Thursday, November 15, 2012

FacePlant of the Day - Debunking Christianity: The Force of the Problem of Suffering vs the Evidence for Christianity

One of the arguments that John Loftus keeps bringing up against Christianity is the Problem of Evil/Suffering.  I don't believer it is a powerful defeater at all and Christians need not cower from it in the least. Here is Loftus' latest attempt to use the Problem of Evil and ending up in a FacePlant.

There are plenty of defeaters to the Christian faith that come especially from evolutionary science, archaeology, psychology, neurology, anthropology, biblical criticism, and so forth.
 
So he keeps saying, yet he inevitably defaults to this one because it's emotionally charged - easier to get people to turn their minds off. 

Earlier I wrote what I consider a refutation of Christianity when it comes to the problem of suffering, using one specific example, the Black Death Plague.

It didn't help then either. 

I'm guessing Christians just don't have an answer to this problem except to say that God knows best, depending completely on what I call the Omniscience Escape Clause, which pretty much makes their faith unfalsifiable. We have other reasons to trust in God even when we cannot explain his inaction in the world, they say. Okay then, how do these other reasons compare with this particular defeater? That's the question I want to explore.

I find it crazy how someone like Loftus can harp on God's inaction when bad things happen that cause human suffering but unwilling to give God credit when  disaster and suffering is averted. We don't know how much suffering is averted or mitigated. If this makes God unfalsifiable then why do people like him feel emboldened to declare that there is no God.  The best they could say is that they don't know and have failed to debunk God. But I guess that is too much honesty to expect.




Christians have philosophical arguments for God's existence. But if you actually read the literature on both sides they are at best a wash, that is, given the counter-arguments they do not establish the case at all. Furthermore, these arguments do not lead to any one particular god. Much more work needs to be done in order to establish that the Christian God exists. In order to do this the evidence for miracles in the distant ancient superstitious past must lead to that particular God. As I've argued before, theists disagree over this supposed evidence even though they all believe in a creator God. Theists are just as skeptical of each others distinctive religious miracles as I am of them all.

Either way, that would make atheism wrong. 

Take for example the Jews of Jesus’ day. They believed in Yahweh, that he performs miracles, and they knew their Old Testament prophecies. Yet the overwhelming majority of them did not believe Jesus was raised from the dead by Yahweh. Since these Jews were there and didn't believe, why should we? No really. Why should we? Why should anyone? The usual answer is that these Jews didn't want to believe because Jesus was not their kind of Messiah, a king who would throw off Roman rule. But then, where did they get that idea in the first place? They got it from their own Scriptures. And who supposedly penned them? Yahweh. Christians will also claim God needed for them to crucify Jesus to atone for our sins, just as he needed Judas to betray him. So God needed to mislead them about the nature of the Messiah too. But look at the result. Because he used people for whom we're told he loves, Christians have also been given a reason to persecute, torture and kill Jews throughout the centuries for their alleged crime (the Romans are actually the guilty ones). Not only this, but the overwhelming majority of Jews will go to hell, where Judas is right now. Does this sound fair for a righteous omniscient judge? It smells exactly like entrapment pure and simple.

Christians are never told by God to persecute, torture and kill Jew. If Jesus can forgive them while He was hanging on the cross, what right do we have for hating Jews? Loftus is employing faulty logic and ignoring the Bible - by which Christians should follow. It is not like all the Jews of Jesus' day rejected him  ALL of the first Christians were Jews! Need more proof?  Read Romans 9, 10, 11.

Beyond this we know that the supposed resurrection of a virgin-born Son of God took place in an ancient pre-scientific superstitious age where virgin-born sons of God were believed to walk the earth, as biblical scholar Robert Miller shows in his book Born Divine. In addition, Richard Carrier looked at the superstitious nature of the people in the Roman Empire in Kooks and Quacks of the Roman Empire: A Look into the World of the Gospels, and concluded
...the age of Jesus was not an age of critical reflection and remarkable religious acumen. It was an era filled with con artists, gullible believers, martyrs without a cause, and reputed miracles of every variety. In light of this picture, the tales of the Gospels do not seem very remarkable. Even if they were false in every detail, there is no evidence that they would have been disbelieved or rejected as absurd by many people, who at the time had little in the way of education or critical thinking skills. They had no newspapers, telephones, photographs, or public documents to consult to check a story. If they were not a witness, all they had was a man's word. And even if they were a witness, the tales above tell us that even then their skills of critical reflection were lacking. Certainly, this age did not lack keen and educated skeptics--it is not that there were no skilled and skeptical observers. There were. Rather, the shouts of the credulous rabble overpowered their voice and seized the world from them, boldly leading them all into the darkness of a thousand years of chaos. Perhaps we should not repeat the same mistake. After all, the wise learn from history. The fool ignores it.
Again, why should we believe? Why should we believe what some people in a lone place on the planet said took place in the pre-scientific superstitious past? The past is notoriously difficult to mine for its nuggets of truth.

So where do you draw the line? Think about it. If Loftus, Carrier, and many liberal scholars are correct then we cannot know what really happened at any time in the past before Newspapers, and modern technology. History becomes suspect. Why study it? What happens to the idiom "Those who don't know the past are doomed to repeat it.". I disagree that it's that dire and we can't reliably know anything about the ancient past. 

 This problem is exponentially compounded by the fact that we're supposed to believe that miracles took place in this era. Gotthold Lessing puts a fine point on this problem when he said:
“Miracles, which I see with my own eyes, and which I have opportunity to verify for myself, are one thing; miracles, of which I know only from history that others say they have seen them and verified them, are another.” “But…I live in the 18th century, in which miracles no longer happen. The problem is that reports of miracles are not miracles…[they] have to work through a medium which takes away all their force.” “Or is it invariably the case, that what I read in reputable historians is just as certain for me as what I myself experience?" Link.
I disagree. God is still working today in the 21st Century and I see no reason to understand that he worked in the 18th century also.

All that Christian apologists have is 2nd -3rd, -4th handed written testimony found only in manuscripts dated to the 4th century AD when we know that Christians doctored up texts like the Testimonium Flavianum (Ant. XVIII. 63 - 4) in a time when they also forged the Donation of Constantine, as but the most recognized examples.

Really? Even the most liberal atheist scholar would agree that the autographs date back to the 1st century even if our copies are from later.

The evidence of the Gospels would be thrown out as unreliable testimony in any reasonable court proceedings. Even if not, we couldn't trust this testimony until we could interrogate those so-called witnesses ourselves. Almost all of our important questions are left unanswered. We cannot interrogate these ancient texts, their authors, nor the people who they claim testify of such things. Furthermore, there is the utter lack of a great deal of independent collaborative evidence..

Has anyone ever interviewed Julius Caesar? According to what Loftus just wrote we should throw out everything we know about him because we can't talk to him or any of the people who first wrote anything about him. Is he willing to do that? I'm not. As for his claim that the Gospels are not reliable evidence better people then him have tried to demonstrate that and failed. 

Christians will argue their faith has unique elements to it so it must therefore be more credible. Although this is almost certainly debatable, what does it prove if so? Most religions have unique elements to them, as does Mormonism, Islam, Hinduism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventism, Jim Jones, David Koresh, and the late Marshall Applewhite's Heaven's Gate group. In fact, uniqueness is what can propel a new religion forward. But it says nothing about whether it's true at all.

The only sane thing he wrote in this entire post.....

If God wanted to shoot himself in the foot, he did a great job of it.

...followed by the lamest. 

Undeterred, Christians claim they have religious experiences from their God that confirms their faith. But important questions abound. Why is it that only people in their particular faith have these so-called veridical experiences? Why is it that most all Christians claim to have had these experiences when some of them condemn the others to hell?

 Read Romans 9 and Acts 1. And non-Christians do have dreams and visions supporting Christianity.

 If God is granting these experiences to others then he is offering non-Christian believers evidence that their own faith is true and will subsequently send them to hell for not accepting the one true Christian faith.

No. Hell is the default destination. Because of our sins it was already on lock.  We are saved from hell because of what Jesus did for us. Rejecting it means that you just keep going on your merry way.

Why is it that so many people on the planet with different conceptions of God all claim to have these same type of experiences? What value is it to have an experience when the content of that experience only confirms what you already believe? We know that every believer thinks God agrees with them about everything!

Not true. The goal is to align yourself with God. It will never be the other way around. The reason why becoming a Christian means a necessary transformation (read Romans 12) is because by default we are not like God and need to be changed and only God can do it. He replaces your heart of stone with a heart of flesh.  

So I put it to you. Does the the force of the empirical evidence for the problem of suffering outweigh the force of the evidence for the Christian faith?

No because like R.C. Sproul said when asked why do bad things happen to good people, "It has only happened once, and he volunteered."

I think it does, most emphatically. All Christians can do is skirt the issue, depend on the "you too" fallacy, appeal to ignorance, special pleading and begging the question. In other words, they got nothing, nothing much at all. And like I said, this is just one of many defeaters.

 John Loftus should invest in the other "defeaters" because this one does not fly very far.

No wonder I call Christianity a delusion.

Yeah a deluded person thinks that people who disagree with him thinks they are deluded. 

And no wonder I cannot argue Christians out of their faith, since as deluded people within their Christian culture, they were never argued into their faith in the first place.

Exactly. Christian faith is a gift from God.

Debunking Christianity: The Force of the Problem of Suffering vs the Evidence for Christianity

150 comments:

  1. I find it crazy how someone like Loftus can harp on God's inaction when bad things happen that cause human suffering but unwilling to give God credit when  disaster and suffering is averted.
     
    I find you crazy.  Are you saying god averts disasters an unknown amount of times, then he must be choosing not to avert disasters that actually do occur (when not directly causing them)?  I want to be clear, is this what you are saying?  
     
    If this makes God unfalsifiable then why do people like him feel emboldened to declare that there is no God.
     
    Can you explain what you think “unfalsifiable” means, because based on this comment, I don’t think you know, or at least don’t understand the implications.   
     
    …then we cannot know what really happened at any time in the past before Newspapers, and modern technology.
     
    That is correct.
     
    History becomes suspect.
     
    You don’t understand what history is. 
     
    Really? Even the most liberal atheist scholar would agree that the autographs date back to the 1st century even if our copies are from later.
     
    Reread Loftus’ comment and then reread yours.  They don’t disagree. 

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  2. Also "even the most liberal atheist scholars" would date half or more of the Gospels to the early 2nd C.

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  3. I find you crazy.

    No surprise there because you are blinded by sin.

    Are you saying god averts disasters an unknown amount of times, then he must be choosing not to avert disasters that actually do occur (when not directly causing them)? I want to be clear, is this what you are saying?

    I am saying that God averts disasters an unknown amount of times, and He is choosing not to avert disasters that actually do occur. And Yes He is allowing them. Clear now?

    Can you explain what you think “unfalsifiable” means, because based on this comment, I don’t think you know, or at least don’t understand the implications.

    We have been through this. The point is unfalsifiability does not mean untrue or fit to be rejected.

    That [we cannot know what really happened at any time in the past before Newspapers, and modern technology] is correct.

    And you think I'm crazy? lol.

    You don’t understand what history is.

    That depends on how you define "history" and I reject yours. I'm not the only one who would not define "history" the way you do.

    Really? Even the most liberal atheist scholar would agree that the autographs date back to the 1st century even if our copies are from later.

    Then why did Loftus write: "All that Christian apologists have is 2nd -3rd, -4th handed written testimony found only in manuscripts dated to the 4th century AD when we know that Christians doctored up texts like the Testimonium Flavianum (Ant. XVIII. 63 - 4) in a time when they also forged the Donation of Constantine, as but the most recognized examples."

    He didn't mention anything about the Gospels or the Epistles being from the 1st Century. How do you see how they agree? They don't. Loftus was not careful in his comments.

    Also "even the most liberal atheist scholars" would date half or more of the Gospels to the early 2nd C.

    Name one. Most of the ones whose work I've come in contact with don't.

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  4. Clear now?

    Yes, so he's (it's?) not omnibenevolent. Cool.

    We have been through this.

    If by that you mean I've asked you to tell us what you think it means and you haven't, then yes, we have. What we've not been through is you telling us what you think it means.

    That depends on how you define "history" and I reject yours.

    And you reject Carr's and Elton's and everyone working in history. But that's ok, you are an idiot after all.

    He didn't mention anything about the Gospels or the Epistles being from the 1st Century.

    Focus. Reread. He didn't mention the autographs at all...

    Most of the ones whose work I've come in contact with...

    So you admit saying "Even the most liberal atheist scholar would agree that..." is incorrect.

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  5. Yes, so he's (it's?) not omnibenevolent. Cool.

    No, I guess you don't understand. Focus. You don't get to define what "all good" is. You don't know what "good" is.

    28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. - Romans 8:28-30

    And you reject Carr's and Elton's and everyone working in history. But that's ok, you are an idiot after all.

    If rejecting the definition of "History" that is fairly recent makes me an "idiot", then I've got to wonder why you would accept that. Not all professional historians do. I doubt Dr Paul L. Maier would agree that we can't know what really happened in the ancient past. Funny how you get choose what you will and will not be radically skeptical about.

    Focus. Reread. He didn't mention the autographs at all...

    No he said that all Christians have are
    "2nd -3rd, -4th handed written testimony found only in manuscripts dated to the 4th century AD" as if the autographs did not exist. He insinuates much and read like he is pretending that the autographs are a non-issue.

    So you admit saying "Even the most liberal atheist scholar would agree that..." is incorrect.

    Reading comprehension isn't one of your strengths is it? I am saying that most liberal atheist scholar would agree that the autographs should be dated to the first century. And although you say you disagree, you have not given an example of such a scholar. So I will give you one: Robert M Price. And according to him, he's in the minority.

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  6. You don't get to define what "all good" is. You don't know what "good" is.
     
    So you would define the suffering, animal and otherwise, caused by the 2004 Tsunami as “good”, that’s cool. 

    If rejecting the definition of "History" that is fairly recent makes me an "idiot", then I've got to wonder why you would accept that.
     
    You don’t get it, you also reject Maier’s and Herodotus’ definition of history.  I think you hedge your bets when you say “I doubt” re: Maier, because you don’t actually know. 

    as if the autographs did not exist.
     
    This is you reading subtext that is not there. 

    I am saying that most liberal atheist scholar…
     
    There you go, dial it back, but that’s not what you said originally, you said “Even the most liberal atheist scholars…” which is quite different from saying “Even the most liberal atheist scholar…”.
     

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  7. So you would define the suffering, animal and otherwise, caused by the 2004 Tsunami as “good”, that’s cool.


    So let's unpack your "logic" that you want me to agree with. something that is not "good" is "evil". The suffering, animal and otherwise, caused by the 2004 Tsunami as “not good”. Doe that that mean that the suffering, animal and otherwise, caused by the 2004 Tsunami is "evil". No it does not. I would prefer that there was no suffering, animal and otherwise, caused by the 2004 Tsunami but God allowed it for a reason. Who are you to say that reason is not ultimately "good". That is where trust in God comes in. I trust that even when stuff happens I hate or don't want, that God has good reason for allowing it. You've got nothing.

    you also reject Maier’s and Herodotus’ definition of history.

    Prove that.

    This is you reading subtext that is not there.

    You mean you don't think Loftus is that stupid. But he wrote that all Christians have are
    "2nd -3rd, -4th handed written testimony found only in manuscripts dated to the 4th century AD"
    which would mean that he's not taking the New Testament into account which is a wrong thing to ignore.

    There you go, dial it back, but that’s not what you said originally, you said “Even the most liberal atheist scholars…” which is quite different from saying “Even the most liberal atheist scholar…”.

    So in other words you have have to agree that the preponderance of scholarship does date the New Testament to the first century. Thank you.

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  8. So let's unpack...

    Awww, did you just read that phrase somewhere and want to try it out? Otherwise, you seem to be obfuscating "evil" and "not good"

    Prove that.

    No. You said, "History is not wrong. Historians can be mistaken but that does not mean history is wrong. A historical event is either true or it isn't." implying you believe history to be "What actually happened". I challenge you to find one history who accepts that definition.

    You mean you don't think Loftus is that stupid.

    I don't. But I have no idea what that has to do with anything. It's worth noting he is correct in that all christians have are "2nd -3rd, -4th handed written testimony found only in manuscripts dated to the 4th century AD".

    So in other words you have have to agree that the preponderance...

    It's not a binary proposition. Something doesn't become true once 50.000000001% of the evidence in it's favor.

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  9. Otherwise, you seem to be obfuscating "evil" and "not good"

    Nope. You are. You want me to claim that it was "good" that the 2004 tsunami and like natural disasters cause untold suffering or agree that God is not all good. I don't have to claim either to demonstrate my points to be true.

    I challenge you to find one history who accepts that definition.

    I issued you a challenge first to show that there is professional scholar who does not date the New Testament to the first century. I also asked you to show that Paul Maier does not think that we can know what really happened in the ancient past. You can't just say "No, I have a challenge for you" and expect me to just drop mine for you. Nice try though.

    It's worth noting he is correct in that all christians have are "2nd -3rd, -4th handed written testimony found only in manuscripts dated to the 4th century AD".

    You are both wrong we know that the New Testament comes from earlier and despite your delusion the texts give reliable information.

    It's not a binary proposition. Something doesn't become true once 50.000000001% of the evidence in it's favor.

    Of course its binary: One or zero. Off or On. True or False. Either the majority of scholars date the NEW TESTAMENT to the First Century or they don't. You said they don't. Prove it.

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  10. You want me to claim that it was "good" that the 2004 tsunami and like natural disasters cause untold suffering or agree that God is not all good.

    Well, there's a third option...

    I issued you a challenge first...

    I'll take that as an admission that you were talking out of your ass on what history is.

    You are both wrong we know...

    We infer it, but he's right about what you have

    Of course its binary...

    There's a third option...

    Either the majority of scholars date the NEW TESTAMENT to the First Century or they don't. You said they don't.

    I never said that. Don't loose focus on the topic at hand, your sloppy use of language.

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  11. Well, there's a third option...

    Yeah, just as untenable as the fourth one.

    I'll take that as an admission that you were talking out of your ass on what history is.

    Whatever helps you deflect.

    We infer it, but he's right about what you have

    The point was that he was trying to mitigate what we have and what we know so that he can reject it with a clear conscience. You know...like what you do.


    There's a third option...


    Yeah that all New Testament is exactly what the texts says that they are.

    I never said that. Don't loose focus on the topic at hand, your sloppy use of language.

    Yes, let's look at what you said: Also "even the most liberal atheist scholars" would date half or more of the Gospels to the early 2nd C.

    So would it make you feel better if I had said :

    You claimed that even the most liberal atheist scholars would date half or more of the Gospels to the early 2nd C

    Does it make what you said true? Nope.I only stated it stronger and you still claimed dumb enough to defend it. Wait, I'm sorry you won't defend it.


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  12. Yummy yummy yummy yummy word salad!!! Yummy Yummy, word salad!

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  13. "Hooked on phonics" would help you. Look it up. It would be a great investment.

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  14. Marcus, I can speak and read Deutsch, English and Latin and some Greek, but whatever it is you just said is certainly beyond me!

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  15. I can speak and read Deutsch, English and Latin and some Greek, but whatever it is you just said is certainly beyond me!

    Exactly the point

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  16. Does it make what you said true? Nope.I only stated it stronger and you still dumb enough to defend what you said. Wait, I'm sorry that's right: you won't defend it.

    Clear now?

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  17. I only stated it stronger...

    Stronger, and completely different...

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  18. Different? If the New Testament was completed in the first Century, then so was the 4 Gospels. If the most liberal scholars would date them to the 1st Century, so would the most liberal scholar. Quibbling over semantics does not change the fact that you can't back up your statement.

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  19. Different?

    Yes, what do "most x" and "the most x" mean to you?

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  20. Quit deflecting and prove your statement or retract it.

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  21. You didn't understand my statement apparently, otherwise you'd have no problem answering the above question.

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  22. Still deflecting. Still avoiding my point. Must be because you can't back up your statement.

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  23. The fact is, on November 16 at 1116pm, you provided all that was required to "back up my statement", however, because of your initial sloppy use of language your point remains in the air.

    So, what do "most x" and "the most x" mean to you?

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  24. You wrote: "Also "even the most liberal atheist scholars" would date half or more of the Gospels to the early 2nd C."

    I wrote "I am saying that most liberal atheist scholar would agree that the autographs should be dated to the first century. And although you say you disagree, you have not given an example of such a scholar. So I will give you one: Robert M Price. And according to him, he's in the minority."

    So here is your game of semantics. You claimed that most liberal atheists scholars do date 2 or more of the Gospels to the early 2nd Century. And while there is a difference between most x" and "the most x" it doesn't help prove your statement being true. Price is not the most liberal atheist scholar and he is isn't most liberal atheist scholars. You have failed. Spectacularly.

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  25. "I am saying that most liberal atheist scholar...

    You said that later. And I don't disagree with the above. It's the statement in the original post that's in question. Unless you are admitting that statement was incorrect, which you've not done.

    You claimed that most liberal atheists scholars do...

    I do not. I claim "even the most liberal atheist scholars do".

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  26. You are saying that the most liberal atheist scholars date half or more of the Gospels to the earliest 2nd Century. My point was that the majority of all scholars (liberal and conservative; Theistic and Atheistic) date the entire New Testament to the 1st Century. Obviously you misunderstood what I was saying and I apologize for not being clearer. It was not my intent to say that there are no scholars that think the New Testament in general and the Gospels in particular should be dated post 1st Century. My point is that the majority of scholars disagree with them. My mistake does not support John Loftus' mistake. He is still wrong: The majority of scholarship dates the entire NT before the 2nd Century therefore we have more than just 2,3,4 century handwritten manuscripts. I don't know if you are willing to argue that the majority of scholarship is wrong, but I'm not. Thank you for pointing out my unclearness in my statement. And I also apologize for instulting your mental faculties regardless of what you have said of me.

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  27. My point was...

    Yes, but what you said was something completely different. You may think I misunderstood (I didn't) and that you could have been clearer (you didn't want to) and that it's a petty point, but it's not. It goes to the heart of what it is to be an apologist.

    It was not my intent to say that there are no scholars that think the New Testament in general and the Gospels in particular should be dated post 1st Century.

    This is exactly what you said however.

    He is still wrong

    He's not. You are strawmanning him here.

    ...therefore we have more than just 2,3,4 century handwritten manuscripts.

    We don't.

    I don't know if you are willing to argue that the majority of scholarship is wrong, but I'm not.

    I certainly think the majority of scholars can be wrong. As do you, i.e. evolution.

    And I also apologize for instulting your mental faculties regardless of what you have said of me.

    No apology necessary, ever.

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  28. Yes, but what you said was something completely different. You may think I misunderstood (I didn't) and that you could have been clearer (you didn't want to) and that it's a petty point, but it's not. It goes to the heart of what it is to be an apologist.


    The fact that you think that I meant to be dishonest and just was not clear in what I said shows how much you really don't understand.


    This is exactly what you said however.


    That is not what I meant or intended. Hence the confusion about your response and the apology, which you asked for.

    He's [John Loftus] not [wrong]. You are strawmanning him here.

    No, I'm not. And the fact that you can agree with Loftus say we don't have more than just 2,3,4 century handwritten manuscripts negates the fact that the majority of scholars disagree even those who don't think the Bible is true.

    I certainly think the majority of scholars can be wrong. As do you, i.e. evolution.

    Agreed. I think the majority of scholars are correct about the Gospels and the New Testament being from the first century and wrong about macro evolution. Micro evolution can be measured and observed - I accept that.

    No apology necessary, ever.

    Admitting when you are wrong is always necessary. Because you will not admit that you are wrong is why you are in danger of hell.

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  29. The fact that you think that I meant to be dishonest...

    I do think that. I certainly don't know it though. But, past actions are indicators...

    ...the apology, which you asked for.

    Nope, did not.

    No, I'm not. And the fact that you can agree with Loftus say we don't have...

    What does the word "have" mean to you. This is important, so feel free to ignore all the other comments and focus on this one.

    ...wrong about macro evolution. Micro evolution can be measured and observed...

    Micro and macro evolution are the same thing.

    Admitting when you are wrong is always necessary.

    Why does it take you so long to do so then?

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  30. I do think that. I certainly don't know it though. But, past actions are indicators...


    You are confusing my motivations with your own.


    Nope, did not.


    You challenged me that I would not admit to having made a statement that was not true. And it took me this long to do so because I did not understand what you were complaining about. I thought I was being clear enough and I was not. And frankly your attitude didn't help.


    What does the word "have" mean to you. This is important, so feel free to ignore all the other comments and focus on this one


    The majority of scholarship have reasons and evidences for why they have come to the conclusion that that the New Testament was written during the first century. This is more than just because of the manuscript evidence. This is why I take issue with the assertion that handwritten copies are all that we have.

    Micro and macro evolution are the same thing.

    Says you. Plenty of experts disagree.

    Why does it take you so long to do so then?

    Are you really going to say that in all the interactions and time you spend commenting here, that you have not found one thing at all that you should admit that you have been wrong about? If so, you are lying.

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  31. There has been more than one occasion where you should have admitted to being wrong and still haven't.

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  32. You are confusing my motivations with your own.

    Rhetoric. I'm not.

    The majority of scholarship ...[]...is why I take issue with the assertion that handwritten copies are all that we have.

    Sure, but ultimately, what do we actually have and was Loftus' comment incorrect?

    Plenty of experts disagree.

    This is fascinating. Appealing to consensus and authority while admitting hat authority and consensus can be wrong...

    Are you really going to say that in all the interactions and time you spend commenting here, that you have not found one thing at all that you should admit that you have been wrong about? If so, you are lying.

    When this has occurred, I've done so. I think your biases keep you from recognizing it. Plus, you think I'm wrong a lot more than I actually am... :)

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  33. Sure, but ultimately, what do we actually have and was Loftus' comment incorrect?


    I told you. There are reasons and evidences that the majority of scholarship uses to come to the conclusion that the New Testament was written in the first century. Want more? It's called "google".

    This is fascinating. Appealing to consensus and authority while admitting hat authority and consensus can be wrong...

    The issue isn't that consensus and authority can be wrong. We agree. What is more interesting is how you like to pull that card when I disagree with the majority of "scholars" but it's okay for you to disagree with it.

    When this has occurred, I've done so. I think your biases keep you from recognizing it. Plus, you think I'm wrong a lot more than I actually am... :)


    What? The time you apologized for being rude? There has been more opportunities than just that for you to admit to being wrong.

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  34. I told you.

    So Given what he actually said, Loftus was or was not incorrect?

    ... it's okay for you to disagree with it

    I don't...

    Regardless. Happy Thanksgiving.

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  35. Loftus said that all we had were "handwritten manuscripts" but why didn't he say "handwritten copies of first century manuscripts" because that is what they are? He was not accurate in what he said.

    I don't...

    No you play devil advocate in an attempt to try to show that I am reasoning wrong. You should instead try to use an issue that you actually disagree with me about instead of trying to say that You agree with my conclusion but you disagree with how I get there because I believe in God. We can both be right about somethings.

    Regardless. Happy Thanksgiving

    May God Bless you with a Love for Him and desire to know Him.

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  36. Loftus said that all we had were "handwritten manuscripts"...

    This is an absolutely true statement.

    ...why didn't he say "handwritten copies of first century manuscripts"

    Because this only a possibly true statement.

    You should instead try to use an issue that you actually disagree with me about...

    I disagree with you at an epistemic level, so it can be said I actually disagree with nearly EVERYTHING you've said thus far.

    May God Bless you with a [] desire to know Him.

    Related to the problem of evil; why would a god worthy of worship choose to not do so?

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  37. Because this only a possibly true statement.

    Then your argument is with the majority of scholars, not me.

    I disagree with you at an epistemic level, so it can be said I actually disagree with nearly EVERYTHING you've said thus far.

    Your disagreement does not equate to my being wrong.

    Related to the problem of evil; why would a god worthy of worship choose to not do so?

    Why does God choosing to save to save you makes God worthy of worship?

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  38. In case it is not clear:

    What difference does your salvation make in making God worthy of worship?

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  39. You didn't answer the question, I'd offer to rephrase, but I'm sure you'll just punt to "damnation is the default!!!!!1!one!!!"

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  40. I didn't answer the the question because the presupposition is wrong. You seem to think that God is only worthy of worship if God decides to save you. This not true and makes the question worthless. God is good and worthy of worship even if you end up in hell. Recall that we all deserve hell and God isn't obligated to do anything for anyone of us.

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  41. ...because the presupposition is wrong.

    Presuppositions cannot be said to be either right or wrong. That's sort of the whole point of a presupposition.

    Recall that we all deserve hell

    I don't recall this at all. As it turns out, I don't recall any evidence for the existence of any sort of hell at all...

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  42. Of course presuppositions can be right or wrong. You have no evidence that there God's worthiness of being worshiped is contingent on what happens to you. Why would it?

    And if presuppositions can't be right or wrong, you can't dismiss or reject the existence of hell.

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  43. Of course presuppositions can be right or wrong.

    Sigh, wow... I'm almost at the point of giving up here. Of course presuppositions can be right or wrong, they would either HAVE TO BE right or wrong. They however CANNOT BE SAID TO BE right or wrong, because presuppositions are unfalsifiable, by definition. Otherwise they wouldn't be presuppositions, they would be evidence...

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  44. If you can't determine if a presupposition is true or false then there is no reason to discuss them. And by your own criteria you cannot say that there is no hell. However when you are ready to grow up and be honest and try to determine if your presuppositions are right or wrong (some are right others are wrong) then there can be conversation.

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  45. If you can determine if a presupposition is true, then there is no reason to presuppose it.

    I'll just chaulk this up to yet another term you seem to not understand.

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  46. If you cannot determine that a presupposition has merit, it is stupid to base an argument on it.

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  47. Since you didn't understand what I just commented, let me rephrase:

    It is stupid to base an argument on a presupposition that you know is false (ie no merit).

    Who is that dumb besides you? Why would you argue a point that you know is untrue?

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  48. It is stupid to base an argument on a presupposition that you know is false (ie no merit).

    If you know it's false, it's not a presupposition. Sigh...

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  49. Obviously you need help recognizing that some of your presuppositions are false. You're welcome.

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  50. Obviously that's true, but that boat goes both ways my friend.

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  51. I never said it did not go both ways. Being a Christian entails rejecting presuppositions that are wrong and it is an on going process. That is what Paul was telling us in Romans 12:1,2. The fact that you failed to do that explains your apostasy.

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  52. That is what Paul was telling us...

    Yeah, there's a presupposition that entails rejection right there...

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  53. Make up your mind. Which is it? You said:

    Presuppositions cannot be said to be either right or wrong. That's sort of the whole point of a presupposition.

    So you have reason to reject anything you can't demonstrate is wrong. Sounds like you have an epistemological problem and you are filled with irrationality. Get help.

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  54. 1. Fact: Paul wrote Romans.
    2. You cannot demonstrate that I have incorrectly stated Paul's point.
    3. You have no reason to reject what Paul wrote in Romans 12:1,2
    4. You really need God's help

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  55. 1. Not a fact, but not worth arguing about and as likely true as not.

    2. Nope, and I don't care to.

    3. Ah, here it is, one of your foundational presupposition, that Paul wasn't talking out his ass. I have just as much reason to reject what Paul said as I do what David Koresh, Osama bin Laden or Charles Manson said.

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  56. So you have reason to reject anything you can't demonstrate is wrong.

    No, but this is just more comment on how you have no idea what unfalsifiable means. I would have thought that even if your pride wouldn't have allowed you to admit it publicity, you would have looked it up by now.

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  57. I would have thought that even if your pride wouldn't have allowed you to admit it publicity, you would have looked it up by now.

    Yes, let's see what pride looks like. You said

    here it is, one of your foundational presupposition, that Paul wasn't talking out his ass.

    Yet you said: Obviously that's true [you need someone else to help in recognizing that some of your presuppositions are false], but that boat goes both ways my friend.

    Paul was saying that our minds need to be changed so that we can look at reality as it truly is and let go things that are not true. You agree. So if Paul is talking out his ass, which orifice did you pull your "logic" from? Perhaps the same place as David Koresh, Osama bin Laden and Charles Manson.

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  58. Re: Paul, even a broken clock is right twice a day. Are you contending that Muhammad never said anything that was true to the human condition?

    I.e. the occasional bit of obvious common sense does not make your extraordinary claims true.

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  59. Are you contending that Muhammad never said anything that was true to the human condition?

    Nope. But you didn't answer my question. I pointed out that Paul pointed the same thing out you did about presuppositions and truth and you said that Paul didn't know what he was talking about. I asked you if that meant you don't know what you are talking about? You didn't answer.

    the occasional bit of obvious common sense does not make your extraordinary claims true.

    I'd say that common sense comes infrequently to you and not all that common.

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  60. What question are you talking about? You didn't ask one except about orifices and I could only assume that was purely rhetorical.

    I asked you if that meant you don't know what you are talking about?

    You never asked that, but of course I don't. Nor did Paul. Nor do you, especially nor to you...

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  61. Not Rhetorical at all. If You and Paul are coming to the same conclusion about the need to change erroneous presuppositions why should it be he is wrong and you are right. I really wanna know: Which orifice did you pull yours out of?

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  62. So you are saying that because two people agree on something in general, then they most agree on all specifics (or on everything)?

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  63. Nope. I am saying that you cannot seemingly claim that Paul is wrong about everything but agree with something he did say. You may not think you projected that but you did. Way sloppy.Say what you mean.

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  64. I am saying that you cannot seemingly claim that Paul is wrong about everything

    I didn't.

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  65. So you think he made up only some things he said? Is that what you think? How do you tell the difference?

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  66. You never answered the question about Muhammad. You will find my answer there.

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  67. You never answered the question about Muhammad. You will find my answer there.

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  68. Muhammad did say somethings that were true about the human condition. So what? You are the one claiming that I.e. the occasional bit of obvious common sense does not make your extraordinary claims true.

    That does not also mean that extraordinary claims are false. And before you ask: could some of the extraordinary claims made by Muslims be true. Yes they can, Given Deuteronomy 13. You are the one with the problem. You claimed that Paul made up things that are not true yet you have to not provided anything plausible about how you know what was true and what was made up. Looks like you've painted yourself into a corner, but pride will keep you from seeing it.

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  69. Looks like you've painted yourself into a corner

    I was thinking the same of you. We'll call it a night then.

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  70. I know you think that. But then you are deluded so I am not surprised.

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  71. But then you are deluded so I am not surprised.

    I am, but certainly not more so than you.

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  72. By whose standard? You are deluded, so how do you know anything?

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  73. My own. I know what can and try to be at least cognizent that there are filters in place.

    You should try it.

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  74. My own.

    No more valid than my own.

    I know what can and try to be at least cognizent that there are filters in place.

    Your authority is invalid.

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  75. Your authority is invalid

    In any sense that matters, so is yours Marcus, but I wasn't talking authority nor talking from it.

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  76. So then we agree: neither of us have authority to determine the standard by which we can absolutely and definitely define true reality. Yet you do. You said you know you are less deluded then I by your own standard. That's talking from authority - yours and not everyone would agree with you. You are being inconsistent and authoritative. You should get that checked.

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  77. Yet you do [absolutley and definitely define true reality]

    I do not.

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  78. I agree you don't but you said that you use your own standard to determine how deluded you are relative to anyone else - given that if there are varying levels of delusion it would be a part of the definable and true reality.

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  79. I don't have to know I'm right to know how wrong you are.

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  80. I don't have to know I'm right to know how wrong you are.

    And you think I have epistemological issues! LOL. Any idea how pathetically vague you are being. It's like as blind man telling other people they are blind....right before walking into a wall.

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  81. I look at it more like a blind mann trying to teach another blind mann to read braille.

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  82. You look at it wrong. I was a blind man and I am telling you, another blind man, that you can be healed too.

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  83. I thought the same as you do Marcus, for 25 years...

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  84. And you were never healed. For 25 years you were missing it and still miss it today. The sad thing is instead of find the light in the darkness you have chosen to curse the darkness.

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  85. Just judging from this blog, but you don't seem any freer than anyone else, even less so in many ways. Same fears, averices, frustrations and limitations.

    Let me guess, it's and unquantifiable "freedom"?

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  86. Nope...not an "unquantifiable freedom"

    Better why don't you quantify "Same fears, averices, frustrations and limitations"

    God does not free you from being human but frees you to be human - all that God has purposed you to be and I am a work-in-progress. You have nothing.



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  87. Actually, I have quite a bit and am very happy and feel very free to be human as well.

    I'm thinking your asserted "freerness" really is unquantifable and is just that, an assertion.

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  88. I'm not asserting "freerness". I'm saying that you are enslaved to sin and you could be free. You can have even better than what you have now. Thank God that you "have quite a bit and am very happy and feel very free to be human as well." That is because of the grace God has given you. You can have more. Is the point. But you didn't quantify "Same fears, averices, frustrations and limitations".

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  89. You are asserting you are freer than I, don't see any evidence that is true.

    I do not sense that you have "more", but granted I'm just going off your blog posts and comments as evidence for that.

    As it stands right now, your "freerness" is unquantifiable.

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  90. What standard are you using to determine your conclusion? How are you measuring that? From your comments, I am glad I do have more than you do. For example you don't have an objective moral standard. You have fooled yourself into thinking that despite your blindness (and you admit that you are blind) that you know what is right and what is wrong. You think that you know enough to determine what reality is. I know better than that, but not because I'm smarter than you but because of God's mercy. And the fact that you have never understood that points out why your are an apostate. You were doing it wrong.

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  91. Assert assert assert your heart out, Marcus.

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  92. Awwww...the evidence went over your head?

    1. You claimed you are your own standard for morality
    2. You admitted blindness and limitation for understanding how reality works.
    3. You refuse to accept the help and guidance that you clearly admitted that you need given your own delusions.
    4. You claimed that you never had a born-again experience or a relationship with God - there fore you have never been saved.
    5. You can have what you missed out on for 25 years.

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  93. 1. No.
    2. Yes, you should do so as well.
    3. Not true, I just wouldn’t accept it from you since you’ve been proven untrustworthy.
    4. No, in fact I claim to have had a born again experience.

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  94. 1.Then what is your standard? When I asked earlier you said you used your own standard.
    2. I do. That's what I have Jesus. You have nothing objective to stand on.
    3. I'm not offering you help. You are too far gone. Only Jesus can help you. I'm flawed but Jesus is not.
    4. You claimed that being born again was not different than not being born again. And you argued that no one has been born-again. That means you don't know what you are talking about.

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  95. Let's try this, describe, in quantifiable terms, what this vague "freedom" you assert you have but I dont, means to you.

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  96. Freedom - Knowing God and living out the purpose for which God made you.

    Now. In quantifiable terms describe what being born-again is.

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  97. Hmmmmm, I would bet (no way to know over the internet) that I am "living out" just as much purpose as you.

    And since I've described what being born again is in previous posts (several times if I'm not mistaken), I'll pass and let you do the leg work if you really want to know what I think.

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  98. Hmmmmm, I would bet (no way to know over the internet) that I am "living out" just as much purpose as you.

    I doubt it. Remember you say you set your own standards for what your purpose is. Limited because you can set the bar to however low you want it.

    And since I've described what being born again is in previous posts (several times if I'm not mistaken), I'll pass and let you do the leg work if you really want to know what I think.

    I remember. And I asked so you would have the opportunity to admit that you don't know. You did not experience what the Bible describes and you think that because you have not, not one has. That's two reasons that I know you don't know what you are talking about. Just get saved already so you will know better.

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  99. Limited because you can set the bar to however low you want it.

    (Although there are other factors and you are taking an overly simplistic view like always) or as high as I can make it.

    You did not experience what the Bible describes...

    Did so.

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  100. (Although there are other factors and you are taking an overly simplistic view like always) or as high as I can make it.

    And that is why it is flawed.


    Did so.


    Given your inability to comprehend what the Bible says, I doubt it - and that is judging by your comments here. Also you claim that it's no different than not being born-again. That means you are either lying or gravely mistaken.

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  101. Also you claim that it's no different than not being born-again.

    Not inside one's head. But no, the universe takes no notice.

    So, on your "freerness", let me guess (I know you'll deny it publically, but do consider what I'm saying), your "purpose" is merely doing whatever it is you think you should do vis a viz the bible/your churches teaching, etc... and then when you make a bad decision, be it interpersonal, career, etc, you simply say it's part of "the purpose for which God made you."

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  102. So, on your "freerness", let me guess (I know you'll deny it publically, but do consider what I'm saying), your "purpose" is merely doing whatever it is you think you should do vis a viz the bible/your churches teaching, etc... and then when you make a bad decision, be it interpersonal, career, etc, you simply say it's part of "the purpose for which God made you."

    No when I mess up -s ay or do wrong things - it is my fault. The difference is my sins have been forgiven and yours are ever before you. God has better for me, yet I screw it up sometimes and God comes and fixes my mess but sometimes not the way I want but what is best for me. What recourse do you have? How are are your sins atoned for. How do you make up for failing to meet the standards you set for yourself. You probably just lower them right?

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  103. Not inside one's head. But no, the universe takes no notice.

    Not according to what I have seen. The lives of everyone you come into contact with noticeably changes where ever their lives intersect yours.

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  104. The lives of everyone you come into contact with noticeably changes where ever their lives intersect yours.

    This is generally true of everyone I've known.

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  105. The difference is my sins...

    I'm not talking about sins, just decisions that don't work out for the best.

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  106. How are are your sins atoned for.

    Well, atone is a nonsense word, but I make amends myself when I have the ability to.

    How do you make up for failing to meet the standards you set for yourself.

    I try harder.

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  107. This is generally true of everyone I've known.


    Which is why being born-again is evidenced.

    I'm not talking about sins, just decisions that don't work out for the best.

    Decision that don't work out for the best are included as well as outright sin. God causes all things to work out - they work out despite of me not because of me. Same as you.

    Well, atone is a nonsense word, but I make amends myself when I have the ability to.

    What happens when you can't?


    I try harder.


    The really sad thing is that you are deluded enough to think that is good enough.

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  108. Which is why being born-again is evidenced.

    I'm not sure you followed what I was saying.

    God causes all things to work out...

    There it is. You've made your position unfalsifiable, so there's no point discussing it further. But in any case, tell that to the handless orphan kid with AIDs in Kinshasa.

    What happens when you can't?

    Life's not fair kid. You can shit in one hand and want in the other. Or pick whatever similar colloquialism your folks (should have) taught you. Better to face what you can't do rather than pretend an imaginary friend can do it for you.

    The really sad thing is that you are deluded enough to think that is good enough

    As good as possible, but at least I'm not pretending...

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  109. I'm not sure you followed what I was saying.


    You are lost. If you have been born-again the people who know you should be able to tell a difference in you.

    But in any case, tell that to the handless orphan kid with AIDs in Kinshasa.

    Yes, there is true suffering. And just saying "All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to his purpose" isn't always appropriate to quote at all times to comfort people. However it is still true. I do not know how God is going to turn such a situation for good but I have witnessed God's blessing in the midst of suffering. You don't love God and you can't count on that promise.

    Life's not fair kid. You can shit in one hand and want in the other. Or pick whatever similar colloquialism your folks (should have) taught you. Better to face what you can't do rather than pretend an imaginary friend can do it for you.

    You complain about the suffering proverbial handless orphan kid with aids in Kinshasa and want to use that as evidence against God but claim "Life's not fair". The Bible never said it was. Life not being fair does not invalidate God. You know what my parents taught me? This world owes you nothing...and neither does God. The Bible supports that. We were never promised anything but pain and suffering terminated in death because of sin. No surprise. The difference is that through Jesus you can be saved - not exempted.

    As good as possible, but at least I'm not pretending...

    You pretend that its as good as possible, while if you were truly a Christian you would have seen that there is more possible. If you didn't, you lied to yourself and others for 25 years.

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  110. If you have been born-again the people who know you should be able to tell a difference in you.

    Granted we're just talking about the internet, but I don't sense any difference in you.

    I do not know how God is going to turn such a situation for good but I have witnessed God's blessing in the midst of suffering.

    I've seen good come from bad, I've also seen no good come from bad or worse come from bad. In any case, you've just spouted more unfalsifiable nonsense.

    You complain about the suffering proverbial handless orphan kid with aids in Kinshasa...

    One I wasn't complaining about it, I was using it as an illustration of the purposelessness of much suffering and two he's not "proverbial", I've met him.

    You know what my parents taught me? This world owes you nothing...

    Good advice, but that's not the point. The point isn't that your life isn't fair, but rather that the universe and god are (supposed to be) ultimately just.

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  111. Granted we're just talking about the internet, but I don't sense any difference in you.

    So what? You don't know me. And I have not idea what difference you are looking for?

    I've seen good come from bad, I've also seen no good come from bad or worse come from bad. In any case, you've just spouted more unfalsifiable nonsense.

    You really need to get out more.

    One I wasn't complaining about it, I was using it as an illustration of the purposelessness of much suffering and two he's not "proverbial", I've met him.

    One bring it up as if it is proof of God or life being unfair is complaining. You think that there is something wrong with it. And I agree. So does God and God has a plan and reasons.

    Good advice, but that's not the point. The point isn't that your life isn't fair, but rather that the universe and god are (supposed to be) ultimately just.

    Did you read the whole comment? God does not oe you or I anything either. Who said that God is not ultimately just? How do you even begin to justify that God isn't? You can't because you don't ultimately know anything. Who are you to judge God as being unjust? (this ought to be good).

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  112. I was using it as an illustration of the purposelessness of much suffering and two he's not "proverbial", I've met him.

    How do you know that there is any such thing as purposeless suffering? As for the boy in Kinshasa, what is his Name?

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  113. And I have not idea what difference you are looking for?

    If you have been born-again the people who know you should be able to tell a difference in you.

    I just should be able to tell a difference.

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  114. Also, it was 1996, so I don't totally recall, but I think his name was Joseph.

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  115. I just should be able to tell a difference.

    Is that really the best you can do? Well basically being a reprobate sinner would explain why that is the best you can do. You don't know me well enough to say that there is no difference in being born-again> And you should really be skeptical of your conclusions because you don't even know what should be different.

    And as for Joseph I think he is closer to God than you have ever been.

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  116. And as for Joseph I think he is closer to God than you have ever been.

    This says it all. You have no information other than he was a kid in the Congo with AIDs and no hands or parents. Do you see that you are all rhetoric and no substance?

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  117. You don't know me well enough to say that there is no difference in being born-again

    No, but I know enough people to know that the qualities you are talking about are not found in only those who claim to be born again.

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  118. This says it all. You have no information other than he was a kid in the Congo with AIDs and no hands or parents. Do you see that you are all rhetoric and no substance?

    You have no substance. Joseph knows true suffering - more than you and I combined - and God is nearer to those who suffer like that even if they are not aware of it.

    No, but I know enough people to know that the qualities you are talking about are not found in only those who claim to be born again.

    You are a reprobate blaspheming sinner. Why do you think that you know enough to judge what needs to be found as proof for being born-again. You are blind remember and biased. How do you know? Simple: You don't!

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  119. Why do you think that you know enough to judge...

    Because you said you should just be able to tell. Care to revise that statement? (hint: making it unfalsifiable)

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  120. What I said was that "I should just be able to tell" because I'm saved. I don't expect you to be able to tell. This is born out because you can't tell. If you submitted to God you will

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  121. And there it is! Unfalsifiablity! What a convenient little system you've created in your head.

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  122. It's not my fault if you lack the tools or the ability to be able to see what is plain.

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  123. I never said that it was plain for you or should be.

    For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. - 1 Corinthians 1:18

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  124. Thanks for admitting you can't prove the Bible wrong.

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  125. Thanks for demonstrating you don't know what "prove" or "unfalsifiable" mean.

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  126. A little louder...I can't hear you over the sound of your failure

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  127. Yes that's it. embrace your failure.

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  128. You are the one who seems to think crying "unfalsifiable" is a valid argument. Hint: It's not.

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  129. Would you please just tell the class what you think "unfalsifiable" means?

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  130. Already been over that. Doesn't matter how often you cry about it, it doesn't make your rejection of Christianity rational.

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  131. Already been over that.

    You've actually not. But please, if you have and I missed it (as opposed to the numerous times you've dodged the subject) then go ahead and let me know what it was you said and when.

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  132. You can't demonstrate the Bible is false nor any passage from it. you are unwilling to accept any evidence whatsoever and would rather whine because you have no good argument AGAINST Christianity or the Bible. And because this is too difficult for you you want to change the focus of this and try to accuse me of not knowing what "unfalsifiable' means. I know what it means. Do you? Because the way you use it is "Waaaah!!! Help! I have no good argument!"

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  133. So, ok, great, anyway, if you have told us what you think "unfalsifiable" means and I missed it (as opposed to the numerous times you've dodged the subject) then go ahead and let me know what it was you said and when.

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  134. you don't dictate anything to me. We've been over what "unfalsifiable" means. I've got nothing to prove. No Need. You have accused me of not knowing what it means. Why don't you demonstrate a single time where I have misused it. You know...back up your accusation. You might have some luck with that, because you got nothing else.

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  135. We've been over what "unfalsifiable" means.

    When?

    Why don't you demonstrate a single time where I have misused it.

    As a rule, see the comment preceding the one where I said you didn't know what unfalsifiable means.

    I'll help you out. You seem to use it in the sense that something that's true is unfalsifiable. See comment from yesterday at 114pm. Hint: that's wrong...

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  136. I'll help you out. You seem to use it in the sense that something that's true is unfalsifiable. See comment from yesterday at 114pm. Hint: that's wrong...

    You're the one that needs help. Your bias is messing with your reading comprehension. I'm not intending no such thing. You like to cry "unfalsifiability" because you can pretend that you don't have to contend with what is true. My point has always been that "unfalsifiable" does not mean false. It doesn't mean true either. Which is why you like to punt to it. Problem is that when a religion makes truth claims, many of them can be tested. That means they are not unfalsifiable. Christian claims about Jesus are either true or they are not. You can't cry "Unfalsifiable" all you want but you can't then come back and say the Bible is wrong just because you lack the tools to understand it. And you do lack the tools.

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  137. My point has always been that "unfalsifiable" does not mean false.

    It doesn't mean that either, not in the proper sense. This is the trap conspiracy theorists fall into, and the only reason I continue to harp on it with you....

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  138. It doesn't mean that either, not in the proper sense. This is the trap conspiracy theorists fall into, and the only reason I continue to harp on it with you....

    So you are harping on the meaning of "unfalsifiable" because it does not mean that something is not false? Did you read the rest of the rest of the comment or did you stop there? Because it does not mean something is true either. I don't understand your point. I think the problem is you have no point and just like to pointlessly "harp"

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  139. I don't understand your point
     
    No doubt.  The reason I harp on this with you is that it’s a foundational problem for you.  I’ve said your epistemology is flawed before and this is why.  Every time we argue and you get into a corner, your Alamo is always “unfalsifiability”.  It’s the same thing I’ve seen holocaust deniers, Obama Birthers and 9/11 Truthers do and it’s not rational.   The bottom line is that not being able to prove something wrong does not excuse you to believe it’s true. 

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  140. The bottom line is that not being able to prove something wrong does not excuse you to believe it’s true. >

    We finally agree on something. Now are you honest enough to admit that not being able to prove something is wrong does not excuse you to believe it's false?

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  141. Now are you honest enough to admit that not being able to prove something is wrong does not excuse you to believe it's false?

    I'm honest enough to admit that if it was the case. But it all depends on your school of epistemological thought(1), but it's my position one should provisionally believe unfalsifiable things to be false. And because it's unfalsifiable, there's no proving it's true either, so the provisional becomes perpetual. In short, if you can't know if it's true, it's not worth your time believing one way or another about it. Granted, if pressed about one's belief (as opposed to one's actual knowledge) one can take a position without losing too much skin off their nose. In a way, this is why I think it's rational to identify as both an agnostic and atheist. The former addresses knowledge, the latter belief.

    (1)your epistemological school of thought is not... um... how you say? Mainstream? OK, it's not even accepted by anyone on earth as legitimate other than yourself and people who think the moon landing was faked (and the like).

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  142. I'm honest enough to admit that if it was the case.

    Guess not.

    but it's my position one should provisionally believe unfalsifiable things to be false.

    Why?

    if you can't know if it's true, it's not worth your time believing one way or another about it.

    Ok, I get this is what you believe. I reject that one can't know that the Bible is true. If you don't know if the Bible is true it's because you don't understand the evidence. This is where we epistemologically disagree.

    your epistemological school of thought is not... um... how you say? Mainstream? OK, it's not even accepted by anyone on earth as legitimate other than yourself and people who think the moon landing was faked (and the like).

    So...mainstream means only people who agree with you. I don't believe the moon landing was fake or that the holocaust did not happen. But there are many scholars that agree with me that you cannot just assume something is false because you can't demonstrate that it's false. They would think that being an agnostic and atheist simultaneously is at all rational.

    I don't think you have adequately explain why you can reject something as false that you think is "unfalsifiable".

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