to go to them, learn from them, and return to them to confirm that his message was in submission to their authority.

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Honestly, no. The witnesses signed documents, written much like a legal document. That's an easily verified historical fact, much much easier to verify than the Semitic history, as we don't have to concern ourselves with ICOTs and everything else. They lived and died as mormons, even the one who didn't rejoin Smith's church still affirmed the essence of Mormon doctrine which depends on Smith's revelation. I mean, to be blunt, in many ways they really are much more credible as sources than yours. I'm saying that because it's a fact.

The blog is by philosopher Matt McCormick. This argument is one that he's developed/developing for academic consumption and has presented in scholarly debate on the resurrection. At minimum, he's already written a book that's to be published this year.

Your method is called something very simple: special pleading. The basic issue is that anybody can make up a hack excuse to avoid the statistical prediction rule, so the marital couple is somehow different, therefore they're exempt, etc, etc, ect, but the statistical prediction rule still tends to win out. As for the point of precedent, the problem is that there is always a first event. It's pretty meaningless to me, this is entirely an effort on your part to protect your special idea.


The philosophy of the Reform movement of Christians wasn't very empirical at that time, and as is evident throughout the history of the Mormon movement, there was a marked tendency towards being a sycophant. Just about all of the groups that split off of the main Mormon church, were essentially another cult of personality, another outlet for sycophant thinking. When you have that much confirmation bias, I don't see why you wouldn't sign a document.

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Beginning to sound arrogant? You started this entire thread in downright arrogance, you f**k. This is really all about your preening goddamn ego, and all of the statements about your "marvelous knowledge" and all of that, are just obviously gratuitous.

I don't even know your issue. You're trying to pretend the situations are utterly dissimilar to establish your particular pet idea as special. To anybody who isn't already outright enamored, this is an act of special pleading. Calling this "obvious" is just calling a spade a spade. Most people would be fine taking it for granted, as it is clear that most of these other events involve religious, religion-like, or magical properties in some way, shape, or form. I have no desire to tutor someone who has made themselves obtuse.


You've got me all wrong (yes, I'm emphatic this time), probably because you've misinterpreted my humor, candor, doubts, and the things about myself that I've mentioned throughout this thread. I don't mention my level of education to demonstrate what you think I'm demonstrating. I do so to entice conversation, and try to feel people out in order to see what it is that we can and can't discuss. I made this thread for people to tell me I'm wrong and challenge me, not to glut my own pride. I introduced it in the way that I did, to invite candor, and to express humor. I also have doubts as to what I'm going to find on the internet in terms of a productive conversation, but this conversation has been productive, at least for me. That's right, in spite of what your attitude appears to be, which I would say is angry towards me and maybe malicious, I have learned from what you have said to me and tried to improve the way that I think about this subject using some of the things you've said so far.

I also take issue with how much you call "a spade a spade", because I have to wonder how much progress you want to make if you are just going to discuss this issue with people descriptively, always using language like "you're wrong", "dishonest", or "utter failure", instead of "it seems to me because of: A, B, and C". You're not being asked to do something especially hard. If the things you say are apt and true, I would hope that you are able to point out how they are, and wonder why such little effort would make your irritable.

You don't need to tutor me. If I weren't trying to be as understanding and empathetic as I can be, I would easily interpret that as arrogance, friend.

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.... The differences are explicitly mutually exclusive.

Not only that, but quite simply, if we cannot trust them to really check facts well, we're simply not going to have much reason to trust them with the essence of a claim. How do we know that a hoax wasn't pulled? How do we know that an original story was falsified? Etc. The reliability of modern scholarship is fact checking, and you seem perfectly willing to appreciate this earlier. The problem is that we know of our current FALSE miraculous issues because of fact-checking, and so if this is not occurring, we still really cannot appreciate the past events.


1. How? And why is it that you seem to state things like you are just the ultimate authority, and no one else could contend with you on the things that you state like that? (this is in reference to the first sentence there)
2. You are relating types of material, as if how they treated that story must necessarily indicate how they are going to source and fact check for other stories. Furthermore, I would venture to say that the author who is my namesake (Luke), was an incredible fact checker who got all sorts of details right that no one else would have (geography, politics, the architecture of the temple, Jewish tradition and culture, etc.).

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Ok? I don't see you really proving anything. The Arvin, Guth, and Borde criticized models had infinite past inflation, which was considered the issue. Simply dropping that would make them viable. Not only that, but frankly, there's a thousand other ways to avoid having an actual God in the matter.


And what would those ways be? Is every issue just a closed book to you? This is the type of stuff I was referring to when I said you were pontificating, and once again I'm sorry for doing that too.

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No, we don't have to establish an understanding of the resurrection at all before the implications. The resurrection doesn't standalone. If it entails an absurdity, then it is obviously false.

As for fields and subfields and all of that, honestly, we're not talking about a distinct issue. If Christ is the God who proclaimed death threats to the ancient Israelites, or who is wholly good and allows evil, or he is the God who proclaimed himself a trinity, then we have reason to think he simply is not a god at all. And given that we assign no credibility to fairies whatsoever, if that becomes our best idea, then for the most part, I'd expect the entire line of a resurrection to be abandoned. I don't see very many non-Christians who believe in a resurrection.

In any case, I'm done. Miraculous claims are just an outright joke, and pretending otherwise is to require a large set of special pleading. They simply cannot even begin to approach our background implausibility issues, and this entire debate isn't even approaching that huge problem. It doesn't even care to address that the issues entailed by a resurrection are clearly absurdities. In short, it just appears to be a half-baked model of reality involved here, and there is no real point to engaging it.


You material here, basically makes me think that I should have focused on whether or not a resurrection would be an absurdity in the first place. If you would prefer to go there next, I certainly wouldn't mind. Unless you really are done. If so, that's too bad. You seem to have inferred a lot of things about my character, motives, and reasoning that aren't accurate at all, so maybe you will give the discussion a chance.
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LKL
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
LKL wrote:
AG, I suspect that 01001011 was merely asking for clarification about *which* version of a creator Luke was referring to: the Deist modely which sets things into motion and then takes its hands off for the rest of the Universe's history, to the Fundamentalist model with a 6000 year old Univese and a god meddling in the vibrations of every atom, or somewhere in between.

While that's more reasonable, his wording didn't suggest that well. My interpretation was in line with my past readings of his comments.


01001011 seems to have left the conversation, so the issue is moot.
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Lukecash12
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LKL wrote:
Awesomelyglorious wrote:
LKL wrote:
AG, I suspect that 01001011 was merely asking for clarification about *which* version of a creator Luke was referring to: the Deist modely which sets things into motion and then takes its hands off for the rest of the Universe's history, to the Fundamentalist model with a 6000 year old Univese and a god meddling in the vibrations of every atom, or somewhere in between.

While that's more reasonable, his wording didn't suggest that well. My interpretation was in line with my past readings of his comments.


01001011 seems to have left the conversation, so the issue is moot.


Yes, that seems to be the case. Really, it appears that I gave people the wrong impression here. I'm actually a lot less misanthropic than other people on the autism spectrum seem to be, so when someone says I've been posting as if I'm full of my self and out to educate/tutor people, I can tell that I went wrong somewhere in introducing myself.

But from my experience, this type of confusion happens a lot with people on the spectrum. We use idiosyncratic language a lot, and have a hard time choosing the correct vocabulary to express ourselves. That's part of why I enjoy math, because it's a language with less platitudes and vagueness in it.
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