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Thread: 120 Reasons to Reject Christianity

  1. Top | #3311
    Senior Member Lumpenproletariat's Avatar
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    The Jesus miracle stories are more credible because there is more evidence. More evidence = more likely to be true.

    Quote Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
    What's with the need to prove your belief is well-reasoned? The junk about "more evidence for the Jesus miracles than we have for many historical facts which we routinely accept because they are reported in the documents" is sophistry.
    No, "more evidence" means more sources saying it, or more written documents from the time, or sources closer to the actual events.

    I will repeat just one example of a historical fact we know based on ONE SOURCE ONLY, and from a source much farther removed from the actual event than the gospel accounts are removed from the Jesus events of about 30 AD.

    Josephus reports on the capture of the Jerusalem temple in 63 BC by General Pompey. He says that when the walls were finally breached, the first Roman to cross over was Faustus Cornelius, the son of the tyrant Sulla. This is a simple fact which everyone believes because Josephus says it. No other source than Josephus says this.

    So, we have less evidence for this fact than we have for the miracles of Jesus. MUCH LESS evidence -- just this one source only, and from a writer more than 100 years later than this event.

    By contrast, the Jesus miracle acts are reported by 4 (5) writers, dated 30-70 years later than the reported events. So the evidence for the Jesus miracles is much better evidence, being from multiple sources, and these much closer in time to when the reported events happened.

    Now you can multiply this random example by 10 million (or probably more like 50 or 100 million) other examples of facts from ancient history which are routinely accepted as fact because they are reported by one source which is more than 50 (100) years removed from the reported events. We routinely believe the events happened because of such evidence.

    Here's a wikipedia page relating this event, which takes the Josephus account as accurate, even though this is the ONLY source for most of the details of the event:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_...usalem_(63_BC)
    First over the wall was Faustus Cornelius Sulla, son of the former dictator and a senior officer in Pompey's army. He was followed by two centurions, Furius and Fabius, each leading a cohort, and the Romans soon overcame the defending Jews. 12,000 were slaughtered, while only a few Romans troops were killed.
    Virtually all the details are from Josephus only.

    Here's another page which relates this event, and it does not cite Josephus as the source for this, though it lists Josephus and some other sources in some footnotes.
    https://www.revolvy.com/main/index.p...tem_type=topic
    So it is normal to give as fact a claim from one source only, saying it's what happened, based only on this, and not even to name the source for the particular fact, though usually the source is found somewhere in footnotes.

    So facts like these are frequently based on very little evidence, one source only, and seldom is there any suggestion that it might not be true because of such little evidence. It's written in a document that this happened, and that's it -- it's a historical fact.


    It's just a riff off of some historians saying a similar thing about Jesus' historicity (no strong reasons to doubt that a person named Jesus existed).
    No, it's an extension of the logic historians apply to the documents -- telling us something happened based on the evidence of one document only, or one writer, who says it happened. And likewise we have documents, the gospel accounts, saying these events did happen, i.e., that Jesus did perform these miracle acts, just as we have documents saying other events happened, which are therefore accepted as historical fact.

    Many such documents, which we rely on, are biased, containing religious stuff and political propaganda, like the Josephus accounts, and yet this one source is all that is necessary for them to conclude that it's fact.


    That basic stance doesn't apply to the fantastical bits but you pretend that's a generally accepted practice (if the fantastical is written about sooner rather than later).
    Fantastic claims are not in the same category.

    For these we need more than only one source. I.e., we need EXTRA EVIDENCE, beyond just one claim in one source. That one claim is evidence, but we need MORE than the normal amount of evidence for miracle claims or anything fantastic. And this doesn't mean historians pronounce it as fact. They leave these claims in a doubtful category, without pronouncing whether they are true or false.

    And if the source is closer to the event, that increases the credibility. So if the source is 150 years removed from the event, like the report of Honi the Circle-Drawer producing rain by praying and dancing in a circle, then the source is less credible than a report only 25 years from the event, like St. Paul writing about the resurrection of Jesus. The latter is much closer, so it's better evidence. So sooner rather than later is an additional factor which can increase the credibility.


    Anyway, the 'I need to convince you this is reasonable' stuff... You seem to value evidence and reason a bit but only just enough for reality to bug you some. Just enough to make you want to layer your unreason with a vague semblance of reason (and at great length).
    You lost me.


    Why not boldly admit your . . .
    "boldly"? You mean be a HE-MAN like you?

    . . . admit your belief in miracles is a leap of blind faith on your part?
    But I DISbelieve in miracle claims generally. There's usually not enough evidence (or none at all). It's only in a very few cases that there is serious evidence. Probably 99% of miracle claims are false.

    The Elijah/Elisha miracle stories, e.g., are probably fiction. There's only one source for these, 300 years later than the reported events. Outside the one source, I-II Kings, there is virtually no mention of these characters before the New Testament. (For Elisha there is no mention whatever except one reference in Luke.) So it's the evidence that makes it credible, not blind faith.


    Because that's what it is and . . .
    By fiat? because you dictate it?

    No, the blind leap of faith is your belief that ALL miracle claims have to be automatically false regardless of any evidence in this or that case. It's blind faith when you dictate to people to discount the evidence and believe your dogma that no miracle event can ever happen.

    . . . it'd be more forthright to just say so than . . .
    Why are you preaching a sermon on what someone is supposed to say?

    . . . more forthright to just say so than strain so hard to try (and fail) to prove it's otherwise.
    It's not otherwise -- I don't challenge your claim of being more bold and forthright and masculine -- I can't prove it's otherwise and won't try.

    I can't "prove" anything, except that we have EVIDENCE that something unusual happened 2000 years ago, and it's reasonable to believe it, because the evidence is better than the evidence we have for many historical facts which we routinely believe.

    That you can't address this but want to obsess on who is more "bold" or "forthright" is a further indication that the above is probably the truth.

  2. Top | #3312
    Elder Contributor Keith&Co.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lumpenproletariat View Post
    But I DISbelieve in miracle claims generally. There's usually not enough evidence (or none at all).
    Silly Lumpy steps on his own dick, here.
    You keep on claiming that if someone tells a story about a miracle, that's evidence for it.
    So if you hear of a miracle claim, by your standards, that's evidence for it.
    It's not POSSIBLE for you to decide that the evidence for a miracle is
    (or none at all)
    because someone told you the story. That's your bare minimum for evidence.

    Unless, of course, you're treating Jesus' miracle stories differently than other miracle stories. You know, special casing once again.

  3. Top | #3313
    Quantum Hot Dog Kharakov's Avatar
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    It's a miracle that people still talk about Jesus like a real person. Jesus was a cyberorganic nation/state organism that was born of the Roman Empire. The Jews are actually just Romans (Italians) who pretend to have been slaves for political expediency.

  4. Top | #3314
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lumpenproletariat View Post
    Josephus ... says that when the walls were finally breached, the first Roman to cross over was Faustus Cornelius, the son of the tyrant Sulla. This is a simple fact which everyone believes because Josephus says it. No other source than Josephus says this.
    Your logic is like comparing one guy saying "the brown cow was first through the gate" to five guys saying "the spotted cow leaped over the moon", then proclaiming that the latter has "more evidence" and therefore is reasonable to believe.

    Maybe the first guy's report was propaganda (as with Sulla's son), favoring the brown cow because he's from a line of famed cows. So these other 5 lies should be accepted too if that one lie is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lumpenproletariat View Post
    It's written in a document that this happened, and that's it -- it's a historical fact.
    Which just means historians are ok with it because it's not incredible enough or there's no contradicting reports to justify a dispute. They want a tale to tell.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lumpenproletariat View Post
    No, it's an extension of the logic historians apply to the documents...
    No, it's you abusing logic and taking how they don't dispute mundane details and then mis-applying that to claims of a totally different sort to proclaim them reasonably acceptable as historical "fact".

    Quote Originally Posted by Lumpenproletariat View Post
    Fantastic claims are not in the same category... [We] need MORE than the normal amount of evidence for miracle claims or anything fantastic.
    Right, we need evidence they ever happen at all, and not anybody's say-so. It's not hard to discern when the human mythic imagination intrudes into one of history's tales. Unless you're a blind faith believer of the myth, a fish in a fishbowl with no awareness of it, then of course the myth must seem "reasonable" to you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lumpenproletariat View Post
    And this doesn't mean historians pronounce it as fact. They leave these claims in a doubtful category, without pronouncing whether they are true or false.
    And do you leave the miracles in the gospels in a doubtful category like the historians do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lumpenproletariat View Post
    .... So sooner rather than later is an additional factor which can increase the credibility.
    Sooner rather than later doesn't do much change the character of insertions of the mythical imagination.

    The only thing that'll increase the credibility of miracles is to see things of that sort happening now. Else the most credible explanation is they're mythical elements within a tale that is either itself a myth, or maybe is partly historical (the bits that are mundane enough to not dispute overmuch).

    Quote Originally Posted by Lumpenproletariat View Post
    . . . admit your belief in miracles is a leap of blind faith on your part?
    But I DISbelieve in miracle claims generally... it's the evidence that makes it credible, not blind faith.
    Blind faith is not a state of having no reasons at all. It's the acceptance of bad reasons as good reasons because they work for reaching the conclusion that one wants. It's evidenced when the bad reasons are shown to be lame but the believer just goes on repeating them anyway (as if his "manhood", his identity, is dependent on it).

    Quote Originally Posted by Lumpenproletariat View Post
    ... It's blind faith when you dictate to people to discount the evidence and believe your dogma that no miracle event can ever happen.
    Yeah, it's dogmatism if I side with the substantial empirical evidence of the universe against flimsy hearsay that looks very exactly like human fantasy...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lumpenproletariat View Post
    That you can't address this but want to obsess on who is more "bold" or "forthright" is a further indication that the above is probably the truth.
    Not good logic.

    And I did address it. That's what you were countering in the first half of your post.

    The only evidence that'd make your favorite miracles seem credible is to demonstrate things like that ever happen at all. NOW. Not by referring to the past where any number of trapped-inside-of-myths doofs will say anything they want.

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