The official RRS defeats Way of the Master thread

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The official RRS defeats Way of the Master thread

 

This is it. This is the official thread that Kelly and Sapient will try to interact with as many visitors as they can. If you are new here, welcome aboard. If viewing this from the homepage you can click the title of the thread, create an account, and post your comments. Kelly and Sapient will not have time to address all the email and would like to keep all of their exchanges public for the benefit of the readers who are curious. Soon we will have a downloadable document available right from this post that will expose as many arguments as we can expose from the ABC Nightline Face Off with Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron. Here are the highlights of the face off from our eyes...

 

Did we make mistakes in the full debate? Yes. We stumbled on a few words, made an inaccurate point or two, and made a weak point at a moment or two. Ironically our worst points still seemed to be too much for them. So while we welcome criticism, especially constructive, please keep in mind that we feel we have a good handle on what we did wrong. We'll grow, learn, and get better. What we're really hoping for in this thread is for the actual content and discussion about gods existence to be brought into question. Challenge us to continue, and we will continue to respond to your claims. If you are a theist, please feel free to post your scientific evidence for God, leaving out the miserable arguments that Ray Comfort has already been beaten on of course. If you are having trouble finding the video on ABCs website, you can find most/all of the videos here. DIGG it.

A thread on our message board that has links to the entire unedited debate.

Other threads of interest:

Nightline Editing Bias - The Supporting Data

Gregfl starts a thread about Bashirs big blunder and the Nightline portrayal.

Some of the Christian mail coming in [YOU RESPOND] about the debate.

Pertaining to Jesus Mythicism A thorough examination of the evidence for Jesus by Rook Hawkins

A Silence That Screams - (No contemporary historical accounts for "jesus) by Todangst

Video from Rook outlining the basics of Jesus Mythicism

 

UPDATE Sapient spoke with ABC and voiced concerns leveled by many atheists in the community that the editing job for the Nightline piece gave Ray and Kirk a free pass. The most commonly voiced criticism of ABC was that it managed to show the debate as somewhat even and that there was no clear victor. This discussion was accepted only under the understanding that Ray and Kirk would prove God exists without invoking faith or the Bible. Anyone that understood the format saw that Ray and Kirk failed at their premise as soon as the proof of God became the Ten Commandments. ABC was made aware that commentary like "It was difficult to know if either side could claim victory" gave the impression that they were pandering to their largely Christian audience. While Sapient understood that this may be a wise business move, it was noted that it wasn't an accurate representation of the discussion. The Rational Response Squad brought it's "B" game and still destroyed every claim Kirk and Ray threw at them. In more positive news, we were made aware that the ABC unedited video of the debate was viewed over 160,000 times in the first 12 hours. Hopefully a few people have found the strength to overcome their god delusion.

AND THE PWNAGE CONTINUES:


THE FULL DEBATE!

 


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pby wrote: Every fossil is

pby wrote:
Every fossil is not a known "transitional" in the sense that a "transitional" is direct evidence of a species to new species transformation. These don't exist (but they are assumed).

If you are driving down a long road, heading to the mountains, and in the middle of a great desert another road spurs off and heads in the direction of a great grassy plain, does this mean that a desert is half grassy plain and half mountain? It is the point at which the road branches to head to both. Can you see how this illustrates the fallaciousness of you requirement for a 'transitional' fossil?

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


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Well played, RRS. It's just

Well played, RRS. It's just a shame that the editing at ABC was so awful. Feel free to come over to the Raving Atheists forums and link to your videos.

Incidentally, cuntwatch.blogspot.com issued their highest honor to your opponents.


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jcgadfly wrote: pby

jcgadfly wrote:
pby wrote:
kellym78 wrote:
Quote:
C'mon...It didn't deal with anything in any productive manner.

Do you really think that Cameron was attempting to provide an accurate portrayal of transitional forms...or was it just sarcasm based on the gross lack of transitional forms as evidence? (answer is most intuitively obvious to the most casual of observers)

The Nightline edit was not good for RSS. It highlighted the unprofessional aspects of the RSS presenters ("numbnuts", the Al Gore like huffing, and so forth). Kelly was extremely screechy.

Sapient really missed on the painter analogy. It is obvious, just by looking at it, without doing any further research, that a painter painted the painting...phone calls to the painter and paint shops are not necessary. It is obvious from the painting that a painter exists.

And Kelly was flat out wrong about Josephus and there being no historical evidence for the existence of Jesus (Tacitus, the Gospels themselves, etc.).

RSS's claims about the pre-edit debate were inflated and the post edit debate just makes them look silly.

Alright - we're gonna go point by point here. There is no penury of transitional fossils. Just like we stated in the "debate", every fossil is a transitional one in the sense that all beings have evolved over time. If you can't grasp that, I'd suggest starting at talk.origins for some more info. The fact that Kirk was trying to use argumentum ad absurdum didn't escape us.

The only reason that it is "obvious" that a painter painted the painting is because you are already familiar with the process by which paintings are created. If the example given was something with which you had no familiarity, then you would not be able to make that inference. Your inability to understand the argument doesn't invalidate it.

If I am wrong about the Jesus issue, then please provide me with 1 extra-biblical contemporaneous or eyewitness account that isn't a known forgery or interpolation.

Thanks,

Kelly

And Luke, author of the books Acts, considered to be a first rate historian by Ramsay, was an eyewitness. Why do you discount his historical evidence?

And while Cameron's sarcasm relative to the transitionals was not lost on you...apparently, by his post, it was lost on the poster that I posted to.

I'm not Kelly but I'll play.

Why discount Luke? Perhaps because you can't prove that the writer of the Gospel and Acts was Luke the apostle? 

Introduction To The Acts Of The Apostles Since the second century A.D., the book of Acts has commonly been called "The Acts of the Apostles." In comprehending more completely and correctly the contents of the book, we may more accurately say that it is, "The Acts of the Holy Spirit Through the Believers." We find that ten of the apostles' "ministries" and "acts" are never mentioned; whereas, several "acts" of non-apostolic believers are mentioned (Acts 8:5-8; 9:10-11, 17). The book of Acts is the greatest handbook of information on the workings of the Holy Spirit in the world today. It is the practical outworking of the Great Commission (Mt. 28:18-20; Mk. 16:15-20; Lk. 24:46-49) and literally fulfills Mark 16:20 that, "They went forth and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word with signs following." The Greek word for "working," SUNERGEO, literally meant "to work together, to be a fellow-worker" and this relationship between the Holy Spirit and the believer is clearly portrayed throughout the book of Acts. Whereas, "the former treatise" (that is the Gospel of Luke) dealt with "All that Jesus began both to do and teach" (Acts 1:1), the book of Acts describes what Jesus continues to do and teach through the life of the believers (His church). We might say, "These are the acts of the resurrected Christ through the believers." As a result of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, we see the spread of the witness of Christ and His teachings from Jerusalem, Judaea, Samaria and into the uttermost part of the earth (Acts 1:Cool. Certainly one of the aims of this book was to show that the Jewish Messiah and His atonement were for all men, for all time. Authorship a. Internal evidence - Although no claim is made in the book as to authorship, there is much internal evidence that Luke is the author. Both the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts were addressed to Theophilus (Lk. 1:3; Acts 1:1). This similarity, coupled with the statement, "The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus" seems to leave no doubt that Luke was the author. Furthermore, a careful reading of the book of Acts makes it clear that its author was a companion of Paul and a partner in many of his travels. Other companions such as Sopater, Aristarchus, Secundus, Gaius, Timotheus, Tychicus and Trophimus are all excluded from being the author by the wording of Acts 20:4-5. However, the apostle Paul himself states that Luke was with him during his imprisonment in Rome (Col. 4:14; 2 Tim. 4:11; Phile. 24) making special mention in 2 Timothy 4:11 that "only Luke is with me." This presence of Luke with Paul during his imprisonment, combined with the narrator's use of the word "we" throughout his accounts of Paul's imprisonment, provide conclusive evidence of Luke's authorship. b. External evidence - The extra-biblical sources overwhelmingly support Luke as the author of the book of Acts. The Muratorian Canon, which Irenaeus (A.D. 133-200), Tertullian (A.D. 160-200), Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 150- 215), and Origen (A.D. 185-254)1 all supported, held Luke to be the author of both Acts and the Gospel of Luke. The Recipient Of The Book Of Acts The recipient of this book, as well as the Gospel of Luke, was a man named "Theophilus" (Lk. 1:3; Acts 1:1). Theophilus could possibly have been an important Roman official recently converted to Christianity. The term "most excellent" (Lk. 1:3) implies "dignity, honor, and nobility." It is also possible that Theophilus may not have been a person at all. The word "Theophilus" comes from two Greek words: THEOS, which means "God" and PHILEIN, which means "to love." It may be that Luke wrote to a lover of God whose real name he did not mention, or to everyone who was a lover of God Whichever the case, the two volume work of Luke shows us the history of Christianity, and bridges the gap between the Gospels and the teaching of the Pauline Epistles. It is most valuable in understanding the truth of the Gospel and men's response to it. Date Of Writing The date of the writing of this book is probably around A.D. 63, since Luke ends this book with Paul being a prisoner at Rome for at least two years (Acts 28:30). It seems certain that Luke would have given the outcome of Paul's trial if it had been written at a later date. Most historians feel the A.D. 63 date to be correct. About The Author a. Internal information - Luke is mentioned by that name three times in the New Testament (Col. 4:14; 2 Tim. 4:11; Phile. 24). He is the one referred to in the "we" portions of Acts (Acts 16:10-17; 20:5-15; 21:1-18; 27:1-28:16). It is possible that the Lucius spoken of in Acts 13:1 and Romans 16:21 could be the same Luke who wrote the gospel and the book of Acts. If the Lucius spoken of in Romans 16:21 was this Luke, then he would be related to Paul. Luke was referred to by Paul in Colossians 4:14 as "the beloved physician." His attention to the miracles Jesus performed in his gospel reflects a physician's background (see note 2 at Lk. 6:6). There is no evidence that he ministered as a physician after his conversion. On the contrary, if he had "practiced medicine" alongside Paul as some suggest, then he was remiss in not recording even one example of this in the book of Acts. It is clear, however, that Luke was a close companion of the apostle Paul. Luke joined Paul in Troas, as can be seen by the narration changing from the third person (Acts 16:4) to the first person plural (Acts 16:10-11). This first person narration continues until Paul leaves Philippi, heading for Thessalonica. This leads us to believe that Luke left the group in Philippi, and then rejoined them again in Acts 20:5. The rest of the book of Acts continues to use "we" and Paul's references to Luke (Col. 4:14; 2 Tim. 4:11; Phil. 24) show us that Luke was with Paul during his imprisonment (A.D. 60 to at least 62). In 2 Timothy 4:11, Paul said, "only Luke is with me." No doubt, they must have had close fellowship during that time. b. External information - External evidence about Luke abounds. Eusebius and Jerome both assigned Luke to being a native of Antioch in Syria. Nearly all physicians of his day were Asiatic Greeks educated at Tarsus in Cilicia. This would further lead one to think that Luke was a Greek. Eusebius writes, "And Luke, who was a native of Antioch, and by profession a physician, for the most part companion of Paul, and who was not slightly acquainted with the rest of the apostles, has left us two books, divinely inspired proofs of the art of healing souls, which he won from them."2 Jerome wrote in A.D. 384, "Luke, a physician of Antioch, not unskilled in the Hebrew language, as his words show, was a follower of the Apostle Paul, and the companion of all his wanderings. He wrote the gospel of which the same Paul makes mention."3 Additional material about Luke exists, but it is based mainly on tradition and not fact. ________________________ 1. cf. The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia, Volume One, p. 39. 2. Eusebius, 'Hist. Eccl.,' 3.4 3. St. Jerome, 'De Vir. Illustr.,' c.7


kellym78
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Quote: Any

Quote:
Any thoughts?

We'll get to it soon. Just catching up on replies. Smile


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HonestQuestioner wrote: Any

HonestQuestioner wrote:
Any thoughts?

I think you are asking where the information in our DNA comes from, right? The trivial answer is that my DNA came from my parents, their DNA from their parents, and so on back. If we had a "time TV" you could trace the history of the DNA code. We don't have a "time TV" but because of the overwhelming evidence the vast majority of scientists accept evolution as the explanation for the origin of the information. Through the evolutionary process of change and selection information "grows" out of previous generations, from the simplest bacteria to the variety of life we see today.

I assume you accept the Earth to be 4.5 billion years old? For most of the history of life on Earth the only thing that existed were bacteria. Their DNA maybe came from simpler forms of RNA, from simpler proto-cells. There are various ideas, and I'm no expert. Of course nobody knows the complete story, but science is working on it!

I am guessing you think an intelligent force started the whole process? Maybe yes, but probably no. There is no evidence for such an event. And it just pushes the problem further back since we have to ask where that intelligence came from. Sure there are still gaps in our knowledge for some type of "god", but a literal biblical Yahweh is just silly. Until you give me evidence for something, I'm not going to invest belief in any idea, especially not supernatural ones. 

 You might also find this link helpful:

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB102.html 


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Vessel wrote: pby

Vessel wrote:

pby wrote:
Every fossil is not a known "transitional" in the sense that a "transitional" is direct evidence of a species to new species transformation. These don't exist (but they are assumed).

If you are driving down a long road, heading to the mountains, and in the middle of a great desert another road spurs off and heads in the direction of a great grassy plain, does this mean that a desert is half grassy plain and half mountain? It is the point at which the road branches to head to both. Can you see how this illustrates the fallaciousness of you requirement for a 'transitional' fossil?

 It is not my requirement...Darwin said that the transitionals would be found to support the theory.

Many formerly referred to Archeopteryx, which was refuted by experts like Feduccia, as a transitional between dinosaurs and birds because of its mosaic of characteristics (teeth and etc.). If "science " knows that these types of transitionals will not be found, then why are these types of fossils often labeled transitional forms and evidence for evolution?

Why is science often looking for transitionals? What will they look like, if not some mosaic of two types of species (like dinosaur and bird)?

What about punctuated equilibrium and the hypthesis that there is not enough time to allow for these alleged small tansitions from one species to another.

Why and how do these small transitions occur? What is the biological mechanism that causes the transition to occur?

What fossil evidence exists for the evolution of a lobe-finned fish into a four-legged land animal (which is the evolutionary assumption made)?


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kellym78 wrote: Quote: And

kellym78 wrote:

Quote:
And Luke, author of the books Acts, considered to be a first rate historian by Ramsay, was an eyewitness. Why do you discount his historical evidence?

Extrabiblical was a prereq. Certainly somebody with that much noteriety would have had plenty of mentions in the annals of history.

Also, please provide proof of the existence of Luke, the fact that he is the actual author of Luke and/or Acts, and that he was a "first-rate historian" as you claim. Extrabiblical contemporaneous evidence only please. Just because "Luke" used accurate historical facts doesn't prove that the character of Jesus isn't completely fictional. Kind of like how Gone With the Wind contains historical accuracy but is about a fictional character. Does that make Margaret Mitchell an historian and Scarlett O'Hara real?

Thanks,

Kelly 

I provided the internal and external evidence for Luke in a post to jcgadfly on this thread.

As the experts agree, Josephus mentioned Jesus...but you ignore that historical evidence.

Ramsay, a world reknown archeologist, made the claim that Luke was a first rate historian...not me. Do you disagree with the experts in this matter, as well?

How scientific is it to ignore, or outright dismiss, the evidence provided by experts?


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Sapient wrote: pby

Sapient wrote:
pby wrote:
Sapient wrote:
Cory T wrote:

Comfort states that a painting is proof positive of a painter, and the RRS adds the sarcastic caption that it only proof of a painting. I disagree. A painting as intricate as the Mona Lisa implies a painter, because no amount of accidental bombardment of a canvass with paint will produce a picture like that.

Cory, you realize Comforts painting didn't have a painter? In fact it was made by a machine.

 

Literal to the point of absurdity.

An absurd point deserves to be ridiculed to the point of absurdity. The point is, do all paintings prove a painter as Ray claimed? NO! Rays point was factually incorrect and unscientific, don't squirm away from that.

 

Comfort was not referring to all paintings...just that specific painting.

And...how is it that all paintings do not prove a painter?

What paints a painting, if not a painter?


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I just have to make a

I just have to make a comment about the theist's main argument. I am surprised no one has noticed the primary flaw in their argument that since a painting demands a painter, a creation demands a creator. Does no one realize that the wording of the statement in itself makes assumptions. If you call the universe "creation" you are already assuming a creator. That's just the way the language works. It would be like someone calling my pencil a weapon. My response shouldn't be that my weapon is used to write. My response should be that my pencil is a pencil, not a weapon.

If we as atheists accept the term "creation" for the universe then we are adding credence to their creator argument. It is not creation. It is matter, or the universe, or whatever you are specifically talking about.


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pby wrote: That painting,

pby wrote:

That painting, used in the debate, literally came from a machine...okay you "win" (on some absurd level). The original painting was not shown but a mass produced likeness was. Maybe they can bring an original to the next debate.

Yes maybe next time they can bring an actual painting. 

 

Quote:
But now...address the point actually being made by the analogy. Where did the original painting come from? What are possible explanations for the origin of the painting?

Obviously the best possible explanation is that somebody painted it.  However, while the painting implies a painter because we have knowledge of how paintings are produced, it's not a 100% guarantee there was a painter.  You see, I can take you to witness painters in action.   You can not take me to witness Universe creation.  It is not implied that some sort of diety created all of it until you can show otherwise.  The burden of proof is on the theist to show that Universe creation requires a anthropomorphic god simply because paintings require humans.  Too much is assumed in their theory to make it anywhere near scientific.

 

Quote:
Josephus, according to the experts, wrote about a historical Jesus. The Arabic version is considered to be the accurate content related to Josephus's reference to Jesus. Why do you completely discount/ignore the experts on this matter?

Why is Rook considered an expert in languages and so forth? What are his qualifications?. I watched the video on mythicism. He was blatantly inaccurate about the Apostle Paul. The Apostle Paul specifically writes about the "flesh and blood" Jesus Christ.

Talk to Rook. 

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kellym78

kellym78 wrote:
Quote:
Josephus (the Arabic version, according to the experts, probably contains what Josepus actually wrote about the historical Jesus).

Every fossil is not a known "transitional" in the sense that a "transitional" is direct evidence of a species to new species transformation. These don't exist (but they are assumed).

The painter is obvious without knowing the process. If not, how did the painting come about...chance? What are the alternative explanations for the painting besides the painter?

I suggest you re-read my post and do some research then come back and respond. It's clear that you did not bother to do at least one of those two things for the following reasons:

Even if Josephus' Testimonium was accurate and reliable, it still would not have been contemporaneous.

A transitional fossil by your definition will never be found because evolution doesn't promote the half-this/half-that type of trajectory that you are proposing it should. Small changes over large time spans. No crocoducks. Not to mention that species delineation is man-made for the ease of communication and classification. We have designated these groups to include what they include based on similar characteristics, mating patterns, etc. In reality, there are often not many visible and apparent breaking points and more of a smooth progression between a lot of species groups. (At least this is my understanding of it, but I'll be the first to admit that I am a biological dilettante.)

The painting is a metaphor. Get it? Like I said, substitute something with which you have no knowledge of the process by which it is created and see if your hypothesis that it is self-evident still works. We know nothing of universe creation; therefore, it is a false analogy to begin with. The use of god in hypothetical universe creation is an unnecessary complication as well. There are many other theories of how everything got here, some silly and some not, but none of them necessarily infer god's existence--and particularly not that of your particular god.

So are you going to now accept that Josephus mentioned  a historical Jesus?

If a transitional fossil of "my definition" (I didn't realize that it was just mine) will never be found, how come talk.origins includes Archaeopteryx as a transitional form(dinosaur/bird, which was refuted by experts like Feduccia)? Wouldn't this fossil fit into "my definition"? (given the lack of fossil evidence, I do understand why you would want to define "transitional forms" as broad as possible, though).

As a painting infers a painter...a creation infers a Creator.


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Quote: I provided the

Quote:

I provided the internal and external evidence for Luke in a post to jcgadfly on this thread.

As the experts agree, Josephus mentioned Jesus...but you ignore that historical evidence.

Ramsay, a world reknown archeologist, made the claim that Luke was a first rate historian...not me. Do you disagree with the experts in this matter, as well?

How scientific is it to ignore, or outright dismiss, the evidence provided by experts?

OK - I really don't have time to deal with this in detail. Two words--extrabiblical and contemporaneous. If you can't stick to that simple request then I am not going to make the time to deal with this. All of your objections can be answered in other locations on this board.

FYI, the name "Luke" in the Pauline epistles can be used to support the idea that the name was pinched from Paul and used to lend authority to the later-dated Luke and Acts, as well, so I wouldn't advise using that as evidence. Next? 


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pby wrote: I provided the

pby wrote:
I provided the internal and external evidence for Luke in a post to jcgadfly on this thread.

We can discuss the problems with Luke as history.

 

Quote:
As the experts agree, Josephus mentioned Jesus...

 Actually, 'experts' dont' all agree on this.  And there is something rather self refuting about the Josephus claim:

Josephus was not a contemporary and could not have been a first hand eyewitness of "Jesus", however, as a Jewish historian who focused on Jewish history and religion, he would have been greatly interested in the appearance of the Jewish Messiah. Josephus wrote The Antiquities of the Jews, See his works here: http://reluctant-messenger.com/josephus.htm This is a work that focused on Jewish history from "Adam" to Josephus' time. Yet, while Josephus devotes a good deal of time and space to John the Baptist and other historical figures mentioned in the Gospels (He gives a detailed account of Pontius Pilate in The Jewish Wars, http://www.inu.net/skeptic/gospels.html) he does not appear to have actually written anything at all concerning the life of Jesus the Christ! This is 'damning' considering that we would expect that the appearance of the Jewish Messiah ought to have dominated a work dedicated to Jewish history.

Furthermore, Josephus was interested both in the concept of ressurection, as well as in the histories of various Jewish sects which a real Jesus would have either 1) been a member of or 2) have had substantial discourse with. How could a man with these experiences, and with these interests, not have dedicated volumes to "Jesus" if there were any reason to believe such a messiah existed?

"When I was sixteen years old, I decided to get experience with the various sects that are among us. These are three: as we have said many times, the first, that of the Pharisees, the second that of the Saduccees, the third, that of the Essenes. For I thought that in this way I would choose best, if I carefully examined them all. Therefore, submitting myself to strict training, I passed through the three groups."
(Life, 1.2, 10-11)

Now we have a man with a keen historical interest in Judaism, combing this interest with a wealth of first hand experience concerning the very groups Jesus would have been numbered amongst, who doesn't mention a word about Jesus!

For this very reason, the claim that Josephus never mentions Jesus was a concern for early Christians. Therefore, it is no surprise that a later interpolation of a reference to Jesus appears in the Antiquities. The infamous "Testimonium Flavium" appears to have been inserted into the Antiquities about the time of the 4th century. A key proof for this comes from the fact that while early Christians cited Josephus, none of them ever cited the Testimonium, even in situations where they were striving to provide historical proof for Jesus:

* Justin Martyr (circa C.E. 100-165) never once quoted the passage -- even in the face of charges that Christians had "invented some sort of Christ for themselves" and that they had accepted "a futile rumor" (Dialogue with Trypho 8; circa C.E. 135).
* Origen (circa C.E. 185-254), who in his own writings relies extensively upon the works of Josephus, does not mention this passage or any other passage in Josephus that mentions Christ. Not even when he is in dialogue against Celsus' accusations!
* Jerome (circa C.E. 347-420) cites Josephus 90 times, but never once cites the Testimonium.

Logic itself tells us that had Josephus written the Testimonium, he would have written more than 3 lines concerning the existence of the Jewish Messiah in a book dedicated to Jewish History! Remsberg writes:

"Its brevity disproves its authenticity. Josephus' work is voluminous and exhaustive. It comprises twenty books. Whole pages are devoted to petty robbers and obscure seditious leaders. Nearly fourty chapters are devoted to the life of a single king. Yet this remarkable being, the greatest product of his race, a being of whom the prophets foretold ten thousand wonderful things, a being greater than any earthly king, is dismissed with a dozen lines."

-- The Christ, by John E. Remsburg, reprinted by Prometheus Books, New York, 1994, pages 171-3.

Logic also provides us with yet another powerful clue as to the falsity of the Testimonium: Josephus lived and died a Jew, never converting to Christianity. Even a Christian apologist, normally at home with warping logic well past its breaking point, ought to find it difficult to reconcile the claim that Josephus had evidence of Jesus as the Messiah with the fact that he never converted to Christianity. How could Josephus have good evidence for the existence of a messiah, and yet, at the same time, die a Jew?

 

 There's really only one way to salvage the Testimonium: to use Jeffery J. Lowder's argument that the Testimonium was radicallyl altered by christians, and that the original Josephus passage was basically hearsay - a claim that Josephus himself didn't accept as an account of a 'messiah' but instead a second hand account of a human being who was considered a wise teacher.

This would explain why christians did not cite it until it was radically altered: because it was an actual refutation of the gospel claim of Jesus, the Christ. (I.e. there are no jesus the christ references in Josephus) 

 

 

 

Quote:

but you ignore that historical evidence. Ramsay, a world reknown archeologist, made the claim that Luke was a first rate historian...not me.

On what grounds did he make this claim?  We can discuss this if you like, but we should start another thread.

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


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pby wrote: Comfort was

pby wrote:
Comfort was not referring to all paintings...just that specific painting. And...how is it that all paintings do not prove a painter? What paints a painting, if not a painter?

How about a graphics artist with a computer on a printer (this is basically what he held up)?  How about a robot programmed by a programmer?  Or how about the extremely miniscule chance that it could've painted itself?  You think that last question was funny?  Don't laugh, you're asking us to accept the extremely miniscule chance that the Universe required a creator as the preeminent theory on our existence when there are abundantly higher probable theories that require no god.

 

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pby wrote: So are you

pby wrote:

So are you going to now accept that Josephus mentioned a historical Jesus?

 

Proof of a historical jesus refutes the existence of the Jesus of the gospels. It reveals 'jesus the christ' to be an embellishment of an otherwise completely natural phenomenon: a man who inspired a legend.

Again, citing Josephus is problematic for this very reason: Josephus was providing a history of the Jews, if he had actually had evidence for 'jesus', and devoted 3 lines to "jesus' this is even more damning than had he not mentioned jesus the christ at all.

 

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Sapient wrote: pby

Sapient wrote:
pby wrote:

That painting, used in the debate, literally came from a machine...okay you "win" (on some absurd level). The original painting was not shown but a mass produced likeness was. Maybe they can bring an original to the next debate.

Yes maybe next time they can bring an actual painting. 

 

Quote:
But now...address the point actually being made by the analogy. Where did the original painting come from? What are possible explanations for the origin of the painting?

Obviously the best possible explanation is that somebody painted it.  However, while the painting implies a painter because we have knowledge of how paintings are produced, it's not a 100% guarantee there was a painter.  You see, I can take you to witness painters in action.   You can not take me to witness Universe creation.  It is not implied that some sort of diety created all of it until you can show otherwise.  The burden of proof is on the theist to show that Universe creation requires a anthropomorphic god simply because paintings require humans.  Too much is assumed in their theory to make it anywhere near scientific.

Quote:
Josephus, according to the experts, wrote about a historical Jesus. The Arabic version is considered to be the accurate content related to Josephus's reference to Jesus. Why do you completely discount/ignore the experts on this matter?

Why is Rook considered an expert in languages and so forth? What are his qualifications?. I watched the video on mythicism. He was blatantly inaccurate about the Apostle Paul. The Apostle Paul specifically writes about the "flesh and blood" Jesus Christ.

Talk to Rook. 

  So...there are no other rational explanations for the origins of the original painting other than the existence of the painter? <p>

 

You have called Rook an expert in languages, and so forth. You do not know what his qualifications are?


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HonestQuestioner wrote:

HonestQuestioner wrote:
Now, your question as to 'why' this information 'needs' physical matter to be transferred, I don't know. But I don't think that really matters in this discussion. Why does FM=A? Its a law of nature. Its the way things are. Information IS transferred via physical matter. The question is, where does it come from originally. So, I ask you, does information exist, and if so, what does it consist of. I argue that yes, information itself is evidence of 'intangible things' (not able to be seen or touched). You, of course, may say that it does not exist, but that would make everything we are doing in this discussion meaningless.

This is not evidence of intangible things. If something cannot be seen or touched, then it doesn't have any basis for interaction. without a basis for interaction with matter then matter cannot transfer it at all.  Simple ontology.

Being seen or touched are material processes. We see things due to a physical medium which allows material patterns to go from one place to another and indirectly interact with other material things. Being touched involved direct material contact. If the non-material information doesn't exist in any way that it is possible to interact with our physicality in any way, then there is no way that said information can influence, interact, or effect matter (or the other way around), thus to say that information is no material yet still interacts with material things is meaningless.

Information is encoded physical patterns, patterns which can  transfer from one medium to another through physical means. The encoding of information is variable, and we can create all sorts of ways to encode information. The information in DNA is not some idea or meaning that DNA molecules pass around, but rather it is the physical structure of (for example) the DNA that, when it interacts with the environment of a biological cell, nutrients, and all the other things that allow for replication of DNA and the actions of RNA, makes something happen.  The fact that that something is life is easily explained by the idea that if it didn't pass along this encoding process, it wouldn't survive.

At some point there is a complexity in the brain of some beings where a self-reflection is possible. At this point, self-awareness and consciousness develops. This is the arising of liguistic information, which is fundamentally based upon this self-reflection and awareness of internal and external states. At this point the information in DNA is able to be encoded and reflected upon. Before that moment, it was a non-conscious and material process passing down a chain of processes that were purely physical.  And when it is self-reflective, it is still purely material, onlynow it takes on new levels of complexity and reflective.

The fallacy in your question is in equivocating material mediums that encode a physical process with conscious and linguistic awareness, which is a form of information but at a higher level of complexity. Yes, we can take that physical process in DNA and make some sense of it, but that sense--that self-reflected awareness of the encoding and what it does--is not information in the same sense that a phone number, word, or story is.  the difference is one of degree--of quanity and complexity.

I would say more, but I'll ;eave it at that for now.

Shaun

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Maruta wrote: Second,

Maruta wrote:

Second, you're not doing any good by engaging these people in a 'debate'. You people are constantly saying that theism is illogical and irrational. Then how the hell are you going to change people's with 'rational' arguments? You go out calling theism a 'mind disorder'. It doesnt exactly take a Ph. D. in Clinical Psychology to see that this is no more than a petty insult. And with that attitude, you're never going to reach anyone who doesn't already agree with you. 

What you are not getting here is that for the last twenty years there has been a growing number of fundamentalists who have claimed that the Bible is scientifically true and that belief in God and Creationism is the only rational belief to hold.  This is not a few wackos - they and their friends have immense influence in the US government. You have already accepted that religion is irrational and based on emotion. We need to get that message out to the billions around the world who see it as a rational alternative to science and a legitimate basis for making public policy.

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todangst wrote: pby

todangst wrote:
pby wrote:

So are you going to now accept that Josephus mentioned a historical Jesus?

Proof of a historical jesus refutes the existence of the Jesus of the gospels. It reveals 'jesus the christ' to be an embellishment of an otherwise completely natural phenomenon: a man who inspired a legend.

Again, citing Josephus is problematic for this very reason: Josephus was providing a history of the Jews, if he had actually had evidence for 'jesus', and devoted 3 lines to "jesus' this is even more damning than had he not mentioned jesus the christ at all.

At least we are now getting somewhere...It is a historical fact that Josephus made reference to Jesus.

 Maybe Kelly will make a statement of correction relative to her debate comments associated with this subject.

 Jesus came in the flesh and walked among men...The writings of Josephus do nothing but state that Jesus existed historically. It definitely doesn't do what you infer. 


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pby wrote: It is not my

pby wrote:

It is not my requirement...Darwin said that the transitionals would be found to support the theory.

Many formerly referred to Archeopteryx, which was refuted by experts like Feduccia, as a transitional between dinosaurs and birds because of its mosaic of characteristics (teeth and etc.). If "science " knows that these types of transitionals will not be found, then why are these types of fossils often labeled transitional forms and evidence for evolution?

Why is science often looking for transitionals? What will they look like, if not some mosaic of two types of species (like dinosaur and bird)?

What about punctuated equilibrium and the hypthesis that there is not enough time to allow for these alleged small tansitions from one species to another.

Why and how do these small transitions occur? What is the biological mechanism that causes the transition to occur?

What fossil evidence exists for the evolution of a lobe-finned fish into a four-legged land animal (which is the evolutionary assumption made)?

 Not everyone agrees with Feduccia. You can't put your trust in one expert only. See:

http://www.dinosauria.com/jdp/archie/paulfed.html

Archaeopteryx IS a mosaic.

Punctuated equilibrium is just an alternative theory to the rate of evolutionary change. Is isn't an alternative to evolution itself, nor is it accepted by all the experts.

You should really read a book like What Evolution Is, by Mayr, which would answer most of your questions.

But what are you getting at with all of your points? What is your alternative theory? Are you a young-earth creationist? Something else? How do you explain the fossil record? Do you think Archaeopteryx was a dinosaur on Noah's ark?

Evolution can easily be disproved by finding a fossil rabbit in the Cambrian. You aren't disproving evolution, you are either demonstrating misunderstandings, cherry picking certain expert opinions, or just pointing out areas that need further study. Where is your improved theory? 

 


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HonestQuestioner wrote:

HonestQuestioner wrote:
I'm sorry, but that's the very definition of beating around the bush. It was a very emotional answer, and I appreciate your honesty, but your answer amounts to this: 'I don't know'. And that's fine, but it would be better if you just said that. My point is exactly that I believe information itself, its existence, is a fairly strong argument for the existence of a source of original information.

The source of information is the human brain. It is what happens when the brain tries to create a relationship between the self and the matter and energy that make up the universe. Take away consciousness, and you have no information except in the most technical, irrelevant sense of the sound that a tree makes falling in an empty forest.

If you disagree with me, please point to some information and tell me how much it weighs, or how much work it can do. 

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pby wrote: jcgadfly

pby wrote:
jcgadfly wrote:
pby wrote:
kellym78 wrote:
Quote:
C'mon...It didn't deal with anything in any productive manner.

Do you really think that Cameron was attempting to provide an accurate portrayal of transitional forms...or was it just sarcasm based on the gross lack of transitional forms as evidence? (answer is most intuitively obvious to the most casual of observers)

The Nightline edit was not good for RSS. It highlighted the unprofessional aspects of the RSS presenters ("numbnuts", the Al Gore like huffing, and so forth). Kelly was extremely screechy.

Sapient really missed on the painter analogy. It is obvious, just by looking at it, without doing any further research, that a painter painted the painting...phone calls to the painter and paint shops are not necessary. It is obvious from the painting that a painter exists.

And Kelly was flat out wrong about Josephus and there being no historical evidence for the existence of Jesus (Tacitus, the Gospels themselves, etc.).

RSS's claims about the pre-edit debate were inflated and the post edit debate just makes them look silly.

Alright - we're gonna go point by point here. There is no penury of transitional fossils. Just like we stated in the "debate", every fossil is a transitional one in the sense that all beings have evolved over time. If you can't grasp that, I'd suggest starting at talk.origins for some more info. The fact that Kirk was trying to use argumentum ad absurdum didn't escape us.

The only reason that it is "obvious" that a painter painted the painting is because you are already familiar with the process by which paintings are created. If the example given was something with which you had no familiarity, then you would not be able to make that inference. Your inability to understand the argument doesn't invalidate it.

If I am wrong about the Jesus issue, then please provide me with 1 extra-biblical contemporaneous or eyewitness account that isn't a known forgery or interpolation.

Thanks,

Kelly

And Luke, author of the books Acts, considered to be a first rate historian by Ramsay, was an eyewitness. Why do you discount his historical evidence?

And while Cameron's sarcasm relative to the transitionals was not lost on you...apparently, by his post, it was lost on the poster that I posted to.

I'm not Kelly but I'll play.

Why discount Luke? Perhaps because you can't prove that the writer of the Gospel and Acts was Luke the apostle?

Introduction To The Acts Of The Apostles Since the second century A.D., the book of Acts has commonly been called "The Acts of the Apostles." In comprehending more completely and correctly the contents of the book, we may more accurately say that it is, "The Acts of the Holy Spirit Through the Believers." We find that ten of the apostles' "ministries" and "acts" are never mentioned; whereas, several "acts" of non-apostolic believers are mentioned (Acts 8:5-8; 9:10-11, 17). The book of Acts is the greatest handbook of information on the workings of the Holy Spirit in the world today. It is the practical outworking of the Great Commission (Mt. 28:18-20; Mk. 16:15-20; Lk. 24:46-49) and literally fulfills Mark 16:20 that, "They went forth and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word with signs following." The Greek word for "working," SUNERGEO, literally meant "to work together, to be a fellow-worker" and this relationship between the Holy Spirit and the believer is clearly portrayed throughout the book of Acts. Whereas, "the former treatise" (that is the Gospel of Luke) dealt with "All that Jesus began both to do and teach" (Acts 1:1), the book of Acts describes what Jesus continues to do and teach through the life of the believers (His church). We might say, "These are the acts of the resurrected Christ through the believers." As a result of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, we see the spread of the witness of Christ and His teachings from Jerusalem, Judaea, Samaria and into the uttermost part of the earth (Acts 1:Cool. Certainly one of the aims of this book was to show that the Jewish Messiah and His atonement were for all men, for all time. Authorship a. Internal evidence - Although no claim is made in the book as to authorship, there is much internal evidence that Luke is the author. Both the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts were addressed to Theophilus (Lk. 1:3; Acts 1:1). This similarity, coupled with the statement, "The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus" seems to leave no doubt that Luke was the author. Furthermore, a careful reading of the book of Acts makes it clear that its author was a companion of Paul and a partner in many of his travels. Other companions such as Sopater, Aristarchus, Secundus, Gaius, Timotheus, Tychicus and Trophimus are all excluded from being the author by the wording of Acts 20:4-5. However, the apostle Paul himself states that Luke was with him during his imprisonment in Rome (Col. 4:14; 2 Tim. 4:11; Phile. 24) making special mention in 2 Timothy 4:11 that "only Luke is with me." This presence of Luke with Paul during his imprisonment, combined with the narrator's use of the word "we" throughout his accounts of Paul's imprisonment, provide conclusive evidence of Luke's authorship. b. External evidence - The extra-biblical sources overwhelmingly support Luke as the author of the book of Acts. The Muratorian Canon, which Irenaeus (A.D. 133-200), Tertullian (A.D. 160-200), Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 150- 215), and Origen (A.D. 185-254)1 all supported, held Luke to be the author of both Acts and the Gospel of Luke. The Recipient Of The Book Of Acts The recipient of this book, as well as the Gospel of Luke, was a man named "Theophilus" (Lk. 1:3; Acts 1:1). Theophilus could possibly have been an important Roman official recently converted to Christianity. The term "most excellent" (Lk. 1:3) implies "dignity, honor, and nobility." It is also possible that Theophilus may not have been a person at all. The word "Theophilus" comes from two Greek words: THEOS, which means "God" and PHILEIN, which means "to love." It may be that Luke wrote to a lover of God whose real name he did not mention, or to everyone who was a lover of God Whichever the case, the two volume work of Luke shows us the history of Christianity, and bridges the gap between the Gospels and the teaching of the Pauline Epistles. It is most valuable in understanding the truth of the Gospel and men's response to it. Date Of Writing The date of the writing of this book is probably around A.D. 63, since Luke ends this book with Paul being a prisoner at Rome for at least two years (Acts 28:30). It seems certain that Luke would have given the outcome of Paul's trial if it had been written at a later date. Most historians feel the A.D. 63 date to be correct. About The Author a. Internal information - Luke is mentioned by that name three times in the New Testament (Col. 4:14; 2 Tim. 4:11; Phile. 24). He is the one referred to in the "we" portions of Acts (Acts 16:10-17; 20:5-15; 21:1-18; 27:1-28:16). It is possible that the Lucius spoken of in Acts 13:1 and Romans 16:21 could be the same Luke who wrote the gospel and the book of Acts. If the Lucius spoken of in Romans 16:21 was this Luke, then he would be related to Paul. Luke was referred to by Paul in Colossians 4:14 as "the beloved physician." His attention to the miracles Jesus performed in his gospel reflects a physician's background (see note 2 at Lk. 6:6). There is no evidence that he ministered as a physician after his conversion. On the contrary, if he had "practiced medicine" alongside Paul as some suggest, then he was remiss in not recording even one example of this in the book of Acts. It is clear, however, that Luke was a close companion of the apostle Paul. Luke joined Paul in Troas, as can be seen by the narration changing from the third person (Acts 16:4) to the first person plural (Acts 16:10-11). This first person narration continues until Paul leaves Philippi, heading for Thessalonica. This leads us to believe that Luke left the group in Philippi, and then rejoined them again in Acts 20:5. The rest of the book of Acts continues to use "we" and Paul's references to Luke (Col. 4:14; 2 Tim. 4:11; Phil. 24) show us that Luke was with Paul during his imprisonment (A.D. 60 to at least 62). In 2 Timothy 4:11, Paul said, "only Luke is with me." No doubt, they must have had close fellowship during that time. b. External information - External evidence about Luke abounds. Eusebius and Jerome both assigned Luke to being a native of Antioch in Syria. Nearly all physicians of his day were Asiatic Greeks educated at Tarsus in Cilicia. This would further lead one to think that Luke was a Greek. Eusebius writes, "And Luke, who was a native of Antioch, and by profession a physician, for the most part companion of Paul, and who was not slightly acquainted with the rest of the apostles, has left us two books, divinely inspired proofs of the art of healing souls, which he won from them."2 Jerome wrote in A.D. 384, "Luke, a physician of Antioch, not unskilled in the Hebrew language, as his words show, was a follower of the Apostle Paul, and the companion of all his wanderings. He wrote the gospel of which the same Paul makes mention."3 Additional material about Luke exists, but it is based mainly on tradition and not fact. ________________________ 1. cf. The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia, Volume One, p. 39. 2. Eusebius, 'Hist. Eccl.,' 3.4 3. St. Jerome, 'De Vir. Illustr.,' c.7

So there was a Luke that was a follower of Paul. This does not make him an apostle  (disciple) of Jesus and an eyewitness to the incidents wrote about in the gospel that bears his name. Indeed, it makes him less so.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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Re: Honest Question

HonestQuestioner wrote:
I have found this debate very interesting, and I have enjoyed reading all of the comments on this board. It has been very thought provoking. My question comes from more of a biological background. I am a physician and I must confess that my understanding of complex physics is not what it once was. That being said, I do have a decent understanding of biological systems. My question for the atheist crowd is, where did the information come from? Let me explain. When I look at, say, cascade reactions that take place in the human body, there are interactions between molecules. One molecule comes into contact with another molecule in a cascade reaction, and then, after the contact, the second molecule goes on to have contact with another molecule, and so on. And eventually, the desired endpoint is reached. Now, when the molecules interact, something is passed between them. What is passed is information. The molecules themselves are not information. The intangible message is something else. And it can only be 'understood' in the context of a code. We all know very well that there is a complex code within each of our cells. Now, codes do not, in any experience that I am aware of, come into being without the input of intelligent information. So my question is, where did the information come from? I think this question goes beyond the physics arguments, because it necessarily requires intelligent input. We have a code that allows passage of information that is not material. And codes require information to exist. So, where did the information come from? Evolutionary theories do attempt to explain how inorganic molecules came together to form biological structures, and I think that in itself is a huge leap, but that still doesn't explain how these 'structures' pass an intangible message, and why would they do that? I have asked this question of atheists before, and I have never recieved a good answer. I anxiously await your thoughts. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this discussion.

 

Found RRS through the debate and have been lurking for some days. Thanks to the RRS for the site and the debate, great stuff.

I've been following the new AiG talking point about "information cannot be created (without an intelligent designer)" and I've read both the original information theory and the ID adaptations of it and the scientific critiques of those adaptations, which basically debunk them in solid technical terms.

But as a rhetorician, it's also plain to me that there's a key assumption in the middle of the ID "no new information" claim that turns it into a circular argument, and it's this one:

Quote:
We all know very well that there is a complex code within each of our cells. Now, codes do not, in any experience that I am aware of, come into being without the input of intelligent information.

This bit of the argument assumes that information automatically must come from an intelligent source, therefore, not surprisingly, the argument concludes that only an intelligent source can supply information.

If you actually wade past the mostly unecessary obfuscation that the ID readings of information theory seem to require (in order to conceal this assumption?) you will always find a spot right in the middle of the argument where "information" is defined as "something that only proceeds from an intelligent source." Bad logic, bad rhetoric.

Alternately, this claim sometimes takes the form that information beyond a certain level of complexity requires an intelligent source. In this form, the argument is our old friend the irriducable complexity argument.

In practice, new information results from random events and natural processes, without the intervention of intelligence, all the time.

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert


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Quote: At least we are now

Quote:

At least we are now getting somewhere...It is a historical fact that Josephus made reference to Jesus.

 Maybe Kelly will make a statement of correction relative to her debate comments associated with this subject.

 Jesus came in the flesh and walked among men...The writings of Josephus do nothing but state that Jesus existed historically. It definitely doesn't do what you infer.

I will do no such thing. The TF is at the very least a tampered with interpolation and at the most a total forgery. It proves nothing. The only historical fact is that there is a mention in the version of Josephus' work that we have now and it is possible that somebody named Jesus existed once. Sorry-no go on the correction.

Kelly 


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pby wrote: Jesus came in

pby wrote:

Jesus came in the flesh and walked among men...The writings of Josephus do nothing but state that Jesus existed historically. It definitely doesn't do what you infer.

For the sake of argument, if I gave you that, so what? Joseph Smith, L. Ron Hubbard, and Rev. Moon also "came in the flesh" and at least one of them is still "walking among men." Do you believe the claims made about them? If not, why not?  


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pby wrote: Sapient

pby wrote:
Sapient wrote:
pby wrote:

That painting, used in the debate, literally came from a machine...okay you "win" (on some absurd level). The original painting was not shown but a mass produced likeness was. Maybe they can bring an original to the next debate.

Yes maybe next time they can bring an actual painting. 

 

Quote:
But now...address the point actually being made by the analogy. Where did the original painting come from? What are possible explanations for the origin of the painting?

Obviously the best possible explanation is that somebody painted it.  However, while the painting implies a painter because we have knowledge of how paintings are produced, it's not a 100% guarantee there was a painter.  You see, I can take you to witness painters in action.   You can not take me to witness Universe creation.  It is not implied that some sort of diety created all of it until you can show otherwise.  The burden of proof is on the theist to show that Universe creation requires a anthropomorphic god simply because paintings require humans.  Too much is assumed in their theory to make it anywhere near scientific.

Quote:
Josephus, according to the experts, wrote about a historical Jesus. The Arabic version is considered to be the accurate content related to Josephus's reference to Jesus. Why do you completely discount/ignore the experts on this matter?

Why is Rook considered an expert in languages and so forth? What are his qualifications?. I watched the video on mythicism. He was blatantly inaccurate about the Apostle Paul. The Apostle Paul specifically writes about the "flesh and blood" Jesus Christ.

Talk to Rook. 

  So...there are no other rational explanations for the origins of the original painting other than the existence of the painter? <p>

You have called Rook an expert in languages, and so forth. You do not know what his qualifications are?

You fail to understand that this is only the case with prior knowledge of how paintings are made.

 

"A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven." -- former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien


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pby wrote: Sapient really

pby wrote:
Sapient really missed on the painter analogy. It is obvious, just by looking at it, without doing any further research, that a painter painted the painting...phone calls to the painter and paint shops are not necessary. It is obvious from the painting that a painter exists.

Bullshit. You are only able to draw those inferences about the painting because you know what it is, what it is supposed to be and how it came into existance. The analogy with scientific discovery is false. When we find things in nature, we are not armed with a full suite of background knowledge about the object. We have to deduce its function and nature from scratch. And the fact of the matter is nothing in nature appears to have been manufactured.

pby wrote:

And Kelly was flat out wrong about Josephus and there being no historical evidence for the existence of Jesus (Tacitus, the Gospels themselves, etc.).

Kelly was flat out right. The part of Josephus that specifically mentions Jesus  is an edit from a medieval copier, as any honest historian will tell you. The rest are non-contemporary, handed-down reports that have been heavily edited by Church authorities down through the years.

pby wrote:

RSS's claims about the pre-edit debate were inflated and the post edit debate just makes them look silly.

The RRS and atheism in general are gaining ground in the public debate in America, and you're just pissy because you fear it. 

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Sapient wrote: pby

Sapient wrote:

pby wrote:

Comfort was not referring to all paintings...just that specific painting. And...how is it that all paintings do not prove a painter? What paints a painting, if not a painter?

How about a graphics artist with a computer on a printer (this is basically what he held up)?  How about a robot programmed by a programmer?  Or how about the extremely miniscule chance that it could've painted itself?  You think that last question was funny?  Don't laugh, you're asking us to accept the extremely miniscule chance that the Universe required a creator as the preeminent theory on our existence when there are abundantly higher probable theories that require no god.

Um...How exactly does a painting paint itself?

This is not a serious alternative explanation for the origins of the original painting, is it?

(and Cameron was a numbnuts?) Smiling

How is a graphics artist using a computer different than a painter using a brush?

So you look at graphich art and you know that there was a graphic artist...just like looking at a painting you know that there is a painter.

What other explanations (aside form the Creator) exist for the existence of the universe and life itself? 

Do you like Crick's, Noble Prize winner, Directed Panspermia theory in which aliens bring life to Earth on rocket ships?


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Great Job Ya'll

Liked most of the debate, loved the inadequacies of non-theologians...who i think you guys should REALLY be debating, not "Pop-psuedo scholars". Even Pope Benedict's (who is extremely genius-level academic) theology appeals to many logical fallacies that can be readily refuted. Didn't like that kelly decided to call "God" a tyrant...she really has no proof that anymoreso than saying God is Loving and what not. So she was kinda giving credence to giving attributes to God - which she logically should not be doing in trying to refute the existance of God. But overall, they tried the classic Argument from Design. ANd you guys shot it down Very Well. I give ya'll a B for this one Laughing out loud Anthony Gonzalez


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pby wrote: todangst

pby wrote:
todangst wrote:
pby wrote:

So are you going to now accept that Josephus mentioned a historical Jesus?

Proof of a historical jesus refutes the existence of the Jesus of the gospels. It reveals 'jesus the christ' to be an embellishment of an otherwise completely natural phenomenon: a man who inspired a legend.

Again, citing Josephus is problematic for this very reason: Josephus was providing a history of the Jews, if he had actually had evidence for 'jesus', and devoted 3 lines to "jesus' this is even more damning than had he not mentioned jesus the christ at all.

At least we are now getting somewhere...It is a historical fact that Josephus made reference to Jesus.

 Actually, that's not what I wrote. You're seeing what you want to see. My point to you is that a purely 'human' account of Jesus in the writings of Josephus would be damaging to the claim that Jesus was the christ.

 

As to whether the testimonium is either wholly fraud or only partially fraud, there is debate. 

 

 

Quote:

Jesus came in the flesh and walked among men...The writings of Josephus do nothing but state that Jesus existed historically. It definitely doesn't do what you infer.

Actually, it does. Josephus was writing a history of the Jewish people. If he only devotes 3 lines in his entire work to jesus, and basically says nothing more than that he was a teacher, thats a major embarrassment to christanity. The 'jesus' who walked among men would merely be another man, not the christ.

 I write about this in detail, and would welcome a discussion in another thread, seeing as this discussion is highly detailed.

http://www.rationalresponders.com/a_silence_that_screams_no_contemporary_historical_accounts_for_jesus 

 

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shtinkypuppie wrote: While

shtinkypuppie wrote:

While I do support your efforts, I wish you would take a rather more refined tack when debating in such a public arena. For example, you just had to insert "The popes, who have the blood of millions on their hands", and a diatribe about how fear-driven christianity is. You could have more easily stuck firmly to the premise: scientific demonstration of a creator. Inserting little jabs at christianity, or mocking religion in general, really detracts from your message. As fun as it may be, it makes you look like a bitter wanna-be revolutionary and gives opponents the opportunity to dissmiss you as the much-maligned 'angry athiest'. Aslo, rather than engage Comfort in a huge non sequiter by debating the content of the bible, you'd have been much better off simply calling him on his non sequiter and his attempt at entering 'faith' and the bible.

This crap angers me. Why are Christians allowed to throw around any kind of egregious, biased, off-topic BS they want, but atheists are immediately subject to criticism (by other atheists!) if they make the slightest misstep in fact or tone. The FACT is that popes DO have the blood of millions on their hands and the world should be aware of it. The FACT is that Christianity depends on fear of death and hell to drive belief, and people should be aware of how they are being manipulated.  

But what really drives me crazy is this "angry atheist" slur. IT IS TOTALLY, 100% OFF TOPIC! Brian and Kelly and all other atheists SHOULD  be angry about the way that Christian theology has hijacked the intellectual life of this country, and WHO GIVES A SHIT if the Christians don't like us to be angry? Being angry does not mean you aren't right, and attempts to focus public attention on whether someone is angry or not is a pure dodge of the real point. And, for some reason, Christians are allowed to beat pulpits, turn red in the face and scream about the damnation in store for their enemies, but this is just proof of their commitment and faith and not an anger problem.

Brian and Kelly, you two were poised and reasonable given the idiocy you faced and the huge stage you were on. Pay no attention to people who want you to play the closeted Poindexter atheist and murmur about burden of proof while the Christians scream hellfire. 

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mintcheerios wrote: A

mintcheerios wrote:

A being as intricate and complex as a human being implies a creator because no amount of accidental bombardment of matter will produce a being like that. With that in mind, I propose that a creator as intricately designed and as god requires a creator.

At what point do we then assume an Uncaused Cause?  Something had to be the First Cause somewhere down the line.  If we start with God as that First Cause, then it is easy to explain the intricacies of the universe, as there is One there to create the order.

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cynicastoic wrote:  

cynicastoic wrote:
  Didn't like that kelly decided to call "God" a tyrant...she really has no proof that anymoreso than saying God is Loving and what not. So she was kinda giving credence to giving attributes to God - which she logically should not be doing in trying to refute the existance of God.

It does not give credence to a concept to accept it hypothetically in the role of showing how ludicrous it is. 

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Cory T wrote: At what

Cory T wrote:

At what point do we then assume an Uncaused Cause? Something had to be the First Cause somewhere down the line.

That may be a fallacy of composition - you are applying a rule about events in the universe to the universe itself. In addition, quantum events are uncaused, so we know of at least one exception. 

 

Quote:

If we start with God as that First Cause, then it is easy to explain the intricacies of the universe, as there is One there to create the order.

The only problem is that 'god' is an incoherent reference, and no theist can actually provide a "how' as in 'how' this 'god' 'didit"

So it's really not an explanation at all, but an empty label. 

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Tilberian wrote: pby

Tilberian wrote:
pby wrote:
Sapient really missed on the painter analogy. It is obvious, just by looking at it, without doing any further research, that a painter painted the painting...phone calls to the painter and paint shops are not necessary. It is obvious from the painting that a painter exists.

Bullshit. You are only able to draw those inferences about the painting because you know what it is, what it is supposed to be and how it came into existance. The analogy with scientific discovery is false. When we find things in nature, we are not armed with a full suite of background knowledge about the object. We have to deduce its function and nature from scratch. And the fact of the matter is nothing in nature appears to have been manufactured.

pby wrote:

And Kelly was flat out wrong about Josephus and there being no historical evidence for the existence of Jesus (Tacitus, the Gospels themselves, etc.).

Kelly was flat out right. The part of Josephus that specifically mentions Jesus  is an edit from a medieval copier, as any honest historian will tell you. The rest are non-contemporary, handed-down reports that have been heavily edited by Church authorities down through the years.

pby wrote:

RSS's claims about the pre-edit debate were inflated and the post edit debate just makes them look silly.

The RRS and atheism in general are gaining ground in the public debate in America, and you're just pissy because you fear it. 

One would not have to know what a painting was, or what the process is, in order to deduce that the painting did not happen by chance and that something produced it.

Nothing in nature appears to be manufactured?

(the human body is a pretty intricate machine)

Kelly was wrong...Josephus definitely wrote about a historical Jesus.

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pby wrote: Sapient

pby wrote:
Sapient wrote:

pby wrote:

Comfort was not referring to all paintings...just that specific painting. And...how is it that all paintings do not prove a painter? What paints a painting, if not a painter?

How about a graphics artist with a computer on a printer (this is basically what he held up)? How about a robot programmed by a programmer? Or how about the extremely miniscule chance that it could've painted itself? You think that last question was funny? Don't laugh, you're asking us to accept the extremely miniscule chance that the Universe required a creator as the preeminent theory on our existence when there are abundantly higher probable theories that require no god.

Um...How exactly does a painting paint itself?

 

Quote:

This is not a serious alternative explanation for the origins of the original painting, is it?

It is if you think it over for a few seconds before replying.... Human beings are 'meaning makers'.... give us some random data, and we'll see a face somewhere.

The concept of 'design' itself is a judgement call.

 

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pby wrote: Kelly was

pby wrote:

Kelly was wrong...Josephus definitely wrote about a historical Jesus.

You are wrong. It's not a definate. In addition, a 'historical' jesus refutes the existence of a jesus of the gospels and thus undermines christianity itself, or do you not believe in Jesus, the Christ?

 

Josephus wrote a history of the jews... the idea that he'd only devote three lines to the messiah is insanity. Either the testimonium is outright fraud, or it was seriously altered by christians out of embarrassment.  

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pby wrote: Um...How

pby wrote:

Um...How exactly does a painting paint itself?

With modern art, it looks like a tornado hit a canvas and paint store (though in some cases that might actually look better than some modern art).

Why yes, I can believe it's not butter!


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kellym78 wrote: I will do

kellym78 wrote:

I will do no such thing. The TF is at the very least a tampered with interpolation and at the most a total forgery.

It would actually be worse if the TF was merely tampered with, as it would not only mean that the best historian of the era had no evidence of a Jesus the Christ who fits the gospel accounts, but that he also had evidence that Jesus was merely a man.

 

Christians are better off with the TF as a total fraud, this way they can try to argue that Josephus ignored Jesus for some other reason... but a Josephus who mentions Jesus, briefly, and then devotes a work on Jewish history to entirely different subjects is an  outright embarrassment for christians... It would be as if the moon exploded and no astronomers bothered to mention it....

 

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Quote: Kelly was

Quote:
Kelly was wrong...Josephus definitely wrote about a historical Jesus.

Proof? Oh, that's right...you still haven't provided any.

Kelly 


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ShaunPhilly

ShaunPhilly wrote:

HonestQuestioner wrote:
Now, your question as to 'why' this information 'needs' physical matter to be transferred, I don't know. But I don't think that really matters in this discussion. Why does FM=A? Its a law of nature. Its the way things are. Information IS transferred via physical matter. The question is, where does it come from originally. So, I ask you, does information exist, and if so, what does it consist of. I argue that yes, information itself is evidence of 'intangible things' (not able to be seen or touched). You, of course, may say that it does not exist, but that would make everything we are doing in this discussion meaningless.

This is not evidence of intangible things. If something cannot be seen or touched, then it doesn't have any basis for interaction. without a basis for interaction with matter then matter cannot transfer it at all. Simple ontology.

Being seen or touched are material processes. We see things due to a physical medium which allows material patterns to go from one place to another and indirectly interact with other material things. Being touched involved direct material contact. If the non-material information doesn't exist in any way that it is possible to interact with our physicality in any way, then there is no way that said information can influence, interact, or effect matter (or the other way around), thus to say that information is no material yet still interacts with material things is meaningless.

Information is encoded physical patterns, patterns which can transfer from one medium to another through physical means. The encoding of information is variable, and we can create all sorts of ways to encode information. The information in DNA is not some idea or meaning that DNA molecules pass around, but rather it is the physical structure of (for example) the DNA that, when it interacts with the environment of a biological cell, nutrients, and all the other things that allow for replication of DNA and the actions of RNA, makes something happen. The fact that that something is life is easily explained by the idea that if it didn't pass along this encoding process, it wouldn't survive.

At some point there is a complexity in the brain of some beings where a self-reflection is possible. At this point, self-awareness and consciousness develops. This is the arising of liguistic information, which is fundamentally based upon this self-reflection and awareness of internal and external states. At this point the information in DNA is able to be encoded and reflected upon. Before that moment, it was a non-conscious and material process passing down a chain of processes that were purely physical. And when it is self-reflective, it is still purely material, onlynow it takes on new levels of complexity and reflective.

The fallacy in your question is in equivocating material mediums that encode a physical process with conscious and linguistic awareness, which is a form of information but at a higher level of complexity. Yes, we can take that physical process in DNA and make some sense of it, but that sense--that self-reflected awareness of the encoding and what it does--is not information in the same sense that a phone number, word, or story is. the difference is one of degree--of quanity and complexity.

I would say more, but I'll ;eave it at that for now.

Shaun

This was terrific. 

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todangst wrote: pby

todangst wrote:
pby wrote:
Sapient wrote:

pby wrote:

Comfort was not referring to all paintings...just that specific painting. And...how is it that all paintings do not prove a painter? What paints a painting, if not a painter?

How about a graphics artist with a computer on a printer (this is basically what he held up)? How about a robot programmed by a programmer? Or how about the extremely miniscule chance that it could've painted itself? You think that last question was funny? Don't laugh, you're asking us to accept the extremely miniscule chance that the Universe required a creator as the preeminent theory on our existence when there are abundantly higher probable theories that require no god.

Um...How exactly does a painting paint itself?

 

Quote:

This is not a serious alternative explanation for the origins of the original painting, is it?

It is if you think it over for a few seconds before replying.... Human beings are 'meaning makers'.... give us some random data, and we'll see a face somewhere.

The concept of 'design' itself is a judgement call.

 

None of which explains how a painting paints itself as alleged.

And most people can discern between a work of art, like the Mona Lisa, and a natural occurence, like the perceived face in the cliff.


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pby wrote: One would not

pby wrote:

One would not have to know what a painting was, or what the process is, in order to deduce that the painting did not happen by chance and that something produced it.

And this remains a false analogy because we aren't finding things around that we must deduce were made by intelligence. In fact, we have NEVER found such a thing. 

pby wrote:

Nothing in nature appears to be manufactured?

(the human body is a pretty intricate machine)

Straight argument from ignorance. You don't know how the human body could have developed, therefore God. Not knowing how something could be does not suggest ANY particular answer, in and of itself. 

The fact is, we have an explanation (evolution) that explains how the human body has attained its present form. We do not need to deduce a creator of humans, because the evidence does not point in this direction. It is unscientific to add unneeded elements to the explanation.

Care to point out anything else in nature that must be manufactured? Or would you prefer to keep waving around things that we already KNOW are manufactured and drawing a false analogy between them and natural phenomena? 

pby wrote:
Kelly was wrong...Josephus definitely wrote about a historical Jesus.

You are wrong. Historians hold that the Jesus mentions were likely added later. And even if Josephus did write it, he wasn't a contemporary and doesn't claim to have met the man.

 

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pby wrote: todangst

pby wrote:
todangst wrote:
pby wrote:
Sapient wrote:

pby wrote:

Comfort was not referring to all paintings...just that specific painting. And...how is it that all paintings do not prove a painter? What paints a painting, if not a painter?

How about a graphics artist with a computer on a printer (this is basically what he held up)? How about a robot programmed by a programmer? Or how about the extremely miniscule chance that it could've painted itself? You think that last question was funny? Don't laugh, you're asking us to accept the extremely miniscule chance that the Universe required a creator as the preeminent theory on our existence when there are abundantly higher probable theories that require no god.

Um...How exactly does a painting paint itself?

 

Quote:

This is not a serious alternative explanation for the origins of the original painting, is it?

It is if you think it over for a few seconds before replying.... Human beings are 'meaning makers'.... give us some random data, and we'll see a face somewhere.

The concept of 'design' itself is a judgement call.

 

None of which explains how a painting paints itself as alleged. And most people can discern between a work of art, like the Mona Lisa, and a natural occurence, like the perceived face in the cliff.

A painting (if painted in the conventional manner) is painted by a painter. If the painting is signed, we know who painted it. If it's not we can make educated guesses about the painter based on such things as the brush strokes and the pigments.

Unless you know of some place where your God signed creation, you have a problem.

I can see evolution's brush strokes all over the place. Where are God's? 

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pby wrote:todangst

pby wrote:
todangst wrote:

It is if you think it over for a few seconds before replying.... Human beings are 'meaning makers'.... give us some random data, and we'll see a face somewhere.

The concept of 'design' itself is a judgement call.

None of which explains how a painting paints itself as alleged.

As long as you simply don't read what I wrote, you're right. There's nothing there to refute you.

But if you actually consider what I say, there's something there that counters your claim.

Again, here's the point you simply avoided: Human beings are 'meaning makers'.... give us some random data, and we'll see a face somewhere.

The concept of 'design' itself is a judgement call.

That explains how a 'painting' paints itself... in that what we call a 'painting' in the first place is the end result of a judgement. Yes, there are clear cases where there is very little doubt that something was designed: a coke can, to use Ray's example. But 'design' is always a judgement, and the judgment can and often does go wrong.

Quote:

And most people can discern between a work of art, like the Mona Lisa, and a natural occurence, like the perceived face in the cliff.

It always seems so obvious, right? 

But is this true? Are there o cases, anywhere, where a tons of people mistake a natural occuring event for something designed?

 

Again, what we call 'design' is a judgement call. That's the key point here. Your naive-realism outlook on the matter fails, because human psychology shows us that we don't simply take in objective data in a pure form, we make judgments, we are meaning makers.

 

 

 

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canofbutter wrote: pby

canofbutter wrote:
pby wrote:

Um...How exactly does a painting paint itself?

With modern art, it looks like a tornado hit a canvas and paint store (though in some cases that might actually look better than some modern art).

 

 Oh I see...and it would like the Mona Lisa or some other spectacular piece of artwork?


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todangst wrote: pby

todangst wrote:
pby wrote:
todangst wrote:

It is if you think it over for a few seconds before replying.... Human beings are 'meaning makers'.... give us some random data, and we'll see a face somewhere.

The concept of 'design' itself is a judgement call.

 

None of which explains how a painting paints itself as alleged.

As long as you simply don't read what I wrote, you're right. There's nothing there to refute you.

But if you actually consider what I say, there's something there that counters your claim. 

Again, here's the point you simply avoided:  Human beings are 'meaning makers'.... give us some random data, and we'll see a face somewhere.

The concept of 'design' itself is a judgement call.

That explains how a 'painting'  paints itself... in that what we call a 'painting' in the first place is the end result of a judgement.  Yes, there are clear cases where there is very little doubt: a coke can, to use Ray's example. But it is always a judgement, and the judgment can and often does go wrong.

 

Quote:
 

And most people can discern between a work of art, like the Mona Lisa, and a natural occurence, like the perceived face in the cliff.

Really? Is that true? There are no cases, anywhere, where a person mistakes a natural occuring event for something designed?

 

 

Again, what we call 'design' is a judgement call. That's the key point here. Your naive realism point of view fails, because human psychology shows us that we don't simply take in objective data in a pure form, we make judgments, we are meaning makers.

 

 

 

I get it...It just doesn't explain paintings, like the Monal Lisa, with such complexity and quality.


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double post


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One does not have to see the

One does not have to see the painter's signature on the painting to know that a painter painted it.


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pby wrote: I get

pby wrote:
I get it...It just doesn't explain paintings, like the Mona Lisa, with such complexity and quality.

Actually it does, its just that the odds against it increase dramatically with increasing complexity and quality. That's the point Brian made to you.

Oh, and let's not forget that "complexity' and "quality" are also judgement calls too.

Once you accept this principle, your argument fails.

You might want to also consider how frequently we fail in properly assessing 'design'.. Ever hear a noise you mistook for a voice?  Here you are assuming design, purpose, intent, etc. and yet none apparently exist.

 

The question we have now is this: is our universe a mona lisa, or a piece of toast with mary 'appearing' on it...... never did I think that I'd write such a sentence.... 

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