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Thread: Fine-Tuning Argument vs Argument From Miracles

  1. Top | #671
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lumpenproletariat View Post
    ... Not once in the history of all that discovery has the actual answer been "God did it."
    Yes this has been the actual answer in practice. In legal cases the phrase "act of God" is used for actual cases of events. It's used in insurance cases, where no one is at fault. Now if you want to rephrase it again, perhaps you can make an intelligent point. But to say not once ever was "God did it" the actual answer is false. It is recognized in law that "God did it" is sometimes the answer.

    The evidence is that 2000 years ago Jesus "did it" in some cases, i.e., performing miracle acts in which persons were healed suddenly, contrary to normal experience and known science.

    Not once.
    Many times. Floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc. In the case of reported miracles, you might say none has ever ended up with an agreement that "God did it" is the explanation. Rather, there are cases where it's just not known what happened. Or there's no agreement about what happened, and no one has an explanation accepted by all the others.
    The turn-of-phrase "act of God" means the cases were explained by nature's randomness.

    Quote Originally Posted by writer at confused.com
    What is an "act of god"?

    The term "act of god" refers to natural phenomena such as lightning strikes, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes - large-scale, freak weather occurrences.

    The phrase is usually used by insurance companies, and in other legal circles, to describe events that couldn’t have been predicted or prevented by any reasonable measures.
    ~ from here: https://www.confused.com/home-insura...home-insurance

    The writer notes that "the definition of an act of god changes between insurers" and advises that if the "vague wording" is confusing to you, you should "request clarification from your insurer". Else, if you figure an "act of God' has happened to you and that it literally means "God did it", then you might consider taking action against the perpetrator:

    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. Top | #672
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lumpenproletariat View Post

    Yes this has been the actual answer in practice. In legal cases the phrase "act of God" is used for actual cases of events. It's used in insurance cases, where no one is at fault. Now if you want to rephrase it again, perhaps you can make an intelligent point. But to say not once ever was "God did it" the actual answer is false. It is recognized in law that "God did it" is sometimes the answer.

    The evidence is that 2000 years ago Jesus "did it" in some cases, i.e., performing miracle acts in which persons were healed suddenly, contrary to normal experience and known science.



    Many times. Floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc. In the case of reported miracles, you might say none has ever ended up with an agreement that "God did it" is the explanation. Rather, there are cases where it's just not known what happened. Or there's no agreement about what happened, and no one has an explanation accepted by all the others.
    The turn-of-phrase "act of God" means the cases were explained by nature's randomness.

    Quote Originally Posted by writer at confused.com
    What is an "act of god"?

    The term "act of god" refers to natural phenomena such as lightning strikes, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes - large-scale, freak weather occurrences.

    The phrase is usually used by insurance companies, and in other legal circles, to describe events that couldn’t have been predicted or prevented by any reasonable measures.
    ~ from here: https://www.confused.com/home-insura...home-insurance

    The writer notes that "the definition of an act of god changes between insurers" and advises that if the "vague wording" is confusing to you, you should "request clarification from your insurer". Else, if you figure an "act of God' has happened to you, you might consider taking legal action against the perp:
    Billy Connolly and Colin Friels starred in The Man who Sued God. It was never explained how Scottish brothers who moved to Australia as young men ended up with one having a Glasgow accent, while the other's accent was from Edinburgh. It was probably a miracle.

  3. Top | #673
    Elder Contributor Keith&Co.'s Avatar
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    That argument was brought to you by the stupid loophole league of apologists.

    Quote Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
    The writer notes that "the definition of an act of god changes between insurers" and advises that if the "vague wording" is confusing to you, you should "request clarification from your insurer".
    When i first got close to nuclear weapons, there was a safety standard that bore on all weapon design, operation, maintenance and security that directed positive measures to prevent weapons involved in an accident from producing a nuclear yield.
    In the 40 years since, they have updated that to include 'accidents or incidents' and the phrase 'in all normal and credible abnormal environments.'
    I have never seen the official DoD list of credible abnormal environments, but i would be damned certain that it does not include 'God did it.'
    Even at our weirdest bullshit hypothetical scenario (Say there's a hydraulic problem that opens the missile hatch whike underway, sowe HAVE to surface, and it's during a thunderstorm... In the Bermuda Triangle... On Friday the 13th...) we never asked the weapons officer if God's direct action would be an acceptable finding for the inqwiry board. He'd have disqualified us.

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    Super Moderator Atheos's Avatar
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    Wow. Argument by insurance terminology.

    Lumpenproletariat, I can't believe this has to be said, but evidently it does. "Act of God" is a vestigial term that continues to be used in insurance policies, but it does not imply that people don't know how the damage occurred or that the damage itself was effected by miraculous agents. The very point I was trying to make (that not once has it ever been discovered that 'God did it') is actually strengthened by this very illustration you use.

    There was a time long ago when people believed that lightning, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc., were acts of god. Hundreds of years ago insurance companies used that conventional thought in their policies. Since that time science has put together the models whereby all these things happen. In each case it turned out that all of these were perfectly natural events, requiring no conscience decision on the part of some omnipotent sky-daddy. As a result modern insurance policies are gravitating towards the term "natural disaster" rather than Act of God.

    I will admit that there are a great many things we still do not understand fully. But "God" has had to scurry into ever decreasing crevices, dark places not yet illuminated by the inexorable march of discovery. God's 0-fer is still perfect. Not once has God ever made contact with the ball, so to speak.

    You also keep bringing up these appeals to savants and equating them with miracles.

    A math-savant or a music-savant or an anything savant is an anomaly to be sure. But it's not a miracle. Consider eyesight and visual memory: Millions of animal species on this planet share the brain power to do parallel processing on hundreds of thousands of nerve impulses to resolve an image in our brains. We can then store mental copies of these images and reproduce them later for nearly instantaneous comparison so when we see a person tomorrow we know it's the same person even if they have changed their clothes, combed their hair differently or put on eyeglasses. So much for Superman's disguise.

    My point is that's a much more impressive feat than being able to do math calculations or play music. The very earliest CPUs mankind ever produced could do math calculations very quickly and accurately. They could also control MIDI equipment and faithfully replicate musical notes and tempo effortlessly. But it took decades of exponential growth to reach a point where image and voice recognition became feasible. And just about all of us who have cussed out Google, Alexa, Cortana or Siri know these technologies still have a way to go to reach human levels. But they're getting there scarily fast.

    For this reason your efforts at pointing out "miracles" has the opposite effect. The reason brains didn't evolve to do complex math quickly is precisely because complex math skills conveyed absolutely no survival advantage. On the other hand the ability to distinguish a predator from prey is exactly the sort of thing that conveyed a strong survival advantage. Advantage Evolution Theory, because this is exactly what has driven the evolutionary process for billions of years. Read up on Selection Pressure if you care to become more familiar with the process.

    I would theorize that the reason math whiz's are so rare is because if there is an adaptation that grants this capability there is probably some other (more common) trait that was attenuated. The individual might be able to calculate square roots to a precision of 15 digits almost instantly but not be able to pick up on the social clues that make one adept at social interaction. Simply put, if the individual can't get laid they can't pass those wicked math skills to the next generation. For good or bad, nature favors the jock over the nerd. I'm a nerd, by the way.

  5. Top | #675
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atheos View Post
    Wow. Argument by insurance terminology.

    Lumpenproletariat, I can't believe this has to be said, but evidently it does. "Act of God" is a vestigial term that continues to be used in insurance policies, but it does not imply that people don't know how the damage occurred or that the damage itself was effected by miraculous agents. The very point I was trying to make (that not once has it ever been discovered that 'God did it') is actually strengthened by this very illustration you use.

    There was a time long ago when people believed that lightning, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc., were acts of god. Hundreds of years ago insurance companies used that conventional thought in their policies. Since that time science has put together the models whereby all these things happen. In each case it turned out that all of these were perfectly natural events, requiring no conscience decision on the part of some omnipotent sky-daddy. As a result modern insurance policies are gravitating towards the term "natural disaster" rather than Act of God.

    I will admit that there are a great many things we still do not understand fully. But "God" has had to scurry into ever decreasing crevices, dark places not yet illuminated by the inexorable march of discovery. God's 0-fer is still perfect. Not once has God ever made contact with the ball, so to speak.

    You also keep bringing up these appeals to savants and equating them with miracles.

    A math-savant or a music-savant or an anything savant is an anomaly to be sure. But it's not a miracle. Consider eyesight and visual memory: Millions of animal species on this planet share the brain power to do parallel processing on hundreds of thousands of nerve impulses to resolve an image in our brains. We can then store mental copies of these images and reproduce them later for nearly instantaneous comparison so when we see a person tomorrow we know it's the same person even if they have changed their clothes, combed their hair differently or put on eyeglasses. So much for Superman's disguise.

    My point is that's a much more impressive feat than being able to do math calculations or play music. The very earliest CPUs mankind ever produced could do math calculations very quickly and accurately. They could also control MIDI equipment and faithfully replicate musical notes and tempo effortlessly. But it took decades of exponential growth to reach a point where image and voice recognition became feasible. And just about all of us who have cussed out Google, Alexa, Cortana or Siri know these technologies still have a way to go to reach human levels. But they're getting there scarily fast.

    For this reason your efforts at pointing out "miracles" has the opposite effect. The reason brains didn't evolve to do complex math quickly is precisely because complex math skills conveyed absolutely no survival advantage. On the other hand the ability to distinguish a predator from prey is exactly the sort of thing that conveyed a strong survival advantage. Advantage Evolution Theory, because this is exactly what has driven the evolutionary process for billions of years. Read up on Selection Pressure if you care to become more familiar with the process.

    I would theorize that the reason math whiz's are so rare is because if there is an adaptation that grants this capability there is probably some other (more common) trait that was attenuated. The individual might be able to calculate square roots to a precision of 15 digits almost instantly but not be able to pick up on the social clues that make one adept at social interaction. Simply put, if the individual can't get laid they can't pass those wicked math skills to the next generation. For good or bad, nature favors the jock over the nerd. I'm a nerd, by the way.
    Nature used to favour the jock over the nerd.

    But we have changed our environment. City dwelling humans who use lots of technology, but rarely go hunting or have to settle disputes with their fists, are a very new phenomenon, having only really existed for three or four generations. That's a tiny amount of time in evolutionary terms - but if this environment continues to become the most common niche in which humans thrive, things will look very different in a few tens of thousands of years.

    Asperger's syndrome was a rare and detrimental trait until very recently, but it's rapidly becoming a survival advantage. Lots of traits that used to be detrimental are no longer an issue, and some are now positively beneficial.

    The very recent ability to travel long distances is also likely to have a huge impact on our future evolution, as it allows far more mixing of the gene pool - which is usually a good thing for a population's chances of avoiding extinction. On the other hand, it's also a good thing for populations we don't necessarily want to see thriving, such as influenza viruses.

    As a wise man once observed, the STEM fields have a far higher proportion of Asperger's Syndrome than other areas of human endeavour - which implies that autism causes vaccines.

  6. Top | #676
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Atheos View Post
    Wow. Argument by insurance terminology.

    Lumpenproletariat, I can't believe this has to be said, but evidently it does. "Act of God" is a vestigial term that continues to be used in insurance policies, but it does not imply that people don't know how the damage occurred or that the damage itself was effected by miraculous agents. The very point I was trying to make (that not once has it ever been discovered that 'God did it') is actually strengthened by this very illustration you use.

    There was a time long ago when people believed that lightning, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc., were acts of god. Hundreds of years ago insurance companies used that conventional thought in their policies. Since that time science has put together the models whereby all these things happen. In each case it turned out that all of these were perfectly natural events, requiring no conscience decision on the part of some omnipotent sky-daddy. As a result modern insurance policies are gravitating towards the term "natural disaster" rather than Act of God.

    I will admit that there are a great many things we still do not understand fully. But "God" has had to scurry into ever decreasing crevices, dark places not yet illuminated by the inexorable march of discovery. God's 0-fer is still perfect. Not once has God ever made contact with the ball, so to speak.

    You also keep bringing up these appeals to savants and equating them with miracles.

    A math-savant or a music-savant or an anything savant is an anomaly to be sure. But it's not a miracle. Consider eyesight and visual memory: Millions of animal species on this planet share the brain power to do parallel processing on hundreds of thousands of nerve impulses to resolve an image in our brains. We can then store mental copies of these images and reproduce them later for nearly instantaneous comparison so when we see a person tomorrow we know it's the same person even if they have changed their clothes, combed their hair differently or put on eyeglasses. So much for Superman's disguise.

    My point is that's a much more impressive feat than being able to do math calculations or play music. The very earliest CPUs mankind ever produced could do math calculations very quickly and accurately. They could also control MIDI equipment and faithfully replicate musical notes and tempo effortlessly. But it took decades of exponential growth to reach a point where image and voice recognition became feasible. And just about all of us who have cussed out Google, Alexa, Cortana or Siri know these technologies still have a way to go to reach human levels. But they're getting there scarily fast.

    For this reason your efforts at pointing out "miracles" has the opposite effect. The reason brains didn't evolve to do complex math quickly is precisely because complex math skills conveyed absolutely no survival advantage. On the other hand the ability to distinguish a predator from prey is exactly the sort of thing that conveyed a strong survival advantage. Advantage Evolution Theory, because this is exactly what has driven the evolutionary process for billions of years. Read up on Selection Pressure if you care to become more familiar with the process.

    I would theorize that the reason math whiz's are so rare is because if there is an adaptation that grants this capability there is probably some other (more common) trait that was attenuated. The individual might be able to calculate square roots to a precision of 15 digits almost instantly but not be able to pick up on the social clues that make one adept at social interaction. Simply put, if the individual can't get laid they can't pass those wicked math skills to the next generation. For good or bad, nature favors the jock over the nerd. I'm a nerd, by the way.
    Nature used to favour the jock over the nerd.

    But we have changed our environment. City dwelling humans who use lots of technology, but rarely go hunting or have to settle disputes with their fists, are a very new phenomenon, having only really existed for three or four generations. That's a tiny amount of time in evolutionary terms - but if this environment continues to become the most common niche in which humans thrive, things will look very different in a few tens of thousands of years.

    Asperger's syndrome was a rare and detrimental trait until very recently, but it's rapidly becoming a survival advantage. Lots of traits that used to be detrimental are no longer an issue, and some are now positively beneficial.

    The very recent ability to travel long distances is also likely to have a huge impact on our future evolution, as it allows far more mixing of the gene pool - which is usually a good thing for a population's chances of avoiding extinction. On the other hand, it's also a good thing for populations we don't necessarily want to see thriving, such as influenza viruses.

    As a wise man once observed, the STEM fields have a far higher proportion of Asperger's Syndrome than other areas of human endeavour - which implies that autism causes vaccines.
    I think about this sometimes and definitely think there's something to it, although a complete picture would add in those adept in social positions - whether that's some form of management / leadership role, or literally some kind of social work (healthcare, PSW, ECE etc).

    People without either strong logic or social skills are likely going to have a hard time these days. Those things can be somewhat mutually exclusive, but I'd say there are two (major) distinct niches.

  7. Top | #677
    Veteran Member Lumpenproletariat's Avatar
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    Why do you have to MAKE UP SHIT in order to prove that Jesus did not do miracles?

    Quote Originally Posted by atrib View Post
    What is it with Christians and making up shit?

    The only somewhat contemporaneous account of Jesus comes from Paul, who apparently . . .
    There are virtually NO "contemporaneous" accounts of any ancient historical figure -- a slight presentation of Socrates from a contemporary, and possibly 1 or 2 other examples. But these are the rare exceptions and not the best accounts of the character presented. The norm is at least 100 years separation between the author and the historical figure presented. Plutarch's Lives are all more than 100 years separate from Plutarch, and Suetonius is separated from most of his "Twelve Caesars" by more than 50 years (2 of them a little less). So, none of the famous biographies are cases of "contemporaneous" accounts.

    . . . who apparently received telepathic communications from a cosmic angel named Jesus.
    translation: Paul's theological (or christological) writing, which gives no historical/biographical information. But his writings also contain 2 or 3 biographical elements, which place Jesus into earth history. That there's so little biographical content doesn't change the fact that his Jesus had to be an historical figure, along with the cosmic part.


    Paul does not place Jesus on Earth or ascribe any earthly deeds to him.
    Why do you have to "make up shit" of your own in order to make your point?

    He says that Jesus was "handed over" on the night when he ate and drank with the disciples for the last time.

    He says Jesus had a brother, James, who was a human in Jerusalem, and that Jesus had direct contact with him and also Peter, from "the churches of Judea that are in Christ" (Gal. 1:22). He says Jesus was buried and raised and appeared bodily to these and to several others (1 Corinthians 15:4-7). And he says Jesus was crucified by "the rulers of this age" (1 Cor. 2:8). The term for "rulers" (archon/archontes (pl.)) always means either earthly rulers in history or cosmic rulers who are performing their acts in earth history. No exceptions. These "rulers" or archons can do nothing other than acts involving earth history events.


    Then comes Mark, dating to at least 40 years after Jesus, possibly much later, who does a complete 180 from Paul and creates a story of Jesus as a flesh and blood human.
    No, Paul's Jesus was also a flesh-and-blood human, though Paul emphasizes the cosmic risen Christ. How could Paul's Jesus not have been a flesh-and-blood human if he had a brother who was flesh and blood, and was crucified by earthly rulers and had been seen bodily by humans?

    Just because Paul dwells on the cosmic Christ does not mean this Christ was not also an earthly human in history, as Paul describes him. The cosmic Christ writings in Paul do not erase the earthly Christ who is also there in Paul's text. Just because the latter references are few, in Paul, does not somehow erase his Christ as an earthly human in history.

    For your theory to be correct, you have to arbitrarily expunge Galatians 1 and 2 from Paul's writings, and also 1 Corinthians 2 and 15. Why can't you make your point without censoring texts you don't like? There is no contradiction between the historical earthly Christ and the cosmic Risen Christ. In fact, neither makes any sense without being in combination with the other.

    What you could claim is that Paul was wrong in his conjectures or theology about the cosmic Christ. I.e., that he "made up shit" about Christ having the cosmic elements, ascending to Heaven etc. And even if some of his interpretations or christology are incorrect, that doesn't negate the earthly Christ whom he elevated to the cosmic status. On the contrary, there had to be the earthly Christ first, as the beginning or starting point for his theologizing, and this earthly Christ must have been the same one known by James and Peter etc., who are connected by Paul to Christ earlier than the time he had his own visions.


    Serious scholars who are not fundamentalists agree that the stories in Mark are likely meant as parables, not as descriptions of historical events.
    No, scholars do not agree that Herod Antipas was a parable invented by Mark. Or John the Baptist, who is mentioned by Josephus. Or is it your claim that Josephus also wrote only parables, and that all literature from the 1st century is only parables?

    It's not true that scholars dismiss everything in Mark as "parables." Rather, some parts of this and the other gospels are put in a doubtful category, with much disagreement among scholars on the meaning and credibility. The accounts contain a mixture of fact and fiction, like virtually ALL the ancient literature, and there is no doctrine imposed onto the scholars dictating which part is the fact and which is the fiction.

    E.g., it is ludicrous to say that the following is meant as a parable:

    Mark 14:50-52 -- And they all forsook him, and fled. And a young man followed him, with nothing but a linen cloth about his body; and they seized him, but he left the linen cloth and ran away naked.
    This and other passages make no sense as "parable" or anything other than a narration of events they thought happened. And the miracle stories cannot be dismissed as "parable" except as dictated by your ideological premise that those events cannot really have happened. That dogma, that they could not have happened, is the only basis for relegating them to the "parable" category. There is nothing scholarly about calling them "parable" other than a dogmatic insistence that they have to be fiction, based on instinct, and on the ideology that there can be no miracle events, regardless of evidence.


    Mark is pretty much all fiction, and it is impossible to determine any historical elements in this gospel.
    Repeating these lies doesn't make it so. John the Baptist and Herod Antipas were historical figures. It's OK to say there is some fiction in Mark, as there is in most or all the ancient writings. But extremist pronouncements like "impossible to determine any historical elements" and "all fiction" put you into the nutcase wacko category.

    The legitimate non-wacko scholarly task is to try to distinguish the factual element from the fictional, recognizing that there are both elements.


    Turning Jesus into a flesh and blood human complete with a resume of made-up miracle claims is necessary to win over the largely unwashed masses, . . .
    No, there is no evidence that any such resumé was ever necessary in order to win over the masses. There's no example of any such miracle claims being accepted by the masses, or winning them over. You can't name one example of it. The only miracle claims accepted by the masses were traditions associated with the ancient deities and heroes, not that of a recent miracle-worker.

    There are no examples of miracle-workers in any of the ancient religious cults other than that of ancient figures like Apollo and Hercules and other long-recognized legends. There were no beliefs in any recent historical person having performed miracle acts which gained any acceptance. The only miracle claims accepted were the long-established ancient legends, recognized in popular tradition by the masses. There is nothing from their recent history about miracle-workers who showed up from somewhere, coming to town and drawing crowds of peasants or villagers wanting to be healed. Such alleged miracle-worker claims were rejected by the masses and were treated with contempt by virtually everyone. Anyone making such claims would not "win over" anyone.

    You can't name any other example where such a resumé won anyone or succeeded in turning a "cosmic" figure "into a flesh and blood human" for some promotional purpose, or persuading the masses. Such nonsense was never "necessary to win over" anyone to anything. You can't cite one case where any such thing was "necessary" -- you are only pretending this, based on your fantasies only, not on any historical fact or evidence.

    . . . to win over the largely unwashed masses who would be much less likely to accept a cosmic superhero who only communicates via revelation.
    You have no evidence that they would be "likely to accept" a miracle-worker other than the ancient deities like Apollo or Athena or Hercules etc. You can't name one case ever of the masses being won over to claims of a new miracle-worker appearing in recent history. You are deluded to imagine that this is what the masses demanded. You can't name one case of it ever.

    Not only was there no market for such a superhero figure, popping up suddenly, but also no one who would promote such a thing, or use such an idea to win over anyone to any cause or crusade. All indications are that any such miracle claims or instant messiahs were rejected by virtually everyone, and that no one ever promoted such claims or wrote any reports of such claims or such reputed miracle-workers, prior to the case of Jesus. You can't name one example.

    The closest to any such thing would be Josephus and Lucian reporting charlatans or "messiahs" of one kind or another, but these were rejected not only by these writers but by virtually everyone, by both the washed and unwashed masses, and no one wrote any favorable reports about any of them. Why do we have such reports in 4 (5) sources attesting to this one case, Jesus of Galilee, and not one other example?


    Later we have other gospels dating to the second century which are obvious copies of Mark, . . .
    It's dishonest to say that the other gospels are "copies" of Mark. And no legitimate scholar calls them this. There is some quoting from Mark in Mt and Lk, but this doesn't make them "copies" of Mark, and there is nothing about quoting from an earlier source which de-legitimizes a document. They all contain new matter separate from Mark, or changes which are best explained as deriving from other sources than Mark.

    . . . and full of even more made-up shit.
    The correct term is "contained," not "full of" -- Every ancient document contained both fact and made-up shit. That doesn't mean we can't rely on it to determine what happened. If you want to get at the truth, you have to rely on the actual documents we have, from the time, and settle down to separating fact from fiction, in the document, rather than bashing all of it with your impulsive "full of" and "made-up shit" outbursts.


    And then there are the many forgeries, attempts by the "historical Jesus" cult to place Jesus in history.
    There are some forgeries, but none attempting to "place Jesus in history," and there is no "historical Jesus" cult of any kind, other than just diverse writings to expand on the gospel accounts, from MANY cults, to include additional content which some later writers wanted to add.

    The motive to "place Jesus in history" did not exist, because he was already in history, or seen by everyone as in history, with no need to "place" him there. If there are some forgeries adding something to the Jesus depiction, it was not done to "place Jesus in history" but to make an improvement to the original depiction which the forger thought was inadequate. The later gnostic gospels, and others, added new elements, because these later forgers had new teachings they wanted to introduce which were not contained in the 1st-century writings. Their motive was not to "place Jesus in history" but to expand upon the Jesus who was already in history and to which they wanted to add their improvements, or which they wanted to use to promote their theories.

    You could attribute a similar motive also to some of the 1st-century NT writers, who may have had individual theological content of their own to add. But this makes no sense outside the premise that the real historical Jesus person had already existed and was a recognized figure in the record, and that more could be added to this record, presumably to improve it.


    So at best we have two accounts within a hundred years of the alleged miracles of Jesus, and . . .
    No, not just two. Again you just keep repeating your same lie over and over. There are 4 (5) accounts (5 reporting the Resurrection), from 25-70 years after the reported events. (And there are actually a few more, e.g., the Epistle of Clement mentions the Resurrection.)

    Just because 2 of them quote from a 3rd (Mark) does not make them identical to Mark. Why can't you make your point without repeating this lie again and again? Never in all the literature is there any case where 4 documents are conflated into one only because 2 of them quote from a 3rd. Most of Matthew is not quotes from Mark, which means it is a separate source or account than Mark.

    That you need to keep repeating this lie is further indication that the Jesus miracles did happen. Because if you had any real contrary evidence to offer, or reasons, you wouldn't need to keep repeating this lie.

    By every definition of "source" or "account" used by scholars, the 4 gospels and Paul epistles are 5 sources/accounts, not only 2 (or 3). Nothing whatever of Matthew and Luke is diminished by the fact that they quote from Mark. They are still separate sources/accounts, regardless of their quotes from Mark.

    . . . and they contradict each other dramatically.
    In some details, but not in a way which undermines the overall account of Jesus the miracle-worker. There are some contradictions between John and the synoptics, but this doesn't mean the events didn't happen. It only means there's uncertainty on the details. And there may be a fictional element along with the factual. Where John contradicts the synoptics, the latter are more likely correct and the John version incorrect. Just as there are typically some incorrect reports by witnesses for any event which really happened, including historical events reported in mainline history sources and believed, generally, regardless of the discrepancies.

    And there are other discrepancies too, in the Gospel accounts, but these only prove further that we have 4 (5) sources or accounts of the Jesus miracles, not only 1 or 2, and they indicate that these accounts relate real events, despite uncertainty over details.

    Identifying the exact details for everything that happened is not necessary in order to have the general picture of what happened, as with any other historical event. There are many such contradictions between the mainline historical accounts of events, which we know happened and are part of the accepted historical record. The historical Jesus is part of that record, and the Gospels and Paul epistles are the main sources historians rely on to determine what happened, assuming there is both fact and fiction in those accounts, all of which are relied on to determine the truth, because all are sources. I.e., there are 5

    5 --- count 'em --- FIVE sources, NOT ONLY 2, as you keep repeating falsely again and again.

    Why is it so important to you to keep repeating this falsehood? Is it because your point -- that the Jesus miracle acts did not happen -- cannot be made without relying on falsehoods like this one?


    (This Wall of Text to be continued)

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