Wednesday, October 6, 2010

FacePalm of the Day Quote #10 - Debunking Christianity: The Irrational Christian: The John Loftus Trinity Argument

John Loftus endorsed the following video on his blog. He said:
Some things are hard to explain in a video, but Rhetorical Bullshit gives it a try:


Truly an epic fail. But I am gratified that the comments on the post are lively and informative. There is so much wrong with the analysis of the Trinity given in the video. But let's just discuss the first key point. Neither Loftus nor the video author understands what the Trinity is - so of course it doesn't make sense. It is also not what I believe.
One of the comments made by john I summed up my main problem with the video:
the continual use of terms like "3 people but 1 person" and "3 beings but 1 being" shows this guy does not understand the trinity as defined by theists. if this is a remake of Loftus' argument, and Loftus uses the same language, Loftus doesnt get it either.
its hard to criticize something you don't understand. however if either does actually understand it, but explains it like this on purpose, then both are just attacking a strawman, and purposefully misrepresenting the trinity in an effort to make Christians appear illogical.
philosophers a great deal smarter than these two, even atheists, recognize the trinity as properly defined, is not illogical.
I agree with him. The problem is that they wrongly equate "person" with "being". They are not the same thing and can't be used interchangeably. Being is "what" and person is "who"? There is one "what" and three "whos". God is one being! The Trinity is the doctrine that three persons make up the one being. Three people cannot equal one person and three beings cannot equal one being. That is truly illogical, but that is not what Christians are saying.
I did see the point that many Christians do explain the Trinity, and even outright reject it, the way it's explained here, but it just means that they don't understand who and what God is. All I can do personally is just follow what I understand from Scripture. Understanding the Trinity does not save you. Neither does misunderstanding the Trinity damns you. Romans 10:9-10 tells you all you need to be saved and it does not include a correct understanding of the Trinity. Good thing because I don't think anyone fully understands it...but that doesn't make it untrue.
I have to give this one my FacePalm of the day because the argument has been knocked down for 2000 years. Please get something else.
Debunking Christianity: The Irrational Christian: The John Loftus Trinity Argument
Enhanced by Zemanta

55 comments:

  1. You know Marcus, saying an argument deserves a "facepalm" or is an "epic fail" doesn't actually count as a counter-argument. I haven't look at Loftus' blog on the subject, but regardless how much of a caricature or strawman Rhetorical Bullshit's arguments are, neither the comment you posted here, nor your own comments actually address his argument at all.

    My opinion now is that the concept of the trinity is simply theologians with a vested interest in maintaining an “infallible” message, shoehorning 1500 years of evolving religious writings into something coherent. That just makes the most sense given the texts.

    But when I was a christian like you, I, like you, accepted that it probably wasn't meant to be fully understood.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ryan, I don't think you understood my argument at all. Let me put it another way. I was addressing the fact that he has no argument because he incorrectly describes and articulate what the Trinity is. He was arguing that Christians don't rationally think about what they believe and that the Trinity is an illogical mess that only ignorant people believe. I addressed that argument by showing that the Trinity is not illogical and he doesn't understand what it is.

    I know what your opinion is and it would be sound if the Bible did not both claim that God is one being and that the Father is God; Jesus is God; and the Holy Spirit is God. This means that your opinion is flawed because it's been a part of Christian understanding from the very beginning.

    This is why I'm saying his argument is an epic fail. So is yours.

    And you have never been a Christian like me, by your own assertion.

    ReplyDelete
  3. All I saw was semantics. "John (or whomever) said 'person' instead of 'being', so ah ha! epic fail!!!!"

    You didn't show that the trinity was logical, not by a long shot, you merely asserted that you think his view is illogical.

    Try harder.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ryan...tsk..tsk..look in a dictionary. I really thought that you were more intelligent than that. "Being" and "Person" are not the same thing. You need to try harder!

    Are the answers to the following two questions the same thing? If you can honestly give the same answer to both of these questions then it is semantics but I know you can't.

    Who are you?
    What are you?

    ReplyDelete
  5. I don't recall saying they were the same, although they can be, or not, depending on the usage. You can answer those questions the same, or you can answer them differently, because it's semantics!

    But, let me hold your feet to the fire. You said "Good thing because I don't think anyone fully understands it." in reference to the concept of the trinity. But then you said "I was addressing the fact that he has no argument because he incorrectly describes and articulate what the Trinity is." and "I addressed that argument by showing that the Trinity is not illogical..."

    Not sure how you could judge John's understanding to be incorrect or how you could show that the trinity is not illogical given that you admit to not understanding it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. @Ryan

    How can "Being" and "Person" be the same thing. What defintion are you using? Words have meaning in their contexts. Can ou tell me what context do you think Christians have historically used these terms in context of the trinity such that they can be used interchangeably? Nope you can't. Even though human beings are also persons we are usually one-to-one. For every single human being we are each one being and one person. But that does not mean being and person are the same thing.

    As for having put my "feet to the fire" is this the best you got? I don't even feel toasty. I did not say I did not partially understand the Trinity. I said no one completely understands it, but that does not mean that Christians do not understand the nature of God better than unbelievers. For example I know Light propogates like wave but under the correct circumstances it can interact with matter as a wave or a particle. English even lacks words to adequately describe this. No one understand how or why, but we know it's true.

    Although I can't explain how 3 persons share the same being it does not mean that I can't tell when Loftus is misrepresenting it. It's like if he tried to argue that there is no difference between a wave and a particle. I can point out the problem with that thought although I cannot explain everything. Bottom line, John Loftus completely misrepresents what the Trinity is.

    Now why don't you join in me in the fire demonstrate how your "being" and "personhood" mean the same thing.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Marcus "Although I can't explain how 3 persons share the same being it does not mean that I can't tell when Loftus is misrepresenting it."

    Of course it does.

    A being is a person. A person is a being. Done.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Begging the question, Ryan? Being does not equal person. A rock has being...does it have personhood? I would say "no", but how would you answer that? A corporation has legal personhood does it have being?

    ReplyDelete
  9. According to the definition of being used in the context of the trinity a rock does have being. What about a plant? Are they personal? No. Do they have being? Yes.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Why do you think plants aren't personal?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Although you may not be aware that you mean this, I think what you mean is that plants are human.

    But neither are blue whales or chimps.

    ReplyDelete
  12. In short, you are trying to create a dichotomy out of a spectrum.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Of course I'm saying that plant's aren't human. but that does not mean that they don't have being. Blue Whales and chimps are not persons but they are beings. You are ignoring what are clear differences and distinctions between what being and personhood are. Does it really make sense that all persons are human? Or even that all beings are human? I don't think so.

    ReplyDelete
  14. So, can you give me an objective and observable example of a "person" who's not human*?

    *or a human invention**, like a corporation.

    **yes, god is a human invention...

    ReplyDelete
  15. Ryan you haven't proven that God is a human invention but you have admitted that you there is such thing as persons who are not human. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  16. So, can you give me an objective and observable example of a "person" who's not human*?

    *or a human invention**, like a corporation.

    ReplyDelete
  17. You wouldn't accept the answer. But here it is anyway:

    God, Angels, and Demons. So how about before you dismiss my answer, you explain how you know that these are "man-made"?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Because there's no objective evidence that they exist outside our minds.

    ReplyDelete
  19. There are many people who disagree that there is no objective evidence for God. To say that is saying that men like Newton,Leibniz, and many other intelligent people who are responsible for helping human knowledge to reach the penacles of the heights that it has were wrong. Don't you see the arrogance in that?

    There are many ways to look at the objective evidence for God

    1. Telogical argument - argument from the obvious design of the universe. Hey, it convinced Anthony Flew that there does exist a God (although he never said - that I know of - it was the God of the Bible) - of course you would probably argue that you are smarter than he was too.
    2. Your own heart. When you say were a Christian did you not take a look at your own soul and evil inclinations and realize that is there was a infinite and holy God you would be ill equip to stand in his presence? If not it would explain why you are an apostate. Your conscience should bear witness against your own sin and that there is a God.
    3. The Bible - still waiting for a proof that it's wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  20. By the way, I used Paul's argument from Romans 1-3 - really condensed

    ReplyDelete
  21. Do you know what objective means? Newton and Leibniz's beliefs, your perception of design and my "heart" would all be subjective.

    As for the bible, try reading the gospels horizontally (i.e. read the same story in each gospel one after another) and it's fairly evident to all but the willfully ignorant that it's at least not 100% accurate.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Do you know what objective means? Newton and Leibniz's beliefs, your perception of design and my "heart" would all be subjective.

    Only the 100% ignorant or dishonest can't see that the world is designed. It's not my perception at all. Anthony Flew made a life-long career in Atheism and yet when confronted with the design of creation he became a theist (not necessarily a Christian). I'd argue that it's better to be a pagan than a heathen. Newton and Leibniz carry weight because I can point out that it's just not me who sees this. Objectivity must carry with it the truth that it's just not you who sees and understands it the way you do. It's not just in your own mind. That's not saying that multiple people can't be deluded...like you....but it does mean that there is something not just in your own head.

    As for the bible, try reading the gospels horizontally (i.e. read the same story in each gospel one after another) and it's fairly evident to all but the willfully ignorant that it's at least not 100% accurate.

    Again that is total misrepresentation of the gospels. It's been 2000 years. Do you really think that no one has done that and found out that if you read them in their historical and cultural context instead of your own and compare them with one another you find that each author is telling the same story from different points of view? I mean really. I've done it. I've looked and wrestled with the text myself. Looked at what skeptics and Christians say about those "discrepancies" and "inaccuracies" and I can see the Bible is far more bullet proof than skeptics would lead you to believe. Did you dig? Did you pray about it? How many books did you read? Did you talk to your Pastor? Did you talk to your parents? Or did you just assume everyone for 2000 years was wrong until you came along? If you want to know what "subjective interpretation of facts is" you just did it when you said:

    it's fairly evident to all but the willfully ignorant that it's [the Bible] at least not 100% accurate.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Common sense atheism has a good write up on "chance" and "design", and although I've made the same argument it's much less hamhanded then how I phrased it, but in short, the odds of winning the lottery are astronomical, but the odds of someone winning the lottery are very good. If things had been different, things would be different. Seems pretty straight forward.

    And nevermind that we seem to have discovered that some of the constants of the universe are not so constant. Could be a measuring error, but we'll see...

    Marcus said "Did you dig? Did you pray about it? How many books did you read? Did you talk to your Pastor? Did you talk to your parents?"

    Yes, yes, many, yes, yes. No single malt scotch, thank you!

    Marcus "Or did you just assume everyone for 2000 years was wrong until you came along?"

    Obviously, Hindus and Buddhists have been wrong for more than 2000 years. To conclude, one of my favorite, but over used quotes "I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours"

    ReplyDelete
  24. And of course you didn't demonstrate with your 9:12am post that you understand the difference between objective and subjective. You just tried to make an argument from design and the argument from popularity fallacy (although, strangely, you acknowledged you are aware it's a fallacy).

    ReplyDelete
  25. Common sense atheism has a good write up on "chance" and "design", and although I've made the same argument it's much less hamhanded then how I phrased it, but in short, the odds of winning the lottery are astronomical, but the odds of someone winning the lottery are very good. If things had been different, things would be different. Seems pretty straight forward.

    That argument is really standard from atheists and it just doesn't hold water. The lottery example may work for a single variable but we are not just talking about a single variable but all of reality and history. Had any of these thing been different than everything would be completely different! You would not exist as you are now or not at all. If there waS a lottery it seems stacked in favor of your existence. How is that? In addition you would not pick up a man-made object and try to ascribe chance to it. One reason why is that there way too many variables involved that had to line up to make it so. The universe and history are far more complex.

    And nevermind that we seem to have discovered that some of the constants of the universe are not so constant. Could be a measuring error, but we'll see...

    Name one of those constants of the universe that isn't so constant and where you found that source.


    Marcus said "Did you dig? Did you pray about it? How many books did you read? Did you talk to your Pastor? Did you talk to your parents?"

    Yes, yes, many, yes, yes. No single malt scotch, thank you!


    I don't think you dug deep enough. You have swallowed a lot of Kool aid and ignored a lot of other evidence. Let's take something simple. You pick a single story in the Gospels that is told in multiple gospels and explain why you see a contradiction and where. Also why you disagree with the answer Christians give in their understanding of it. I double dare you.

    Marcus "Or did you just assume everyone for 2000 years was wrong until you came along?"

    Obviously, Hindus and Buddhists have been wrong for more than 2000 years. To conclude, one of my favorite, but over used quotes "I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours"


    I think you found questions you couldn't answer and rather than search for the answer you assumed there wasn't one.

    And of course you didn't demonstrate with your 9:12am post that you understand the difference between objective and subjective. You just tried to make an argument from design and the argument from popularity fallacy (although, strangely, you acknowledged you are aware it's a fallacy).

    My point about Newton and Leibniz wasn't that they believed in God so should you. My point is that they began their scientific inquiries from the standpoint that there is a God and that He has created a rational and logical universe. They could not have made their discoveries without this presupposition. You failed to show that universe is not designed and that I only think it is. You say you read Hawking's book. He disagrees with you that there is no "grand design". He said that there was. As for the Bible, why don't you take me up on my challenge and see how far we can get.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Had any of these thing been different than everything would be completely different! You would not exist as you are now or not at all.

    Now you are getting it!

    Name one of those constants of the universe that isn't so constant and where you found that source.

    OK

    I double dare you

    I'm sure you have a boiler plate answer ready, but just look at the empty tomb stories across the gospels. Tell me who exactly was present?

    My point is that they began their scientific inquiries from the standpoint that there is a God and that He has created a rational and logical universe.

    Yeah, science doesn't work this way.

    You say you read Hawking's book. He disagrees with you that there is no "grand design". He said that there was.

    I'm pretty sure he didn't. He argues that, to those observing the universe, there is going to be the appearance of design since we are part of the system. And then explains the improbability that there would be observers at all to observe a fine tuned universe with m-theory. It's almost as if you've only read the title.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I have never tried to argue that had any of the constants or historical universe has been different than everything would be the same. However you seem to miss the thrust of what this implies. The chances that you are as you are now are so astronomical there is no reason to think things should be as they are. The probability is much greater that there should be nothing instead of everything we can observe and measure. Without God or a purpose there is no way to make sense of that other than denying the possibility of design and purpose. Silly...but at least it's consistent...I'll give you that

    I quote from the article you provided:

    "Helge Kragh, a science historian at the University of Aarhus, Denmark, who has written about the history of the fine-structure constant, said it's important to "keep a healthy skepticism" about announcements like these, since past measurements of variation, such as earlier claims that the constant changes over time, have later been disproven.

    "If history is a guide -- and often it is not -- the results of Webb et al. will turn out to be untenable," he said."

    Come back when you have more evidence that the alpha constant changes.

    As far as how many women there were at the tomb....there was at least 3. None of them tells us the exact number. Why should that be a problem. We know Mary, Martha, Mary Magdalene were there. What makes you think that either John, Matthew, Mark, or Luke were giving a headcount of every single individual. John only mentions Mary Magdalene. So? He didn't say only Mary Magdalene was there. There is no contradiction.

    Ryan, when was the last time you discovered or quantified anything of value to science as Newton and Leibniz have? Seems like they understood very well how science works.

    As for Hawkings you just described how he tries to explain why you don't need God to understand how the universe formed. Roger Penrose, Frank Tipler, Alistir McGrath see to disagree with you Physicist Frank Tipler weighs in on Stephen Hawking’s theory « Wintery Knight about what Hawking's book is saying.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Marcus, the probability that there should be nothing instead of everything we can observe is exactly 100% because, well, it happened.

    As for you needing to find purpose in the universe. I honestly don't think the universe cares what you come up with. Knock yourself out!

    More on the tomb later... It's dinner time.

    ReplyDelete
  29. That is not how probability works. 100 percent means a 1 in 1 chance meaning nothing else could have happened. You are saying that it was a certainty that all is as it is - given all the variables and possibities. Sounds like you are conceding that there must have been something guiding things to make it a certainty. In other words must have been an omniscient, omnipotent being with a purpose and plan. Thanks.

    I must agree witn u that the universe has no purpose for us or thought given that it is not a being or a person. However God does care. That is why Jesus came and paid such a heavy price for us - redeeming us from sin amd death.

    ReplyDelete
  30. On the tomb, why does mark not mention the violent earthquake that matthew mentions, but at least they agree on the number of angels (1).
    Luke says there were two of course (but no earthquake). And of course, the events portrayed by john don't even remotely line up with the rest.

    Let's say that we had a handful of second hand accounts of a godzilla attack in Tokyo, and one reporter wrote that "suddenly two godzillas with scales of green stood in the street, and then later..." and another would write "they saw a godzillas with scales of green stood in the street, and they were alarmed."

    How many godzillas were present? Or do we dismiss the whole thing?

    Now, lets say that no one else, except two other guys with likewise contradictory accounts witnessed this godzilla attack. There was no damage to any buildings. The four guys happened to be gozilla fans. The japanese media and government didn't notice anything, etc... etc...

    It boggles the mind that anyone believes this stuff. I could understand some discrepancies, in fact I would expect them, but why does no one agree on the most fantastic parts?

    And that is how probability works. If something happened, the odds that it happened are 1:1 (read that sentence a couple times before responding please!!!) But why the fuss about fine tuning? All that gets you is the possibility (not probability) of deism, which I'm happy to concede.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Marcus "100 percent means a 1 in 1 chance meaning nothing else could have happened."

    Now you are getting it. If something happened, then that's what happened. Not something else. If you draw the queen of diamonds, you didn't just draw the two of hearts.

    Soak it in.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I was not talking about what the probability of what did happen. I'm talking about the probability of what could have happened before it happened.

    So Luke doesn't mention the earthquake. That's not a contradiction. A contradiction would be if Luke said that there was no earthquake. Try to keep up.

    If you think it's so unbelievable now, you just further prove that you never believed it. You said you don't know how people can believe it. Easy. I'm willing to concede that God is right you are not.

    Funny I don't remember trying to use the fine-tuning argument to prove that it is the God of the Bible...although I believe it is. It's also funny that you would concede the possibility of deism given you think you are an atheist. Make you a agnostic not an atheist.

    ReplyDelete
  33. No, although it's odd that Luke doesn't mention Matthew's earthquake (or the zombie horde, funny NO ONE ELSE mentions THAT!), it's not technically a contridiction. Although, one angel vs. two angels is definitely a contridiction. I noticed you conviently skipped that and focused on slightly lower hanging fruit.

    Perhaps I should preface everything I write with "and there was no earthquake or zombie horde today", just to be perfectly clear?

    As for atheism vs. agnosticism, one is a statement of belief and another is a description of knowledge. It's possible to be both. In fact most people who call themselves "atheist" that I know, do see themselves as both. I.e. "I don't believe that a god exists, but I don't know if a god exists."

    Clear as mud?

    ReplyDelete
  34. Also, I reread the wintry knight article on Hawking that you reposted and it's interesting that they would replace the word "singularity" with "god" in the Hawking's quote. By doing so, they completely misrepresent what he said and then go on to ascribe a whole host of imaginary motives based on that misrepresentation.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Actually I didn't bring up the angels because I knew the same answer applies to them. There is not contradiction because none of the Gospels says that there were only 2 angels or only one angel. One account is simply more detailed than the other.

    It's clear to me. I recognize hand waving arguments when I see them. So you think that mentioning the saints who were raised from the dead and the earthquake were so important that all four gospels should have mentioned it? Who died and made you God? It certainly wasn't Jesus because He rose from the dead remember?

    Not all atheists agree with you on the difference between atheism and agnosticism. So tell you what, I'll accept your definition but that means you need to stop saying that God does not exist because you said you don't know.

    As for the article on Hawkings, it seems that all the comments on it point to an understanding that Hawkings was talking about God, not a singularity because he's been teaching that the big bang came from a singularity for years. Why would he say that there was "no singularity"? Why don't you quote the exact quote you are referring to.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I also think Josephus, Tacitus or ANYONE else might have mentioned the zombie horde had it actually occurred.

    You did notice that [god] was in brackets in the quote in the article you just posted and refereced, right? You do know how to use Google, right? But either way, Hawking didn't say there was no singularity, he said when you get a singularity, it means your math has broken down. The folks at wintery knight replace singularity with [god] when they quoted him in the article.

    Here's the quote from the Tipler...

    In the summary of his early research, namely his book The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time, Hawking wrote:

    "It seems to be a good principle that the prediction of [God] by a physical theory indicates that the theory has broken down, i.e. it no longer provides a correct description of observations."


    And here you can see the actual quote.

    I mean, at least they used brackets, but it's still very dishonest.

    ReplyDelete
  37. And just to be clear (as clear as possible with this stuff :) ), the big bang didn't "come from a singularity". A "singularity" is not a thing. It's a mathmatical concept that describes when equations break down (start dividing by zero and the like). In the case of theoretical physics/cosmology, a singularity is what the equations from our current theories produce when we look at black holes and the big bang, they reduce to the point where matter has no volume and an infinite mass.

    Hawkings is saying that if your equation produces a singularity, you've likely got something wrong.

    Hope you learned something this morning.

    ReplyDelete
  38. @Ryan

    Neither Josephus nor Tacitus mentioned the "zombies" because they were not zombies. And calling them that is extremely dishonest.How can you call Tipler's quoting of Hawkings with [God] making it very clear that Tipler was sayinfg that God is what Hawking is implying is worse than you saying that there were Zombies the day Jesus died when Matthew did not call them zombies, nor even would have any idea of the concept?
    Very shady.

    A singularity is defined as a point of very hight mass and and small volume - it's not just a mathematical concept. For example do you know that equations we use in Physics all the time use imaginary numbers and complex numbers? You know "i"? The square root of -1? For example all trig functions can be written in terms containing i. Trig Function can be used to represent all kinds of real physical things in the universe.

    Hope you learned something.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Wow, did you really just throw some high school algebra II at me? Um... thanks...

    A singularity is not a point of "very hight (sic) mass and and small volume", it's a point of infinite mass and no volume, so unless you can show me something with infinite mass and no volume, a mathematical concept it remains. Now, the term is used in other fields, but that's really has nothing to do with how Hawking was misrepresented by Tripler.

    I understand that you folks think singularity and god are synonmous, but to physicists and mathmaticians, they have nothing to do with each other.

    Tell you what, read "A Brief History of Time" (you'd only get agitated reading "The Grand Design" and they are basically the same book anyway) and then we can discuss in greater detail later.

    And if you honestly believe that both a zombie horde and a group of resurrected saints would be below the notice of historians and the Roman and Jewish authorities, then we're done here. I suspect you do, since you believe whatever you need to to make all this work (including the absurd notion that a guy who saw two angles would only write about one...)

    PS: it appears that my link to the actual Hawking's quote is broken, you can find the actual quote and more importantly, the context, on page 362 of "The Large Scale Structure of Space Time".

    ReplyDelete
  40. Of course I gave you some Algebra II trig because you obviously seem to have forgotten that mathematics actually describes physical phenomenon. So I thought not to stress you too hard.

    So either you are saying that the mathematics that describe black holes is either wrong, or black holes do not exist or we lack the mathematics to describe them. Take your pick.

    No matter what you say - resurrected nor resuscitated people are zombies.

    I think Tipler, who is a physicist, knows significantly more about cosmology than you do.

    ReplyDelete
  41. We don't know if black holes exist or not. They've not been observed. Our theories predict them, and our theories are very accurate about other things, and we can see the predicted effects of their existence, so it's likely they exist. But no one knows what's actually happening inside the center of a theoretical black hole.

    Right now, it appears we lack the mathematics to describe them fully.

    More importantly, you are evading the issue that the events of Matthew 27:52 really should be corroborated by other sources if they were true. They're not even corroborated by the other gospel writers. Wouldn't it just be easier to say the Matthew author fudged a little?

    ReplyDelete
  42. I mean the bodies of many holy people being raised to life then waiting three days to come and wander around Jerusalem and appear to many people is a big freaking deal.

    ReplyDelete
  43. We don't know if black holes exist or not. They've not been observed. Our theories predict them, and our theories are very accurate about other things, and we can see the predicted effects of their existence, so it's likely they exist. But no one knows what's actually happening inside the center of a theoretical black hole.

    Right now, it appears we lack the mathematics to describe them fully.


    This is probably the most balanced and intelligent thing I've seen you write in weeks. Thank you. The thing is I think the mathematics and theories regarding black holes than there is with macro evolution - which I'm sure you believe has been proven beyond a shadow of doubt. I wonder why you seem to think that black holes is more theoretical than macro evolution? I have an undergraduate degree in Engineering Physics and I think that the evidence for black holes and the Big Bang are way more credible than macro evolution.

    More importantly, you are evading the issue that the events of Matthew 27:52 really should be corroborated by other sources if they were true. They're not even corroborated by the other gospel writers. Wouldn't it just be easier to say the Matthew author fudged a little?

    I mean the bodies of many holy people being raised to life then waiting three days to come and wander around Jerusalem and appear to many people is a big freaking deal.


    Of course what you give with one hand, you often negate with two. Most historical events from the first century we only have a single source usually centuries, not just 4-6 decades after the fact? A whole lot. Besides that just because the other Gospel writers did not include it does not mean that it was not important. Each gospel was written with a specific audience in mind...designed to help the intended audience understand who Jesus is and why they should believe. It does not mean that Matthew is wrong or lied or embellished. He makes a point to make certain details than the other did not. Just because you agreed with Matthew that his was important to his point, why should Mark, Luke, and John agree with you? Had all four had this detail you would be alleging collusion or harmonization from centuries later. Don't forget what Jesus told Paul on the way to Damascus "It's hard to kick against the pricks" and you keep doing it.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Most historical events from the first century we only have a single source usually centuries, not just 4-6 decades after the fact?

    Most? For example? And details are one thing, and you are absolutely right about that we should expect to see minor discrepancies in the details. But, and forgive me, A ZOMBIE HORDE is not a detail!!! IT'S A MYTH!

    and I don't believe in macro evolution either, mainly because it's a term the anti-evolution folks made up.

    I will not get into an evolution brouhaha with you, but you should know that if Charles Darwin was struck from the historical record and we never found another fossil, there is still just as much, if not more, evidence for ToE (even the "macro" kind) then there are for black holes.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Marcus, a good book on evolution is “Why Evolution is True”, but Jerry Coyne is a strident atheist, so you probably should just read this interview with Francis Collins.

    Also, thank you for the backhanded compliment regarding my inherent skepticism re: black holes. That…um… means a lot…?... coming from someone who thinks these statements are perfectly consistent.

    “While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them”

    “As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side”.

    “for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.”

    I guess you could claim that the Matthew author is talking about an event prior to the women’s arrival, but then you are stuck explaining how he would know what the women didn’t see. Also, if the angels arrived before the women, it screws up the time line implied by one of the other narratives.

    Enjoy!

    PS: I seem to recall you telling GearHedEd you were not an ignorant fool who didn't believe in evolution. Now you don't. Pressure from your elders?

    ReplyDelete
  46. @Ryan...There we go with the "zombie hord" nonsense. Do you even know what a "zombie" is to be butchering the English language like that?

    "Macro-Evolution" is a term that was not created by people who are anti-Evolution. It was a viable term for years. And it refers to the nonsense of a cow-like animal being the ancestor of a cow and a whale. Have you ever thought about how many major inter-related changes would be made to make such a thing possible. No amount of small changes would be enough for that nor keep such transitional forms alive long enough to evolve further. So yeah, I don't blame you for rejecting macro evolution.

    And having studied a fair amount of physics and mathematics I'd rather stake my life on them than on macro evolution. It's more reliable. I'm certain that the 3 laws of thermodynamics are true. What part of the current of theory of evolution do you consider equally valid and bullet proof? I don't know of any.

    As for the compliment about the statement about black holes I still agree with...it's nice to actually agree on something important. As for how many angels there were at the tomb, I'll leave it to you to develop why you think the time scheduling is throne out. When you explain what you meant it'll be worth pointing out why you are mistaken.

    As for what I said to GearHedEd - the one who admitted to being a pig - I didn't not say that I believed in macro evolution. I also said that i don't believe the earth is only 6000 years old. I have no evidence Biblical or Scientific to make such a claim. I have always maintained that micro evolution (within kinds and species) are true. What you aren't going to get is a a common ancestor between a cat and a tree. Or between a roach and a dog.

    ReplyDelete
  47. i meant that I did not say i believe in Evolution and that I am not a young earth creationist.

    ReplyDelete
  48. I see you don't want to discuss the discrepancies in the resurrection narratives.

    Also, I can't think of a situation where I would need to stake my life on the theory of evolution.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Ryan, I did not say I don't want to discuss the tomb details anymore. You are the one saying that. I asked you specific questions that you now seem to be moving away from. However I invite you back. Go to 101 Bible Contradictions Cleared up and to numbers 81-87.

    ReplyDelete
  50. OK, 81-87 don't address the point of how many angels at the tomb (86 almost barely touches on it). See my post from 10/14 5:54am, the one you skipped by criticizing my obvious tongue in cheek reference to zombies in the previous post.

    ReplyDelete
  51. 86 did answer you:

    86. In (Matthew 16:2; 28:7; Mark 16:5-6; Luke 24:4-5; 23), the women were told what happened to Jesus' body, while in (John 20:2) Mary was not told.

    (Category: the texts are compatible with a little thought)

    The angels told the women that Jesus had risen from the dead. Matthew, Mark and Luke are all clear on this. The apparent discrepancy regarding the number of angels is cleared up when we realize that there were two groups of women. Mary Magdalene and her group probably set out from the house of John Mark, where the Last Supper had been held. Joanna and some other unnamed women, on the other hand, probably set out from Herod's residence, in a different part of the city. Joanna was the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod's household (Luke 8:3) and it is therefore highly probable that she and her companions set out from the royal residence.

    With this in mind, it is clear that the first angel (who rolled away the stone and told Mary and Salome where Jesus was) had disappeared by the time Joanna and her companions arrived. When they got there (Luke 24:3-8), two angels appeared and told them the good news, after which they hurried off to tell the apostles. In Luke 24:10, all the women are mentioned together, as they all went to the apostles in the end.

    We are now in a position to see why Mary Magdalene did not see the angels. John 20:1 tells us that Mary came to the tomb and we know from the other accounts that Salome and another Mary were with her. As soon as she saw the stone rolled away, she ran to tell the apostles, assuming that Jesus had been taken away. The other Mary and Salome, on the other hand, satisfied their curiosity by looking inside the tomb, where they found the angel who told them what had happened. So we see that the angels did inform the women, but that Mary Magdalene ran back before she had chance to meet them.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Also i don't think your Zombie Reference is still in bad taste. Words have meaning and "zombie" does not escribe anyone or anything in the Bible. Wanna know what a zombie is:

    http://mmcelhaney.blogspot.com/2009/07/zombies-and-bible-according-to-askegg.html

    ReplyDelete
  53. Still using my tongue and cheek use of "zombie" to avoid the issue?

    ReplyDelete