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Thread: Fine-Tuning Argument vs Argument From Miracles

  1. Top | #891
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lumpenproletariat
    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
    What has "knowledge" to do with any of this? Does having a master's degree somehow mean Bigfoot is real? Or that me claiming I saw a house turn into a lion's head mean the house actually turned into a lion's head?

    And exactly how many people back then knew something relevant to whether or not a forty year old claim of a man/god resurrecting was true?

    then you have to allow that sometimes they were right, even if other times they were mistaken
    So, your response--after all this time--is to argue averages somehow make a claim true?

    How many leprechauns are dancing around you right now? Married to a mermaid are you? Can you see the keyboard through the billions of tons of ghost ectoplasm that necessarily must be covering everything on this planet since time immemorial?

    YOU KNOW THIS IS BULLSHIT. Yet you keep regurgitating it. You would NEVER apply such ridiculous standards to anything else in your life, which should be all you need to know about yourself and your beliefs. And yet, you cling to the merry-go-round.
    Last edited by Koyaanisqatsi; 03-16-2020 at 06:53 PM.

  2. Top | #892
    Veteran Member Lumpenproletariat's Avatar
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    Just screaming "Hearsay! Fraud! Horseshit!" doesn't negate the evidence.

    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Learner View Post

    With a little bit of historical digging, so to speak, it was noticed that Santa Claus appeared much later than St. Nick. A merging of two images. Its good we seem to all know and agree with this,... as well as the bunnies coming about. (Those tales differing from the miracle stories appearing right from the mentioning of Jesus .. and not added on later to the character.)

    You say magically rising in the sky,... I'd like to say instead : God sent an anti-gravity field (keeping with the times).
    Why should anyone care what you would like to say? What matters is what actually happened - and you have no way of knowing the answer to that.
    We have EVIDENCE to indicate what happened, as we have for historical facts generally. In some cases there's much evidence, and in other cases very little. Yet even with scant evidence we believe what's in our history books, much of which is based on one source only, separated in some cases by 2 or 3 or 4 centuries. It's reasonable to believe it if it's reported as fact in extra sources which say it happened.

    "no way of knowing the answer" -- that's correct, no way of knowing for sure -- because so much of our accepted history is based on evidence giving us reason to believe, though we don't know for sure. It's about believing based on evidence.

    We can pick it apart piece by piece -- i.e., the ascension of Jesus is reported in really only one source, the Luke-Acts author, but it's also affirmed in the late Mark (end of ch. 16), so there is some evidence for this. But the death and resurrection is reported in 5 sources, so there's extra evidence for this, plus also the healing stories. This evidence is far greater than we have for many of our historical facts, which we routinely accept, and also is lacking for any other miracle claims or legends from ancient times. The reason to reject most of the miracle legends is that there is no evidence for them, unlike the Jesus miracle acts for which we have much evidence.

    You say God did something, but you have no evidence that any gods have ever done anything, . . .
    That's correct for the ancient miracle legends, such as they are. Or for the miracles of Moses and Elijah and Elisha we have one source, and this separated from the alleged events by centuries, making this evidence very weak. But for the Jesus miracle acts we have more evidence than for many historical events which we routinely accept, in extra sources near the time of the alleged events.

    . . . no evidence . . . other than hearsay.
    You can call it that, for dramatic effect, but it's the same kind of evidence we have for 99% of our ancient history. It's all based on what some writer says happened, and that writer did not witness the events himself, 98% of the time, but relied on "hearsay" from others. So every time you open your ancient history book and read of those events, remember that there's no evidence for it (or 99% of it) except hearsay. If "hearsay" is unacceptable as evidence, then forget all that nonsense you believe about the Greeks and Romans. Virtually all of it is based on hearsay.

    Worse, your sources tell us that god intervened a lot, in a wide variety of circumstances. And then suddenly stopped intervening, just as we developed the skills to critically examine claims of miracles.
    It's not clear when "we developed the skills to critically examine" this or that. If these skills developed at a particular date in history, does this mean that nothing before this date ever really happened?

    The evidence tells us that Jesus did miracle acts at around the time of 30 AD, not any earlier or later, because that's when he was in history. Of course there are many "sources" saying many other claims or legends, of one kind or another, and for virtually all the miracle claims there is no serious evidence. Regardless when "the skills to critically examine" suddenly developed or events "suddenly stopped" happening.

    If the "skills to critically examine" means modern science, that would be maybe 1500 or 1600 AD or so, meaning nothing in any written record ever happened before that?

    That strikes me as HUGELY suspicious. I mean, god doing miracles seems unlikely; But god doing miracles only when nobody is watching closely stinks of pious fraud.
    Whatever that means, it doesn't describe the Jesus miracles in the Gospel accounts. One indication that these were not fraudulent while some others were is that the persons healed by Jesus were not his disciples, as was usually the case with other reported miracle healing claims. E.g., the healing miracles at the Asclepius temples were usually performed on Asclepius devotees only who had worshiped this deity all their lives and attended the temple for healing and to practice the ancient rituals there.

    Similarly, the singular miracle attributed to the Emperor Vespasian (if this event really happened) took place at the insistence of devotees of the pagan deity Serapis, in whose name the ritual was performed for them. So the victims reportedly healed by a religious ritual were generally devotees of the ancient healing deity, unlike the Jesus miracle healings, which were not ancient religious rituals to a deity worshiped by the victims being healed.

    There is an element of pious fraud when the only ones healed in a miracle ritual are devotees of the ancient deity in whose name the ritual is performed. Devotees are likely to exaggerate their report of the event in their wish to uphold the ancient traditions they believe in.

    People committing fraud doesn't seem unlikely AT ALL - we see it all the time, and it's utterly banal.
    There were frauds named in the literature, and indications of it. When there's little or no evidence for a claim, it suggests fraud. But in the case of the Jesus miracle acts we have evidence, in the form of extra sources written near to the time of the alleged event, which evidence is lacking for other miracle claims. So it's true there are indications of fraud in some cases, but no such indications in the case of the Jesus reported miracle acts.

    So we have two competing explanations - a god, for which we have no evidence, performed miracles . . .
    More correctly, "no evidence" in most cases of miracle claims, but for the historical Jesus there is evidence, i.e., extra sources, as is necessary for miracle claims. Whether he was "god" is not the point. The reports of the miracle acts are the evidence, while "god" might be the explanation offered.

    . . . miracles which contravene the laws of physics, but stopped doing that just as men started to understand how to determine the truth value of claims;
    Whatever that means, the Jesus miracles ended at almost the same time when they began, near 30 AD, and this was not "just as men started to understand how to determine the truth value of claims;"

    OR a bunch of people with the opportunity for wealth, fame, and power made up a load of horseshit in order to fleece . . .
    No, nothing like that had ever happened or makes any sense. No one ever acquired wealth or fame or power by inventing miracle stories. All charlatans were rejected and never acquired any wealth or fame or power by foisting miracle stories. You can't name any examples of this in the ancient world. Today on YouTube there might be something like that, but nothing you're describing has any meaning 1000 or more years ago. Back then the charlatans were exposed as frauds (if anything at all was reported about them) and had no following other than a dozen or so nutcases.

    . . . in order to fleece the rubes, and were so successful that their lies are still believed to this day.
    No, not in the 1st century AD. None of their lies were believed back then except for a few nutcases. Prior to 100 AD there were no cases of anyone who "made up a load of horseshit" successfully, to become wealthy or famous or powerful. Only since then, and over many centuries after 100 AD, can you claim anything like this happened.

    The success and spread of the Christ Gospel led to some fraud during the subsequent centuries, of which some has been successful. But none of that can explain how the Jesus miracle stories were first believed and published before 100 AD. The pattern is obvious: something authentic happened originally, to get the miracle belief started, and as this spread farther and farther there also emerged an element of fraud and hoax attaching to it. Once it got started in the first place, then it's possible to explain how the fraud element also developed, and some of this might still be continuing into modern times.

    One of those explanations requires the suspension of physical law;
    No, the explanation that the reported events did happen does not require suspension of physical law, but only that it cannot be explained by current known science. Just because the latest science has no explanation does not mean that physical law must have been suspended. Perhaps future science will identify the physical law better and determine that what happened was not a suspension of it.

    The other requires a small number of dishonest people.
    There are many dishonest people seeking wealth and power and fame. If this explains the Jesus miracle accounts, then we should also have many other cases of reputed miracle-workers in the ancient world, recorded in written accounts near the time of the reputed miracle events, published in multiple accounts rather than only one. But there are no other cases. There is only this one case for which there is any serious evidence. It is inexplicable that there is only one case, if the explanation is that "a bunch of people with the opportunity for wealth, fame, and power made up a load of horseshit."

    How can this be the only case in ancient history where such people made up a load of horseshit? No, the truth is that when "horseshit" was made up it was detected and rejected by virtually everyone, in some cases exposed as fraud, and not ever published in writings of educated people from the time.

    We have a vast, indeed inexhaustible, reserve of dishonest people in the world, and they have always been with us.
    But before modern times they were rejected by virtually everyone and not published in multiple sources from the time. So any such dishonesty cannot explain where the Jesus miracle stories came from, though perhaps it explains some 20th- or 21st-century cases, when modern publishing makes it possible for every nutcase to produce multiple "sources" for their claims.

    You could dismiss every claim anyone makes, about anything, by just pointing out all the dishonest claims which have been made, and so therefore we can't believe anything, no matter what it is. No history, no science, no current events -- nothing claimed in any source anywhere can be trusted, because of all the dishonest claims made all the time everywhere.

    We have NEVER ONCE seen the laws of physics being broken.
    The Jesus miracle acts did not necessarily violate the laws of physics.

    And we don't know that the "laws of physics" have never been broken, or that no one ever saw them broken. This is an example how believing the miracles of Jesus can be based on skepticism and agnosticism, allowing that it might be the case, because we have some evidence, while still there is doubt, and so we don't know for sure. Whereas disbelief requires dogmatic ideological intolerance toward the possibility that a miracle might have happened in some cases where there is no known explanation for a reported event.

    It's not rocket surgery.
    Right -- for it to be credible doesn't require scientific proof how it happened, or a doctorate in surgery. We just need the reports saying it happened, or that it was witnessed by some folks.

    That an event happened, to be credible, requires only that it is reported by someone claiming it, near to the event, when or where it happened, and is not contradicted by others near the time or place -- and especially if there's more than only one source claiming it.

    Like the Jesus miracles recorded in written accounts during 50-100 AD. If there were any other similar cases of reported miracle acts done by someone, they also would be believable.

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