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Ch. 2: The Hypothesis of Historicity (On the Historicity of Jesus by Richard Carrier) 
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Post Re: Ch. 2: The Hypothesis of Historicity (On the Historicity of Jesus by Richard Carrier)
Flann 5 wrote:
The historical evidence doesn't support this. You 'sceptics' need to be willing to question the assertions of Elaine Pagels also,and whether her 'reconstruction' of early Christian history is itself accurate or her thesis credible.

http://www.thirdmill.org/newfiles/mat_g ... agels.html

That is something I'm willing to do, question her assertions. I haven't read The Gospel of Thomas, but am reading The Gnostic Gospels and haven't seen anything that makes me think she's reconstructing. She refers to works that figures such as Irenaeus and Tertullian blasted as heretical and finds that the content they criticize match much of the contents of the Nag Hammadi material. Even though those manuscripts are thought to have been produced in the fourth century, they can reasonably be thought of as reflecting beliefs current in the second century due the fact that "catholic Christians" denounced writings that sound similar. She doesn't claim that the gnostic writings have very early dates, although she mentions one scholar who believes a part of them might.

Are you familiar with The Gnostic Gospels? I'm wondering whether Pagels takes a different view of Christian history in The Gospel of Thomas or whether her views are essentially the same in both books.



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Mon Feb 15, 2016 3:43 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 2: The Hypothesis of Historicity (On the Historicity of Jesus by Richard Carrier)
DWill wrote:
That is something I'm willing to do, question her assertions. I haven't read The Gospel of Thomas, but am reading The Gnostic Gospels and haven't seen anything that makes me think she's reconstructing.


Hi Dwill. Irenaeus "Against Heresies" is quite late c175-185A.D. I gather. There were dissident groups like the Docetists quite early and even Paul and John are responding to some of these ideas in the first century. I haven't read her book on the Gnostic gospels.

I don't think her minimizing of early beliefs in favour of ethics is warranted, and the criticism that she is effectively disregarding Paul on what the gospel actually is,would be an example of this.

Everything is undecided in the first century on her view and Irenaeus is the villain who determines orthodoxy in the late 2nd century.
The Gnostic gospels are considered later and derivative from the canonical ones by most scholars.Gnosticism itself is earlier of course and the impression I get is that those who liked these ideas applied them to the Christian teachings.

To make the gospel of Thomas primary and John a reaction to it without good evidence for this as Pagels does,seems to be turning things on their head.

If the supernatural is ruled out for whatever reason the gospels and Christian history will remain enigmatic. They must be later embellishments or Robert's allegories.

Neither of these are satisfactory I think, but that's what's left as options.



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Post Re: Ch. 2: The Hypothesis of Historicity (On the Historicity of Jesus by Richard Carrier)
Flann wrote:
Neither of these are satisfactory I think


yes it is so much more satisfactory to believe in the supernatural resurrection from the dead and things like "Satan is a fallen angel. A conscious intelligent malevolent spiritual being."

yes that is way more satisfactory :-D

and if you aren't washed in the blood well, you are going to hell my friend, Jesus loves you but you gotta bow the knee now or you'll be forced to later, because every knee will bow. :chatsmilies_com_92:

Jesus: knock knock!
you: who's there?
Jesus: it's Jesus, let me in!
you: why?
Jesus: so i can save you!
you: save me from what?
Jesus: from what I'm going to do with you if you don't let me in :lol:



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Post Re: Ch. 2: The Hypothesis of Historicity (On the Historicity of Jesus by Richard Carrier)
If only all the unbelievers on this board could see how wrong they are.

If only Chris and Interbane and geo and DWill and Taylor and Robert and well.... Everyone could see how inevitable a personal supernatural interventionist deity is, if only they could accept the virgin born son of a shellfish banning slavery condoning God. If only they could suspend disbelief long enough to accept an ancient book that is a mish mash of lots of old ideas as the inerrant word of God, if only they didn't expect it to make sense....

Oh well

As the good book says It's foolishness to those that perish anyway :-D



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Post Re: Ch. 2: The Hypothesis of Historicity (On the Historicity of Jesus by Richard Carrier)
Flann wrote:
the impression I get is that those who liked these ideas applied them to the Christian teachings.


hmmm "applied" seems to be a synonym for "copied" to you Flann

Quote:

"Now the image of God is the Word, by which all the world was made."

– Philo, "The Special Laws", I (81)




New Testament, John 1:1-3

Quote:
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 The same was in the beginning with God.

3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.


So here we have the Holy Spirit inspiring the apostle John to rip off Philo!?!?! :lol:

or perhaps the Holy Spirit travelled back in time to inspire Philo so John could rip him off, yeah that must be it :-D



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Post Re: Ch. 2: The Hypothesis of Historicity (On the Historicity of Jesus by Richard Carrier)
youkrst wrote:
Flann wrote:
the impression I get is that those who liked these ideas applied them to the Christian teachings.




hmmm "applied" seems to be a synonym for "copied" to you Flann



Quote:

"Now the image of God is the Word, by which all the world was made."

– Philo, "The Special Laws", I (81)




youkrst wrote:
New Testament, John 1:1-3



Quote:
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 The same was in the beginning with God.

3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.




So here we have the Holy Spirit inspiring the apostle John to rip off Philo!?!?! :lol:

or perhaps the Holy Spirit travelled back in time to inspire Philo so John could rip him off, yeah that must be it :-D


Philo mixed Jewish O.T. ideas with Greek ones. There are O.T. passages like in Proverbs where God is said by "wisdom" to have created everything.
The fact that John used the word Logos doesn't mean that he was "ripping off" Philo. No one thinks John's gospel is remotely gnostic or that it is promoting gnostic ideas. On the contrary.

You make the usual anti supernatural comments but that's just your philosophical naturalism.
If God exists these criticisms are irrelevant and redundant.
Astrotheology is the absurd theory.



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Post Re: Ch. 2: The Hypothesis of Historicity (On the Historicity of Jesus by Richard Carrier)
Flann wrote:
You make the usual anti supernatural comments but that's just your philosophical naturalism.
If God exists these criticisms are irrelevant and redundant.


And if god doesn't exist, his criticisms are relevant. No point is made. Your worldview holds itself up by its bootstraps. And you don't need to be a philosophical naturalist to be anti-supernatural. You just need to have your head on straight. why-the-supernatural-doesn-t-exist-t25284.html


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Post Re: Ch. 2: The Hypothesis of Historicity (On the Historicity of Jesus by Richard Carrier)
Interbane wrote:
Flann wrote:
You make the usual anti supernatural comments but that's just your philosophical naturalism.
If God exists these criticisms are irrelevant and redundant.




And if god doesn't exist, his criticisms are relevant. No point is made. Your worldview holds itself up by its bootstraps. And you don't need to be a philosophical naturalist to be anti-supernatural. You just need to have your head on straight. why-the-supernatural-doesn-t-exist-t25284.html


How is your theory falsifiable Interbane? Let's say that Jesus called Lazarus from the grave historically. On your theory there must be some other unknown naturalistic explanation.
I somehow doubt that God will be waiting for your permission to act.



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Post Re: Ch. 2: The Hypothesis of Historicity (On the Historicity of Jesus by Richard Carrier)
Flann wrote:
Let's say that Jesus called Lazarus from the grave historically.


Let's say people have taken mythology literally

which of the two is more probable?

Flann wrote:
I somehow doubt that God will be waiting for your permission to act.


and I somehow doubt that anyone should be waiting for the permission of a virgin born son of a shellfish banning slavery condoning God for anything.

which of the two doubts seems more reasonable?



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Post Re: Ch. 2: The Hypothesis of Historicity (On the Historicity of Jesus by Richard Carrier)
Flann wrote:
How is your theory falsifiable Interbane? Let's say that Jesus called Lazarus from the grave historically. On your theory there must be some other unknown naturalistic explanation.


What theory of mine?

To be clear about one thing, you're making an initial assumption. Let's go with your example. The claim that we need an explanation for isn't that "Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead". The claim we need an explanation for is that "the bible is a truthful account of an actual event where Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead". The difference is that we are removed by a degree.

Put another way, the words in the bible are what we are in need of explaining. Not the supposed claim they make. So the question becomes, is there a naturalistic explanation for why the bible claims that Jesus called Lazarus from the dead?

Are there naturalistic explanations for the words in the bible that claim Jesus called Lazarus from the dead? Yes, including the explanation that this particular part of the story was fabricated. It truly is that simple. In order to appeal to a supernatural explanation, you must not only rule out this explanation, but every other possible naturalistic explanation. After that, you must move on to proving the events as described could not be naturalistic.

When you have a claim like this, you examine the vessel first. Take a court of law. If a video is submitted showing a crime, the integrity must be proven before the jury moves on to examining the contents. No tampering, a rock solid chain of custody, and a clear, concise picture. Even with a video from a CCTV security system, that's a difficult process. But you expect it to be taken for granted for the bible? We can't move on to the supposed events, because the vessel itself is the thing being questioned.

Here's a key question you need to answer: Is it impossible for there to be a naturalistic reason that this claim is contained in the bible? This claim being "Jesus called Lazarus from the dead."

Your faith is misplaced Flann. I don't know the right set of words to convince you, but if you could teleport inside my head, you'd see how certain it was. It baffles me that something so simple is rejected time and time again.


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Post Re: Ch. 2: The Hypothesis of Historicity (On the Historicity of Jesus by Richard Carrier)
Interbane wrote:
You just need to have your head on straight. why-the-supernatural-doesn-t-exist-t25284.html


Interbane wrote:
Flann wrote:
How is your theory falsifiable Interbane? Let's say that Jesus called Lazarus from the grave historically. On your theory there must be some other unknown naturalistic explanation.




What theory of mine?


Why the supernatural doesn't exist. You believe in philosophical naturalism and that everything must have a naturalistic explanation or cause.

So every miracle which you can't explain you shelve in a compartment labelled "unknown naturalistic cause." Your theory cannot be falsified and is therefore itself a false theory.

You say that every possible naturalistic cause must be exhausted and that this can't be done and in any case you have your back up that there are unknown naturalistic causes.

In fact though you would have to be omniscient, and omnipresent throughout all time to rule out divine actions.

Just one scuppers your theory,though of course it's framed to be unfalsifiable,whatever the truth might actually be.

Whatever about such theories, atheism is inadequate in explanatory terms on origins. Of course you hope that some day naturalistic explanations will be found.

You'll be a long time getting a universe from nothing though.



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Post Re: Ch. 2: The Hypothesis of Historicity (On the Historicity of Jesus by Richard Carrier)
Flann wrote:
In fact though you would have to be omniscient, and omnipresent throughout all time to rule out divine actions.


Who said anything about ruling them out? It isn't about what we rule out. It's about what we're able to know. You're the one claiming to be able to rule things out - namely every possible naturalistic explanation. It must be projection that you're accusing me of this.

We know naturalistic causes are behind every repeatable phenomenon that was formerly thought to be supernatural.

So, it is the status quo that there is a naturalistic explanation to things currently unknown. This isn't just my opinion. It's a fact. As far as the conclusions based on inductive reasoning go(ie - the sun will rise tomorrow), there is no higher tier of strength than to have a 100% track record. Where there is ignorance on a phenomenon, we are only justified in concluding that it must be naturalistic, because the best tool of reasoning we have is induction, and inductive reasoning tells us the cause will be naturalistic. There is no certainty, but I've never claimed for there to be.

In order to show that something is not naturalistic, you need to rule out all possible naturalistic explanations.

In order to do that, you would need to be divine, or omniscient. The onus is on you to be omniscient to prove your position, not me.

Quote:
You say that every possible naturalistic cause must be exhausted and that this can't be done and in any case you have your back up that there are unknown naturalistic causes.


And what makes you think I'm wrong about this? Think about it. Pick something that's unexplained. Now show me that there are no unknown naturalistic causes. Put yourself in the position of a scholar a hundred years ago and repeat the practice if you're finding it difficult. Or a hundred years before that. Or a hundred before that. All the way back, there is a pristine pattern of unknowns being revealed as naturalistic. Induction gets no stronger than this.

Quote:
Just one scuppers your theory,though of course it's framed to be unfalsifiable,whatever the truth might actually be.


I'm not framing anything this way. It is the nature of these concepts. Does it seem unfair to you? What you're sensing isn't unfairness. It's the other side of the coin calling to you. Your position makes no sense Flann. Your position is impossible and always has been. Don't blame the messenger.

Quote:
Whatever about such theories, atheism is inadequate in explanatory terms on origins.


Here you claim to be omniscient. Show that it's inadequate. Appeal to absurdity. Appeal to consequence. Appeal to ignorance. Show that the universe hasn't existed forever. None of these appeals supports your position.


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Post Re: Ch. 2: The Hypothesis of Historicity (On the Historicity of Jesus by Richard Carrier)
Interbane wrote:
Flann wrote:
How is your theory falsifiable Interbane? Let's say that Jesus called Lazarus from the grave historically. On your theory there must be some other unknown naturalistic explanation.
What theory of mine?
I was so pleased to see Flann raise this example of the miraculous raising of Lazarus from the dead by Jesus Christ as proof that God exists outside the universe. The Lazarus story has fascinated me for some years as one that provides a compelling support for the astrotheological Gnostic interpretation of the Gospel According to Saint John.

I find especially interesting the comment of John immediately after explaining the miracle, at Chapter 11:53 “from that day forth they [the Jewish authorities] took counsel together for to put him to death.” My view is that this comment reflects the intensely repressive religious atmosphere in which the New Testament was created, and how the real intent of the Christ story was something deeply unacceptable to prevailing prejudice.

Far from being about miracles, as Christians assume, the Lazarus story is about the deep culture clash between the good east and the evil west, presenting in concealed form the immense intellectual debt that Christianity has to the ancient religions of the east, specifically the religion of Egypt.
Interbane wrote:
To be clear about one thing, you're making an initial assumption. Let's go with your example. The claim that we need an explanation for isn't that "Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead". The claim we need an explanation for is that "the bible is a truthful account of an actual event where Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead". The difference is that we are removed by a degree. Put another way, the words in the bible are what we are in need of explaining. Not the supposed claim they make. So the question becomes, is there a naturalistic explanation for why the bible claims that Jesus called Lazarus from the dead?
Yes, there is an excellent natural explanation for the Lazarus story, that Lazarus is a parable for the Egyptian God Osiris. The parallels are abundant, clear and meaningful, but clash directly with core literalist prejudices of dominant Christianity. The theory of the Egyptian origins of Christianity was first explained in detail by the nineteenth century English scholar Gerald Massey, who was subjected to intense ridicule, mockery and contempt by the forces of darkness in the church, in a modern version of witch persecution and heresy-hunting. Massey’s work was recognized only among the fringe movement of theosophy, including by Alvin Boyd Kuhn, and by the leading contemporary Canadian religious broadcaster Tom Harpur, whose work continues to fall stillborn from the press, to use Hume’s evocative image for ideas that are ignored. Then, the recently deceased maverick astrotheologist DM Murdock made the revival of Massey a core part of her work, for example in her great book Christ in Egypt.

Murdock provides a simply compelling explanation of the factual derivation of the Lazarus story from the Osiris myth at http://freethoughtnation.com/is-lazarus ... of-osiris/ This article includes a table of textual Midrash or copying, which illustrates that the four characters Lazarus, Jesus, Mary and Martha are directly copied from Osiris, Horus, Isis and Nephthys as the core Gods and Goddesses of the Egyptian pantheon. These old gods are given new concealed life in the modern evil dispensation, representing the forces of good against the evil of the world. The detailed functional parallels shown by Murdock’s Midrash are further confirmed by the simple etymological connections between Osiris and Lazarus, and between the two Maries and the Egyptian Mertae.

Richard Carrier’s problem in relation to this type of analysis is that even to discuss such ideas is to invite hostile contempt from moronic bigots who will persecute and trash the reputation of anyone with the courage and ability to discuss this material. Carrier therefore beats a tactical retreat in OHJ, failing to even discuss the Egyptian Midrash which explains core themes of political culture in the explanation of how and why Christ was invented. As such, his work is an essential forerunner to the emerging paradigm change in religious studies, but does not deliver that change, which requires analysis of how Christianity evolved from its cultural predecessors.
Interbane wrote:
Are there naturalistic explanations for the words in the bible that claim Jesus called Lazarus from the dead? Yes, including the explanation that this particular part of the story was fabricated. It truly is that simple. In order to appeal to a supernatural explanation, you must not only rule out this explanation, but every other possible naturalistic explanation. After that, you must move on to proving the events as described could not be naturalistic.
The above material shows that further to Interbane’s hypothesis of the fabrication of the Lazarus Rising story, there is a clear direct and simple explanation available of how and why this story was fabricated. John’s purpose was to explain that divine order has always been present within nature, but this manifest reality is invisible due to the weight of delusion in human psychology. The crucial Egypt parable is therefore a stumbling block to Christians and foolishness to scientists. The connection between Lazarus and Osiris both directly disproves the supernatural fantasies of faith and indicates that old pagan myths deserve respect. So modern religion and science both reject this hypothesis a priori without examination, like the Jews and Gentiles assessing the preaching of Christ crucified as Saint Paul describes at I Corinthians 1:23.
Interbane wrote:
When you have a claim like this, you examine the vessel first. Take a court of law. If a video is submitted showing a crime, the integrity must be proven before the jury moves on to examining the contents. No tampering, a rock solid chain of custody, and a clear, concise picture. Even with a video from a CCTV security system, that's a difficult process. But you expect it to be taken for granted for the bible? We can't move on to the supposed events, because the vessel itself is the thing being questioned.
These basic legal/scientific methods of evidence are accepted in all historiography except work based on faith. So the fact that Carrier provides a simple clear explanation that the texts we have are highly probable on the hypothesis of invention but impossible on the hypothesis of existence of Jesus is simply ignored by the faithful, given their assessment of how disruptive it would be to their core paradigm. Christians instead use the method explained by George Orwell in 1984 called ‘crimestop’, the ability to identify a heretical line of thought and nip it in the bud through a cultural practice which Orwell calls ‘protective stupidity’.
Interbane wrote:
Here's a key question you need to answer: Is it impossible for there to be a naturalistic reason that this claim is contained in the bible? This claim being "Jesus called Lazarus from the dead."
The natural reason of Egyptian Midrash is compelling and obvious once it is studied, but first the scales covering your eyes need to fall away so you are not blinded by faith.
Interbane wrote:

Your faith is misplaced Flann. I don't know the right set of words to convince you, but if you could teleport inside my head, you'd see how certain it was. It baffles me that something so simple is rejected time and time again.
The bafflement illustrates some quite deep problems of cultural pathology in religious psychology. Where people have such massive cultural, social, historical and material investment in an institution that provides comfort and meaning, as in the Christian church, any ideas that seem to challenge that sense of comfort and meaning will be viewed with intense hostility, and will be ignored, mocked and attacked before there is any respectful intellectual engagement and courteous dialogue. I certainly have never experienced courteous dialogue from Christians regarding my ideas, with perhaps Flann coming closest, which I appreciate.

Gerald Massey’s table of Egyptian Christian parallels in his book Ancient Egypt the Light of the World contains about 300 items, of which Murdock's list linked above is an extract. The standard Christian fundamentalist response to such material is to go through it to find the least plausible example and cherry pick that, as a fallacious ad hominem effort to discredit the entire method of Egyptian Midrash. But I would suggest the very length of this table illustrates that if we use the opposite method, and instead focus on those parallels that are the best, it throws the entire question of Christian origins into a new light.

Part of the problem here is that modern rational thinkers also have their own cultural presuppositions about the value of faith, and it is very difficult to identify and articulate these presuppositions on the dissecting table. For the evening to be spread against the sky like a patient etherized on a table, in TS Eliot’s very famous image, illustrates the problem of analysis of faith. Christians perceive that atheism involves a lack of respect and engagement with their core commitments, resulting in a dialogue of the deaf and blind, similar to the problem Jesus Christ was said to identify in his efforts to explain himself to his disciples.

The Egyptian Midrash of Lazarus is the type of story that is ignored and mocked by both sides of the science-religion divide, but its central pivotal place in John’s Gospel illustrates that its role in providing a coherent and compelling natural explanation for the memetic origin of the Jesus story deserves further study.


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Post Re: Ch. 2: The Hypothesis of Historicity (On the Historicity of Jesus by Richard Carrier)
Interbane wrote:
We know naturalistic causes are behind every repeatable phenomenon that was formerly thought to be supernatural.

So, it is the status quo that there is a naturalistic explanation to things currently unknown. This isn't just my opinion. It's a fact. As far as the conclusions based on inductive reasoning go(ie - the sun will rise tomorrow), there is no higher tier of strength than to have a 100% track record. Where there is ignorance on a phenomenon, we are only justified in concluding that it must be naturalistic, because the best tool of reasoning we have is induction, and inductive reasoning tells us the cause will be naturalistic. There is no certainty, but I've never claimed for there to be.

In order to show that something is not naturalistic, you need to rule out all possible naturalistic explanations.


How could your theory/philosophy of naturalism be falsified, Interbane? If it cannot be even theoretically falsified then the theory is false. A stacked deck.

In Judeo-Christianity there has always been a distinction between nature and acts of God.

Maybe paganism had gods of thunder and lightning but that's not the biblical revelation.

Of course the normal course of events is natural cause and effect and the exceptions are miraculous interventions.

Christians believe in God's providential working which you dismiss as coincidences.

There is a correlation between specific prayer requests and answers to prayer which you claim can be explained as coincidences.
This is not a good explanation. It's possible, but the frequency and specificity is against this 'explanation'. I provided Hudson Taylor's accounts previously and still think coincidences is no answer. And of course Taylor is just one example of this though a good one.

www.wholesomewords.org/missions/biotaylor6.pdf

I also gave the example of fulfilled prophecies. Liberal scholars generally claim retrospective construction of prophecy. As I've argued previously the internal and external evidence is against this and it's their apriori philosophical naturalism that dictates to them.
Notwithstanding,there are fulfilled biblical prophecies that can not be claimed to be retrospective.

The mythicists take the extreme position of denying the historicity of the crucifixion of Christ by Pilate with conspiracy theories and endless claims of 'interpolations'.

www.gospelway.com/god/evidences-prophecy.php

Interbane wrote:
And what makes you think I'm wrong about this? Think about it. Pick something that's unexplained. Now show me that there are no unknown naturalistic causes. Put yourself in the position of a scholar a hundred years ago and repeat the practice if you're finding it difficult. Or a hundred years before that. Or a hundred before that. All the way back, there is a pristine pattern of unknowns being revealed as naturalistic. Induction gets no stronger than this.


There are many things that are not explained. You are extrapolating from the fact of increased scientific knowledge demystifying things to a thesis that everything will ultimately be explicable in naturalistic terms.

This depends on the nature of reality. Christians don't deny the reality of laws of nature and that this is the usual course of events.

Nonetheless science is compelled to appeal to singularities for the origin of the universe and life. Abiogenesis is not in accordance with repeated observation of nature and it's laws as Pasteur discovered.

Interbane wrote:
Quote:
Just one scuppers your theory,though of course it's framed to be unfalsifiable,whatever the truth might actually be.




I'm not framing anything this way. It is the nature of these concepts. Does it seem unfair to you? What you're sensing isn't unfairness. It's the other side of the coin calling to you. Your position makes no sense Flann. Your position is impossible and always has been. Don't blame the messenger.


Whether it is fair or unfair is a trivial matter to me. If your construction of philosophical naturalism cannot be falsified then it's just an exercise in self deception.

John Lennox articulates these things better than I can.

Is belief in the Supernatural irrational? www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Kz4OgXsN1w



Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:22 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 2: The Hypothesis of Historicity (On the Historicity of Jesus by Richard Carrier)
Quote:
How could your theory/philosophy of naturalism be falsified, Interbane? If it cannot be even theoretically falsified then the theory is false. A stacked deck.


Not at all true. If a scientific theory cannot be falsified, that does not mean it isn’t true. It means it should not be the top pick when selecting between competing theories. But we aren’t doing science here, we’re doing philosophy. And the criterion of falsifiability only applies to scientific theories. The criterion for selecting in philosophy is soundness of method – namely logic. If you think my ideas are illogical, then point out where.


Quote:
Of course the normal course of events is natural cause and effect and the exceptions are miraculous interventions.

Christians believe in God's providential working which you dismiss as coincidences.


Okay, perfect. Now consider these miraculous interventions you speak of, and pick the one that you can most confidently prove is supernatural. The Hudson Taylor one works. Verify that it is supernatural using the methods that are used to verify everything else. Or, point me to another set of methods that you plan to use to verify the phenomenon as supernatural.

Quote:
There are many things that are not explained. You are extrapolating from the fact of increased scientific knowledge demystifying things to a thesis that everything will ultimately be explicable in naturalistic terms.


Correct. Otherwise known as inductive reasoning. It is not certain, but we can do no better. Unless you think you can do better. If so, please show me.

Quote:
There is a correlation between specific prayer requests and answers to prayer which you claim can be explained as coincidences.

By the definition of the word they are coincidences. That isn’t in question. The question is whether or not those coincidences are naturalistic or supernaturalistic. What method do you suggest we use to determine this?

How can these coincidences be studied to show that they are supernatural?

Flann, this question is of critical importance. Stop ignoring it.


Quote:
This is not a good explanation. It's possible, but the frequency and specificity is against this 'explanation'.

Are you talking about Hudson Taylor’s story? You’re making the same mistake as you did with the bible. Your lack of investigative rigor is astounding. Before you try to explain the events in the story, you need to prove the integrity of the vessel. Show that the events happened exactly as described. This is required for supporting any claim, be it legal or scientific or philosophical. Flann, you can’t merely assume the story depicts things accurately.
Quote:
I also gave the example of fulfilled prophecies.

Again, you’ve given examples of claims of fulfilled prophecies, which is one step removed. Prove the integrity of the medium first.

Quote:
Nonetheless science is compelled to appeal to singularities for the origin of the universe and life.

If we are compelled toward a conclusion, then it is evidence doing the compelling. Are you suggesting we ignore the evidence? Evidence outweighs your appeals to absurdity or you inability to comprehend the implication. You need look no further than quantum mechanics to see how painfully true this is.

Quote:
Abiogenesis is not in accordance with repeated observation of nature and it's laws as Pasteur discovered.

Not true. Pasteur did not show abiogenesis to be impossible.

It’s like you just want your worldview to be true, without actually going through the effort of supporting it. Or perhaps you don't really know what it means to support an idea. Emotion doesn’t justify belief Flann. For justification, you need to actually go through the steps. It is acceptable to believe the story of Hudson Taylor. But if you are suggesting that it definitely happened(which is required before you even use the story to support anything else), then you have a tremendous amount of work to do.


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Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:18 pm
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