The Best Naturalistic Explanation for Christianity

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JLB32168

Re: The Best Naturalistic Explanation for Christianity

Post #101

Post by JLB32168 »

Blastcat wrote:We don't have to pretend that we can read minds, if someone is annoyed, and it's somehow relevant to the debate, they can just let us know. What we believe is our affair, and to SOME, it's important to believe only what is true.
Okay – just makin’ an observation based upon a rather rancorous response. It was pretty much irrelevant but I’m still going to mention it.
Blastcat wrote:If you say that mystics have met your burden of proof, do you believe everyone who claims to BE a mystic?
There are many, many, many mystics from different religions. I conclude that most likely all of them are experiencing some supernatural event. I also conclude that only some of them are experiencing supernatural events informed by the Christian deity – whom I regard as the only deity proper.
Zzyzx wrote:Of course. One is free to set their bar for burden of proof as low (or as high) as they wish.
I agree and I considered atheism while in college.
Zzyzx wrote:Any who could demonstrate such abilities without tricks or illusions could have collected one million dollars via the Randi Challenge – that was available for nearly fifty years.
I’ve never heard of the guy until you just mentioned him.
Zzyzx wrote:I do not believe anyone's claims of magic or paranormal ability UNLESS they can demonstrate such ability openly and honestly.
Okay

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Post #102

Post by Kapyong »

Gday all :)

Now, let's consider

Paul and Group Hallucinations -

Paul appears to have travelled to Paradise in the Third Heaven, most likely according to the simple 3-heaven cosmology like so :
Image

It seems that's where he "received" his gospel -
"I received it by direct revelation from Jesus Christ" Gal. 1:12
He “did not receive it from any man.�

And he describes what he received from 1 Cor. 15:3, indented to show structure :

Code: Select all

3  For I delivered to you, as of prime importance, what also I received (paralambano):
     that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures,
4    and that he was buried,
     and that he has been raised on the third day according to the scriptures,
5      and that he was seen (ophthe) by Cephas, then by the twelve;
6      afterward he was seen by over 500 brothers at one time, most of whom 
               are still alive, though some have fallen asleep;
7      afterward he was seen by James, then by all the apostles;
8      last of all, as to one abnormally born, he was seen by me as well.
That all seems quite clear :

Paul had a vision about Jesus Christ, and learned how he died, and was buried, and was raised again. No mention of it being on earth.

'According to the scriptures' means the Jesus Christ story is already found in the Jewish Tanakh, for those wise enough to recognise and decode it, such as Paul.

Various people had Jesus Christ visions before Paul, but he was the last one - he was an 'ektroma' in Greek, literally meaning 'born out of time', but implying a miscarriage or abortion. Paul is calling himself an abortion.

But we only have Paul's word for all of it. No other early writer describes any visions of Jesus. None on Paul's list left any description. There is no evidence that any 'group hallucination' occurred, nor is there any evidence that the visions were the same - because we don't have ANY clear first-hand description of a Jesus Christ experience.

Even Paul only alludes to a visit to heaven, and tells us what he 'received' - he doesn't describe his Jesus Christ experience at all.

Acts, written much later, by unknown hand, has some legendary accounts of Paul's vision which contradict with each other.

So the entire hallucination story boils down to ONE essentially unknown ancient person making some claims about visions.


How can that possibly be considered evidence for ANYTHING historical ?

Let alone supernatural resurrections ...


Kapyong

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Re: The Best Naturalistic Explanation for Christianity

Post #103

Post by polonius »

liamconnor wrote: I believe I posted something like this before and it got derailed; or rather, the issue was dodged.

A quick scenario: Let us suppose a man who is undecided on the issue of Jesus' resurrection (and for that matter, the existence of God). He wants to know in what direction the historical data points. If he is an honest thinker, does his homework, I believe the "best" naturalistic interpretation of the evidence he will find will include the following:

1) Jesus was crucified and buried in a tomb
2) The body of Jesus was stolen by a non-disciple sometime between Friday evening and Sunday morning; that is, during the Sabbath.
3) Sunday morn the tomb was discovered vacant by women disciples
4) Several days later, a large number of his disciples, individually and collectively suffered hallucinations which were consistent with each other: a) they were bodily and involved the delusion of "touch" b) they left the impression of a commission to preach a specific message which was consistent among them all
5) These disciples believed and preached that their master was raised by God, and that this event was the culmination of God's acts in history.
6) Paul persecuted the Jesus movement. He too suffered from an hallucination from which he believed he had encountered Jesus and received from him a similar vocation.

Are there better naturalistic explanations which have responsibly dealt with the data?
RESPONSE:

Sure. The story is a fable originated by Paul c. 56 AD. Only the Crucifixion of Jesus as an insurrectionist is most probably historical.

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Post #104

Post by Blastcat »

[Replying to post 96 by Kapyong]

Hello Kayong.
Kapyong wrote:Well, I have absolutely no interest in arguing about meanings of words.
Neither do I.
Kapyong wrote:If you wish to consider my use of the word 'naturalistic' to be incorrect (yes, of course I checked the meaning before writing) then you may do so.
I do so.

I can't have an intelligent conversation about terms if we can't agree what they mean. So, because you have absolutely no interest in arguing the meanings of these words, and we don't agree on those terms, our conversation using those terms comes to an end.

The OP concerns itself with the BEST naturalistic explanation for Christianity, we NEED to agree on what "naturalistic" means in order to do that.
Kapyong wrote:My view is :

* Paul had a Jesus Christ experience
You have a view.
But this "view" is not a fact.
Kapyong wrote:* many persons, even to this day, have Jesus Christ experiences
Again, as in Paul, these claimed experiences make supernatural claims. And since we cannot agree on the meaning of "naturalistic" or "supernatural", we won't be able to discuss that.
Kapyong wrote:I am quite sure you would agree with that (?)
As you can see above, no.
I can't agree with that.
Kapyong wrote:So,
I see no value at all in arguing whether such an experience is natural or supernatural.
Then you make yourself irrelevant to the OP.
Kapyong wrote:Do you think all experiences which happen inside people's minds are supernatural ?
I wont be able to discuss with you what is or what is not supernatural.
Kapyong wrote:What is your explanation for Jesus Christ experiences ?
Have you ever had one ?
More than one.

:)

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Post #105

Post by Zzyzx »

.
Kapyong wrote: so when you are shown to be wrong, you stoop to the gutter of personal attacks. Disappointing.

Be a man, admit you were wrong, and learn from it.
Moderator Comment

This post is far too personally addressed. "Let's stick to the evidence" as you say -- or stick to the issues.

Your points are strong enough without the personal remarks


Please review the Rules.


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Post #106

Post by otseng »

liamconnor wrote: [Replying to post 86 by Kapyong]

You appear to be a late comer in this debate.

I don't have the energy to get you up to speed.

You do not seem to have read much literature on the subject. Perhaps you did. I can't know for sure. But the entirety of your vague explanation has been touched upon at least once throughout several threads over the last month or so.
:warning: Moderator Final Warning

Please do not make any comments of a personal nature.

Please review the Rules.


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Post #107

Post by Kapyong »

Gday Blastcat,

Hmmm ...

'Naturalistic' comes from 'natural', which comes from being 'found in nature'.

Humans are founds in nature,
human experiences are natural,
so human Jesus Christ experiences are natural.

Seems pretty clear to me.

Do you want to discuss Jesus Christ experiences such as what happened to Paul ?
Or not ?

Paul had a Jesus Christ experience.
How do you interpret that ?

Let's say it WAS 'supernatural' then.
So what ?

Jesus Christ experiences are supernatural, therefore ...
Therefore what ?

Do you have a point you'd like to share with us ?


Kapyong
Last edited by Kapyong on Tue May 24, 2016 10:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post #108

Post by Kapyong »

Gday Blastcat and all :)
Blastcat wrote: The OP concerns itself with the BEST naturalistic explanation for Christianity, we NEED to agree on what "naturalistic" means in order to do that.
But I thought everyone already knew what it means ?
Naturalistic is about natural forces and processes, which boils down to being
"found in nature".

Why did you insist on arguing ?
Do you have a different meaning in mind ?
That's why I don't want to argue - I thought everyone already agreed.
Unless you have a different meaning to share with us, can we just move on now ?
Kapyong wrote:My view is :
* Paul had a Jesus Christ experience
Blastcat wrote: You have a view.
But this "view" is not a fact.
Ah, now that is quite interesting indeed.
So you don't agree that Paul had a Jesus Christ experience ?
How do you interpret Paul's apparent claim of a visit to Paradise in the Third Heaven ?
What do you think of the stories in Acts about Paul's Jesus Christ experience ?
Kapyong wrote:* many persons, even to this day, have Jesus Christ experiences
Blastcat wrote: Again, as in Paul, these claimed experiences make supernatural claims. And since we cannot agree on the meaning of "naturalistic" or "supernatural", we won't be able to discuss that.
Everyone knows 'naturalistic' essentially means found in nature. Why on earth do you have to keep arguing about word meanings?

What is it about Jesus Christ experiences that you think is 'supernatural' ?
I.e. not found in nature ?

You refer back to 'again, as in Paul' as if the reason you say Paul did not have a Jesus Christ experience is because it contained supernatural claims. It's all quite confused really.
Kapyong wrote:What is your explanation for Jesus Christ experiences ?
Have you ever had one ?
Blastcat wrote: More than one.
:)
I see.
in your view - were they natural experiences, or a supernatural ones ?
What is the difference, in your view ?
How did your experiences compare to Paul's ?
Or even Mohamed's ? Or Pascal's great experience of fire ?
It would be great to hear all about them.
:)


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Post #109

Post by Kapyong »

Gday Zzyzx :)
Kapyong wrote: so when you are shown to be wrong, you stoop to the gutter of personal attacks. Disappointing.
Be a man, admit you were wrong, and learn from it.
Moderator Comment
This post is far too personally addressed. "Let's stick to the evidence" as you say -- or stick to the issues.
Your points are strong enough without the personal remarks

Please review the Rules.


Sorry 'bout that :(
Yes, I went a little too far.


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Post #110

Post by Kapyong »

Gday Bust Nak and all,
Bust Nak wrote: [Replying to post 71 by liamconnor]
We were talking about the N.T. --documents which are no later than 100 Ad, ...
I know you were just repeating liamconnor's mistake, but I think such an error should be quickly cleared up. :)

Surely the starting point for discussion on issues such as dates of the NT books would be the consensus of modern NT scholars ?

That is - the 'view of the academy' as they say.

The current view of the academy is that the NT writings could stretch to as late as c.150. We should all be able to agree on the basic background information, right ?


You know -
Wouldn't it be handy if the consensus of the academy on the dates of early Christian writings, as well as their texts for reference, and even scholarly analyses - could be quickly and easily checked, maybe on some sort of web-site ?

[font=Comic Sans MS]SHAZAM[/font] ! Amazing ! Here is that very web-site :
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/

Incredibly, Peter Kirby called it "Early Christian Writings". :)


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