Saturday, May 9, 2009

No True Scotsman and Atheists

There is an atheist blog with quite a discussion going on right now. I can’t remember the name of the blog but people are all abuzz over whether Hitler was a Christian or not. Anyone who says, “No, of course Hitler wasn’t a Christian. Look at his actions,” is accused by atheists of using the No True Scotsman defense.

So what is a Christian? Can you or should you be able to identify someone who believes in Jesus as Lord and Saviour based upon h/his behaviours, ie. what s/he typically does or typically doesn’t think, do or say?

Jesus said, “You will know My followers by their fruit.”

This is later defined in Galatians 5:22. “The Fruit of the Spirit, (the outcome of an intimate healed and forgiven relationship with Jesus), is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

Yikes! I think it’s important to remember the following principle. Based on Jesus’ quote and the description that followed, anyone who met me today, and who got to know me really well over the next month or two might say, “That man is no Christian. Why, I’ve seen him fail in every category of the Fruit of the Spirit.” On the other hand, if you had known me prior to my becoming a Christian, and compared that person to who Jesus has made me today, most people, not atheists, but most people would say, “I don’t know what produced that change in character, but whatever it was and whatever it costs, I want some.” Hopefully, comparing the today me with who I’ve become in the next ten years will elicit the same type of response. Anyway >

“You will know My followers by their fruit” means that the pattern of a person’s actions and character traits do indeed give you a clue as to whether s/he is a follower of Jesus or just an imposter. Remember, we’re talking about Hitler here. Was he a Christian or not?

Jesus also said, “Not everyone who calls Me their Lord will get into heaven. On Judgement Day, I will say to many [of those who claim to be my followers], “Get away from Me. I never knew you.””

So we have two teachings of Jesus that tell us something important.
(1) If someone is making a habit (not a slip but a habit) of behaviours that go against the teachings of Jesus, there is a good chance that s/he isn’t a Christian.
(2) Just because someone calls h/himself a Christian doesn’t necessarily mean a thing as to whether that person is or is not a Christian. Words are easy. Behaviours are something else.

Personally, I would describe a Christian as someone who believes to the point of acting upon what Jesus Christ taught about Himself, about life, death, sin, forgiveness and the resurrection (His and ours). Jesus taught that a follower of His is a person who depends upon Jesus alone for salvation. He taught that a Christian is someone who depends upon what Jesus calls His Word (The Bible), and upon His Spirit for guidance and strength in daily living.

Does that mean that true Christians never sin, that they never do things contrary to the teaching’s of Jesus?
. Obviously not because our sin loving nature is the very reason that Jesus came to “seek and to save” the lost.
. Obviously not because Christians are told to confess their sins and to ask for forgiveness.
. Obviously not because, ‘doing what we shouldn’t do, and not doing what we should do’ is an ongoing moral struggle that is addressed in the Bible.

In his letter to the Colossian Christians, Paul says - “. . . you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”

In addressing the No True Scotsman argument, the Bible, in many places emphasizes that while true Christians will disobey God on occasion, they will no longer make a practice of a particular sin(s). One exception to this rule would be if the person is not aware of any given sinful behaviour. As humans we are astonishingly blind to the nature of our own character. Nevertheless, upon being made aware of this un Christlike behaviour, one could expect the true Christian to begin bringing this behaviour under the Lordship of Jesus. Another exception would be where a person was at, when s/he became a Christian. “To whom much is given, much is required. To whom little is given, little is required.” Regardless of one’s starting position in life, a Christian is “being renewed in knowledge in the image of h/her Creator.”

Now, can the same thing be said of an atheist? Can an atheist play the same game?
. If an atheist totalitarian dictator orders the destruction of millions of people, could we say, “That’s no atheist. Not if s/he just makes up the rules of what’s right and wrong as s/he goes along.”

. If a male atheist leaves his wife for another man, can other atheists, in the defence of atheism say, “No way! If he did that he sure as heck isn’t an atheist.”

. If an atheist says, “We should mock and belittle, disparage and openly laugh at Christians until they are so humiliated that they don’t dare show their faces in public,” could other atheists say, “Well, it was sure out of character for an atheist to do that.”?

. If a chronically angry, bitter, alcoholic atheist writes derisive books about religion, and a Christian says, “Isn’t that just like an atheist,” can others of the atheist faith buoy each other up with comments like, “That disgusting drunken toad sure doesn’t speak for us.”?

. If an atheist says that handicapped people, and people of African decent are a drain on society and should be euthanised, can others of h/his belief system rightfully say, “A true atheist would never, ever make such a statement.”

Are these behaviours so foreign to the atheist character that we could witness them and automatically say, “No way. If he’s doing that then he’s no atheist.”

Just wondering.

70 comments:

DromedaryHump said...

I won't get embroiled in the Hitler / Christian discussion, I know more about Hitler, Aryan Occultism, Nazi perversion of natural selection into genocide and euthansia, hybrid christianity/Occultism, Hitler's upbringing and christian indoctrination, his invoking Christianity for justification, the support of the Reich / endorsement of holocaust by silence and benign neglect by the Catholic & Lutheran church etc., etc., than most normal people should or would want to know.

But there needs to be some additional input into this "what is a Christian" definition/concept.

1. If in fact Hitler repented his sins, and affirmed his belief in Jesus immediatly before his death, by christian doctrine he is forgiven and resides in heaven.

The truly lovely part of that doctrine is that Anne Frank, being a Jew to the end, burns in hell for eternity.

2. You quoted Paul ... but were rather selective. When it comes to what it takes to be accepted into heaven/ saved / aka to be Christian. There are almost 30 verses that support various conflicting qualifiers, including:

a) acts/works are sufficient
b) acts/works and belief are necessary
c) belief alone is adequate
d) belief + baptism work
e) simply calling upon the name of the Lord satisfies.

etc. etc., etc.

a few examples:
Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. -- Acts 2:21

Whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. -- John 3:16

He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life -- John 3:36

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved. -- Acts 16:31

Now, some christians will say: "But you must read those verses in 'context' [xtians are forever appealing to context]... beleiving does not in and of itself infer that acts are unimportant."
But unfortunately, that becomes an apologetics debate, and requires some contextual acrobatics of its own since the connectivity between the various prescribed qualifiers for being saved are never accumuated/listed in a single chapter, or by a single biblical author.

The doctrine of belief in Jesus and repentence of sins to enter paradise over rules all other possibilities. Naturally your flavor of Christian interpretation may vary with traditional belief of over 1500 years.

As for who or what an atheist is: sorry, but you cannot equate your "What is a Christian?" discussion with "What is an atheist?" The example is fallacious.

Christianity has a rather complex belief system, dogma, doctrine, rituals.. which vary according to denomination and sect, but largely agree on trinity, ressurection, prophesy fulfillment, jesus taking on sins of man, heaven, hell, life after death, second coming, etc., etc.

Atheism means one thing only; "no belief in god/Gods". That is the only definer of who is an atheist.
Thus, whether an atheist is a "saint or sinner", a grand philantropist, or a mass murderer... if said person lacks belief in God/god's they are an atheist.

No atheist in their right mind would say: "Oh..well.. that murdering scumbag can't be an atheist", they might say: "That atheist happens to be a murdering scumbag."

There is no revokation of the label of non-belief based on anything. It's like saying "Oh that can't be a REAL UFO skeptic, he's too nasty." It just doesn't make sense.

I hope this was helpful, and the difference crystal clear.

Thanks,
Hump

DromedaryHump said...

some additional verses that define who is saved/christian besides "works"/ behaviors;

Acceptence of Jesus & his ressurection gets you in:

If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. -- Romans 10:9
Taking communion gets you in:

Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. -- John 6:53-54

Be given by the Father and come to the Son...youre in:

All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. -- John 6:37

anyway..sorry, too much info.

DromedaryHump said...

damnit....i hope i dont wear out my welcome, but this is important. It supports the contention that belief and repentence is suifficient to be a Christian, regardless of what one "wants" to declare as "true christian". Thus, affirms the potential that Hitler could be in heaven, and thus could well be a Christian... or Scotsman ;)


Romans 3:27-28
3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.


"This concludes Paul's entire discussion begun in Romans 3:10. The only way we can be justified—that is, have our sins forgiven and be brought into a right relationship with God—is through faith in the sacrifice of Christ. This justification is something that is imputed to us once we meet God's conditions of repentance and baptism (Acts 2:38). We cannot earn it through lawkeeping or doing good works."


http://bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Bible.show/sVerseID/28020/eVerseID/28020

Ok. done.. It is finished.

Jeff Carter said...

Belief in a creed or belief that the resurrection of Christ was an "historical fact" does not become a ticket called salvation that gets one into heaven.

Salvation is the resurrection of a man's dead spirit, which in turn becomes the temple of the Holy Spirit. This is eternal life.

So, the question is what power, what faith, quickens that dead spirit, raises it from the dead? Looking to all the verses, creeds, statements etc. that Hump referenced might lead one to think that they are contradictory or exclusive, but in fact, it is the power behind them that resurrects. Never look to the superficial, literal meaning of a biblical verse for spiritual insight or you will be endlessly confused. The letter kills, the spirit gives life.

Makarios said...

Like I said in our discussion re: the previous post, What I believe really does seem to bother you.

DromedaryHump said...

Mak,
why such a terse / defensive response to a ledgitimate discussion on what makes one a Christian?

Sheesh..this isn't about "bother", its about clarification of doctrine as scripoture defines it, and correcting a misinterpretation on your part as to what makes an atheist.

As a lifelong student of religion these things interest me. As a blog owner frank and respectful discussion and discourse should interest you.



Jeff,
Thanks for that interpretation.

The problem with NOT using the written word as the guide to what christianity, salvation, et al is is that the written word is the basis and foundation for the doctrine and dogma.

While some Christians prefer to ignore the scripture and replace all or parts of it with their own spin, own "personal" interpretaion, is all well and good. But it's not Christianity in the clasic sense.

For instance: most Christians disregard Jesus' specific and multiple admonishments to keep all of the laws of Moses and the prophets (over 600 of them as defined in deut., levit.;, etc) for ever, until his second coming, lest they be called "the least in heaven"; and instead Christians prefer to accept Pauls' cancellation of those laws, which he did in order to attract pagan recruits given a less than ensthusiastic response by Jews.

Sure, it's convenient to follow Paul instead of Jesus, but its "Paulism" not Christianity.

Finally, while the biblical literalists tend to be stuck in the dark ages because of their refusal to accept scientific evidence in favor of pre-scientific scriptural myth, I give them credit for at least genuinely observing the doctrinal imperitives defined by Christian scripture. I respect an uneduated snake handler, or tongue talking fanatic pentacostal who measures their devotion by adherence to scriptural exactitude, more so than someone whoprefers to cut and paste it to fit their preferred form of Christian-Lite..

No, sorry... ignorning the scripture and claiming acceptence of the written directives, words, concepts are simply a trap for the uninformed / unindoctrinated is deceptive,avoidance, and by some christian's perspective akin to heresy. Creating a hybrid of christianity and claiming it to represent the foundational dogma is simply intellectually dishonest.

Regards,
Hump

Makarios said...

"why such a terse / defensive response to a ledgitimate discussion"

What discussion are you having? I told you what I believed constituted a Christian walk / belief but I was certainly not opening up a discussion about it with you. I don't enjoy arguing just for the sake of arguing.

Now, if you want a discussion, Hump, I am interested in your comment:

"I see it as a terrible waste of human potential, intellect, and an abdication of self-esteem / personal responsibility for their lives and actions."

First of all, the search for Self-esteem is nothing but a pitiful joke that is played on the one searching. And as to wasting my potential or intellect or abdicating my responsibility, I would be interested in seeing the evidence you have to make that judgment about me.

You know Hump, judging motives, and judging people's worth and value without even knowing them, this seems to be a pattern with you. You don't believe me when I tell you it's a mistake or what?

DromedaryHump said...

wow.

the comment you are quoting from isn't even from THIS thread.

Above I provided all kinds in discussion fodder on christian doctrine, atheism, verse, interpretatin of what qualities/ qualfications the boible provides that determine who is saved/christian ... And all you did was go back to another thread comment totally unrelated to this one, personalize it, and ignore some scholarly discussion potential?


It seems that my perspective on religionist acquiencence of personal responsibility, giving all credit for their life, earning, possessions, luck, marriage, children, caeer acheivement, etc., to a disembodied boogie man, instead of crediting their own personal responsibility, actions, drive, and natural mating response has caused you to totally loose site of the fact that this thread we are posting in had nothing to do with it.

Yeah, clearly one of us "is bothered" by your belief...but its not I. I've been talking about hitler, scripture, and atheism vius-avis "no true scotsman" you introed in THIS thread.

Any chancethe stuff I wrote about in THIS subject thread can be broached without your personalizing it? or am I wasting my time here?

Respectfully,
Hump

Jeff Carter said...

Hump,
the written word is the basis and foundation for the doctrine and dogma.Oh,no, my friend. You are mistaken here. People were being saved before the New Testament was even written. The Bible is not an essential to salvation or guidance - the Holy Spirit is.

How do you think all those Gentiles came to Christ, with no New Testament even in existence?

Most scholars regard 1 Thessalonians as the earliest book of the New Testament and the church was already a force by the time it was written.

Makarios said...

I led with this statement of yours from a different post because I don't believe that you have any interest whatsoever in a discussion. All you do is throw insults.

"am I wasting my time here?"

If one of the other people listening in want to debate or discuss with you, have at it. I've met too many atheists like you to see any point in going further. I'm still wating for a reply to last comment:

"And as to wasting my potential or intellect or abdicating my responsibility, I would be interested in seeing the evidence you have to make that judgment about me."

DromedaryHump said...

Jeff,
True and true... mid first century, but here's the rub...

The doctrine of christianity was developed in 325 at the Council of Nicea, and at additional councils over the next 400 years. Thats where the trinity was formalized into the religion. Until then there vwere varying perspectives on who and what jesus was.

Infact, Jesus's own brother led a christian sect which did not attribute god status to jesus. Is THAT the christianity you profess to follow? I doidnt think so.

The creed, the doctrine, of what is NOW christianity and has been for 1700 years is contained in the books selected by the church to be official scripture. Add to it trinity, and trasnsubstantiation, etc., etc. and you have the doctrine and dogma.

Now...if you want to claim to be practicing the pre-nicean form of christianity of the 1st or early second century, then you may as well run out and get circumcised if your not already, and start eating kosher, because Jesus ministered only to the Jews, and the jesus cult was strictly a reformed Judaism.

It wasn't until Paul, and into the later second and third century did Pagans / romans become the primary target for open recruitment. And it wasn't until the formalization of the scripture that doctrine on who was and wasn't a Christian was solidified.

DromedaryHump said...

Mak asked me to respond to this:
"And as to wasting my potential or intellect or abdicating my responsibility, I would be interested in seeing the evidence you have to make that judgment about me."


My reply above was this (albeit you may have missed it, or it was too subtle):

"It seems that my perspective on religionist acquiencence of personal responsibility, giving all credit for their life, earning, possessions, luck, marriage, children, career acheivement, etc., to a disembodied boogie man, instead of crediting their own personal responsibility, actions, drive, and natural mating response has caused you to totally loose site of the fact that this thread we are posting in had nothing to do with it."

Now, if you DO NOT, like many/most devout christians do, credit Jesus with your lot in life, your "blessings" as your folks say...and DO instead soley credit your own drive, ambition, motivation, intellect, personal choices, and natural mating habits for your condition, ...then PLEASE accept my apologies for erroneously assuming you were like those many/most Christians.


As for insult, I was unaware I insulted you. I am a guest here, and as such would not call you names or launch ad homin attacks. If I did so, please show me where.

If however, you view my dissection and dismissal of fable and myth that you hold dear "insult", then indeed I am guilty. I hold religion and blind belief to be due no more respect than any other voluntary submission to unsupported "belief". Which is to say ... none.

Thus if you cannot, or prefer not, to differentiate between personal insult, and outright dismissal of your belief as insult, then I see we have a problem.

Just tell me if you prefer me to leave your blog & you won't hear from me again. I'm no troll, just a student of religion,the lack thereof, and debate enthusiast.

Hump

DromedaryHump said...

OH Jeff...interesting here...

while wiki is hardley perfect, it does condense some good info now and then.

Check this out please: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_Christianity#Jewish_Christians

You'll note that in the mid-first century the Jews were the Christians, and observance of all jewish law was the rule. Not until the mid seconf century, with the Marcionists, who dismissed all jewish practice, and finally in 325 with Nicea were all Jewish christian sects deemed heretical.

So, when you speak of the early church as being pre 1 Thessalonians , yes...but like I said it wasn't a single church, and you'd better put your yarmulka on, observe the laws of deut and livit, and trim that penis... cause you'd be Jewish, and you may not have seen Jesus as God, only the messiah that fortells god's kingdom.

anyhow..there ya have it..lots more links on "early 1st century Christianity", confirm my premise, and wiki's article, that without the scripture and 4th century doctrine selection by vote, christianity as you know it today would not exist.

You'd still be a Jew and worshipping Adonoi.

Nite.

Hump

Makarios said...

"then PLEASE accept my apologies for erroneously assuming you were like those many/most Christians."

No apology needed. I was blind but now I see. Not from self-effort but by Jesus and Jesus alone. All of it, everything and anything that is good about me is from Jesus and Jesus alone. Without Jesus coming into my life I would be divorced without a doubt. I may have been in jail and / or dead along with at least one other person. The freedom that I've experienced in the last thirty years is from Jesus, all Jesus. If you care to read about it, it will be my first post of tomorrow.

Yes, you are guilty - willfully guilty - arrogantly guilty. The smell of spiritual death that hovers about you makes it difficult for me to be near you. But there's no need to leave. It seems that others have found a discussion they enjoy so stay or go as you please.

DromedaryHump said...

LOL..wait a second... you attribute everything you are and have to Jesus? then I retract my apology.

Mak, you are what I described. why you took umbrige with it originally I have no idea. I mean, you seemed genunely insulted that I assumed that you like so many of your bretheren who lack acceptence of ones own control over ones life, lack peronal reponsibility for their lot and instead credit it all to the will of some unseeable super being.

I was right on target with my assumption.

as for wanting to read your personal tetimony..heheh..thanks, pass. Ive seen the nonsensical testamonies of slaves to delusion who were (pick one) drug addictas, acoholics, porn addicts, sex addicts, cancer patients, had broken backs, had AIDS, etc, etc., etc., and were miraculously saved and turned around by their imaginary friend. More of them than I wish to count.
\
and yet, I'm still waiting to hear from someone who was an amputee and regrew a limb thanks to Jesus.

as for this lovely phrase:
"... willfully guilty - arrogantly guilty. The smell of spiritual death that hovers about you makes it difficult for me to be near you."

LOL.. "smell of spiritual death".
Mak when I said I sensed you weren't one of those typical mindless fanatcal christians, i was mistaken. The only mistake ive made here so far.

Hump

Makarios said...

“LOL..wait a second... you attribute everything you are and have to Jesus? then I retract my apology.”

I don’t know if you can’t understand or if you just refuse to try. Nevertheless, let me try to make it a bit clearer for you.

. I CAN have control over my life.

. I’ve HAD control over my life.

. I DO have control over my life.

For the first thirty years of my life I did everything my way. Many people needlessly suffered because of that.

Because I have control over my life, I’VE made the decision to give control regarding the direction of my life to the One who knows me better than I know myself.

It’s the same with fixing my computer, or taking apart the engine on my vehicle. I voluntarily, by choice, and precisely because I have control over my life, turned it over to someone who knows about those things more than I do. When I was learning to sky dive, or when I was learning to fly a plane, I didn’t just say, “This is my life, my responsibility and I refuse to accept help from anyone else.” I, by choice sought out those who could tell me what I needed to know. You see that as weakness. I see it as wisdom.

I find it fascinating how my beliefs anger you so much.

Hump, I’m curious. How old are you?

DromedaryHump said...

mak said:

" Because I have control over my life, I’VE made the decision to give control regarding the direction of my life to the One who knows me better than I know myself. "

hahah..ok. so , you failed when youtook reponsibility for your actios, and have decided to enslave yourelf to a myth so ythat IT can take responsibility for your life. and THAT you calltaking resposibility. OK. got it. LOL.

Its like the man who says:
"I wasn't commited to this insane asylum ...i volunteered to commit myself. That is a sign of my wisdom.
Now I have others to take responsibility for me, thus in effect I am free within this asylum; I am content to surrender my will to those who give me the drug which directs my every movement. Without that drug I am nothing. "

Hey, thats great. like i say..as long as you don't hurt yourself,or anyone else, it's all good..albeit, pathetic.

Now, this "anger" and "bothered" refrain you keep repeating. I have yet to caste an angry stone. Yet you seem to be talking about stenchs of spiritual death, and my arrogance, and your anger at having been pegged as a mindslave albeit, you have admitted to enslaving your mind to myth.
Mak, it's not I who is angry and bothered... you are virtually hysterical with anger and bother.
Its called "projecting" your feelings. If I were your psychiatrist it would be "transference".

I said it may times, but YOU dont listen: what you believe neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket. I just examine and report on what I observe, and apply my knowledge in debate.

Try not to take things so personally. Its only your belief system that warrents zero respect, I have no problem with you per se.

Hump

DromedaryHump said...

oh sorry.. I'm 60 yrs old.

Jeff Carter said...

Hump,
You make a number of assertions regarding early Christianity. I'm just wondering by what criteria you establish these assertions as fact? I mean, I could just as well assert that Paul met with the disciples of Jesus and aligned himself with their church, since that's what he claims in his letters.

However, your desire is to set up Christianity as a creedal - ritual religion, because you find that easiest to knock down. Christianity is no such thing. It is an encounter with a living being, Jesus Christ. What care I for creeds, rituals and doctrine or what they did two thousand years ago, if in fact, I have met him and know Him?

DromedaryHump said...

Jeff,

My "assertions" are based in scholarship not opinion, were accompanied by evidence, and are subscribed to by most bilical scholars.

For you to suggest that as early as mid-1st century the christian "church" was united and of one thought in regards to christian doctrine is simply an argument from ignorance.

Constantine saw the divisions between the various christian sects, which actually led to killings and riots between them, and thus saw the need to force a decision on what the single agreed upon doctrine of the christian religion would be. He did this to consolodate power under a single church which would then be the official doctrine of the empire. this was in 325. I strongly recommend you read "Constantine's Sword" by James Carroll.

I also gave you a link.
I suggested that if you wanted corroborating evidence of the diversity of the early church practices and interpretations to GOOGLE
"1st century early christianity".

I'd welcome your investigation to confirm my knowledge. But I sense you really want to do that. It's always easier and less threatening NOT to seek out fact that could undermine a predetermined belief set. We wouldn't want any of that "fact finding educational stuff" seeping into ones set beliefs. No problem.

So... you reject the Nicean creed?
Wow. thats interesting. I was sure that belief in the trinity, ressurection, jesus' sacrifice for man's sins, virgin birth, being baptised, expecting a 2nd coming/ jesus's 1000 yr rule, taking communion, jesus as both wholey divine and wholey human, were pretty much prerequisits to being Christian.

But, if I understand you correctly, you're saying that YOU and/or many people you know who call themselves Christians DO NOT subscribe to those things? That they reject those doctrine and rituals I describe, but have nevertheless developed a personal relationship with this invisible Jesus and thus are in fact Christians?

What exactly is that sect/denomination called. I'm unfamiliar with it, Jeff. I mean, I know the JW's reject trinity... but not all of christian doctrine.

As for your "meeting" with "a living being" named Jesus: I am familiar with that kind of Christian hyperbole; thus I'm going to assume you mean that in the etherial / essoteric sense and not in actual physical form and presence. That is, unless you are under a doctor's care in which case I understand and intend no offense.

Hump

DromedaryHump said...

TYPO ABOVE:

I said: "I'd welcome your investigation to confirm my knowledge. But I sense you really want to do that. "

It should have read: "I'd welcome your investigation to confirm my knowledge. But I sense you DON'T really want to do that.

DromedaryHump said...

Read, Learn:

"Before Paul, Christianity was essentially a Jewish sect, so-called Jewish Christianity, and Gentiles that wished to join the movement were expected to convert to Judaism, submit to circumcision, follow the dietary restrictions of kashrut, and more.

Paul insisted that faith in Christ was sufficient for salvation and that the Torah did not bind Gentile Christians.

The success of Paul's efforts sped up the split between Christianity and mainstream Judaism, even though Paul wanted no such split himself.[19] Without Paul's success against the legalists who opposed him, Christianity would never have been more than a dissenting sect within Judaism."

Stephen L. Harris, Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985. p. 331


BTW... Harris is no hack.

Makarios said...

“OK. got it.”

Dearest Hump. You’ve got nothin. The results of my life indicated that I was using the wrong tool to achieve the results that I wanted. At age thirty I put that tool down, picked up the correct tool and now I have a product that I enjoy.

Tell me, Hump, are you one of those people who believe, “I don’t need God to be a nice person?”
=============

"I wasn't commited to this insane asylum ...i volunteered to commit myself. That is a sign of my wisdom.”

And you think those who are sick shouldn’t seek help? That’s a example of YOUR wisdom, is it?
==========

“Without that drug I am nothing."

I’ve worked with literally thousands of mentally ill people who are functioning, responsible members of society only because they are faithfully taking their medications. Without those medications they really would be, as you describe them and as much of the world would see them, “Nothing.” They wouldn’t be able to maintain relationships, hold a job, make payments. Many would suicide or live on the street or become drug addicts. And in Hump's world the decision to not ask for help would show strength and courage.
==========

“enslaving your mind to myth.”

So you think Jesus is a myth? How about the holocaust?
========
“I'm 60 yrs old.”

Hmm, I would have guessed about eighteen or twenty.
==========

DromedaryHump said...

Mak said: "Hmm, I would have guessed about eighteen or twenty."

Heheh... No you wouldn't have. You've seen my profile, you know I'm retired. Nah... that was your anger again, it seems to have gotten the better of you. A little dose of reality tends to peel back the facade of christian gentility and expose the real hostility benieth the surface. Having ones unsupportable belief dissed tends to do that.

I understand.

The analogy to self commiting to an asylum and lapsing into religious stupidity seems to be lost on you. I didn't say the asylum inmate was insane. I didn't suggest he needed commitment to an institution. That was YOUR assumption.

I said that he committed himself, and has opted to take drugs and entrust his life to an institution that is easier, more comfortable, than self reliance, taking personal responibility and giving ones self credit for lifting themselves to a better level of existence.

I don't believe your "pre-jesus" behavior was either insane nor necessarily anything more than youthful indiscretion, a lack of direction, or simple inability to cope with the pressures of societial or familial expectations.

That in lieu of self reliance, maturity, and ability to face the reality of life one has to, you had to, revert to supernaturalism as a drug , a fix, to shock your brain into being productive is simply a weakness of the mind driven by cultural indoctrination.

As one who is predisposed to belief without evidence, had you been born in India, or Nepal, or Jordan, etc., likely you'd have found Vishnu, or Allah and Mohammed, or whatever the prevailing god was for that region a your "source" of strength. But likely you'll protest that logic.

Yep, the Shoah, the holocaust was very real. I can't imagine why youd try to equate rejection of the Jesus fable with rejection of acceptence of the Shoah as genuine. How every peculiar.

There are photos, thousands of captured documets, newsreels, thousands of written discriptors by survivors, confessions by Nazi officials and guards, i mean the corroborating evidence is overwhelming that anyone denying the holocaust as fact is a liar and or anti-semite.

On the otherhand... there exists not a single eyewitness account of Jesus miracles, death, ressurection, etc., etc., except by very few of the writers of the NT.
Heck, even Paul never witnessed it.

Not a single Roman eye witness documenting these evens; not a single corroborating letter from "the multitude" who are aleged to witness them. Even Josephus' single sentence reference was second hand, and has been dismissed by every reputable scholar as post Josephus interpolation by much later christian sources.

That Jesus never left a single written word, albeit as a rabbi he would have been literate, infers that even if a man named jesus did exist who opposed the standing Jewish authority, and promoteded a reformed judaism... likely he would be as surprised as anyone that he has been elevated to the postion of Man-god, and the messiah.

But hey... Alexander the Great was elevated to god status by post Alexandrian followrers, as was Heillegh salasi, the emperor of Ethiopia in the 20th century. The Rastafarians still worship him as the messiah.

So... yes. I accept the overwhelming evidence of the Shoah, and reject the lack of evidnce for magical man-gods... just like I accept the reality of WW2, and reject the fiction of vampires.

Hope that helped...assuming you bothered to read this far.

Regards,
Hump

Makarios said...

"You've seen my profile, you know I'm retired."

Ya, I was there before but I never noticed the retired. In fact I wondered if you just put that in recently. It's just that your name calling and mocking sound so juvenile. I never guessed you'd still be acting like that in your senior years. But, whatever . . .

Your rejection of the evidence for the life, death and resurrection of Jesus is exactly the same type as those who reject evidence for the holocaust. The comparison is bang on - self-serving delusion.

So has being self-reliant and depending on your own wisdom worked pretty well for you? You know - Happy marriage to the woman of your youth, peace, contentment and all that? I mean, if it has, then good for you. Obviously some people can pull it off. Like I say, I couldn't do it and I don't see any reason for asking for help. My life is immeasurably better for it.

DromedaryHump said...

dude...LOL..
youve seen my profile, you saw retired, its been that way for years. But lying is a christian sacrament, endorsed by so many of the early church fathers.

you are truly a christian in that respect.

I'm sorry....maybe I missed the "evidence" you claim exists for Jebus' life, supernaturalist miracles, death and ressurection.

Having been a religion minor in college many years ago, even the ministers/priets who taught some classes admitted none existed outside the one or two aleged eyewitness accounts from the scripture.

But, maybe there is some new evidence that the numerous books I have since read on christianity failed to mention.

Please provide me with the eyewitness accounts from outside scripture that you have as evidence and corroborate the supernatural aspects of one Jesus of Nazareth.

I shall wait with baited breath.

As for my personal status: yes, thanks.. been married 39 years (this august) to my highschool sweetheart (she's episcopal, or so she claims). I have never been arrested,had a drug problem, don't drink, but eat too much.

I served in Nam 68-69 with distinction w/ 82nd Airborne, 3rd brigade 2/505th, my MOS was 11B10 (infantry). Recieved bronze star, army commendation medal, and my CIB. Yes..i was an atheist in a fox hole (Gasp!!).

Have two grown sons. eldest was in the World Trade Tower on 911, tower two. he got out without major injury. He is a VP with morgan stanley. Younger son is a director with a commercial real estate firm, also in manhatten.

Both are college graduates, and non-believers. neither have ever been arresed, had a drug or alcohol problem. eldest is married, first grandchild on the way. Youngest is toying with engagement.

I was a Snr. VP with Fed. dept stores (now simply called macys) before retiring at 55 years old.
Took a beating inthe market over the past year, but still live quite comfortably, thank you.

If youre ever in NH come visit. I make great steamed lobster.

Hump

DromedaryHump said...

oh..btw... please show me where I called you "names"..i mean outside of my pointing out that you lied about not knowing I was old.
There none.

Then, go back and see where your ad homin attacks on me are less than charitable and certainly not in keeping with your professed faith.

and is there any chance you could try and refute whatI said about your "not a true atheist" erroneous premise? or was the point missed when you sidetracked this topic thread?

Hump

Makarios said...

You've had quite a life. It sounds like you've done well - congrats.

The reason that I would have guessed nineteen or twenty years old is that the way you speak reminds me of first year university "kids." We'd sit around talking philosophy and be oh so fascinated with how intelligent WE sounded.

I've already told you Hump that I have no interest in arguing for the sake of arguing. If I thought there was something worthwhile that could come out of speaking with you, then, well, maybe. That won't happen though, will it?


So is your wife, um, does she take her "faith" seriously?

kaymcsmith said...

Hi, I'm here by way of tothewire.wordpress.com...Hump, I just wanted to mention a few things... you do understand that evidence from 70 years ago is going to be easier to obtain than from 2000 years ago.. especially with the technological disprepancies. And surely there are many other factors over a 2000 year span that could affect the proof that you desire. Just wondered if you've taken that into consideration.

I just posted this article on another blog site ...

http://tothewire.wordpress.com/2009/05/13/was-jesus-a-real-person/

You seem to not want to acknowledge many compelling facts that do support the existence of Jesus and who He is. Some faith is required but it seems like that word doesn't "compute" with you.

There is so much that has to be ignored in order to not believe in God... that always amazes me about atheists... their capacity to ignore.

Can you tell me... does existence of the Universe "compute" to you?

DromedaryHump said...

Kay,
thanks for your coment.

First..I didn't raise the issue of the existence of the Shoahy...Mak did. He said since I deny the supernatural exiistence of hs prefered man-god, does that mean I deny the existence of the Holocaust...as though the evidencefor both are the same.

Thus, your argument with me is non-existenet on this point.

Butwhat we do have from 2,000 years ago that speak to the proof of various events and personages are corroborating documents, corroborating testimony of historians of the time, especially in Greece, Rome, and Egypt.

For instance... The existence of Sparticus and the slave revolt of the 1st century BCE. At least five reknown Roman historians, among them Plutarch, Appian, Orosius, Sallust, and Florus, provide detailed accounts of his actions, campaigns and it's impact on the empire.

None of these men, aclaimed as contemporary historicans, had a vested interest in detailing Spartacus' actions. None of them sought to create a cult around thim. These men reported on historical events of a broad nature during their lifetimes. Thus, Spartacus' existence is undeniable.

Now, contrast that with Jesus. I'll ask again... please provide me with historical EYEWITNRESS documentation from any reknown historian of the time that corroborates the supernatural events credited to said Jesus by the New testament authors, only two of whom are beleved to have claimed eyewitness to Jesus' acts.

Personally, I believe there WAS a person named Jesus who had a reformed Jewish message and cult following. That he may very well have caused the ruling Jewish authority a pain in their asses is entirely possible.
But beyond that, his attributes go haywire, as do somany early figures. Jesus' miraculous works and supernatural attrbutes are as believable as Mohammed flying to paradise on his horse in the 7th century; or anyone of the similar Jesus man-god dieties' miraculous works of nonhistorical characters like Tammuz, Mithra, et al.

I have no idea what you are asking by "does the universe compute to you? I assume you are asking this as some introduction to some preferred apologetic attempt. Idf so, it will fail. But here's my answer:
the universe (a small part of it) is observable. Our biosphere has been heavily explored and its properties which were once attributed to the supernatural are now understood by most school children in natural / scientific terms.

Our knowledge of the universe beyond our own planet continues to expand as our technology allows investigation and measurement.

Yes, much of the universe is explainable and processible by the human mind. It computes. Other parts of the universe, the physics et al, are explained by certain theories (i.e. black holes, anti-matter, etc.) that remain to be solidified and confirmed pending more research. The Hubble telescope has opened new vistas iunto the universe, as will its successor which will render Hubble a toy.

Much of the universe remains a mystery, just as lightning was just a few hundred years ago, but will invariably be understood in time.

So yes, it computes to the degree that I can understand it since I am not a cosmologist.

Now what?


FINALLY... will some one please try and get back to mak's origial thread statement that claims atheists will default to the "no true scotsman" fallacy like christians do when in fact it is a bald face mistrepresentation? I wrotethe origial comment which address this, yet no one seeems to wantto get back on track. Or should I simply chaulk it up to Mak having been shown to be patently wrong having silenced that discussion?

Stalin was a beast and a madman and was an atheist. Bill gates is a philanthropist and a successful business man he too is atheisitic.
Mao was a genocidal psychopath, and an atheist. Clarence darrow was a major influence on jurice prudence and an atheist.

No atheist on the planet would invoke "not true ateist" nonsense just because of the acts of the non-believer. Its a simple fallacy by Mak because of ignorance about what he speaks. He lacks the ability to differentiate between a belief system which claims a higher moral authority and alleges guidelines for membership(religion); and definition for lack of belief in god/gods (atheism) which has no other behavior or philosophical prerequisits necessary for that label.

whew.

Hump

DromedaryHump said...

Oh...Kay. Just read your link

sorry...Ticitus' wsn't alive during Jeus' time. He was born 20 years after Jesus' alleged existence, and he wrote his one sentence some 50+ years after Jesus's supposed execution.

Thus, it is not a first hand or eyewitness account; it does not affirm actual existence, only second/thrid hand repetition of popular myth of the time; it does notcorroborate New testament accounts of the embelished Jesus miracle acts. And certainly is not evidence of godlike miraculoius works.

Josephu's "account" as I said in my earlier post above, has been dismissed by virtually every serious biblical scholar as a post Josephus interpolation added by much later Christians. It would be like you inserting a sentence into Plato's Republic in order to make him seem like he was a devil worshipper. It's not history.

Finally, the Gemara was written approx 500 CE. 470 YEARS after jesus' aleged death!!Again, not an eyewitness to any actual existence, certainly not to any miracles.
But more importantly, the references to the "jesus" figure depend heavily on books of the new testament, specifically Matthew and John. I imagine a people who are familiar with the scripture that was established by church edict between the 4th and 6th century, and who were persecuted by the original inventors of anti-semitism...Christians... would indeed have something to say about their rival religion's figure head.

wouldn't you?

Kay..sorry...but your traditional apologetics course has been debunked and dismissed by scholars for decades. You need to start reading more scholarly works and less christian apologetics sites that prefer to disgard fact and reality.

ONE MORE TIME: give me an eyewitness account by a non biblical writer and historian of the TIME ... just one account out of the 1000's / multitudes who are suppose to have witnessed them... of a single miraculous event by your man-god.. an event so miraculous so earth shaking,but for which not one source outside of the cult writers can be found.

Take your time. There aren't any.

Hump

DromedaryHump said...

Mak,
My wife hasn't been inside a church since our wedding day...except to attend other weddings, or funerals, etc.

while she likes to hold onto her inherited lable of Episcopalian, she's more agostic than believer.

Peace.

Hump

Jeff Carter said...

Hump,
anyhow..there ya have it..lots more links on "early 1st century Christianity", confirm my premise,The Thessalonians, Galations, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians,and Romans were not Jews, they were gentile and they didn't know squat about Judaism nor did they care about it.

You give the impression that are trying to critique something you haven't read. Acts and the letters of Paul confirm (as I said before) that Paul opposed Jewish practices such as circumcision and persuaded the other apostles to reject them as well. Paul was about the utter rejection of Judaism.

I'd welcome your investigation to confirm my knowledge. But I sense you really DON'T want to do that. It's always easier and less threatening NOT to seek out fact that could undermine a predetermined belief set. Don't presume I'm closed minded. Presumption is unbecoming a rationalist and besides, you don't know anything about my intellectual background or my ability to be fair-minded.

So... you reject the Nicean creed? Any difference between this creed and the Gospel is unessential to the Gospel and salvation. Believing in the virgin birth, a literal six-day creation or some thousand year reign on earth is not required. God doesn't care whether you believe in such things or not.

you're saying that YOU and/or many people you know who call themselves Christians DO NOT subscribe to those things? That they reject those doctrine and rituals I describe, but have nevertheless developed a personal relationship with this invisible Jesus and thus are in fact Christians? Yes. They're not part of any sect, they're in every church. Do you really think that most Christians would answer, if asked what it takes to be saved, would require you to believe all those things you listed?

As for your "meeting" with "a living being" named Jesus: I am familiar with that kind of Christian hyperbole; thus I'm going to assume you mean that in the etherial / essoteric sense and not in actual physical form and presence.Christ is neither ethereal, metaphorical or physical. I know Him, not as I know objects but as I know myself. He is within me.

You asked me to do research. I ask you to do the same. Find out about the French phenomenologist Michel Henry.

DromedaryHump said...

Jeff,

read my post again. I ever argued that ALL 1st century christians were of judaic root. i said that the earlest followers of jesus were jewish; that they had a totally different perspective as to who jesus was prior to Paul, and prior to jesus' elevation to diety; that there were various factions even within that Jewish based cult following; that James was believed to be a leader of a Jesus cult that rejected jesus' divinity.

Further, theres nothing you can tell me about Paul's dismissal of judaism that i dont have intimate knowledge of. Paul was virtually the the founder of anti-semitism. Eliminating the requirement to be Jewish, before one could be come a Jesus cult member, was a shrewd marketing model. Paul knew Romans/pagans / celts / Helenistic Greeks et al, wouldnt be willing to take on the judaic laws and prohibitions. Thus, eliminating judaic law / tradition was the best way to expand the religion since the vast number of Jews rejected it.

So, I am unclear as to why you protest and I am surpised you are unaware, that jesus ministered ONLY to the Jews, and indeed, there are at least two scriptural verses that show jesus hesitant to involve himself with non-jewish requests for his aid/miracles.

If this isn't evidence that the early jesus followers, and cults weren't almost exclusively jewish, that his teachings were reformed Judaic movement, then I dont know what more evidence you need. maybe you need to read more acedemic works.

That some christians take the ressurection and virgin birth myths to be just that, myths...is a rather recent phenomenon.

Frankly...any that don't "aren't true Christians". Just ask any televangelist, the Pope, or Fred Phelps. heheheh.

Ok, that there are modernist christians who prefer to use common sense and reject supernatrualism to some degree is a good step forward. I see it as the eventual demise of all supernaturalism, an evolution as it were, from middle age think to 21st century think.
I have yet to actually meet one who doesnt believe jesus rose from the dead, walked around, beamed up to heaven...and wasn't born of a virgin, etc. The more of you hybrid realist/neo-/ semi-christians there are, the less of the gullible literalist believers, better for the planet. But you aren't REAL Christians...ask any Christian who believes all the dogma.

Hump

Makarios said...

Hello Kay - Just something for your entertainment. I'll give you some more tomorrow.

So much of one’s interaction with atheists is just mind-numbing. Their repetition of false statements. Their belief in fallacious arguments. Old, old, old propositions, and long refuted atheist suppositions seem to get regurgitated in the atheist community every forty or fifty years. One of the most tiresome comments made by atheists goes something like, “No one knows who wrote the Gospels.” Or they say that the Gospel's are so late dated that they can't be trusted.

I’ve been interacting with a couple atheists, I can’t even tell them apart anymore, but they have used every atheist cliché that’s ever been tried; the one about the Gospel writers included. As everyone knows, atheists are fond of accusing we Christians of living by faith. I think that is supposed to be some sort of insult. Well, if it makes them happy then so be it. It’s true that the righteous shall live by faith. On the other hand, we Christians have an ENORMOUS abundance of historical evidence from which we can solidify our faith. We have a solid, solid foundation of evidence-based data upon which to build our journey in Christ Jesus. Atheists are very fond of evidence - usually. The problem is, because atheists begin with the presupposition that God does not exist, whenever they run into evidence that points toward God, the atheist has to pretend to h/herself that the evidence was manufactured and that it therefore is not true.

When it comes to the authors and authority of the Gospels, what atheists don’t seem to know is that extra-biblical testimony unanimously attributes the Gospels to their traditional authors. The term “Extra-biblical” is important to atheists because if something was written, and it was later included into the Bible, well, they automatically view that document as a lie. So what is this evidence for who wrote the Gospels?

1) The Gospels and Acts are cited by a series of reports, regularly employed to establish authorship of secular works; and when this test is applied to the Gospels, their authenticity is firmly established. This chain of testimony exists from the Epistle of Barnabas (A CONTEMPORARY OF JESUS AND HIS DISCIPLES), the Epistle of Clement, and the Shepherd of Hermas, all the way to Eusebius. In fact, as has been repeatedly stated, there is better testimony for the authenticity of the New Testament books than for ANY classical work of antiquity.

Sadly, this doesn’t make any difference to atheists because they use a different standard for judging documents of antiquity IF they’ve been included into the New Testament. What is that standard you ask? Well, if any document from that time has been included into the New Testament, um, it's judged to be a lie, a fiction, untrustworthy, tampered with etc. etc. The only criteria for the atheist’s exclusion of the work, is its inclusion into the New Testament.

2) The Scriptures were quoted as authoritative and as one-of-a-kind. Theophilus, the writer against Artmon, Hippolitus, Origen and many others saw them as such.

3) The Scriptures were collected very early into a distinct volume. Ignatius refers to collections known as the Gospel and the Apostles, which is the same that we now call the Gospels and the Epistles. According to Eusebius, Quadratus distributed this same collection to converts during his travels. Irenaeus and Melito refer to the same collection of writings that we call the New Testament.

4) These writings were held in high regard by Polycarp, Justin Martyr, Dionysius, Irenaeus and others refer to them as Scriptures and Divine writings.

5) These same documents were publicly read and taught. Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Origen, and Cyprian each wrote about this.

6) Copies, commentaries, and harmonies were written on these books. Noteworthy in this connection is Tatian’s “Diatessaron,” which is a harmony of the four Gospels.
Listen now because this is important.
With the single exception of Clement’s commentary on the Revelation of Peter, NO commentary was ever written during the FIRST THREE HUNDRED YEARS afer Christ on ANY BOOK outside the New Testament.

7) The Scriptures were accepted as authentic by all heretical groups as well as by orthodox Christians. Examples include the Valentinians, the Carpocratians, and many others.

8) The Gospels and Acts, thirteen letters of Paul, 1 John, and 1 Peter were received without doubt as authentic even by those who doubted the authenticity of other books now in the canon. Origen reports that the four Gospels alone were received without dispute by the “whole Church of God under heaven.”

9) The early opponents of Christianity regarded the Gospels as containing the accounts upon which the religion was founded. Celsus admitted that the Gospels were written by the disciples. Porphyry attacked Christianity as found in the Gospels. The Emperor Julian followed the same procedure.

10) Catalogues of authentic Scriptures were published, which always contained the Gospels and Acts. This is supported by quotes from Origen, Athanasius, Cyril and others.

11) The apocryphal books of the New Testament were NEVER treated with this kind of respect. With a single exception, no apocryphal gospel is ever even quoted by a known author during the first three hundred years after Christ. In fact, there is no evidence that any inauthentic gospel whatever existed in the first century, in which all four Gospels and Acts were written.

The apocryphal gospels:
. were never quoted,
. were not read in Christian assemblies,
. were not collected into a volume,
. were not listed in the catalogues,
. were not noticed by Christianity’s adversaries,
. were not appealed to by heretics and
. were not the subject of commentaries or collations,
but were nearly universally rejected by Christian writers of succeeding ages.

Reality is, the external evidence strongly confirms the authenticity of the Gospels. It can not in any way be denied that the Gospels contain the story that the original apostles proclaimed and for which they laboured, suffered and died. This is regardless of what your local atheist tries to tell you.

I'll give you some more tomorrow.

DromedaryHump said...

Mak,

I guess where you come from, plagurizing an author and not giving a link or credit to him, infering its your own thought process / own work, is just fine.

Your entire post was taken, verbatim, from William Craig's "Reasonable Faith". I know, because I have the text right here.

Oh, let me guess...you "meant" to provide a source / link/credit...but it slipped your mind. Sure.

Craig is hardly an impartial source. He is not only a devout believer, a theologian, but also one of the most active apologists for christian myth to come along in 25 years. Just read his work on Divine Ominicience, and proofs of ressurection and no doubt no doubt you'd quote him as having provided evidence for both.

He makes a living trying to keep people Like Jeff from abandoning supernatural myth.

The problem is, he takes his knowledge of the bible and then makes leaps of faith to support his preferred contention. Hardly what biblical scholars interested in evidence and proof and interpretative contextual analysis do.

As to your plagurized posting: No one is saying that the writers of the gospel did't believe what they wrote, most of them wrote it without having first hand knowledge, and most scholars can show how the original source was built upon by succeeding gospel authors. Craig's contention that the reason there are no contemporary eyewitness accounts outside the gospel is because ALL SUCH ACCOUNTS were included in the cannon is just self serving nonsense. He has no such evidence for such a thing, but he figures "hey... prove me wrong; it explains the dearth of corroborating independent testimony and thats good enough for me and mindless unquestioning believers."

But hey...like anything anyone says here will make an iota of difference.

Hump

DromedaryHump said...

BTW, Mak:
by quoting Craig's apologetics here, it would be tantamount to my quoting Dawkins or Hitchens and using THEIR arguments to support an atheist contention.

I would never do that, since they have an obvious bias, just like Craig does.

if an atheist DID do that, in the least they'd give the source credit. it would be the "non-christian" thing to do. LOL.

just sayin'

Hump

Makarios said...

Hump, you know that saying, “I don’t need God to be a nice person?” You are living proof that that’s not true.
=============

“Craig is hardly an impartial source.”

So what? First of all I’m not writing this for you Hump. As far as I can see you're 100% FUBAR.

If you’ll notice I addressed it to Kay.

Second, since when is being partial to what one is writing about mean that what the person writes isn’t accurate?

Kay, so that Hump doesn’t pop a gasket, tomorrow’s entry will be from Norm Geisler’s “When Skeptics Ask.” Actually no, I’ll give it to you now. Don’t worry about what Hump says in response. He is demonstrating exactly the point that I was trying to make when I mentioned the Holocaust. When someone doesn’t want to believe something it doesn’t matter how much evidence is available. It doesn’t matter if there are photographs or even living witnesses to the event. If you don’t want to believe something, no amount of evidence can sway your beliefs. In fact, if we had photographs of the empty tomb and of Jesus cooking fish on the shore as the disciples pulled in their boats, Hump would not believe. If Jesus Himself appeared before Hump, he would come up with a naturalistic reason why it wasn’t really Jesus. So set Hump aside and enjoy the information.

Extra Biblical, Non Christian documentation from the time of Jesus and / or his disciples:
Regarding Jesus died due to Crucifixion -

“The Christians, you know, worship a man, the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites and was crucified on that account.” Lucian of Samosata - (The Death of Peregrine), 11 - 13

“Nero fastened the guilt of the burning of Rome and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, Called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus.” Tacitus - Annals 15.44

“When Pilate, upon hearing him accused by men of the highest standing amongst us, had condemned him to be crucified.” Josephus - (Fides et Historia) 13

“Or what advantage came to the Jews by the murder of their Wise King, seeing that from that very time their kingdom was driven away from them?” Mara Bar Serapion, in a letter to his son from prison. - Fragment currently at the British Museum, Syriac Manuscript

“On the eve of the Passover, Yeshua was hanged on a cross.” The Babylonia Talmud - Sanhedrin 43a - I. Epstein Editor and translator, London

Extra Biblical documentation from the time of Jesus and / or his disciples: Regarding the dramatic changes in the character in the disciples and claims of witnessing the resurrected Jesus.

“Therefore, having received orders and complete certainty caused by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and believing in the Word of God, they went with the Holy Spirit’s certainty, preaching the good news that the kingdom of God is about to come. Jesus’ apostles were fully assured by Jesus’ resurrection. Polycarp also was not only instructed by apostles, and conversed with many who had seen Christ, but was also, by apostles in Asia, appointed bishop of the Church in Smyrna, whom I also saw in my early youth, for he tarried on earth a very long time, and when a very old man, gloriously and most nobly suffering martyrdom, departed this life, having always taught the things which he had learned from the apostles.” Clement of Rome -
(1 Clement ) 47

“Bishop Clement has conversed with the apostles to the extent that it might be said he had their preaching still echoing and their traditions before his eyes. Nor was he alone, for there are many still remaining alive who had received instructions from the apostles. When I was still a boy I saw you in Lower Asia with Polycarp, when you had high status at the imperial court and wanted to gain his favour. I remember where Polycarp sat and conversed, his comings and goings, his character, his personal appearance, his discourses to the crowds and how he reported his discussions with John the apostle and others who had seen the Lord. He taught what they reported about the Lord and his miracles and his teaching, things that Polycarp had heard directly from eyewitness of the word of life and reported in full harmony with Scripture.” Irenaeus - (To Florinus) 5.20

“For this is the manner in which the apostolic Churches transmit their registers: as the church of Smyrna, which records that Polycarp was placed therein, by John the apostle; as also the church of Rome, which makes Clement to have been ordained in like manner by Peter.” Tertulian - (The Prescription Against Heretics) 32.

“Paul himself and the other apostles, for they did not love the present age, but Him who dies for our benefit and for our sake was raised by God.” Polycarp - (To the Philippians)

The above sources point to multiple, very early and eyewitness testimonies to the disciple’s claims of witnessing the risen Jesus. The late New Testament critic at the University of Chicago, Norman Perrin, who rejected Jesus’ resurrection wrote, “The more we study the tradition with regard to the appearances, the firmer the rock begins to appear upon which they are based.” What we have are three categories of evidence that the disciples claim to have seen the risen Lord. 1) Paul 2) Oral tradition 3) Written Tradition.
Paul had firsthand fellowship with the disciples. We have an oral tradition originating from the time of Jesus resurrection. We have written tradition that attests to the disciples claims.

Extra Biblical documentation from the time of Jesus and / or his disciples:
Regarding the suffering and martyrdom of the disciples:
“The greatest and most righteous pillars have been persecuted and contended unto death. Peter, endured, not one or two, but many afflictions, and having borne witness went to the due glorious place. Paul pointed to the prize. Seven times chained, exiled, stoned, having become a preacher both in the East and in the West, he received honour fitting of his faith. Thus he was freed form the world and went to the holy place. He became a great example of steadfastness.” Clement of Rome - (1 Clement ) 5:2-7

“. . . the unlimited endurance of Ignatius, Zosimus and Rufus as well as the apostle Paul and the rest of the apostles among others. In association with Jesus they also suffered together. For they did not love the present age. Polycarp - (To the Philippians)

“And when Jesus came to those with Peter, he said to them: “Take, handle me and see that I am not a bodiless demon.” And immediately they handled him and believed, having known his flesh and blood. Because of this they also despise death.”
Ignatius - To the Smyrnaeans 3:2

“That Paul is beheaded has been written about. And if a heretic wishes his confidence to rest upon a public record, the archives of the empire will speak. We read the Lives of the Caesars: At Rome Nero was the first who stained with blood the rising faith. There is Peter girt by another, when he is made fast to the cross. Then does Paul obtain a birth suited to Roman citizenship, when in Rome he is ennobled by martyrdom.” Tertulian - Scorpiace, 15

According to Tertullian, if one did not want to believe the Christian records concerning the martyrdoms of some of the apostles. He could find the information in the public records, namely “The lives of the Caesars.”

“The disciples’ devotion to the teachings of Jesus was attended with danger to human life and that they themselves were the first to manifest their disregard for death’s terrors. Jesus who has both once risen Himself, and led His disciples to believe in His resurrection, and so thoroughly persuaded them of its truth, that they show to all men by their sufferings how they are able to laugh at all the troubles of life, beholding the life-eternal and the resurrection clearly demonstrated to them both in word and deed by this one, Jesus.” Origin - Contra Celsum - 2.56

. Papias cites both Paul and the apostle John and records their sufferings and deaths. (Fragments: Traditions of the Elders) 2,5 (Fragment 5)

. Eusebius in Ecclesiastical History 2.23 cites Dionysius of Corinth - Tertullian, Origen, Josephus, Hegesippus, Clement of Alexandria, all who wrote of the “martyrdom of James the brother of Jesus.”

All these non-Biblical sources affirm the disciples’ willingness to suffer and die for their claims that Jesus rose from the dead. The disciples’ willingness to suffer and die for these claims indicates that they certainly regarded those claims as true. The case is strong that they did not willfully lie about the appearances of the risen Jesus, for liars make very poor martyrs.

. On his way to be martyred in Rome Ignatius of Antioch penned several letters to various churches. All of which attest to the reality of Jesus and the suffering of His disciples.

In his letter to the church in Smyrna, Ignatius writes that the disciples were so encouraged by seeing and touching the risen Jesus that “they too despised death” and that after his resurrection, Jesus ate and drank with them like one who is composed of flesh. 3:2-3 “So pay attention, however, to the prophets and especially to the Gospel, in which the Passion has been made clear to us and the resurrection has been accomplished.” 7:4

In his letter to Philadeophians, Ignatius writes concerning the gospel, which of course was at the centre of Christian preaching. “But the Gospel possesses something distinctive, namely, the coming of the Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ, his suffering, and the resurrection.”

In his letter to the Magnesians, he writes, “I want to forewarn you not to get snagged on the hooks of worthless opinions but instead to be fully convinced about the birth and the suffering and the resurrection, which took place assuredly by Jesus Christ.” 11:2-4

“And the wonderful thing is, that, though he did not accept Jesus as Christ, he yet gave testimony that the righteousness of James was so great; and he says that the people thought that they had suffered these things because of James. Origen on Josephus - (Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol 10) (Antiquities of the Jews) (Contra Celsum) 1.47

“Jesus appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning Him.” Agapius - (Historia) 1.7.13

“Peter preached the Gospel in Pontus, and Galatia, and Cappadocia, and Betania and Italy, and Asia, and was afterwards crucified by Nero in Rome with the head downward, as he had himself desired to suffer in that manner. Andrew preached to the Sythians and Thracians, and was crucified, suspended on an olive tree at Patrae, and town of Achaia; and there too he was buried. John, again, in Asia was banished by Domitian the king to the isle of Patmos, in which also he fell asleep at Ephesus, where his remains were sought for, but could not be found. James, Jesus brother, when preaching in Judea, was cut off with the sword by Herod the tetrarch, and was buried there. Philip preached in Phygia, and was crucified in Hierapolis with his head downward in the time of Domitian, and was buried there. Bartholomew again, preached to the Indians, to whom he also gave the Gospel according to Matthew, and was crucified with his head downward. And was buried in Allanum, a town of the great Armeia. And Matthew wrote the Gospel in the Hebrew tongue, and published it at Jerusalem, and fell asleep at Hierees, a town of Pathia. And Thomas preached to the Pathians, Medes, Persians, Hyrcanians, Bactrians and Margians and was thrust through in the four members of his body with a pine spear at Clamene, the city of India, and was buried there. And James the son of Alphaeus, when preaching in Jerusalem, was stoned to death by the Jews, and was buried there beside the temple. Jude who is also called Lebbaeus, preached to the people of Edessa, and to all Mesopotamia and fell asleep at Berytus, and was buried there. Simon the Zealot, the son of Clopas, who is also called Jude, became bishop of Jerusalem after James the Just, and fell asleep and was buried there. And Matthias who was one of the seventy, was numbered along with the eleven apostles, and preached in Jerusalem, and fell asleep and was buried there. And Paul entered into the apostleship a year after the assumption of Christ; and beginning at Jerusalem, he advanced as far as Illyricum, and Italy and Spain preaching the Gospel for thirty five years. And in the time of Nero he was beheaded at Rome, and was buried there.” Hippolytus - Cyprian, Novatian, Appendix [ECF 1.5.0.2.3.0]

. Celsus - a critic of Christianity wrote strongly against the resurrection but admitted that the tomb was empty and that no body was found anywhere. He was forced to propose magic or deception i.e., lies. This type of claim shows that critics like Celsus had to respond to the reality of the empty tomb and the bodily resurrection of Jesus.

. Pliny the Younger, . Suetonius, Tactus, and Celsus were all enemies of Christianity yet attested to the historicity of Jesus.

“Nero fastened the guilt of the burning of Rome and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus. Tacitus - Annals 15.44

. Shepherd of Hermas (Parable 9, section 28); (Vision 3, section 1) . Melito of Sardis
. Hegesipius . Polycrates - (To Victor of Rome) are early Christian authors attesting to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

Modern:
. “That he was crucified is as sure as anything historical can ever be.” John Dominic Crossan - Founder of the Jesus Seminar - In (“Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography”) San Francisco, Harper Collins, 1991 - 145,154, 196, 201

. Rudolf Bultmann - (“What Really Happened to Jesus - A Historical Approach to the Resurrection.”) John Bowden Trans. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1995 - 80

. Paula Frederickson - Historian - In an interview with Peter Jennings for “The Search for Jesus,” American Broadcasting Company, 2000.

The amount of evidence that we have concerning Jesus is actually very impressive. We can start with approximately nine traditional authors of the New Testament. Another twenty early Christian authors, and four heretical writings mention Jesus within 150 years of His death on the cross. Moreover, nine secular, non-Christian sources mention Jesus within the 150 years of His death: Josephus, the Jewish historian; Tacitus, the Roman historian; Pliny the Younger, a politician of Rome; Phlegon, a freed slave who wrote histories; Lucian, the Greek satirist; Celsus, a Roman philosopher; and the historians Suetonius and Thallus, as well as the prisoner Mara Bar-Serapion. In all, at least forty-two authors, nine of them secular mention Jesus within 150 years of his death. Why am I telling you this? Let me make a comparison.

Julius Caesar, was one of Rome’s most prominent figures. Caesar is well known for his military conquests. After his Gallic Wars, he made the famous statement, “I came, I saw, I conquered.” Only five sources report his military conquests: writings by Caesar himself, Cicero, Livy, the Salona Decree and Appian. If he made such a great impact on Roman society why didn’t more writers of antiquity mention his great accomplishments? Yet no one questions whether Julius made a tremendous impact on the Roman Empire. Yet within 150 years of his death, more non-Christian authors alone comment on Jesus than all of the sources who mentions Julius Caesar’s great military conquests within 150 years after his death.

One more example. Tiberius Caesar was the Roman emperor at the time of Jesus’ ministry and execution. Tiberius is mentioned by ten sources within 150 years of his death: Tacitus, Suetonius, Velleius Paterculus, Plutarch, Pliny the Elder, Strabo, Seneca, Valerius Maximus, Josephus and Luke. Compare that to Jesus’ forty-two sources in the same length of time. That’s more than four times the number of total sources who mention the Roman emperor during roughly the same period. If we only considered the number of secular non-Christian sources who mention Jesus and Tiberius within 150 years of their lives, we arrive at a tie of nine each.

I’ve mentioned that the vast majority of historical scholars, be they merely secular, atheist or Christian attest to the life, death and resurrection “sightings” of Jesus. These scholars attest to the empty tomb, the conversion of the sceptics Paul and James, the dramatic change in the disciples and of course the rise of the Christian church based solely on the belief that Jesus rose from the dead. As there are not very many historical scholars who specialise in this area I will list them here. Glank, Blinzler, Bode, von Campenhausen, Delorme, Dhanis, Grundmann, Hengel, Lehmann, Leon-Dufour, Kremer, Lichtenstein, Manek, Martini, Mussner, Nauck, Rengstorff, Strobel, Stuhlmacher, Trilling, Vogtle and Wilckens. There are sixteen additional prominent scholars who are not evangelical who attest to the historicity of the above: Benoit, Brown, Clark, Dunn, Ellis, Gundry, Hooke, Jeremias, Klappert, Ladd, Lane, Marshall, Moule, Perry, Robinson, and Schnackenburg.
These forty-five prominent scholars believe that there was an empty tomb, that the disciple truly believed they saw the resurrected Jesus, that that belief caused such a dramatic change in Jesus’ followers that they endured hardship, persecution and many suffered execution for that belief, that the sceptics Paul and James were changed by an encounter with what they believed to be the resurrected Jesus. In the world today, more than one hundred historical scholars who specialise in this areas believe these premises versus thirty-five who do not.

Makarios said...

Dear Kay, in the sincere hope that Hump the atheist gets a hernia reacting to this evidence for the life, death and resurrection of Jesus our Lord and Saviour, I give you the following

Absolutely none of what you’re about to read has anything to do with the Bible being inspired or infallible or any other trappings of religion. These are historical facts attested to by the vast majority of secular, atheist and Christian historical scholars.

The reason that I’m not using the documents that were later compiled into what we now know as the New Testament is of course, atheists have a double standard when it comes to judging ancient documents.

Something that critics like Hump seem to forget is that the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life as well as Acts of the Apostles and the other letters that are included in the New Testament weren’t written FOR inclusion into the Bible. What are now part of the Bible were once independent documents circulating throughout the Christian and non Christian community. These guys weren’t journalists working for something like, “Bible Magazine.” The documents that were compiled into what we know today as the New Testament were separate ancient documents, written by people who were interested in the life of Jesus. Some had been followers of or students of Jesus. Others, like Dr. Luke were historians. These people had no idea that what they’d written would one day become part of the biggest and most important movement in history.

While there will always be those on the lunatic fringe who attempt to deny historical facts (eg. holocaust), to deny that there is extra Biblical factually accurate information regarding the life, death and resurrection of Jesus requires that you be either profoundly ignorant or a determined liar and most importantly, you must lie to yourself about what is factually and historically true. The question that needs to be asked by Hump and anyone else looking into the resurrection of Jesus is, "Why would the following have occurred if the facts of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection weren’t as described?"

There is absolutely no sustainable reason for the following historical events to have occurred unless the essential facts of Jesus death and resurrection are true.

If Jesus didn’t die on the cross:
Why would Josephus, Matthew, Tacitus, Mark, Lucian of Samosata, Dr. Luke, Mara Bar-Serapion, John, The Babylonion Talmud and John Dominic Crossan, the Founder of the “Jesus Seminar” all attest that Jesus’ crucifixion is historical fact? And why would that be when all but Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are non Christians?

If Jesus didn’t die on the cross, why would these historians and scholars write that He did? Why would they simply invent these stories? There was/is absolutely nothing of earthly value to be gained by concocting this as a lie.

If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead:
. Why do we have multiple, independent, extra Biblical sources attesting to the risen Jesus?
. Why do we have virtually unanimous modern historical scholarship agreeing that the disciples truly believed they saw Jesus alive after His death on the cross.
. Why would atheist historian and New Testament critic Gerd Ludemann say, “It may be taken as historically certain that Peter and the disciples had experiences after Jesus’ death in which Jesus appeared to them as the risen Christ.”
. Why would atheist historian Paula Fredriksen say, “I don’t know what they saw, but as a historian I know they believed they saw Jesus.”
. Why would highly critical New Testament scholar Rudolf Bultmann agree that historical criticism can establish “the fact that the first disciples came to believe in the resurrection and that they thought they had seen the risen Jesus."
. Why would atheist and founder of the Jesus Seminar state, “The Jesus was crucified is as sure as anything historical can ever be” if Jesus wasn’t a historical figure?

Without the resurrection being historical fact, this doesn’t make sense. Why would the ENEMIES of Christianity affirm the historical facts regarding the life, death and resurrection of Jesus if the evidence isn’t accurate and compelling?

If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead:
. Why would all the disciples, plus hundreds and hundreds of others believe that they saw Him alive?
. Why would they say that they spoke with Him?
. Why would they say that they ate with Him at various times and various places?
. If none of that is true, why would they be willing to die for making up the lie of seeing Jesus alive? There was absolutely nothing of earthly value to be gained, and everything to lose by concocting the supposed lies about Jesus life, death and resurrection.

REMEMBER these people didn’t believe someone else’s lie. Over the centuries many people have died for believing someone else’s lies. But if THESE people died for a lie, it was THEIR lie! They died for saying they saw Jesus alive again after His death. Liars simply do not make martyrs of themselves.

Without the resurrection being historical fact, their willingness to die for the “truth” doesn’t make any sense.

If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead:
Why do we have Paul’s testimony about His encounter with Jesus and why do we have his radical transformation in character from a persecutor of the Church and a killer of Christians to the greatest missionary that the Christian Church has ever seen?

Remember, Paul:
. Was a rabid sceptic when Jesus appeared to him.
. Was an enemy of the Church when Jesus appeared to him.

This is not like most conversions whereby the person reads or hears something that persuades h/her to change. Paul’s evidence for the risen Jesus was first hand and so convincing that he endured years of hardship, persecution and rejection for proclaiming the risen Lord, before finally being beheaded by Nero in 64AD.

Without the resurrection being historical fact, this change in Paul’s character doesn’t make any sense. He had absolutely nothing of earthly value to gain, and everything to lose by concocting a story of meeting Jesus while on His way to persecute the Church.

If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead:
. Why in the world would Jesus’ brothers James and Jude go to their deaths proclaiming that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead?
. Why would they claim that they had seen Him alive after His death?
. Why would they confess that Jesus is the Lord God, Messiah?
Think about it! This was their half-brother, someone that they’d previously mocked and ridiculed. James’ and Jude’s conversions were a drastic change from thinking their Brother was insane and an embarrassment to the family.

What would it take for you to make this kind of change? What would it take for you to die for that change? For me, it would take nothing LESS than a resurrection.

Without the resurrection being historical fact, this change in the beliefs of Jesus’ siblings doesn’t make any sense. They had absolutely nothing of earthly value to gain and everything to lose if what they said about Jesus appearing to them after His death was not true.

Remember, Both Paul and James were sceptics at the time that Jesus appeared to them. Why would they become His followers if His resurrection wasn't historical fact?

If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead:
Why was His tomb empty?
. Jesus’ ENEMIES were the ones to CONFIRM that the body was missing by proposing that the disciples stole it.
. The disciples didn’t have the power nor the inclination to steal His body. They were hiding behind locked doors.
. Jesus’ enemies had no reason to steal the body and every reason to keep it right where it was. They posted an armed guard, and sealed the tomb with the Governor’s seal to make sure that nothing happened to the body.
. The first proclamations of the empty tomb were made right there in Jerusalem where Jesus was murdered and buried. The tomb could have been easily checked out.

If the resurrection isn’t historical fact, how is it that the tomb was empty with no sound explanation other than the resurrection?

If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead:
Why do the ancient documents written by Jesus’ followers make the “mistake” of saying that women (who at the time were seen as lower than dogs and not capable of telling the truth) were the ones who discovered the empty tomb and encountered the risen Lord. If it wasn’t true, if the disciples were trying to convince others of a lie, if the resurrection wasn’t historical fact, why would the writers invent the testimony of women to say that it was true?

If the resurrection isn’t historical fact, it doesn’t make any sense that His followers would do that.

If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead:
Why did Josephus, Hegesippus and Clement of Alexandria all non Christians and all historians write about Jesus’ brother James, his leadership in the Jerusalem Church and his martyrdom for proclaiming Jesus as risen Lord and Saviour?

Without the resurrection being historical fact, this doesn’t make any sense. I think they would only write these things if the evidence convinced them that it was accurate.

If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead:
Why do we have an early oral tradition or creed that dates from the second or third month after Jesus’ death attesting to the fact of Him rising from the dead. 1st Corinthians 15:1-10

Without the resurrection being historical fact, this doesn’t make any sense. There is no hint of legend or exaggeration in this oral tradition. And these people had their lives to lose by repeating it. Why would they do that if it wasn’t true?

If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead:
Why do we have the written works of the early Church with hymns, poetry and creeds, stemming from the early oral history telling about Jesus rise from the dead?

Without the resurrection being historical fact, we simply wouldn't have this.

If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead:
Why do we have the Christian Church? Paul told early Christians, “If Jesus did not rise from the dead, your faith is worthless.”

Without the resurrection being historical fact there wouldn’t be any Christianity. Yet here it is today, over 2 billion strong.

If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead:
How did Paul know what He knew about Jesus prior to any contact with the apostles and why would they accept Paul as one of their own based on what he was teaching about Jesus? This was an “outsider” eager to kill the leaders of the early Jesus movement, now coming to them with a knowledge of Jesus’ teaching equal to those who had been insiders.

Without the resurrection being historical fact, and without Jesus appearing to Paul and teaching Paul about Himself, this doesn’t make any sense.

If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead:
Why do we have the four ancient biographies of Jesus, one of them by historian and physician Luke (Which was written before Acts which was written before Paul died in 64AD) who got his information from eyewitnesses all affirming the resurrection of Jesus? Why would they tell Luke that these things happened if they weren’t true? They paid for that "lie" with their lives.

Without the resurrection being historical fact, this doesn’t make any sense.

If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead:
Why do we have Clement of Rome, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Polycarp and others, all saying that they had been taught by the apostles that Jesus had risen from the dead. And THEN, all of these men were themselves martyred based on the believability of what the disciples had told them. These were not ignorant, gullible men. Yet the evidence made sense to them.

Without the resurrection being historical fact, how could that happen?

If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead:
What would account for the disciple’s radical transformation from fearful and cowardly men who denied Jesus and who ran away from Him during His trial, to bold individuals who were so confident of the truth of what they saw and heard regarding His resurrection, that they were willing to undergo years of persecution as well as torture and death rather than change their story.

Peter watched his own wife being crucified just prior to his own crucifixion. Surely, if the risen Jesus was a lie concocted by Peter himself, he wouldn’t have allowed that to happen.

Without the resurrection, this type of behaviour doesn’t make any sense.

If the accounts of what the disciples taught weren’t true:
. Why was it that Polycarp wrote of the endurance under torture of Paul, Ignatius, Zosimus, and Rufus for their belief in the risen Christ?
. Why was it that Ignatius also wrote of the suffering and death of the apostles?
. Why was it that Polycarp and Ignatius were both martyred?
. Why would they be willing to die in such a manner if the accounts of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection weren’t accurate?

Without the resurrection being historical fact, this doesn’t make any sense.

If the accounts of what the disciples taught weren’t true:
Why would we have confirming accounts of the disciples teaching and deaths in Roman public records called “Lives of the Caesars.”

Without the resurrection being historical fact, this doesn’t make any sense.

If the accounts of what the disciples taught weren’t true:
Why would Origen write, “Jesus, who has both risen AND led His disciples to believe in His resurrection and so thoroughly persuaded them of its truth that they showed to all men by their suffering how they were able to laugh at life’s troubles beholding to life eternal and a resurrection clearly demonstrated to them in word and deed by this one Jesus.”

Without the resurrection being historical fact, it doesn’t make any sense that Origen would write that.

If the accounts of what the disciples taught weren’t true:
Why do we have Eusebius, Dionysius of Corinth, Tertullian, Hegesibous, Josephus, Clement of Alexandria, all of these sources, Christian and non Christian alike affirming the historicity of Jesus and the disciples willingness to die for what they believed to be true.

Without the resurrection being historical fact, it doesn’t make any sense that these many and varied individuals would make this stuff up.

If the accounts of what the disciples taught weren’t true:
. Why is it that Luke writes that Jesus spent about 40 days with the disciples after He rose from the dead, and
. Why can it be further calculated that about 50-55 days after His death, Jesus’ followers started proclaiming His resurrection, and
. Why did Tacitus, an ENEMY of Christianity, write “Jesus’ execution by Pontius Pilot checked, for the moment, the Christian movement but it then broke out with force not only in Judea but even in Rome.”
. Why would these accounts, one from a follower of Jesus and one from a secular historian and enemy of Christianity be so similar unless they’re true?

Without the resurrection being historical fact, this doesn’t make any sense.

Absolutely none of what I’ve just written has anything to do with the Bible being inspired or infallible or any other trappings of religion. These are historical facts attested to by the vast majority of secular, atheist and Christian historical scholars. While there will always be those on the lunatic fringe who attempt to deny historical facts (eg. holocaust) to deny that there is extra Biblical factually accurate information regarding the life, death and resurrection of Jesus requires that you be either profoundly ignorant or a determined liar and most importantly, you must lie to yourself about what is factually and historically true. There is absolutely no sustainable reason for the above historical events to have occurred unless the essential facts of Jesus death and resurrection are true.

These questions, stemming from this evidence demands more than just a flippant, “People rising from the dead is impossible.” Something totally “other” happened back then and ignoring it is not a rational nor a logical thing to do.

If Jesus did in fact supernaturally rise from the dead, then what He taught about being the Son of God and about the existence of Creator God must also be true. The evidence for the resurrection of Jesus demands a verdict. With the evidence so overwhelmingly pointing to the fact of His resurrection, one can do three things:

. Submit to Jesus as Lord and Saviour - Or

. Lie to yourself that none of this proves anything - Or

. Say to yourself, “I don’t care if God is real, I’m going to live my life, my way.”

DromedaryHump said...

well, Mak...i read the first paragraph of your first reply and stopped.

Wow! talk about pent up hostility. Again the ad homin attack on me. You seem to take everything I say personally. Yet besides my pointing out your plagurism, I never attacked you... not once. I only attacked your belief system.

This anger, where does it come from? I think it's a Christian thing. Evidently anyone who doesn't buy into your fable and can refute it is somehow a horrible person...a miserable heathen... an enemy to be dispised. The fundamentalist muslims do the same thing. But then again, hating "the other" in in the Koran just as it is in scripture.

Thats been the way with Christianity for 1700 years. Killing and torturing heretics and other religions or atheists. Persecuuting Jews who reject your fable. It's the Christian thing to do.

Seems to me if you were more comfortable in your faith you wouldn't have to lash out just because of your inability to adequately defend it.

So.. i accepted the holocaust, like any realist would; I detailed the proofs that make it factual. Unfortunately, that didnt play the way you hoped, did it? Nah...so now what? You realize what an inane comparison attempt it was... belief in a supernatural man-god who has no contemporary corroborating eyewitnes evidence, to a genuine 20th century reality with more proofs than you can shake a stick at, and now you feel like a fool.

You need to think your positions and arguments through a bit more. See, If I were you I'd have challenge me with do I "accept Socrates as having been a real person?" That would have at least presented a challenge and could have put you in a viable postion.

But i fear you don't have that depth of education and debate sophistication.

As for what evidence would constutute a historical jesus...well, I said, unlike alot of non-believers, I happen to believe there was a historical Jesus, albeit, nothing like the Jesus you people deified. That's not the problem. The problem is What would it take for me to accept a God-Jesus, or any god, or miracles outlined in the Bible.

The answer is rather simple: Evidence, proofs that would hold up to quantifiable scientific investigation. Not words, but observable and testible evidence. Heck, It would take at least the same degtree of evidence to convince me of supernaturalism as you would require of me if I told you I had a mouse who could play the banjo. Yoiu wouldnt accept it at my word you'd demand proof of that.

Yet strangely, you base your entire belief system, and life, on nothing more than unprovable ancient fable, no proof or evidence required...just blind faith. As though evidence for a musial mouse would be more importatnt than evidence for the belief system you spend your life pursuing.

But hey, its nothing that Hindus, Muslims, wiccans, Jews and every other flavor of supernaturalismdoes. Youre all committed to your myths with nothing more than ancient scripture written by pre-scientific cultists.
go figure.

Anyway, I won't spend time reading the rest of your rather volumious drivel. Likely it is strewn with anger and villification. You'd think Jesus would have given you a calmer temperment.

Oh...and Mak, yes..there are biblical scholars , both believers and non-believers, who do Higher and Lower Historical Biblical Criticism (look it up in Google) who have no axe to grind about protecting their belief or non-belief. That's called "scholarship".

That you dont understand the difference between Craig's form of apologetics/biblical scholarship to defend his belief; and investigation to find a truth unburdened with an agenda to defend, speaks to your lack of familiarity with genuine biblical scholarship and commitment to knoiwledge.

If there was anything in particular you wanted me to respond to in that tome you wrote, and assuming it wasn't based on more plagurism, please shorten it to its essentials and let me know.

Regards,
Hump

DromedaryHump said...

Mak said: He is demonstrating exactly the point that I was trying to make when I mentioned the Holocaust. When someone doesn’t want to believe something it doesn’t matter how much evidence is available. It doesn’t matter if there are photographs or even living witnesses to the event. If you don’t want to believe something, no amount of evidence can sway your beliefs.


Mak...LOL..youre a liar. I said the holocaust is true beyond any doubt...yet here you are trying to infer that the proofs of the holocasut / shoa are disputed .

Mak..I think this may be a learning disability on your part.

You may want to reread ...or actually read the first time... what I said. I think you may be losing it.

Regards,
Hump

(re: "FUBAR" ... LOL!! I hope you don't kiss Jesus with that filthy mouth.)

Makarios said...

Hi Kay - Just one final thing. Hump talks about all the Biblical scholars that he's read. I think I found a couple of them a few days back. "Christians" to a person these three biblical scholars were making the following case. "Because Jewish people of time, be it family or friends would never touch the body of a criminal, and Jesus died a criminal, it was probably the Romans who took Jesus' body down from the cross, threw it aside and it was eaten by dogs." They're quite certain of this.

So what about the empty tomb and the sightings by His disciples and Paul. Well, like Bart Ehrman, these scholars believe the Jesus' closest followers say an um ghost, an apparition, much like grieving men and woman see after a much loved and long-time partner dies. Neither Bart nor these scholars explain away Jesus' followers eating, conversing, walking with and being taught by this mind trick. They just say that it happened. Anyhow, much like Hump, these scholars say that Paul's and the disciples experience was subjective, not real. Don't buy it my friend.

These foolish people suggest and expect you to believe that from that subjective experience, Paul went on to believe in and make a case that we are all destined for bodily resurrection.

So, what about that? Is a subjective experience a nice balance between a real resurrected body and no resurrection at all? Is a subjective experience the same as no resurrection? The vast majority of historical scholars believe that the tomb was in fact empty on the third day after Jesus’ crucifixion. How did it get that way? We know that the disciples had no opportunity nor inclination to steal Jesus’ body and Jesus’ enemies had no reason to do so. So what happened?

Even many atheists allow that Paul’s testimony is the most believable, so let me work with this for a bit.

Most everyone who blogs about the Christian religion knows already about Paul’s 1st Corinthians 15:3-8statement. There Paul gives a list of witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection appearances, ending with his own encounter with the resurrected Jesus.

As you read through this, keep in mind that from his experiences with the post resurrection Jesus, Paul develops a theology of God raising us all in bodily form on the day of judgement. He doesn’t say we’ll be raised spiritually but physically, albeit in a new resurrected body LIKE THAT OF JESUS. That’s fairly important to keep in mind since these scholars say that Paul only saw an apparition.

Now, to what Paul describes. Remember that the tradition that Paul related comes from early, early on in the Christian movement. All scholars agree to this. In other words, it’s believable to even the most sceptical, except, as I've said to those on the lunatic fringe. In this creed:

Paul mentions Jesus appearing to Peter.

There is nothing about this appearance in the Gospels. However Paul mentions it in this incredibly early tradition stemming probably from the second month after Jesus’ death. From Galatians 1:18 we know that Paul spent about two weeks with Peter in Jerusalem three years after Paul’s Damascus Road experience. Paul would have gotten this account firsthand from Peter who was an eyewitness to the life, death and resurrection of his Lord, Jesus the Christ. As far as I know, even the most sceptical New Testament critics agree that Peter saw an appearance of Jesus alive from the dead.

As an aside, it’s important to remember that the only reason that the disciples allowed Paul, the Christian killer and torturer to “join the group” was that Paul could prove that he’d spent time with Jesus. How did he prove this? Because Paul knew, and was teaching to anyone who would listen the very same things about the kingdom of God that Jesus had taught His disciples prior to His crucifixion.

Paul mentions Jesus appearing to “the Twelve.”

This is the best-attested resurrection appearance of Jesus. Paul himself had contact with members of this group. We also have independent stories of this appearance from the sources used by Luke in 24:36-42 and by John in 20:19-20. The most interesting feature of these accounts is the physical demonstrations of Jesus’ showing his wounds and eating with the disciples. My personal favourite is when Jesus called to the disciples from the beach after they were coming in from a night of fishing. Jesus has a fire going and some fish broiling and Peter says to John, “It’s the Lord.” He dives in and swims to shore. And then comes my favourite line. “None of us dared ask Him who He was for we knew that it was the Lord.” These were men who were still struggling with the reality of a bodily resurrection. This was NOT a subjective experience. Nor was it a hallucination. Neither experience is shared by a group of people. And second, these demonstrations show that this was the same Jesus who had been crucified. They demonstrate both CORPOREALITY and CONTINUITY of the resurrection body.

Paul mentions Jesus appearing to “five hundred brothers” at the same time.

Again, there is no mention of this in the Gospels. Yet it was part of one of the earliest traditions available. However, Paul himself had personal contact with these people. This is obvious because he knew that some had already died. As New Testament scholar of Cambridge University, C. H. Dodd states, “There can hardly be any purpose in mentioning the fact that most of the 500 are still alive, unless Paul is saying, in effect, “The witnesses are still here if you want to question them.”

This is one of the most attractive things about Christianity for me. It is grounded in history. Facts and places and events can be researched and examined. This is simply not true of other religions. Christianity practically begs to be examined. That is why there is not the slightest chance that Paul would have said this if the event had not occurred and there were no witnesses to back him up. He placed far to much value and the trustworthiness of his testimony to subject it to potential destruction on the basis of giving false witness to the people he was trying to reach for Christ.

Paul mentions Jesus appearing to Jesus’ brother James:

As I’ve mentioned in several posts now, Jesus’ siblings thought He was crazy. Jesus was an embarrassment to the family. The wanted to hide Him away. So ask yourself. What would it take for you to believe that one of your siblings was God? I know that for me, it would take nothing less than an obvious death, an obvious burial and an obvious resurrection from the dead. A “subjective appearance” as these scholars suggest would not in any way be enough for me to volunteer for years of hardship, poverty and ultimately martyrdom. It was no different for Jesus’ siblings. Yet, post resurrection, we find them all part of the new Christian fellowship in the upper room in Jerusalem (Acts 1:14). The radical change in the character of James is confirmed by Josephus, the Jewish historian who writes that James was killed for his faith by the Sanhedrin. As well, 1 Corinthians 9:5 shows that Jesus’ other brothers had become active in the Church as well.

What would it take for you Hump to make this kind of change. A hallucination? A dream? An apparition? Or would a resurrection have to be proved to you beyond all doubt? I suggest that it was the latter that brought about the dramatic change in the character of the first disciples.

To see his brother crucified would have done nothing but confirm for James and his siblings that their brother Jesus really was a lunatic. The Jewish concept of a Messiah in no way allowed for His death as a criminal. Yet even sceptical New Testament critic Hans Grass admits that the conversion of James is one of the surest proofs of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Paul mentions Jesus appearing to “all the apostles”:

This was probably more than the twelve and fewer that the several hundred mentioned earlier. Again, Paul would have gotten this information from the apostle’s personal accounts of their time with Jesus, before and after His crucifixion, burial and resurrection.

Paul mentions Jesus appearing to him:“Last of all he appeared to me also.”

This event is attested to over and over in Paul’s letters to the Churches he established. This event, like the appearances to the others disciples, forever changed Paul’s and their lives. This was no dreamlike wisp of smoke. Prior to his encounter with the resurrected Jesus, Paul had been a successful rabbi. He was at the height of his craft. Respected in his community, Paul was a man with power. He had everything religion can deliver from a worldly perspective. He hated the Christian movement. He hated it so much that he was willing to torture and kill in his effort to stop it. And then . . .?

Paul became the most powerful missionary Christianity has ever seen. For the sake of Jesus, who appeared to Paul and who taught Paul about the kingdom of God, and "what he would suffer" for Jesus in the coming years, this man gave up everything this world had to offer in order to preach Christ and Him crucified. Paul was beaten and whipped. He was shipwrecked three times and spent a day and a night in the open ocean. He was imprisoned several times and finally Paul was beheaded in A.D. 64.

Some say that Paul quit killing Christians because of guilt. However, if it was guilt that stopped Paul from killing Christians, then stopping the killing is all that would have happened. There was no need to go over to the other side in such a profound manner unless something profound happened to him. It did. Jesus, in bodily form appeared to Paul and it changed his life forever.

Hump and other delusional atheists will now tell me and anyone listening that there is no evidence for any of this. As I’ve said before, if eyewitness accounts are presented to atheists they say eyewitness accounts aren’t reliable. If it’s accounts that are reported from those who heard it from eyewitnesses, then it’s hearsay and hearsay isn’t reliable.

Well, like the saying goes, “The gates of hell are locked from the inside.” There’s nothing that can be done about that. However, while what we have won’t be good enough to change the mind of an atheist, it might be good enough for honest seekers

. The appearance to Peter is independently attested by Paul and Luke and their sources and is universally acknowledged by critics.

. The appearance to the Twelve is independently attested by Paul, Luke and John and their sources and is again not in dispute, even if many critics are sceptical of the physical demonstrations that attend this appearance.

. The appearance to the women is independently attested by Matthew and John and their sources and enjoy, as well, affirmation by the criterion of embarrassment.

. The appearance to the disciples in Galilee is independently attested by Mark, Matthew, and John and their sources.

. The appearances follow a pattern of Jerusalem > Galilee > Jerusalem, matching the festival pilgrimages of the disciples as they returned to Galilee following the Passover feast of Unleavened Bread and travelled again to Jerusalem two months later for Pentecost.

Personally, I can’t comprehend how anyone could claim that Paul would develop an understanding of bodily resurrection from a hallucination or some wispy subjective experience. On the other hand, if the appearances were physical and bodily in nature, then a psychological proposition is ridiculous.

Paul is emphatic that the appearance that he encountered was physical and not subjective. Paul does NOT teach the immortality of the soul, alone, but the resurrection of the body. Based on his encounter with the resurrected Jesus, Paul makes a point of differentiating between the earthly body which is mortal and the resurrection body which is immortal; the earthly which is dishonourable and the resurrection body with is glorious; the weak and the powerful, the natural and the spiritual.

The word Paul uses for natural means unredeemed or earth oriented. The word he uses for spiritual means a person oriented toward things of the Spirit. All of the New Testament makes a conceptual distinction between an appearance of Jesus and a vision of Jesus.

What’s the difference? A vision, though caused by God, was purely in the mind, while an appearance took place in time and space; it was external to the person seeing the appearance. Stephen had a vision of Jesus. By contrast, all the other appearances were “out there” and external to the people seeing Jesus. The appearances happened in real time and real space. Even Paul’s companions experienced Paul’s encounter with Jesus to varying degrees although it seems that Jesus Himself was hidden from them.

Every resurrection appearance related in the Gospels is a physical, bodily appearance. This is unanimous. If none of the appearances were physical then there is absolutely no explanation for why all the Gospel accounts declare them to have been physical. Why? Because physical, bodily appearances would be foolishness to Gentiles and Jews alike. Neither had any reason to believe in a natural physical resurrection but both, like our "scholars," would be willing to accept an apparition of some sort.

As stated in an earlier post, the only grounds for rejecting the physical resurrection of Jesus is philosophical / world-view, and not evidence based or historical in nature.

kaymcsmith said...

Hump.. I did read Makarios' " if Jesus didn't rise from the dead" comment and I was looking forward to your response to that and what you did just supports the point I made earlier... the amazing capacity of atheists to ignore. Your keep resorting to asking for tangable proof of an event that happened 2000 years ago! My question / point to you earlier was not an "argument" as you put it... it was a question as to whether you had considered the fact that this event happened so long ago and that there are potentially hundreds of variables that could account for why there aren't any "outside" eyewitness acounts.. for one example... the Romans may have been ordered by Pilate to not write or even talk about Jesus' resurrection, Pilate was concerned and even kind of "spooked" that Jesus was who he claimed to be. The Roman soldier who witnessed Jesus' death claimed the event was extraordinary... Pilot could / would have easily ordered his men to not speak of it for a variety of reasons... this is just one example of many circumstances that could effect the "evidence" that we "don't" have today. And it should be considered that Jesus' ministry only covered a small area of the Roman empire... some of the rulers had heard of Him but that was about the extent of it. That you choose to not believe because there is no "proof" is a cop out considering it happened so long ago and again, when technology was extremely limited.

And yes, my question is an attempt to direct the subject of the existence of God to a more scientific perspective... my question was... does the existence of the universe make sense to you? I'm talking about the beginning of everything... you described some things but you seemed to be avoiding the obvious point that our existence isn't logical because you can't get something from nothing. Where did the first matter come from that all of existence evolved from? This, to me, IS the proof that a Supreme Being exists.

That plus the nature that we see everyday. You have to admit that it takes a lot of effort to convince yourself that we are a freak accident and everything just happened to fit into place... I think it is ineresting the way Atheists demand proof before they will believe but will completely deny the existence of God without there being any proof that He doesn't exist. That seems very biased.

Anyway... I am curious as to how you have rationalized the birth of our existence if you don't mind sharing that. I apologize for sounding so unfriendly, it's just that it is bothersome when some describes our Creator as make believe or something to that effect... sorry again...

DromedaryHump said...

Kay,
Oh my. Your hypothetical answers to no eyewitness is really childlike.

Heres a better one... Pilate had everyones fingers and tongues cut out so they couldnt testefy to the ressurection and miracle. Yeah.., Pilate did all that..out of thousands of people.. I imagine he collected the tongues and fingers and had them made into necklaces.

Thats probably why we don't kknow anything about Pol Pot, the murder of the coptic christians and jews during the crusades, the destruction of the Aztec civilization by devout Catholics, the Inqusition? Threat of punishment by a single governor keeps all that stuff quiet. No eyewitness! Bam!!

And although the bible gives accounts for the murders of 1000's by Kings and rulers... not one mention of Pilates threat in scripture?? You just wanna play "shoulda coulda woulda" and hope it makes sense to anyone with an IQ above 100??? Trust me. It doesn't.
\
Kay, come on. You're not serious.
This is why Christians can't hold their own in debate. They default to make believe inventions instead of relying on Occams Razor, i.e : the simplest answer is often the most reliable

RE: "something from nothing". Kay, have you ever read the Big Bang theory? I bet you havn't. I'd bet dollars to donuts that everything you think you know about it came from christian aka non-scientifc sources. Oh.. you may lie and say you've studied it from the source. But we both know better.

There are theories that proffer what preceded the big bang. If you google "Pre Big Bang Theories" you'd learn about "string theory", anti-matter, curved universe, quantum gravity universe theory...

The fact that we don't know [yet]doesnt default to "god did it" like everything else we didnt know 500, 1000, 2000, 5000 years ago. Thinking people stopped reverting to "god did it" just because the sceitifc answers arent known... yet. It started with the Age of Enlightenment, and through the Scienfic Age... a period many christians would prefer never happened. They tend prefer the Dark Ages.

As for something coming from nothing... sure.. fine.. and your God came from...???? who created god? was there another creator? If something doesnt come from nothing then where did god come from? OH..he always existed??? Prove it. And if he did then it blunts your proposition that something can't have always existed or come from no where. the universe may have always existed too. Afterall, what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander...you can't have it both ways.


I dont know what Mak's "if Jesus didn't rise from the dead" question was, what it entailed. I didnt read his whole post.I find them rather elementary, unthinking, unscholarly, uncritical, and trite.
Tell me what the question is, and I will do my answer to satisfy you with a response.

Regards,
Hump

DromedaryHump said...

Mak said :
"Neither Bart nor these scholars explain away Jesus' followers eating, conversing, walking with and being taught by this mind trick."

Thats where i stopped reading. The credulity of sheep is so peculiar.

So, can someone please explain how the followers of Mohammed observed his ascending to heaven astride his horse? I mean, heck..its right there in the Koran; thusit must be true. I mean, why would they lie???

WHAT?? You mean thats an INVENTION??? You mean it DIDN'T actually HAPPEN?? Are you saying their scripture and eyewitnesss were lying, BUT YOUR scripture and eyewitness are reliable and truthful??

HAHAHAH. Seriously Mak, are you a child? Can't you think critically, like an adult, like a 21st century person? Have you studied the Bhagavad Gita? Do you believe everything it's eyewitness say? Or do you reject them as well as Mohammed's ascention as made up?

well.. now, if you reject them as made up, how is it you only accept your scripture as valid/ Whats that?? Because its' CHRISTIAN and you are a chreistian, and the Bible is YOUR GODS word??

You reject all scriptural eyewitness accounts of diety/prophet's miracles of all other religions except your own... I just reject one more than you do. You and I are very similar... out of the 1000's of gods you reject, your only one more god away from being an atheist.

LOL.

Regards,
Hump

DromedaryHump said...

KAY..OMG!! YOU WERE RIGHT!!!
PILATE DID THREATEN EVERYONE!!
I FOUND THE VERSE:

"Yeah, verily did Pilate sayeth unto the multitudes, the Jews, the Christians, the Romans, the Greeks, all who resideth in the land, to speaketh not of the miracles lest they be cruicified, beheaded, or have their first born pickled. So nobody said nuthin... excepteth for those who madeth up the Bibble"
(Book of Kay 1:2-4 KJV)

Please forgive my original oversight.

Hump

Makarios said...

Hump ain't angry. He just sounds that way. Pfft!

Anyhow, it's important to remember that atheists have absolutely no problem with something being eternal or having existed from infinity past. Sadly for them, it's been proven that matter can't be one of those things. You know an atheist is losing control when s/he pulls out the incoherent,

"Ya, well, who created an eternal being, Huh? Answer that! When did the eternal being begin to exist? Huh? You can't answer that can you?"

Hump, google Borde-Guth-Vilenkin Theorem. End of story for your infinite universe.

Face it Humpty! Kay is right. Creator God best answers the question, Why is there a universe and why is it this universe and not another?

. Science knows for a fact that matter cannot exist from eternity past, but other than Creator God, science has no explanation for why matter exists now.

. Science knows for a fact that matter cannot precede itself either physically or chronologically, but other than Creator God, science has no explanation for why matter exists now.

. Science knows for a fact that matter cannot create itself, but other than Creator God, science has no explanation for why matter exists now.

. Science knows for a fact that whatever begins to exist has a cause, but other than Creator God, science has no explanation for what caused the beginning of the universe.

. Science knows for a fact that the universe cannot be infinite, yet other than Creator God, science has no explanation for HOW the universe came to be.

. Science knows for a fact that intelligent life would not have evolved on this planet if the universe wasn’t finely tuned to an exquisite degree. Yet other than Creator God, science has no explanation for how our universe could ever come “pre loaded” with several dozen finely tuned constants and quantities.

These are known facts that were garnered via a scientific method of enquiry. These facts are evidence for the existence of Creator God.

Because atheism is NOT science, atheists like Hump are allowed to say ridiculous things like -

The universe does not have a beginning or a cause.

Because atheism is NOT science, atheists like Hump are allowed to say ridiculous things like,

“Everything came from nothing, and it did so without any cause whatsoever.”

Atheists, are free to propose the ridiculous even if the suppositions don’t fit the evidence. Science, cannot say these things because science knows them to be untrue.

On the other hand because the evidence for Creator God is so compelling, atheist scientists are devolving into the mythological in an effort to explain the origins of our universe. To avoid the logical relationship of Creator God to the known facts of our existence, scientists have proposed:

The steady state model
Oscillating models
Baby universes
Multi verses
The Cyclic Ekpyrotic Scenario
The Chaotic Inflationary Model
Brane-cosmology
Inflationary multi-verse
Bubble universes floating in a sea of false vacuum
The many worlds hypothesis
The black hole hypothesis
String Scenarios
Quantum gravity models
Vacuum fluctuation models
Imaginary time and imaginary space

None of these propositions have been able to explain what science observes today. Yet the metaphysical implications of the Big Bang are so disturbing to atheist scientists that even
"Space aliens brought life to earth" is better than allowing for Creator God.

Unfortunately for athesits, it can be said with absolute confidence that no cosmogonic model has been:
As repeatedly verified in its predictions,
As corroborated by attempts at its falsification,
As concordant with empirical discoveries, and
As philosophically coherent as the Standard Big Bang Model.

Reaching their “No God” conclusion PRIOR to confirming evidence allows atheists to stand in their faith and claim with great confidence, “There is absolutely no evidence for the existence of God.”

What is the basis for the atheist belief that God does not exist?

There is no basis for such a belief! None whatsoever! Everything that science has discovered about the origin and nature of our universe contains the finger print of Creator God.

Atheism is a philosophy that is protected by irrational, illogical and incoherent conclusions. Atheism is dishonest. When atheism influences science, science suffers.

When an intelligent person willfully abandons reason and begins to posit finite infinities, causeless beginnings and beginningless beginnings, I know that I’m dealing with someone involved in a desperate attempt to avoid a philosophically unacceptable conclusion: Creator God exists.

When an intelligent person willfully abandons classical historical scholarship and begins to deny known and knowable facts of history, but only as they apply to the person of Jesus, I know that I’m dealing with someone who is confronted with a philosophically unacceptable conclusion: Creator God exists.

When an intelligent person willfully and falsely claims to follow whatever ethical standard is currently in vogue and calls that a reasonable way to live, I know that I’m dealing with someone involved in a desperate, fearful attempt to avoid a philosophically unacceptable conclusion: Creator God exists.

When someone goes in search of ever more complicated solutions, abandoning one after another, after another, after another, not because of new evidence but because of a need to avoid the conclusion indicated by current evidence, and when that person never returns to a simple solution that coincides with current knowledge and common sense, I know that I’ve encountered an individual who has been confronted with a philosophically unacceptable conclusion: Creator God exists.

That is sad and that is why I’m not an atheist.

By one atheist’s definition, the phrase “There is no evidence for God” means, “This “fact” could not exist unless there was a Creator God.”

The “fact” that atheists are too blind to see, the “fact” that could not exist unless there was a Creator God is the universe itself.

Lord of lords, King of kings, True God, Creator of the universe, the heavens declare Your handiwork. May Your name be forever praised!!

Makarios said...

Hump - In my last post my attitude was sliding into - no - was full on into mean and nasty. I was wrong to let that happen and I'm sorry. It was wrong.

kaymcsmith said...

It is mentioned in the Gospels, the Christians hiding out of fear from the Romans (Pilate) after Jesus' death. So you are incorrect on that. And Hump, the supposition that I gave was one example... fine, scratch it off the list ( even though I do think it is a very likely reason for not having as many eyewitness accounts as we could have)...so now you can go on to any of the hundreds of other possible reasons why we don't have the kind of proof that atheists insist on... what is it? photographs? Sorry, you're just gong to have to accept that you can't use that as an excuse since cameras weren't invented yet. That's what is childlike... using the excuse that there is no proof without taking into consideration the time gap. It's a silly excuse, and not a very practical approach. It is not a valid statement to say that there are no eyewitness accounts... you can only say that there are no KNOWN (to you) eyewitness accounts. You are just too eager to "get rid" of God. Just like when the atheists say "there is no God"... that is not a valid statement since there is NO PROOF of that. That statement just shows again, how eager the atheist is to discount God... it's a very biased statement. You don't believe in God because you don't want to believe in God. That's the bottom line.


Oh.. the Big Bang theory...of course... it makes perfect sense.. up to the point where you have to explain where the matter came from that was used to create the Big Bang... why do I have to keep exlpaining this to atheists? And please don't come back with any of those silly theories... they ALL start with something...

You say that " well, then where did God come from?" ... Great question!! The ONLY LOGICAL conclusion to these two questions is... that there can / should be no existence..yet... we ARE here! Common sense AND science tell us that we can't be here. And since we are.. the ONLY logical conclusion is that there is Supreme Being who does have the answers and has chosen not to reveal them to us... The existence of God is the MORE logical conclusion... by far.

DromedaryHump said...

Mak said:
"Hump ain't angry. He just sounds that way. Pfft!"

Hmmm it sounds that way because you are. Youve desended to name calling ..i.e. "FUBAR" (to the uniunitiated that means Fucked Up Beyond all Recognition).

I don't thik jesus likes that kind of talk. Did'nt he turn your life around? Looks like you may be backsliding under pressure. hahahah.

Mak said:
"Anyhow, it's important to remember that atheists have absolutely no problem with something being eternal or having existed from infinity past. Sadly for them, it's been proven that matter can't be one of those things."

Oh really??? Please provide me with that "proof" thyuat matter can't have always existed. a Simple link to the scientific site that "proved" matter can't have always existed.

You buffoon.. Borde-Guth-Vilenkin Theorem speaks to an always existing UNIVERSE not simple matter. I said matter may have always been there; in the pre big bang theories matter, anti-matter and other theories speak to this.

My reference to "maybe the universe has always been there too." was in response to the tired old christian nonsense about how god has always existed and didnt need a creator. Both statements are equal in credibility or logic: Zero.

Naturally, this is beyond youre understanding, since reading comprehension is not your forte.


Mak said in some kind of frenzie:
" Ya, well, who created an eternal being, Huh? Answer that! When did the eternal being begin to exist? Huh? You can't answer that can you?" "

Mak, I think you need to take some more thorizine. That was just weird. So.. who DID create your creator?

all your silly statements about how matter could not have existed before the big bang are inane.

There are multiple pre-Big Bang theoories that proffer matter exitsted .

This is the mechanism of slow matter creation in the first phase of the pre-big bang universe. see "Loop Quantum Gravity" for one.

Don't try and play scientist with me. Youre a christian and lack the necessary curiosity, intellect, and span of attention to fully understand real science.
The true Christian apologists know that trying to use semi-knowledge instead of "Faith" is a losing proposition. They tell their disciples that to be effective in spreading the “Truth” of Christianity and to bring non-believers to Jesus, they have to abandon knowledge and intellect, and depend only on faith. They say they must “rely on God, not knowledge.”
http://www.allaboutgod.com/christian-apologetics.htm


They know when it comes to reality, knowledge...christrians can't defend the faith. Hey..did you notice how well the banana fits the hand??? GOD DID THAT as a convenience!! LOL! Ray Comfort said that, youre on your way to that kind of idiocy.

hahahah.

regards,
Hump

DromedaryHump said...

Kay,
I'm sorry... but you are either a gross liar, as is preferred by the church fathers in matters pertaining to defense of the faith...or you are mentally imparied.

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you are the latter.

Yes, the disciples/followers hid from Pilate out of fear of persecution following jesus's death. Now.. exactly HOW does that relate to Pilate issuing an edict to his ROMAN SOLDIERS, all greeks, all Jews, and all contemporary historians or people of letters, NOT to speak or write of the so called miracles of jesus and Ressurection which is exactly what you proffered??

You specifcally said that the reason there is no eyewitness corroboration of the Gospel stories / ressurection "may have been" a threat by Pilate against anyone speaking of them.

Now you're going to equate post crucifixtion fear of punishment by the disciples/followers as the same thing?

Kay...seriously. Stuff you write means things. And they are recorded above. Try and remember you aren't talking to a mindless sheep believer. I read. I'm educated. I am not one of your credulous theists who deals in blind faith. Kay, try and adjust your thinking and replies accordingly...if at all possible.


Finally, the burden of proof of anything is on the person making the "positive assertion". That is: If I say your Mak's Mom was a whore, the burden of proof is on me to show it's true, NOT on Mak to prove she wasn't.

Now, in the absense of proof of the positive assertion "God exists", a thinking person says: "In the absense of evidence for such an assertion, the default is no such evidence = no god". No proof is necessary to disprove god (no god = negative assertion). Like Mak and his mom, no burden of proof falls on me or Mak.

Here...this may be easier for you:

1. Mr. X says werewolves exist.
2.The burden of proof is on him... because he makes the positive assertion.
3. He can provide no such proof for his assertion.
4.In the absense of proof I proffer there are no Werewolves.

You see IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE TO PROVE there are no werewolves, since non-existence defies any potential for proof. That is why in law the burden of proof is on the Prosecution who makes the positive assertion of the defendents guilt, NOT on the Defendent to PROVE he ius innocent.

Hope this makes it clear. Its a basic debate and logic premise.

Kay said: "... and please don't come up with any silly theories"

Kay...LOL... to you ALL scientific theory is silly. Its scientific theory that explained everything from evolution to abiogenesis to what makes gravity happen, to what atoms are composed of. Sorry, but theories, silly to you or not, is the basis for discovery and knowledge. Also, sorry... but matter may indeed have pre-existed the Big Bang. see my reply to Mak above and the cited theory (one of many) that explains it.

Don't bother to read it. You wouldn't understand it. Besides, youve never read any scientific journal, so why start now. Heheh.

Martin Luther said it best: "Knowledge is the enemy of Faith"


Best regards,

Hump

Makarios said...

You know Hump, for someone who has absolutely no basis from which to judge someone, you seem pretty judgemental.

So which scientific understanding are you refusing to acknowledge:

a) There cannot be an infinite regress of cause, or

b)Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

Being an atheist you of course will go with Everything came from nothing by nothing. There can be nothing more unscientific but atheists are forced to state it anyhow.


Or maybe you don't understand Big Bang cosmology that states the Singularity brought into being time, space, matter from NOTHING.

DromedaryHump said...

Mak...

tell ya what.. i have no opinion. Hows that :)

now..go back and read my post in it's entirity.

Oh..and my apologies for calling you a buffoon. I wouldn't want you to think I'd stoop to the christian level of retort.

Makarios said...

"That was just weird. So.. who DID create your creator?"

Sorry, I didn't know you couldn't follow something that isn't concrete step by step thinking. It's nothing to be ashamed of. I was just trying to show how incoherent it is to ask:

a) When did an eternal being BEGIN to exist? or

b) What CREATED an eternal being.

You see eternal means that it's always existed, just like you would have us believe that the universe has always existed, cept of course it can't because it's impossible to traverse an actual infinite. I thought you might have known this already but you see, the "infinite" only exists in the abstract such as mathematical equations. The infinite doesn't exist in reality. Again, that's ok. No need to be embarassed.

That's what's wrong with your string theory, Hump, or any other theory outside of the Big Bang theory. Have you noticed how atheists keep proposing more and more creation mythologies? Well that's because none of them are workable because every single one of them requires a definitive space / time boundary, a singularity a Big Bang Creation event.

Have you ever heard the ridiculous line, "It was in the last place I looked."? Well, if any of the atheist creation mythologies had worked atheists would stop looking for a new one.

Now of course the Big Bang fits perfectly with what science knows of our universe but there's that sticky problem isn't there? The problem that comes with the Big Bang. Ya, that one. Everything that begins to exist has an explanation of it's existence either in the necessity of it's nature or from an EXTERNAL CAUSE. (I highlighted that for ease of understanding). And because the universe is not necessary, in that it can't NOT exist, well that only leaves an EXTERNAL CAUSE. Yup, and now we're right back to God again. It certainly is tough to avoid the obvious.

kaymcsmith said...

Hump.. before I finish reading your comment, I want to address the problem with your theory... you said: "Finally, the burden of proof of anything is on the person making the "positive assertion"." Says who?... I see this particular situation in just the opposite way... all thru out history, it's always been a common understanding / belief that there is a Supreme Being, it's in our nature and it in the nature around us... it TELLS us there is a Supreme Being, yes I'm sure there has always been atheists but they were / are the minority. So it would seem to me that the burden of proof would be on the person who says there is no God.

And from a scientific standpoint... you cannot draw a definitive conclusion when there is no proof... and there IS NO proof that God does not exist! You are not taking a scientific perspective if you draw that conclusion without there being any proof! You can't have your science both ways... and that also supports the idea that you cannot get something from nothing and that science is based on cause and effect. These are scientific facts at the moment and so dismissing God at this point in time is an unfair and biased stance.

kaymcsmith said...

ok.. I just finished reading the rest of your comment... I do see your point BUT lets say (granted) there is no dna evidence or say photographs which I'll remind you again, would be pretty hard to come by in this situation, you then must rely on circumstantial evidence... just like they do in a court room. You insist on IGNORING circumstancial evidence...SIGNIFICANT circumstantial evidence, you just keep demanding the concrete 20th /21st century evidence. It's not possible... please move on to the circumstantial evidence. The fact that you are not just supports my theory that you do not want to believe in God.

And I never said there was no matter before the silly "Big Bang". I'm saying produce a theory that's not going to make me laugh where you have the first matter that created the first whatever that was used to create whatever that slammed into whatever to creat the big bang. Just tell me your theory on where that first single piece of matter came from?? I'm just asking for a theory... and this is the part that keeps getting ignored by the "brilliant" scientific men of science and the atheists.....You can't do it!! Because it's not logical...

DromedaryHump said...

Kay...
It's not "my theory", its a basic evidentiary criteria.

Ok..lets try it one more time..i'll simplify it:

I claim I have a talking mouse (a positive assertion).
You claim I don't (the negartive assertion).

Now... which one of us has to provide proof of our contention..YOU or I?

How would you prove I don't have one??

This isn't rocket science. even a believer should be able to follow this line of reason.

When you can provide observable, physical evidence of a god, please let the world know. You'll be the first to accomplish it. I'll let you know when I come up with proof of a talking mouse. We'll both be famous.

thanks
Hump

DromedaryHump said...

Kay..
I don't HAVE any theories. I am neither an astrophysicist, nor cosmologist. I gave the name to one theory of matter pre-big bang above. there are others that speak to what preceded the big bang.

Google: "Pre-Big Bang Theories Matter" if you're interested in it. Then you can read them from the source.

The problem youre having is youre trying to place all the weight for a god proof on what existed before the big-bang (this assumes you accept big bang theory), and in the absense of a condition you can relate to, you'll simply discredit it out of ignorance and default to God Did It.

It's a meaningless exercise for both of us isn't it?

I think we're done with this, don't you?
Hump

DromedaryHump said...

"... atheists keep proposing more and more creation mythologies?"

HAHAHA!
1. I dont have any theories. Like I told Kay i'm not a scientist, astrophysiciust, etc.
2. I find it funy that any scientific relating to how the universe began, what existed before the universe began, or how life began oir how it evolved is a "atheist mythology".

Yet, theories that have resulted in mapping the human genome, finding cures for what ws once thought o be demonic posession, providing theories to atomic compostiion.. those are scientific theoires, not atheistic. LOL. How very convenient.

Yes, Mak... an eternal god, who was never created, made the universe one week. then he made mud-man and rib-woman, and populated the world via their incestuous offspring. Of course.

Its all clear to me now. aLL Those silly American Indian creation stories, and the babalonian creaion myths, and the egyptian, and the norse, and the african, and the maori, and all the others, thousands of creation myths... all are just inventions... while science is just denial of atheists.

only the judeo-christian myth..thats real. I got it.

You're a douchbag (insult #2, I'm catching up). But like I keep saying, as long as you dont hurt anyone, and keep your idiocy out of public school curriculum, I don't care how much self imposed idiocy you embrace.

Regards,
Hump

Makarios said...

"I find it funy that any scientific relating to how the universe began, what existed before the universe began, or how life began oir how it evolved is a "atheist mythology"."

I call them mythology because NONE of the theories that have been proposed and that I listed, EXCEPT THE BIG BANG (I could hardy call that mythology because it's true) fit what science observes to be true. Those theories are nothing but desperate speculation in an attempt to negate the one theory that does fit what science observes, namely the Big Bang - the Big Bang where EVERYTHING came from nothing but NOT by nothing.

Science itself tells us that everything comes into existence does so with the help of an external cause. You don't seem to understand Big Bang cosmology Hump. Why is that? I thought you did a lot of reading. Or is it that you just repeat nonsense in the hope that no one will notice?

The universe came from nothing Hump. No space, no time, no matter. Any ideas that there was something before the Singularity are mythological and science says so.
========

"while science is just denial of atheists."

I never said that. Science, even science that's done by atheists has brought tremendous good to the world. The denial that I speak of is not a denial of science per se, but a denial relating to origins by atheist scientists who understand the metaphysical problems that arise with the Singularity.

I asked if you'd been hurt by religion (quoting things you sneer at is not the same thing) because I'm trying to understand why you act like such a miserable, mean spirited person. Judging from your posts an uneducated miserable, mean person. I don't think I've ever encountered an atheist blogger who makes so many spelling mistakes. I look at that and wonder if you were a high school drop out who wound up in Viet Nam and then educated yourself upon return. You're obviously intelligent but my goodness Hump, your aggressive manner of speaking betrays something terribly wrong (Perhaps a learning disability). Maybe you were teased by Christian kids or something. I'm trying to give you the benefit of doubt. I thought perhaps you had a good excuse for sounding like such and asshole.

kaymcsmith said...

Hump said: "It's a meaningless exercise for both of us isn't it?"

No, the word "meaningless" only applies to you... you're the atheist.

You said there are plausible pre big bang theories...(positive assertion)...I say there aren't (negative assertion)... so don't YOU have to prove it?

And you completely ignored my question about circumstantial evidence....

So apparently, you refuse to consider circumstantial evidence ( you require dna, pictures etc.) and you've chosen to hide behind the "basic evidentiary criteria" rule of thumb... it makes it pretty convienient for you doesn't it? Are you closed minded in general or is it just with God?

Makarios and I have proven that reason and logic are on the side of God, you are only hurting yourself (and sadly your sons) by not being open the possibility of His existence. Like I said, there is overwhelming circumstantial evidence for His existence... "solid" proof is not always going to be available. And to me, it's clear that that is the way that God wants it. He wants you to look for Him. How valuable is love if it is forced?

Makarios said...

Kay, I admire your restraint. The thing is, when talking with atheists, and I've had this happen, if I present eyewitness testimony it's discarded because "You can't trust eyewitness testimony." If I present evidence from a student of an eyewitness it's "Hearsay and and hearsay is not admissable in court." Atheists first set up impossible conditions and then say, as you've pointed out, "There isn't any evidence." Like you, I feel sad for the children. I can't imagine what it must be like to be in hell knowing that your family is about to follow because of what they've been taught by you. THAT is hell.

DromedaryHump said...

Mak said:

"Maybe you were teased by Christian kids or something. I'm trying to give you the benefit of doubt. I thought perhaps you had a good excuse for sounding like such and asshole."

Hahah... thats all ya got eh? Tell me ... when you tongue kiss Jesus, does he know you use such language? Cause it seems if Jesus turned your life around he must have filled your mouth with alot of bad words and/or ejaculate.

Yeah, I dont worry about spelling. I'm all about function not form. The antithesis of how christians think (albeit, "think" is a stretch).

I think you were likely molested by one of those priests or ministers we read about in the news everyday. They say in a number of psychological studies that children who are molested are more religious as adults than children who were never molested. And those who were molested by family members or religious figures have a tendency toward hyper religiosity.

You can Google: "child molestation hyper-religiosity" if it will help you better come to terms with it. It would explain your resistence to reality/science and dependency on religion/mythical man-gods.

So... tell me is that it? Or was it a bad experience with a temple prostitute from the Baal cult?

heheh.
Hump

DromedaryHump said...

Kay..look up the word plausible.

then look up those theories. They will explain them to you. Oce again... theories are there for you to evaluate and assess. Then one can accept or reject pending further corroborating or contradictory info stemming from technological advances, new info etc.

But, Kay, lets be honest. You have no more interest in science, or theories, or evidence based on reality than a dog would. So your insistence on trying to carry on a conversation with an educated person is rather transparent. Its so you don't appear like a dullard. Unfortunately, it's working agaist you with every comment you make.

Kay, I'm sorry... but your inability to understand the simplest / most fundamental constructs and converse like an educated person just isn't there. Given that lack of qualification I'm guessing you're a really good theist.

Dog Bless ya.

Hump

DromedaryHump said...

BTW...your blog seems to have only two readers... me and kay. Between the three of us our comments represent 95% of the activity here. You and Kay represent 100% of the hackneyed religious platitudes and bronze age delusion.

Please come get me when you have some good conversationalists with an IQ of three digits.
thanks.

Hump

kaymcsmith said...

And now we get to the point where the atheist has to brag about how smart he is... INSTEAD OF ANSWERING THE QUESTIONS... it's such a joke. Your need to put me down because you are LOSING the atheist debate is completely obvious and only further proves the idea that atheists have ego problems... that's why they're atheists!... I don't need to look up the word plausible... my use of it was valid... any theory that tries to explain where the first matter came from is going to be implausible because basic science and logic argue against it... the SAME science that you are using for an excuse to not believe! Don't you see how hypocritical you and all "intellectual" atheists are??

And you kept talking about how Makarios was getting mad... look at you! I've lost count of all the insults you've thrown at me.

kaymcsmith said...

And Hump... you might want to check your math...

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