• Welcome to Christian Forums
  1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

  2. The forums in the Christian Congregations category are now open only to Christian members. Please review our current Faith Groups list for information on which faith groups are considered to be Christian faiths. Christian members please remember to read the Statement of Purpose threads for each forum within Christian Congregations before posting in the forum.

Argument for God's existence.

Discussion in 'Christian Apologetics' started by gradyll, Apr 4, 2019.

  1. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

    United States
    I'm not saying the concept or perception of 'good' and 'evil' doesn't exist. However, remove all cognitive agents, with the ability to 'assess' such acts/activities/bahaviors; and it really becomes similar to asking 'if a tree falls in the forest, and there is no one to hear it, does it make a noise?'

    Morality is the 'term' we assign such application. And here, people tend to think that if it is not objective, chaos may ensue. Not you per se, just saying...

    Furthermore, just because humans have the ability to brand or label on an act/action, does not mean it is 'God given.'

    In the case for the claims of Christ, it would almost 'have to.' The claim is that God wishes to have personal relationships. Remaining absent, when called upon, seems peculiar, and possibly contradictory.

    No emotion. Just observations, when reading the asserted and claimed verses from the Bible. For God to remain hidden from earnest inquiries (after decades), seems to negate the claims from the Bible. Especially if God truly wants a relationship.

    I am no longer 'seeking' really.... That ship sailed a couple of years ago. I now more-so question the many pitfalls and discrepancies, for the past couple of years. Not to say that if God said ''peek-a-boo', in a way I could not brush it off, I would then immediately reconcile His mere existence... But the questions may still be there, and some would also likely be immediately answered upon enlightenment.

    Well, here's a simple test... Did God flood all of creation, or not? There seems to be little wiggle room there, regarding such a claim.

    Did Jesus return from the dead? Not much wiggle room there either.

    However, since a flood claim is fairly falsifiable, and it would seem such an event may not have happened, how much credence do we still actually give to a book, which makes such assertions that are not falsifiable as well?

    Don't take this too seriously, but I could not resist...

    So prayer is really only useful to comply with what God is already going to do?

    I again ask, what is the point of prayer?

    Humility would be to state we don't know what, if anything happens, when we die. The ones whom label or classify themselves a Christian/other, appear more-so ethnocentric by definition.
  2. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

    United States
    Christian Seeker
    Your challenge was to imagine that Pastafarianism actually was a real religion. If that wasn't what you wanted me to do, you should have asked a different question. You didn't present a logical argument; all you said was "imagine."

    Now, if we want to drop the Pastafarian nonsense, there actually is a religion out there that has a pretty wacky God concept going on: Mormonism, where to the best of my knowledge, the Trinity is conceived of as separate physical entities instead of in the traditional fashion.

    The arguments of classical theism could not be used in an attempt to demonstrate the existence of such beings, because they are not necessarily existing, they are not immaterial, they could not be described as Pure Act, they are not utterly simple, and so forth and so on. This is why I don't see the need to take Mormonism seriously--the gods that it asserts don't match up with arguments like PSR, Aquinas's Five Ways, the Ontological Argument, etc.

    No. Plotinus thought the universe was eternal.

    Like I mentioned in my brief explanation of step 1, by "first principle," we are thinking of something closer to the sort of Theory of Everything that is an aim of theoretical physics. A hypothetical Theory of Everything would not presumably be the cause of the universe, but it would be the sort of self-contained explanation that could be used to make sense of any phenomenon.

    Plotinus is the major early proponent of the doctrine of divine simplicity: that the first principle, the source of reality, as it were, has to be utterly simple. To draw from modern physics again, an atom is not the utterly fundamental building block of reality, because it is made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons. These are more basic than the atom itself, but it seems that they are also not the basic building blocks of reality, given what we know of particle physics. Whatever is most fundamental in reality cannot be made of parts, since those parts would be more fundamental.

    If I remember correctly, Plotinus adopts a theory of being whereby it is always characterized as being made of parts, so he identifies the first principle as being "Beyond Being," beyond differentiation. This is why his metaphysics is set up in a hierarchical manner, where his utterly simple first principle, the One, gives rise to a realm of forms, which then in turn produces physical reality. Again, this is not a temporal process--everything is eternal in Neoplatonism.

    Now, if you think that something like the Flying Spaghetti Monster can be identified with Plotinus's utterly simple One, I think you need to reconsider the logic he uses to come to his conclusion. The FSM is made of pasta; for the FSM to exist, the individual strands of pasta have to exist, so we can identify things that are more fundamental than the FSM itself.

    Beyond that, "what caused God?" is actually a notoriously bad objection, and you are still conceptualizing things from within a different type of metaphysics than the one being presented. Something that exists necessarily, something that is the grounds of being, is not itself caused. It is eternal. Whatever activity it undergoes comes about as a result of its own nature--it can't be made to do anything by an external cause, since it is where the causes terminate. In the Neoplatonic model, existence is a sort of overflowing of the essence of the One, not a decision. The Abrahamic model introduces Creation as a willed choice, but that is beyond the scope of these sorts of arguments.

    You are simply wrong here. Classical arguments all aim at demonstrating something about the First Cause. The Plotinian one, for example, shows that it must be utterly simple (and thus non-physical, since physical things are always composed of parts, unless they eventually break down into pure Potentiality).

    You are really misreading all of these arguments. If you are really interested in them, I would suggest a careful study of the whole intellectual tradition, preferably starting with someone like Parmenides. Lack of familiarity with Greek philosophy can really be devastating for understanding what these particular arguments are trying to show.

    If you are arguing that the FSM has properties such as necessary being, divine simplicity, and so forth and so on, and merely chooses to manifest itself as a plate of pasta, then that would be acceptable. One of the divine avatars of Hinduism is literally a tortoise, after all, but that doesn't conflict with the claims made about Brahman.

    You should probably be aware that most atheistic philosophers of religion (i.e., the only atheists who are really familiar with the subject) actually do think that theists can provide legitimate reasons for their beliefs. They may not meet a standard of proof necessary to compel belief from all reasonable people, but that doesn't mean they are inexistent.

    Do you have any background in the study of logic? Validity is really not that difficult a barrier--if an argument is invalid, you can easily tighten up the steps involved to make it valid. The real barrier is soundness and whether your premises are true, but you can't get from controversial premises to wild conclusions that have nothing to do with the logic at hand.

    I don't see how it's unjustified. If you don't accept physicalism and do not believe that physical entities can be the foundational building blocks of reality, then your options are limited to theism and idealism/nondualism.

    I'm fine with either option, though I think theism makes more sense. I don't think that the universe is the sort of thing that could exist if it wasn't being maintained in existence.

    No. Why would it be? I think you really need to wrap your head around the fact that not every theist accepts the Kalam.

    First of all, I will have to remind you in return that I am a rationalist, not an empiricist, and I think our understanding of causality is to a certain extent a priori, not based on experience. You can continue to assert an empiricist theory of epistemology without any argumentation to back it up, but I am under no obligation to pay it any mind.

    That said, I don't particularly care about the origins of the universe. I think it's a red herring and the sort of thing that distracts from the key issues at hand here. You need to stop interpreting everything everyone says as being precisely about the physical origin of the universe. It's not.

    This is fallacious logic. You are assuming the truth of your conclusion: that the physical universe is all that is or could be. Obviously theists would disagree with this, so simply asserting it as the obvious truth is invalid.

    I am a Platonist, not a materialist. I would deny that even the mind itself is fully physical in nature, which means that I think there is evidence of things that in some sense transcend spacetime. I think things like universals and the laws of physics pose insurmountable problems for naturalism, and that it's just as possible that the seemingly physical world as we experience it is an interplay between the mind and abstract truths. Your inability to conceptualize anything aside from materialism does not make it the only option out there.

    Even from a purely naturalistic perspective, there are plenty of theoretical physicists who swear by multiverse theories, so I'm not sure why you would insist that nothing aside from the universe could possibly exist.

    How does it fail to account for it? I will retreat into Hindu theology, since I think it's alien enough to not immediately get misinterpreted, and say that absolute reality is awareness, not matter. I see no problem with a timeless, spaceless, simple self-awareness as that from which all being springs.

    I think we would also need to explore the question of justification more closely. I am not a fideist myself, but I think even fideism is justified. With questions of ultimate concern, there is no obligation to accept the sort of epistemological boundaries you've imposed upon yourself, and good reasons not to.

    He's not defending the Kalam. The issue at hand is not the "cause of the universe" in a temporal fashion.
  3. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

    United States
    Christian Seeker
    Oh, I think moral subjectivism is a pretty terrible development, though I wouldn't say that it leads to chaos.

    I am not really interested in making a moral argument for the existence of God, though. I think it can be done, but the barrier is moral realism, and that's a tough one to jump.

    That still sounds suspiciously like rubbing a lamp and expecting the djinni to emerge on command, so I'm going to have to disagree.

    I don't believe in a global flood, but I would consider the Resurrection to be a fundamental claim. There's a theory out there that the early chapters of Genesis were more along the lines of polemics against Sumerian myths, with Jewish theology replacing the pagan explanations. You can't really take a collection of writings spread out over centuries and measure everything in it by the same metric.

    That is not really what conforming oneself to God's will means. It's more akin to personal moral and spiritual growth.

    I always find it strange when people think that agnosticism is a sign of humility. I see it in the opposite light--refusing to take a chance on anything outside the bounds of your own understanding is more often a sign of pride. Trusting in something aside from yourself is always going to be the sort of thing that's based in humility.

    Granted, when people embrace religion because they're looking for certainty and control, that's a problem, but the point is usually trust.
  4. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

    United States
    What about in my case, where I continually asked for His presence? And after 30+ years, 'told God' that if He does not reveal some type of unquestionable sign, I'm going to instead assume I was or have been only talking to myself for decades.

    Is it against His will to do or perform this seemingly mundane task? Especially if God claims to want a relationship?

    By 'common knowledge', I mean more-so in the sense that there no longer exists debate of His mere existence alone. The argued upon attributes, or in-fighting, among the (believers), is not what I'm referring to...

    Would you mind re-summarizing (briefly), your argument for His existence thus far? In all these pages, things get lost... :)

    I'm sorry, but this does not answer my question. If God is imposing His will, then there would be no point in prayer. God already has a complete plan for you. And if you should pray, and He happens to grant a prayer request, which was not already in line with His preexisting will, then God changed His mind; by taking your request over His prior will.

    Thus, I again ask, what is the point of prayer? Are you saying prayer is nothing more than 'worship'? Because we already have a category for that term...

    Again, the verses I cited prior do not state this conclusion... And if you should happen to find some verses that do comport with your specific assertion, then, you might need to figure out which Biblical verses to ignore.

    I think you missed my point. I asked in Him for decades, never to received an answer. What-say-so, about such a circumstance?

    Oh, but I think it does... He would and could reveal His existence to me. Furthermore, He would know what criteria I require to acknowledge His mere existence. Again, if He wants a relationship, it is certainly not too much to ask of an all mighty being.

    In answering your question, it was that, along with starting to finally read the Bible for myself, starting a couple of years ago or so; and finding many assertions in there, which do not appear to comport with reality. It was almost like deja vu, like realizing 'my mommy was lying to me about Santa Claus.'

    I did all the same stuff when I was still a devout believer, and just tucked it all away in lieu of 'faith'. Meaning, I was on the other end/side of the argument(s) for a long time... I happily admit I was a product of indoctrination, and appealed to the authority around me.

    Not so. I 'know' humans exist. I don't know aliens exist. If we came into contact with even one alien, then you might have something. Otherwise, I could propose many sound arguments as to why intelligent life MUST exist elsewhere. But does it?.?.?.?.?.?.?

    For starters...

    "Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son."

    Furthermore, I spent a fair amount of time debating others here, over a year ago, about the term 'blasphemy'. And some argued it was the 'sin of unbelief.'
  5. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

    United States
    No, because I asked for His contact maybe thousands of times. And not once did He respond. I again ask you, if God wants a personal relationship, and knows my methodology for realization of His existence, is contact, what's the harm?

    How is the NT any different than the OT? They are both a collection of claims spread over time. It just turns out, that in the OT, we may actually be able to test some of these claims. Hence, possibly some of the 'reasoning' behind (now) some of these 'falsified' story-lines.

    But yea, the NT, and it's claims of unfalsifiable magic --- all true :)

    So what exactly is the point of prayer?

    The basic definition states:

    "a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship"

    Seems as though my attempt in use was first in line, in regards to basic application.


    For me, other words first come to mind, (i.e.) credulity, gullibility, fallacious reasoning - (argument from ignorance)...

    Humility seems more-so applied to not boasting, if you feel you 'know' something. And once you claim you are a Christian, again by definition, you are claiming knowledge. In this case, knowledge of what happens after you die, and also the meaning of life. Again, by definition, Christianity seems associated with being ethnocentric.
  6. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

    United States
    Christian Seeker
    A couple of posts ago you suggested that the Bible gives free rein to act hatefully towards anyone you disapprove of, which is certainly the sort of thing that, if corroborated by divine revelation, I would consider potentially harmful.

    The New Testament is a collection of stories and letters from several decades after the alleged events, presumably drawn from firsthand accounts. It was written in a time period where history existed as a concept, which was not really the case before the Greek historians, so yes, it is very different than the Old Testament, where we cannot really know where history ends and myth begins.

    Also, you're misusing the concept of falsifiability. It is applicable to scientific theories, not history. There is no historical claim that is falsifiable, since you cannot study it in a controlled environment and repeat experiments.

    I just said personal moral and spiritual growth.

    Other way around for me. I think Christianity makes better sense of reality than the alternatives, but I wouldn't claim knowledge that it's true. I finally needed to stop trying to rationalize things and cling to some unreasonable level of certainty.

    So no, none of what you say is true "by definition."
  7. Ed1wolf

    Ed1wolf Well-Known Member

    The articles and books I have read said no dimensions, because for one thing you need space to have dimensions and just prior to the BB there was no space.

    The consensus among cosmologists is that time came into existence at the BB, read my post to cvvanewy about Dr. Donald Goldsmith. So at Time = 0, there was no time for quantum events to occur so they could not have produced the BB.
  8. Ed1wolf

    Ed1wolf Well-Known Member

    No, I provided a basis for everything I have posted. See my post above about how a quantum event could not have created the universe based on the scientific fact that time did not exist at t=0 and the scientific fact that quantum events cannot occur without an interval of time.
  9. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

    Hello, Ed. I'm sorry, but you clearly don't grasp what you're posting about at all. I can't, at the hundred and sixth page on this thread, be bothered to set you straight, especially with the previous hundred and five pages offering little hope of a positive outcome. Thank you for the discussion, though.
  10. zippy2006

    zippy2006 Dragonsworn

    United States
    Touché. :D

    Okay, gotcha.

    Wouldn't Aquinas just say that thought can take either form, but that the thought itself doesn't tell us which it is? The Ontological Argument seems to deny that ambiguity, claiming the noumenal form a priori.

    It sort of depends on how you approach the question, but after skimming an article by Wippel it seems that Aquinas would lean heavily on the essence/existence argument.
  11. Ed1wolf

    Ed1wolf Well-Known Member


    OR IS applicable here, because all you have to do is take one simple step back in logic to come to the conclusion that there was a cause to the universe basically identical to the Christian God. It is not an argument from ignorance, because we KNOW that all effects require a sufficient cause.

    I didn't say that they could be proven false (very few things can be PROVEN false), I just stated that they have a serious flaw, ie utilizing string theory as a major part of their theory.

    I believe all other asserted conclusions that claim to be based on evidence CAN be ruled out.

    I never claimed that I could PROVE His existence only that the majority of evidence in science, history, and philosophy point to His existence. Then you take that small leap of faith and communicate with Him and then His existence will be confirmed by your experience.
  12. Moral Orel

    Moral Orel Proud Citizen of Moralton Supporter

    United States
    I can't eat spaghetti. There's too many of them. No matter how hungry I am, I can't eat a thousand of something. - Mitch Hedberg
  13. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

    United States
    Science - Nope
    History - Not outside the the bias-filled book of claims itself...
    Philosophy - After 1,000's of years, we are still arguing the same 'ol topics, with no end in cite.

    Please try again sir :)
  14. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

    United States
    I'm not sure I follow...

    My point is there seems to be no reason to remain hidden, to instead expect any skeptic to hold 'faith' that this one claimed God actually exists; while knowing many cannot honestly do this in earnest. And then to tell such individuals that if they do not believe, they will be condemned for eternity. Seems like a bazaar 'test.'

    Gospel writers presumably wrote what some people may have believed. There really is not 'eyewitness attestation' to speak of... These collections take place decades, or more, after an alleged event(s). That's all...

    In evaluating historical claims, the fair thing to do, is to analyze the claims as follows. The more 'no's' applied, the less reliable (presumably):

    Are such records acknowledged as fallible?
    Are such records first hand accounts?
    Are such record contemporary with claimed events?
    Are these events independently corroborated?
    Are the events plausible under laws of physics?
    Are any of these records verified by concrete relics?
    Have such records been reliably preserved?
    Are the records preserved in their native language?
    Are the records politically and socially unbiased?


    And then realize that...

    - First hand information is more credible than second hand, which is more credible then third hand...
    - The more time which transpired prior to recording the event, the less reliable
    - The more implausible the events are in respect to known laws of physics, the less likely and reliable
    - The more languages the message has been translated through, the less reliable
    - The more bias the source, politically or socially, the less reliable
    - The more relics that can support a narrative, the more reliable
    - Any given source of historical information may be corrupted or forged.

    Viola: Awarded for least reliable history ever... Anonymous human narratives, written decades after the claimed event, by second hand sources, with political and social agendas, translated through multiple languages (Aramaic, Greek, English), all miraculous event accounts cannot even be corroborated among their own gospels (i.e.) Matthew 27:52 - no miraculous events corroborated (at all) outside Biblical claims from objective independent sources, (i.e.) no contemporaneous records in spite of all his achievements).

    So I guess when historians wrote of Alexander the Great being the son of Zeus, this must be taken more seriously, since it was written in antiquity.

    My take, is that you may partially reject 'Genesis'/etc, because you now realize some of the claims do not comport with later human discovery. ;) Just a hunch, one which one may not fully admit :)

    I agree partially. Some historical events can be corroborated fairly soundly, however... But it would appear the 'resurrection" does not seem to fit such criteria, as explained above....

    But I think you might of slightly misunderstood my point... I stated "claims of unfalsifiable magic". Meaning, 'one-time claims of magic from the past.' So I was actually agreeing with you, that such claims CANNOT really be falsified :) And this is why many can assert 'truth' in a resurrection.

    I disagree, but there appears no need to quibble, as this is not the meat of the topic anyways or regardless...
  15. Ed1wolf

    Ed1wolf Well-Known Member


    All the models that you posted, at least in the videos I saw, based their models on string theory that is starting to be questioned a great deal by other cosmologists. That is hardly "nuh-hu".

    Your statement right there shows that you were being taught a distorted form of Christianity. Nowhere does the Bible teach you should have blind faith. And never questioning the teaching of church leaders. The apostle Paul said to "test everything" that church leaders say and see how it compares to what God says in His word. I think I have provided much evidence using the BB theory and the law of sufficient cause. Your only rebuttal is some weak eternal universe models based on the weak string theory model. My model is based on the majority view of the BB theory.

    Well it is now well known that google is not the most unbiased search engine. But I have provided quotes of the well respected, though now extinct, magazine "Natural History" that stated that IS the majority view.

    I agree that the theory of evolution is much more well supported than the eternal universe theory. But the BB theory is a theory that has empirical real time evidence but evolution does not, it is a historical extrapolation into the deep past that has never been empirically observed. In addition, the theory of evolution has much greater philosophical and political implications than the BB theory and at this point in history most scientists in academia like those implications. Also it is a much older theory with a much older scientific orthodoxy and many more scientists have staked their reputation and entire career on it than the BB theory. So there is much more likely to be a stronger consensus on it being a "settled topic" in biology.
  16. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

    United States
    Christian Seeker
    I don't think you can really characterize what appears in the Gospels as just "what some people may have believed." We're dealing with oral history, which means that stories are formalized in a way in which they can be easily memorized and transmitted. There's no reason to expect that the stories incorporated in Scripture weren't widespread.

    Many of these criteria are pretty bad. First-hand accounts are rare in ancient history, appealing to the laws of physics is going to knock out everything premodern given the different worldview, political and social bias is going to knock out literally the entirety of history, and any sort of writing aimed at a universal audience is going to use a lingua franca.

    Still more reliable than Herodotus. ^_^ In all seriousness, though, the New Testament is a witness to Early Christianity, and is pretty reliable in terms of recording what the early community practiced and claimed to have witnessed. It is a primary source, since it was produced by that community, it has no more of an agenda than any other historical writing ever produced. The only translation that matters is Aramaic to Greek, but unless you're going to tell all the Germans on the forum that they're being unreliable for writing in English, I don't see how that's overly relevant.

    The historicity of Alexander the Great is very difficult, since most of the primary records are lost, leaving us with later historians drawing things from earlier records. I would certainly take seriously the claim that he called himself the son of Zeus, though, since he was a megalomaniac.

    Depends on which part of Genesis. I would reject a literal acount of Genesis 1 on scientific grounds, but my issues with Genesis 2 are theological in nature. God is not physical and cannot be marching around a garden. After that we just run into the normal logical problem of wives showing up out of nowhere, Cain building a city to live in by himself, and then Noah trying to shove every animal in existence onto a ship. Very little of that has to do with human discovery, unless you think we only just recently learned to count.

    The entirety of history is non-repeatable, so I don't see your point.

    You disagree that I don't make knowledge claims concerning the truth of Christianity? Track one down, in that case.
  17. cvanwey

    cvanwey Well-Known Member

    United States

    Not really sure what point you are attempting to drive home?

    I stated the Gospels, are no doubt, writings of what a specific group of people, (larger or smaller in numbers), believed.

    Yes, oral tradition was the way of the times. Decades later, only then did writings happen. However, legend and lore can become 'reality' more-so easily. Especially after decades and decades of unfettered and repeated story telling.

    Furthermore, we have no actual 'eyewitness attestation' for a claimed resurrection. People whom claim as such are simply mistaken. We instead have later reports of a claimed event, via oral tradition, and only later, an organized group of bias believers who wrote of such a story line... Furthermore, it's easy to see such additions added and 'crafted' to fit the writer's agendas. Especially when one simply reads Mark 1:1 thru Mark 16:8, and then, reads Mark 16:9-20.

    And the topper is to then read John. It quickly becomes fairly obvious that legend and lore grows over time, as John was likely written decades after Mark. So again, even a couple of decades of repeated stories inflate. Read Mark, then read John for such an example. Or don't even go there. Read Mark 16:8, then read Mark 16:9-20.

    Beg to differ...

    Take the assassination of president Lincoln, as a random comparison for how to evaluate historical claims from the past...

    - News paper reported from first hand accounts

    - Such a claim does not defy the laws of physics
    - Regardless of 'political agenda', or not, the 'fact' remains that Lincoln was shot and killed.
    - Original reports in English continue to remain intact
    - Have the autopsy report for the cause of his death
    - Still have the murder weapon
    - etc.........

    Now, if the story also stated that Lincoln rose from his grave, where do we draw the line of 'believability'? We might then ask ourselves, whom is reporting this, for extreme starters...

    In the case for the Bible, such writings were coming from the ones whom already believed. We have no contemporaneous accounts of people reporting, 'hey, I saw this entity, whom called Himself Jesus, whom appeared to me.' Or, 'I was in town and saw a bunch of zombies walk by.' Ala Matthew 27:52... Reports come from the 'believing' author exclusively. There is no such corroboration.

    You can post your objections now. But I'm sure I've already heard them :)

    Yes, it is merely a witness to the existence of believers from this era. That's it! This is not 'eyewitness accounts' to such claimed events.

    Yes. But do you see my point? It's not hard to accept that a man was born, fought in war, and died. But it becomes fairly safe to say that some, if not all, of such remaining tales from this figure in history are likely inflated from actual reality....?.?

    Thus, what makes the most sense when comparing 'Jesus', whom was also exclusively portrayed from bias authorship alone, and also from seemingly growing legendary tales and possible lore?

    Then why is a 'resurrection' claim valid? It all comes from the same 66 chapter book.

    If even you agree that events in 'historical past' cannot be repeated, which exclusively rely upon anecdotal accounts; but such anecdotal accounts are not even broadcasted from actual eyewitness attestation, than is it no wonder I'm a severe septic???? --- Just like I am skeptical that Alexander the Great was the 'son of Zeus'? Because again, Alexander could live, fight, and die of fever. However, it's ANOTHER thing to claim supernatural stuff...
  18. Silmarien

    Silmarien Existentialist

    United States
    Christian Seeker
    You asked me what the difference between the Old Testament and New Testament was. The answer lies in the fact that the New Testament reports upon things that allegedly happened within living memory of the authors, whereas the Old Testament documents events that it claims occurred centuries earlier. You can't reasonably compare a delay of three decades to one of at least half a millennium and say that the historical reliability is identical.

    We don't know whether or not we have eyewitness attestation, since the authorship of John is controversial. The Pauline Epistles give us a pretty early attestation to the types of claims being made, though, so you can't legitimately claim that it was somehow added to the story later.

    Stylistic differences aside, what is interesting about John is that there are scholars who think it is in some ways more historically accurate than the Synoptics when it comes to concrete events. I don't see it as a clear sign of a growing legend, given things like the Johannine Thunderbolt in Matthew 11, the possibility that it was written by a disciple (perhaps as some sort of theological interpretation of events), and the fact that it didn't end up on the discard pile with the Gnostic gospels.

    I really hope you are not trying to imply that the assassination of Lincoln is somehow ancient history. 1865 is well within the modern period, which means better historical records and surviving evidence. Go back even 300 years earlier and things start to get trickier.

    I'm also not sure why you think we don't have the New Testament in its original language.

    We do have a contemporaneous report from a former non-believer who claimed to have seen Christ after the Resurrection: Paul.

    So... uh, if you think Alexander the Great was born, fought in a war, and died, what are the tales that you think were inflated? Singlehandedly conquering most of the known world? Strategic brilliance? Even claiming to be the son of Zeus is entirely possible--the Roman emperors made similar claims as well. Antiquity was fun like that.

    It's a fact that legends grew around the figure of Jesus. Look at something like the Protoevangelium of James, for example. There is plenty of New Testament apocrypha out there, full of second and third century literature. I would be surprised if there wasn't an element of this even in the canonical gospels, but that doesn't mean that everything that doesn't fit with a 21st century worldview was a later invention.

    See my first paragraph.

    I really have no idea why you're picking a fight with me over the historicity of the Resurrection. I've already said that I think the evidence is inconclusive, though I'm not exactly impressed by attempts to tear apart the biblical accounts. This narrative you have where it's defeated because of your personal interpretation of Genesis is particularly problematic.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
  19. Ed1wolf

    Ed1wolf Well-Known Member

    Evidence of wishful thinking?

    It is a rational assumption that the laws of logic work outside the universe. Prior to space travel, scientists were not sure the laws of logic worked in outer space, but they went on and assumed that they did, and eventually we made it to the moon. So it is rational to assume the laws of logic are universal until proven otherwise.

    We deal with non-physical things everyday. Minds, numbers, laws of logic and physics to name four. So plainly they do exist. Unless you deny that these things exist. There is evidence that some NDEs are real so that is evidence that consciousness may not require a brain.

    Actually contrary to young earth creationists the bible does not teach that. The bible nowhere says how old the earth is. And the term day can also mean age and we know from His other book, Nature, tells us that the universe is 13.7 billion years old and the days/ages match amazingly what we have discovered about how the earth was created and how life arrived on the earth and in what order.

    Of course, you are not going to see that in a mainstream science textbook or establishment science magazine because the scientists that wrote it would be ostracized and branded a crazy fundie.

    No, according to the law of sufficient cause, the Christian God or a being with its exact same characteristics is the most likely cause of a universe like ours.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
  20. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

    Hello again all,

    I'm afraid, @Silmarien and @Redac , that my work has become a little busier over the last few days, and I don't have the time to continue our discussion, so I shall be making this my last post. I think we've gone far enough on this enormous thread anyway. The question "Are there arguments for the existence of God" has been pretty much answered - either "No, there aren't" or "Yes, but not good ones," depending on how you look at it. Redac and Silmarien are skilled debaters, but the simple fact is they are trying to work out things we have no basis for knowing and no way of finding out about. And I think we've passed the point where their ideas need further discussion. I can lead you all to water, but have a limited amount of patience with trying to make you drink.

    In other words, the answer to my question " Do you have any experience of how it works, or if it works, outside of this universe?” is no, you don’t. This really sums up much of the thread: Christians talking with unwarranted confidence about things they know very little about.

    Wrong on all counts.

    Minds are just an effect of physical brains thinking. Numbers are just a description we give to physical things. The laws of logic and physics are nothing more than descriptions of the ways that physical things work; and the “evidence” that NDEs are real comes down to nothing more than anecdotes.

    Hehe. Hilarious!

    In other words, you have no evidence and no reasonable people on your side.

    “A universe like ours”? Had a lot of experience with universes, have you?
    And that's really it in a nutshell. To think that we can have any idea what is happening before or outside the universe is unwarranted, and to conclude that there is some immaterial (ie, impossible) consciousness is just silly. Remembering that the burden of proof is on theists who assert that a God exists, we can see that it remains, as usual, unmet.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List