WHY Do You REALLY Believe?

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POI
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WHY Do You REALLY Believe?

Post #1

Post by POI »

I've been debating apologists, pastors, ministers, theists, and others, for a few years now. As I had already suspected, and continue to confirm for myself, is that no amount of logical argumentation later sways one's decision to the opponent's "side". This goes for both theists and atheists alike...

I've delved into the 'psychology of believe', in the passed. However, these topics below look to be my biggest 'findings' thus far, as to why so many believe....

- Most are god believers, and may always be god believers, due to the topic of (type 1 errors). We all commit them BTW.
- Many are god believers, and may always be god believers, due to the topic of geography.
- Many are god believers, and may always be god believers, due to early indoctrination. - It later becomes difficult to shake this early indoctrinated core belief, even if the evidence later suggests otherwise to this recipient.
- Many are god believers, and may always be god believers, due to the notion of 'experiencing god speaking to them' at one point or many.
- (Please add your reason(s) here if you feel I've missed some key topics)

I feel it's safe to assume that we will always have more god believers, verses 'atheists'. Apologetics, though fun to debate, hardly ever IS the reason someone becomes a 'god believer'. "It's been said that logic and reason is not what brought someone to 'god'. Hence, why would you suspect logic and reason could sway such away from god?"

One last thing, before I pose the question(s) for examination...

I was in a heated debate, with a church pastor, about all things... slavery. In the middle, he stopped and asked me.... "Have you ever felt the Holy Spirit?" For which I answered in honesty.... "Though I have had experiences in the passed, for which I cannot fully explain, I do not know whether or not it was me speaking to myself, or if there was the presence of something else, for which was not me." He paused, looked at me, as if he felt sorry for me, and stated... "Okay, this conversation is over." I asked why. He stated that God exists, and He attempts to speak to all of us. If you do not hear Him, this is your fault. I then pointed out that many, around the globe, feel they have communicated with god(s), but also differing god(s) than (yours). He was already done, and just continued to no longer engage, as if he just felt pity for me.

Again, seems all roads, with Christians, seemingly often times leads to Romans 1. Anywho, moving along... Question(s) for debate:

1. Would you mind giving us the MAIN reason you believe? Is it one of the topics above, or other? If you need elaboration on any above, please ask...
2. Is your current belief open for actual debate? Meaning, could ANYTHING shake your faith? If not, why not?
3. Why are you here, hanging out in the apologetics forums? Are you here to convert atheists, or other? On a side note, I suspect apologetics is not what brings Christians to Christianity; so why would you expect different for others?

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Re: WHY Do You REALLY Believe?

Post #171

Post by Realworldjack »

[Replying to POI in post #165]
Yes, there IS a "main reason". I gave it to you already. -->"you made the claim, that you could "debunk" (expose the falseness) of the reports we have in the NT. When you made this claim, I conceded that if you could hold up your end of the bargain, I would be done with Christianity."

Meaning, if one could falsify the reports, then you would no longer believe. This IS the "main reason" you believe, right?
Incorrect! If the claims in the NT would be debunked, I would be a fool to continue to believe it. How this causes you to be under the impression this would be my main reason is beyond me?
Well, I already conceded, that because this was a claim based in <antiquity>, your belief is safe, and free from 'falsification'.
Right! And as I have demonstrated an unfalsifiable claim would be no reason to doubt the claim. In other words, you are using the argument for something it was never intended to be used for.
I asked if you agree, and apparently you do, in the fact I placed the word 'validate' in quotes. No need to elaborate here...
So???? You only believe things which you can "validate"? Or, is it simply those things which can be validated to your satisfaction?
Agreed. Just like my degree in confidence that a man named Jesus, actually rose from the grave, is likely well under 1% probability. How about you --- (80, 90, 99% that He did)?
Well, you are simply expressing an opinion here, to which I happen to disagree. I have full confidence Jesus was raised from the dead, based upon the facts, and evidence, not upon the "probabilities". In other words, I deal with facts, and evidence. I will allow you to deal with the "probabilities".
I asked, point/blank, does Dawkins possess a (cognitive dissonance), where the presented evidence for a resurrection claim is concerned.
I have no way to determine such a thing.
Not really. Your prior response involved the topic of martyrdom. You stated (post 151) - "the apostles were going around preaching, and were facing severe persecution for doing so.
Why are you avoiding what I stated above, in order to bring up something I stated earlier?
For which I will again state.... I have no doubt people believed stuff then, and people believe stuff now.
Again, you are avoiding what I have stated here, in order to chase after something else? I have already addressed this by demonstrating these folks were not simply expressing what they believed to be true. Rather, they were claiming to have witnessed certain historical events. So then, are you suggesting they simply believed they witnessed these events, but did not really witness such things?
Which, on a side note, often times only 'strengthens' one's convictions/beliefs anyhow. But I would argue the topic of martyrdom has no relevancy to a claim being 'true or false'. We could spend many exchanges discussing how people, in the passed, present, and future, will have martyr(ed) themselves for claims, which later look to have been falsified.
Again, there is a tremendous difference between those who are claiming to believe certain things to be true, as opposed to those who claim to have been actual eyewitnesses. In other words, I may be willing to die for what I believe, but I am not sure I would be willing to die for what I know I did not witness? If you object that they could have truly believed they had witnessed what they did not in fact witness, then what would be the evidence to suggest this to be the case?
So why bring it up here?
I am not the one who brought it up "here"! That would be you. In other words, you quote me saying one thing, and then bring up something I said in another post. So? How is it me, who brought it up, "HERE"? I deal with it here, because you brought it up here, while avoiding what you actually quoted. I wonder why?
already conceded this (without protest).... (i.e.)

"The question remains, what IS true? Meaning, DID Jesus rise from the grave to save humanity? Thus far, we apparently have a very small handful, at BEST, of (not deposed) 'eyewitnesses'? Kool."
Yeah? Kool? Whatever that means?
As I've stated repeatedly, I do not doubt they believed what they reported.
Whether they believed what they reported or not, this would have nothing to do with the fact that you are suggesting the information would be false!
But it's more likely they are mistaken.
According to what evidence?
Why? Just like when we have the means to investigate any supernatural claims of recent history, it does not appear to hold up as 'credible', or it remains unsolved because the claim is again unfalsifiable.


Oh really? Exactly how many "supernatural claims of recent history" have you truly investigated in order to determine they do not, "appear to hold up as 'credible', or it remains unsolved because the claim is again unfalsifiable"? Would you like me to give a guess as to how many this would actually be? My guess would be exactly, ZERO! That's right! My guess would be you have not in any way whatsoever actually investigated any of these claims. My guess would also be that you have not actually investigated the claims of Christianity in order to determine if they may be true, or false. Rather, my guess would be (not really a guess here because this is something you have admitted) you were a convinced Christian at one time, who freely admits you were convinced, not based upon reason, but rather upon "indoctrination". When you came to the realization you were convinced upon your indoctrination, as opposed to reason, it is not as though you actually dove into attempting to determine if what you were taught would have been fact. Rather, you simply recoil at the fact you never really used the mind in order to be convinced, and this somehow convinces you that what you were taught could not possibly be correct, since you did not use reason to become convinced. That is exactly what I believe here. The reason I am so convinced this would be the case, is because of how you continue to refer to, indoctrination, confirmation bias, and conative dissonance, all of which you were more likely guilty of when you were "once convinced" which goes on to allow you to assume, anyone who may hold this position you once held, must, and has to be guilty of these things as well. Or can you go on to explain to me how you actually went on to investigate the claims of Christianity, and found them wanting?
Disagree with your assessment here..... I'd say the least probable conclusion to be made, is that Jesus ACTUALLY rose from the grave. Just like I comparatively conclude that the least probable conclusion, is that a 'supernatural conclusion' IS the answer for any other claim made, when claiming "it was supernatural."
Okay? Well, I will allow you to deal with the "probabilities" while I continue to deal with the actual facts, and evidence.
Well, I will restate to you what I asked others in this thread.... (post $154):

Let me know if you've experienced this too....? Once in a while, you will come across an apologist who, on the surface, sounds very well read, claims to have tons of logic, will state they have been doing this for years, and will also claim to be a deep critical thinker. But ultimately, when you press them for their reason(s) for their belief in Christ, the whole thing just kinda falls apart.
The only thing I see which may be "falling apart" is any reason you claim to have for any sort of doubt.
Thus, as I mention Dawkins prior, about whether or not he possesses a cognitive dissonance, where the 'evidence' for a resurrection is in place; do you possess a cognitive dissonance, in the way you handle this supernatural claim, verses any other supernatural claim?
Since I am human, I am more than willing to explore this idea. You take the lead in explaining to us where you think this may be the case, while also explaining how you have freed yourself of such things? As far as "any other supernatural claim" is concerned, I do not have to know a thing about any other supernatural claim in order to understand if there would be facts, evidence, and reason to believe the Christian claims.
I no longer believe that the supernatural exists.... You see, this is ultimately why I do not accept the Bible's supernatural claims.
Based upon what? Your indoctrination?
Sure, I will blindly accept that a man named Jesus lived, preached, and was murdered for claims of 'blasphemy'.
I will assure you that you do not simply accept these things "blindly". Rather, you accept these things to be true, based upon the overwhelming facts, and evidence which support these things, and to attempt to deny these things, would be to commit intellectual suicide.
It's the extraordinary claims, where the stakes change, don't they?
Well, no! What you call "extraordinary claims" can be believed based upon the same ordinary evidence which has convinced you of the ordinary things which you cannot deny.

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Re: WHY Do You REALLY Believe?

Post #172

Post by Realworldjack »

brunumb wrote: Mon Jan 24, 2022 5:45 pm
Realworldjack wrote: Mon Jan 24, 2022 8:57 am
brunumb wrote: Thu Jan 20, 2022 12:09 am
Realworldjack wrote: Wed Jan 19, 2022 11:49 am Again, before I get started here, allow me to point out, this is another argument you have not come up with on your own. Rather, it is an old worn-out argument which sounds good to the ears, but has no real substance.
That sounds like just about every apologist I've ever encountered.
There is a tremendous difference in one who is pointing to an actual example, and demonstrating the argument is not original, along with being no reason for doubt, as I have done, as opposed to one such as yourself, who simply makes the comment without showing any sort of example.
No example necessary as you no doubt well know. In any case, how many of your arguments have you actually come up with on your own? Rather, they are generally old worn-out arguments, repeated ad nauseam I might add, that might sound good to your ears, but have no real substance.

Here is the funny thing! I have actually made it plain a number of the arguments being made would not be original. No one is denying this. Rather, you all seem to be accepting that what I have said would in fact be true, and I have used examples to demonstrate this to be the case. You go on to make the same accusation against others but give us no examples at all, so we are left with having to simply take you at your word. This is why it would be best for you to give us some sort of example for us to examine. However, I do not believe it will benefit simply by referring to any Christian who may be using an argument that would not be original to them, but rather an example of the Christian you are now engaging.

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Re: WHY Do You REALLY Believe?

Post #173

Post by POI »

We_Are_VENOM wrote: Tue Jan 25, 2022 12:16 am
POI wrote: Mon Jan 24, 2022 11:58 am So it is not a little of both, in regards to slavery, whipping your children, men > women, and homosexuality? It's because "God says so", that you must agree with these 4 topics?
I stand by what i said.

"A little bit of both". In other words; it is my GUT FEELING that God TOLD ME SO..

Reading comprehension.
This is about the third time you have thrown around the term 'reading comprehension.' LOL!

I asked prior, do you agree with these (4) topics because God says so <or> because when you came across these (4) topics, your gut already agreed with these (4) topics?

And now, even in your last response, you still only affirm the former; (i.e.) that 'God says so'. If you have a "gut feeling that God told you so", then it could still be quite possible you did not agree with these (4) topics until 'God told you so.'

So, yet again, did your gut already agree with these (4) topics, <or> do you agree because 'God says so'?

*******************************************************************

(The format got messed up. I trust you can follow what questions I responded to below?)


What I stated above is not an opinion. I stated what the definition of credulity is... Did you rule out all alternative explanations for your reached conclusion? (yes or no)? I'd say the answer is a big (no).

As I keep reiterating, this topic seems to be quite the BIGGIE. Reaching such a conclusion, in haste, seems a little reckless, wouldn't you agree? If not, jumping to conclusions, without sufficient exploration is the way to go?

*******************************************************************

There's no shame in your game sir. But my unanswered question remains... If the Bible mentions 'speaking in tongues' as (the) way to communicate with the Holy Spirit, then isn't this topic something for which you would want to investigate? If not, why not?

We can do this now together; here and now...



Follow up questions:

1. Is it possible she is feeling very euphoric right now; maybe even feeling a "heat wave sensation" (and/or) experiencing something external taking control over her body?

2. Assuming she's not faking it, how might one investigate if her feelings really are from the "Holy Spirit'? Does she just assume it is, because the Bible says and/or because the feeling is unique to (very specific actions or topics)?

3. Is she mistaken, and she's merely talking to herself? Why or why not?

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Re: WHY Do You REALLY Believe?

Post #174

Post by POI »

Realworldjack wrote: Tue Jan 25, 2022 5:41 am [Replying to POI in post #165]
Yes, there IS a "main reason". I gave it to you already. -->"you made the claim, that you could "debunk" (expose the falseness) of the reports we have in the NT. When you made this claim, I conceded that if you could hold up your end of the bargain, I would be done with Christianity."

Meaning, if one could falsify the reports, then you would no longer believe. This IS the "main reason" you believe, right?
Incorrect! If the claims in the NT would be debunked, I would be a fool to continue to believe it. How this causes you to be under the impression this would be my main reason is beyond me?
Wait a minute... All this energy, for which you are currently expending in this exchange --- in speaking about the 'facts' and 'evidence', as they are laid out in the NT, which leads you to have a high degree of confidence that Jesus rose from the grave is not really why you are a Christian?

Well, I beg to differ.... Unless, again, we are conversing about a mere talking point??? In which case, I would then not really be interested.... However, I will assume it is quite important, and I will forge ahead; unless you correct me otherwise now. For which I would then have to ask... Why waste so much time debating a mere talking point?

Remember, I'm interested in investigating the reason(s) you believe.
Realworldjack wrote: Tue Jan 25, 2022 5:41 am
Well, I already conceded, that because this was a claim based in <antiquity>, your belief is safe, and free from 'falsification'.
Right! And as I have demonstrated an unfalsifiable claim would be no reason to doubt the claim. In other words, you are using the argument for something it was never intended to be used for.
And as I continue to let you know... Your belief is safe from real scrutiny. Which is why you can boast your belief to all skeptics, doubters, and scoffers without fear of falsification.
Realworldjack wrote: Tue Jan 25, 2022 5:41 am
Not really. Your prior response involved the topic of martyrdom. You stated (post 151) - "the apostles were going around preaching, and were facing severe persecution for doing so.
Why are you avoiding what I stated above, in order to bring up something I stated earlier?
Let's back up a bit... You first stated you would like to address small pieces. I stated I would do you 'one better', and let's just fast forward to the 'meat and potatoes.' I also stated prior -- "the question remains, what IS true? Meaning, DID Jesus rise from the grave to save humanity? Thus far, we apparently have a very small handful, at BEST, of (not deposed) 'eyewitnesses'?"

Why then trek backwards, and regurgitate a conceded topic? Makes no sense...

Moving further down in your same subsequent post, you stated that these "direct eyewitnesses" were martyred. The 'fact' that they were 'persecuted' lends no more weight to your argument, since I'm already conceding that Paul claimed to have a direct "vision", and then wrote about it....

Like I stated above, more than once, you mentioned the court of law and eyewitnesses. Being that this is the most important claim in human history, how might a skeptic to this claim research the official court records, which shows how the cross examiner deposed the witness(es) -- (Paul and co.)???

And like I also asked... Was Jesus's intent for would-be followers to take the claim based upon faith, or other?

So basically, we have Paul, who virtually no one would argue is responsible for over 40% of the later comprised NT. The rest is likely from various authorship, written much later and likely anonymous?.?.? So really, all we can do is examine Saul/Paul. But again, since you already admitted prior, that his testimony was given to people who already believed, we can never really know what he saw, and if it was really legit, can we???

Just like how I'm having an in depth exchange with "Venom". He is quite certain, in his presumption, that the Holy Spirit communicates with him. However, when pressed even a little bit by little ol' me, his assumption looks to be based upon credulity alone. Is he a liar? I do not think so. Is he mistaken? Well, the odds are that he might be....

Too bad we will never really know on what basis Paul thought he had a direct vision from Jesus??? Again, you are protected by the vast restrictions of antiquity. Thus, your belief will remain unchallenged :)
Realworldjack wrote: Tue Jan 25, 2022 5:41 am
Why? Just like when we have the means to investigate any supernatural claims of recent history, it does not appear to hold up as 'credible', or it remains unsolved because the claim is again unfalsifiable.


Oh really? Exactly how many "supernatural claims of recent history" have you truly investigated in order to determine they do not, "appear to hold up as 'credible', or it remains unsolved because the claim is again unfalsifiable"? Would you like me to give a guess as to how many this would actually be? My guess would be exactly, ZERO! That's right!


I cut off your rantings, after here, to address your comment...

I've investigated plenty. The Bible states God answers prayer. How many times has He, by way of intercessory or petitionary prayer, healed someone with cerebral palsy, downs syndrome, or an amputee?

BTW, my uncle has cerebral palsy. Just thought you would like to know.
Realworldjack wrote: Tue Jan 25, 2022 5:41 am
I no longer believe that the supernatural exists.... You see, this is ultimately why I do not accept the Bible's supernatural claims.
Based upon what? Your indoctrination?
You silly goose... My long history of indoctrination is what sometimes wants to pull me back in to this religion. In all honesty, I would not be surprised that if I was in a plane, and it was going down, I would probably say the 'Lord's prayer' or something... My rational mind tells me that I would likely be doing this because of one's inability to want to accept our final mortality -- (our drive to survive and to think there is some greater force looking out for us). But I digress....
Realworldjack wrote: Tue Jan 25, 2022 5:41 am
Sure, I will blindly accept that a man named Jesus lived, preached, and was murdered for claims of 'blasphemy'.
I will assure you that you do not simply accept these things "blindly". Rather, you accept these things to be true, based upon the overwhelming facts, and evidence which support these things, and to attempt to deny these things, would be to commit intellectual suicide.
Yes it is... Just like I blindly accept that many of these claimed characters, from antiquity, were real people. If I'm wrong, it really matters little. And again, due to the constraints of antiquity, I could question until the cows come home.... Granted, I'm being a bit hyperbole here...
Realworldjack wrote: Tue Jan 25, 2022 5:41 am
It's the extraordinary claims, where the stakes change, don't they?
Well, no! What you call "extraordinary claims" can be believed based upon the same ordinary evidence which has convinced you of the ordinary things which you cannot deny.
Seems like this phrase is a real trigger for you. Why is that?

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Re: WHY Do You REALLY Believe?

Post #175

Post by Realworldjack »

[Replying to POI in post #174]
Wait a minute... All this energy, for which you are currently expending in this exchange --- in speaking about the 'facts' and 'evidence', as they are laid out in the NT, which leads you to have a high degree of confidence that Jesus rose from the grave is not really why you are a Christian?
My friend, it may be one of the reasons why, but let us recall you were asking for some sort of "main reason". And of course, I understand full well now why you were insisting on some sort of "main reason", and it was in order for you to be able to use your falsification argument again, which you have gone ahead and done anyway. In other words, if I would have admitted this would have been my "main reason" it would give you the opportunity bring up your falsification argument again, which has nothing to do with whether the Christian claims would be true, or not. This sort of arguments demonstrates one who is not really interested in what the truth may be, but rather one who is looking to simply win an argument.
Remember, I'm interested in investigating the reason(s) you believe.
I really do not believe that you are. Allow me to explain. If I were to go on to attempt to explain all that would be involved in what it is I believe, and I did in fact start with the accounts in the NT, you would then move on to use you falsification argument which would have nothing to do with whether the reports would be accurate. But here is the thing my friend, have you actually set down in order to determine what all would have to be involved in order for these reports to be true, as opposed to what all would have to be involved in order for the reports to be false? I can assure you that it will not be as simple as, maybe they were mistaken. It is certainly easy to mouth the words, it is quite another to sit down in order to determine what all would have to be involved in order for these folks to have been mistaken.
And as I continue to let you know... Your belief is safe from real scrutiny.
I can refer to a number of folks who would not agree. In other words, there are a number of folks who were convinced there was indeed enough information to scrutinize, and they went about doing such a thing for the purpose of demonstrating Christianity to be false but came away from this examination being convinced the information was enough to convince them Christianity was indeed true. In fact, one of the folks I could refer to was a tenured English professor at Syracuse University who was a lesbian who had been in a lesbian relationship for years, was the head of the LBGQT community at the university, and she was in the process of writing a paper exposing the religious right, and it was during this time, she became convince Christianity was indeed true, which cost her a tremendous amount including her job, and she credits her vast knowledge of language for her conversion. But none of this really matters to one who continues to make arguments, which would have nothing to do with the truth of the matter in the least.
Moving further down in your same subsequent post, you stated that these "direct eyewitnesses" were martyred.
I do not believe I have ever typed the word "martyred".
The 'fact' that they were 'persecuted' lends no more weight to your argument
Of course, it doesn't in your mind. The fact of the matter is though, you continue to scream out for some sort of "cross examination" all the while having to agree these folks would have face severe persecution, and all any of them would have had to do would be to simply walk away, but for some reason no one seems to have done so, and the only argument you seem to have would be, "they were likely mistaken". GOOD GRIEF!
since I'm already conceding that Paul claimed to have a direct "vision", and then wrote about it....
On top of the fact this would mean Paul would have been alive at the time of the events. On top of the fact, we have very good evidence the author of the letters to Theophilus would have been a traveling companion of Paul, which would demonstrate this author would have been alive at the time. This would mean, we have two authors who report these events, who would have been alive at the time of the events, with absolutely no evidence that I am aware of, that any of the authors in the NT would not have been alive at the time of the events recorded.
how might a skeptic to this claim research the official court records, which shows how the cross examiner deposed the witness(es) -- (Paul and co.)???
And as I have already stated, there are a number of folks who have authored book volumes, describing how they went about examining to evidence in order to demonstrate Christianity to be false, who came away convinced there was enough evidence to demonstrate it to be true, and you are more than welcome to examine what they have to say, instead of assuming one can give you some sort of main reason for you to examine, in this type of format. The point is, there is enough information out there to convince your mind one way or the other, but you simply seem to be satisfied making arguments which would have nothing to do with it.
And like I also asked... Was Jesus's intent for would-be followers to take the claim based upon faith, or other?
The accounts we have do not report these folks ever asking the audience at the time to take what they were reporting upon faith. Rather, they were pointing to actual evidence. This simply demonstrates one who understands the word faith is used in the Bible and goes on to assume that we as Christians are instructed to simply have faith, which sort of demonstrates one who really has no idea what the Bible actually has to say about faith. There are certain things I must accept by faith, but the resurrection would not be one of them.
So basically, we have Paul, who virtually no one would argue is responsible for over 40% of the later comprised NT.
Really? "No one"? I begged to differ. Please explain to me what evidence you would have which would suggest Paul would not have been the author of the letters which bear his name. This should be good!
The rest is likely from various authorship, written much later and likely anonymous
The actual evidence we have suggests the overwhelming majority of the NT would have been authored by those alive at the time. I mean let's actually examine the evidence. We have an author who writes not one, but two long, and detailed letters to one by the name of Theophilus, and we have very strong evidence this author would have traveled with Paul, which would demonstrate clearly, he would have been alive at the time. When we couple these two letters with the letters of Paul, we have now arrived at the majority of the NT with the evidence actually being, the authors being alive at the time. So???? What evidence do you have which may suggest any of the authors may have written outside of this time frame?
Just like how I'm having an in depth exchange with "Venom". He is quite certain, in his presumption, that the Holy Spirit communicates with him. However, when pressed even a little bit by little ol' me, his assumption looks to be based upon credulity alone. Is he a liar? I do not think so. Is he mistaken? Well, the odds are that he might be....
What I continue to attempt to explain to you is, even if you were to determine he would be a liar, or mistaken, would have nothing to do with the claims made by the Biblical authors. Why are you wasting your time on such things?
Too bad we will never really know on what basis Paul thought he had a direct vision from Jesus??? Again, you are protected by the vast restrictions of antiquity. Thus, your belief will remain unchallenged
If these types of arguments make you feel better about the position you hold then have at it. Your problem is, there are very good reasons to believe the reports, but you are wasting your time on arguments which would have nothing to do with it.
I've investigated plenty.
Oh really? Well then, you should be able to easily spill it all out here for us all to examine. You know, like you attempt to get me to do?
The Bible states God answers prayer.
Exactly where?
BTW, my uncle has cerebral palsy. Just thought you would like to know.
Listen! I am certainly grieved to hear this, and my compassion goes out to you, and your family, because I too deal with similar issues, and know what it is like.
You silly goose... My long history of indoctrination is what sometimes wants to pull me back in to this religion.
You have accused me of telling you to "get over your indoctrination" which I never did. However, I am now. You really do need to attempt to get over it. I would suggest the way in which to do this is to actually study the real facts, and evidence in order to convince your mind one way, or the other so that your mind can rest upon the evidence, no matter which way you go. You seem to be more concerned with the probabilities, than the actual facts.
Yes it is... Just like I blindly accept that many of these claimed characters, from antiquity, were real people.
My friend, you are well on your way to intellectual suicide. This is the nicest way I can say it. Seriously! If you are even going to attempt to suggest these figures may not have been real historical figures, then there is really nothing left to discuss.

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Re: WHY Do You REALLY Believe?

Post #176

Post by POI »

Realworldjack wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 8:28 am [Replying to POI in post #174]
Wait a minute... All this energy, for which you are currently expending in this exchange --- in speaking about the 'facts' and 'evidence', as they are laid out in the NT, which leads you to have a high degree of confidence that Jesus rose from the grave is not really why you are a Christian?
My friend, it may be one of the reasons why, but let us recall you were asking for some sort of "main reason". And of course, I understand full well now why you were insisting on some sort of "main reason", and it was in order for you to be able to use your falsification argument again, which you have gone ahead and done anyway. In other words, if I would have admitted this would have been my "main reason" it would give you the opportunity bring up your falsification argument again, which has nothing to do with whether the Christian claims would be true, or not. This sort of arguments demonstrates one who is not really interested in what the truth may be, but rather one who is looking to simply win an argument.
After many exchanges, it appears (the 'facts' and 'evidence' for a man rising from the grave, which gives you a high degree in confidence that Christianity is true) would be the <main reason / primary reason> as to why you are now a Christian. Why is this so hard for you to admit outright?

I have let you know, more than once now, that I cannot falsify your belief. I have also told you, more than once now, this may be, (in part), why your current conclusion will not change. I have also stated, more than once now, "the question remains, what IS true?"

Please remember what the title of this forum reads... "Debating Christianity". What exactly is the objective in a debate? Further, how do I plan on 'winning', when I admit, straight away, that I cannot falsify your belief?
Realworldjack wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 8:28 am
Remember, I'm interested in investigating the reason(s) you believe.
But here is the thing my friend, have you actually set down in order to determine what all would have to be involved in order for these reports to be true, as opposed to what all would have to be involved in order for the reports to be false? I can assure you that it will not be as simple as, maybe they were mistaken. It is certainly easy to mouth the words, it is quite another to sit down in order to determine what all would have to be involved in order for these folks to have been mistaken.
Yes I have, and it's not really that difficult, looking back... Meaning, I can now start <simple categories> for why I no longer accept the claim that a man rose from his grave 2K+ years ago:

- Many ancient people were superstitious...
- I no longer believe in the supernatural. Hence, it's more likely a natural explanation is the root cause.
- Seems unlikely Jesus was buried in a tomb guarded by Roman soldiers...
- Countless of earnest and intelligent people have claimed to witness supernatural type events. And yet, here we still are...
- We don't even have 100's/1,000's of documented "eyewitnesses", by definition, to examine (regardless).
- I find the Bible untrustworthy in places.
- When reading from Mark to John, you can see how 'oral tradition' plays a part in the story line...

I'll stop here...
Realworldjack wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 8:28 am
And as I continue to let you know... Your belief is safe from real scrutiny.
I can refer to a number of folks who would not agree.
This does not matter. The fact that the claim "of a man rising from the dead 2K+ years ago" is unfalsifiable, means this claim is free from real scrutiny. Sure, I can raise many objections and points of reason. But, in the end, I cannot disprove that it happened. Especially since we are dealing with a claim nestled deep in antiquity.
Realworldjack wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 8:28 am
The 'fact' that they were 'persecuted' lends no more weight to your argument
Of course, it doesn't in your mind. The fact of the matter is though, you continue to scream out for some sort of "cross examination" all the while having to agree these folks would have face severe persecution, and all any of them would have had to do would be to simply walk away, but for some reason no one seems to have done so, and the only argument you seem to have would be, "they were likely mistaken". GOOD GRIEF!
Wait an minute... You don't agree with me, that a person will stick up for what they truly believe, (whether the belief is actually true or not)? This is a rhetorical question to demonstrate, once again, that I do not doubt Paul believed he saw something. The question is, what did he really see? This will remain a mystery unsolved. ;)

I raised the 'cross examination' argument because you were happy to volunteer that 'eyewitness' testimony is valued in the court of law. But this case was never tried in any court, where we have transcripts for review. These eyewitnesses were not deposed by any formal defense for examination. Couple this with the fact that we now know much more about the human brain than we would have known 2K years ago, and it's not very hard to start having doubt that Paul saw what he really believes to have seen.
Realworldjack wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 8:28 am
since I'm already conceding that Paul claimed to have a direct "vision", and then wrote about it....
On top of the fact this would mean Paul would have been alive at the time of the events. On top of the fact, we have very good evidence the author of the letters to Theophilus would have been a traveling companion of Paul, which would demonstrate this author would have been alive at the time. This would mean, we have two authors who report these events, who would have been alive at the time of the events, with absolutely no evidence that I am aware of, that any of the authors in the NT would not have been alive at the time of the events recorded.
You are again going backwards.... Rinse/repeat --> "Thus far, we apparently have a very small handful, at BEST, of (not deposed) 'eyewitnesses'?"
Realworldjack wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 8:28 am
how might a skeptic to this claim research the official court records, which shows how the cross examiner deposed the witness(es) -- (Paul and co.)???
And as I have already stated, there are a number of folks who have authored book volumes, describing how they went about examining to evidence in order to demonstrate Christianity to be false, who came away convinced there was enough evidence to demonstrate it to be true, and you are more than welcome to examine what they have to say, instead of assuming one can give you some sort of main reason for you to examine, in this type of format. The point is, there is enough information out there to convince your mind one way or the other, but you simply seem to be satisfied making arguments which would have nothing to do with it.
You seem to have missed my point here... Saul/Paul and "friends" were not deposed. He/they are now dead. We also learn more and more about the brain, as time marches on... Is it even possible Paul was mistaken? I trust you would agree the answer here is yes? Okay, moving along... Since he was never really examined, just instead 'persecuted', we will never really know what he actually did see, if anything?.?.?.?.
Realworldjack wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 8:28 am
And like I also asked... Was Jesus's intent for would-be followers to take the claim based upon faith, or other?
The accounts we have do not report these folks ever asking the audience at the time to take what they were reporting upon faith. Rather, they were pointing to actual evidence. This simply demonstrates one who understands the word faith is used in the Bible and goes on to assume that we as Christians are instructed to simply have faith, which sort of demonstrates one who really has no idea what the Bible actually has to say about faith. There are certain things I must accept by faith, but the resurrection would not be one of them.
Hahahaha. The Bible mentions faith in many places. I understand the word 'faith' has differing usages, depending on it's context. It can also be interchanged with hope and trust. It sometimes can also be used in place of blind credulity. In regards to Paul's vision of light, (or whatever you call it), do we trust/hope (or) have blind 'faith' that what Paul actually saw was a postmortem Jesus? Since he was not ever really examined, just instead martyred presumably, we will never really know.
Realworldjack wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 8:28 am
So basically, we have Paul, who virtually no one would argue is responsible for over 40% of the later comprised NT.
Really? "No one"? I begged to differ. Please explain to me what evidence you would have which would suggest Paul would not have been the author of the letters which bear his name. This should be good!
I think you misunderstood what I'm saying here... My observation is that Paul's writings account for almost half of what we now call the NT.

The rest is likely anonymous and also likely written/authored much much later... Likely after all possible "eyewitness" participants would have been dead.
Realworldjack wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 8:28 am
Just like how I'm having an in depth exchange with "Venom". He is quite certain, in his presumption, that the Holy Spirit communicates with him. However, when pressed even a little bit by little ol' me, his assumption looks to be based upon credulity alone. Is he a liar? I do not think so. Is he mistaken? Well, the odds are that he might be....
What I continue to attempt to explain to you is, even if you were to determine he would be a liar, or mistaken, would have nothing to do with the claims made by the Biblical authors. Why are you wasting your time on such things?
Seems you might have missed my point. Allow me to elaborate... Paul was not deposed. Paul was merely 'persecuted'. All you have to go upon, is Paul's conviction that what he experiences, was indeed what really happened. He was not questioned/deposed, just instead apparently 'martyred'.

As I also stated prior, it's known that many who experience persecution for their beliefs cleave to these beliefs harder. I find this again and again, as I continue in these forum exchanges. Meaning, I see ridicule/mockery/etc and I still see these same Christians chugging along, unwavering in their convictions in the forums. In fact, some would argue that persecution ultimately strengthens their convictions.

Instead, I do not feel I'm mocking or ridiculing "Venom". I'm only probing his claim. And thus far, 'credulity' looks to be where this is headed. Does this mean he's wrong? Well, he could be right. But at least we have a better handle as to why Venom believes what he believes. This is much more than we can say about Paul. Where Paul is concerned, as we have, as a take-away, is 'faith' apparently.
Realworldjack wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 8:28 am
Too bad we will never really know on what basis Paul thought he had a direct vision from Jesus??? Again, you are protected by the vast restrictions of antiquity. Thus, your belief will remain unchallenged
If these types of arguments make you feel better about the position you hold then have at it. Your problem is, there are very good reasons to believe the reports, but you are wasting your time on arguments which would have nothing to do with it.
No, it does not make me feel better about the position I currently hold. In fact, I would love to be able to either validate or falsify your belief. But I admit that I cannot.
Realworldjack wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 8:28 am
The Bible states God answers prayer.
Exactly where?
Is this a serious question?
Realworldjack wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 8:28 am
You silly goose... My long history of indoctrination is what sometimes wants to pull me back in to this religion.
You have accused me of telling you to "get over your indoctrination" which I never did. However, I am now. You really do need to attempt to get over it
LOL. I take it you are not a psychologist/psychiatrist.

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Re: WHY Do You REALLY Believe?

Post #177

Post by Realworldjack »

[Replying to POI in post #176]

While I would love, love, love to respond to most of what you say here, you have demonstrated it is really pointless. However, I am going to make you defend this statement,
The rest is likely anonymous and also likely written/authored much much later... Likely after all possible "eyewitness" participants would have been dead.
What evidence do you have to support such an idea?

Allow me to repost the evidence I supplied and ask you to respond to it.
realworldjack wrote:The actual evidence we have suggests the overwhelming majority of the NT would have been authored by those alive at the time. I mean let's actually examine the evidence. We have an author who writes not one, but two long, and detailed letters to one by the name of Theophilus, and we have very strong evidence this author would have traveled with Paul, which would demonstrate clearly, he would have been alive at the time. When we couple these two letters with the letters of Paul, we have now arrived at the majority of the NT with the evidence actually being, the authors being alive at the time. So???? What evidence do you have which may suggest any of the authors may have written outside of this time frame?
So yes, instead of going back and forth with arguments which do not really matter, let's actually investigate the evidence we have. Can you respond to the above?

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Re: WHY Do You REALLY Believe?

Post #178

Post by POI »

Realworldjack wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 3:17 pm [Replying to POI in post #176]

While I would love, love, love to respond to most of what you say here, you have demonstrated it is really pointless.,
Hahahahaha! We shall let the reader(s) of this debate/exchange decide for themselves...
Realworldjack wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 3:17 pm
The rest is likely anonymous and also likely written/authored much much later... Likely after all possible "eyewitness" participants would have been dead.
What evidence do you have to support such an idea?
Dates.

How long did people live, on average, during this era? I'll answer for you. Records indicate the average life expectancy was 30-35. Does this mean the authors died by age 35? No, not necessarily. Best case scenario, let's put in place some assumptions, to work in your favor...

The earliest Gospel of "Mark" was said to be composed somewhere around 70AD - 80AD. How old was "Mark" when Jesus died? Best case scenario, let's assume he was 25? This would mean he was, at bare minimum, 63 when he composed "Mark"?

The rest of the Gospels were written later. Roughly from 80 - 110AD.

It takes a lot of 'faith' to assume all the Gospel writers lived more than double, or even triple the average life expectancy of this era. I'll stop here....

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Re: WHY Do You REALLY Believe?

Post #179

Post by Realworldjack »

POI wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 4:05 pm
Realworldjack wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 3:17 pm [Replying to POI in post #176]

While I would love, love, love to respond to most of what you say here, you have demonstrated it is really pointless.,
Hahahahaha! We shall let the reader(s) of this debate/exchange decide for themselves...
Realworldjack wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 3:17 pm
The rest is likely anonymous and also likely written/authored much much later... Likely after all possible "eyewitness" participants would have been dead.
What evidence do you have to support such an idea?
Dates.

How long did people live, on average, during this era? I'll answer for you. Records indicate the average life expectancy was 30-35. Does this mean the authors died by age 35? No, not necessarily. Best case scenario, let's put in place some assumptions, to work in your favor...

The earliest Gospel of "Mark" was said to be composed somewhere around 70AD - 80AD. How old was "Mark" when Jesus died? Best case scenario, let's assume he was 25? This would mean he was, at bare minimum, 63 when he composed "Mark"?

The rest of the Gospels were written later. Roughly from 80 - 110AD.

It takes a lot of 'faith' to assume all the Gospel writers lived more than double, or even triple the average life expectancy of this era. I'll stop here....

I'm sorry but your math doesn't add my friend, and it is not difficult to demonstrate this. We have already agreed Paul would have authored letters. Paul would have been alive at the time of Jesus. If Paul was old enough to go around persecuting Christians after the death of Jesus, then how old would Paul have been at the death of Jesus? Next, we have very strong evidence the author of the letters to Theophilus would have traveled with Paul. So???? How old would this author have been at the death of Jesus? The point is, we know Paul would have been alive at the death of Jesus, and we have letters which all agree Paul would have authored. So, what would make us believe others of, or around the same age as Paul would not have authored letters as well?
The earliest Gospel of "Mark" was said to be composed somewhere around 70AD - 80AD.
Where are you getting these dates from? Again, we know we have letters written by Paul. We know Paul would have been alive at the time of Jesus. Paul mentions Luke as being with him in a letter which would have been authored well into his old age. Therefore, how is it hard to imagine Luke, who would have been alive at the time of Jesus, authoring the letters to Theophilus, just like we have letters which are no doubt from the pin of Paul? It is not hard to imagine at all. In fact this is exactly what the evidence suggests.
The rest of the Gospels were written later. Roughly from 80 - 110AD.
Oh really? Well, I have given you plenty of evidence to support a companion of Paul as being the author of the letters to Theophilus. So, what evidence can you share with us which would give us the impression the letters addressed to Theophilus would have been authored as late as 80AD?

Next, do you have any idea how old Jesus would have been at his death? He would have been right in the middle of your 30-35 year range, and he did not die of natural causes. Well, guess what? We have pretty good evidence those who would have been companions of Jesus were very active in life years after his death. With this being the case, it is not hard to imagine any of these folks authoring letters.

As I said, "your math don't add, and you will have to give us some sort of evidence to support the late dates you give for the gospels.

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Re: WHY Do You REALLY Believe?

Post #180

Post by POI »

Realworldjack wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 5:48 pm I'm sorry but your math doesn't add my friend, and it is not difficult to demonstrate this. We have already agreed Paul would have authored letters. Paul would have been alive at the time of Jesus. If Paul was old enough to go around persecuting Christians after the death of Jesus, then how old would Paul have been at the death of Jesus?
You are again going backwards. I'm starting to think "Paul" is all you've got? Rinse/repeat, yet again: "Thus far, we apparently have a very small handful, at BEST, of (not deposed) 'eyewitnesses'?" What part of this needs more clarification????

I also already conceded, w/o any protest, that Paul was alive to write all his own memoirs. I also already conceded, without contest:

(Google search for simplicity and to expedite a conversation) "How many books did Paul write in the Bible?"

"The Pauline epistles, also known as Epistles of Paul or Letters of Paul, are the thirteen books of the New Testament attributed to Paul the Apostle, although the authorship of some is in dispute."

This means, according to basic math, Paul was directly responsible for nearly half the NT Books.

So please, can we move on from Paul? I already demonstrated that there would be no way to investigate what Paul actually experienced. Meaning, how do we know Paul's 'vision of light' was indeed real? Was he merely only chastised/martyred/persecuted/punished, and not investigated?

Just because we have one dude, from antiquity, who was extremely adamant, and wrote many letters does not mean he saw what he thinks he saw, does it? At which time, is the topic of 'faith' what's supposed to resolve for whether or not you accept the claim at face value? This is why I tied in "Venom" here.... Can we even rule out credulity, or let alone any other alternative options, for Paul? If not, why the heck are you so confident in your conclusion? Puzzles me, quite frankly.
Realworldjack wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 5:48 pm Next, we have very strong evidence the author of the letters to Theophilus would have traveled with Paul.
Great. Who was it? And was he deposed in court, or anywhere formal were we have transcripts to attest to the single most largest claim in human history? Or, again, do we chalk it up to "faith"? Again ----> Thus far, we apparently have a very small handful, at BEST, of (not deposed) 'eyewitnesses'?
Realworldjack wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 5:48 pm
The earliest Gospel of "Mark" was said to be composed somewhere around 70AD - 80AD.
Where are you getting these dates from?
https://www.college.columbia.edu/core/node/1754
Realworldjack wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 5:48 pm Again, we know we have letters written by Paul. We know Paul would have been alive at the time of Jesus. Paul mentions Luke as being with him in a letter which would have been authored well into his old age. Therefore, how is it hard to imagine Luke, who would have been alive at the time of Jesus, authoring the letters to Theophilus, just like we have letters which are no doubt from the pin of Paul? It is not hard to imagine at all. In fact this is exactly what the evidence suggests.
Great. Did "Luke" write it? Oh, and "Luke" was deposed as well? You are again pinning all your hopes on one person ---> (Saul/Paul). But again, hate to be a broken record.... Thus far, we apparently have a very small handful, at BEST, of (not deposed) 'eyewitnesses'?
Realworldjack wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 5:48 pm
The rest of the Gospels were written later. Roughly from 80 - 110AD.
Oh really? Well, I have given you plenty of evidence to support a companion of Paul as being the author of the letters to Theophilus. So, what evidence can you share with us which would give us the impression the letters addressed to Theophilus would have been authored as late as 80AD?
I mentioned the (4) Gospels. Not sure why you keep bringing up what Paul claims?
Realworldjack wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 5:48 pm Next, do you have any idea how old Jesus would have been at his death? He would have been right in the middle of your 30-35 year range, and he did not die of natural causes. Well, guess what? We have pretty good evidence those who would have been companions of Jesus were very active in life years after his death. With this being the case, it is not hard to imagine any of these folks authoring letters.

As I said, "your math don't add, and you will have to give us some sort of evidence to support the late dates you give for the gospels.
Please re-read what I stated and asked. (i.e.):

"Does this mean the authors died by age 35? No, not necessarily. Best case scenario, let's put in place some assumptions, to work in your favor...

The earliest Gospel of "Mark" was said to be composed somewhere around 70AD - 80AD. How old was "Mark" when Jesus died? Best case scenario, let's assume he was 25? This would mean he was, at bare minimum, 63 when he composed "Mark"?

The rest of the Gospels were written later. Roughly from 80 - 110AD.

It takes a lot of 'faith' to assume all the Gospel writers lived more than double, or even triple the average life expectancy of this era. I'll stop here....
"

You look to be pinning all your hopes and dreams, so far, on one verified fallible human.

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