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Thread: Fine-Tuning Argument vs Argument From Miracles

  1. Top | #881
    Super Moderator Atheos's Avatar
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    Correction: The Jesus story is religious myth created 2000 years ago. It includes many extraordinary events unsupported by evidence.

    Lumpenproletariat uses many words to try to hide the fact that his whole argument revolves around the principle that it's more likely that a man walked on storm-tossed water than that people invented stories that included a man walking on storm-tossed water.

    I've said this before, but Lumpenproletariat keeps saying the same debunked things over and over, so I'll simply repeat this simple fact occasionally just as a reminder.

  2. Top | #882
    Cyborg with a Tiara
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lumpenproletariat View Post
    So the only possible flaw is in whether it really happened,
    Laugh - that’s kind of a big flaw, wouldn’t you say?
    And your argument that there is “empirical evidence” is that 40 years later someone was telling that story.

    Feels like you’re saying you’ll believe anything.


    Otherwise there's no error, or flaw in the logic. The facts are there, in the written accounts from the time,
    No, as is quite clear, not “the time,” but rather 40 years later. That’s two generations, you know.

    like for any other historical events, except in this case we have much more evidence than required for ordinary events,
    You keep saying that. But what you call “evidence,” isn’t evidence.

    I mean, I get that it’s enough for you, but it’s not evidence. It would be insufficient to even get FDA approval for a new food.


    so the requirement for some extra evidence (for miracle claims) is met,
    You keep saying that.
    It has not been met. So many people have clarified why not. You turn around and repeat your claim like you’ve never read what anyone wrote.
    Like you are unwilling to consider actual evidence.



    Atheos is right.
    Your whole argument depends on convincing people that a miracle is more likely than a mistake (or a lie)
    That’s eye-poppingly bankrupt as an argument.

  3. Top | #883
    Veteran Member Lumpenproletariat's Avatar
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    Nightmare solved.

    Quote Originally Posted by atrib View Post
    I was stuck at DFW airport this Wednesday waiting for a delayed connection, and I spent about an hour watching the antics of a cockatoo named Mr Max.

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtn...SaEIeE1zhA_xxA

    Cockatoos are fascinating creatures. They are intelligent, they can learn to mimic the human voice, and some can pick up a vocabulary of over a hundred words. If you follow the youtube link and watch some of the videos, you will find that cockatoos can engage in "conversations" with their owners, a back-and-forth dialog that mimics conversations between humans. They string together the words and sounds they know to make it sound like they are actually communicating using human language. But no matter how smart the bird might appear at first glance, cockatoos do not have nervous systems capable of abstract thought, or the ability to engage in actual conversation with a human.

    Lumpy's posting habits bear a strong resemblance to the mimicry of the cockatoo. For over a year now Lumpy had been putting together walls of text using words from the English language, but when you read the text you discover that they say nothing, or very little.

    Just like the cockatoo puts together strings of words and sounds that communicate nothing or very little, Lumpy puts together long chains of words that communicate nothing or very little.

    You can talk back to the cockatoo and try to explain an idea to it, but the cockatoo will not understand you; it will simply repeat the words and sounds it knows. Likewise, you can talk back to Lumpy and point out why his claims make no sense, and Lumpy will simply repeat what he said before, over and over and over, seemingly incapable of understanding anyone's posts.

    The cockatoo will sometimes throw tantrums and make loud noises when it cannot get its way. Likewise, Lumpy will sometime throw tantrums, complaining that others are not willing to accept his claims as presented.

    I am not saying that Lumpy's cognitive abilities are the same as the cockatoo's. I am sure that is not the case. However, Lumpy is apparently unable to engage in a rational debate about the historicity of Biblical claims, and his posting habits on the subject for well over a year have demonstrated this fact over and over. I am the fool here for continuing to try, not Lumpy, or the cockatoo.

    Anyway, do check out Mr Max on youtube. Fascinating bird!
    I'm calling "Fowl!" on this one.

    Check the videos -- you'll notice that the birds do almost nothing of what is described here. They do not speak any "vocabulary of over a hundred words" or even 10 words, they do not "engage in 'conversations'" with anyone (squawking and hooting is not "conversation"), they do not do "back-and-forth dialog that mimics conversations between humans," they do not "string together the words and sounds they know to make it sound like they are actually communicating using human language," and they do not put together "strings of words" -- though they do make sounds "that communicate nothing or very little," which is normal for many animals, including humans.

    So, before the cockatoos woke him up and confused him, where did atrib really view the above goofy characters who "repeat the words and sounds" and funny squawks and "throw tantrums and make loud noises" and can't "engage in a rational debate"? Maybe it was this show:



  4. Top | #884
    Cyborg with a Tiara
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lumpenproletariat View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by atrib View Post
    The cockatoo will sometimes throw tantrums and make loud noises when it cannot get its way. Likewise, Lumpy will sometime throw tantrums, complaining that others are not willing to accept his claims as presented.
    I'm calling "Fowl!" on this one.
    Ha ha!!! Good one, Lumpy!!!

  5. Top | #885
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    So The Book stories prove miracles and miracles prove God. And God had a The Book published that prove miracles.
    Sound like idolatry to me. Book Worship.
    Hey, I understand... it's all ya got.

  6. Top | #886
    Veteran Member Lumpenproletariat's Avatar
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    (This is a redo of the previous in case the images at the end didn't work.)


    Quote Originally Posted by atrib View Post
    I was stuck at DFW airport this Wednesday waiting for a delayed connection, and I spent about an hour watching the antics of a cockatoo named Mr Max.

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtn...SaEIeE1zhA_xxA

    Cockatoos are fascinating creatures. They are intelligent, they can learn to mimic the human voice, and some can pick up a vocabulary of over a hundred words. If you follow the youtube link and watch some of the videos, you will find that cockatoos can engage in "conversations" with their owners, a back-and-forth dialog that mimics conversations between humans. They string together the words and sounds they know to make it sound like they are actually communicating using human language. But no matter how smart the bird might appear at first glance, cockatoos do not have nervous systems capable of abstract thought, or the ability to engage in actual conversation with a human.

    Lumpy's posting habits bear a strong resemblance to the mimicry of the cockatoo. For over a year now Lumpy had been putting together walls of text using words from the English language, but when you read the text you discover that they say nothing, or very little.

    Just like the cockatoo puts together strings of words and sounds that communicate nothing or very little, Lumpy puts together long chains of words that communicate nothing or very little.

    You can talk back to the cockatoo and try to explain an idea to it, but the cockatoo will not understand you; it will simply repeat the words and sounds it knows. Likewise, you can talk back to Lumpy and point out why his claims make no sense, and Lumpy will simply repeat what he said before, over and over and over, seemingly incapable of understanding anyone's posts.

    The cockatoo will sometimes throw tantrums and make loud noises when it cannot get its way. Likewise, Lumpy will sometime throw tantrums, complaining that others are not willing to accept his claims as presented.

    I am not saying that Lumpy's cognitive abilities are the same as the cockatoo's. I am sure that is not the case. However, Lumpy is apparently unable to engage in a rational debate about the historicity of Biblical claims, and his posting habits on the subject for well over a year have demonstrated this fact over and over. I am the fool here for continuing to try, not Lumpy, or the cockatoo.

    Anyway, do check out Mr Max on youtube. Fascinating bird!
    I'm calling "Fowl!" on this one.

    Check the videos -- you'll notice that the birds do almost nothing of what is described here. They do not speak any "vocabulary of over a hundred words" or even 10 words, they do not "engage in 'conversations'" with anyone (squawking and hooting is not "conversation"), they do not do "back-and-forth dialog that mimics conversations between humans," they do not "string together the words and sounds they know to make it sound like they are actually communicating using human language," and they do not put together "strings of words" -- though they do make sounds "that communicate nothing or very little," which is normal for many animals, including humans.

    So, before the cockatoos woke him up and confused him, where did atrib really view the above goofy characters who "repeat the words and sounds" and funny squawks and "throw tantrums and make loud noises" and can't "engage in a rational debate"? Maybe it was this show: https://www.ucpublicaffairs.com/home...rick-a-stewart

  7. Top | #887
    Veteran Member Lumpenproletariat's Avatar
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    Inventing your own special facts or definitions cannot erase the Jesus miracles from history.

    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Learner View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    If a miracle is defined as 'inexplicable', then any event we can explain as having a god as a cause is by definition not a miracle. Either that, or the existence of miracles proves that the concept of god has no explanatory value.

    Either way, theism is contraindicated.
    Unless you see it from the angle that the word "miracle", was used to express a simple contextual term ,... before the defined description became "later" defined and refined, as you've described in your quote.
    So, unless the things people called 'miracles' in the past were not, in fact, miracles?
    But YOU DON'T KNOW they were not in fact miracles.

    If you're not prejudiced against everyone in the past, and are willing to grant that some of them were not inferior imbeciles who knew nothing at all, then you have to allow that sometimes they were right, even if other times they were mistaken, and you have to take each claim they made one at a time, rather than condemning everything they said which contained a "miracle" word. You don't know that every such claim they made had to be false. You don't have infallible omniscience to be able to condemn every statement from the past you don't like. In some cases their description of what happened is probably true.

    You don't prove your superiority over them by claiming you know all the truth and they knew nothing because of their ignorant culture. In some cases they may have witnessed something, or known someone else who did, which was contrary to your prejudice about what they should have experienced, in which case it might be your prejudice which is mistaken rather than their perception of what happened.


    I agree entirely. They called lots of things miracles, but they were wrong.
    Who was wrong? You still have to look at the facts of each case, or each claim they made. In some cases they may have been wrong, if we can see what their mistake was, in view of later knowledge/science they didn't have, but in other cases they were right, or we don't know for sure what happened and cannot rule out the possibility that they were right to think a "miracle" happened. There are plenty of unexplained events, meaning no one knows what caused it, even now centuries later, with our increased knowledge.

    So in some cases they were right, and in other cases they were wrong -- we have to judge from the evidence in each case. Anything else is prejudice and bigotry.


    Either they were wrong about what happened; Or wrong to call it miraculous.
    No, you can't just impose your either-or onto everything based on your ideology and bigoted definition of what everything has to be. You cannot prove someone wrong just by redefining the terminology to conform to your prejudice. You can't wipe out facts of history by defining them as "impossible" based on the semantics you impose in order to advance your prejudice.

    You can conjecture that this or that claim is unlikely and that there's probably a better explanation they weren't aware of, but that's only a conjecture. Most of our explanations today, about ancient "miracle" claims, have no more credibility than those of 500 or 1000 or 2000 years ago. Your conjecture about what happened is just as likely to be wrong as their claim that a "miracle" happened.


    Stuff like a guy being crucified -- which is deliberately intended to be a long, slow and painful death over many days -- passing out after a day or so, being mistakenly declared dead, and then recovering after a few days lying down out of the direct sun.
    But that's all conjecture only, based on no facts, and contradicting the written accounts we have. There are reasons they would not take him down by mistake, with him still alive. You can imagine this and a million other hypothetical scenarios of what happened, but the probability is low. The Romans would not make such a mistake. Rather, they would insist on leaving the victim up longer if there was any doubt, because the intent was for the condemned one to die, and even to rot on the cross for many days -- never to allow any chance of him surviving. So in any case where a body was taken down, there had to be certainty first that he was dead.

    Obviously one can conjecture that our accounts are mistaken about what happened, as you can conjecture about any ancient written record of the events, casting doubt on any historical fact. But we need evidence, not just a premise that no such thing as a resurrection could ever happen. The narrative that he was taken down prematurely is based on the premise that the whole story has to be false, somehow, and so we must concoct something which makes the report (evidence) false. Of course you can conjecture this about some evidence you don't like, and thus expunge it from the record, to sanitize it and make it agree with your prejudice, but that's not history or facts. You can't give any reason why others should conjecture the same as you, but can only claim that this deletion of evidence from the record makes you feel good, and maybe some others sharing your prejudice might choose to do the same conjecture and delete the offending evidence.



    Believing the evidence of the written record from the time

    vs

    Believing ideological doctrines about what should or should not happen in history

    But what's more reasonable is to assume that the reports are true, about what happened generally, with no other accounts contradicting it, or to leave it in the doubtful category as to the miracle element. And, the Resurrection might be rightly disbelieved if we also had an account contradicting it, such as a claim that he didn't really die but was taken down prematurely. Trying to be skeptical, we could give more credibility to such evidence contradicting the miracle claim, if any existed. But there is no such account contradicting it, so we can either believe the evidence we do have, or we can reject the only evidence and rely on conjecture based on an ideological premise that no "miracle" event can ever happen.

    It's more reasonable to believe the evidence we actually have, with nothing anywhere contradicting it.

    We have accounts by Josephus and later by Lucian, of this general period, which contradict miracle claims of this or that wacko cult, or ridiculing the "messiah" charlatans here and there. There was an intelligent rational skepticism toward such claims and denunciation of them in written accounts which survived. So the reported Resurrection of Jesus could have been doubted and contradicted in some written account somewhere, if it didn't really happen. But with nothing denying it and all the evidence affirming this event, it's reasonable to believe it really happened. There is only conjecture to suggest otherwise, without any evidence from the existing written accounts. It's reasonable to accept what we're told in the only evidence, coming from multiple sources.

    Of course you can conjecture that somehow he was still alive and was taken down prematurely, but this requires disregarding all the evidence and relying on prejudice only, driven by an ideology impulse which insists that the "miracle" is not possible and has to be ruled out no matter what, regardless of the evidence.

    A reasonable conjecture would be that he was taken down later than the biblical account says, rather than in only a few hours. The risk of him still being alive might require a special inspection. Rather than that, the Romans more likely would insist that he had to remain there for 2 or 3 days. There is no reason to insist that it happened the same day, after only a few hours. The chronology of the Gospel writers is ambiguous, and some symbolism gets mixed in with the real facts. So getting bogged down in the details of the exact times and chronology is a needless exercise leading to no definite conclusions.

    But the general report in all the accounts is that he died and was buried but later seen alive, and the tomb found empty -- all agreed to by the different accounts and thus probable, while the rest is more doubtful, because of confusion about the details. That some details become dubious need not detract from the general fact of the actual death and later resurrection, as this is agreed to by all the accounts.


    It's not particularly implausible; Certainly it's not miraculous.
    But it's highly unlikely that he was taken down prematurely, while still alive, and then recovered after a few days or weeks. You can say it's not implausible, but it's unlikely, and so one can reasonably disbelieve this is what happened, as being very unlikely, and as contradicting what all the accounts say happened. It's reasonable to believe the written reports, from several sources, saying what happened, and disbelieve a conjecture with no evidence and contradicting all the written accounts from the time.

    And if the Resurrection did happen as the accounts claim, then it is "miraculous" as being an event which is unexplained by our known science, and regardless of the historical period when it happened. So the "miracle" element has nothing to do with anything we know today which was not known by those of the 1st century. We today have no more reason to doubt the truth of the claim than they did back then, when a resurrection from the dead was just as unlikely as it is today, and was known by people of that time to be unlikely. People back then did not believe such events happened anymore than we do today. That it's claimed to have happened in this one case only, reported in multiple accounts of the period, sets this reported event apart from normal events, and also from ancient legends containing miracle stories which evolved over many centuries.

    If resurrection hoaxes/fictions were possible back then, widely believed and reported as true, because the people were superstitious and unscientific, then we would have other cases of reported resurrections from the time, and yet we have no other examples of it. There are no other cases of someone, an historical person, reported as rising from the dead in written accounts near to the time of the alleged event. There are other cases? Where? Where is the written account of it? Don't just regurgitate a laundry list of meaningless names spoon-fed to you by your favorite Jesus-debunker-guru-pundit. Quote from the written text source, dated from the time of the alleged event. There are no other cases. If there were, you could quote the ancient text relating the event, which you cannot do.


    But in the context of a pre-medical age, when a weak heartbeat and shallow breath could easily be mistaken for death, it could certainly be mistaken for a miracle.
    No more so than today. We have no evidence that live bodies were mistaken for dead, at that time, anymore than today.

    In war time and other cases of widespread death and mayhem, there are such mistakes, including in modern history. But it's not due to lack of medical knowledge, but rather to the large number of bodies, which cannot explain this case in 30 AD where there were 3 crucified victims, or only a few, in contrast to the cases when hundreds were crucified at one time. So there's nothing about the Jesus death showing similarity to cases where live bodies were mistaken for dead.

    His followers, mainly the Galileans who came with him to Jerusalem, would want him taken down, but not because they thought he was still alive, but rather because they wanted to give him a proper burial. So the narrative of him being taken down -- after he was dead -- makes sense, whereas usually the crucified victims were left for many days or weeks.


    Miracles don't happen. Never have, never will.
    That has a certain "ring" to it -- Grab a banjo and put it to music. Yee-haw!


    There's no possible mechanism for them --
    "possible mechanism"? There are many unexplained events. We don't need to know how it was possible in order to know that some unusual event happened, because it's reported in the written accounts saying that it happened. You don't prove that an unusual event did not happen simply by saying we don't know the "mechanism" to make it possible.

    What is the "mechanism" to make matter possible in the universe, or space, or electrons? How does anything exist? We don't know the "mechanism" for everything that ever happened -- we just know things happen, because we experience them one way or another, and events in the past are reported by others who experienced them. Just because we can't identify the "mechanism" which made it possible does not mean a reported event did not happen.


    -- and no phenomenon that cannot be understood without them.
    It doesn't matter whether they can be "understood" -- all that matters is whether they happened. I.e., whether certain alleged "miracle" events did or did not happen, and also how important it is, or what is the significance if it's true that it happened. Perhaps the Jesus miracle acts did all happen, and perhaps they can all be "understood" if we have enough information about them, about his power source. One can believe the Jesus miracles are real, i.e., facts of history, or real historical facts in the 1st century, without any claim about whether they can be "understood" by someone somewhere.

    We can believe reported events without understanding everything about them, or being able to explain them, and even allowing that maybe someone does understand them even if we don't ourselves. Who understands them, or whether they might be understood by someone somewhere having more knowledge than ourselves, etc., is not essential to the question of whether the events actually happened. If it happened, there obviously has to be some explanation, or some source behind it, or some power existing somewhere to make it possible or cause it to happen.

    Being not "understood" or unexplainable or a "mystery" etc. is not the point. The point is that some power source existed to make those things happen, and it's "good news" that this power does exist, whether someone somewhere understands it or not, or might understand it some time in the future. If the evidence is that it happened, then there is reason to believe it, regardless whether or not it can be "understood" somehow. One could be "amazed" or "astonished" at it, etc., or be overjoyed to hear this "good news" or be perplexed, scratch their head, and so on, but none of that tells us whether the event really happened. Those who believe it can be "religious" about it or have "visions" or a "blessing" and so on, but all that matters is whether it happened or not, and what the significance is if such a power exists to make eternal life possible.


    Miracles are make-believe.
    Probably most of them are. MOST miracle claims, not all. It's purely a dogmatic outburst to demand that NO miracle claims can ever be true. To disregard the evidence in individual cases is based on prejudice, not on science or truth-seeking.


    Grownups don't think that they are real.
    translation: Miracle claims must always be rejected as false, even in cases where a miracle really did happen, because it's unwholesome and immature to believe such claims even when they're true. Any evidence that a miracle happened must be suppressed, because it's unhealthy for people to believe it, regardless whether it's true. The appropriate experts know what's healthy for us to believe and not to believe, regardless of the facts, and these experts should shape our beliefs, for the good of society, regardless of any facts or evidence. Ideology about what's healthy for people to think must take priority over the facts.

  8. Top | #888
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Seriously, after TEN MONTHS of effort, that's the best you could manage in response?

    Dude, you seriously need to learn when to give up on a losing position.

    Nobody cares what you think about an argument made ten months ago. Nobody.

  9. Top | #889
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    There is more evidence for Bigfoot and Santa Claus than Jesus of the bible. Every Christmas our defense network tracks Santa across he country on RAAR. Doesn't make Santa real, it makes Santa a pleasant seasonal myth.

    There are no contemporaneous accounts of Jesus or any biblical supernatural events.

  10. Top | #890
    Elder Contributor Keith&Co.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Seriously, after TEN MONTHS of effort, that's the best you could manage in response?
    i don'tthink that's ten months of effort, though.
    Lumpy really likes a big lag time in refuting posts as people lose interest, or forget what they were planning to add, or drop the thread on the conversation so far. I think the delay is tactical.

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