Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Arguing with a Brick Wall - Part III

Chipmunk face
I am a masochist, apparently. Here I am arguing with "The Christian" again.

At one point, this apologist asks me to prove that I'm not insane. It occurred to me later that I am.
"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results." - Author Unknown?
I keep expecting to be able to explain the issues to him coherently, and he'll learn. Nope.





The Christian:

Don Gombo: //Russell does not, at any point, recognise the existence of this "entity". He simply points out that knowing whether a thing exists does not require one to know how or why it exists.//

So, if knowing something exists does not require one to know how or why it exists. How or why does anything else exist? What do you mean by "a thing exists"?

Everything reproduces according to it's kind!

Cats give birth to cats. Dogs give birth to Dogs. So you guys know this, but wait... an eight year old knows this also.

//The fact that the universe exists does not require us to provide an alternative hypothesis to the theist hypothesis for how it exists.//

So science does not know? Science is knowledge. I know what the Bible says. There is no "theist hypothesis", the Bible speaks facts, nobody needs your "alternative hypothesis" or your Dara O'Briain quotes, these don't change the truth found in Scripture.


Me:

"So science does not know? Science is knowledge."

Science is not an entity. Science is not knowledge. Science is a process - a methodology for investigation.

You seriously don't have the faintest clue what science even is, do you?

"There is no "theist hypothesis", the Bible speaks facts, nobody needs your "alternative hypothesis" or your Dara O'Briain quotes, these don't change the truth found in Scripture."

This is, of course, begging the question as to whether the Biblical assertions are facts or not. Merely asserting it doesn't make it true.

Didn't take you log to dive into the logical fallacies, did it?


Me:

Joshua

That's my guess. He has zero interest in actually learning anything, ensuring that his beliefs have any accuracy, and I've found him to be a compulsive liar.

I'm surprised he hasn't been banned yet.


The Christian:

Definition of SCIENCE

1: the state of knowing : knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/science 

//This is, of course, begging the question as to whether the Biblical assertions are facts or not. Merely asserting it doesn't make it true.//

What are your good reasons to believe the Bible does not speak the truth? Have you read it?


Me:

“Definition of SCIENCE
1: the state of knowing : knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding.”


Conceded – I’m conflating science with the scientific method.

“What are your good reasons to believe the Bible does not speak the truth? Have you read it?”

Logical fallacy: Shifting the burden of proof

In addition, before you make the same Association Fallacy for the 16th time (that I’ve counted), each individual claim has to be demonstrated. Statements in the book are not true by association.

I have read it. It’s one of the most disgustingly immoral books I’ve ever read.

I see you're still incapable of learning or admitting when you're wrong.


The Christian:

//...each individual claim has to be demonstrated. Statements in the book are not true by association.//

The Bible makes the claim, it is you job to find out if it's true or not.
You say it is not true so why are you shifting the burden of proof on me? Did I write the Bible?

I believe the Bible. You don't.

This does not change what the Bible says.


The Christian:

ME: So why does the ball suck to the ground?

SCIENTIST: It is gravity.

ME: So what is gravity?

SCIENTIST: The thing that that sucked the ball to the ground.

Did the "scientist" explain to me why the ball sucked to the ground? Not really, he just redefined an observable phenomenon we already know about... which is the ball sucking to the ground and just gave it a new name. Gravity.

ME: So why do larger objects attract other ones?

SCIENTIST: Because the objects have mass.

ME: But why?

SCIENTIST: That is just the way it is.

This tells me nothing, it is just another way of telling me "I have no idea". Or he'll say that "we just haven't DISCOVERED IT YET", which is itself a faith claim because it hopes and has faith that his answer is already right without proof and is none scientific.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8At1yi3Kysw&feature=player_detailpage


The Christian:

The Bible speaks about the four corners of the earth, this does not mean the earth is flat it is talking about the 4 cardinal points...North, South , East and West. Your interpretation of Scripture is far from being close to what it means by what it says:


Me:

"The Bible makes the claim, it is you job to find out if it's true or not."

No, it isn't. The Bible has statements, you're saying it's true. It's up to you to demonstrate it.

Logical fallacy: Shifting the Burden of Proof [instance #2]

"You say it is not true so why are you shifting the burden of proof on me? Did I write the Bible?"

Stop lying now. I haven't said it's not true. I've even said it has some factually true things in it. What I have said, repeatedly - though I apparently have to state things 47 times in a row before they stick - is that its claims have no been demonstrated to be true - meaning, its statements are in a "pending" status.

You are claiming the Bible is true - you've adopted a burden of proof. I'm sorry, but you don't get to slither away from that, because no one here is going to take you seriously until you do. These tactics of yours to bypass standard epistemologies and standards of evidence, shirking every shred of responsibility to actually support your claims has done nothing but to completely and utterly obliterate any credibility you think you have.

"I believe the Bible. You don't.
This does not change what the Bible says."


Of course it doesn't. Until the important claims have been sufficiently demonstrated by evidence, however, what the Bible says is not relevant. It's not any more relevant to me than what the Koran says, or what Spider man comics say.

"This tells me nothing, it is just another way of telling me "I have no idea". Or he'll say that "we just haven't DISCOVERED IT YET", which is itself a faith claim because it hopes and has faith that his answer is already right without proof and is none scientific."

I love it. Have you actually asked a scientist these questions? You've built a misrepresentative/dishonest caricature of what "scientists say" - then you dismiss what they actually told you as telling you anything.

Gravity is a label for a phenemonon we observe where two masses attract. That's not nothing. You know more now than when the conversation started. Of course you're only going to get a limited amount of information from one sentence. Mischaracterizing the conversation as a sequence of tautologies is not honest.

The fact that we haven't completely figured out this infinite regress of "why" questions doesn't invalidate what we have figured out so far.

I don't have to know where gasoline comes from to study and understand it's chemistry, and figure out applications of how to use it. It's nice to investigate and find out how it forms, but the two areas of knowledge are not contingent upon one another.

"The Bible speaks about the four corners of the earth, this does not mean the earth is flat it is talking about the 4 cardinal points...North, South , East and West. Your interpretation of Scripture is far from being close to what it means by what it says:"

It's the "six degrees to Kevin Bacon" style interpretation.


Me:

Were you ever going to present any actual scientific evidence for a God? Do you actually care about convincing us of anything, or are you just trolling as usual?

Almost forgot - the idea that the bible has a burden of proof is deranged. The Bible is not an entity capable of investigation, thought, analysis, research, etc.

It's a book.

The burden of proof applies to people, not inanimate objects, because the point of the "Burden of proof" is to address WHO is responsible to demonstrate a claim - the person making the claim, or the person hearing the claim.

I would have thought, considering how many times the burden of proof has been explained to you, that by now you'd maybe have learned something? You can't even get the basic concept straight.


The Christian:

//I can't spontaneously believe in God any more than I could spontaneously believe I could levitate off the floor with my mind and fly to another galaxy.//

You can't walk on water either.

You can't appear into a room while the door is closed.

You can't give sight to a blind man by spitting on the ground, placing mud on his eyes and then sending him to wash his face in a pool.

So what is your point?

If GOD was ordinary would you then believe?

If Jesus did not perform any miracles would you then believe He is the CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE?

What is it about the historical Jesus that makes you doubt He is GOD?


Me:

"You can't walk on water either.
You can't appear into a room while the door is closed.
You can't give sight to a blind man by spitting on the ground, placing mud on his eyes and then sending him to wash his face in a pool."


That is very true. Nor can I teleport to Jupiter with my mind. Nor can I smell colors through a telescope.

"So what is your point?"

That belief isn't a choice. Most of the time, it's on auto pilot.

"If GOD was ordinary would you then believe?"

Well, sure. If we've defined God to be some mundane thing, that's pretty easy to demonstrate. But that wouldn't a useful definition of God.

"If Jesus did not perform any miracles would you then believe He is the CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE?"

Well, no, that would hurt his case actually. But there's a number of steps that need to be acheived to connect A (Jesus) to B (Creator of Universe)

1) Demonstrate that Jesus existed
2) Demonstrate that Jesus had magical powers
3) Demonstrate that Jesus got these magical powers due to being an all-powerful being
4) Demonstrate that Jesus created any universes

Even if he did any of these "miracles", that wouldn't necesarily mean he's a universe creating entity. It could just mean that he's a wizard.

"What is it about the historical Jesus that makes you doubt He is GOD?"

Number 1 - the fact a "historical Jesus" hasn't been demonstrated. And, well, the list above.

The reason I don't accept the claim is because it hasn't been demonstrated. We've been over this.


The Christian:

Jesus existed, if you don't know that, it would be equivalent to saying Alexander, Plato or Napoleon never existed either:

//The reason I don't accept the claim is because it hasn't been demonstrated. We've been over this.//

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bLlpiWh9-k&feature=player_detailpage

Now it has been demonstrated.

The reason you don't accept the claim is exactly the same reason people who eye-witnessed Jesus' miracles did not accept the claim of His deity. Jesus was crucified because people in His day did not accept the claim, what makes you think more evidence provided would change your mind today if you already stated "It could just mean that he's a wizard'? You are not any different than the people who lived during the time when Jesus walked this earth and performed these miracles before their very eyes.


Me:

"Jesus existed, if you don't know that, it would be equivalent to saying Alexander, Plato or Napoleon never existed either:"

No, for a few reasons reasons.

1) I'm not saying he didn't exist. I'm saying it hasn't been demonstrated that he has. Speaking of Plato, it's possible that Socrates was a real person, or not, we're not sure.

2) External contemporary evidence - which Jesus has none. I'm pretty sure I've explained before why this matters.

3) No one is claiming that those three violated any laws of physics (which is sort of the important detail about Jesus).

4) I've said repeatedly that I'm fine with the idea that a Jesus character existed once, whether a modified version of a real person (like many works of fiction can be based on true stories), or as described in the Bible but people decided to write in miracles to make it sound better.

Jesus's existence isn't the important point. It's demonstrating that a god exists, and that Jesus was the son of that god. I ask rhetorically, since I'm pretty sure I know your answer - would you believe that Allah is real if Mohammad's existence is demonstrated?

Even demonstrating that Jesus has magical powers doesn't establish that connection. One has to propose a mechanism for that connection, derive a set of experiments that would then confirm that model, and run the whole thing through the scientific method. Each step needs to work like that, otherwise, the particular claim is not established as true.

"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bLlpiWh9-k&feature=player_detailpage
Now it has been demonstrated."


Assuming all the claims are true (they had a handy text list I could skim), what has been demonstrated here is that the guy Jesus existed. Not that he was the son of a god, not that a god exists. That's what you asked about - "What is it about the historical Jesus that makes you doubt He is GOD?" - not whether or not the character Jesus existed.

FYI - none of those parts were contemporary. They're all from people who were born after the supposed crucifixion. The reason that's important is because it's really easy to posthumously write down things. Whereas, if we find some text from an eye witness that is dated at the same times as the Jesus events, and has been confirmable sealed in a tomb in a distant country since then, and we can confirm it's not a hoax, that would be ideal.

"The reason you don't accept the claim is exactly the same reason people who eye-witnessed Jesus' miracles did not accept the claim of His deity."

Nice! You're a telepath! Alright, what am I thinking right... now!? And... Now!?

How is it exactly the same when I haven't eye-witnessed miracles? From my perspective, I observe a bunch of people with a book that makes some unevidenced grandiose claims, and they believe it for bizarre reasons. The reason I don't accept that a god exists, or that Jesus was the son of God, is because insufficient (no) evidence ehas been provided.

"Jesus was crucified because people in His day did not accept the claim,"

Or he was a lunatic to push the Roman's/Jewish peoples' buttons and they formed a bit of a lynch mob.

"what makes you think more evidence provided would change your mind today if you already stated "It could just mean that he's a wizard'?"

I don't understand what the first part of the sentence has to do with the last part of the sentence.

1) If one demonstrates that Jesus existed, one has demonstrated that Jesus existed.

2) If one demonstrates that Jesus had magical powers, one has demonstrated that Jesus was a wizard or mage (white robe).

3) If one demonstrates that God exists, one has demonstrated that God exists.

4) If one demonstrates that Jesus was the son of God, then that is demonstrated.

The problem is that you appear to be saying that because #1 is demonstrated, that therefore #2 through #4 are also demonstrated. Each claim must be demonstrated sufficiently before I can accept it.

You, unfortunately, have decided to believe in something that, as far as I can tell, would be really very hard to demonstrated. "You can't test God", or "God can't just reveal himself because it would turn us into robots without free will", I hear on occasion.

"You are not any different than the people who lived during the time when Jesus walked this earth and performed these miracles before their very eyes."

Strange. I don't recall seeing Jesus walking around performing miracles. I should get out of the house more often.


The Christian:

//Strange. I don't recall seeing Jesus walking around performing miracles. I should get out of the house more often.//

What I'm saying is that you walk around believing that Jesus was not whom He claimed to be, you also try to discredit His miracles just like many people in Jesus' day tried to but really... all they did was to contradict themselves. These people failed to provide any credible evidence to support their belief. You, just as these sceptics from Jesus' day are not making any sense and have nothing against the undeniable facts recorded in history.

Even an agnostic liberal historian will have this to say to you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUQMJR2BP1w&feature=player_detailpage


Me:

"What I'm saying is that you walk around believing that Jesus was not whom He claimed to be, you also try to discredit His miracles just like many people in Jesus' day tried to but really..."

I don't "believe that Jesus was not who he claimed to be". It's "I don't believe that the Jesus story has been demonstrated". It's the difference between a claim's status being "falsified" and "pending".

I don't have to discredit the miracles. They are discredited by the mere fact that they are unevidenced - as with any claim that hasn't been demonstrated to be true. Especially the far fetched bizarro claims.

" all they did was to contradict themselves. These people failed to provide any credible evidence to support their belief. You, just as these sceptics from Jesus' day are not making any sense and have nothing against the undeniable facts recorded in history. "

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

You haven't even been able to counter anything I've said. Most of the time, you simply ignore my points. I see you're just going to do your usual thing an dismiss everything I've said out of hand, with no rhyme or reason. I can't blame you. After all, your claims have been thoroughly obliterated, there's little left to say.

"Even an agnostic liberal historian will have this to say to you:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUQMJR2BP1w&feature=player_detailpage"


Still waiting for scientific evidnece that God exists.


Me:

Just to clarify - I don't see whether Jesus existed or not is an important point. Lots of fictional stories are written based on true stories. The important claims to demonstrate are the miracles and, more importantly, whether a god exists.

Trying to demonstrate that God exists by demonstrating that Jesus existed is like trying to demonstrate that Spider man is real, and has spidey powers, by demonstrating that the actor who played him in the movies is real.

There's still a gap that has to be closed there.


The Christian:

//I don't see whether Jesus existed or not is an important point. Lots of fictional stories are written based on true stories.//

So? What does this have to do with the miracles performed by Jesus recorded in history as facts?


The Christian:

//The important claims to demonstrate are the miracles and, more importantly, whether a god exists.//

Jesus' miracles are a historical fact and this is very easy to prove thanks to a second century Roman author and avid opponent of Christianity named Celsus.

On Jesus' MIRACLES (according to Celsus): "Jesus, on account of his poverty, was hired out to go to Egypt. While there he acquired certain [magical] powers... He returned home highly elated at possessing these powers, and on the strength of them gave himself out to be a god... It was by means of sorcery that He was able to accomplish the wonders which He performed... Let us believe that these cures, or the resurrection, or the feeding of a multitude with a few loaves... These are nothing more than the tricks of jugglers... It is by the names of certain demons, and by the use of incantations, that the Christians appear to be possessed of [miraculous] power..."

Not only does Celsus confirm Jesus' existence, he also tries to debate the source of Jesus' miracles. Like the pharisees of Jesus' day, Celsus tries to dismiss these miracles as both demonic possession and cheap parlor tricks. However, he is clearly grasping at straws: On one hand Celsus accuses Jesus of performing magic learned in Egypt, then later states it is by the power of possession, then states the miracles were not really miracles at all but were illusionary tricks performed by a deceiver, then finally states the miracles never occurred!

On Jesus' DIVINITY (according to Celsus): "One who was a God could neither flee nor be led away a prisoner... What great deeds did Jesus perform as God? Did he put his enemies to shame or bring to an end what was designed against him? No calamity happened even to him who condemned him... Why does he not give some manifestation of his divinity, and free himself from this reproach, and take vengeance upon those who insult both him and his Father?"

Celsus ridicules Jesus for the exact same reasons the pharisees of His time ridiculed Him- if Jesus was the Son of God, why didn't He save Himself from the cross? Neither Celsus nor the pharisees understood the spiritual implications of Jesus' death to atone for sin. Celsus also asks why no judgment came upon the Jews but history shows shortly after His death Jerusalem was invaded by the Romans, the Jewish temple was destroyed, and the Jewish people were dispersed for almost 2,000 years!

On the Crucifixion: "Jesus accordingly exhibited after His death only the appearance of wounds received on the cross, and was not in reality so wounded as He is described to have been."

In this statement, Celsus confirms Jesus' death by crucifixion although he claims the only wounds Jesus received were those inflicted by the crucifixion (thus denying any previous torture had taken place). But not even history offers Celsus the benefit of a doubt as floggings were the standard form of torture given to victims prior to crucifixion. Celsus contradicts himself yet again when he later states Jesus was probably never even crucified but instead had an impostor die in His place!

http://thedevineevidence.com/jesus_history.html


Me:

"//I don't see whether Jesus existed or not is an important point. Lots of fictional stories are written based on true stories.//
So? What does this have to do with the miracles performed by Jesus recorded in history as facts?"


... That they aren't recorded in history as facts. That's something you're presupposing with zero supporting evidence.

"Jesus' miracles are a historical fact and this is very easy to prove thanks to a second century Roman author and avid opponent of Christianity named Celsus."

Miracles aren't demonstated because a SECOND CENTURY Roman guy, with 2nd and 3rd hand knowledge, said so. Your standards of evidence are abysmally pathetic.

Even if someone was an eye-witness, this wouldn't demonstrate miracles. It would demonstrate that there was a person who claimed to have witnessed a miracle. It's fairly normal for people to be tricked. It's obscenely easy, in fact. We could establish that an event took place, but then the next step is to stablish that laws of physics were broken, etc, an actually real miracle.

"Not only does Celsus confirm Jesus' existence, he also tries to debate the source of Jesus' miracles."

And he does so with no credibilty. Where's his evidence?

"tries to dismiss these miracles as both demonic possession and cheap parlor tricks. However, he is clearly grasping at straws: On one hand
Celsus accuses Jesus of performing magic learned in Egypt, then later states it is by the power of possession, then states the miracles were not really miracles at all but were illusionary tricks performed by a deceiver, then finally states the miracles never occurred!"


The default position on any claim is disbelief, until they've been demonstrated. That's the rational position. This is a subtle shifting of the burden of proof, that this guy was tricked into.

"... other things from Celsus ..."

Using Celsus as a "confirmation" of Jesus's miracles would be like confirming that George Washington crossed the Delaware river during the Revolutionary War by citing ME saying it happened.

This is absurd to the point of stupidity.


Me:

People are entities capable of generating/gathering evidence and supporting models, but things aren't true merely because they say so.

Einstein's theory of general relativity wasn't accepted simply because he said so. It was quite contentious, actually. It wasn't until we had confirming empirical evidence that the theory was accepted basically as true.

Isaac Newton was a but of a lunatic. He believed in things like alchemy. Guess what he's remembered for? That's right - the things that were demonstrably true. He invented calculus, so we'll let his bizarre ideas on alchemy slide.


The Christian:

//What does this have to do with the miracles performed by Jesus recorded in history as facts?"

... That they aren't recorded in history as facts. That's something you're presupposing with zero supporting evidence.//


Do you have any evidence to back up your claim?

//We could establish that an event took place, but then the next step is to stablish that laws of physics were broken, etc, an actually real miracle.//

And how do you expect to take the next step if the event can't be reproduced in a lab? Do you know what you are talking about?


The Christian:

//Miracles aren't demonstated because a SECOND CENTURY Roman guy, with 2nd and 3rd hand knowledge, said so. Your standards of evidence are abysmally pathetic.//

What is your method to define what is not true about what Jesus said and did according to the 1st hand knowledge from Matthew, Mark, Luke and John?


The Christian:

//"Not only does Celsus confirm Jesus' existence, he also tries to debate the source of Jesus' miracles."

And he does so with no credibilty. Where's his evidence?//


His evidence is his testimony, you can't debate about something which is not real unless you are insane.

Would you debate or try to explain how Santa Clause can go through a chimney so easily although being so fat? Would you debate about how Santa can fly in a magic slay guided by Rudolph's bright nose without people believing you are insane?

So why did Celsus go to such lengths to debate how Jesus' miracles really happened if these really never took place? You do realize he tries to dismiss the miracles "and he does so with no credibility." I also ask "Where is his evidence?" ???

If something never happened why waste time debating on the topic? Why not just deny it ever happened and save yourself the trouble?

Do you have any proof to show that recorded history is wrong or are you also insane? If what you say is true...Where is your evidence?

And please don't start sing'n your old "burden of proof" song because you already know that the default position on any claim is disbelief, until it's been demonstrated. You are practically saying Celsus was insane...Where is your evidence to back up your claim?

Do you have any evidence to prove to me you are not insane?


Me:

"//.. That they aren't recorded in history as facts. That's something you're presupposing with zero supporting evidence.//
Do you have any evidence to back up your claim?"


Nice shifting of the burden of proof (yet again).

You made the claim that "Jesus' miracles are a historical fact". You failed to meet this burden of proof - you provided zero supporting evidence. Are you just holding out on me?

"And how do you expect to take the next step if the event can't be reproduced in a lab? Do you know what you are talking about?"

Yes, that's a problem isn't it? That's what happens when people believe in indefensible things.

Not everyting has to be "reproduced in a lab". Empirical evidence is a good start. Not - because some guy a century or so later said so.

"What is your method to define what is not true about what Jesus said and did according to the 1st hand knowledge from Matthew, Mark, Luke and John?"

You mean the standards of evidence that's based upon what's been proven to be the most effective towards producing actual demonstrably true results?

The default position is non-acceptence of claims until they're sufficiently demonstrated. All we know from the gospels, even if their authorship was not dubious, is what the book claims Jesus said. It's assuming that these people were real, and the accounts were real.

What's true about what the supposed Jesus said can be established is sufficient contemporary extrabiblical evidence is provided to corroborate the claims.

"His evidence is his testimony, you can't debate about something which is not real unless you are insane."

... or you're mistaken, mislead or lying. You've set up a false ditchotomy here - yet another logical fallacy.

Testimony is the single most weakest form of "evidence", for the above reasons.

Do you believe in alien abductions? You can go interview people right now who believe they've been abducted. You can find tons of testimony supporting Islam. Etc.

Believe it or not, people can actually be wrong about things without being insane.

"Would you debate or try to explain how Santa Clause can go through a chimney so easily although being so fat? Would you debate about how Santa can fly in a magic slay guided by Rudolph's bright nose without people believing you are insane? "

It's funny, because typically Christians aren't thrilled at the comparison of Jesus/God to Santa.

If the concept was normally accepted within the culture as true - then yes, you could have that debate without sounding insane. People at one time thought that the notion that the world is a sphere was lunacy, and now, within a culture that has been raised and educated with the notion that it is spherical, now thinks the notion that the world is flat is lunacy.

Empirical evidence has the capacity to cut through most of human fallability, and is a significant improvement on "because some dude said so a century or so later".

"So why did Celsus go to such lengths to debate how Jesus' miracles really happened if these really never took place? You do realize he tries to dismiss the miracles "and he does so with no credibility." I also ask "Where is his evidence?" ???"

So we're both asking where his evidence is! I'm glad we're in agreement. This is the classic "Do you think he's lying?" defense. We don't know what combination of supposed facts he was working with, or what his motivations were, etc. Maybe he was putting on a show for others, maybe he thought he was in possession of the facts. Maybe he reasoning was simply screwed up. We don't know.

All we've got is a guy, a century or so later, who is talking about something that happened before he was born. If he has evidence that supports the claims, we should be looking at that evidence, instead of him.

"If something never happened why waste time debating on the topic? Why not just deny it ever happened and save yourself the trouble?"

Because maybe he thought it did happen mistakingly? His error could be just like your error - believing something without sufficient evidence. Maybe he's doing like many Christians do and just taking the scripture's word for it?

Questioning his motivations is fairly useless at this point. It's a valid question to ask which of these possibilities it is - a question I'm not sure how to answer. You'd have us ASSUME that he's telling the truth, ASSUME that his facts are straight, ASSUME that his motivations are genuine and not coerced, etc.

"Do you have any proof to show that recorded history is wrong or are you also insane? If what you say is true...Where is your evidence?"

Shifting the burden of proof yet again. You've yet to establish that the miracles are "historical fact". You've got one guy talking about something that happened a century or so before he was born with no supporting evidence.

The "recorded history" you've shown reports that some guy was having a debate. History also records people making misleading or mistaken claims too - and history is usually written by the victorious.

What's truly scary is this apparently the best you've got. Or are you holding out the best "evidence" for last?

"And please don't start sing'n your old "burden of proof" song because you already know that the default position on any claim is disbelief, until it's been demonstrated."

Wow! You're learning!

"You are practically saying Celsus was insane...Where is your evidence to back up your claim?"

No, I'm not, but I covered this quite a bit above.

"Do you have any evidence to prove to me you are not insane?"

Nope.


The Christian:

//What's truly scary is this apparently the best you've got. Or are you holding out the best "evidence" for last?//

The best I've got is SCRIPTURE which is not a topic in discussion because you have no historical evidence to disprove its claims.


Me:

"The best I've got is SCRIPTURE which is not a topic in discussion because you have no historical evidence to disprove its claims."

Shifting the burden of proof yet (yet (yet (yet (yet (yet))))) again.

The default position for any claim is disbelief until it's been sufficiently demonstrated. The Bible isn't true by default, otherwise, we could also consider the Koran true by default, as well as the other holy books.

If the claim is that miracles happened, and that a universe-creating entity exists, and ALL you've got is a book written by bronze-age goat herders that says so... you've got nothing.


Me:

I don't think you comprehend the implications of your position. If we were to accept your logical fallacy - shifting the burden of proof - the idea that the holy book is true by default until proven otherwise, in order to be consistent, we'd have to apply that same position to all other holy books of all religions of all the universe since the beginning of time.

Where is your evidence that they are ALL wrong? That's the implication of what could loosely be described as your "standards".

If you decide to argue that it only applies to the Bible, then you're just engaging in another kind of logical fallacy - special pleading.

No matter which way you cut it, your world view appears to be an intricately interwoven construct of logical fallacies and voids of critical thinking.

That's not very compelling.


Me:

And please note, once again, that he didn't even acknowledge any of my rebuttals.


The Christian:

"Do you have any proof to show that recorded history is wrong? If what you say is true...Where is your evidence?"

Saying I'm shifting the burden of proof means nothing. Can you answer the question or not?

//If we were to accept your logical fallacy//

You are assuming it is a logical fallacy, where is the proof?

//shifting the burden of proof//

What is wrong with that? Can't you answer a question?

//the idea that the holy book is true by default until proven otherwise//

Who told you its is true by default? Have you not studied the thousands of fulfilled prophecies in Scripture which are not found in any other religious book?

//in order to be consistent, we'd have to apply that same position to all other holy books of all religions of all the universe since the beginning of time.//

Can you show me any fulfilled prophecy in any other holy book of any religion which has not been taken originally from the Bible?

Start answering some questions before you start assuming everything as logical fallacies or complaining about me shifting the burden of truth, there is no burden of proof on me if you refuse to acknowledge the historical evidence for no justifiable reason.

Me:

"Saying I'm shifting the burden of proof means nothing. Can you answer the question or not?"

Let me see if I can dumb this down enough, even for you. You apparently need an introduction to the basics of persuasion.

My answer is no - I don't have evidence that your "historical fact of Jesus's miracles" is wrong.

What's truly frightening is if you think that is a point in your favor.

You made the claim that Jesus's miracles are historical fact. At that point, you assumed the burden of proof, and no one else is required to lift a finger to disprove it. My position is that I don't know whether it's "historical fact" or not. I haven't done in-depth research on the subject. I have better things to do.

If you want others to believe your claim that it's "established historical fact", you need to provide sufficient evidence. You attempted this on a few occasions, and astonishingly, apparently because some guy SAID SO over a century later is sufficient, according to you, to believing that some other guy could break the laws of physics - otherwise I don't know why you wasted my time with that.

I'm not required to spend any time trying to disprove your bald unevidenced assertion any more than you're required my disprove my assertion, if I were to make it, that God absolutely does not exist and that's scientifically proven, any more than it's your burden to disprove any other religion, else they're established as true.

"I made an unevidenced claim and you can't disprove it" is not a compelling debate strategy.

//If we were to accept your logical fallacy//
"You are assuming it is a logical fallacy, where is the proof?"


It's not an assumption. It's a direct observation. Do you want a definition of burden of proof?

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Shifting+the+Burden+of+Proof

It's the legal definition - but the concept is the same in science.

I keep pointing out where you keep doing it. You're the one claiming that Jesus's miracles are "historical fact". That's the bottom line. If you want others to accept your claim, you must meet that burden.

"//shifting the burden of proof//
What is wrong with that? Can't you answer a question?"


What's wrong with shifting the burden of proof?

Maybe you can answer your own question. What's wrong with me saying that Zeus is the one true God, that's historical fact, fail to provide sufficient supporting evidence, and insist that you provide evidence that it's wrong?

"//the idea that the holy book is true by default until proven otherwise//
Who told you its is true by default? Have you not studied the thousands of fulfilled prophecies in Scripture which are not found in any other religious book? "


That's the argument you're setting up by shifting the burden of proof.

I've studied some prophecies, yes. What I've found is that it's a combination of self-fulfilling prophecies, incredibly vague prophecies, or they're subject to so much manipulation and translation that they could apply to whatever the proponent wishes. I've yet to find a supposed "fulfilled" prophesy that's even remotely compelling.

And keep in mind, we've been through this. You've apparently staggeringly failed to comprehend my point awhile back that even if the book was full of unambiguously specific true predictions, that wouldn't demonstrate that a God was involved. Your retort boiled down to a blatant Argument from Ignorance - "well how else could it have happened?". There's multiple possibilities, and it's up to you to positively establish which one it is.

But I digress. If I rehashed every time you've obliterated your own arguments with embarrassingly common rudimentary logical fallacies, I'd be here all day.

"//in order to be consistent, we'd have to apply that same position to all other holy books of all religions of all the universe since the beginning of time.//
Can you show me any fulfilled prophecy in any other holy book of any religion which has not been taken originally from the Bible?"


This is begging the question - yet another logical fallacy. Not only does fulfilled prophecy in the Bible not demonstrate God (that would be an Association Fallacy (true by association) by the way), but the lack of fulfilling prophesy in other books doesn't rule them out as true, either.

Add in the fact that this is also basically an Argument from Ignorance. Whether we know of any other holy books that have "true prophecies" does not add credibility to your God/Jesus claims.

It could be that godless precognition is a real thing and all the holy books are written by those who have this precognition ability. It's up to each person making a claim to provide sufficient positively supporting empirical evidence that each claim is true - as per their burdens of proof.

You've officially reached the point of "fractal wrongness", where your argument is wrong at every single possible resolution.

Are you sentient?

"Start answering some questions before you start assuming everything as logical fallacies or complaining about me shifting the burden of truth, there is no burden of proof on me if you refuse to acknowledge the historical evidence for no justifiable reason."

You are one of the most deceptive, manipulative, dishonest people I've ever met - and that's no small achievement. Please read above where I've utterly dismantled your stammeringly ineffective attempt - yet again - to shift the burden of proof.

The Christian:

// My position is that I don't know whether it's "historical fact" or not. I haven't done in-depth research on the subject. I have better things to do.//

All you are saying is that you are an ignorant fool with "better things to do" than to grow into the knowledge of truth.


Me:

"All you are saying is that you are an ignorant fool with "better things to do" than to grow into the knowledge of truth."

No, I'm saying that I'm engaging in evidence-based investigation of actual real things, and am too busy to bother with claims that are utterly indistinguishable from hallucination and delusion.

The typical Christian god claims are as compelling to me, in terms of warranting investigation, as the claim that someone owns a dog that comes from a parallel univese where he rules an empire of hundred billion people using his super-brain.

Some claims are just too bizarro for me to waste what precious little time I have in life on every single insane lunatic claim.


Me:

Let's say I have an hour of available time.

Why should I bother with Christianity over Islam, Hunduism, Buddhism, Astral Projection, Chakras, etc.

I want to learn things, but since there's so many things to learn and so much to do, there needs to be some decent initial indications that the topic isn't going to be a complete waste of time. The ones that sound like insane fantasy don't typically make it into my top-ten list.


--------

This is apparently where this particular conversation ends.

I'd like to point out that I'm not arguing for willful ignorance. My last comment I think gets to this point, but I think it's an important one. It's not that I don't want to learn the contents of the Bible. Hell, I have three, and two books of Mormon and a Qu'ran. If I had the time, and attention span, I've love to absorb all of this. Unfortunately, my life is limited, and I have to wisely choose what I'm going to spend it on.

That's where this argument originates from. If a claim sounds absurd, it's not bound to be high on my priorities in terms of how I spend what precious little life I have left in me.

For instance, when he suggests that I look into the supposed prophecies, eyes glaze over. What I've observed so far is a whole ton of stretching the truth and outright manipulation to make these things appear to be compelling. Combine that with the idea that a fulfilled prophecy in the Bible wouldn't demonstrate a god in the first place, and I'm finding no good reason to waste my time.

My mother kept trying to use this approach on me - "It doesn't make sense to dismiss the Bible without reading it." That rhetoric ended when I asked, "Have you read the Qu'ran?"

I get the uncanny feeling that these people aren't aware that Christianity isn't the only thing that exists in the world.

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