BEEP! BEEP! IT'S ME.

"Begin at the beginning,and go on till you come to the end: then stop." (Lewis Carroll, 1832-1896)

Alice came to a fork in the road. "Which road do I take?" she asked."Where do you want to go?" responded the Cheshire cat."I don't know," Alice answered."Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter."

"So long as I get somewhere," Alice added as an explanation. "Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."

"All right," said the Cat; and this time it vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone. "Well! I've often seen a cat without a grin," thought Alice; "but a grin without a cat! It's the most curious thing I ever saw in my life!"

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I am diagonally parked in a parallel universe. Like Arthur Dent from "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy", if you do not have a Babel Fish in your ear this blog will be completely unintelligible to you and will read something like this: "boggle, google, snoggle, slurp, slurp, dingleberry to the power of 10". Fortunately, those who have had the Babel Fish inserted in their ear, will understood this blog perfectly. If you are familiar with this technology, you will know that the Babel Fish lives on brainwave radiation. It excretes energy in the form of exactly the correct brainwaves needed by its host to understand what was just said; or in this case, what was read. The Babel Fish, thanks to scientific research, reverses the problem defined by its namesake in the Tower of Babel, where a deity was supposedly inspired to confuse the human race by making them unable to understand each other.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Sunset And Great Aunt Mabel's Cardigan

If someone told you that they watched a sunset last night, and that it had certain particular characteristics, would you prefer to accept their assertion that this was true, rather than calling them a liar? If you had spent some time talking to a person and you believe that they’re a thoughtful, honest, sane person, would you like to be able to, by default, accept their claims about their experiences? Most of us would like to think so. But how would we ascertain that they are thoughtful, honest and sane? If someone told you after experiencing a sunset that the sky looked a certain way and made them feel a certain way, does it have the same veracity as if someone told you that they experienced god and it made them feel a certain way? Are beliefs in supernaturalism equivalent in veracity to someone telling you about a sunset?

I don't think so for a number of reasons. One has the means to assess and evaluate the natural world. It is a world which even theists agree exists unless they wish to play the game of, "I am not sure of the existence of anything except the existence of a god." Because sunsets and sunrises are part of the natural world, we can all have similar experiences and thoughts concerning them. Most of us don't, for example, debate whether or not a sunset exists. It is accepted as part of the natural world. We know about the pattern of the sun's movements and the earth's relationship to it. We know that the sun will appear to set at a time which is comparable to our position on the earth. We know many thngs about sunsets that do not put their existence into question. We know that visual displays of this kind can elicit a variety of emotional responses and that these emotional responses are influenced by the experiences of the person who is viewing the sunset. But through all of this, people agree that they are seeing and experiencing something which is part of the natural world.

So, if you said to me after you had viewed a sunset, even if I wasn't present at the time - "That sunset reminded me of my Great Aunt Mabel's cardigan." And if a tear welled in your eye as you remembered Great Aunt Mabel, I wouldn't consider that to be an odd or a potentially unbelievable statement.

It would be believable EVEN if it WASN'T TRUE because:-

  • 1. I know that great aunts exist or have existed.
  • 2. I know that sunsets exist.
  • 3. I know that cardigans exist.
  • 4. I know that the majority of people have memory. (Even if that memory is not accurate.)
  • 5. I know that visual and auditory stimulation can trigger a memory response.(Even if the memory triggered isn't accurate.)
  • 6. I know that memories can have an emotional component.
  • 7. I know that tears exist.



So, as I have a large amount of information concerning the natural world, your experience of the sunset is believable EVEN if it isn't true.

If it ISN'T TRUE, it hardly makes a difference unless you are using it as a tool to elicit sympathy in hopes of a quick shag. It makes very little difference whether it is true or not, as you are not requiring me to worship the sunset, pray to the sunset, get naked and dance while the sun sets, provide food offerings to the sunset to keep it happy, or give money to the "Relief of Sad Sunsets Fund." So, it doesn't matter to me or to anyone else if your experience of the sunset is true or not, even if it is believable.

Let's take it a little bit further. You recount your experiences of the sunset with a few added extras. You also add that while you were staring at the sunset, you heard Great Aunt Mabel's voice boom out from the sky " I love you and I want you to make sure that everyone wears red because it is my favourite colour."

At about this stage of your recounting of the sunset and your emotional and psychological responses to it, I am beginning to have some serious doubts about the veracity of your claim. So, I ask you if perhaps you just imagined Great Aunt Mabel's voice in your head. You agree that this might be so, but that it is a revelation, a sign from Great Aunt Mabel and you will do your utmost to make sure her wishes are carried out.

I then ask if you are going to demand that I wear red also. Your reply is that of course I must wear red and not only that, I should be part of a mission to make sure that EVERYONE wears red to honor Great Aunt Mabel and her great red cardigan which is evidenced by the existence of the great red sunset. You then go on to claim that the reason that the sunset isn't as red as it was yesterday, is because Great Aunt Mabel is sad because I am not wearing a red cardigan. That, in fact, if I don't comply with the demands of Great Aunt Mabel, and don't wear a cardigan or a cardigan which is red, I will be sorry and will never be able to join Great Aunt Mabel in the sunset where everyone is happy and content for eternity in their red cardigans.

My lack of compliance in this regard, (not wearing a red cardigan and not telling others to wear a red cardigan), is in fact dooming a whole lot of people to an afterlife which is bereft of Great Aunt Mabel and her multitudinous goodness and red cardigan comfiness. You also claim that Great Aunt Mabel told you that if you hear any other voices in the sky or in your head that you are to ignore them, and only listen to her instructions.

Now consider a guy called Abraham on a mountain somewhere. He may also be looking at a sunset, or he might be twiddling his thumbs or something else for that matter. I don't know. He claims to hear a big booming voice, either in his head, or emmanating from the sky. This voice is telling him that all the male members of his tribe must chop a bit of their penis off. He claims that not only is this true, but that all males of his tribe must have this done with no exceptions. The voice in the sky, or in his head, tells Abraham that those who are not prepared to sacrifice a bit of penis to him, will not be considered part of the tribe and the benefits that he can bestow upon the tribe will NOT come their way. In fact, they will no longer be special and they will have no chance of meeting him in the sky later on to live in happiness forever.

From my position, both sets of claims are equally unbelievable, but from a supernatural worldview, both sets of claims should be equally believable. If you choose to believe one above the other, it isn't because the claims are markedly different.

Your experiences of the sunset have very little impact upon my life UNLESS as part of your experience, you insist that I too will share the same emotional or psychological experience if I view the sunset with you. Or if you insist that I worship the sunset with you because you adored your Great Aunt.

So it is with Abraham's experiences on the mountain and with whatever god belief you may have. What you believe about a god or gods makes absolutely no difference or impact upon my life UNTIL you insist that what you are experiencing is true, whether I accept it as true or not. And that coupled with this insistence that it is true, that everyone, including myself, must comply. That all laws must comply with your god belief and that all people must obey the laws of this faith, regardless of whether I believe in the existence of said god in the first place.

In other words, once you insist that we all must wear "red cardigans because god told you so", I reserve the right to consider that: -

  • 1. You might not be honest.
  • 2. You might not be thoughtful.
  • 3. And/or you might not be sane.


On that basis, I reserve the right not to agree and not to comply.



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ADDENDUM: - Supernaturalists have no consistent methodology with which to test the veracity of supernatural claims. Therefore, they are in the position where they either have to accept all supernatural claims as being true, or they choose to accept specific supernatural claims based on their individual predilections.



The Cardigans - "My Favourite Game"

Link

44 Comments:

Blogger Coffee Messiah said...

Nicely put, and goes without saying!

21/2/07 9:40 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

Thanks coffee. It's a long post though, so not many people will read it perhaps.

22/2/07 10:55 am  
Blogger MichaelBains said...

Great Aunt Mable called me a Blasphemer and Damned me to eternal Hell with Great Uncle Ernie for goin' with the Red Sport Coat instead of teh Cardigan.

I wonder if she'd have preferred the red leather pants . . .

22/2/07 10:07 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

I dunno about the red leather pants, but black leather pants remind me of those pictures of Jim Morrison. (drool)

22/2/07 11:29 pm  
Anonymous Gadfly said...

Thanks for inviting me over - Beautiful site. Love the graphics and wish I was as creative.

>>>In other words, once you insist that we all must wear "red cardigans because god told you so", I reserve the right to consider that: -
* 1. You might not be honest.
* 2. You might not be thoughtful.
* 3. And/or you might not be sane.
On that basis, I reserve the right not to agree and not to comply.<<<

Granted. You have the right to consider those things and draw your own conclusions. You also have the right to disagree and not comply. Neither of which deal with the truth claim implicit in someone saying they actually heard Aunt Mabel speak. And if there is a fairly consistent testimony from various members of the human race dating over thousands of years that Aunt Mabel did speak, then the possibility that such speaking did occur should at least be granted, whether you continue to doubt it or not.

23/2/07 1:35 am  
Blogger Deacon Barry said...

What happens when the 4-ply wool cardigan wearers have a schism with the Arran wool cardigan wearers?

23/2/07 10:15 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE: gadlfy

"Neither of which deal with the truth claim implicit in someone saying they actually heard Aunt Mabel speak."

I doubt that I would call it a "truth claim which is implicit", I will just call it a claim.

RE: "And if there is a fairly consistent testimony from various members of the human race dating over thousands of years that Aunt Mabel did speak."

So, how does one deal with a supernatural claim like this? What is the standard protocol or methodology used to assess the truthfulness of such a claim? How would I determine that it was consistent testimony?

Bear in mind that testimony is an opinion that is based on the perceptions of a witness. So, one would need to be a witness to such event for it to be considered testimony.

For the testimony to be consistent, there would need to be one unaltered account.

In the case of Great Aunt Mabel's Cardigan, there were no witnesses and in the case of Abraham, there were no witnesses.

If, by witness, you mean thousands of people over time who also claim it to be true, but they were not witnesses to the event, how do they know, and how do you know that what they are also claiming is true?

An argument from popularity (argumentum ad populum), is a fallacious argument that concludes a proposition to be true because many or all people believe it.

Therefore it isn't enough to say that many people believe it so it must be true.

The argument from popularity or numbers isn't part of a logical methodology to assess truth.

23/2/07 11:16 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE deacon:

Then you have 2 sects of cardigan believers who are each the true cardigan believers.

23/2/07 11:25 am  
Anonymous ted said...

As always, very nicely put Beep...:)

Gadfly: truth claim implicit in someone saying they actually heard Aunt Mabel speak

I have a friend who once said he heard Aunt Mable speak. No-one else did though, so he was accused of hearing fictitious voices in his head, was incarerated in a hospice for the mentally ill and fed drugs and therapy until he was better. And yes, now he is.

The point here is that there is never an implied truth when someone hears a voice that isn't heard by anyone else. Remember that Beep didn't hear the voice, only her friend did. This seems to be what caused Beep to wonder about it in the first place. Not that aunt Mables or cardigans exist, but that voices she can't hear exist.

consistent testimony from various members of the human race dating over thousands of years

If none of the people providing the testimony actually heard the voice, then all they are doing is professing their belive in Beep's friend, who up to this point, is the only person to have ever heard Aunt Mable speak. To a rational way of thinking, that means that the testimony needs to be viewed sceptically until such time as more evidence is provided and tested for truthfulness.

At this point, to my mind at least, Beep's friend has some issues that he/she needs to talk to someone about. So, until I have more info, I'll reserve judgment on Beep's friend, but I won't be wearing the cardigan. Besides, I can't decide on the 4-ply or the Arran now...

23/2/07 4:16 pm  
Anonymous Gadfly said...

To say that because someone who heard "supernatural voices" was incarcerated, fed drugs, etc. and now is "better" that every such person who hears a voice is delusional simply is not logical.

The point I made is simple. BeepBeep listed three potential ways that she might interpret such an instance. I suggested that she also needs to include a fourth. The person "might be telling the truth."

24/2/07 12:37 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

The person might be, but based on what precedent? There is no way to test the veracity of supernatural claims.

24/2/07 1:58 am  
Anonymous ted said...

Re Gadfly: that every such person who hears a voice is delusional simply is not logical

It's not logical because it's not what I said. Here's what I did say:

The point here is that there is never an implied truth

Until the person has been assessed, we don't know if they're delusional. So like I said, I'll reserve judgment on that.

The person "might be telling the truth."

The fact that you've said might here means that you don't know either. Could that be because there is no "implied truth"?

So, I've offered you just one alternative. Test the claim before you decide anything concerning it.

24/2/07 10:56 am  
Anonymous Gadfly said...

Nor does one test the veracity of every claim that one is confronted with. Very few people have tested the validity of Einstein's Theory of Relativity (relatively... pun intended) but those of us who haven't tend to accept the claim of those who have.

To put Abraham, who had several "voice" experiences, in the same category as some delusional druggy who heard voices, is equivalent to putting a scientist's report of something in comparison with the local 8th grade math student.

The point remains - one does not subject "God" to testing (as we spoke about over on my site). But we cannot just simply pooh pooh away the idea that He may indeed have spoken.

The historical report by Paul is that Jesus was seen by over 500 people after the resurrection. Paul may have lied, he may have been mistaken, or he may have been telling the truth. But one cannot simply dismiss the statement.

24/2/07 10:56 am  
Anonymous ted said...

Gadfly: delusional druggy

Now you are simply casting aspersions where they are not warranted. Did anyone say anything about a delusional druggy? The friend I refer to wasn't found to have any drugs in his system, yet he was definitely delusional. So if you don't mind, I'll put the scientist's report ahead of your heresay. We have no such toxicology report concerning Abraham. To much cactus?

one does not subject "God" to testing

Why? (I missed the discussion over on yours) Is he likely to fail? I wouldn't have thought that was possible.

The historical report by Paul is that Jesus was seen by over 500 people after the resurrection.

I don't recall that Paul was actually there (please correct me if I'm wrong). Did he speak to all these people or did he just put his faith in what he'd been told?

But one cannot simply dismiss the statement.

Why not? There's really no other corroborating evidence that we know of, so it would seem a little sketchy to me...

24/2/07 6:21 pm  
Blogger Krystalline Apostate said...

gadfly:
Nor does one test the veracity of every claim that one is confronted with. Very few people have tested the validity of Einstein's Theory of Relativity (relatively... pun intended) but those of us who haven't tend to accept the claim of those who have.
I think a mushroom cloud is sufficient for that.
To put Abraham, who had several "voice" experiences, in the same category as some delusional druggy who heard voices, is equivalent to putting a scientist's report of something in comparison with the local 8th grade math student.
Nobody said any such thing, but I will: you have the order reversed.
Do note that prior to Isaac's birth, 'gawd' made a 'covenant', not only w/Abe's seed, but w/his seed's seed (his kids thereafter). Then, 8 years later, the 'test' was conducted.
Tell me that ain't deranged.
The historical report by Paul is that Jesus was seen by over 500 people after the resurrection. Paul may have lied, he may have been mistaken, or he may have been telling the truth. But one cannot simply dismiss the statement.
Sure we can. Who are these '500' witnesses? Got names, places, documents?
Ted's too polite. Sketchy is far too inadequate a term.
Tertiary hearsay's a joke, no matter the timeline. Note that Jews & Romans of that era did NOT accept hearsay.
500 witnesses? I call shenanigans.
Oh, wait: it's got the 'holy seal of truth' on it. That changes EVERYTHING!

24/2/07 7:04 pm  
Anonymous Gadfly said...

Ted -
I apologize for appearing to cast aspersions on your friend. I meant no disrespect.

Re: the discussion about God not being subject to testing. BeepBeep asked me a series of questions over on my blog (Gadfly.typepad.com) which I am serially seeking to answer. The discussion is there.

Re: Paul - Paul's statement about Jesus appearing to 500 people was in the context of reminding the Romans that there had been multiple appearances and one of those had been to 500 people at a time. He then went on to say that Jesus had appeard to him also. There is no serious doubt that Paul wrote these words. The point I was making was that BeepBeep has to a least allow for the possibility that the report is true in her list. She did that later.

Logically one should not simply dismiss such a statement out of hand though it is quite logical to seek to explain it by resorting to other facts about Paul's life which would make it appear that he was subject to delusion or some massive con game by others.

Like the life of Mother Theresa one would find it rather difficult to say that Paul's character and subsequent life would support this view.

25/2/07 1:52 am  
Anonymous gadfly said...

Ted - Paul made the statement to the Corinthians, not the Romans, sorry - the coffee had not kicked in yet.

25/2/07 1:58 am  
Anonymous say no to christ said...

Well I was going to remark to gadfly about his statement about jesus and paul, but KA beat me to it.lol MAybe that voice I keep hearing in my head is KA?? Hey stay out of my head KA. JK lol!

gadfly said:"The historical report by Paul is that Jesus was seen by over 500 people after the resurrection. Paul may have lied, he may have been mistaken, or he may have been telling the truth. But one cannot simply dismiss the statement."
---
I'm not sure why you brought up mother theresa? BUT, you can;t believe everything you heard about her either. She was not the all loving great person everyine just assumes she was. The truth is she was a cruel heartless evil women who believed that every child should suffer. That is why her orphan homes were in horrible shape dispite the money she collected for them. She gave very little to the children and the children lived in shitholes. I hate mother theresa, she was a liar and a thief!

http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/article.asp?ID=1168

25/2/07 6:08 am  
Anonymous say no to christ said...

I accidently pasted the wrong statement fro gadfly. I ment to post this on..."Like the life of Mother Theresa one would find it rather difficult to say that Paul's character and subsequent life would support this view."

25/2/07 6:10 am  
Blogger Sadie Lou said...

Does the fact that we know the disciples of Christ all died for bearing witness to his life and message? They didn't just get a bullet to the back of the head either--they were murdered in horrific ways. Some of them were stoned--some were hung upsidedown on a cross--I mean, you said...
So, how does one deal with a supernatural claim like this? What is the standard protocol or methodology used to assess the truthfulness of such a claim? How would I determine that it was consistent testimony?

And I would ask you, do people really die for something they didn't believe was true?
Even the people that drank that poisonus kool-aid and were a part of that wacky cult, believed what they were dying for was the truth.
All we have to do is look at their message and decide for ourselves if it is something we can take seriously.
Since I believe Jesus actually existed on this planet (Josephus) and the testimonies of the people who lived in his presence reveal that Jesus had a lot of powerful things to say--even Atheists seem to think that IF Jesus was real, he was a stand-up guy!
I can determine that:
A>The accounts of Jesus give me no reason to think he was crazy.
B>The accounts of Jesus give me no reason to believe he was a liar.
C>The accounts of the disciples give me no reason to believe the disciples were crazy
D>The accounts of the disciples give me no reason to believe they were liars
E>The accounts themselves are pretty much in line with one another
and F>Jesus said he was the Son of God and I have no reason to believe he was crazy or a liar or mean or wacky or out for personal glorification (since he died just like he said he would--by the hands of the people he came to save).
So why is it logical for me to doubt any of it is not true?

25/2/07 6:42 am  
Anonymous say no to christ said...

Umm, Sadie Lou, it has already been proven that the one reference christians use from Josephus was a fake. Josephus was a JEW and the writing from his work that christians claim as evidence was written by a GREEK christian. So, there is ABSOLETELY NO evidence whatsoever of jebus existence.

25/2/07 6:53 am  
Blogger Krystalline Apostate said...

sadie:
Does the fact that we know the disciples of Christ all died for bearing witness to his life and message? They didn't just get a bullet to the back of the head either--they were murdered in horrific ways. Some of them were stoned--some were hung upsidedown on a cross--I mean, you said...
In actuality, you only have 2 people in the bible who were killed - Stephen & Paul, neither of which were in a circumstance where recanting would've saved them.
And I would ask you, do people really die for something they didn't believe was true?
This happens on a regular basis.
I suppose that we should take Islam seriously?
Even the people that drank that poisonus kool-aid and were a part of that wacky cult, believed what they were dying for was the truth.
That actually hurts your argument.
All we have to do is look at their message and decide for ourselves if it is something we can take seriously.
Thus far, I can't find ANY of it serious.
Since I believe Jesus actually existed on this planet (Josephus) and the testimonies of the people who lived in his presence reveal that Jesus had a lot of powerful things to say--even Atheists seem to think that IF Jesus was real, he was a stand-up guy!
As SNTC points out, the infamous paragraph is considered an interpolation via Eusebius, & Josephus actually mentioned several Jesuses. He gave a lot more space to John the Baptist.
Your A thru E is a variant on the old Lewis trilemma: you missed 1, though.
LEGEND.
So why is it logical for me to doubt any of it is not true?
It's actually illogical, if you apply the proper yardstick.
I approached it not from 'either/or', but from 'does it hold up?'
It doesn't

25/2/07 7:06 am  
Blogger Sadie Lou said...

Krystaline Apostate & "say no to christ"

sorry for the multiple posts--there was a lot to address in response--please excuse me. I had to delete my other posts because I mixed up which one of you said what. Here is my response in condensed form!

I had to call my brother-in-law to confirm the correct paragraph to the Josephus ref.

“Jewish Antiquities”, by Flavius Josephus. Book 18, Chapter 3, paragraphs 1-5. Paragraph 3 is the Testimonium Flavianum itself, which contains the reference to Jesus Christ.

Not that you would accept my challenge but Fox's Book of Martyrs is a pretty intense read:

Matthew suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia, killed by a sword wound.

Mark died in Alexandria, Egypt, after being dragged by horses through the streets until he was dead.

Luke was hanged in Greece as a result of his tremendous preaching to the lost.

John faced martyrdom when he was boiled in a huge basin of boiling oil during a wave of persecution in Rome. However, he was miraculously delivered from death. John was then sentenced to the mines on the prison island of Patmos. He wrote his prophetic Book of Revelation on Patmos. The apostle John was later freed and returned to serve as Bishop of Edessa in modern Turkey. He died as an old man, the only apostle to die peacefully.

Peter was crucified upside down on an x-shaped cross, according to church tradition because he told his tormentors that he felt unworthy to die in the same way that Jesus Christ had died.

James the Just, the leader of the church in Jerusalem, was thrown over a hundred feet down from the southeast pinnacle of the Temple when he refused to deny his faith in Christ. When they discovered that he survived the fall, his enemies beat James to death with a fuller's club.

James the Greater, a son of Zebedee, was a fisherman by trade when Jesus called him to a lifetime of ministry. As a strong leader of the church, James was ultimately beheaded at Jerusalem. The Roman officer who guarded James watched amazed as James defended his faith at his trial. Later, the officer walked beside James to the place of execution. Overcome by conviction, he declared his new faith to the judge and knelt beside James to accept beheading as a Christian.

Bartholomew, also know as Nathanael, was a missionary to Asia. He witnessed to our Lord in present day Turkey. Bartholomew was martyred for his preaching in Armenia when he was flayed to death by a whip.

Andrew was crucified on an x-shaped cross in Patras, Greece. After being whipped severely by seven soldiers they tied his body to the cross with cords to prolong his agony. His followers reported that, when he was led toward the cross, Andrew saluted it in these words: "I have long desired and expected this happy hour. The cross has been consecrated by the body of Christ hanging on it." He continued to preach to his tormentors for two days until he expired.

The apostle Thomas was stabbed with a spear in India during one of his missionary trips to establish the church in the subcontinent.

Jude, the brother of Jesus, was killed with arrows when he refused to deny his faith in Christ.

Matthias, the apostle chosen to replace the traitor Judas Iscariot, was stoned and then beheaded.

Barnabas, one of the group of seventy disciples, wrote the Epistle of Barnabas. He preached throughout Italy and Cyprus. Barnabas was stoned to death at Salonica.

The apostle Paul was tortured and then beheaded by the evil Emperor Nero at Rome in A.D. 67. Paul endured a lengthy imprisonment which allowed him to write his many epistles to the churches he had formed throughout the Roman Empire.
KA said...
Your A thru E is a variant on the old Lewis trilemma: you missed 1, though.
LEGEND.

While it's true, my reasoning sounds much like C. S. Lewis's famous trilemma,
I was merely using a system all American's are used to--in our judicial system, we determine a person's credibility by questioning their sanity and by evidence and testimony to support their story. That's still how we do things around here right?

25/2/07 8:48 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

I would like to say at this point that people being killed for what they believe in, isn't evidence that what they believed in is true.

25/2/07 10:18 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

"I was merely using a system all American's are used to--in our judicial system, we determine a person's credibility by questioning their sanity and by evidence and testimony to support their story. That's still how we do things around here right?"

"A supernatural being told me to do it", isn't considered valuable testimony in a court of law, unless perhaps, you live in the middle east.

And you need to ask yourself, why it isn't valuable testimony.

25/2/07 11:59 am  
Blogger Krystalline Apostate said...

Sadie:
The Book of Martyrs was written in 1563 CE. Not even close to a 1st hand account of any of these things. I would accept Flauvius' account on these events, but he only mentioned
A. Jesus (about a dozen of them)
B. James, and
C. John the B.
By that rationale, I should also perhaps accept the Acts of Pilate?
While it's true, my reasoning sounds much like C. S. Lewis's famous trilemma,
I was merely using a system all American's are used to--in our judicial system, we determine a person's credibility by questioning their sanity and by evidence and testimony to support their story. That's still how we do things around here right?
I'm w/BBIM - when was the last time the supernatural was a pivotal point in ANY trial? Or even admitted as evidence?

25/2/07 12:52 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

The passage in Antiquities of the jews by Flavius Josephus where "christ" is mentioned is likely to be a case of pious fraud perpetrated by the Christian Father Eusebius who, by all accounts is first historian of Christianity.

Eusebius, who not only advocated fraud in the interest of the faith, but who is known to have tampered with passages in the works of Josephus and several other writers, introduces this passage in his "Evangelical Demonstration," (Book III., p.124), in these words:

"Certainly the attestations I have already produced concerning our Savior may be sufficient. However, it may not be amiss, if, over and above, we make use of Josephus the Jew for a further witness."

25/2/07 7:42 pm  
Anonymous ted said...

Gadfly:

No worries, no offence taken.

Yes, Paul's statements were to the Corinthians and from what is written, it's obvious that he believed it was all true. The trouble is that his believing it and telling someone doesn't make it true, as has been pointed out in many of the comments below.

25/2/07 8:20 pm  
Blogger Sadie Lou said...

I would like to say at this point that people being killed for what they believe in, isn't evidence that what they believed in is true.

Obviously. But if you read what I actually said, I was making the point that it forced us to examine the cause for thier death and take it seriously because I take people willing to die for something, seriously.
Don't you?
Isn't life sacred?
I believe life is a gift.
And this is also why people are so tormented when someone takes their own life. It sends a message and I think we owe it to those people to at least figure out or try to understand their motivation.
That's all I was trying to say. I was in no way saying that their death makes their cause "true". I'm sorry if I wasn't clear.


"A supernatural being told me to do it", isn't considered valuable testimony in a court of law, unless perhaps, you live in the middle east.

A supernatural being told the disciples to die or kill themselves?

I think you're getting off track here.
I was saying that we use evidence and witnesses to support truth in court and I'm saying that there is plenty of both to support the message Jesus and his disciples were preaching.

KA--
I'm sorry, you made this wild, unsupported claim that the only disciples to be killed were Stephen and Paul. You said their faith wasn't even tested. You offered no factual evidence for the claim and then just go on to suggest that MY facts I bring to the discussion, are invalid because of when it was written?
I suppose you use this same dismissal when you run across scientific writtings from long ago?
You need to prove that what I brought to the table about the disciples being killed for their faith, IS NOT true.

The passage in Antiquities of the jews by Flavius Josephus where "christ" is mentioned is likely to be a case of pious fraud perpetrated by the Christian Father Eusebius who, by all accounts is first historian of Christianity.

Oh of course! *laughing*
It's either dismissed because it's old (per KA's comment) or dismissed because it could have been tampered with. Again, no proof--just a suggestion in the form of an excuse.
I have no problem being open minded about what you guys say if it weren't so biased!
I have plenty of atheists that visit my blog and I visit their blogs. Most of them at least claim they aren't sure if Jesus existed or not.
Loose opposition just for the sake of opposing it always comes across weak.
Let me just ask: Is it cool that I dabble over here on this blog or not?
I love talking to atheists but not if they don't like talking to me.

26/2/07 3:03 am  
Blogger Krystalline Apostate said...

sadie:
I'm sorry, you made this wild, unsupported claim that the only disciples to be killed were Stephen and Paul. You said their faith wasn't even tested. You offered no factual evidence for the claim and then just go on to suggest that MY facts I bring to the discussion, are invalid because of when it was written?
??? It's all that's written in your own book, is it not?
Here's a good piece on the matter.
http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/resurrection/lecture.html
I suppose you use this same dismissal when you run across scientific writtings from long ago?
You need to prove that what I brought to the table about the disciples being killed for their faith, IS NOT true.

If you cite a work that's 1.5 thousand years ex post facto, it's going to be challenged.
Josephus doesn't mention any of these cats. Neither does Seneca, Pliny (the Elder or the Younger), come to think of it, none of the major historians of that era even MENTION JC (outside of a sporadic brief pointer to who was the leader), let alone the martyrdom of all these other folks.
Tradition is what that book is a compilation - it's not even an historical work.
It's either dismissed because it's old (per KA's comment) or dismissed because it could have been tampered with. Again, no proof--just a suggestion in the form of an excuse.
Here's a link:
http://www.answers.com/topic/josephus-on-jesus
Eusebius of Caesara was notorious for admitting that he'd lie in the furtherance of his 'cause' - & no, these aren't excuses, thanks much.
& I can't say I'm too crazy about my character & honesty being maligned, to tell the truth.

26/2/07 7:04 am  
Blogger Sadie Lou said...

I'm sorry you took my comment as a personal attack of your character. I didn't mean to do that. I just hate it when people make these giant, blanket statements with no factual evidence. I'll look at your links and come back later. (The Oscars on tonight!!)

26/2/07 8:09 am  
Blogger Krystalline Apostate said...

sadie:
I'm sorry you took my comment as a personal attack of your character. I didn't mean to do that. I just hate it when people make these giant, blanket statements with no factual evidence.
You are forgiven, my child. Ten hail maries, call me in the morning.;)
Here's a tip: when I make a statement (blanket? Where did I do that?), I can usually back my play.
I'm lousy at poker: I don't bluff at all.
Call me on anything - odds are huge that I have the info at hand (notes or my memory).
I'm not the sort to blurt items out w/o some recourse.

26/2/07 8:36 am  
Blogger Krystalline Apostate said...

BBIM:
The passage in Antiquities of the jews by Flavius Josephus where "christ" is mentioned is likely to be a case of pious fraud perpetrated by the Christian Father Eusebius who, by all accounts is first historian of Christianity.
Ummm...no, there was Iraeneus, Hippolytus, & of course everyone's favorite castrato, Origen.

26/2/07 8:39 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

I agree that there were christain apologists before Eusebius. The website I looked at claimed that he was the first leading christian historian. Meaning, I suppose, that he had the means to rewrite history according to his christian beliefs.

26/2/07 12:10 pm  
Blogger Krystalline Apostate said...

BBIM:
Meaning, I suppose, that he had the means to rewrite history according to his christian beliefs.
True enough, but 1 internal pointer to the jesus passage that validates that it was interpolated, was that Origen had knowledge of Josephus' work, & yet never mentioned the paragraph(s) in question.
The other pointer, of course, is that Josephus wouldn't have made such claims w/o becoming an xtian - which he didn't.

26/2/07 6:31 pm  
Blogger Sadie Lou said...

Josephus made two refrences to "The Christ" both in Antiquities and his later book, Testimonium Flavianum. There does seem to be some interpolation in the latter book. This, however, doesn't discredit that there are two refrences and it also doesn't mean that despite the additions to Testimonium, something had to be there for it to be doctored. It wasn't a complete insertion.
There were ref. too Christ in writings by Tacitus and Pliny the Younger, who persecuted Christians.
The Jewish Talmud also mentions a "man cruxified that started a following". Even though the Talmud speaks of Christians unfavorably, the ref. is still there.

27/2/07 8:57 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

And none of them are evidence of divinity.

27/2/07 10:15 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

Some early Christians even believed that it was acceptable to conceal or fabricate evidence if it would further their religious aims, a doctrine sometimes known as "pious fraud". For example, Eusebius, a third-century bishop, openly stated that lying for the cause of Christianity was occasionally necessary.

Eusebius is also infamous for saying that it was necessary to lie for the cause of Christianity. In his Praeparatio Evangelica 12.31, listing the ideas Plato supposedly got from Moses, he includes the idea:

"That it is necessary sometimes to use falsehood as a medicine for those who need such an approach. [As said in Plato's Laws 663e by the Athenian:] 'And even the lawmaker who is of little use, if even this is not as he considered it, and as just now the application of logic held it, if he dared lie to young men for a good reason, then can't he lie? For falsehood is something even more useful than the above, and sometimes even more able to bring it about that everyone willingly keeps to all justice.' [then by Clinias:] 'Truth is beautiful, stranger, and steadfast. But to persuade people of it is not easy.' You would find many things of this sort being used even in the Hebrew scriptures, such as concerning God being jealous or falling asleep or getting angry or being subject to some other human passions, for the benefit of those who need such an approach."

The noble lie - alive and well.

27/2/07 10:33 am  
Blogger Krystalline Apostate said...

sadie:
This, however, doesn't discredit that there are two refrences and it also doesn't mean that despite the additions to Testimonium, something had to be there for it to be doctored. It wasn't a complete insertion.
No, but it was an interpolation - highly suspect.
There were ref. too Christ in writings by Tacitus and Pliny the Younger, who persecuted Christians.
Ummm...sure, but those were a direct reference to the xtians existing, not a direct reference to Christ.
The Jewish Talmud also mentions a "man cruxified that started a following". Even though the Talmud speaks of Christians unfavorably, the ref. is still there.
Ooh! Ooh! Time for me to show off!
There are 2 references (the Palistinean Gematra & the Babylonian), 1 dated at 100 CE, another dated at 100 BCE. There was no direct reference to JC in either. 1 was a Joshua, the other a Yesuda.
I'll have to dig that up.

27/2/07 10:57 am  
Blogger Sadie Lou said...

Ummm...sure, but those were a direct reference to the xtians existing, not a direct reference to Christ.

Yes they did. I read them. There is direct ref. to Christ. They didn't call him Jesus or Christ but "Christus". They mention a man "crucified" too.

28/2/07 5:16 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

The tomb they are doing a movie about at the moment, James Cameron etc found an ossuary box in the same tomb with the inscription, "Maria" - this is obviously Mary.

28/2/07 9:16 am  
Blogger Krystalline Apostate said...

sadie:
Yes they did. I read them. There is direct ref. to Christ. They didn't call him Jesus or Christ but "Christus". They mention a man "crucified" too.
Ummm...the 'Christus' is actually 'Chrestus', & that was Suetonius. Not to mention that that reference was placed in Rome, where JC never went.
I've read all these too. How odd we came to different conclusions.

28/2/07 9:37 am  
Blogger Krystalline Apostate said...

sadie:
Here's more -
http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_jcno.htm
"Cornelius Tacitus: He was a Roman historian who lived from 55 to 120 CE and wrote a book Annals, circa 112 CE. McDowell and Stewart accept his writings as a strong indicator of Jesus' existence in the early 1st century CE. 8 However, the information could have been derived from Christian material circulating in the early 2nd century.
Suetonius: He was the author of The Lives of the Caesars circa 120 CE. He wrote to "Since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, [Emperor Claudius in 49 CE] expelled them from Rome." This passage is often used to support the historicity of Jesus, assuming that Jesus' title was misspelled. But Chrestus was in fact a common Greek name. It is likely that the reference is to a Jewish agitator in Rome by that name.
Other ancient Roman historians: There were about 40 historians who wrote during the first two centuries. 5 With the exception of the above, none stated that Jesus existed in the 1st century.
Jewish literature: The Talmud states that Jesus lived in the 2nd century BCE. However, this passage itself dates from the early 2nd century CE. The authors were probably basing their writings on a reaction to some of the dozens of Christian gospels circulating by that time."
http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/scott_oser/hojfaq.html

28/2/07 9:47 am  
Blogger Krystalline Apostate said...

sadie:
And some more:
From -http://www.bidstrup.com/bible.htm
"An interesting note here is that the version of the Talmud still used by modern Christian scholars, is normally the version known to have been heavily edited by Christians by the 16th century - presumably to remove the dangerous references to Yeishu ha Notzri and his followers, the Notzrim.
But the pristine version, used by Jewish scholars, gives us some rich detail.
Yeishu ha Notzri was considered by the temple authorities of the time to be a troublemaking heretic, and when they had finally had enough of him, they put him on trial.
He was convicted of heresy, sentenced to wander the city for 40 days, with a crier going before him, shouting that if anyone had reason why he should not be executed, they should come forward.
When no did, he was stoned to death, and his body hung from a tree on the eve of passover, in 88 B.C.E. Note the death on the eve of passover.
Note also the hanging of the body from a tree - at the time, a sign of despicability, with its resemblance to the crucifixion myth."

28/2/07 9:53 am  

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