I’m afraid to hit the “publish” button for fear of breaking the blog. I’m including his full text, which is substantial combined with my general verbosity. Apologies. Starting with him:
I’m just flat out tired of the responses from people, as to “why” they clearly don’t or WON’T believe in God. He’s NOT allah, He is Jesus Christ, the one who is alive, forevermore, and IS coming back. I can’t give you the “prove” that you want. And I’m NOT saying to read the Bible, ALL you have to do is ask God yourself. but since you don’t believe in Him, you won’t ask. if you TRULY want to know, you will go to God, and ask Him to reveal Himself to you.
I sent AS “Dragon in My Garage”—and he still has either not read it or not understood it. Note that AS isn’t claiming above that Jesus was a man who used to exist—he’s claiming that Jesus is a god that exists now—and should be demonstrable now. We should be able to examine current evidence for the measurable manifestation of whatever “Jesus” is that exists now. Anything for which we make a claim of existence must be demonstrated to manifest in a way that differentiates it from nothing. Otherwise, what does it even mean to exist—if things that have all the same attributes as “nothing” are to be reasonably considered as “existent”?
[Click "Read More" to the right to see the full exchange.]
ok, here’s my response:
Secular historians recorded the general facts of Jesus’ life, but his close associates made more detailed reports based on direct eyewitness testimony. These are called the four gospels, the first four books of the New Testament. How can we be sure these biographies of Jesus are accurate?
When historians try to determine if a biography is reliable, they ask, “How many other sources report the same details about this person?” Here’s how this works. Imagine you are collecting biographies of President John F. Kennedy. You find many describing his family, his presidency, his handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and almost all of the biographies report similar facts. But what if you found one biography reporting that JFK lived ten years as a priest in South Africa? The other biographies had him in the U.S. at the time; a sensible historian would go with the accounts that agree with one another.
Here is exactly what I said in my prior correspondence when AS claimed that it was unreasonable to not accept the gospel claims about Jesus, but accept historic claims about George Washington:
“ Jesus never wrote anything himself that we know of. We have no autographs. And we have no records of Jesus supplied to us by reliable eye-witness, contemporary authors. So, it’s not ‘just like’ what we have for Jesus when it comes to George Washington. The mountain of records available for the existence of George Washington, and the specific records by contemporary peer sources for his actions during his lifetime, and his personal correspondences, make George a historic person, where Jesus becomes more myth than man.”
There are no secular contemporary reports of the life of Jesus by any eyewitnesses. There is zero archeological evidence to confirm any specific event unique to the life of Jesus occurred. There are four highly mythologized Biblical accounts that contain a mix of outrageous miracle claims along with mundane, reasonable claims.
In historic records, outlandish miracle claims are rejected—even when we’re talking about far more recent historic figures about which far more is known than Jesus. Figures who wrote things themselves. Figures for whom we can confirm specific mundane events in their lives. Figures who left hefty trails of public records. We still reject not only miracle claims, but even mild exaggerations. Again, the claim that George Washington cut down a cherry tree and told the truth about it is considered to be myth. How much more a claim that someone converted water to wine by magic?
I’ve already been through this in my prior replies to AS—but as I said before, it’s like I’m sending my replies into a void.
Regarding Jesus of Nazareth, do we find multiple biographies reporting similar facts about his life? Yes. While they don’t redundantly cover all of the same information, the four gospels tell essentially the same story.
Actually, the facts aren’t “the same” in the gospels. The resurrection stories between the books couldn’t be more of a conflicting mess. And the end of the Gospel of Mark was revised to try and make it less conflicting. I have confronted AS with the passage in Mark in every response, and have yet to receive feedback.
But serious historians accept the reasonable assertions—even of the gospel writers—and reject the wacky ones. I’ve maintained that, and AS offers nothing to demonstrate otherwise. I’ve also maintained that we have nothing like we have for George Washington as far as evidence for the existence of Jesus, and AS has offered nothing to demonstrate otherwise.
I never said Jesus did not live and that there is no validation for a historic Jesus. I asserted serious historians reject the myths and do their best to try and piece together what the real person was most like. It’s not a science. It involves expert, educated speculation. Historians have to work with very limited data and records, to try and recreate, to the best of their ability, the most reasonable explanation they can of past events and realities.
Two of the gospels were written by the apostles Matthew and John, men who KNEW Jesus personally and traveled with him for over three years. The other two books were written by Mark and Luke, close associates of the apostles. These writers had DIRECT access to the facts they were recording. The early church accepted the four gospels because they agreed with what was already common knowledge about Jesus’ life.
The early church accepted the books because the books agreed with what was already popularly believed?Is that supposed to be an endorsement? But in fact, that’s what AS does, so why wouldn’t he admire this philosophy. Don’t accept it as valid because it’s justified by reason and evidence, accept it as valid because it agrees with what you already believe.
In fact none of the gospels contain an author’s attribution. For example, John is considered to be John the apostle because the book contains a reference to “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” This is traditionally considered to be John. So, it is attributed to John, because whoever penned appears to have been claiming to be John. But as it was written over 2,000 years ago, we must take the writer at his word and have no means to verify the claim.
Again, here is what I offered to AS earlier: “Historic claims have to be investigated and the best, most reasonable, most educated evaluations should be made, because we can’t go back in time to confirm them. Some historic claims are easier to confirm than others—such as claims of Roman battles where we are able to excavate and find evidence of Roman battles. Other claims are harder to verify—such as whether or not a guy named Robin Hood ever existed. Our best guesses about history, then, can still be incorrect; but we have only whatever evidence remains to examine and expert opinion to go on.”
Historic claims differ from scientific claims in our capacity to verify them. And verifying authorship of a 2,000 year old letter is not comparable to verifying paternity using a DNA test.
The temptation is to research and rebut the gospel claims. However, there is no need, as I’ve already told AS at the beginning of my first response:
“First of all, nothing below matters in the least unless a god exists. If no god exists, then there was no sacrifice. If no god exists, there was no deity who walked among us. If no god exists, the Bible is not divinely inspired. And so on. In the same way it makes no sense to say “Fairies make the flowers bloom, and if you doubt me, I have but to show you a blooming flower,” it makes no sense to say “God is responsible for X, and if you doubt me, I have but to show you X.” And X can be filled in with “coming to earth as a man,” or “inspiring the Bible,” or “creating the universe,” or whatever your heart desires. Whatever you think god has done, until you demonstrate a god actually exists, you haven’t made your point.”
No matter what is contained in the Bible, you can’t point to it as something that proves a god exists. You actually have to demonstrate a god exists before you can claim god wrote the Bible. And if we’re just doing a circle jerk here about whether or not Jesus lived, I have to ask “why?,” since, I easily conceded that historical consensus is that the myths about Jesus are based on a real rabbi. Here is exactly what I wrote:
“The ‘historic’ Jesus that is put forward by historians is nothing like the Jesus recorded in the Bible. I am willing to accept that there may have been a rabbi upon whom these myths were based, since this is expert opinion. I never said I think Jesus never existed. But I reject the miracle claims (as do serious historians)…”
So what is AS doing here? Why is he presenting evidence intended to demonstrate historically that it’s a valid claim, according to serious historians, to say “Jesus existed”? Where have I disagreed?
Each of the four gospel writers made a very detailed account. As you would expect from multiple biographies of a real person, there is variation in the style but agreement in the facts. We know the authors were not simply making things up, because the gospels give specific geographical names and cultural details that have been confirmed by historians and archaeologists.
No, we do not “know the authors were not simply making things up.” Every miracle claim is an example, according to the consensus of serious historians, of “made up things.” If you research “historic jesus,” you will find a vastly different figure than the one recorded in the gospel accounts. Why? As far as the fact that city names are included and references to real places and things (such as the Temple at Jerusalem), again, where did I dispute this? Here is exactly what I said previously:
“There is more than the Bible to substantiate the existence of particular Roman rulers. And when we are presented with more evidence than just Bible stories, we tend to give the claims more weight.”
In other words, when we excavate a city and find the remains of a temple where the Bible indicated a temple was built, we tend to agree that the Bible description is justified. Where it says the tomb of Jesus was empty and people saw him raised from the dead—we have no verification, the claim is outrageous, and it is not accepted as justified. This is no different than how we would judge any other historic text making similar claims. And, as I will note later, we reject such eyewitness claims today in a similar fashion, even when the witnesses are alive, we can interview them in real time, they provide evidence that we can examine, and we have far more than four.
Jesus’ recorded words leave out many topics the early church would have liked a statement on. This indicates that the biographers were honest, not putting words in Jesus’ mouth to suit their own interests.
In my prior letters, I have asked for an explanation of John 7:53-8:11—where the NIV (and NASB) Bible translators’ notes indicate the entire story of the Adulterous Woman appears to be forged material. I have yet to hear a rebuttal. This story contains one of the most famously quoted lines by Jesus, “let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” The gospels are beyond putting words in Jesus’ mouth? Bart Ehrman, who is himself a Bible scholar, has a book titled “Misquoting Jesus.” When you read it, you can follow along in modern annotated Bibles and see the translators verify his claims about problems with the content, down the line. It’s ironic to me, then, that AS has used the phrase “not putting words in Jesus’ mouth,” regarding the gospel content.
And then we come to a big dump of claims about reliability, that I have already told AS are “moot.” Unless he can demonstrate a god exists, I have nothing with which to compare claims about what he says that god does. I have mentioned before how there are hack cryptozooligists who talk about all the social structures and family dynamics of Big Foot societies. It would be nice if they’d first confirm there is such a thing as a Big Foot before they start expounding on its daily routine. And AS is doing the same thing with god. But I will hit on a few points below.
Some people have the idea that the New Testament has been translated “SO MANY TIMES” that it has become corrupted through stages of translating. If the translations were being made from other translations, they would have a case. But translations are actually made directly from original Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic source texts based on thousands of ancient manuscripts.
For instance, we know the New Testament we have today is true to its original form because:
1. We have such a huge number of manuscript copies…. over 24,000.
2. Those copies agree with each other, word for word, 99.5% of the time.
3. The dates of these manuscripts are very close to the dates of their originals.
When one compares the text of one manuscript with another, the match is amazing. Sometimes the spelling may vary, or words may be transposed, but that is of little consequence. Concerning word order, Bruce M. Metzger, professor emeritus at Princeton Theological Seminary, explains: “It makes a whale of a difference in English if you say, ‘Dog bites man’ or ‘Man bites dog’ — sequence matters in English. But in Greek it doesn’t. One word functions as the subject of the sentence regardless of where it stands in the sequence.
I agree that sometimes small differences don’t matter, but sometimes a single letter or word creates an entirely different meaning. Note already that the oldest texts we have don’t contain punctuation. Can using incorrect punctuation impact meaning? Of course. But how about one changed letter? I Timothy 3:16 there is a dispute over one letter that changes the content like so:
From the King James: “…God was manifest in the flesh…”
From the NASB: “…He who was revealed in the flesh…”
As we uncover new evidence and improve our methods of textual criticism, we begin to recognize which manuscripts are more reliable than others and where errors or problems must be acknowledged. “God” may have been considered reliable in the past—not today. Today, “god” is considered an error due to a visible problem with the base manuscripts. When you look at the words on the page, it’s an easy error to make:
Was it an honest error or a scribe who favored Trinitarianism, and thought a small adjustment could help that cause along? I’ll be safe and go with error. But it’s an unfortunate coincidence considering the idea of Jesus as god wasn’t established as Christian orthodoxy until 325 CE. The conflict never really ended, though, and some denominations today continue to reject the trinity as a valid concept supported by the Bible.
Dr. Ravi Zacharias, a visiting professor at Oxford University, also comments: “In real terms, the New Testament is easily the best attested ancient writing in terms of the sheer number of documents, the time span between the events and the documents, and the variety of documents available to sustain or contradict it. There is nothing in ancient manuscript evidence to match such textual availability and integrity.
The New Testament is humanity’s most reliable ancient document.
Caesar himself penned two books, I have read one that records his campaigns in Gaul. These battles can and have been recorded in other sources and excavated—actually validating his records of the battles. The book reads like a military campaign travel manual and journal. I don’t know what Zacharias means when he says that the New Testament is “humanity’s most reliable ancient document,” but I can say that the amount of content in the gospels that is rejected by modern historians is not slight—all of the miracle claims. Whereas Caesar’s campaign records, while they may be biased from a cultural and political aspirations standpoint, are nothing but war records—and they’re pretty well accepted as reliable because they match evidence found in excavations. I’m not even saying Zacharias’ claim is wrong. I’m saying I don’t know what he means by this statement; and as a layman, the obvious interpretation of his statement would be incorrect.
Its textual integrity is more certain than that of Plato’s writings or Homer’s Iliad. For a comparison of the New
I wonder how it compares to Caesar’s Gallic records in his view—which are older than the New Testament texts, and are generally accepted as reliable accounts? But he’s not here to ask, so I have no idea. Homer’s writing is also older, and to be fair, he was writing poetry not history. Also, as should be the case, his accounts were considered to be total myth before excavations of Troy validated at least some of his claims in the eyes of historians. Regarding the reliability of Plato, again, you judge based on reasonable scholarly assumptions. When he writes about Atlantis, it’s considered myth. And we treat the Bible the same way.
Testament to other ancient writings
The Old Testament has also been remarkably well preserved. Our modern translations are confirmed by a HUGE number of ancient manuscripts in both Hebrew and Greek, including the mid-20th century discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. These scrolls hold the oldest existing fragments of almost all of the Old Testament books, dating from 150 B.C. The similarity of the Dead Sea manuscripts to hand copies made even 1,000 years later is proof of the care the ancient Hebrew scribes took in copying their scriptures.
Just as a side note, I want to explain that there is more than one official Bible Canon used by modern Christians, and the Jewish holy books do not align with the Christian Old Testament. Additionally, there are apocryphal books that were excluded from some of these canons, accepted by others, or rejected by all. In some cases books that were included or rejected in one canon were then rejected or included, respectively, at later dates within that same canon. The available evidence and methods to confirm reliability of texts were not “better” 2,000 years ago, and have greatly improved in modern times. Bear in mind that later church leaders had to battle each other to determine who was “right” on many doctrinal issues. Losing such a debate could result in a label of “heresy” and your execution, an intimidating way to eliminate ideological challenges. Such doctrinal clashes existed from the start of the church and are even recorded within the New Testament.
Several secular sources support Jesus’ existence as well. In a book coauthored by Dr. Gary Habermas, an American Christian apologist, theologian, and philosopher of religion, he writes that approximately eighteen non-Christian, extra biblical sources mention more than one hundred facts, beliefs, and teachings from the life of Christ Like: “Did Jesus Rise From The Dead? The Resurrection Debate.
I mentioned Jesus in this letter. Is it now a source that testifies to Jesus’ existence? I don’t know what Habermas means here when he says there are 18 sources that mention Jesus. What sorts of sources is he talking about, AS? I’m not given any context here that makes this claim meaningful. It’s like AS is just dumping anything and everything in order to make me wade through a giant pile, in hopes I’ll just throw up my hands and give up—defeated on sheer volume. Is he even reading what he’s sending me as he copies and pastes what these people assert?
Gaalyah Cornfield, a Jewish scholar, says in his book that “Modern archaeology and scholarship have now established beyond all doubt that a man known as Jesus certainly did exist in history and that the criticism of the skeptics was ill founded … HE said: “We are today able to assert beyond a shadow of a doubt that the historical Jesus existed” .Cornfield’s research and findings are significant because he’s an unbeliever, and a non-Christian, yet he acknowledges Jesus’ existence!! As well as Josephus, a Jewish historian, described Jesus as a wise man who was crucified by Pilate, in his book, “Antiquities of the Jews”.
Josephus never saw Jesus, he just related a few mentions, and of those, the best have been debunked as questionable or forgeries. But that’s not relevant. A historian makes claims within the context of historical scholarship. I actually agree with Cornfield that if a serious historian is presented with “criticism of the skeptics” who claim Jesus never existed, those people are ignoring the scholarly consensus. Within the circle of reputable historians, the question of Jesus’ existence is not disputed. And it would be fair to say within that context that it’s indisputable, and that those who assert Jesus did not exist are being unreasonable.
Fortunately, I never claimed Jesus never existed. I only explained that what is consensus in the arena of “history” is not comparable to what is consensus in the arena of science. Science can verify in a way history often cannot. And if Cornfield is asserting that among historians it is doubtless Jesus existed, then he’s correct. They, as an expert group, don’t doubt it.
But, unlike science, they lack the capacity to verify their judgment. They all accept it as true Jesus existed. It is a reasonable opinion. But with the current state of evidence and technology, we are unable test or verify to confirm they are actually correct. “Doubtless” to a history expert talking about how historians view a particular claim, is not comparable to “doubtless” in the context of a DNA match. Context matters.
So, as I never asserted Jesus did not exist, and maintained I am fine with the expert view he did. I agree with Cornfield as long as his statements are confined within his area of expertise and he acknowledges the limitations of verification inherent in his field.
EVEN The Talmud, books about Jewish law, also mentions Jesus of Nazareth several times, and never disputes His status as a historical figure. Interestingly, both Josephus and The Talmud mention other figures noted in the gospels. John the Baptist. Other pagan writers from the first and second century A.D. also provided proof that Jesus existed. Among them was Cornelius Tacitus, a Roman historian, who wrote of Jesus in his Annals. As well, Pliny the Younger, governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor, wrote to the emperor, Trajan, about Christians’ devotion to Christ. Importantly, NONE of these extra biblical sources disprove the historical facts which the gospel writers penned about Jesus.
Wait, none of these sources “disprove” historical facts about Jesus, but you realize they don’t justify miracles, though, right?
What disproves Bible facts is what we’ve already gone over. Geologists agree there was never a world wide flood a few thousand years ago. We can say that with quite a high degree of certainty. You asserted “evidence” for The Flood, and I provided you real science to explain how you were misinterpreting your “evidence” by totally ignoring realities such as continental plates colliding and glacier movements. Unless you know something the field of geology doesn’t—I demonstrated where your Bible made a claim that was factually wrong.
Additionally, I explained that Babel as a story is disputed by expert linguist consensus—another fact your Bible got wrong. Care to show me your evidence that linguists are wrong, and that all languages in the world today spawned from a single city-sized location just a few thousand years ago?
Other writers aren’t needed to show your Bible makes false claims about reality. All you have to do is read the claim test it, and see that the evidence we can examine today, disputes what the Bible says happened.
You never responded to any of that in this letter, but when you say you want some disproving about your Bible “facts,” please know you just totally glossed over some doozies in my last letters.
However, now your bent on proving Jesus existed to someone who never disputed it, so let’s move on. I’m mentioning Jesus right now in this letter—is that proof he existed? The writers you’re citing never saw any more of Jesus than I did, and are relaying what they have heard. Many people record things they’ve heard. Many people believe things they’ve heard.
On the other hand, I’ve heard about haunted hotels from people who believe what they’re saying. Does that make it true? The fact that someone mentions something they heard about or even believe is true does nothing to demonstrate it’s true. However, this is a huge amount of resource wasted to get me to say I agree it’s reasonable to assert Jesus existed—since I already said I agree it’s reasonable to assert Jesus existed.
Here is what AS asserted in his earlier letters: “The Bible is infallable.. without error”
Not only have I demonstrate that as wrong, he’s now moving the goal post to “prove” to me what I have been telling him in every reply so far: That it is the scholarly consensus that Jesus is based on a real figure—but that the myths are not validated by that, and the Bible is not error-free. This supports what I have been asserting and does nothing to demonstrate AS’s original claim, which was, and still is, incorrect.
And finally, even though I put a lot of energy into responding to the claims above, they are, every single one of them, irrelevant. And here is why: Today we have more people than four or 18 or even 100 claiming that they have been, or are being, abducted by aliens. These are live human beings, who can be interviewed and who are not locked up in asylums, who are making this claim right now. They come on television, and testify to being scared to tell people for fear of being ostracized by family, coworkers, friends—labeled as nutcases by society. And they endure it all, because they really, really believe they were abducted by aliens. And we hear their stories, and they are strikingly similar. We have similar stories from people who swear they have encountered Loch Ness Monster or Big Foot (and provided video evidence), seen a ghost, been told their future in Tarot cards, or been cured of cancer by some useless homeopathic remedy.
Do you see the problem? We can argue about Biblical minutia and reliability for the next 2,000 years—but what is the point? Even if you had living eyewitnesses making the claims asserted in the Bible about a person living today, stories could never be sufficient as evidence of the more outlandish claims. They aren’t to serious scholars of history—and neither should they be to any reasonable layperson. Any person is only justified in asserting what can be reasonably justified as historical fact—and we are compelled to reject supernatural claims supported only by stories, even if we found ourselves totally unable to explain the prevalence of the stories. As “Dragon in my Garage” explains—when it makes no sense and cannot be explained, the only honest response is “I don’t know what is causing so many people to claim alien abductions, but until we can even reasonably assert aliens exist, we can’t justify that they’re abducting anybody.” So, again, I’m with the historians—I’m happy to accept a historic version of Jesus. But that isn’t evidence of an existent god, and all of this text has been for nothing.
And a response to this: “If your god answers you when you ask him for things—as you’re telling me that if I need proof I can just ask—why don’t you pray and ask him for a proof that actually convinces nonbelievers? If he exists, you’ll get it, right? If he truly wished his adherents to seek and save the lost—that is, the unbelievers—why did he only supply you, this round, with reasons that you say only convince those who already believe?”
well, how about this for example, it’s a cheezy one but, still TRUTH…..you know how an apple tree has apple’s on it right? duh, well, okay, but here’s the catchy thing about it….. the tree doesn’t bare fruit for it’s self. it bares fruit for OTHERS. Not just any others, but HUMANS. So that’s evidence right there that God exist, but if your STILL not convinced.. I shall continue!!!
*Facepalm* moment. Fruit trees bear fruit to propagate themselves; however, AS is right that apple trees specifically don’t. But that’s not divine, it’s because apple trees are artificially bred. That is why their seeds rarely sprout, and if they do, the trees won’t generally bear fruit, and if they do, it’s not very edible. In other words, you can’t plant a Red Delicious apple seed to grow red delicious apples. You have to use grafting. But that’s due to the fact that it’s a domestic fruit tree that humans have engineered. A wild fruit plant absolutely bears fruit to propagate itself. It isn’t being generous and trying to be kind to the Blue Jays and squirrels. In some cases plants bear fruit and also propagate via rhizomes. This also has to do with evolution. Once a plant begins to propagate using rhizomes, the fruit can become vestigial, like a human appendix. However, vestigial properties are actually evidence for evolution. Where is the intelligent design, for example, in nipples on men?
well, since your an athiest YOU believe in the big bang, right?
No. I understand a super basic version of that highly complex model, so I don’t offer myself up as anyone who can explain or defend it on any reasonable level. I’m an atheist, not an astrophysicist. I don’t care how the universe formed. And by that, I don’t mean it’s not interesting. I mean it has no bearing on my atheism.
Only someone demonstrating that a god exists in some form that can be demonstrated as different than “nothing” would impact that.
well if you do let me explain. Which makes more since, that the big bang was a random event, or that it was under the control of the Creator?
To start with the big bang did not start with an explosion, it started LONG before…
before the explosion there was a primordial dust cloud, a dust cloud in the NOTHINGNESS of space,
A “dust cloud”…of “nothingness”…? Note that in my very limited understanding, what I do know is that Hawking asserted in his public essays, available online, that he can’t talk about the time before Big Bang. I know there are some high level claims about it more recently, based on…even more high level stuff I don’t claim to understand. But I’m curious how AS knows what happened before BB, if Hawking says even he can’t talk about it?
which drew together as a massive hyperdense core of mass and energy, and it was THAT that exploded…So where did this dust cloud come from, and where did the ENERGY, and primodial dust cloud come from??
For that you would ask an astrophysicist, I assume? I recommend Lawrence Krauss’ lecture “A Universe from Nothing”—but again, this is his theory, not mine, so I claim no understanding of it or capacity to explain it. It’s over my head, not my theory, and clearly has no bearing on the existence of a god, since many believers accept BB; however, their reasons for accepting it, only they can speak to. All I know is that the best minds in the field of physics, best educated to best understand the best evidence, say they have a good model of how it happened. If they’re wrong, then there is no field of study I am aware of that would be able to offer anything better or more valid than they have, and, believe it or not, that includes Bronze Age goat herding Mid East nomads.
But why are we talking about this? What I really want to know is exactly what I’ve been asking you for every time I reply: How is your god different than nothing?
Until we have that, we can’t assert your god is responsible for anything, since only existent things can cause other things. Demonstrate your god exists, we can examine it, and only then can we offer some informed ideas about what it might cause. Otherwise, we just have a lot of baseless assertions about what a god does, while we can’t even reasonably say it exists.
If there is ONE thing we know from science, it’s that we know we do NOT get something out of nothing.
Again, I have limited, elementary, really ridiculously basic—can’t stress how stupidly layman’s basic—grasp; but, I know Hawking, in “Beginning of Time,” says you can’t apply modern physical laws to the time before BB—so how AS knows that a current rule of thumb (that even virtual particles seem to violate) would apply during that time, I have no idea. Additionally, I am reminded again of Krauss’ “A Universe from Nothing.” If I wanted to understand if or how something can come from nothing, I’d be reading as much astrophysics as I could get my hands on, not just sitting around pondering it based on my child’s level grasp of physics.
In the explosion, it was the greatest explosion in the HISTORY of OUR universe….. it blew everthing OUTWARD to the universe as we have it today …which is expanding as we know it……and we are to believe that this supposedly “random” event resulted in the PERFECTION of the universe???
I’m not sure anyone knows if it was random. I think “naturally caused” is not the same as “random.” There could have been some rules that applied at that point, but it’s my understanding that we either can’t speak to them or can only to a very limited capacity—and, again, it’s way over my head—and I’m guessing AS’s as well.
whereas ANY explosion we have ever seen here, has been CHOAS..and destruction.
This is an example where science contradics science. What do I mean by that??
Well, If you are going to explain the universe on the bases of science, you CAN’T have science contradicting the science that explains the EXISTANCE of the universe.
Well, while I think I know what you mean, I have to point out that I’ve heard quantum level physics contradicts all sorts of “rules” of matter that apply above the quantum level. But so what if it does?
In science, there is a general principle, called Entropy- unless there is a greater control of a process..the process tends to choas.
Now lets put that into REAL world terms. It DOESN’T matter if your talking about your childs bedroom, your kitchen sink, or a complex chemical reaction, or a work place…
If it is NOT under control, it generates into chaos, if YOUR child doesn’t clean his room, if someone doesn’t control the dishes in the sink, if someone doesn’t control the chemical reaction, the result is going to be RANDOM and CHOAS.
Well, if you’re only saying things will wind down—yeah, the universe is actually doing that. Still, chemical reactions generate reactions as long as they have the energy to do so, before they wind down. No?
But we are to believe that the massive explosion of the big bang (in which God made)resulted in perfection and NOT chaos..
Wait—where do you see “perfection”? What is your basis for comparison? Wouldn’t calling “creation” “perfect,” actually be contrary to Christianity orthodoxy? I thought after The Fall, it was all supposed to not be perfect anymore—and that’s why Jesus became a human sacrifice. Isn’t that your story? But now the universe is “perfect”? If I mix lye and oil it undergoes a chemical reaction known as saponification. In what way would any chemical reaction or series of chemical reactions “doing whatever they do,” equate to “perfection”?
This is a CLEAR example of science contradicting science.
The theory is that it all expanded quickly and it’s winding down. In the meantime, it’s causing chemical reactions due to the energy and matter released in the original explosion, right? And we would expect that to continue until the processes are done and all the energy is used up, right? Where is the contradiction? That’s exactly what I’d expect even as an ignorant layman.
In the same way, when the “athiests” explain our existance as living beings, they use the example of “evolution” ,”Natural selection”, how can YOU explain life as having evolved?
Well, you can start by using artificial selection. Once you understand how that works, you move away from human-directed breeding, and apply the same concept in nature: naturally selection.
what do I mean by “life” I mean the power that gives a body “once assembled” to live.
“Organic” beings are a mass of chemical reactions that exist as long as they have the energy to do so. Just like you’d expect, once those processes wind down, the reactions all eventually stop when the energy runs out—just like the entire universe will supposedly do one day.
But we’re supposed to be resolving whether the claim “god exists” is true or false. So far we’ve spend a sick amount of time talking about everything but god. Some book about a rabbi, and then how you disagree with astrophysicists, and now why you reject basic biology (along with your earlier rejection of basic geography and linguistics, too, right?) What I haven’t seen a speck of yet, though is any of your evidence that supports your belief that a god exists. I get you reject the evidence and expert consensus of physics, biology, geography, linguistics, history and textual critics, because they don’t agree with what you believe about the Bible, but you have yet to explain in what way your god is different than nothing. Design some way to demonstrate that god exists outside the subjective mind, and show how it functions to create life and matter. That is how you justify your own claims that a god exists and has ever done anything at all.
You reject expert evidence and models, but what is your model? A thing you can’t demonstrate exists did something you can’t explain, and here it all is? How is that different than “I don’t have a clue”? Just cut through the pages of apologetics, and say “I got no idea how all this stuff is here.” Your life will not only be much simpler, it will be founded in more honesty.
We have reached a point in science, where we can transplant EVERY organ of the body, we can make a frankenstein if we so desire, but we CAN’T make them live.
Well, we’re not quite to that level yet, but just to clarify, Big Bang and evolution make no claims about how life began. That’s another area of science. But so what? People can’t make a human, therefore god? People can’t calculate pi to the last digit, therefore math is magic? People can’t fly without mechanical assistance, therefore birds rule the skies? People can’t breathe underwater, which means wind created the oceans? You’re saying that if people can’t do something then the answer must some unrelated magical explanation. I can’t agree.
When we want to know the answer to a question, we investigate. Every question ever successfully answered so far in human history has had a demonstrated natural explanation. There is not one example of a confirmed supernatural answer to date. So, why would you think that any questions currently unanswered would likely have supernatural explanations?
we can’t give a body life. We have STUDIED evolution, and the proposal OF EVOLUTION is, that EVERYTHING in our exsistance,
This sentence made no sense to me.
“if we don’t have SOME control over it to keep it in order, everything degenerates into chaos, OH “exept for the big bang, and evolution, just those two things, “everything else, is ok to put it in our control.. haha
Where do you get the idea that the universe is not impacted by entropy? Evolution is the chemistry that happens while the energy is still around (things are burning, like our sun, but science isn’t claiming they will last forever. I don’t know where you got this idea scientists claim it will?)
doesn’t that sound odd to you??? Honeslty….
Not really. It sounds like what you see when anything explodes. You see pieces go everywhere and things burn and things near those burning things undergo chemical changes—such as wood turning to ash. And the process endures as long as there is energy from the explosion. So, that’s pretty much precisely what happens in every other example of even “small bangs.” And while that’s just my intuitive thinking and no claim of physics, I’m just saying it’s doing the only thing I have ever seen any explosion do, but on a way grander scale with far more potential outcomes.
well that’s what evolutionist propose, isn’t it??
No. I don’t know anyone who thinks that the chemical processes we label as “living things” aren’t affected by entropy. Do you think that biologists assert living things never die?
Ironically, it’s the theists who assert that things can be immortal and enduring in defiance of entropy (souls, heaven, god, hell), and that the universe was created from nothing (god spoke, and poof, it all just was). Didn’t you just assert such claims make no sense to you and are ridiculous to believe? Aren’t these the very claims you swallow from religion without any justification whatsoever? They don’t even offer you any demonstration that gods, souls, heaven and hell exist. And they have provided you no explanation of a process by which any of these things would work. They’ve said “it’s a magical, invisible being we can’t explain”—and you just said “OK, makes sense.”
well, there are some that except that theory, but I for one, am NO fool…
Is that enough proof for you..
OK, how can I make this clear to you?
You told me there are some stories that a rabbi existed about 2,000 years ago, and historians believe he existed. And I had already agreed that it was a reasonable assumption the rabbi existed, because I deferred to the historians’ consensus from the beginning, since they study that stuff, and I don’t.
You then explained you don’t believe in scientific theories—and that’s your right. I don’t really care about them all that much. They’re sort of interesting, but I’m not really a huge science buff, to be honest.
And, now, out of the blue, while I’m still waiting to hear what you’re going to offer about god, you just drop the dialog and ask “is that enough proof”? What did you prove? You proved it’s reasonable that the myths about Jesus are based on a real rabbi and you asserted, and I believe you, that you don’t believe in science, but think your god does stuff. I understand you believe in god, that’s not revelation; but it’s not proof of god, either; Are you going to demonstrate your god exists, to show me that it’s reasonable to assert your god does anything?
and I actually did pray, and here’s the evidence, now
He may have provided stamina, but he scrimped on the evidence.
where do you stand with God??? Cuz I for one have ALL the evidence I need!
There is no evidence at all in your letter. You never explained how I can tell your god from nothing, which is something I’ve been explaining to you is the justification for any claim of objective existence. Please, please, read “Dragon in My Garage.” It’s very short and it might help you understand what I’m asking you to provide in the way of a demonstration of an existent god. It’s not anything to persuade you about anything—it’s just an analogy that might help you grasp what is required to demonstrate a claim of objective existence to someone who doubts it. I know that even though I’ve asked you to please read it in every reply, you haven’t, because you still keep asserting that what you’re offering is “proof”—when it’s not. You don’t actually seem to know what “evidence” is.
What, that can be differentiated from nothing, are you calling “god”?