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Carrier on Spirituality 
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Post Re: Carrier on Spirituality
Hi Interbane,
Carrier is an historian,so presumably he believes it is possible to discover historical facts.And ancient historians works would be a good place to look.
I'm certainly not taking Carrier's word for it that the first Christians hallucinated a celestial being and that this being was crucified in outer space.
Then somehow years later some mysterious characters "euhemerized" a fictional earthly history in the gospels saying an historic person Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem under Pontius Pilate.
Meanwhile, strangely, Christian loving historian,Tacitus,in Rome says the same thing.
It's a bit tedious for me to point by point show the fallacies in Carrier's interpretations of the new testament. One essential point he holds is that this Jesus,Paul talks about was a spiritual not a physical being.
Here's a link to Dan Wallace having a look at Carrier's translating and interpreting in one passage on this subject.
www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2007/10/ ... ical-body/



Wed Sep 17, 2014 3:41 pm
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Post Re: Carrier on Spirituality
Interbane wrote:
One could even say there is a law of evolution, if you take the algorithm that engineers use in their software. The abstraction of that algorithm, as it applies to life, is what would count as a law. There are many other laws under the theory, starting with the 5 that Darwin proposed. I think a couple of those were shown not to be laws.

When you say there is a law of evolution Robert, what exactly are you referring to? It would have to be something that falls under the umbrella of the theory.


http://wiw.org/~jkominek/lojban/9402/msg00074.html states the five laws of evolution by natural selection:

1. Evolution occurs. Unlike mathematical species, such as triangles or square, biological species change from one kind to another.

2. Multiplication of species. Species split into daughter species, or bud off different types of descendent.

3. Natural selection. In any generation, the relatively few individuals who survive, owing to a particularly well adapted combination of inherited characteristics, give rise to the next generation; and the combination of characteristics of the surviving subset of the generation may be different from the combination of characteristics of the generation as a whole.

4. Gradualism. Evolutionary change occurs through gradual change of populations. (Note that current discussions of `sudden' or `episodic' evolution refer to periods of time that are certainly `gradual', except by comparison to the even longer time scales that some have presumed.)

5. Common descent. All currently living organisms are descended from a single ancestor.

(Adapted from "One Long Argument", Ernst Mayr, Harvard Univ. Press, 1991.)

These are all indisputable except number 5, for which we could quibble that life may have arisen multiple times, but even this quibble should not detract from the unity of the tree of life on earth.

Another interesting discussion on the law of evolution is at http://mingle2.com/topic/286487


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Post Re: Carrier on Spirituality
Quote:
I'm pretty sure it's an empirical statement that all life as we know it has arisen from a darwinian process. There's nothing wrong with that statement, either in form or in content.


Alien life arose from a Darwinian process is an empirical statement?

Where's the evidence?

The math isn't proof enough, Interbane.
(EDITED)



Last edited by ant on Wed Sep 17, 2014 6:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Sep 17, 2014 4:40 pm
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Post Re: Carrier on Spirituality
ant wrote:
Quote:
I'm pretty sure it's an empirical statement that all life as we know it has arisen from a darwinian process. There's nothing wrong with that statement, either in form or in content.


Alien life arose from a Darwinian process is an empirical statement?

Where's the evidence?

The math isn't proof enough, Interbane.
(EDITED)

Ant, your comment is like this:

Interbane: Black is Black
Ant: Why do you say Black is White?

Are you unfamiliar with the meaning of the phrase "as we know it"? That does not include possible unknown alien life.

I suppose you can imagine non-evolving life. Ingredients: one supernatural God, just add water.

You are just trolling here for intelligent design.


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Post Re: Carrier on Spirituality
If the first biological life arose largely by chance,what law determined this?What law gets you the algorithm in the first place?



Wed Sep 17, 2014 7:49 pm
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Post Re: Carrier on Spirituality
Flann 5 wrote:
If the first biological life arose largely by chance, what law determined this? What law gets you the algorithm in the first place?

Hello Flann. The basic idea in the evolution of life is that a species undergoes constant random change. Whenever a random change makes the genome more fertile, stable and durable, that change will spread through the population. It is hard to imagine alien life where this simple causal process would not also necessarily operate, Similarly, technology and other memes evolve, with more adaptive methods spreading and replacing older ways.

Adaptivity appears to be a universal feature of life. The telos or purpose or goal or entelechy of evolution is that any change will prosper that makes an organism more adaptive to its niche, and more efficient and effective in passing on its genes.

So with the origin of life, the evolutionary model suggests that chemical replicators developed from protein soup as discussed at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis. Like the Big Bang, the origin of life is not understood with any certainty, but science can place boundaries around what may be possible as a physical cause.


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Post Re: Carrier on Spirituality
Quote:
I'm certainly not taking Carrier's word for it that the first Christians hallucinated a celestial being and that this being was crucified in outer space.
Then somehow years later some mysterious characters "euhemerized" a fictional earthly history in the gospels saying an historic person Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem under Pontius Pilate.


Don't take anyone's word for what happened back then, even if an historian such as Carrier isn't the only one saying the same thing. Don't take the word of historians now or then. You speak of Carrier's analysis as if it's ridiculous. The ancient Romans hallucinated! Then they euhemerized! So what? These are things people do every day, all over the world.

Instead, you take the biblical historians word that the bible is true. That the entity Jesus was real and is actually a supreme magical being that could walk on water and was resurrected. And somehow this second version is less ridiculous than the first!! As if there are supreme magical beings on every street corner, and people come back to life from 3 days of death all the time. You have this all backwards Flann. It's a trillion times more reasonable to assume someone hallucinated. Because people are known to hallucinate.

Quote:
Meanwhile, strangely, Christian loving historian,Tacitus,in Rome says the same thing.


You're walking in circles around the elephant in the room Flann. Tacitus wasn't even born until decades after Jesus died. It's like you're trusting the facts of Elvis Presley's autobiography to someone who is still in diapers today, without asking to see their source material for the facts they cite. Where are the alarm bells here? It's not just the faith you have in the secondary source, it's that your entire worldview depends on it.

Quote:
Alien life arose from a Darwinian process is an empirical statement?

Where's the evidence?


Huh? How did "All life as we know it" get mutated into aliens? Parse the concepts ant, instead of trying so hard to find where others are wrong.


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Thu Sep 18, 2014 10:16 am
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Post Re: Carrier on Spirituality
Interbane wrote:
You speak of Carrier's analysis as if it's ridiculous. The ancient Romans hallucinated! Then they euhemerized! So what? These are things people do every day, all over the world.


Thanks Interbane,I don't know if you read the review article I linked here earlier.The link wasn't great and you have to type in;" Richard Carrier review" in the search box on that page to get the review article. I can't get that link again.Maybe it's accessible from my previous post.

The reviewer shows that Carrier's whole "euhemeriztion" argument is false and in fact it proves exactly the opposite to what Carrier is saying. This article also shows many more failings in Carrier's mythicist argument and where the biblical material Carrier himself uses,flat out contradict his thesis.
Carrier rejects the gospels and Acts as later suspect euhemerizations.Of course these utterly bury Carrier's ideas.

He wants to maintain Jesus was an imaginary incorporeal being, supposed by Paul to have been crucified in outer space.I think anyone who reads Paul's writings can see that he is not an idiot.How could any bodiless being be crucified anywhere? Carrier expects us to accept that Paul believes this.

But in fact, in Paul's writings it is clear that he does not believe this.Many new testament passages contradict Carrier's thesis of a mythical spiritual being roaming in outer space.
These include;Romans1:3,Galatians4:4,Galatians3:13,ICorinthians15:4,Galatians1:19 as examples of a physically born person on earth.
Carrier's approach to the gospels and Acts is to look for what he considers historical errors,psychologically based arguments of what he thinks should happen given the circumstances, and things he believes are internal contradictions and conflicts between the accounts.
Whether he admits it or not, his euhemerization theory is a conspiracy theory.His approach to late dating and authorship of the gospels really goes against the grain of how an historian should approach this.He ignores historical data in favour of his theory.
The evidence for the standard Christian view of earlier dating and authorship is much better.
As I've said before Christian belief doesn't solely rest on this issue, though it is important and I think a good case can be made for the Christian position here.
Obviously the supernatural elements are unacceptable from a naturalist standpoint, but I don't think that should be allowed to bias judgement on historical questions.
I'm going to provide a link to a talk by Dr Timothy McGrew which I think addresses many of Carrier's criticisms and the kind of arguments he makes. I realise it's not ideal for you Interbane but it articulates the kinds of problems I find with Carrier on many of these issues. Title;The Gospels and Acts as History.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAPG3eECaxw



Last edited by Flann 5 on Thu Sep 18, 2014 12:14 pm, edited 5 times in total.



Thu Sep 18, 2014 11:43 am
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Post Re: Carrier on Spirituality
Quote:
He wants to maintain Jesus was an imaginary incorporeal being, supposed by Paul to have been crucified in outer space.I think anyone who reads Paul's writings can see that he is not an idiot.How could any bodiless being be crucified anywhere? Carrier expects us to accept that Paul believes this.

But in fact, in Paul's writings it is clear that he does not believe this.Many new testament passages contradict Carrier's thesis of a mythical spiritual being roaming in outer space.
These include;Romans1:3,Galatians4:4,Galatians3:13,ICorinthians15:4,Galatians1:19 as examples of a physically born person on earth.
Carrier's approach to the gospels and Acts is to look for what he considers historical errors,psychologically based arguments of what he thinks should happen given the circumstances, and things he believes are internal contradictions and conflicts between the accounts.


It's a very infantile attempt to understand religious doctrine
All Carrier has to do is feign scholarship and those that agree with his worldview will gobble it up like crazed vulchers.
It's so ridiculous its a a total conversation stopper.

There is little to zero truth from new atheists who claim they want an open and rational dialogue with theists.
That's clearly not the case with men like Dawkins, Atkins, Harris, and I'd even say Carrier (although I do agree with other points he made).

Honestly, I can not agree with Christianity on a few issues. But overall, theists, from my experience in conversation, have always been more polite, considerate, friendly, and modest when compared to atheists, who become very pompous and arrogant in these types of discussions. That doesn't mean they're not capable of being nice people. I simply mean that their more likely to be arrogant and foolishly confident when asserting their worldview.
They are also grossly misinformed about history and theological doctrine.



Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:38 pm
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Post Re: Carrier on Spirituality
Quote:
The evidence for the standard Christian view of earlier dating and authorship is much better.

Earlier dating, meaning what? What is the evidence?

Quote:
But overall, theists, from my experience in conversation, have always been more polite, considerate, friendly, and modest when compared to atheists

And you're an excellent example of this. :clap2:

Quote:
He wants to maintain Jesus was an imaginary incorporeal being, supposed by Paul to have been crucified in outer space.I think anyone who reads Paul's writings can see that he is not an idiot.How could any bodiless being be crucified anywhere? Carrier expects us to accept that Paul believes this.


If you notice, I wasn't defending anything Carrier has said. What I expressed was that being incredulous towards any naturalistic claim is ridiculous if you are not even more incredulous towards supernaturalistic claims. This isn't something that's simply whimsical. We have more experience and evidence than could ever be needed to show that naturalistic explanations are a thousand times more favorable than supernaturalistic ones. Do you apply a thousand times the skepticism towards the advocates of Christianity as you do towards Carrier? I have no doubt Carrier is wrong on many counts, just as you say. But that doesn't mean the stories that are the gospels are completely true. All you're doing is continually dancing around the elephant.

Quote:
How could any bodiless being be crucified anywhere?


Again, why the incredulity? Don't you believe in three gods that are only one? We know for a fact people believe contradictory things, using yourself as an example. It is not a stretch at all to claim that an ancient Roman believed in contradictory things, and that is all Carrier is claiming. I'm not saying he's right, but your criticism of him doesn't tarnish his conclusion.


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Thu Sep 18, 2014 3:02 pm
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Post Re: Carrier on Spirituality
Quote:
As I've said before Christian belief doesn't solely rest on this issue, though it is important and I think a good case can be made for the Christian position here.
Obviously the supernatural elements are unacceptable from a naturalist standpoint, but I don't think that should be allowed to bias judgement on historical questions.


I very rich, in-depth discussion on reason and faith can be had listening to this 'Teaching Company" course.


http://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/ ... -ages.html


The intellectual grappling key figures in history dealt with are thought provoking and inspiring.
It's hard to grasp all of their arguments in depth, but those who are serious about informing themselves adequately will enjoy the course.
The bibliography provided with the outline is also a great starting point.

I need to listen to the course again, slowly. Some of it can be a bit confusing. It offers much more than the new atheist favorite scholarly "gotcha!" question "Do you believe in Zeus? No you don't. Then why should you believe in God??"

Also, this course is excellent:

http://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/ ... igion.html

The discussions include proper historical context, highlighting the primary motivations behind each "science vs religion" debate.

The common claim by the atheist is that he is aware of what the arguments are from the other side and how they originated when in fact they simply arent.
For instance, when I first mentioned "the warfare thesis" a couple of years ago, not one person here quite knew what that was or who the key players were.

For about the past year I've become a big science & religion history buff. The interaction between the two is rich and highly complex. Understanding historical context is key to preventing muddy, biased thinking. Which again is mostly what new atheists are only capable of because of a lack of interest.

Here is a great book:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/022648 ... UTF8&psc=1

Even handed and rich in context.



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Thu Sep 18, 2014 3:20 pm
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Post Re: Carrier on Spirituality
Quote:
And you're an excellent example of this.


I'm not a theist, Interbane.
I'm just rude to arrogant, pompous asses.









(present company excluded, of course)



Thu Sep 18, 2014 3:22 pm
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Post Re: Carrier on Spirituality
I haven't read Carrier's thesis on the Jesus myth, but I suspect his claims fall into the realm of what is possible given the sparse historical record about Jesus. Jesus as myth is at least plausible. And, indeed, from what I've seen of Acharya S, that's generally her position as well. She's arguing that it's at least plausible that Jesus is completely mythical.

Here we have an interesting question. Where does the burden of proof fall? On those arguing for Jesus as myth or those who argue for Jesus as historical figure?

True believers are probably not very reliable when it comes to a neutral assessment of the historical record for Jesus. How do you separate the Jesus as historical figure from the Jesus as deity belief? It's an incoherent position.


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Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:31 pm
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Post Re: Carrier on Spirituality
Quote:
Here we have an interesting question. Where does the burden of proof fall? On those arguing for Jesus as myth or those who argue for Jesus as historical figure?


LMAO!

This isn't EVEN a question.

But if one MUST entertain those that question the existence of the historical Jesus, the burden of proof is obviously on the mythicist, considering it's near UNANIMOUS among TRUE scholars in the field that the historical Jesus walked the earth.

But wait! There's a conspiracy in place to repress the evidence that Jesus was a myth! At least that's what Robert has mentioned in the past (people would be out of a job!)
The burden of proof is again on scholarship, regardless of their agreement!! That's logical!


JEZUZ :slap:

Once again we see a curious double standard in action. :roll:

EDITED



Last edited by ant on Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:43 pm
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Post Re: Carrier on Spirituality
Here we go:
(my emphasis)

Quote:
The historical analysis techniques used by Biblical scholars have been questioned.[4] However the majority viewpoint among those scholars of various disciplines who have commented on the subject is that Jesus existed, although biblical scholars differ about the beliefs and teachings of Jesus as well as the accuracy of the parts of his life that have been recorded in the Gospels.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14] Scholars who believe that Jesus existed differ on the historicity of specific episodes described in the Biblical accounts,[14] but most scholars agree that Jesus was a Galilean Jew who was born between 7-4 BC and died 30–36 AD,[15][16][17] that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, that he was crucified by the order of the Roman Prefect Pontius Pilate[11][12][13] and that he lived in Galilee and Judea and did not preach or study elsewhere.[18][19][20] The theory that Jesus never existed at all has very little scholarly support.[
- Wiki


Of course those that resent Christianity and have attempted to do away its "poster boy" will always be willing to subject the historical jesus to "double jeopardy"


Here's were the argument is introduced that "biblical scholars would be out of a job if they didn't say Christ existed.
And yet, not all biblical scholars are Christians.



Last edited by ant on Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:55 pm
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