Zzyzx wrote:It appears from your speculations, guesses, presuppositions, assumptions and posturing for position that you actually have NO valid, verifiable evidence that a dead body came back to life after days in the grave.
I don't care about your perception of the evidence presented in this thread. What I care about are your responses, which have so far included things such as:
1) Ignoring large sections of my posts.
2) Ignoring questions posed to your (probably because these questions corner your and expose your arguments to be fradulent and illogical).
3) Producing "So What" rebuttals. Very weak and pathetic rebuttals if you ask me. I've never heard a reputable debater, academic, or intelligent person produce a "So What" rebuttal in a public/university setting. Although I have heard children and people who lack an adequate understanding of a subject constantly produce "So What" quotes because that's all they're capable of doing.
So it appears from your weak rebuttals and inability to address the entirety of my posts (but only select parts of it that you choose) that you have little to no substance to contribute to this debate. At this moment I'd ask readers to read through this thread (http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... hp?t=15790
) and compare it with this thread and determine for themselves who the better representative of non-theistic debate and argumentation is. By the way, it is your turn to present a historical claim and support it using historica evidence and methodology. It's the format you agreed to in the first post of this thread (available for all to see). Please do so so we can resume the debate in the original format we both agreed on. Of course, if you are incapable
of doing so you may just rebutt (to the best of your ability) this post and we can continue from there.
Zzyzx wrote:An even more fundamental step is to determine whether we are discussing history or mythology in the case of the claimed "resurrection".
Myth is defined by Merriam Webster Dictionary as: a story that is usually of unknown origin and at least partially traditional, that ostensibly relates historical events usually of such character as to serve to explain some practice, belief, institution, or natural phenomenon, and that is especially associated with religious rites and beliefs
Unless the tale can be shown to be something other than myth (or legend or fantasy or fiction or religious propaganda), how can historical methodology be applied?
The goal of historical methodology is to determine whether a claim in history is historical or, in your words, fiction and legend.
My words are actually "myth, legend, fantasy, fiction or religious propaganda".
The field of literature studies fantasy and fiction (and others)
The field of theology studies religious literature, propaganda, and dogma.
The field of mythology studies myth and legend.
The field of history studies . . . . history.
The tale of the "resurrection" is a STORY that has NOT been shown to be anything more than myth, legend, fantasy, fiction or religious propaganda. You may CLAIM that it is "history", but the claim does not make it so. Justify your claim if you want it accepted.
Note: Mention of some actual places, people and events does NOT make a work historical â€“ as mention of such things in Gone with the Wind does not make the work historical.
WinePusher wrote:So it is strange that you suggest that the tale must first be shown first be shown to be something other than a myth in order for the historical method to be appropriately applied.
If one submits tales of Norse or Greek gods as being historical, does that remove the study from mythology or literature and place it into history? Submitting tales about the biblical god has not been shown to be any different or any more "historical".
WinePusher wrote:I also asked you if you agree with the following assesment and got no response, would you like to respond?
I have no comment.
Before I lay out my argument, I think it is necessary for us to establish what the method of Ancient History entails, what constitutes a historical 'fact', what the task of Ancient Historians is, and the process of discerning historical problems. I ask Zzyzx if he agrees with the following or not:
-Ancient Historical Methodology is geared towards estabishing the probability of a claimed historical event.
-Nothing in history can be proved for certain, thus, when speaking about a historical fact the historian is implying that the particular event is very likely to have occured.
-The task of Ancient Historians is to, again, determine the probability of historical events. Thus, methods and tools that we, in the modern world, would consider unacceptable are acceptable in this particular field. The acceptance of hearsay amoung ancients, for example, is an acceptable method within this field.
-The issue of historical problems and figuring out what happened in the past is based upon the explanatory power of a particular explanation. An explanation must successfully resolve the problem and an explanation must not create new problems.
I state no opinion on the matter at this time. There is no requirement that I debate to your specifications or agree to your proposals.
Rather than posturing for position, as you have been doing, it might be prudent to present your argument, if you have one.
WinePusher wrote: Zzyzx wrote:
WinePusher wrote:In the case of the Resurrection, we have several historical facts that must be accounted for.
I do NOT accept your proposed "historical facts" as being truthful and accurate. That is for YOU to establish beyond reasonable doubt â€“ in the minds of readers.
Below each fact I listed I provided a summary of the historical evidence for why it is considered a fact along with the implications that can be drawn from it. You again ignored responding to these summaries and went on to claim that I haven't established them.
Below your attempts, I have provided rebuttal.
WinePusher wrote: Zzyzx wrote:
WinePusher wrote:The Authenticity of the Resurrection narratives in the Gospels
I agree that "resurrection" tales / stories / narratives are presented in religious promotional literature. I do not agree that they have been shown to be authentic, truthful, accurate accounts of what may or may not have happened.
Yes, some religious followers / fanatics / promoters CLAIM that their icon arose from the dead. Similar claims are made for other "gods" â€“ none have been shown to be anything more than imagination, wishful thinking or fantasy (i.e., myth). What makes your favorite stories valid and others not (or are they all true)?
Well, again I posted beneath this an argument for how the criterion of dissimiarlity shows these narratives to be authentic. You have not responded to that.
THAT is your evidence that someone arose from the dead â€“ the tales have some dissimilarity????? THAT is your evidence?? You are kidding, aren't you?
If three little boys concoct a tale and they don't quite get their stories straight â€“ so they must be telling the truth. Right?
You are free to assume that if the little boys or the "disciples" tell different tales or similar tales in different ways, that is indication that the tales are true. It may be indication that they were not copied verbatim from one another â€“ but no indication that either or any is true. Any creative copyist can "put it in their own words" and modify details.
WinePusher wrote:Until you do, I'll add two more for discussion. Under the criterion of authencity are semiticisms. Traces of the language spoken by Jesus in a text not written in that language itself bolster the reliability of that specific narrative, along with detailed narratives. A detailed narrative recalling specific events rather than abstract and generalized events are more likely to be authentic rather than mythical.
Many fiction and science fiction works provide very specific detail that is not "abstract and generalized". Is that indication that the tales they tell are true and accurate accounts of events that literally happened in the real world?
Some science fiction contains words of the supposed language of the characters. So what?
WinePusher wrote:The resurrection narratives in the Gospels are demonstrative of both of these criterions, and along with the criterion of dissimilarity we can dispell the possibility that these writers were purely writing from fanatical imagination.
Even if writers were not "purely writing from fanatical imagination" they COULD have been recording myths and legends passed down for decades or generations.
Since no one knows the source of information used by anonymous bible writers, they MAY have been retelling myths and legends passed down through generations since the supposed events were to have occurred.
WinePusher wrote: Zzyzx wrote:
WinePusher wrote:The Empty Tomb
FIRST establish that there was
a tomb (except in the opinion or imagination of anonymous gospel writers who cannot be shown to have personally observed the proposed tomb). Is there actual archeological evidence of the tomb mentioned â€“ or are there just excuses?
SECOND establish that the tomb was empty as claimed by the tales told by those promoting the religion. How can it be known that the tales of an "empty tomb" are true? Anyone can say anything, particularly when writing decades after the supposed event. Even several people may tell somewhat similar tales -- so what?
This is extremely troubling as, in the sentence right below this title, I specifically say "Before we talk about the implications of the empty tomb, let's first establish that the tomb was actually empty cause I've seen some atheists deny this."
Kindly respond to my "FIRST establish that there was
Yes, there are unverified TALES of a tomb, Roman guards, a big rock, angels, etc in religious promotional literature. Kindly show that the tomb existed.
Presupposition is NOT evidence
WinePusher wrote:I presented two pieces of evidence, the presupposition of an empty tomb by Jewish polemic and the ability of the disciples to preach the risen Christ in the region of Judea. I'll continue on to expound on these points:
. The term is defined as "to suppose beforehand : form an opinion or judgment of in advance". Is there difficulty understanding the terms "suppose", "opinion" and "judgment"?
In what documents was the "presupposition" by Jewish people set forth? Where are those documents?
A "presupposition" by Jewish people is no indication that there was a tomb or that it was empty.
WinePusher wrote:Jewish polemic against Christianity stressed one alternative to the resurrection that is now commonly known as the stolen body hypothesis. In fact early beginnings of this polemic between Christians and Jews can alreadybe seen in a written argument between the early Christian Apologist Justin Marty with the Jewish Thinker Trypho. Thus, the fact that the Jews claimed the body was stolen by the disciples presupposes the tomb itself was empty of any body.
Yes, there may have been a "war of words" between Judaism and the splinter group (just as between Catholicism and the splinter groups that represent Protestantism). What, exactly, does that prove?
WinePusher wrote:Along with this we have the disciples of Christ preach in the region of Judea, the very region where Jesus was crucified, that he rose from the dead. Had the tomb not been void of the body of Jesus Christ, the disciples would have no basis to make such a claim and the claim would be easily rebuked by the production of the body.
No one knows the motivations of those who preach. Some may be fanatical and/or mentally unbalanced (perhaps some street preachers), some may be motivated by personal or financial gain (perhaps some televangelists). Some may be true believers and some may be frauds.
Kindly provide information about the preaching activities of "disciples" (in addition to bible tales and church dogma).
WinePusher wrote: Zzyzx wrote:
WinePusher wrote:The Genuine Claim of the Disciples to have seen Jesus risen from the dead
"Genuine claim"??? How does one know (rather than guess) that the claims are genuine?
This question was pre-answered in a description below that quote. I don't think it's neccesary to repeat myself when you can simply go back and read my earlier post.
Yes you made a weak "defense" of that position citing the "mystery" of what led to the supposed "strong evangelism" of the "disciples".
1) Kindly document that a "strong evangelism" existed in twelve people (unless you acknowledge that such information is not available â€“ except perhaps in church dogma).
WinePusher wrote:something sparked a strong conviction in the disciples that lead to their strong evangelism despite persecution by both Jews and Romans.
2) You are free to GUESS that there was a "strong conviction" and "strong evangelism" and GUESS what it was that "sparked" such things.
NO IT DOESN'T â€“ people accept persecution and marginalization and even death for their beliefs,
WinePusher wrote:The persecution and marginalization of Christians confirms the genuiness and sincerity of their claim,
witness Japanese soldiers dying in WWII for their emperor / god Hirohito. Did their willingness to suffer and die confirm the genuineness and sincerity of their claim" that Hirohito was "god"?
Sure they may have THOUGHT he was "god" (i.e, been genuine and sincere in their claim); however, that is absolutely NO indication that the claim is true (for Hirohito or Jesus or the biblical "god").
The "disciples" may have been no more or less deluded or misled than Japanese soldiers.
WinePusher wrote:and apart from the resurrection, it remains a mystery as to why the disciples decided to preach and spread their message in the face of persecution.
YES, it is a "mystery" (if it is true) but YOU know the answer to the mystery. Right? You seem to purport to KNOW that the "resurrection" induced disciples to preach. Kindly verify this "knowledge"
WinePusher wrote: Zzyzx wrote:
WinePusher wrote:After Jesus' death and burial something sparked a strong conviction in the disciples that lead to their strong evangelism
It is pure SPECULATION to guess the motives of other people â€“ much less those who lived thousands of years ago in a different area, under a totally different culture, and with a very different information base.
Yes, the task of a historian is the speculate on the past and confirm his or her speculation by drawing upon specific examples or events.
I have known some recognized, legitimate, published historians in the academic world. They did NOT claim to KNOW TRUTH â€“ but only to have selected what IN THEIR OPINION was the best rendition of events of the past â€“ usually based upon research and study of multiple sources.
None of them, to the best of my knowledge, would claim to KNOW what happened from tales told by single sources, "involved parties" or people with reason to have an agenda or pronounced bias.
They may have had more confidence in wide ranging sources that were not tied to the incident in question â€“ but still did not claim that their opinions were factual and inerrantly accurate.
WinePusher wrote:Are you suggesting that there is something wrong with speculation when discerning the past?
I am not opposed to speculation PROVIDED that speculation is IDENTIFIED as speculation â€“ and is not falsely presented as knowledge or truth.
If one truthfully says that there was / is speculation that a dead body came back to life and walked around that is VERY different from claiming that such a thing actually happened in the real world.
WinePusher wrote:And please address my argument with a rebuttal, show me how I'm wrong rather than posting a generalized opinion not addressing anything I wrote.
I trust that readers understand that we have both shown that you are wrong.
WinePusher wrote: Zzyzx wrote:
WinePusher wrote:<snip> apart from the resurrection, it remains a mystery as to why the disciples decided to preach and spread their message in the face of persecution.
Agreed, it is a "mystery" why anyone did anything two thousand years ago.
Is there a time limit on how far it is legitimately reasonable to speculate about the motives of historical figures? As historians today speculate about the motives of Adolf Hitler and try to discern why he did what he did, is that an objective you consider futile?
In my opinion (as a non-historian) the further the speculation is removed in time, place, culture, language, information base, the greater the likelihood of error. Some of us (me included) were alive during Hitler's reign and are at least somewhat aware of the culture of that era. Some of us are native speakers of German (me not included).
We may be better prepared to have SOME idea of the conditions and mores of the times and to GUESS (speculate) regarding his motives than we are to guess (speculate) about the motives of people whose culture, language and information base we do not share.
Zzyzx wrote:What, exactly, is known about the life and death of "the disciples" (other than folklore and church dogma)?
Well, we know for certain that the disciples continued onto evangelism even after the death of the person they followed? Extrabiblical evidence relating to different Roman Emperors along with later historians such as Eusebius and Papias suggests that many were martyed for their faith and prior to this martydom, served in various position within the early church.
People being "martyred" for their belief is NOT uncommon, and proves nothing about the validity of their beliefs. Again, the Japanese soldiers during WWII. Yup, they may have believed the "whole enchilada" about Hirohito â€“ SO WHAT?
Kindly cite the extra biblical evidence you mention regarding the evangelism of "disciples"?
WinePusher wrote: Zzyzx wrote:
WinePusher wrote:The Conversion of Paul to Christianity
Paul / Saul's "conversion" is said to have resulted from a "vision" (or hallucination or fabrication or whatever) of Jesus. He did not claim to have met a "risen Jesus" or to have known him personally except in the claimed "vision" (reported primarily by the author of "Acts" rather than by Paul / Saul himself).
I was actually not drawing upon the Acts of the Apostles but rather Paul's Letter to the Galatians and what he wrote in this letter that I merely summarized. I'll be more precise next time as when I debated this subject extensively with fredonly I was not in the habit of prefacing everything I said with elementary facts.
Yes, kindly be specific about how Paul / Saul's letter to the Galatians describes his "meeting" with Jesus â€“ with quotations from the original text (or copies of copies of copies identified as such).
I am aware of the Galatians letter; however, I am also aware of
The conversion in Paul's letters
In his surviving letters, Paul's own description of his conversion experience is brief. In his First Epistle to the Corinthians (9:1 and 15:3-8), he describes having seen the Risen Christ:
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
â€” 1 Corinthians 15:3â€“8, KJV (emphasis added)
Paul's Epistle to the Galatians (1:11-16) also describes his conversion as a divine revelation.
The conversion in Acts of the Apostles
Acts of the Apostles discusses Paul's conversion experience at three different points in the text. Compared with the accounts in Paul's letters, the Acts accounts are far more detailed.
According to the accounts in Acts, around the year 36, Paul was on his way from Jerusalem for Syrian Damascus to arrest followers of Jesus, with the intention of returning them as prisoners for questioning and possible execution. The journey is interrupted when Paul sees a blinding light, and communicates directly with a divine voice.
Acts 9 tells the story of Paul's conversion as a third-person narrative:
And as he journeyed, it came to pass that he drew nigh unto Damascus: and suddenly there shone round about him a light out of heaven: and he fell upon the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: but rise, and enter into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. And the men that journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing the voice, but beholding no man. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw nothing; and they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and did neither eat nor drink.
â€” Acts 9:3â€“9, ASV
Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake. And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.
â€” Acts 9:13â€“19, KJV
Paul on trial before Agrippa (Acts 26), as pictured by Nikolai Bodarevsky, 1875.
Acts' second telling of Paul's conversion occurs in a speech Paul gives when he is arrested in Jerusalem (Acts 22:6-21). Paul addresses the crowd and tells them of his conversion, with a description essentially the same as that in Acts 9, but with slight differences. For example, Acts 9:7 notes that Paul's companions did not see who he was speaking to, while Acts 22:9 indicates that they did share in seeing the light (see also Differences between the accounts, below). This speech was most likely originally in Aramaic (see also Aramaic of Jesus), with the passage here being a Greek translation and summary. The speech is clearly tailored for its Jewish audience, with stress being placed in Acts 22:12 on Ananias' good reputation among Damascene Jews, rather than on his Christianity.
Acts' third discussion of Paul's conversion occurs when Paul addresses King Agrippa, defending himself against the accusations of antinomianism that have been made against him (Acts 26:12-18). This account is briefer than the others. The speech here is again tailored for its audience, emphasising what a Roman ruler would understand: the need to obey a heavenly vision (26:19); and reassuring Agrippa that Christians were not a secret society (26:26).
Zzyzx wrote:It is also possible that Paul / Saul simply hijacked the splinter group religion and superimposed his teachings upon those attributed to Jesus.
Will you actually provide any type of support for this contention or just post it up?
Are you aware that "contend" means "to strive or vie especially with determination and exertion in contest or rivalry or against difficulties, exigencies, or failings".
An astute person reading what I wrote would understand that I suggest a POSSIBILITY (note the word "possible" as a clue) rather than a "striving" for anything.
As always, I appreciate your assistance in showing readers the difference between religion-based thinking vs. thinking that is not burdened with religious dogma.[/quote][/b]