Christian Faith and Logic - Matthew J. Slick

Some partial backups of posts from the past (Feb, 2004)

Christian Faith and Logic - Matthew J. Slick

Postby Elizabeth Isabelle » Fri Jul 13, 2007 1:55 am

The back-up did not have the link to the latest Reasoning Show on it, so I'm taking the liberty of re-posting it:

Christian Faith and Logic - Matthew J. Slick

This show we deal with some classic themes and issues in Christian theology as well as some matters less orthodox. We talk about how to establish credibility and divine inspiration in scripture, the existence of God, the nature and origins of logic, during which guest Matthew Slick offers a somewhat unique argument for the necessity of God's existence. We also deal with matters of the nature of existence and the universe, consciousness and how to begin to select one religion from another in one's search for truth and spiritual substance. A lively and fluid discussion!
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Postby Kevin Solway » Fri Jul 13, 2007 5:06 am

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Kevin Solway Post subject: Re: Christian Faith and LogicPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 6:56 pm
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I thought it was a good show. There's not much more you could have done. Dave made the point stongly that the essence of his faith boils down to the demonstration of miracles - namely whether a person can walk on water, etc, which reveals the faith as low-grade and pointless.

Too bad if Jesus had decided not to do any miracles - nobody at all would have believed in him - or so it would seem.


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Dan Rowden Post subject: Re: Christian Faith and LogicPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 12:42 am
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Of course, the problem for the miracles connection to Jesus' dvinity is that it provides no such connection (notwithstanding its obvious low brow childishness). Jesus could simply have been an alien with talents perfectly consistent with natural laws. He could also just have been a guru trickster ahead of his time. The other problem - and it's a monumental problem - that Matt completely ignored was you cannot make claims of eye witness reports of events by quoting the Bible itself. He claimed this was an unfair criterion for credibility, but it obviously isn't.


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Diebert van Rhijn Post subject: Re: Christian Faith and LogicPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 1:14 am
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Fascinating show with a well spoken and courageous guest who seems like a nice enough guy with a firm belief set, solid, comforting and radiating (toxic?) certainty. Since I've a strong Christian and theological background myself a couple of thoughts here to address the reasoning.

First of all it's very positive to hear a Christian so dedicated to reason, logic and absolute truths as foundation to his belief. There are not many like that. At the same time one has to investigate how this dedication has lead to the belief in biblical scripture and the supposition of a personal mono-theistic God and literal interpretation of the Bible (or any book or report at all).

Some issues that popped during listening:

- Matt's claim there are no several logical belief systems with internal consistency possible to derive from the gospels, but one - the one he believes in. This is very hard to prove in itself because clearly people have constructed several consistent ones (in their view, look at all the different churches, cults and spin-offs) and he'd have to prove them all wrong, and not to himself only of course. A complex set of books with so many specifics and references lacking (which is not uncommon for ancient documents) by default allows for several reasonable explanations. One cannot take one and deny all future and past attempts to make sense of them. This seems unnecessary exclusive reasoning from Matt, closing the door for any competitive strong model that could explain all his questions and worries while at the same time be totally different from the explanation he believes in.

- Description of eye witnesses as 'evidence'. This all is based on some theory on dating, in itself a scientific activity (like palaeographical, philological, codicological, archaeological and historical analysis). There's no rock solid thesis around this whatever Matt suggests, it's all quite lively debated in the scientific community and when all is said is done one can only say right now: more information is needed before any of the eye-witness dating can be falsified beyond reasonable doubt. So far logic alone seems to indicate a rather late process of the actual writing or compiling (of the books as we know them now) but that's a personal viewpoint and is a long process to illustrate the reasons I believe this.

- The remark of Clement of Alexandria [or others in the second century CE] quoting Acts [or other scripture] is a dead duck when making a point about dating, because that still leaves a whole generation or two after the death of the eye witnesses to choose from and also it doesn't have to mean they used exactly the same book in the same unaltered form . And the remark of it not containing references to the destruction of Jerusalem or the death of Paul [a character that might not be entirely historically sound as well] sounds like an argument from silence and not weighing much if anything at all. These references could have been removed or left out for many unknown reasons. Or someone could have even deliberately falsified texts (and why not, Book of Mormon anyone?) and left all damning evidence out on purpose. Basic logic turns Matt's arguments into something that leaves much to be desired and I'm surprised Matt, claiming such a faith in reason and logic brings them up at all.

- Matt doesn't seem to understand what 'begging the question' really means because he brings it up in the wrong context. Defining God as Totality and Consciousness as (experience of) Existence is very logical and impossible to disprove; it are merely definitions with internal consistency after all. By introducing a mind outside the mind Matt only moves the question to another category but a category where reason is not allowed, an 'invisible' metaphysical (Platonic?) world where we don't know much about but ultimately can be nothing but yet another aspect of our reality. But he doesn't seem to realize that whatever God, super-mind or eternal being he brings into the equation; he still has to work within the limits of our consciousness, our logic, our dual nature. Of course if he wants to introduce a god, or a powerful alien or a hierarchy of angels he's free to do so and it might even be true and inspired teaching but it wouldn't be philosophy of the ultimate and there's the possibility of deception, lies, false gods, demonic tricks and so on. There can never be true certainty or belief in these things within the bounds of reason. Faith starts where our critical thought runs into a barrier. But we have to call it faith, not reason.

- Matt introduces "different kind of infinities" which sounds like the start of a complicated metaphysical system like the Kaballah or the seven heavens to ascend to. The problem here is that Matt claims David is 'mixing categories' but ignores the fact that Matt himself created the categories in the first place by introducing a 'finite Divine mind', or 'different levels of infinity'!

- "Science would claim the universe has a beginning and ending". Again a false argument picked out of thin air, for example a news item in the news this week about the Big Bounce. Assuming Matt was thinking of the Big Bang theory, I'd say that this theory is only there to suggest a possible model for the development of our current universe. Not for any origin or explanation of what might be beyond, before or after it - it's just not meant to do that. It doesn't exclude or imply a thing on that topic. We haven't even defined 'universe' yet in a definite way apart from the reach of our current sensors and calculations in certain models.

- "Law of Entropy" is no argument but shows Matt has no grip on astrophysics or thermodynamics but feels no shame to use it to bolster his argument as 'scientific'. A Big Bang as he uses it as evidence for a beginning is exactly the thing that would turn some of the thermodynamic laws upside down!

In general I think Matt missed the point that consciousness or identity is the reality principle by definition. There is no beyond because what lies beyond can never be really known outside the reality principle. The temptation to go from A=A to the Mind of God looks like some egotistic personalization of the divine, as craving need to make it personal; an attempt to water down the wine thereby destroying its true potency. This is the tragedy of Christian history and causes the stench emanating from this direction, with all my respect to the good intentions of Matt but his Bible knowledge, scientific knowledge and grasp on logical arguments are still falling short even while it's still way above the average Christian preacher.

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David Quinn Post subject: Re: Christian Faith and LogicPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 7:56 am
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I certainly found Matt to be more personable and "human" than most Christian fundamentalists I've dealt with over the years. He's also quite intelligent. But it is a classic case of an altered state ("the presence of Jesus") casting a spell over the mind and subsuming all other considerations. One sees this sort of thing everywhere, in all traditions.

I reckon there were a lot of classic moments on the show. My favourite was when he said at the beginning that revelation had to accord with scripture if it was to be legitimate, and then later in the show he said that he would willingly reject scripture if revelation told him to!

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Ryan R Post subject: Re: Christian Faith and LogicPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 1:13 pm
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yeah, Its sad that many people gravitate towards the life of Jesus for the same reasons that teenagers flock in herds to buy the latest Harry Potter novel.

Hey, I bet Jesus would be even more popular if some money-making tyrant would come forth with a ‘lost’ scripture that stated Jesus became a powerful wizard that went on many exciting adventures after his resurrection.

They could produce an entire series to really help cultivate that stark moral character in the youth that is desperately needed.

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Last edited by Ryan R on Wed Jul 04, 2007 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Diebert van Rhijn Post subject: Re: Christian Faith and LogicPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 1:34 pm
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Ryan R wrote:
Its sad that many people gravitate towards the life of Jesus for the same reasons that teenagers flock in herds to buy the latest Harry Potter novel.


Sad? Perhaps it's not much different than to name a forum "Genius forum" and talk about 'enlightenment' which attracts certain unmotivated types in numbers. Different age, different methods. In desperate dark times one might have to wrap the message into some specific form by cold calculation, nothing else. Would it really matter if the herd misinterpreted it and used it to serve their own needs? They would do that anyway, even if they stayed home and watched cartoon network or listen to the stories of grandfather. They would create a religion out of the next best thing so why not give them some potential wise concepts to worship instead - a net casted wide? Yeah, quite cynical this reasoning but is it possible teachers in the past have thought like this? The bigger picture.

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Diebert van Rhijn Post subject: Re: Christian Faith and LogicPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 1:42 pm
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David Quinn wrote:
I reckon there were a lot of classic moments on the show. My favourite was when he said at the beginning that revelation had to accord with scripture if it was to be legitimate, and then later in the show he said that he would willingly reject scripture if revelation told him to!


Certainly a classic! Also a major problem in the bible itself in which we can witness an almost constant revelation to prophets, teachers and leaders, forcing them to go against the stream of the dominant beliefs. But only after Paul gets his insight he decides to warn people that from now on every new revelation that goes against his words, even when spoken by an angel from above, should be rejected. Not sure whether he meant that in a universal way though or perhaps it was only meant for the ones he wrote his letter to at the time.

This is the fundamentalism created by Paul's teachings and embraced by many believers. But it goes against the message of the rest of the bible which is about a living ongoing revelation and swimming against the stream of dead letters. The lonely prophets in the desert, some even killed for correcting or re-interpreting older revelations. It's the major theme of the books of the prophets and as well the experiences of the first Christians in the NT. No wonder this creates a huge contradiction for the 'modern' Christian. They have to be revolutionary and at the same time they're bound by traditionalism and fundamentalism just like any other Pharisee or golden calf worshiper.

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Ryan R Post subject: Re: Christian Faith and LogicPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 4:50 pm
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Diebert wrote:


Quote:
Sad? Perhaps it's not much different than to name a forum "Genius forum" and talk about 'enlightenment' which attracts certain unmotivated types in numbers. Different age, different methods.


yes, the word 'sad' is the wrong language to use, I should be a bit more careful with what words I use. the word 'sad' implies an emotional concern with things being the way they are, and an expectation for things to be other than what they are.

I agree with what you've stated.

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Elizabeth Isabelle Post subject: Re: Christian Faith and LogicPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 5:02 pm
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Dan Rowden wrote:
The other problem - and it's a monumental problem - that Matt completely ignored was you cannot make claims of eye witness reports of events by quoting the Bible itself. He claimed this was an unfair criterion for credibility, but it obviously isn't.


I wondered why you didn't call him on that horrible analogy that it was like not being allowed to use legal documentation to prove that your house is your house. Using legal documentation to prove that your house is your house is not like using the Bible to prove the Bible. Using your front door to prove that your house is your house is a closer analogy - but using legal documentation to prove your house is your house is more like what you were suggesting - using a source outside the Bible itself to prove it.


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Diebert van Rhijn Post subject: Re: Christian Faith and LogicPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 6:33 pm
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Playing God's advocate here: Christian apologists would not only quote the biblical scripture but also contemporary writers of the time to support many historical elements. Their claim goes like this: if other historical events are judged in a certain way (by written testimony of various sources) than why not use the same criteria for our scriptures. The answer often eludes them and is best phrased by Carl Sagan: "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". In other words, we don't require the same level of evidence to prove the existence of a philosopher writing books at 100 CE as we'd need to prove the claims of people witnessing a miracle worker. I think it's a reasonable requirement especially looking at the amount of forgery in the supernatural department in all ages. No matter if its a Bible or UFO believer, this criterion is often flat out rejected by them and it's easy to understand why.

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Dan Rowden Post subject: Re: Christian Faith and LogicPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 12:18 am
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Elizabeth Isabelle wrote:
Dan Rowden wrote:
The other problem - and it's a monumental problem - that Matt completely ignored was you cannot make claims of eye witness reports of events by quoting the Bible itself. He claimed this was an unfair criterion for credibility, but it obviously isn't.


I wondered why you didn't call him on that horrible analogy that it was like not being allowed to use legal documentation to prove that your house is your house. Using legal documentation to prove that your house is your house is not like using the Bible to prove the Bible. Using your front door to prove that your house is your house is a closer analogy - but using legal documentation to prove your house is your house is more like what you were suggesting - using a source outside the Bible itself to prove it.


Yeah, I know. I didn't call him on it because it totally confused me. I kept thinking there was an angle to it that I was missing. By the time I realised there wasn't the conversation had moved on so I just left it alone. I'm sure the average listener will realise it's an analogy that doesn't work.

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Re: Christian Faith and Logic - Matthew J. Slick

Postby Carico » Sat Aug 18, 2007 11:43 am

Actually a transcript of eye-witness testimony is considered evidence, in fact strong evidence, in a court of law. In addition, proof of ownership of a house is not a front door, which could be anyone's front door; it;s a legal document signed by previous and current owners. So Matt is correct.
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Re: Christian Faith and Logic - Matthew J. Slick

Postby Diebert van Rhijn » Sat Aug 18, 2007 11:03 pm

Carico wrote:Actually a transcript of eye-witness testimony is considered evidence, in fact strong evidence, in a court of law. In addition, proof of ownership of a house is not a front door, which could be anyone's front door; it;s a legal document signed by previous and current owners. So Matt is correct.


If you'd give it some more thought:

A court wouldn't accept a document listing largely unknown, unspecified people as witnesses. Witnesses need to make a statement under a similar legal system. Even when the document is approved by a court in lets say Somalia, it wouldn't mean much to a court in the USA.

Perhaps you can see the problem: there are no authorities (not even from the same time frame) known that really confirm the existence of the eye-witnesses, therefore their 'testimony' could be anything ranging from forgeries to story-telling.

Ownership of a house has the same problem. A legal document becomes legal because the signatures on it are approved and witnessed by legal authorities, agents or parties recognized by the current legal system to be authoritative for such transaction.

When we transpose this back to the New Testament then it becomes clear we need to have some additional documentation that is recognized by today's academic standards of truth and historical evidence as trustworthy enough. Same as a legal document would have to prove its legitimacy first.

If we didn't have such standards in our review of past events then we could position 'miraculous' accounts of King Arthur, Buddha, all UFO reports, Mohamed and so on just as easily as equally 'historical' fact too. But the story is not that simple of course and we enter the intricate world of myth and mind that shape and are shaped by what we call history.
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Re: Christian Faith and Logic - Matthew J. Slick

Postby Carico » Sat Aug 18, 2007 11:45 pm

Diebert van Rhijn wrote:
Carico wrote:Actually a transcript of eye-witness testimony is considered evidence, in fact strong evidence, in a court of law. In addition, proof of ownership of a house is not a front door, which could be anyone's front door; it;s a legal document signed by previous and current owners. So Matt is correct.


If you'd give it some more thought:

A court wouldn't accept a document listing largely unknown, unspecified people as witnesses. Witnesses need to make a statement under a similar legal system. Even when the document is approved by a court in lets say Somalia, it wouldn't mean much to a court in the USA.

Perhaps you can see the problem: there are no authorities (not even from the same time frame) known that really confirm the existence of the eye-witnesses, therefore their 'testimony' could be anything ranging from forgeries to story-telling.

Ownership of a house has the same problem. A legal document becomes legal because the signatures on it are approved and witnessed by legal authorities, agents or parties recognized by the current legal system to be authoritative for such transaction.

When we transpose this back to the New Testament then it becomes clear we need to have some additional documentation that is recognized by today's academic standards of truth and historical evidence as trustworthy enough. Same as a legal document would have to prove its legitimacy first.

If we didn't have such standards in our review of past events then we could position 'miraculous' accounts of King Arthur, Buddha, all UFO reports, Mohamed and so on just as easily as equally 'historical' fact too. But the story is not that simple of course and we enter the intricate world of myth and mind that shape and are shaped by what we call history.


So how much additional documentation would be enough? Considering that Jesus didn't travel out of Israel, then why would you believe people who didn't see or hear him? That's no different than interviewing people in Madagascar for evidence of the life of George Washington.

So remember that investigators always interview witnesses who knew the defendant or suspect personally. And since we have four differnt eye-witnesses, in addition to Christ's enemies, the Romans and the Jews, who had every reason to claim he didn't say and do what the eye-witnesses said he did, but didn't deny he did them, then there's no reason to believe they're lying, especially since you'd have to try to change history to do it. So the only people who claim that Jesus didn't say or do what those who witnessed his lif said he did, are those who never knew him!! So why would you believe people who never knew Jesus over those who did? You need to give that one a lot of thought.

And considering that the bible is still used in some courthouses on which to swear that one is telling the truth, then the court indeed has shown that it considers the bible a credible source of the truth.
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Re: Christian Faith and Logic - Matthew J. Slick

Postby Diebert van Rhijn » Sun Aug 19, 2007 2:46 am

Carico wrote:
So how much additional documentation would be enough?


Lets start with one from where we can establish Jesus was most likely actually there, teaching. Anything from an enemy or neutral observer perhaps will do.

Considering that Jesus didn't travel out of Israel, then why would you believe people who didn't see or hear him?


He actually went to Egypt during his upbringing. But Israel had enough historians and writers around at the time Jesus is supposed to have tought. Roman rulers had biographers, etc.

It's not a matter of me believing people who didn't see him, it's just that all contemporaries found so far write as if he didn't exist. Which leaves me with no means to establish by historical means that he actually was there, let alone to establish what he actually did or didn't do.

Please note that I cannot deny it either, as hard as it is to prove a negative. The way the gospel was written, based on exactly which texts and authors or teachers, is still a big puzzle with no 'hard' facts at all.

So remember that investigators always interview witnesses who knew the defendant or suspect personally.


No, just having seen him or the 'crime scene', anything suspicious or possibly relevant at all or have any connection really, which are then called 'informants' or 'sources'.

And since we have four differnt eye-witnesses,


Four different canonical gospels you mean. Nobody disputes they share some sources though ('Q', or perhaps Thomas). The authorship of those gospels is just another different type of claim.

in addition to Christ's enemies, the Romans and the Jews, who had every reason to claim he didn't say and do what the eye-witnesses said he did, but didn't deny he did them, then there's no reason to believe they're lying, especially since you'd have to try to change history to do it.


That's called "argument from silence". Nobody wrote a detailed account on Buddha's possible lack of existence or miracles at the time, so it must all have happened too?

So why would you believe people who never knew Jesus over those who did? You need to give that one a lot of thought.


It's a matter of motive: who has to gain? Believers in the savior Christ have only their whole sense of purpose and salvation to loose. People who didn't know or care to know him have exactly what to gain by intentionally not writing about him?

And we know from other more recent 'holy' writings like the book of Mormon that people can very easily make up a lot of stuff and gain a huge following.

And considering that the bible is still used in some courthouses on which to swear that one is telling the truth, then the court indeed has shown that it considers the bible a credible source of the truth.


It's amazing, isn't it? There are many more such left-overs from Christian times. But since almost a century a solemn promise suffices, at least in modern countries. And Christians contradict themselves with such swearing too:

"James 5:12: "Above all, my brothers, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your "Yes" be yes, and your "No," no, or you will be condemned"
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Re: Christian Faith and Logic - Matthew J. Slick

Postby Carico » Sun Aug 19, 2007 12:39 pm

Diebert van Rhijn wrote:
Carico wrote:
So how much additional documentation would be enough?


Lets start with one from where we can establish Jesus was most likely actually there, teaching. Anything from an enemy or neutral observer perhaps will do.

Considering that Jesus didn't travel out of Israel, then why would you believe people who didn't see or hear him?


He actually went to Egypt during his upbringing. But Israel had enough historians and writers around at the time Jesus is supposed to have tought. Roman rulers had biographers, etc.

It's not a matter of me believing people who didn't see him, it's just that all contemporaries found so far write as if he didn't exist. Which leaves me with no means to establish by historical means that he actually was there, let alone to establish what he actually did or didn't do.

Please note that I cannot deny it either, as hard as it is to prove a negative. The way the gospel was written, based on exactly which texts and authors or teachers, is still a big puzzle with no 'hard' facts at all.

So remember that investigators always interview witnesses who knew the defendant or suspect personally.


No, just having seen him or the 'crime scene', anything suspicious or possibly relevant at all or have any connection really, which are then called 'informants' or 'sources'.

And since we have four differnt eye-witnesses,


Four different canonical gospels you mean. Nobody disputes they share some sources though ('Q', or perhaps Thomas). The authorship of those gospels is just another different type of claim.

in addition to Christ's enemies, the Romans and the Jews, who had every reason to claim he didn't say and do what the eye-witnesses said he did, but didn't deny he did them, then there's no reason to believe they're lying, especially since you'd have to try to change history to do it.


That's called "argument from silence". Nobody wrote a detailed account on Buddha's possible lack of existence or miracles at the time, so it must all have happened too?

So why would you believe people who never knew Jesus over those who did? You need to give that one a lot of thought.


It's a matter of motive: who has to gain? Believers in the savior Christ have only their whole sense of purpose and salvation to loose. People who didn't know or care to know him have exactly what to gain by intentionally not writing about him?

And we know from other more recent 'holy' writings like the book of Mormon that people can very easily make up a lot of stuff and gain a huge following.

And considering that the bible is still used in some courthouses on which to swear that one is telling the truth, then the court indeed has shown that it considers the bible a credible source of the truth.


It's amazing, isn't it? There are many more such left-overs from Christian times. But since almost a century a solemn promise suffices, at least in modern countries. And Christians contradict themselves with such swearing too:

"James 5:12: "Above all, my brothers, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your "Yes" be yes, and your "No," no, or you will be condemned"


We not only have one, we have at least FOUR. And all you need is ONE who says he wasn't there and you don't even have that. So the evidence is on our side.

And who would talk about a baby in Egypt? There were millions of babies in Egypt that weren't written about. So do you claim that no baby who wasn't written about in Egypt, existed? Come on, this is supposed to be about reason. So you need to use some.

Who writes as if he didn't exist? Jesus is NEVER called a legend in any world history book. Why do you think that is? And considering that msot contemporaries of Jesus were illiterate, and very few, if any, historiains lived in Israel except Jews, then again, who would write about him? So again, you need to use logic and reason instead of a fierce desire to deny Jesus no matter how irrational one has to be to do that.

Sorry, but you're incorrect. I've read enough detective books and seen enough real life detective stories to see that they all interview people who knew those involved with the victim or suspect. So once again, why would you go to Madagascar to find out about George Washington? remember, you're suppsoed to use reason, not absurd arguments.

Sorry, but no one witnessed what Joseph Smith claimed to see which is why we only have HIS account of his visions just like we only have Mohammed's account that allah even exists. So try again.

So why would the disciples who all denied Jesus at his crucifixion, suddenly turn around and pass along a story they KNEW to be a lie just so they could get killed? Again, use reason rather than desperation.

And most importantly, why would Jews who were looking for a DIFFERENT messiah than Jesus make up a story like that?

And lastly, please tell us what did happen in Jerusalem during the time of Christ so we can claim that most of the Jews just sat around making up stories about their history and events.

So none of your arguments are reasonable or credible. They're just desperate attempts to deny Jesus and re-write history in the process. That's as ridiculous as me claiming that Caesar didn't exist with no evidence for my claims.
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Re: Christian Faith and Logic - Matthew J. Slick

Postby Diebert van Rhijn » Mon Aug 20, 2007 1:35 am

Carico wrote:We not only have one, we have at least FOUR.


Again, you have four documents which is not the same as having identified authors known and written about by contemporaries.

Compare it to a murder case where the suspect brings to his defense four written statements, alibis that the suspect claims are written by four close family members or confidants who claim to have eaten with him at a restaurant at the time of the murder.

The court views those documents and asks: "who are these people, and who has recorded their statements and legalized them as bonafide?". The suspect replies: "the evidence these people and their testimonies are real is contained in their witness statements, they even name each other in their statements!"

Now in the mean time no one at the restaurant who was asked seems to remember this group at all. It's still very hard to find and question all people who have been at the restaurant, since the murder case is two thousand years old...

So it should be clear a court will throw out these witness statements, even if they were only ten years old since their authority or accuracy can not be established to any reasonable, or legitimate level. So the waiting is for a new witness or source that could clear up the issue. Until that moment the suspect will remain suspect unless he can ID the people who wrote the statements as actually existing with some degree of credibility (so not someone from a mental institution, a known fraud, etc).

And all you need is ONE who says he wasn't there and you don't even have that. So the evidence is on our side.


I don't need proof someone was not there. All I ask is believable evidence, beyond reasonable doubt, that a specific person actually was there, doing miracles, traveling around, saying the things like the gospels recorded. It would be already a major improvement if only the identity and whereabouts were established, that would be a big step forward.

And who would talk about a baby in Egypt? There were millions of babies in Egypt that weren't written about. So do you claim that no baby who wasn't written about in Egypt, existed? Come on, this is supposed to be about reason. So you need to use some.


Sorry about that, I shouldn't have brought the matter up, I wasn't meaning anything particular with it.

And considering that most contemporaries of Jesus were illiterate, and very few, if any, historiains lived in Israel except Jews, then again, who would write about him?


Well, you're implying already 4 of the 12 could compose a gospel, so that's at least 30% literacy rate and the Gospels are known to be decent writing too.

Why wouldn't a Jewish historian write about Jesus? They could at least write a bit negative, warning people away! Do you believe they blacked him out of existence on purpose? But upon reading historians they seem to include a lot of terrible unfavorable (to the Jews) passages about other topics so it doesn't seem likely they'd self-censure much.

Sorry, but you're incorrect. I've read enough detective books and seen enough real life detective stories to see that they all interview people who knew those involved with the victim or suspect.


Witnesses include anyone having seen or heard anything which might help the case, preferably reliable witnesses who can give their name and profession. Anonymous or false name statements are not considered witnesses at all. Perhaps you're thinking of 'character witnesses' or lining suspects up for identification. But these people still have to identify themselves first. You might not realize that we cannot identify the authors of the Gospels apart from what the authors themselves claimed. But without official 'ID' it remains a spurious claim.

Sorry, but no one witnessed what Joseph Smith claimed to see which is why we only have HIS account of his visions just like we only have Mohammed's account that allah even exists. So try again.


Exactly! Of course after Smith and Mohamed came generations of teachers and authors writing about and 'authorizing' what was originally written. But in the end we have no means to verify the claims of Smith (even while we know he existed as person). We can show some of the weaknesses of his statements and contradictions, and so on.

So why would the disciples who all denied Jesus at his crucifixion, suddenly turn around and pass along a story they KNEW to be a lie just so they could get killed? Again, use reason rather than desperation.


You assume they denied Jesus first, you assume there was a crucifixion, you assume existing disciples because you assume the Gospels already to be faultless true accounts. You're free to assume or believe it but not to state is as rational proof or 'legal' evidence of some kind, because there's none to date.

And most importantly, why would Jews who were looking for a DIFFERENT messiah than Jesus make up a story like that?


If the story was 'made up' we cannot say exactly by whom, perhaps they were Hellenistic Jews (influenced by Greek ideas). We can't say what the story was intended to mean, apart from the clear wisdom many passages contain. I find it reasonable to assume the document was originally meant as teaching, not as much as historical account of affairs. This is in line with earlier teachings that can be found in the Old Testament and other writings that circulated at the time.

People from all ages always have taken simple truths and made some sensational literal account from it. The evidence is staggering up until today that this is what humans tend to do so it seems reasonable to suspect a similar event in the first century CE. It's only my educated suspicion, not a proven case. Not many things in life are iron-clad proven, we live with a lot of reasonable assumption when it comes to many important matters.

And lastly, please tell us what did happen in Jerusalem during the time of Christ so we can claim that most of the Jews just sat around making up stories about their history and events.


Well, not any of them we know (who have an ID) actually wrote anything about Jesus. They did wrote what happened in Jerusalem, the Roman occupation, the rebellions and so on. Not many people doubt the historical context. Actually there's some evidence that suggests the NT writers used some of the known work (ad verbatim) of contemporary historians to use in their accounts, thereby appearing more historical. I could give you references if interested.

So none of your arguments are reasonable or credible. They're just desperate attempts to deny Jesus and re-write history in the process. That's as ridiculous as me claiming that Caesar didn't exist with no evidence for my claims.


I do not deny the existence of Jesus. I only deny your claim that we can speak of "eye-witness testimony that is considered evidence in a court of law". Can you see the difference?

In fact many millions of Christians, many of them I met and spoke with, would admit this too. They live by faith alone, and do not require 'evidence', nor do they claim any after reviewing the facts so far. I just wonder why the need for evidence? Why create it out of thin air?

The reason Julius (?) Ceasar is not doubted is because there's so much evidence in the form of accounts by various independent parties about him, containing varying viewpoints. Some things about his life probably are disputed though because it might only appear in his own biography, or written by his friends and admirers with no track record of neutrality and so cannot be confirmed in any way but should be read with reasonable suspicion.
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Re: Christian Faith and Logic - Matthew J. Slick

Postby Ataraxia » Mon Aug 20, 2007 4:39 pm

Diebert van Rhijn wrote:The reason Julius (?) Ceasar is not doubted is because there's so much evidence in the form of accounts by various independent parties about him, containing varying viewpoints. Some things about his life probably are disputed though because it might only appear in his own biography, or written by his friends and admirers with no track record of neutrality and so cannot be confirmed in any way but should be read with reasonable suspicion.

Too bad Cicero never lived in the days of Jesus.We might then have some realiable accounts of what Jesus had to say for himself.

This idea that we can take the gospels verbatin when written 30 and 40 years after Jesus' death is quite frankly,quite ludicrous.
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Re: Christian Faith and Logic - Matthew J. Slick

Postby Carico » Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:00 pm

Diebert van Rhijn wrote:
Carico wrote:We not only have one, we have at least FOUR.


Again, you have four documents which is not the same as having identified authors known and written about by contemporaries.

Compare it to a murder case where the suspect brings to his defense four written statements, alibis that the suspect claims are written by four close family members or confidants who claim to have eaten with him at a restaurant at the time of the murder.

The court views those documents and asks: "who are these people, and who has recorded their statements and legalized them as bonafide?". The suspect replies: "the evidence these people and their testimonies are real is contained in their witness statements, they even name each other in their statements!"

Now in the mean time no one at the restaurant who was asked seems to remember this group at all. It's still very hard to find and question all people who have been at the restaurant, since the murder case is two thousand years old...

So it should be clear a court will throw out these witness statements, even if they were only ten years old since their authority or accuracy can not be established to any reasonable, or legitimate level. So the waiting is for a new witness or source that could clear up the issue. Until that moment the suspect will remain suspect unless he can ID the people who wrote the statements as actually existing with some degree of credibility (so not someone from a mental institution, a known fraud, etc).

And all you need is ONE who says he wasn't there and you don't even have that. So the evidence is on our side.


I don't need proof someone was not there. All I ask is believable evidence, beyond reasonable doubt, that a specific person actually was there, doing miracles, traveling around, saying the things like the gospels recorded. It would be already a major improvement if only the identity and whereabouts were established, that would be a big step forward.

And who would talk about a baby in Egypt? There were millions of babies in Egypt that weren't written about. So do you claim that no baby who wasn't written about in Egypt, existed? Come on, this is supposed to be about reason. So you need to use some.


Sorry about that, I shouldn't have brought the matter up, I wasn't meaning anything particular with it.

And considering that most contemporaries of Jesus were illiterate, and very few, if any, historiains lived in Israel except Jews, then again, who would write about him?


Well, you're implying already 4 of the 12 could compose a gospel, so that's at least 30% literacy rate and the Gospels are known to be decent writing too.

Why wouldn't a Jewish historian write about Jesus? They could at least write a bit negative, warning people away! Do you believe they blacked him out of existence on purpose? But upon reading historians they seem to include a lot of terrible unfavorable (to the Jews) passages about other topics so it doesn't seem likely they'd self-censure much.

Sorry, but you're incorrect. I've read enough detective books and seen enough real life detective stories to see that they all interview people who knew those involved with the victim or suspect.


Witnesses include anyone having seen or heard anything which might help the case, preferably reliable witnesses who can give their name and profession. Anonymous or false name statements are not considered witnesses at all. Perhaps you're thinking of 'character witnesses' or lining suspects up for identification. But these people still have to identify themselves first. You might not realize that we cannot identify the authors of the Gospels apart from what the authors themselves claimed. But without official 'ID' it remains a spurious claim.

Sorry, but no one witnessed what Joseph Smith claimed to see which is why we only have HIS account of his visions just like we only have Mohammed's account that allah even exists. So try again.


Exactly! Of course after Smith and Mohamed came generations of teachers and authors writing about and 'authorizing' what was originally written. But in the end we have no means to verify the claims of Smith (even while we know he existed as person). We can show some of the weaknesses of his statements and contradictions, and so on.

So why would the disciples who all denied Jesus at his crucifixion, suddenly turn around and pass along a story they KNEW to be a lie just so they could get killed? Again, use reason rather than desperation.


You assume they denied Jesus first, you assume there was a crucifixion, you assume existing disciples because you assume the Gospels already to be faultless true accounts. You're free to assume or believe it but not to state is as rational proof or 'legal' evidence of some kind, because there's none to date.

And most importantly, why would Jews who were looking for a DIFFERENT messiah than Jesus make up a story like that?


If the story was 'made up' we cannot say exactly by whom, perhaps they were Hellenistic Jews (influenced by Greek ideas). We can't say what the story was intended to mean, apart from the clear wisdom many passages contain. I find it reasonable to assume the document was originally meant as teaching, not as much as historical account of affairs. This is in line with earlier teachings that can be found in the Old Testament and other writings that circulated at the time.

People from all ages always have taken simple truths and made some sensational literal account from it. The evidence is staggering up until today that this is what humans tend to do so it seems reasonable to suspect a similar event in the first century CE. It's only my educated suspicion, not a proven case. Not many things in life are iron-clad proven, we live with a lot of reasonable assumption when it comes to many important matters.

And lastly, please tell us what did happen in Jerusalem during the time of Christ so we can claim that most of the Jews just sat around making up stories about their history and events.


Well, not any of them we know (who have an ID) actually wrote anything about Jesus. They did wrote what happened in Jerusalem, the Roman occupation, the rebellions and so on. Not many people doubt the historical context. Actually there's some evidence that suggests the NT writers used some of the known work (ad verbatim) of contemporary historians to use in their accounts, thereby appearing more historical. I could give you references if interested.

So none of your arguments are reasonable or credible. They're just desperate attempts to deny Jesus and re-write history in the process. That's as ridiculous as me claiming that Caesar didn't exist with no evidence for my claims.


I do not deny the existence of Jesus. I only deny your claim that we can speak of "eye-witness testimony that is considered evidence in a court of law". Can you see the difference?

In fact many millions of Christians, many of them I met and spoke with, would admit this too. They live by faith alone, and do not require 'evidence', nor do they claim any after reviewing the facts so far. I just wonder why the need for evidence? Why create it out of thin air?

The reason Julius (?) Ceasar is not doubted is because there's so much evidence in the form of accounts by various independent parties about him, containing varying viewpoints. Some things about his life probably are disputed though because it might only appear in his own biography, or written by his friends and admirers with no track record of neutrality and so cannot be confirmed in any way but should be read with reasonable suspicion.


And the reason that there are so many accounts of Julius Caesar is because he traveled all over Europe and western Asia. Jesus never traveled out of Israel and stayed pretty much around Galillee. So again, why do you want accounts by people who never knew Jesus?

So asking us to prove what Jesus did without using the bible is as ludicrous as asking someone to prove the existence of julius Caesar by throwing away all the accounts we have of his life.
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Re: Christian Faith and Logic - Matthew J. Slick

Postby Diebert van Rhijn » Tue Aug 21, 2007 8:21 pm

Carico wrote:And the reason that there are so many accounts of Julius Caesar is because he traveled all over Europe and western Asia. Jesus never traveled out of Israel and stayed pretty much around Galillee.


Hey, you brought up Ceasar in the first place, don't let me now defend your poor choice of example! :-)

So again, why do you want accounts by people who never knew Jesus?


I want accounts from any person who has a name and identity, beyond the one given by themselves to themselves. This includes all people who knew Jesus, or only heard about him or speculated about him. The amount of those people amounts to: zero!

It would be interesting to see accounts from Flavius Josephus, Justus of Tiberias (who chronicled exactly that period and region), Philo of Alexandria (Jewish historian from the same time writing about Pilate in Judea a lot, detailing every conflict with the Jews), Velleius Paterculus (who detailed a lot of events in Roman occupied terrotories, including ones way smaller of impact than the Gospels describe).

But all of the above are silent on the issue. Nada. Added to that one could wonder why Jesus didn't bother to author a book himself if he had the impression written texts would become the pillar of his church. Why leave it to disciples he often criticized of having lack of understanding and faith?

So asking us to prove what Jesus did without using the bible is as ludicrous as asking someone to prove the existence of julius Caesar by throwing away all the accounts we have of his life.


I never said you cannot use the Gospels at all. But not in isolation. That would be unique in the history of historical analysis.


I do not deny the existence of Jesus or demand proof. I only deny your claim that we can speak of "eye-witness testimony that is considered evidence in a court of law". Can you see the difference?
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Re: Christian Faith and Logic - Matthew J. Slick

Postby Carico » Tue Aug 21, 2007 11:40 pm

Diebert van Rhijn wrote:
Carico wrote:And the reason that there are so many accounts of Julius Caesar is because he traveled all over Europe and western Asia. Jesus never traveled out of Israel and stayed pretty much around Galillee.


Hey, you brought up Ceasar in the first place, don't let me now defend your poor choice of example! :-)

So again, why do you want accounts by people who never knew Jesus?


I want accounts from any person who has a name and identity, beyond the one given by themselves to themselves. This includes all people who knew Jesus, or only heard about him or speculated about him. The amount of those people amounts to: zero!

It would be interesting to see accounts from Flavius Josephus, Justus of Tiberias (who chronicled exactly that period and region), Philo of Alexandria (Jewish historian from the same time writing about Pilate in Judea a lot, detailing every conflict with the Jews), Velleius Paterculus (who detailed a lot of events in Roman occupied terrotories, including ones way smaller of impact than the Gospels describe).

But all of the above are silent on the issue. Nada. Added to that one could wonder why Jesus didn't bother to author a book himself if he had the impression written texts would become the pillar of his church. Why leave it to disciples he often criticized of having lack of understanding and faith?

So asking us to prove what Jesus did without using the bible is as ludicrous as asking someone to prove the existence of julius Caesar by throwing away all the accounts we have of his life.


I never said you cannot use the Gospels at all. But not in isolation. That would be unique in the history of historical analysis.


I do not deny the existence of Jesus or demand proof. I only deny your claim that we can speak of "eye-witness testimony that is considered evidence in a court of law". Can you see the difference?


So then what other evidence is there of historical figures except the written word and eye-witness testimony? How do you propose that they convince you they existed? Come back from the dead?

Well I got news for you, Jesus is the only one who has come back from the dead and shown himself in the hearts of believers and you still don't believe him!!! Yet you believe that other historical figures existed using the same evidence that we have for Jesus; the written word and eye-witness testimony. That makes Jesus right again when he said; "If they didn't believe Moses and the prophets, then neither will they be convinced by someone who has risen from the dead."

Jesus already knows unbelieving hearts, what they will claim and what they wont believe no matter if proof is standing right in front of them.

Si it isn't a lack of evidence for Jesus that's the proplem. There's plenty of that. It's the refusal of atheists to believe that evidence present in everything around them. That's called denial. And denial has nothing whatsoever to do with reason because denial comes from fear. And that's present in everyone who has to go to the absurd legths to deny who Jesus is, what he did and what he said that atheists do. End of story.
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Re: Christian Faith and Logic - Matthew J. Slick

Postby Diebert van Rhijn » Wed Aug 22, 2007 3:04 am

Carico wrote:So then what other evidence is there of historical figures except the written word and eye-witness testimony? How do you propose that they convince you they existed? Come back from the dead?


If the eye-witness counts as evidence of any historical figure, one has to apply the same principle on the witnesses themselves. Which testimony or witness is there to proof the existence of the gospel writers, a Matthew, a Mark, and so on?

This is the thing, you accept Jesus because of documents written by self-proclaimed witnesses. But you're not willing to doubt the reality of these self-proclaimed witnesses. Who witnessed the witness? Who gave them a name and identity? Right.... they gave it to themselves and mostly indirectly to each other. You end up with one character without proven existence validating another character who has no proven existence himself, without even knowing exactly the depth of relation between these people! So not even a way to verify what they say about each other, which is not much to begin with.

It seems you're just not willing to go where reason leads you. You say 'A' but refuse to say 'B' because it might hurt your initial hypothesis (in your case one which has become a belief).
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Re: Christian Faith and Logic - Matthew J. Slick

Postby Carico » Wed Aug 22, 2007 10:15 pm

Diebert van Rhijn wrote:
Carico wrote:So then what other evidence is there of historical figures except the written word and eye-witness testimony? How do you propose that they convince you they existed? Come back from the dead?


If the eye-witness counts as evidence of any historical figure, one has to apply the same principle on the witnesses themselves. Which testimony or witness is there to proof the existence of the gospel writers, a Matthew, a Mark, and so on?

This is the thing, you accept Jesus because of documents written by self-proclaimed witnesses. But you're not willing to doubt the reality of these self-proclaimed witnesses. Who witnessed the witness? Who gave them a name and identity? Right.... they gave it to themselves and mostly indirectly to each other. You end up with one character without proven existence validating another character who has no proven existence himself, without even knowing exactly the depth of relation between these people! So not even a way to verify what they say about each other, which is not much to begin with.

It seems you're just not willing to go where reason leads you. You say 'A' but refuse to say 'B' because it might hurt your initial hypothesis (in your case one which has become a belief).


Sorry, but you're grasping at straws and don't have a leg to stand on. How much time do you spend doubting the accounts, biographies and eye-witnesses to Caesar's or Alexander the Great's life, or anyone else in history for that matter? Probably close to zero. You just accept them.

So since there's much more detailed accounts of the life of Jesus, what he did and what he said, than most other firgures in history, it's simple, unbelief from a hardened heart on your part, not lack of evidence on our part.
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Re: Christian Faith and Logic - Matthew J. Slick

Postby Diebert van Rhijn » Wed Aug 22, 2007 11:09 pm

Carico wrote:Sorry, but you're grasping at straws and don't have a leg to stand on. How much time do you spend doubting the accounts, biographies and eye-witnesses to Caesar's or Alexander the Great's life, or anyone else in history for that matter? Probably close to zero. You just accept them.


No, it's all scrutinized, not just accepted and documentation is readably available for anyone wanting to doubt their existence. In the end we're free to make up our mind about their existence though. Perhaps they made up Alexander the Great, so what? No religion will crumble because of it.

So since there's much more detailed accounts of the life of Jesus, what he did and what he said, than most other firgures in history, it's simple, unbelief from a hardened heart on your part, not lack of evidence on our part.


There's not much detail about Jesus the person. It's a vague and mysterious character, more like a character in Homer's work. We have barely three years of his short life somewhat described. Do you realize how many decades are documented of other main historical characters?

Your viewpoint is quite obscure, representing only a subculture within modern Christianity. You have to accept that you live by faith alone and perhaps cannot afford to deal with the reason underlying it.
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Re: Christian Faith and Logic - Matthew J. Slick

Postby Carico » Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:12 pm

Ataraxia wrote:
Diebert van Rhijn wrote:The reason Julius (?) Ceasar is not doubted is because there's so much evidence in the form of accounts by various independent parties about him, containing varying viewpoints. Some things about his life probably are disputed though because it might only appear in his own biography, or written by his friends and admirers with no track record of neutrality and so cannot be confirmed in any way but should be read with reasonable suspicion.

Too bad Cicero never lived in the days of Jesus.We might then have some realiable accounts of what Jesus had to say for himself.

This idea that we can take the gospels verbatin when written 30 and 40 years after Jesus' death is quite frankly,quite ludicrous.


Considering that most biographies of historical figures are written years after their deaths and the history of the Gallic wars were written hundreds of years after Caesar's death, then it makes the gospel look like a daily journal!

So your desperate attempts to discredit the bible are a joke.
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Re: Christian Faith and Logic - Matthew J. Slick

Postby Carico » Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:15 pm

Diebert van Rhijn wrote:
Carico wrote:Sorry, but you're grasping at straws and don't have a leg to stand on. How much time do you spend doubting the accounts, biographies and eye-witnesses to Caesar's or Alexander the Great's life, or anyone else in history for that matter? Probably close to zero. You just accept them.


No, it's all scrutinized, not just accepted and documentation is readably available for anyone wanting to doubt their existence. In the end we're free to make up our mind about their existence though. Perhaps they made up Alexander the Great, so what? No religion will crumble because of it.

So since there's much more detailed accounts of the life of Jesus, what he did and what he said, than most other firgures in history, it's simple, unbelief from a hardened heart on your part, not lack of evidence on our part.


There's not much detail about Jesus the person. It's a vague and mysterious character, more like a character in Homer's work. We have barely three years of his short life somewhat described. Do you realize how many decades are documented of other main historical characters?

Your viewpoint is quite obscure, representing only a subculture within modern Christianity. You have to accept that you live by faith alone and perhaps cannot afford to deal with the reason underlying it.


And what eye-witness accounts do we have of the death of Julius Caesar? How much detail is written about it and by whom?

What eye-witness accounts do we have of the death of Alexander the great? Do you even know who witnessed it? But most people in western society know about the accounts of the life of Christ's life, death, and resurrection. So you are in error again.
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Re: Christian Faith and Logic - Matthew J. Slick

Postby Dan Rowden » Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:27 pm

Jesus wept. You are full of shit. Xians like you make me sick to my stomach. No historian regards the deaths of Julius Ceaser or Alexander as historical fact.

Anyone who thinks the Gospel accounts are true simply because they say they are is a fool. Anyone who criticises people for not believeing it is an arsehole.
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Re: Christian Faith and Logic - Matthew J. Slick

Postby Carico » Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:50 pm

Dan Rowden wrote:Jesus wept. You are full of shit. Xians like you make me sick to my stomach. No historian regards the deaths of Julius Ceaser or Alexander as historical fact.

Anyone who thinks the Gospel accounts are true simply because they say they are is a fool. Anyone who criticises people for not believeing it is an arsehole.


So you don't think that Julius Ceasar or Alexander the Great died?? Are you claiming they're still alive? or perhaps they didn't live either? If this is your example of reason, then atheists are the last people to claim that Christians are unreasonable!
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Re: Christian Faith and Logic - Matthew J. Slick

Postby Dan Rowden » Sat Aug 25, 2007 1:37 pm

You seem a little retarded. Clearly they died. However, the stories of their deaths are not regarded as hard historical fact. You don't seem to know how historians ply their trade and what they do and don't regard as hard fact (and why). There have been lots of ludicrous stories written about the Buddha. Should I believe them too because people wrote stuff down? I happen to think it is reasonable to believe Jesus actually lived, primarily because the teachings had to come from somewhere. However, that does not mean it is reasonable to believe the Gospel accounts. In fact, it is completely stupid to do so. Anyone who believes that Jesus rose from the dead and performed the mircales ascribed to him needs psychiatric help. It is patently obvious that had the events depicted in the Gospels actually taken place there would be no end of corroborating accounts. As it is there are none.
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Re: Christian Faith and Logic - Matthew J. Slick

Postby Carico » Sat Aug 25, 2007 2:59 pm

Dan Rowden wrote:You seem a little retarded. Clearly they died. However, the stories of their deaths are not regarded as hard historical fact. You don't seem to know how historians ply their trade and what they do and don't regard as hard fact (and why). There have been lots of ludicrous stories written about the Buddha. Should I believe them too because people wrote stuff down? I happen to think it is reasonable to believe Jesus actually lived, primarily because the teachings had to come from somewhere. However, that does not mean it is reasonable to believe the Gospel accounts. In fact, it is completely stupid to do so. Anyone who believes that Jesus rose from the dead and performed the mircales ascribed to him needs psychiatric help. It is patently obvious that had the events depicted in the Gospels actually taken place there would be no end of corroborating accounts. As it is there are none.


So it doesn't appear that you know who to trust. No wonder you're walking in darkness!

Actually, what's stupid is for the apostles to get themselves killed for passing along a story they knew was a lie and they knew that no one would believe anyway! So once again, use some reasoning instead of ranting and raving. But if you want to go to hell so badly, then it's no skin off my back.
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Re: Christian Faith and Logic - Matthew J. Slick

Postby Dan Rowden » Sat Aug 25, 2007 3:37 pm

Lots of people die in the name of lies. It tends to happen when you're trying to get a new religion off the ground. And there's a difference between dying for your beliefs and getting killed for them. And there's no such thing as hell. That's a belief for kindergarten children, not adults.
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Re: Christian Faith and Logic - Matthew J. Slick

Postby Diebert van Rhijn » Sat Aug 25, 2007 9:34 pm

Carico wrote:And what eye-witness accounts do we have of the death of Julius Caesar? How much detail is written about it and by whom?


What you should rather think about is how many eye-witnesses are there of the cornerstone of the Jesus story: the resurrection. Even in the Gospels, there are none! Who took him of the cross even and buried him? Not his disciples, nor the writers of any Gospel.

Your earlier "eye-witnesses" do not appear to even be that closely related to the subject then.

What eye-witness accounts do we have of the death of Alexander the great? Do you even know who witnessed it?


Do you know? What matters is that his and Caesar's dead and details surrounding it have been reported by a great many of sources, some of which were well known writers, biographers and historians at the time, of course in different, sometime conflicting versions.

Since neither report claims any hard to believe fact, there's not much reason to doubt the accounts that are there. Nobody would claim they are absolute facts though, why would anyone care?

But most people in western society know about the accounts of the life of Christ's life, death, and resurrection. So you are in error again.


Most people know a lot about King Arthur too. And in other societies they know about the accounts of Beueloo the Gruk, Xirtiffe or the always funny Hantrik XIV because their stories have been retold for so many centuries by the elders.
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Re: Christian Faith and Logic - Matthew J. Slick

Postby Carico » Tue Aug 28, 2007 10:46 pm

Diebert van Rhijn wrote:
Carico wrote:And what eye-witness accounts do we have of the death of Julius Caesar? How much detail is written about it and by whom?


What you should rather think about is how many eye-witnesses are there of the cornerstone of the Jesus story: the resurrection. Even in the Gospels, there are none! Who took him of the cross even and buried him? Not his disciples, nor the writers of any Gospel.

Your earlier "eye-witnesses" do not appear to even be that closely related to the subject then.

What eye-witness accounts do we have of the death of Alexander the great? Do you even know who witnessed it?


Do you know? What matters is that his and Caesar's dead and details surrounding it have been reported by a great many of sources, some of which were well known writers, biographers and historians at the time, of course in different, sometime conflicting versions.

Since neither report claims any hard to believe fact, there's not much reason to doubt the accounts that are there. Nobody would claim they are absolute facts though, why would anyone care?

But most people in western society know about the accounts of the life of Christ's life, death, and resurrection. So you are in error again.


Most people know a lot about King Arthur too. And in other societies they know about the accounts of Beueloo the Gruk, Xirtiffe or the always funny Hantrik XIV because their stories have been retold for so many centuries by the elders.


And in which book did people say that King Arthur was a real person? Nowhere. So they always passed it along as a legend. Your arguments are absurd.
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Re: Christian Faith and Logic - Matthew J. Slick

Postby Diebert van Rhijn » Tue Aug 28, 2007 11:54 pm

Carico wrote:
Diebert wrote:
Carico wrote:But most people in western society know about the accounts of the life of Christ's life, death, and resurrection. So you are in error again.


Most people know a lot about King Arthur too. And in other societies they know about the accounts of Beueloo the Gruk, Xirtiffe or the always funny Hantrik XIV because their stories have been retold for so many centuries by the elders.


And in which book did people say that King Arthur was a real person? Nowhere. So they always passed it along as a legend.


Well, actually it wasn't and your ignorance on any subject raised so far is beyond belief.

King Arthur's legend we know mainly from Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae. It's a history book mainly and Geoffry claims to have translated earlier works for the Arthur accounts. He didn't pass it along as a legend at all.

Another source is Annales Cambriae (970) which also includes many other historical names and known events. The entries for King Arthur are believed to be added later after the myth was more active. So the myth (if it's a myth) was passed on as reality by historians at the time, or their copiers.

The fact that most people nowadays doubt the existence of King Arthur or at least the more dramatic aspects of his existence, has nothing to do with lack of documentation. It's purely research that is way easier with Western documents a 1000 years old than Eastern documents 2000 years old. The 'real' King Arthur character that may have fueled the story knows many possible candidates in the first millennium. Moreover though the King Arthur story is thought to have been created to convey meaning above all, if not entertainment.

I rest my case.
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Diebert van Rhijn
 
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