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Thread: Fine-Tuning Argument vs Argument From Miracles

  1. Top | #871
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    For all the time and effort that goes into trying to prove that Jesus existed and did what he did, it still just comes down to hearsay and word of mouth put into writing decades after the described events.

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    Is it SPECIAL PLEADING to argue for the miracles of Jesus based on the 1st-century evidence?
    Yes. As you demonstrate in your very next paragraph:

    With Koyaanisqatsi giving us no example of another miracle-worker to compare Jesus to, we have to go in search of someone else making this "special pleading" retort, to determine if there is a "special pleading" fallacy going on. But it's not enough to just name someone in the abstract, or give a laundry list of names (of supposed miracle-workers). One must provide the particular example of the "miracle" performed by the alleged miracle-worker
    That is literally the definition of special pleading:

    Special pleading (or claiming that something is an overwhelming exception) is a logical fallacy asking for an exception to a rule to be applied to a specific case, without proper justification of why that case deserves an exemption.
    Your only "answer" to the question of justification has been:

    Again -- for the 100th time -- there's ONLY ONE SOURCE for this 1st-century "messiah," and it's written 150 years later than the events reportedly happened. So this fails the test for miracle claims, which requires more than only one source, and that the sources be dated near to the time of the alleged events.
    ...
    Again, there is no "special pleading" fallacy being committed unless someone gives a serious example of another reputed miracle-worker, including references to the particular miracle acts someone claims happened. We have to see the original claim, by someone knowing about it, near the time, reporting what was seen or experienced by witnesses.
    You have arbitrarily made up this idea that a miracle claim "requires" anything at all, let alone "more than only one source and that the sources be dated near to the time of the alleged events," but even worse is the fact that we have NO sources for the NT claims and NONE of them was written near the time of the alleged events! Not a single one.

    Paul cannot be considered a source by his own confession. In spite of all of these miraculous events that were supposed to have occurred while Paul lived in Jerusalem--including the dead rising out of their graves ffs--he somehow never met or saw Jesus in person. Everything he claims comes from a "vision" he alleges he had, so he can't be considered a source on that fact alone.

    Mark (and by extension and for similar reasons, all of the gospels authors) the earliest NT author that some have claimed was actually there with Jesus, likewise cannot be considered a source because:
    1. we have no idea who he actually was,
    2. he relates events and allegedly verbatim quotes/conversations that he could not possibly have been present for or overheard, let alone remembered for nearly forty years before writing them down,
    3. the events he does relate--such as Pilate committing traditional treason by inexplicably letting Jews decide which convicted murderer/seditionist leader against Rome he is going to set free AND deciding, at the same time, what the hell, I'll torture and murder a man I have just found completely innocent (and know the San Hedrin betrayed) because it will make the Jews he's there to brutally subjugate happy for no comprehensible reason,
    4. we know there have been centuries of copyists and outright forgers that have added and changed known and unknown elements of his story, and, most importantly,
    5. we know that the Jesus stories were all first related orally before they were ever written down.

    Iow, we have no reliable providence of the chain of story telling over the decades up to when whoever Mark was wrote what he wrote and certainly no chain of changes since.

    So we don't even have ONE reliable source that recorded the entire story first hand as it happened, let alone anyone doing so "near" the date of it actually happening.

    Once again and always, you are simply wrong. Over and over and over and over again. Always demonstrably, objectively wrong.

  3. Top | #873
    Super Moderator Atheos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koyaanisqatsi View Post
    You have arbitrarily made up this idea that a miracle claim "requires" anything at all, let alone "more than only one source and that the sources be dated near to the time of the alleged events," but even worse is the fact that we have NO sources for the NT claims and NONE of them was written near the time of the alleged events! Not a single one.
    An interesting side-effect of this arbitrary qualification Lumpenproletariat throws out as if everyone just agrees that this is the way things are is that the entire book of Acts must be discarded as hogwash. It contains little else besides miracles and there are no corroborating books. But I'm sure there's an exclusion that applies here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Atheos View Post
    But I'm sure there's an exclusion that applies here.
    There always is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Koyaanisqatsi View Post
    Once again and always, you are simply wrong. Over and over and over and over again. Always demonstrably, objectively wrong.
    This behavior of mindlessly repeating the same flawed argument over and over for a period of more than two years is grossly aberrant even by Christian apologist standards. Who is the poster trying to convince? And how could he possibly believe that persisting in this behavior is going to yield different results the next time he repeats the argument?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Atheos View Post
    But I'm sure there's an exclusion that applies here.
    nit necessarily. Lumpy does not try to justify the entire Bible. Just the healing mirackes in the plagiarized gospels. With those, Jesus' access to divinity is established. Other accounts can be tossed, as long as those remain with his special authentication system.

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    The origin of the Jesus miracle stories VS. the origin of ancient miracle legends generally

    To dogmatically dismiss the evidence for the Jesus miracles and arbitrarily assign ALL miracle claims to the fiction category is based on impulse, not science or facts.


    Quote Originally Posted by Koyaanisqatsi View Post
    Once again, your walls of text say nothing, other than to tautologically confirm the fact that fiction is fictional.

    Last night I had a vision that Jesus appeared before ten thousand people to tell them he was not a god and that there are no miracles.
    How do you know it was the same "Jesus" who reportedly did miracles 2000 years ago? Your vision may have happened just as you say, but it has nothing to do with the Jesus of the Gospels in the 1st century. My Walls of Text are about that historical figure, not about present-day visions someone has.


    That is identical to what Paul did; claimed he had a vision.
    No, he claimed to know of the historical Jesus person of that time, and he wrote his interpretation of that person, saying we can receive eternal life from him, because he had risen back to life. Paul's "vision" alone would mean nothing if he had not been contemporary to Jesus and had contacted others who had known him, so the Jesus he describes to us is the same one that others saw directly. It doesn't matter if Paul's "vision" might differ partly from what the others thought. We don't have to worry if his interpretation is better than theirs, or not as good. We need the general picture -- that Jesus had power, even enough to overcome death, and that he offered eternal life to believers.

    That's the basics. Then of course there are many interpretations of it, and no one has figured out all the details of it. And a million "visions" people have had since then, including yours, probably add nothing further that's necessary, though everyone is entitled to their special insights. To have any credibility your new insights require more than just claiming to have had a "vision" of someone you're giving the name "Jesus" to.

    Paul's credibility is not his "vision" per se, but his close connection to the events back then, giving him better knowledge of what happened, or closer view of it. Without his writings as a source, we today would know much less, as we're largely dependent on his reports, or his interpretation. A believer today has to rely on Paul, just as history students are dependent on witnesses from the time of the events, who have extra credibility or authority to tell us what happened, beyond any "visions" and any need for an infallible source. Just like a witness at a trial has extra credibility but still can be mistaken.


    That is the full extent of his “authority” on the matter; a vision he claimed he had.
    Whatever you call it, it's all any report of any historical event is: a "vision" Herodotus or Thucydides etc. had of the events. Calling it a "vision" doesn't change the fact that the writer of the time knew of the event and could explain it better, and interpret it, and can serve us today as our source for it.

    Paul was there at the time that the Jesus events happened, so he knew of it and is one of our witnesses to that historical event, meaning his explanation of it has more credibility than anyone later making claims about it. Likewise the Gospel accounts have more credibility. So we have to rely on those 1st-century reports of what happened. Anything 100 or more years later has much less credibility, and 1000+ years later even less.


    Which means that by your illogic, I am now an authority on Jesus and since . . .
    Only if you're claiming you were there, in the 1st century, near to the events, and can show us evidence of it to establish your credibility. The documents of Paul and the Gospel writers have been authenticated as dating back to the 1st century. We need similar authentication of you as having been there at the time before you can be an authority on it.

    Why don't you cut out the horseplay and get serious.

    . . . and since visions in and of themselves have no chronological time component to their efficacy, I am now . . .
    It's not the "visions" of Paul which give him authority, but his presence there at that time. His writing is about a historical person from the time about whom he had insights or interpretations to offer us, which you can call "visions" or some other term, but they have credibility because he was there to know of the events. He knew of the Resurrection and gives us his interpretation of it. Anyone else's contemporary account of what happened would be just as authoritative as Paul's.

    We have to give credibility to his interpretation of what happened, or the meaning of it, but some of his theology could be mistaken. So he's a source we rely on to tell us of this "good news" from that time, but that doesn't make his interpretation infallible. We should accept his interpretation overall, that Christ offers us eternal life, because of his power. But that doesn't mean all his explanation has to be accurate. It also contains his subjective understanding of it, or his opinion. It's not his "visions" we rely on, but his proximity to the "good news" event which happened, so that he's in a position to understand it as well as anyone else at that time, and to present it to us.

    . . . I am now the most reliable source on Jesus because I live contemporaneously to you.
    Your silliness is helping to prove my point -- the evidence is that the historical Jesus did miracles, and you can't come up with anything to show otherwise, so you have to resort to this kind of babbling nonsense.

    You are totally reliant on Paul and the Gospel accounts for your information. Without those sources you would know nothing of Jesus -- i.e., the person who appeared in history back then and reportedly did the miracle acts. That's the only Jesus of any concern here, not someone who appeared only in "visions" and nowhere else. Your "visions" of Jesus have no connection to that historical figure. But you're entitled to your interpretation of the events and can use the same 1st-century sources to promote your interpretation. Paul's interpretation has to be given more credibility than yours, because he was there and had better knowledge of the events.


    That is what you are arguing. Chronological proximity to an event somehow having more relevance in regard to the efficacy of the event having happened as claimed.
    Yes, the "event" back then 2000 years ago, meaning your "visions" are NOT credible as a source for it, but the Gospel writings and the epistles of Paul are credible sources for those events, because of their chronological and locational proximity.


    Or better still, twelve of my friends claim I am the “second coming” of Jesus and I right now confirm that fact. The evidence of this are the wars and rumors of wars and the anti-christ (Trump) on the throne and the fact that only I know the hour and day and I come like a thief in the night, blah blah blah.
    I'm dialing 9-1-1 for you right now. Just wait there until help arrives.


    Because I just made that claim — me, a primary source, even, and not the far less reliable anonymous . . .
    Where are the published reports describing your miracle acts? or connecting you to Jesus in the 1st-century who did miracle acts according to all the written sources we have about him? Everyone is a "primary source" for their own visions and hallucinations and delusions, but what sources do we have for miracle acts someone did? Until you provide that evidence, of someone having performed miracle acts, you're not a source for anything that relates to Jesus in the 1st century.

    Who cares if you're a source for your own delusions today? Again, if you're asking for help, to save you from committing suicide or something, there's probably a hotline you can call, or 9-1-1 might help.

    . . . far less reliable anonymous and countless others in between my making the claim and decades later someone writing it down — and . . .
    Our sources for the Jesus events are closer to the events than most of our sources for the ancient historical events. So if you claim to be a better source for the Jesus events, then you also claim to be a better source for Julius Caesar and Vespasian and Hadrian etc., and we should rely on you for ancient history rather than on the books at the library etc.

    Again, it's 9-1-1 you need to tell your "visions" to. They'll know the best procedure to deal with it.

    . . . someone writing it down -- and according to your illogic of chronological proximity to the original claimant, my claims are true and are the most reliable historical accounts.
    I have them on the phone now -- what's your location?


    You are, after all, RIGHT NOW reading my claims that I JUST made, so therefore, you are a day or two distant (if not a few hours distant) from the original statement of claims, so therefore what I claimed and what you witnessed by reading my claims proves that I am the return of Jesus.
    Only if we accept your nutty premise that ancient written accounts are not credible, for any historical events, meaning there is no historical record of anything. And also your dogma that no miracle claims of any kind can ever be true despite any evidence or written record saying the miracle event happened. You are demanding that everyone submit to these dogmas you impose as a premise to believing anything. And it's not true that we must submit to your dogmas, or the dogmas of your modern debunker guru which you take on faith, without question. We can accept the testimony of ancient written accounts to tell us what happened, as being a reliable source for the ancient events, even though there are also doubts about some of the claims made. Those doubts do not mean all those ancient accounts have to be tossed out and have no credibility, as you're insisting.


    And there are three hundred thousand witnesses who saw me appear before them and there is a whole website dedicated to debunking any such claims -- called Talk Free Thought -- and my claim has never been debunked there, therefore my claim must be true and these are the most reliable sources, so I command you to throw everything else away.

    That is how ridiculous is your argument.
    Only if we have to accept your premise on faith, which is that ALL miracle claims must be false, ipso facto, regardless of any evidence that a miracle event happened, such as testimony of it in documents from the time. Your dogma is that NO miracle claim can ever be true, and NO miracle event can ever have happened, regardless of any evidence that a miracle event did happen in a particular case.

    But you're wrong that ALL miracle claims are equally false. The claim that a miracle happened is more likely to be true if there is evidence, such as multiple reports of it, in sources near to the event, and it's the lack of such evidence which requires us to reject most such claims. I.e., it's this lack of evidence which makes those claims false, not simply that it's a miracle being claimed.

    Contrary to claims for which there is no evidence, there are other cases, such as Jesus in the Gospels, where there is evidence, because of the written reports from the time -- unlike for virtually all miracle claims from ancient times when there is typically no written record of the event near to the time when it allegedly happened, but only ancient traditions which evolved over many centuries. Events not reported until centuries later are much less credible than ones reported 50 or 100 years later. 50-100 years later is a typical time gap between an historical fact and our earliest source reporting the event, for historical events in ancient times.

    If you insist that such reports of the event are not evidence that it happened, then you're tossing out 98% of all our accepted ancient historical record. It is not "ridiculous" to argue that we do have reliable evidence of the ancient historical events and that the history books and history classes are not fraudulent but are based on legitimate evidence from the ancient written reports of what happened, which is what the Jesus miracle events are based on. If this is a "ridiculous argument," it means that virtually all our claims for ancient history events are "ridiculous" and you're on a crusade to eliminate all those history courses and books.


    It takes exactly zero time to make shit up.
    Sure, one person could make up anything in .5 seconds. But it took centuries to make it up AND get it believed widely and published in written accounts. That required centuries of mythologizing to gain popularity and win status and recognition for the miracle legends or fictions being made up by someone. Of course any individual can "make up shit" instantly, but no one believes it or publishes it. We're talking about claims which were believed and recorded in writing, which does not happen for miracle stories made up by someone. The only miracle fictions people believed were those of the ancient deities, which evolved over centuries of legend-building and mythologizing. No miracle stories other than those were believed and recorded in written accounts.

    To just "make up shit" is not what's difficult and requires time -- rather, what's impossible is to make up shit which many people then believe and gets recorded in written accounts because educated persons thought it was believable and therefore worth recording. We have no cases of miracle claims being believed and circulating in less than 100 years from when the miracle reportedly happened.

    The ancient popular belief in miracles or miracle gods and deities required centuries to evolve. You can't name any exception other than Jesus in the Gospels, whose miracle acts are reported and believed in 4 (5) accounts dating from 25-70 years after the events reportedly happened. There are no other cases even close to this (in proximity of the reported events to the written accounts). 99.9% of the population rejected claims of recent miracle-workers, recognizing them as charlatans, so that the only miracle claims ever believed were about alleged events from many centuries earlier and finally appearing in written accounts 1000+ years after the miracle events allegedly happened -- or maybe 500 years in some cases.

    Until you finally address this point, your outburst that "it takes exactly zero time to make shit up" is just your incoherent impulse erupting out of your disregard for the facts about the ancient popular legends. You must deal with two questions: 1) When did the claimed miracle reportedly happen? and 2) What is the date of our earliest source for it? As long as you keep refusing to deal with this, you're babbling to yourself incoherently. It's not enough to just say there are miracle claims -- you must also ask at least these two questions for each case.


    It takes less than a roundtable game of telephone (are you old enough to remember that game?) for an original statement to be corrupted and interpolated into something completely different.
    But then EVERY statement in the ancient historical record has to be tossed out, because it got corrupted and interpolated into something completely different than the original statement. So then you must reject ALL the ancient history record. It's not true that we have to reject all statements in ancient written documents just because statements can be corrupted and interpolated.


    Iow, it literally only takes ten seconds for an oral account passed around a living room table, ffs, to get completely changed and embellished and distorted, let alone what would happen to the same story told and retold over decades by . . .
    And so therefore most of the (ancient) historical record is fiction, based on telling the same story over and over before it finally got recorded in writing decades and generations later. Again, toss out ALL history, not just the Gospel accounts.

    . . . and retold over decades by primarily gullible, ignorant people who already believe in such things as resurrection and gods and healing powers . . .
    No they did not believe such things. People in the 1st century believed LESS in all those than people 500 years earlier did, and less than people after 100 AD. This period of history is arguably the LEAST gullible and LEAST miracle-believing of all periods including today. There are no reports of any resurrections and healing acts from any miracle-workers in the period before the Gospels were written. And there's nothing -- EVER -- reporting miracles being performed on a scale such as we see in the Gospel accounts (possible one exception being Elisha in II Kings, written about 600 BC, 250 years after the reported events, in one source only).

    There is a tiny amount of miracle tradition earlier ("tiny" compared to the 1st-century reported Jesus miracles), and some praying and ritual healing claims at the Asclepius temples 300 BC and earlier. This reflects a very small credibility, in the period prior to Jesus, toward miracle claims, which were confined to religious practices done privately among worshipers only, compared to Jesus in the Gospels who did the acts in public locations before mixed audiences and unconnected to the worship of the ancient deities.

    And from 200 BC to 100 AD there is NO MIRACLE ACT reported anywhere -- at Asclepius temples or anywhere else -- outside the Gospel accounts. Because those "ignorant people" generally did NOT believe such things happened, regardless of some priests and worshipers at temples. You can't find any evidence of it -- no reported miracle acts in any of the writings. At best there are only a few references to very ancient gods and heroes from 1000+ years earlier. NO RECENT miracle-workers recognized in any writings.

    ALL THE EVIDENCE is that the miracle beliefs/claims began at about 100 (90) AD and no earlier -- they start appearing in written accounts ONLY from that time and after.

    So it's not true that the people of the 1st century were "gullible, ignorant people who already" believed in resurrections and healing miracles. That claim is a completely false outburst unsupported by any evidence from the literature of the time. You can't cite any source for that other than some 20th- or 21st-century Bible-basher debunker pundit, who has nothing from the ancient literature to offer as evidence for it.

    . . . ignorant people who already believe in such things as resurrection and gods and healing powers and the like.
    Will you ever get beyond just blurting out these impulses and provide some facts from the historical record for it?

    You can't cite any source for this. You're the one "making up shit" or just spewing out shit your debunker guru spoon-fed to you and which you take on faith, without questioning it. It can be shown that people of other periods, before and after, believed in such things far more than those of the 1st century AD and 200-300 years earlier.


    But what's worse is that you're actually talking about two different stories. One is about a group of seditionists who evidently caused a series of social disturbances culminating in the burning of Rome and who were formed by or once led by a martyred leader named "Chrestus" or the like.

    The other story is either Roman propaganda or that leader's follower's martyr mythology about him.
    No, it's more than only these two stories. It's at least a dozen different stories or versions or interpretations of what happened. Any description of some such seditionist group must explain what was special about the Jesus person that so many different factions gathered around him to make him their hero-martyr-messiah-savior.

    The best explanation is that he did perform the miracle acts, including the Resurrection, because this explains not only the "two different stories" you're giving, but also the many other "stories" or versions of it. Without those miracle acts he did, there's no explanation where these different versions of the "mythology" came from, and also why "the Romans" or his followers would create a martyr mythology about him. And you can't explain why seditionists or anyone else joined his movement, unless you mean only a dozen or so idiots of no consequence, in which case they would never have received mention of any kind in any written accounts, as 99% of such dissident groups did not.

    So you're leaving everything unexplained.


    So you've got mentions of a seditionist cult of radicalized Jews (what we would call "terrorists" today and certainly from the Roman perspective) doing some shit . . .
    You mean the direct followers of Jesus, when he was still alive.

    But you're not explaining why anyone joined this cult, or followed him, and why this cult is reported in any written accounts. There were hundreds of seditionist cults which got no mention in writings, or got mentioned only negatively, in reports which were unsympathetic to them, because in any writings mentioning them such terrorists were condemned as criminals led by a charlatan, if there were any mentions of them at all. You're not explaining why only this cult got special attention in the historical record of the time, in writings which were sympathetic. And again, it's really "cults" plural, as there were many Jesus communities divergent from each other.

    In all other cases of any such cults getting mentioned in writings, the writers were unsympathetic toward them and called them criminals led by charlatans.

    . . . doing some shit in the lead up to what became a full blown revolution . . .
    But you can't say what shit they did that they should get any special attention and be favorably reported in the written accounts, when there were many other such cults which received no mention at all in any written accounts, or which received only very brief negative mention in accounts describing them as criminals led by charlatans.

    You can offer no explanation how this cult (i.e., these cults plural), and only this one, was different than all the others and received special attention.

    . . . a full blown revolution (and subsequent slaughter of the Jews by the Romans, who then wrote the history) and the mythology apparently . . .
    No, not "THE history . . . THE mythology" -- what we have are histories, mythologies -- PLURAL. Several versions of what happened and what it was about.

    . . . and the mythology apparently created by that cult and in regard to their martyred leader.
    You mean "mythologies" plural, many different versions and explanations, so there had to be more than one source which produced the "history" or "mythology" of the cult. You cannot identify only one source as creating/writing the accounts or the history and mythology of it.

    The 4 Gospels do not offer only one history or mythology, but 4. And to these must be added the Paul epistles, so there are at least these 5 different histories/mythologies to explain. And really even more, as the Gospel accounts contain some separate elements in them which differ from the others. Plus there are other possible accounts as well, such as the Gospel of Thomas (or parts of it) which might date from the 1st century. So you must identify more than five different entities who "wrote the history" and "mythology" of the cult (cults). It makes no sense to say "the Romans" alone wrote it, even if some Romans wrote part of it. And even "the Romans" are not a cohesive single entity. WHICH Romans wrote the "history" and "mythology"? There were many Roman factions.


    At best. Which still puts you exactly at fictionalized accounts of a non-divine, natural being and his non-divine, natural exploits.
    No, what we have is the opposite of fictionalized accounts, because fiction is unified into one story, not a confused mixture of conflicting elements, such as our 1st-century accounts of Jesus the miracle-worker. Fictional accounts are not created by a group of conflicting elements which come together to create one story of a cult and its exploits.

    Your explanation does not fit the facts about one martyred hero, but about several. If you were right, there would be several such martyrs in several stories, not just one. We'd have many separate stories about a series of seditionist leaders, all martyred, each acting according to the faction creating that version of a martyr cult. There is no unified story emerging from the accounts they have produced about Jesus the miracle-worker, but several separate stories -- some promoting gnosticism, others promoting dissident Jewish militancy, others pro-rabbinic Jewish, others pro-Ebionite Jewish, others pro-Pharisee, others pro-Qumran, others eschatological and apocalyptic, and still others pro-Roman viewpoints. It's impossible that all these factions could have come together to produce the accounts we have, as a single group. The accounts we have must have come from separate sources, in conflict with each other, not one united group or entity.

    So your theory is wrong unless you identify who were the different groups who promoted these different versions -- not just "the Romans" as if that is a clear distinct identifiable entity -- and you must include an explanation why they all converged on this one martyr leader only, this Jesus person, instead of giving us several different martyr heroes, with each one fitting the ideological bias of the story creators.


    Aka, mythology. Aka, fiction.
    No, you mean mythologies, fictions -- PLURAL. Even if the accounts are fiction, we have MORE THAN ONE FICTION, MORE THAN ONE MYTHOLOGY here in our accounts.

    Until you explain this confusion of different versions of the story, the only explanation is that something NON-fiction must have happened, and differing factions then converged on this one event and each gave a different interpretation of it. You cannot imagine that all these different factions voluntarily came together to discuss this, like the Paris Convention, and came to agreement on all the different elements to decide what to include in the story.

    There is one unifying element they all seemingly agreed to -- the Jesus miracle-worker. Which makes no sense if it's fiction. There is no reason why all these differing factions would agree together to create this single Jesus miracle-worker fiction, to be promoted to the world and yet they're each promoting their respective and conflicting agendas.

    This one factor, the Jesus miracle acts, must have been a given, produced by the real historical facts, and not something they all agreed to in harmony with each other, which is unthinkable.

    Rather, what happened is that they all attached to this historical fact, each group on its own, without any convention of them all coming together to hash out their differences or find common ground -- the part in common was already there, given, dictated to them by the real events. They had this one historical fact as a given, with no consensus reached about it, because it was just there, in all the evidence or reports about it which could not be dismissed, and then to this fact or real historical event, circulating out of anyone's control, each faction added its own version of the truth to explain it.

    The facts of the Jesus miracles came first, and then came all the interpretations and "visions" and theologizings and "histories" and mythologies and whatever other ingredients we find tossed in by the many different explainers.
    Last edited by Lumpenproletariat; 12-20-2019 at 08:36 AM.

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    We don't have miracles to examine or test.

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    Elder Contributor Keith&Co.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lumpenproletariat View Post
    If you insist that such reports of the event are not evidence that it happened, then you're tossing out 98% of all our accepted ancient historical record.
    You're STILL flogging this line of bullshit?
    How'd the number get up to 97%, Lumpy?

    Seriously, what does that number represent? Do you actually want to maintain that virtually the only things Historians use to fill in textbooks is finding where someone wrote down a historical account?
    Or do you only imagine that that's how history works?

    I'd really like to see the math behind this claim.

    But even if it were true, if this charge stood up to scrutiny, how do you imagine this playing out? We suddenly decide to accept YOUR favorite miracle stories, because you're holding the history of the Roman Empire hostage? That the criteria for accepting history be relaxed until your myth is accepted as fact?

    Or would we just edit all history books to add "Maybe..." at the beginning of every chapter? And stamp "Even less likely..." on ever page of your bible?

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    The miracles of Jesus are not word puzzles, but reported events 2000 years ago, for which there is evidence.

    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    If a miracle is defined as 'inexplicable', then any . . .
    That's not the only way to define it. Rather, it can be defined as unexplained by our known science, or by our current state of knowledge, or by our accumulated knowledge based on our experience up to now.

    . . . then any event we can explain as having a god as a cause is by definition not a miracle.
    No, "inexplicable" doesn't mean it couldn't be explained as caused by a god. It means unexplainable by anything we know of within our current science. It includes the meaning that there's no cause we know of other than God (or a god) having caused it. Or, only God causing it could be the explanation, and nothing else.

    The "inexplicable" definition cannot be twisted around to turn "miracle" into a self-contradictory term, or as something impossible based only on the words, or the semantics. You cannot refute the Christ miracles with word games about the meaning of "miracle" or "inexplicable" or "impossible" or "supernatural" etc. All these words have a place in the arguing, but there's no easy way out of the argument by just defining a word in some way as to make all "miracle" claims ipso facto impossible.

    So there's no quickie universal instant miracle-refuter formula in the definitions or logic.


    Either that, or the existence of miracles proves that the concept of god has no explanatory value.
    No, "god" or "God" has explanatory value in the sense that this means there is a power, i.e., superhuman power, which is able to cause events which human power cannot cause. Obviously there are many events we can imagine which humans cannot cause, but "God" could cause them. So this has "explanatory" value, by saying that the power exists to do something, even though humans don't have such power. I.e., such as power to give eternal life. Power to heal, cure physical affliction such as is described in the Gospel accounts. The only question is whether Jesus actually did perform those acts. The empirical evidence is that he did, and the "explanation" is that he had superhuman power.

    So the only disproof of it is to refute the evidence we have, from the accounts we have from the time, just like written accounts from the time are our evidence for all historical events.


    Either way, theism is contraindicated.
    Perhaps some "theism" ideologies can be "contraindicated" by this kind of logic. But not the claim that miracle acts -- superhuman acts -- were performed, as indicated in the evidence, showing that this superhuman power exists. If so, it's "good news" because it means the possibility of eternal life.

    So the only possible flaw is in whether it really happened, and then also whether that power might be great enough to go beyond only the miracle acts which happened then -- i.e., whether that power extends to us all, as a possibility to gain eternal life. So you could argue that whatever that power was which he demonstrated, it couldn't go any farther than just an ability back then, 2000 years ago, to cure some persons then, and also to produce his own resurrection after he had been killed -- and that's all it is, going no further than that.

    That's really all the fallacy which can be argued. I.e., the evidence has to be greater, for a miracle claim; and then also, if somehow those miracles really did happen, that's all there is to it, with nothing further than just those miracle acts back then.

    Otherwise there's no error, or flaw in the logic. The facts are there, in the written accounts from the time, like for any other historical events, except in this case we have much more evidence than required for ordinary events, so the requirement for some extra evidence (for miracle claims) is met, unlike miracle claims generally, for which there usually is not evidence. And of course one can always insist that the quantity of evidence has to be even greater still, so that these 4 (5) sources are still not enough.

    So there are counterarguments, but not just the semantical word-game arguments claiming there's a logical contradiction somewhere in the "miracle" terminology.

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