sorry, iv'e just been quit a bit busy lately.. but i would love to converse again sometime about the things we have... i learned a lot from our last chat and i eagerly anticipate the next time i have time i just hope it can also coincide with yours.... thing is iv'e just gotten a new job to i go to bed early now... honestly id say i would love to do atleast once every 2 weeks... next time im gonna record it because we went through some pretty good stuff, i let you know when im free :)
Your sense of humor is obviously needed to offset suppression of a counter perspective. Let me make it simple for you: If God exists, Z is possible. I said that but you ignored it because it is logical. So continue on in your flawed methods of thinking without logic or reason. I have already found another who wants to discuss with reason and logic and is open to examine all sides.. BYE for sure but I am still goung to pray for you.
I am using this to respond to your reply that started :"Is this book by D. Gary.." since I cannot find that posted now.
I was really disappointed with your response. As I have said, if I misinterpret your remarks, then I would welcome you correcting me so I understand what you believe and why. All you had to say was “You misunderstand what I said. I do not believe in the account at all because I do not think it is historically valid.” (At least that is what I now interpret as your belief). That would have been just fine and we could have had a discussion about the historical validity of the NT. But you then took an unintended misinterpretation and made all kinds of assertions: called me a liar, dishonest, brain twisted, mentally crippled with vile language. So who is really twisting a misunderstanding into something you have no idea about- who I am? This cuts both ways too. I have told you that the Z story is not relevant to my belief and why. So should I call you these names too? I will not. I was hoping to discuss our beliefs in a reasonable, logical way but you obviously want to use illogical statements (even after they were pointed out to you) and do not want to reason together. To call me those things without even knowing me and then to expand that to all Christians only shows that you can not stay away from ad hominem comments, those occur when a person attempts an attack of a persons character without knowledge. It is a recognized sign of weakness.
There is no need to proceed and I will go find an atheist who does want to converse in a reasonable, logical way. By the way, there are atheists who do accept the empty tomb as true and I was one of them. I had others reasons not to believe. In fact the reasons I listed for an empty tomb came from atheists and their reasons why it was empty. So trying to discern your particular atheist belief apart from others was important to me.
Your belief is not new. Skeptics have been around for 2,000 years and your reasons so far have been rebutted since then. There is a reason that the Bible is the best selling book every year and of all time. There is a reason why brilliant people of all types believe. You have a view of God that is not the one I now know and have had personal experiences with (after I started to believe). But you refuse to want to listen without ad hominem and bad logic.
As a side bar, I was reading about why someone would want to be an atheist and ran onto one idea that stated that it was needed in order to escape a bad childhood. I thought about you and your awful childhood and wondered. Thank you for your time and I only hope you will give God a fair hearing before you get as close to death as I am. BYE
Sorry for the delay and I do not think I will have time at this moment to answer your entire reply. But I will do it in parts. Thanks for you patience. I will reply to para. 3-4 at a later date.
I can give you 2 references with the time I have now: Dr, Gary Habermas who had been working with skeptics for 20+ years. In his book “The case for the resurrection of Jesus” states: that about 75% of critical scholars today accept the historicity of the empty tomb. Also, you can go on Dr. William Lane Craig’s site and read the debates he has had with noted skeptics/atheists and he posits that statement. If you read the debates you will see that the argument is not about the empty tomb itself but the surrounding events. So let’s focus on the empty tomb. The other part we can discuss later. It does make reasonable sense to posit an empty tomb in my view. Here is why: The Disciples “story” after their reported encounter with the resurrected Jesus was that he had risen and was no longer in the grave. Well, if he was not risen or at least “missing” from the tomb, all the Jews or Romans had to do was to go look. They could have produced his body- game over. But they could not because the body was gone. Jesus was not an isolated little known figure by that time. He was well known by folks in many cities, well known by the Jewish leaders and the Roman government. So well known that he made it into the history books. The empty tomb conclusion also has explanatory power (another requirement that historians use for reasonableness of a historical document). It does explain how the Disciples were able to make their claim seem valid- the body was in fact gone.
For you to posit the body was still in the tomb yields no explanatory power as to how the Disciples could claim it was not there and yet be believed. They would be dismissed immediately yet that did not happen. So it is easy for me to see why a skeptic would not try to challenge that in front of a knowledgeable Biblical scholar. It just is not reasonable to say the body was there when the “story” which grew rapidly could have easily been demolished with a filled tomb, whether you believe the 75% number or not. Your reply has no merit given what happened- not explanatory at all because it does not explain how the “story” got accepted and grew so fast.
I asked that it be parked not ignored. There are several reasons for that. First, for you to bring up the “zombies” (I will call that event Z to save words), you posit that it was not true. To posit it was not true means that your pre-supposition is that God does not exist. But what I am going through is an attempt at a fair analysis of these claims to determine that. So if you want to not believe in God, then you will naturally say things like you said because if God did exist, these things are possible. You can only point to your presupposition as the reason and that is faulty logic. Secondly, you have made a logical fallacy mistake in your statements. Let’s say that Z did not happen. That does not mean that the rest of the NT is wrong – a fallacy called hasty generalization. So you want to throw the baby out with the bath water. Lastly, the Z claim is not relevant at all to the information I presented. In fact it is an anecdotal event. Like describing in detail a football game and making a comment about the cheerleaders dress color- not germane to the game but anecdotal. What atheists do not understand is that a believer does not need or use Z as evidence for anything in his/her belief. It is not necessary to the main event. So trying to push it center front does nothing to damage or affect in any way the rest of the NT. So no need to try to make your case on anecdotal stuff, especially when you have no valid reason to do so. If you want to go through this using reason and logic with no pre-suppositions of what is true and use the histo
Into this culture walked Jesus. John the Baptist had come out of the “woods” to announce that a savoir was coming now. Then in walks Jesus and the Disciples were thinking that maybe he was the savoir that their teachings talked about. They followed him for 3.5 years until he was crucified. They were devastated. When he died, they were on their way back to their jobs, despondent that they had followed him perhaps. Then on Sunday, several women found Jesus’ tomb to be empty. The empty tomb is generally accepted by most Biblical scholars, even skeptics. The tomb was empty, so the question is what happened to the body. My research convinced me that no one today disputes this event. (So far I think you w are in agreement with me on these facts)
Now I wanted to see what the options were to explain the empty tomb. One was that the Disciples stole the body. Well, I researched that and found that the Jewish leaders, upon finding out that the tomb was empty, gave the guards money to say the Disciples had stolen the body. So did they or why would they? Well, if they did they would have buried him and kept his bones in a small box as it was their custom to do so in order for their bones to be resurrected. But then that would mean that his body would be found, but it has not. There is one account that the Romans posted a “royal” guard (perhaps a dozen or more) around the tomb and sealed it with a Roman seal. This was an elite group of men that could easily thwart the Disciples efforts. The account says the fainted when the tomb stone door rolled open. So this reason did not sound very plausible to me especially since it would have been very easy to dispel any resurrection claims by producing the body. Neither the Romans nor the Jews produced the body. So it seems reasonable to me that this is not a valid reason as it is unsupportable.
Then I found another idea- This idea was that Jesus was not dead and somehow survived the crucifixion and walked out of the tomb. My research on doctor’s analysis of his condition indicated that he was real dead when he was taken off the Cross. Several reasons seem plausible for this: He suffered scourging which was done with leather straps impregnated with glass, rock and other shards. It would literally tear the skin off the body and cause extreme bleeding. He was then crucified with nails in hands and feet by Romans who were experts in this type of death. They verified by puncturing his lungs and water/blood came out- a real indication of death. Death was by suffocating since the body was stretched out and a person had to lift himself up to get a breath of air in his lungs. ) I think you agree that he did die on the Cross). So this idea does not seem plausible.
So it looks like the disappearance of his body could reasonably be attributed to being resurrected by God as no other claim seems reasonable to me.
Now as a historian, there are multiple attestations to his appearance to the Disciples after his death. That can be PART 2 when I get to it hopefully soon. The above seems to me to be reasonable and a best explanation of the events so far. So it seems to me that it fits the requirements for historical accuracy. I will send you more in the next few days. Also, there is more to my belief than just Jesus’ life: The OT, science and other stuff. So this will involve a lot of discussion and your ideas and counter perspectives would be interesting to hear. Thanks for your patience. I left a lot out for brevity.
Limited to 5000 characters so it is in several parts PART 1
First, I am sorry for the delay but I may have to do that for a while as work dictates it. Also, I appreciate your honest, candid words about your belief. In fact, I had to read it twice as I can remember thinking those things a few years ago (except for the dead holy men popping out). So if you will allow me, I would like to present my journey through my thinking from that previous point to now as I think it will address comments your comments.
To do so, I have to make some assumptions about what you do accept as historical. You have mentioned that you believe Jesus was a real person and died on the Cross (crucified). Most historians also accept the historical fact that on Sunday after he died that his tomb was found empty. Also, historians agree that the Disciples experienced a post-mortem appearance of Jesus. I will assume that you to accept these as historically correct. Now I do not mean that you agree with the last point but just that this is what they claimed.
If I am mistaken, I can go back and discuss more these with you.
Also, I have a long discussion to make on this. I may need to do this in parts if that is ok with you. I will also try to keep it short but to the point, so I apologize if I am not clear as I am not a great writer. So please be patient with me as we discuss this with reason and honesty.
On the comment about the “dead holy men popping out of their graves”, I would like to park this for the moment for a couple of reasons- It is not important to the overall story; It cannot be either verified or denied as lack of evidence is not necessarily a denial of it’s truth; lastly, I have not studied this thing enough to make a decision one way or another. At the moment I can only call it a mystery unsolved as it cannot be used to prove or disprove the main story.
Now in my journey, when I was where you are now, I made claims that this was a myth or legend and not true. But I had an empty feeling about this because I had no real reason to support my claim. I am a person that needs reasons for my beliefs. So I went to the history books to look for reasons to support my position. I wanted to find out how historians went about discerning what happened in the past. What I found was several principles that they use to view history. First, the look at a document to see if there is multiple independent attestations to the events described. If there are multiple accounts then it is generally accepted. They also look for the best explanation of those events based on the accounts attested to. So to me that seemed to be a reasonable approach. Part of me wanted to find a valid reason fro my myth belief and part of me wanted to give the account a fair hearing which is the only way I could feel accurate in my reasoning.
So based on that I began to look at the data. I wanted to understand the culture back then and what the Jews were thinking. In my research I found that the Jews of that time (1st century) were under the foot of the Roman government. The Jewish leaders of that day had a “deal” with the Romans where they would let the Jewish leaders be in charge of the Jews as long as they kept them under control. The Jewish leaders had invented hundreds of new rules and had drifted away from their original beliefs and were more concerned with their power than their religion. Now the Jews were expecting a savoir who would take them out from Roman rule and rule the world. They also believer that there was no resurrection of the dead until after the end of the world and then everyone would be resurrected. Also, back then, there was a very strong oral tradition in the Jewish community. From early in childhood they would memorize large quantities of data exactly and some could quote entire chapters of the OT and more. (From that viewpoint, maybe they were better than
Well again I am sorry I missed that. I think I do not get all the responses sometimes. So you say he was crucified or can accept that. Do you know the reason the Romans crucified him? ( And I am not an expert on the others guys being raised and it does not take away from Jesus's possible resurrection but we have not got there yet) And how do you acknowledge he existed unless you accept some part or parts of the NT? That is where I started to wonder about my atheism since I know he existed but that meant i had to believe part of the NT)
Well Heather, That was what I have been trying to ask all along. The way you answered sounded to me like you did not believe he existed. So I am sorry that I missed that but it is good to know who you think he is. So if he did exist, then do you believe that he died on the Cross? (I am still trying to understand what you believe about him)
Sorry but there just was not enough time for a legend to accrue. There is art least 2 generations needed typically. Also, the Jews were not inclined to follow legends or myths. Also, these writings were made by men who were brutally killed for their beliefs. So that indicates to me that they actually saw and heard what they saw and heard. Would you die for a myth? Historians say that teh burden of proof is on the one who contradicts written history. To say he did not exist without anything to support it is not like you. The fact that he did exist is not an issue anymore for man stream historians and even most skeptics. So the burden of proof is on you. You must demonstrate that he did not exist when he is the most attested to historical figure in existence.
The gospel writers claim to be historical. The burden of proof is on the person who thinks they are unreliable. If there weren't such a presumption of reliability, there would be little history left, because many events are attested by only one source. Historians take documents at face value. Although the gospels include the supernatural, the gospels don't appear to be in the genre of legend. The authors claim to be eyewitnesses. 1st John: "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched--this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ." The author says that he saw Jesus. Do you believe he was telling the truth or lying? Luke says that many have undertaken to set down in writing the traditions of Jesus. Luke says that he made a careful investigation and that he depends on eyewitnesses. Luke's words fit the format of a standard scientific preface. Do you believe him or not? The burden of proof is on the doubter.
Well for starters, you never told me who Jesus is. You did not reply to my comment about all the hundreds of fulfilled prophecies in the OT about What Jesus would do and the precise time he would start his ministry. You ignored the point I made of scientific foreknowledge in the Bible that science is just discovering. By the way, the Josephus quote I sent you was from an Aramaic scroll and corresponds to the other translations in other languages of his writings- hundreds of them. Even Wiki admits his writings are valid. And I was responding to your statement that there was no outside validation of Jesus. I never said it was eye witness accounts- doesn't nee d to be if eye witness accounts are recorded and there is no evidence to the contrary in history. That is how main stream historians view ancient records- they give the benefit of the doubt to the document unless there is errors or contradictions written in the same time period. So it is most reasonable to accept the NT books as valid. But just reply on the questions if you are willing to look at this reasonably and open. My sense is that you have not really met the God I know and have personal experience with. So from one point of view, I do not believe in the God you portray either. I know a different one and he has given me reason to believe. My post-atheist life is so different but you are not interested in personal encounters so far.
Are you asking an objective question? I can address that when you answer my questions you suppressed. You see you seem to suppress those things that do point to God and only hang on to those that you deem as opposing Him. So when you want to look at this objectively, I am open to discuss. And until you answer my previous questions, no need to move to science where there is evidence that the existence of God is possible. No I can't absolutely prove Him just as you cannot absolutely disprove Him. That is where reason comes into play.