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Thread: Fine-Tuning Argument vs Argument From Miracles

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith&Co. View Post
    I got curious about Learner's compliment on logic.
    That should tell you something right there.

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    Veteran Member Lumpenproletariat's Avatar
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    Fanatic Jesus-Debunker propagandist parading as a scholar

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheerful Charlie View Post
    Matthew Ferguson, a historian with a PHD, describes ancient history. Ancient historical writers who wrote history and why they are historians, and the gospels, why the writers of the gospels are not considered historians by modern day historians.
    Neither was Cicero an "historian" or Philo the Alexandrian, both of whom wrote of events and are credible sources for history. The accounts of non-historians are not dismissed as though they are unreliable as sources for the historical events. Much of the historical record is derived from written reports from non-historians.

    ALL the ancient writings contain a mixture of fact and fiction. NONE is a 100% reliable source for history. In all cases, for every account or report of events, it is necessary to compare with other sources, look for inconsistencies, use common sense, seek verification. If the report is confirmed by other sources saying the same thing, then it increases the credibility of the particular claim. But the same source might be right at one point and wrong at another.

    We have 4 (5) sources for the Jesus miracle acts, and these are not contradicted by any evidence produced by anyone so far. Contrary to other ancient miracle claims for which there is not comparable evidence.

    Ferguson obsesses on Thucydides as the role model for historians, as though all reliable sources must conform to his high standards. But even if we agree that Thucydides is the #1 "batting champ" of historians, the reality is that we must accept ALL the sources, with all their flaws, in order to find the truth, not only for all the periods that Thucydides does not cover, but even for his own time, because every additional source adds further to our information.


    ALL sources are legitimate (including the Gospels),
    not only select "historians" like Thucydides.

    You cannot neatly classify all the writers into 2 categories: the "historians" who told the facts and the "storytellers" who "made up shit." Thucydides condemned Herodotus as a "storyteller," and yet we rely on Herodotus also, and all the others, including the non-historians. We have to take every report individually, from each source, not lump them all into one mass and condemn it all as "fiction" or accept it all on faith as "fact" because it follows the Thucydides model.

    There is no legitimate point in classifying the Gospels into some non-"historical" category and pretending that therefore they have no credibility.

    The fact is that all historians of the 1st century rely on the New Testament as one of their sources, for the events in Judea-Galilee-Palestine. Even those who brand much of it as fiction, or propaganda, etc., still accept much of it as credible evidence for what happened. The Gospels have to be dissected, analyzed, picked apart, to separate the fact from the fiction, like all the other sources have to be. Regardless what category or "genre" you choose to put them into.

    Only if you be careful to recognize the propaganda element, including his obsession to classify the Gospels as "fiction" in order to arbitrarily dismiss the miracle stories as unhistorical, and also the lies he tells in order to promote his bias. Here is an example:

    I certainly do not trust miracle claims, simply because a historical text records them. Many ancient historians report miracles that are far better attested and independently corroborated than those in the Gospels.
    This statement is a lie. To justify this he cites one possible example which might pass as a reported "miracle" better attested and corroborated than Jesus in the Gospels, but only because there are two mainline historians who report it, Tacitus and Suetonius -- i.e., the story of the Emperor Vespasian doing a healing miracle. If we accept this as a reported miracle, more credible because it comes from the two recognized historians, this is the ONLY case there is in all the ancient literature which could be described as a miracle "far better attested" etc. Two historians reporting this one case is not "many historians" reporting miracles "far better attested" etc.

    Rather, there is this ONE ONLY case, not many, in all the ancient historical literature, where we have a reported miracle event which comes from reliable sources, near the time of the event, for this comparison. For the Jesus Resurrection we have 5 sources, close to the event, so it is dubious to say this Vespasian story is "far better attested."

    In any case, there is no other case of a reported miracle act attested in written documents. And of course such a case as the reported Vespasian miracle can easily be explained (as due to mythologizing), how such publicity about the powerful Emperor could have circulated, in popular rumor, considering his widespread celebrity status -- In comparison to Jesus, who had no status or wide reputation until long after his death, and whose reputation as a miracle-worker cannot be explained as due to mythologizing.

    And Ferguson shows his incompetency with this pathetic example of a "miracle" claim:

    The historians Tacitus (Ann. 6.20), Suetonius (Gal. 4), and Cassius Dio (64.1) all independently corroborate that the emperor Tiberius used his knowledge of astrology to predict the future emperor Galba’s reign.
    Ferguson here seems to be groping for a miracle example EARLIER than Jesus in the Gospels. I.e., the Vespasian story didn't appear in writing until after 100 AD, after the Gospel accounts were in circulation. So, to make his point, Ferguson searches for an example of an earlier "miracle" he can cite, and all he can come up with is a prediction which came true.

    The same prediction was also made by Emperor Augustus, with whom Galba was popular. It was an easy prediction which had a good probability of turning out right. So even if a long-shot prediction might be called a "miracle," this one was not a long shot, and it's wacky to compare this to miracles like healing the blind or lepers. That Ferguson can do no better than this actually proves the opposite of what he claims above, i.e., NO ancient source reports miracle events attested to as well as Jesus in the Gospels.

    His phrase "Many ancient historians report miracles . . . etc." makes his statement a lie. Had he said there were some other miracle claims not from historians, such as the Asclepius inscriptions, he might at least avoid the 4½ Pinocchios he gets for this whopper.

    The Asclepius reported miracles are from worshipers at the temples, and the priests, doing rituals to the ancient Asclepius deity. These are in the same category as today's Christian worshipers praying for the sick at church, or being prayed for by the pastor/priest, and in cases where they recover they say it's a miracle. And in very rare cases they claim an unusual instant healing takes place. The only witnesses ever present, including the victims prayed for, are worshipers of the healing god and disciples of the priest or pastor. These are not comparable to the miracles of Jesus, where many of the witnesses were non-disciples, and almost all the healed victims were non-disciples.

    With his "Many ancient historians report miracles" lie, Ferguson proves he is a propagandist first, and a scholar second. He puts his ideology first, ahead of the facts. And his dogmatic ideology is simply: There can be no miracle events, ever, and so therefore the Jesus miracles cannot have happened. That sums up his entire argument in his 100 miles of Text Walls, pretending that his conclusion is based on scholarly research, when it's all really based on this one simple dogmatic premise that no miracles can ever have happened regardless of any evidence.

  3. Top | #753
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    Thread: You’re wrong for these objective reasons.
    Lumpen: Wall of denial text that doesn’t address the reasons.
    Thread: You’re wrong for these objective reasons.
    Lumpen: Wall of denial text that doesn’t address the reasons.
    Thread: You’re wrong for these objective reasons.
    Lumpen: Wall of denial text that doesn’t address the reasons.
    Thread: You’re wrong for these objective reasons.
    Lumpen: Wall of denial text that doesn’t address the reasons.
    Thread: You’re wrong for these objective reasons.
    Lumpen: Wall of denial text that doesn’t address the reasons.
    Thread: You’re wrong for these objective reasons.
    Lumpen: Wall of denial text that doesn’t address the reasons.
    Thread: You’re wrong for these objective reasons.
    Lumpen: Wall of denial text that doesn’t address the reasons.
    Thread: You’re wrong for these objective reasons.
    Lumpen: Wall of denial text that doesn’t address the reasons.
    Thread: You’re wrong for these objective reasons.
    Lumpen: Wall of denial text that doesn’t address the reasons.
    Thread: You’re wrong for these objective reasons.
    Lumpen: Wall of denial text that doesn’t address the reasons.

  4. Top | #754
    Elder Contributor Keith&Co.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koyaanisqatsi View Post
    Thread: You’re wrong for these objective reasons.
    Lumpen: Wall of denial text that doesn’t address the reasons.
    Thread: You’re wrong for these objective reasons.
    Lumpen: Wall of denial text that doesn’t address the reasons.
    Thread: You’re wrong for these objective reasons.
    Lumpen: Wall of denial text that doesn’t address the reasons.
    Thread: You’re wrong for these objective reasons.
    Lumpen: Wall of denial text that doesn’t address the reasons.
    Thread: You’re wrong for these objective reasons.
    Lumpen: Wall of denial text that doesn’t address the reasons.
    Thread: You’re wrong for these objective reasons.
    Lumpen: Wall of denial text that doesn’t address the reasons.
    Thread: You’re wrong for these objective reasons.
    Lumpen: Wall of denial text that doesn’t address the reasons.
    Thread: You’re wrong for these objective reasons.
    Lumpen: Wall of denial text that doesn’t address the reasons.
    Thread: You’re wrong for these objective reasons.
    Lumpen: Wall of denial text that doesn’t address the reasons.
    Thread: You’re wrong for these objective reasons.
    Lumpen: Wall of denial text that doesn’t address the reasons.
    Thread: Just no, alright. Tired of doing homework for both sides and being ignored. So, no.
    Lumpen: See!? You can't address my points! No one can address my points!
    Thread: You’re wrong for these objective reasons.
    Lumpen: Wall of denial text...

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