Recent posts by balcerman on Kongregate

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Topic: Wild West Town / Neighbor Request Thread

http://www.kongregate.com/games/ClipwireGames/wild-west-town?kv_link=6434aab35337ad6a9ecca05862862281&kv_poster=4289257&kv_link_id=1066154

 
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Topic: Kongregate / Suggestions

I’d really like to see the option of displaying my favourite games in order of marking them as favourite by me :)

I don’t remember whether games are old or not but I remember when I favourited them. It would be much easier to find the one I’m looking for at the moment.

 
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Topic: General Tyrant Discussion / Store: Is there anything else in HW packs than Elite Diver and Diminisher?

If you want to count a probability of three successes in four trials, you need the Bernoulli trial formula.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernoulli_trial

For the probability of 3 successes in 4 trials with probability of success = 1/25 in one try you get

[4!/ ( 3! * (4-3)! )] * (1/25)^3 * (1 – 1/25)^(4-3) =
4 * (1/15625) * (24/25) =
96/390625 =
0,00024576 =
0,024576 %

…and even without any formula you know that the probability is very low :)

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / For Phoenix00017: Existence of God Pros

Few Pros For The Existence of God


This text is not a “complete set of evidences that will convince everyone that God exists”. It just makes some starting points which are possible to argue for and with. I don’t think it is possible to make a deeper approach in a few-paragraphs-long text.

I believe that this is a fair approach. Navarre’s text against the existence of God also contains arguments that are disputable. Some are easy to deny (i.e the reasoning about the probability of God’s existence based on biological evolution is failed since God has no biological organism), some are controversial and not evidenced (like unjustifiable statement “Omniscience is very improbable in itself” – why? what such estimation is based on?), some are wrong (like statement “omniscience and free will are mutually exclusive” – they are not; correct one is “determinism and free will are mutually exclusive”, and omniscience does not imply determinism). So, few points to start the discussion, definitely not to end it.

In many links provided below you will find not only evidences but also discussions and constructive criticism. It is a good thing.

Contents:


Scientific Evidences:
1. Rational Reality
2. DNA Riddle

Supernatural Events:
1. Miracles
2. Demonic Possessions and Exorcisms
3. The Resurrection of Christ

Personal Issues:
1. Personal Experience
2. Mysticism
3. Simple Experiment: The Atheist’s Prayer



Scientific Evidences


In this section you will find some scientific issues which may imply the God’s actions in the Universe.


Rational Reality


1. If reality can be completely and trurly described by rational system, it is designed by rational mind rather than emerged from non-rational cause, coincidence etc.
2. Science is a system of rational theories based on the repeatable observations.
3. Science is a complete and true description of reality.
4. Since our reality is rationally, completely and trurly describable by science, it is designed by rational mind.


DNA Riddle


1. DNA is not merely a molecule with a pattern; it is a code, a language, and an information storage mechanism.
2. All codes are created by a conscious mind; there is no natural process known to science that creates coded information.
3. Therefore DNA was designed by a mind.

More detailed description and link to HUGE discussion:
http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/dna-atheists/



Supernatural Events


In this section you will find descriptions of supernatural events: miracles, demonic possessions, exorcisms and the resurrection of Christ.
I will mostly focus on events approved by Catholic Church.


About rejection of the supernatural events:
There are many atheists who reject the supernatural events events before starting any study on them. They deny because “such events are just not possible”.
If you are such a person, take a closer look on your own reasoning. If you deny the miracle because it is impossible, and expect God to perform a miracle, you will miss it even if God exists and makes one. You will fall into circular logic: God does not exist because there are no miracles, and there are no miracles because God does not exist.

Another fallacy is rejecting all supernatural events because some of them were proved as frauds.
Some scientific discoveries were actually falsified but is doesn’t mean that all of them are faked. The same goes with supernatural events.


About verifiability of the supernatural events:
For an average reader of this forum, evidences below are verifiable in the same way as the evidences of scientific theories. You probably don’t own a supertelescope on the roof, nor a particle accelerator in the basement nor an advanced chemical laboratory at home. You read about scientific theories in books, watch movies about chemical reactions and admire space photos, and you believe that scientiscs do not cheat you with their results, although it is theoretically possible. Movies and photos can be fabricated, theories can be delusive. More, some scientists actually cheat on their results and there are fraud cases in science. But we rather believe that these are single cases which in general does not undermine the credibility of scientists in general.
The same goes with history. You do not have a direct access to historical sources, and even if so, you do not make a complete historical research on the historical events. You rather trust historians that they won’t cheat in general, despite the fact that there are fraud cases in historical research as well.
I urge you to be fair with the evidences described below. Do not treat the event as frauds just because you were not a participant or an eyewitness of it. Be a skeptic but do not accumulate criteria impossible to fulfill just to protect yourself from accepting the issues which are conflicting with your worldview. Take a fair study – apply the same criteria as you would normally do.


Miracles


In the points below I will treat the miracles as supernatural signs of God.

Incorruptibility: allows some human bodies (specifically saints) to avoid the normal process of decomposition after death as a sign of their holiness.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incorruptibility

Stigmata: bodily marks, sores, or sensations of pain in locations corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus, such as the hands and feet.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stigmata

Marian apparition: event in which the Blessed Virgin Mary is believed to have supernaturally appeared to one or more people.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marian_apparition

Eucharistic miracle: involve the visible transformation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ during the consecration portion of a Catholic Mass or Orthodox Liturgy. Other forms of Eucharistic miracle have also been reported such as consecrated Hosts being preserved over 250 years or surviving being thrown into fire.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eucharistic_miracle

Miracle of the Sun: event on 13 October 1917 in which 30,000 to 100,000 people, who were gathered near Fátima, Portugal, claimed to have witnessed extraordinary solar activity.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_of_the_Sun

Miracle of Calanda: a young farmer’s leg was restored to him after having been amputated two and a half years earlier.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_of_Calanda


You may find few more miracle descriptions here:
http://www.miraclesofthechurch.com/

Even more miracles, with sources:
http://listverse.com/2008/07/14/top-10-astonishing-miracles/


Demonic Possessions and Exorcisms


Catholic exorcists differentiate between “ordinary” Satanic activity or influence (which includes mundane everyday temptations) and “extraordinary” Satanic activity, which can take six different forms:
1. External physical pain caused by Satan;
2. Demonic Possession, in which Satan takes full possession of a person’s body without their knowledge or consent: the victim is therefore morally blameless;
3. Diabolical Oppression, in which there is no loss of consciousness or involuntary action, such as in the biblical Book of Job in which Job was tormented by a series of misfortunes in business, family, and health;
4. Diabolic Obsession, which includes sudden attacks of irrationally obsessive thoughts, usually culminating in suicidal ideation and intrusive dreams;
5. Diabolic infestation, which affects houses, things, or animals; and
6. Diabolic subjugation, in which a person voluntarily submits to Satan.

True diabolical or satanic possession has been characterized since the Middles Ages, in the Rituale Romanum, by the following four typical characteristics:
1. manifestation of superhuman strength;
2. speaking in tongues or languages that the person cannot know;
3. the revelation of knowledge, distant or hidden, that the victim cannot know;
4. blasphemic rage and an aversion to holy symbols or relics.

Exorcism is when the Church asks publicly and authoritatively in the name of Jesus Christ that a person or object be protected against the power of the Evil One and withdrawn from his dominion.

Solemn exorcisms, according to the Canon law of the church, can be exercised only by an ordained priest (or higher prelate), with the express permission of the local bishop, and only after a careful medical examination to exclude the possibility of mental illness.

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demonic_possession
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exorcism_in_the_Catholic_Church


Sample cases of exorcisms:

Anneliese Michel
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anneliese_Michel

Robbie Mannheim
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robbie_Mannheim

Clara Germana Cele
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clara_Germana_Cele


The Resurrection of Christ


The death and resurrection of Christ are the most important events in whole history of christianity. Resurrection powered christians from the very beginning two thousands years ago till present. This supernatural event was and is an evidence that Jesus trurly is God. I described the case of resurrection more widely here:
http://www.kongregate.com/forums/9/topics/17035?page=1#posts-356879



Personal Issues


In this section you will find a description of personal and subjective evidence of God’s influence.


Personal Experience


There are plenty of people who claim to experience the presence of God in their personal lifes. People of various professions, age, education, temperaments, moods. This experience is described as life-changing meetings with transcendent God. I experienced such events. Many christians I know experienced such events. It is repeatable and amazing. It feels like dating. God starts to speak when you are quiet and when you clear your mind out of thoughts. It’s not stupid nor schizophrenic. It doesn’t make you mentally ill or unconscious. It’s not like you’re on drugs or alcohol. The mind is clear, sharp and fresh. You are conscious of what is happening around you. You are yourself all time, and you remember everything after the experience has ended.

It includes irresistible feeling that God is present. After such experience it is extremely hard to convince one that God does not exist. Everyone can make theory about God’s nonexistence but if theory doesn’t match your experience you will reject it.


Mysticism


Mysticism is a kind of personal experience of God like one described above, but much deeper and stronger. While personal experience of God is available to everyone, mystical experience is a gift to some. It may be connected to visions, stigmata, ecstasies etc. Some mystics participated in eucharistic miracle, such as being able to eat nothing other than the communion host. It is connected to personal experience of God’s presence.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_mysticism

There were many christian mystics. One of them is Teresa of Avila.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teresa_of_Avila#Mysticism


Simple Experiment: The Atheist’s Prayer


There is a very simple experiment about God’s presence. Anyone can perform it at home. It is based on simple fact about God – that He allows Himself to be known to every person. The experiment is called The Atheist’s Prayer:

God, if You exist, allow me to know You in a way which will make me certain about Your existence and presence, in a time which You will recognize as most proper.

Notice that saying this prayer does not stand in contradiction with atheist’s worldview, thanks to the word “if” in the beginning.
Just understand it and then say it.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / For Phoenix00017: Existence of God Pros

Hey there,

Existence of God Affirmative Opinion for “The Big Issues” sticky topic. In next post.
Formatting fixed, links checked: ready to be copied to the sticky.

Feel free to make drama, yays and nays below, and I will feel free to answer or not :)

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / The Criticism of the Scientific Atheism

Originally posted by EPR89:

I have personally never heard the expression “scientific Atheism” as an accepted name to describe a certain movement in Atheism. To your arguments:
First of all I would love to see some sources. Right now it seems that every single of these arguments is mostly described the way you see them, which makes quite a few of the “reasonable arguments” pretty flawed.


The term “scientific atheism” is a term I use to call a set of views I wrote in the introduction:

“Scientific atheism is the outlook where there is no personal god, and the only existing objects are material ones.”

This term is not my invention – I’ve seen it many times on polish forums and atheist sites, including the most popular one:
http://www.racjonalista.pl/kk.php/s,2046

It is also used in english sites:
http://skepticrant.blogspot.com/2006/01/scientific-atheism-is-religion.html
http://www.eioba.com/a54772/scientific_atheism
http://www.atheistfoundation.org.au/articles/critical-relevance-scientific-atheism-modern-world

Most of atheists I’ve met claim that “science proved that personal god does not exist” or at least “There is no scientific proof that personal god exists. That’s why I don’t believe in his existence”. This is the atheism I mostly address.

Actually… thanks for pointing out the lack of sources. Mostly I use polish handbooks and scientific publications, but I will try to find some english equivalents when a doubt will arise.


Originally posted by EPR89:
An example:

Originally posted by balcerman:

If you are a scientific atheist, do you know why the main and central statement of scientific atheism, which is “Personal god(s) does not exist” is not a scientific statement? Do you know any criteria applied to recognize if a statement is a scientific one or not?

This statement is not a scientific one and therefore cannot be the central statement of something called scientific Atheism. Like I said, sources would be appreciated.


The statement “Personal god(s) does not exist” is the central statement of all atheisms, because of definition of atheism. This is actually the only obligatory belief which makes a system atheistic.

Many atheists claim that this statement is a scientific one, and this is not the only contradiction in scientific atheism. But you have actually repeated what I wrote: this statement is not scientific, which means to me that you clearly see it, and that this argument does not concern you.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / The Criticism of the Scientific Atheism

Originally posted by vikaTae:

You realise that by stating we need to message you to use any part of your paper (as is your right), you basically stifle any possible discussion, since we need your ok, each and every time, to pick it to shreds.

Fixed that… hope it’s enough for interesting discussion :)

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / The Criticism of the Scientific Atheism

The Criticism of the Scientific Atheism




(C) balcerman. If you want to use this text as a whole or in part, send a message to me. You may freely use any part of this text within this thread without permission

The main topic of the text below is to introduce the reader to the criticism of the world outlook called "scientific atheism".

Scientific atheism is the outlook where there is no personal god, and the only existing objects are material ones. The followers claim that this outlook is based purely and exclusively on the science, and mostly that science has shown that God doesn't exist. One of the most famous of such atheists is Richard Dawkins.

This is the only atheism considered here. There are to many atheisms to criticise them all in a single place and keep the text in reasonable length. It is already long.

It is not my intention to convince any scientific atheists that they should belive in any god or any reality other than the material one. My intention is to point out the weaknesses of their system so they can improve it and make it better and more consistent. This is why I put some questions in the end of most arguments. They are not there to prove on how little you know but to show you some possible lines of development.
I do not hide my liking for scientific atheists as they follow the outlook I followed myself for many years in the past. I tried to keep myself strict, matter-of-fact and non-aggressive. Apologise for all places where I failed to be like that. Also apologise for all grammar errors since I'm not a native english speaker.

I realise that not every atheist considers all views criticised here as true. People are different and they are differences in what we think. However most of scientific atheists I talked with consider most of these views as true.

I've divided the arguments in two groups. First group is the Reasonable Arguments. It shows reasonable weaknesses and inconsistencies of the scientific atheism. It answers the questions: "Why I can't believe in scientific atheism? Why do I consider this outlook as partially unreasonable, inconsistent and false?".
However it is known that people are basing not only on the pure reasonable issues, but also on emotional ones. So there is a second group, the "Emotional Arguments". It answers the question: "Why I don't want to believe in scientific atheism? Why do I consider this outlook as possibly terrifying, depressing, and destroying to the man and to the society?"


Contents:



SOURCES

REASONABLE ARGUMENTS:
1. Excessive Idealism
2. False Unity
3. Unscientific Science
4. Popular Science Views
5. Unconscious Faith
6. Unconscious Interpretation
7. Rational Schizophrenia
8. Theoretical Empiricism
9. Blessed Ignorance
10. Unreligious Religiousness
11. Material Metaphysics
12. Explanation by Nonsense

EMOTIONAL ARGUMENTS:
1. Motivation Zero
2. Objective Relativism of Etics and Morality
3. Man's Lack of Value
4. I, Robot
5. Depressive Vision of Man and Society



SOURCES



"The God Delusion" R. Dawkins (EN, PL)
"Philosophy Made Simple" R. H. Popkins, A. Stroll (EN, PL)
"Psychology. Made Simple Books" A.P. Sperling (EN, PL)
"Philosophy of Science and Humanities" J. Such, M. Szcześniak (PL)
"History of Philosophy" Tome 3, W. Tatarkiewicz (PL)



REASONABLE ARGUMENTS



Excessive Idealism


Scientific atheism has become quite popular these days. In my eyes one of the main reasons is the focus of this atheism on the critics of other world views instead of resolving it's own problems, and not talking about these problems. Many atheists cannot mention a single weakness of their system, but they can argue for hours about weaknesses of other systems. This way it seems that scientific atheism has no weak points in the eyes of its followers since nobody mentions it. Many scientific atheists seem to not even bother about critics of their own system, as if it woundn't be worth to think critically not only about opinions of others, but also about their own as well (why?).
If you are a scientific atheist, can you mention five sample weaknesses of your own system, without reading the further part?
Can you mention five sample advantages of any theistic system as well?


False Unity


Many scientific atheists consider their system as the only existing atheistic system, which means that all atheists agree with each other, and that atheism is a consistent view. On the other hand as one of the main accusations against theism they consider the total disagreement and inconsistencies between different theistic systems or even within them. Is it true?
Theism is a view about existence of the personal god or gods. All other elements are free to choose. Atheism is a view about nonexistence of the personal god or gods. All other elements are free to choose as well. There are many possible theisms, i.e.: islam, judaism, christianity, zoroastrianism etc. There are many possible atheisms as well: buddhism, confucianism, taoism, scientism etc.
One can say: "Sure, but at least SCIENTIFIC atheists agree with each other while i.e. christians still disagree even within their system."
This is not true. Even this essay contains issues in which some scientific atheists believe in, and some don't. Also, there are many discussions about the purpose, meaning, essence and methodology of science. Since scientific atheism claims that it is based on the science, its followers have to accept that there is no agreement among them.
If you are a scientific atheist, can you mention any sample disputes carried on within the boundaries of scientific atheism these days?


Unscientific Science


While scientific atheism states that all opinions within it are scientific ones, many of them are simply not. The existence of only observable objects is not a scientific view. The completeness of scientific knowledge is not a scientific view (actually it is scientifically proven that the scientific knowlegde is not complete, and it will never be). The "science will explain everything one day" is not a scientific view. The opinion does not become scientific by simply calling it like that.
All statements of scientific atheism which makes this system atheistic are not scientific ones. Sometimes I think that the only scientific element in scientific atheism is the name.
If you are a scientific atheist, do you know why the main and central statement of scientific atheism, which is "Personal god(s) does not exist" is not a scientific statement? Do you know any criteria applied to recognize if a statement is a scientific one or not?


Popular Science Views


Most of scientific atheists I've talked with base purely or almost purely on the popular science books, dropping mostly or totally scientific publications. It's not strange anymore that they think about their views as a "scientific ones". They identify the contents of popular science books with pure and literal science, while science is only one of the parts of such books. People who read both popular science books and science publications or textbooks, can see the difference. Not only the used language is different, but also the subject matter.
Popular science books contains not only generalized scientific fact, but private philosophical views, interpretations, and likes and dislikes of the authors as well. They also contains possible future discoveries and theories according to what do the authors expect.
It's perfectly fine to read such books if they are only a supplement for reading the science publications and textbooks. If they are the main source of knowledge, they will bias the views of the reader, who will think that all statements contained in popular science books are pure science.
If you are a scientific atheist, do you know how to recognise whether a book is a scientific publication, a textbook, or a popular science book? Do you know any search engine for scientific publications? And answer to yourself: how much popular science books have you read recently, and how much scientific publications? Are your views still purely scientific, or popular scientific?


Unconscious Faith


"Scientific atheism is a system without faith and beliefs. It is purely founded on the scientific knowledge." - this is the popular view among scientific atheists.
Second sentence is false, because of the reasons given in the Unscientific Science and the Popular Science Views parts. First sentence is false, because of the general problem connected to any knowledge system made by humans. Every system is developed in the limited time. No matter how long it is elaborated, there is always a starting point. Because of that in every system there is only a limited number of meaningful statements (no matter how huge is this number). Even if these statements are based on each other and proven without any logical fallacies, there will be a set of initial statements without any evidence. If there are no unproven statements, there probably is a circular logic fallacy within the system. These statements are called the assumptions or axioms of the system. You have to assume the truth of assumptions without any evidence. In simpler words: you have to believe that the assumptions are true. This is why every human knowledge system is based on faith in its assumptions, and assumptions are beliefs of its followers. And scientific atheism is not an exception.
The followers of one system sometimes try to reason: "But at least the assumptions of my system are more sensible than the assumptions of yours". Is this reasoning sensible itself? What does mean "more sensible" with reference to the set of statements based on pure faith, standing against other set of beliefs?
Most of atheists I discussed with are ready to defend the "faithlessness" of their own system even at the cost of logical fallacy of circular logic, or refering to the faith itself ("Maybe not now, but in the future it will be surely proven"). This is what this part of critics is about: the advantage of many theistic and atheistic systems over the scientific atheism is the advantage of conscious faith over the unconscious and disowned faith. The followers of other systems recognize the inevitability of faith and just move on, while scientific atheism wastes huge amounts of efforts trying to find a nonexisting way of avoiding it (why?).
If you still can't believe in the presence of beliefs in every system, make an experiment. Take any statement you consider as true, and ask "why?". Then take an answer, and ask again "why?". Repeat the same question with the second answer. Do that with every statement you received from next "why?" questions. Sooner or later you will encounter a statement without any evidence known to you.
If you are a scientific atheist, do you know any assumptions of your own system?


Unconscious Interpretation


Similarly as in the case of faith and beliefs, scientific atheism calls itself a system without any interpretation. In the eyes of its followers this is the best system of all, because it explores the reality in the direct way of science. At the same time the followers accuse other systems of not only exploring the reality, but interpreting it as well.
The problem is that science itself is an interpretation of reality. Scientific theories are not only supposed to be backed on the observation, but they also have to be as simple as possible, useful, elegant etc. Why reality is supposed to "care" about men's sense of elegance, usefulness or simplicity? And last but not least: why reality is supposed to be completely observable?
More, basing on the interpretation of science, scientific atheism builds its own, huge interpretation. More, in many crucial points this additional, atheistic interpretation stands in open contradiction with scientific one, or goes far beyond it. This includes problems mentioned in Unscientific Science part.
Everything in human mind is an interpretation, and scientific atheism in not an exception, although scientific atheists totally ignore this issue. The bottom line of this point is ignoring and denying the interpretation by scientific atheists.
If you are a scientific atheist, do you know what does the word "interpretation" mean? Do you know why we as humans are condemned to interpretation, no matter what views and opinions we have?


Rational Schizophrenia


Scientific atheism promotes rationalism as the main (sometimes it adds "and only") approach in exploring the reality. To its followers, to prove any statement, it is sufficient to give a rational reason for this statement. More, rationalism says that everything what is inconceivable with a man's mind, is not true.
It is hard to me to make a good critical approach of this point, since I realize how complex and varied rationalism is as a system, and since I consider myself as a rationalist in some part. I'll try to make it as clear as I can.
While providing the rational reasons is a useful and helpful way in many cases and discussions, it may easily lead (and actually leads) to mistake. The problem is that rational reasons can be found very often. They can be provided even for opposing systems or theories. Most of world views have some rational reasons, including both atheistic and theistic ones.
On the other hand there is no constant agreement on what actually is rational. There are even scientific issues that once were denied because they were considered as not rational, and after some time they were accepted.
The other problem is the psychological mechanism of rationalization, which causes us, people, to look for the rational reasons for our views, and provide them even if these reasons are not true. There were experiments that have shown how people rationalise their views or behavior even it they are not rational.
The worst "proven" thing in atheistic rationalism is the part that says about inconceivable issues. The rational schizophrenia begins with the assumption: "Every event has the rational causes; if we can't see these causes, it means that we haven't look for it long enough or it is not true". It's not hard to see that this rule is impossible to refute. If there actually is an event without rational reason, the atheist will deny it or he will still believe that there is a rational explanation which will be discovered in the future. Sometimes atheists create explanations of supernatural events which require faith in incredible conspiracy theories or improbable coincidences. These conspiracy theories and coincidences are more irrational than supernatural events themselves but for some reasons in the eyes of atheists they are perfectly rational. The general question is similar to the one mentioned in Unconscious Interpretation: why actually reality is supposed to care about being understandable by man's mind, especially if it is not created by the mind similar to ours?
Another issue is creating a false dilemma between rational and not rational explanations. The causes of every event may be considered in the different areas and levels. Different explanations, rational and not rational doesn't neccessary have to exclude each other. They may concern different meaning levels.
Historically, there were many rational systems - they all agreed that the man's mind is a sufficient and only possible tool to explore the reality, and to get the reliable knowledge about reality. But most of them totally disagreed on what actually is reliable according to real world. Some of the rationalists thing that the only reliable issue is the existing of a material world; others think that the only reliable issue is the existing of themselves; other others - that the existing of God it the only reliable issue. This is why rationalism was highly criticized and dropped by many thinkers. There was also an idea of the "inborn knowledge" in the past of the rationalism. "Inborn knowledge" idea said that every man is not gaining the new knowledge about world and itself; he only remind the complete knowledge which he already had, but which was somehow forgotten. While this idea is already dropped, many scientific atheists still use science as it would be the game of reminding the complete omniscience of some conscious mind.
All in one, to me, rationalism is a worthy addition to the world view, but not as the only or main part of it, since it has the same limitations as the reasoning of the human mind. To explore the reality, rationalism is totally insufficient. It also leads to mistakes. And scientific atheism often wrongly uses "argument from being rational" as ultimate, sufficient, universal, definitive, and ending answer ("It is rational, so it has to be true"). The reasonable approach seems to be: "Many events have rational cause, but we don't know if all of them have one. It is worth to look for the rational cause, but not by force. It case when the rational cause exists, remember that this cause does not neccessary exclude other rational or not rational causes and explanations".
If you are a scientific atheist, do you know the name of the system which is the biggest and most powerful critism of rationalism these days?


Theoretical Empiricism


Science is based on the empiricism. Empiricism is based on the observation and reflection. All in one, any system that claims to be based on the science is supposed to be based on the observation and reflection. Do scientific atheists base on these things? From my experience, no.
I see it on the way how atheists criticize theism. Dawkins "The God Delusion" contains the template definition of god and the reasoning on why He cannot exist. Dawkins' definition itself contains a major fundamental error, which makes all reasoning not applicable to at least christian God. Dawkins would easily notice this mistake if he'd only make a small research of christian view on the God. But, as he wrote himself, he has a right to criticize theism without having knowledge about it.
I see it also when I talk with scientific atheists about how the science works and which statements are justified by science. Most of them have many objections and they accuse me of lying or lack of knowledge. When I give them my scientific sources, they call it biased or wrong. But when I ask them for their sources, they ignore my question and they don't provide anything. In best case, they provide some popular science books.
Empiricism requires effort in making observations and research. Scientific empiricism additionally requires calling the scientific sources or at least university handbooks. Popular science books contains not only scientific facts but also private and non-scientific views of their authors, and they cannot be a base for talking about how science works or what exactly does it say (see the Popular Science Views part).
Empiricism requires listening, observing, reading, checking, and being ready to change the views and theories if they stand in contradiction with what we observe - even if it is not rational.
And what is theoretical empiricism? It's when somebody says "I'm an empiricist" and doesn't do all these things required in empiricism, or when one keeps theories above observations.
If you are an empiricist, do you know what is the essential assumption of empiricism? Are all branches in science empirical? Is empiricism only possible in science?


Blessed Ignorance


Ignorance is the lack of knowledge, learning, information, mostly intentional. There are wide areas ignored by scientific atheism. The biggest one is the philosophy. It is sure that atheists ignore philosophy, because while they attack it by saying about it's uselessness and inconsistency, 100% of arguments they use themselves are philosophical ones. They also deny the fact that science is based on the philosophy of science. And again, at the same time, when talking about science, they widely use arguments and terms from the philosophy of science.
Ignorance leads to most of other issues from this essay. Excessive Idealism, False Unity, Unscientific Science, Unconscious Faith, Unconscious Interpretation, Material Metaphysics - all came from the ignorance, mostly the ignorance of philosophy.
Also when criticizing theism, many atheists ignore basic issues of theism, which makes their critics useless. Why? Because this way they criticize some inconsistent image of theism existing in their mind, instead of the real one. Having such arguments and ignoring the real theism allows them to say that theism is totally illogical and irrational. One of the examples is the Dawkins' template definition of god, and his claim about his right to criticize theism without having knowledge about it (it is mentioned in the Theoretical Empiricism part).
If you are a scientific atheist, do you know the names of two popular systems from the area of philosophy of knowledge, which are widely supported by scientific atheists? Can you mention 5 terms from the philosophy of science which are often mentioned by atheists in discussions about science? Do you know the name of scientific atheism in philosophy?


Unreligious Religiousness


"Let's eliminate all religions and introduce science as religion". Some scientific atheists state this directly, others just behave like they would like to do this. None seem to see a contradiction of such approach. Eliminating religions just to provide another one? What for?
One of the explanations I heard is the following: "People apparently need religion and there must be at least one, but if people will treat religiously something other than *god*, it will be safer for us all". Although it is easily observable that people indeed need religion (or something to believe in), second part of this reasoning fails to me completely, since there were systems that treated religiously something other than *god* and failed to be safe. The most cruel and bloody system in the world, communism, treat work as religion, not *god*. The biggest war in the history of humanity was caused by religious treat of own country and nation, not *god* (national socialism/facism). Maybe religious treat of some soccer sport club is safer?.. And last but not least: people who treat *god* religiously also cause lot of deaths and suffer. The point is that it's not possible to find something safe for religious treat. It's not the treated object, but religious treatment itself cause danger. On the other hand it's inevitable - people WILL search something for religious treatment. The best security system for religion and religious treatment I know is what some modern christians start to see: keep an eye on yourself first and then on the others; require more politeness, kindness and mildness from yourself and than from others; because if everyone will do so, there will be no religious wars, no matter of the worshipped object.
The other problem is: what sense has introducing artificial religion which is better for everyone only in the eyes of their inventors? What if some people will not want to drop their religion for worshipping the science? Will it still be better for them? Will you force them to change religion to science? Maybe it is better to separate or eliminate them somehow since they seem to be dangerous to you and to themselves? Because I won't convert to science religion, and many others will not too. Science is a very useful tool for sorting the observations. It's something we people may be proud of. I am amazed by many science achievements and the beauty of theories, but religious worship?... It's still a tool. In my eyes worshipping science is like worshipping a hammer, or a computer.


Material Metaphysics


Metaphysics is probably the worst-perceived part of philosophy for scientific atheists. The reason is that metaphysics contains non-scientific views on reality, and scientific atheism claims to rely only on science. However all scientific atheists I've talked with believe in existence of material world. They are totally unaware that this view is metaphysical one, not physical.
The essence of science are observations. Science begins with observations and end with observations, and in the middle you have fallible generalization of observations. Nothing more. Science doesn't speak at all about what realm is under these observations. You can imagine whatever you like: material reality, god's mind, Matrix, your own mind creating the observable reality or perfectly anything else you can invent. You can imagine that the world as it is was created 20.000.000.000 years ago, 6.000 years ago or yesterday, by god, by blind set of dependencies, by you, by some kind of supercomputer. All these views are non-scientific, and science has no tools to determine which view is more probable than others.
It's not the point to start to believe in all these possibilities because there is no scientific way to explore them and find the correct one. The point is that it is impossible to be a "scientific atheist". If you really base on science, and science only, you have to resign from believing in material reality and admit that all possibilities mentioned above are non explorable by science. Any reliable estimations are impossible. This way you will stop being an atheist and you will become some kind of agnostic, who says "I don't know". Or you can still claim that god surely doesn't exist, but to be honest to yourself you have to admit that it's not a scientific view, and you do not base on the science only. This way or another you can be "scientific" or you can be an "atheist", but you cannot be a "scientific atheist" (you cannot be a "scientific theist" as well).
If you are a scientific atheist, do you know what is the difference between ontology and epistemology? Do you know why science has nothing to do with ontology, and everything to do with epistemology?


Explanation by Nonsense


There are some questions considered as "hard" for scientific atheists. One of these questions is the question for the purpose of human life. I consider this question as sensible, rational, and one of the most important questions we can ask. It gives us the motivation to live our life and mostly shows us how to live.
However most of atheists I've meet said: "The question about the purpose of life has no sense".
I don't really understand why it has no sense.. The question has a proper grammar and simple understandable words. My guess is that it is to hard to admit that there is no reasonable sense of life in scientific atheism system (there are more details on that in emotional arguments). It is much easier to attack the question itself and to say "the question itself has no sense" even if it obviously has sense.
If you are a scientific atheist and you consider the question "What is the purpose of human life?" as senseless, why do you think so? Why does it have no sense to you?



EMOTIONAL ARGUMENTS



Motivation Zero


What is the motivation to live or to do anything in scientific atheism? For 8 years of being a scientific atheist I was determined to find a reason sufficient enough to make an effort of living. I found none. Thinking reasonable everything I do has no sense, mostly because death will end it nevertheless. No matter what I will achieve, and how good relationships will I have, it won't count in the day of my death. What is the difference in the end? Bigger tomb? More people on the mourning? "Living in the memories of others"? It's not worth at all to me. The total nonsense of human life made my motivation to do anything or to live going down to zero.
If you are a scientific atheist, can you give me any good reason to live, within the boundaries of scientific atheism?


Objective Relativism of Etics and Morality


What is good and what is bad in scientific atheism? There is no ultimate source of ethics and morality in opposition to most of other systems. Most scientific atheism followers I've meet so far believe that the morality is not discovered, but constructed, and that everyone determine what is good or bad to oneself. There are atheists who says that moral = economic, moral = pleasure, moral = lack of suffer etc. Some says that there is no such thing as morality at all.
Lately it is fashionable in scientific atheism to say that morality is equal to set of rules that makes society possible to exist. When they are asked "What kind of society?" the answer is "The one we all want to live in". Considering the fact that people strongly disagree with each other on how they want to live and how the society would like to be, what do you mean by "we all"? Christians? Muslims? Hindu? Atheists who believe that moral = economic? Maybe those atheists who think that moral = lack of suffer? All those people want a completely different society. Some of them are terrified by others vision of society. I think that "we all" mostly means just "me and those who agree with me". Remember that your vision of society is not the best one for all, no matter how much you like it, and that others have their own vision of society, no matter how much you hate it.
All in one, there is no one morality or ethics, and everybody may construct a different one. How am I supposed to be sure that my life is good and not bad? There is no such thing as "good" and "bad" beside what I will state. So I can state that killing and stealing for my economic profit is "good". I can feel free to kill and steal with clear consience. More, I can consider those who want to catch me and put me in jail as "bad" ones, who disturb me in doing "good".
It's a perfectly fine and consistent approach when the morality is relative, and it is relative in the world without the ultimate source of morality.


Man's Lack of Value


How much am I worth in the scientific atheism system?
Considering that I am nothing more than a set of atoms and connections between them, I am worth as much as these atoms. I am equal to them and there is nothing more what I could call "me". So... am I worth a lot? Not really, there are plenty of atoms around. Should I respect other sets of atoms? Only as much as I need it to get a respect from them, if I care of course. If I don't, why am I supposed to be nice to a set of atoms?


I, Robot


The determinism is a very popular opinion among scientific atheists. Interesting fact is that there is no statement in science about complete determination of every event by laws natural. It's more like science divination and nonscientific belief of atheism ("Science will prove that in the future, you'll see").
What does this opinion say about us? In shortcut that we have no choice in anything we do. There is no free will and we are totally determined by outside factors. Making our choices is an illusion. We are no more than robots that work automatically. We have no more free will than a stone or a building. Comforting, isn't it?
One of the conclusions of such belief is that punishments have no sense. What is the sense of punish someone who made something wrong because of no choice? The same goes with rewarding. If I made something good because I had no choice, why should I be rewarded? Would you reward a match after it helped you to make a fire? Will you give a medal to the plane because it brought you over the ocean? Will you put a tree into jail because it fell on the man and killed him? Courts have no sense since their purpose is to bring to justice, and it's not justified to punish the robots. No rewards and no punishments.


Depressive Vision of Man and Society


Have you heard about five most important questions of the spirituality? Here they come, together with the answers from scientific atheism:
1. Who am I? A set of atoms, worth as much as these atoms and connections between them
2. Where did I came from? Nothing
3. Where am I going to? Nothing
4. What is the sense of life/work/suffer/...? None/None/None/None (anything you will put there)
5. How am I supposed to live? As you wish, it doesn't matter in the end anyway. Be nice if you wish. Be a criminal if you wish (just don't let them catch you). Just do anything you want and don't expect anything from others.

All in one, I found scientific atheism as extremely depressing. There is no sense in making any effort in doing anything, no purpose of any achievement, no meaning of any sacrifices to others. Man has no more value than a heap of atoms he is made of. There is no choice in anything a man can do or think. There is no reason on saying how the others should behave or to accept what others say if it limits us since the morailty and ethics are totally relative. Therefore it is not possible to create a functional and organized society, at least if it's supposed to be based on reasonable and fair rules (can we still talk about fairness in scientific atheism?).
I can see two logical ways of living in such world. The first one is: "At least I will get as much pleasure as I can, no matter than costs and others.. it doesn't matter anyway. If I will hurt anyone else it's because I had no choice. I don't have to care about remorse since we are only a sets of atoms, nothing more. It's like I'd hurt a stone. When I will get old or sick I will kill myself because there will be more suffer in my life than a pleasure". It's a despairing hedonism.
Second way is: "I have no free will, not even the smallest purpose of life, my value is not really much. There is no argument in creating the common morality or ethics, so I can't expect any behavior or respect from others. If this is the world, then I should accept it and learn on how to live in it and not get crazy. It's a hard world and we cannot expect any justice, compassion or help. Just learn on how to accept and live with it. There is no other choice". It's a miserable existentialism.
 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / The Criticism of the Scientific Atheism

Hello,

I haven’t found any critical approach to the atheism on this forum, in contrast to many critical posts about theism. So I’ve decided to make my own and put it here.

It’s quite long but it is divided into parts that should make reading easier.

Here it comes….






 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / @Phoenix00017

not anymore since with html formatting it can be placed in only one post

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / @Phoenix00017

not anymore since with html formatting it can be placed in only one post

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / @Phoenix00017

not anymore since with html formatting it can be placed in only one post

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / @Phoenix00017

not anymore since with html formatting it can be placed in only one post

 
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not anymore since with html formatting it can be placed in only one post

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / @Phoenix00017

Introduction


Who is the main recipient?


The main topic of the text below is the examination of Jesus ressurection circumstances.

The text is intended for the people who claims that christianity leans on pure faith without any evidences on it, or who claims that the Bible is not reliable source of information, is faked or its authors are liars / phantasts. Also it may be interesting to the people who are simply interested on the Jesus ressurection evidence.

Since main ressurection evidences can be found in the New Testament, especially the Gospels, it is clear that it has to be proven that these historical sources are reliable, and you will find that reasoning as well.

You don't need to have any historical knowledge to start reading. You will find the introduction to history in the beginning of the text.

It is recommended for you to read at least one Gospel before reading this text. It is hard to consider the source which you don't know. The shortest one is the Gospel of Mark.

Why this text is so long??


Because it contains the historical research. Historical reasoning requres many steps, comparisons and a lot of reasoning.

More, is contains complete path, assuming that the recipient has no knowledge about history and its methods and starts with explanation of this issue.

And it is not long - it is very short. I squeezed hundreds of pages of many books to short text and making it readable and understandable. I had to resign from sources other than the New Testament, like apocrypha or jewish and roman writings that describe Jesus and events from His life, to keep it shorter. I can imagine that after reading this text probably you will end up having more questions than you have now. I believe that it is a good overview.

Why should I believe in what you have written?


I strongly recommend you to not believe me and check these informations for yourself. Try visiting some libraries, possibly at the nearest university. You will find many information in the internet but keep in mind that probably you will find 30% "I think...", 30% of emotions, 30% trash data and maybe 10% of true and reliable sources. There is a centuries-long, deadly ideologic war around the person of Jesus since His teaching is radical, revolutionary, and life-changing. Keep books over the internet, evidence over opinion and keep yourself away from ideological discussions.

Remember that this is a history investigation, not building the ideology. You don't have to take it personally or to change your life in any way.

Some sources


To create this text I used few books and scripts. I took the main construction from the book "The Credible Book of Ressurection" of Josh McDowell (part three).

You'll find more detailed informations about some of the New Testament copies here:
http://www.skypoint.com/members/waltzmn/ManuscriptsPapyri.html

Lots of New Testament critics texts are on the main site:
http://www.skypoint.com/members/waltzmn/

Sorry for the language errors - I'm not native english speaker.

Why history?


You may wonder why I picked up the history to show you the reliability of some past events. The reason is that I believe that science and humanities are so far the best tools to explore the areas they are created for (and are getting better constantly).

In other words:
- the best tool to explore the characteristics and changes of matter and energy is the physics
- the best tool to explore and criticise the texts is the literary theory
- the best tool to explore the changes of the mixed substances is the chemistry
- the best tool to explore the past of the mankind is the history
- the best tool to explore the life organisms and their origin is biology
etc.

You may disagree with that. I don't claim that these are the best tools ever in these areas. But if you disagree, tell me about better solution, and explain why do you think it is better.

Contents:


1. Very Short Introduction To History
2. New Testament - Do We Have The Original Text?
3. Isn't New Testament a Set of Myths or Legends?
4. New Testament Auhtors - Were they liars?
5. New Testament Auhtors - Could They Know About What They Described?
6. Gospels - Four Stories that Actually Aren't Identical...
7. What Are the Facts?
8. What could happen there?

1. Very Short Introduction To History


The purpose of the history is to explore the past of the mankind.

"And how they are suppose to do that? The past is gone, right?"

Yes, and it is obvious that historicians don't have the time machine to go to the past and explore it directly. But they can explore the artifacts that remain from the part - books, scripts, buildings, monuments etc. We call these artifacts as historical sources. Needles to say, most of the historical knowledge comes from the writings.

This is why it is crucial to remember that what we know and say about historical events is what we found in the historical sources. If you say anything about historical event, you must document it with historical sources and give an explanation on why do you consider the authors of these sources as credible.

The method of history are very similar to the method used in crime investigation. This is why they are often bound together and called historical-judicatory method (I might translated it wrongly, correct me if so).

As in the crime investigation where the suspect is innocent until the guilt is proven, historians assume the "limited credibility" of the authors of analysed text. We are supposed to read the document and listen to what the authors said and not assume the falsification or a lie, at least until the authors will disqualify themselves by giving contradictory or inconsistent informations (J. W. Montgomery).

In the history there is also an assumption that the reasons behind what people do are rational. Example: if a whole nation has migrated from one place to another, we assume that there was an important issue behind that, like more food, danger etc. instead of i.e. fun or lust of harder life.

It is important to remember that history, as most of the sciences and humanities, is about the probability, not the certainty.

I will try to show you that the historical source named New Testament is credible enough to at least explore the Jesus resurrection. To do so, I will have to explain why I consider its authors as credible.

2. New Testament - Do We Have The Original Text?


You may ask the question "How can I read the New Testament if I don't even know if it wasn't changed during the time? There might be that some middle-age pope added something to it or removed something..." . If you wonder about that, this part is for you.

It is very important to remember that in this part I am not saying a single word about what is written in the New Testament. Here I only want to know if the book I hold today in my hands is the same book written almost 2000 years ago.

In this world nothing lasts forever. Everything turns to the ashes in some time. The same goes with the rolls which ancient people used to write on. This is why we don't have any original ancient document. Some of them turned into asked, others were burnt or drowned. If we want to estimate the credibility of the document, we must investigate its copies we have today. We must think about two things:

1. How many copies of the document do we have today?
2. How much time has passed from the creation of the original document and the creation of it's copy?

Needless to say, we want to have as much copies as possible, written in the shortest possible time after the original was written.

How does it look like for the ancient books?

Most of them we have in few copies and are made 1000 or more years after the original was made, which is enough for the historicians and for us to accept the ancient history they describe and to believe that these are the original texts of their creators. Here are some of them:

- "History" of Thukydides - 8 copies, the oldest one is made 1300 years after the original
- "Poetry" of Aristoteles - 5 copies, the oldest one is from 1400 years after the original
- "History of Gallic Wars" of Caesar - 10 copies from 1000 years after the original
etc...

Quite nicely proved are Demosthenes writings, documented with 200 copies, 1400 years far from the original.

The second best ancient book is "The Iliad" of Homer. It is far more well documented than most of other documents. We have 643 copies, and the youngest is from 400 years after the original.

The first one is the Tew Testament with immense number of 24,970 copies, and the youngests are made 50-300 years after the original.

Comparing the New Testament with all others ancient books, tell me: if the New Testament is not credible, then what is? Has anyone completely dropped the history of Ancient Rome so far? Even comparing the New Testament with the documents written much later, it still wins quite often. Are you sure that Napoleone existed? How do you know? From the documents you say?... :)

Basing on the fact that we can be historically sure that the New Testament text is the same as was written originally, we will analyse its text now.

3. Isn't New Testament a Set of Myths or Legends?


"It doesn't make it any better. You mentioned the Iliad of Homer as second best documented ancient book. Even if we can be sure that the text is the same, we still know it's only a myth. Isn't the New Testament the same thing?"

We may answer to that question thanks to the literary theory. There are some characteristics for every literary genre. Exploration of New Testament text reveals that it is far from myths or legends. As for the Gospels there are fragments of poetry as well as parables, but such forms were used to describe the teachings of Jesus (what He said), not the events that happen (what He did). As a whole the closest genre Gospels may be compared to is the ancient Roman-Greek biography. They are also sometimes compared to the reportage.

What does it mean?

It means that the Iliad of Homer is written as myth. It's purpose it not describing the real events but rather explaining the surrounding world as people could do it in the past (like why people live and die, what is good and bad, why there are seasons in the year etc.).

The Gospels and New Testament authors wrote their texts not as a myths but rather as they would want to describe some events that really happened, sometimes amazing, but still real. The purpose of the Gospels is the description of the real events that are placed in specific time and place. There are also text fragments where authors openly say that they don't write myths. Ever seen the myth that says openly it's not a myth?

You can see the difference with your own eyes. The Iliad and the Gospels are widely accessible. Personally it was surprising to me to see a report which partially is so raw instead of drama I expected before reading the Gospels.

4. New Testament Auhtors - Were they liars?


"Even if I can be historically sure that I have the original text of the New Testament, how am I supposed to trust to its authors? They wrote their texts as it would be description of real events but maybe they lied to make some kind of profit?"

The key fact to remember is that the New Testament wasn't written to us but rather to the people who lived in the first century, who actually often knew the events described in Gospels, Acts and Epistles. While authors were writing their texts, they referred the knowledge of their readers, like "You know what we are talking about and you know it's true, because you've seen it yourself".

More, there were surrounded by many great enemies. They couldn't lie because these enemies would surely use their lies against them. Paradoxically our biggest enemies are always our best authentication. Do you know why I believe that Americans were really walking on the Moon? Because if it would a fake, Russians, who were their biggest enemies during the Cold War, would surely and easily point that out.

Jesus and His followers claimed that Jesus is a God. Such statement made them many enemies. The two most powerful enemies of Jesus and early christians were:

1. The Roman Empire, with their Caesar worshipped as god; every inhabitant of Roman Empire was obligated to worship Caesar. This is why the faith in any other god or gods was the natural foe of the Empire, and the Israel was a part of the Empire these days.

2. Jews themselves, since they believed that the Jehovah is the only God, and they didn't identify Him with Jesus. For them it was a blasphemy to say that Jesus is a God Himself. Such statements were punished with a death.

The authors of the New Testament lived in the Roman Empire, in the Israel district. What is considered as the biggest argument for the truthfulness of them is that most of them were actually killed by these enemies. As for the apostles, 10 of 11 were killed:

1. Peter - crucified
2. Andrew - crucified
3. Matthew - killed by a sword
4. James, son of Alphaeus - crucified
5. Philip - crucified
6. Simon - crucified
7. Thaddeus - shot by a bow
8. James, son of Zebedee - killed by a sword
9. Thomas - killed by a spear
10. Bartholomew - crucified

The last one, John, wasn't killed. He was banished from his home land and his friends, and condemned to life imprisonment on the island Patmos. Congratulations. Lucky guy.

Many people lie. But I haven't hear about a single person who died for his/her own lies. The solution was simple - to say that there was no such thing as the ressurection of Jesus. And not a single one of them said that? They have to had a really good reason to stand on the ressurection side.

5. New Testament Auhtors - Could They Know About What They Described?


Another question that definitely should be asked here is: "Maybe the authors didn't write the myths but did they knew about what they described? Maybe they didn't really know the events they described? Maybe they describe something they've only heard from others who heard it from others and so on? Or they described the events from 200 years before they were even borned?"

This is definitely the important factor, and it is also used in the historical investigation.

There are two main issues in this factor. Below you will find the description of them.

1. How much time has passed between creation of the original document and the events it describes?


It's quite obvious that the less time has passed, the bigger chance that the document is credible.

How is it with the New Testament, and especially the four Gospels, in which the description of the resurrection is placed? There were many discussions about that factor. There was a time in the past that historians believed that the New Testament was written even in the end of the 2nd century (year 200). But the discoveries of early copies of New Testament in the end of the 19th century have falsified these beliefs.

How Gospels are dated today? Keep in mind that the resurrection event had place around 30 AD

- Matthew: years between 40-60 AD
- Mark: years between 45-60 AD
- Luke: years between 50-60 AD
- John: years between 40-90 AD

It means that first fragments of Gospels were written even 7-10 years after the events they describe. Even today history books sometimes don't describe the events so fast..

How does it look if we will compare to the other ancient documents?

- Two authors of texts about Alexander the Great, Plutarchos ho Chaironeus and Flavius Arrianus, wrote their documents 400 years after the death of Alexander in 323 BC. Their texts are widely accepted by historians and by us as credible.

2. How close were the authors to the events they describe?


Have they participated in these events? Have they seen the event? Or maybe they only heard about it? Or they read about it in another document?

Needless to say, the closer authors were to the events they describe, the more credible their writings are.

The Gospels were written by the people who were eyewitnesses to the events or by people who based on the reports of the eyewithesses. They were inside the describing events or they've heard the reports of those who were inside the events. Nothing much to say here. We will dig deeper into their reports below.

6. Gospels - Four Stories that Actually Aren't Identical...


"Right... maybe Gospels authors are trustworthy since they died for what they was saying. But there are some differences between the Gospels which makes it confusing.. Shouldn't Gospels say exactly the same story to be reliable?"

The answer is: no, they shouldn't be identical.

Ask the detectives or policemen. It is natural that different people describe the same event in different ways. When the investigation is pending, and you have several witnesses to interrogate, there are 3 possibilities:

1. The testimonies are totally inconsistent with each other,
2. The testimonies differ in some ways but they are consistent in main points,
3. The testimonies are consistent including almost all details.

Out of these three possibilities, the most credible is number 2, as confirming the most natural shape of memories of different people. Number 1 means that probably one or more of the witnesses lie. Number 3 means that probably there is a witness conspiracy.

7. What Are the Facts?


"If we have the original text and authors are trustworthy, what actually they say about the circumstances of the Jesus ressurection?"

Facts about Jesus crucifixion:


- Jesus was judged six times: high priest Annas judgement, high priest Caiaphas judgement, Sanhedrin (jewish high council) judgement, Pontius Pilatus judgement, Herod judgement, and second Pontius Pilatus judgement. Three jewish judgements and three roman judgements.

- He was flogged with roman whip called flagrum

- He had to carry the horizontal cross timber called patibulum (weight 35-45 kg) and He couldn't do it, falling few times and finally was replaced with another man

- He was nailed to the cross

- He hang on the cross for six hours

- After 6 hours on the cross, the roman soldier pierced his side with a spear, and the blood and water came out which is a medical proof of death

Facts about Jesus burial:


- Jesus body was wrapped in linen clothes together with and 35-45 kg of myrrh and aloes mixture from the top of the head to the bottom of foots; after that the body was like in a cocoon

- the body was laid in the stone tomb

- the entrance to the tomb was closed with a huge round stone (at least 1500-2000 kg). It was rolled into the shallow pit in front of the tomb entrance.

- the roman guards was keeping a duty at the Jesus tomb; it was set because Jesus enemies were afraid that Jesus friends might want to steal the body because of His prophecy of ressurection

- the tomb entrance was sealed with a Roman Empire seal

Facts about what happened 3 days later:


- the Roman Seal was broken

- the huge stone was moved away

- the tomb was empty

- the roman guards run away

- the linen clothes were still laid inside the tomb, without a body but keeping its shape

- people had seen Jesus alive. A lot of them. More than 500. Including His closest friends. Including people who didn't believe in His the ressurection as you wouldn't believe in mine. Including His enemies who didn't want to see Him alive again.

8. What could happen there?


"So... He ressurected.. right. Isn't there any other possible explanation of what happened? Ressurection is quite a miracle?.. We can't explain things with miracles."

There are many theories that try to explain what really happened if it wasn't the ressurection. But when these theories are confronted with the facts mentioned above, it comes out that such explanations would have to be bigger miracles that the ressurection itself. I'm not likely to believe in miracles and this forces me to believe in the ressurection.

Below you will find some explanations other than the ressurection and why are they considered as not sufficient:

A Myth Theory


There is a theory which says that the Jesus ressurection was made up basing on the others deities ressurection (i.e. Osiris, Adonis or Isis). In the popular video Zeitgeist the Jesus ressurection criticism is based on such theory.

There are 5 general arguments against it:

1. Many claims about similarities between Jesus ressurection and dying and reborned deities is a big exaggeration. Scholars often describe pagan rituals with the language taken from the christianity. Such words like baptism or ressurection are used to describe the deeds of deities even if it doesn't have to do much with christianity.

2.Chronology does not confirm dependencies of early christianity from these religions. Available sources about pagan deities that contains any mentions of anything that reminds ressurection come from 2., 3. and 4. century. They were made after the New Testament canon was set.

3. It is highly improbable that the Paul with his rigoristic monoteism and jewish descent had borrow anything from the pagan religions. He rather warned other christians many times to not do that.

4. Death and ressurection of Jesus Christ was placed in the history, in historically described time and place. Other religions in that point were rather ahistorical. They rather reflected the repeatable cycle of the nature, not the linear time with dated events which really happened.

5. Many real similarities which remain after consideration of exaggerated statements may rather reflect the influence of the christianity on the pagan religions, not inversely.

Unknown Tomb Theory


This theory claims that the real tomb of Jesus remained unknown. Most of the followers of this theory says that the Jesus body was dropped in some common tomb with other crucified people bodies.

This theory completely underestimates the direct relations contained in the gospels, which is: it doesn't take all historical facts about the Jesus burial.

Wrong Tomb Theory


This is similar to the previous one. It assumes that the women who went to the Jesus tomb and saw it empty, chose the wrong tomb.

This theory is more a miracle than the ressurection. One mistake is probable. But we know that except for women also Peter and John went to the tomb, as well as other Jews, and then Romans and Sanhedrin. Everybody made the same mistake and accidentally went to the wrong, empty tomb?

The Legend


"Jesus ressurection was a legend - this is what this theory is above."

It was impossible since eyewitnesses spreaded this informations. More, they referenced to what their recipients saw and experienced.

The Hallucinations


"The ressurection had no place, and the people who have seen Jesus alive after His death simply had hallucinations."

To counter this theory some knowledge about the hallucination is needed. Short story long: people who have seen Jesus had various professions, educations, moods, age etc. More that 500 people saw Jesus at once. Jesus not only was seen but also ate the meal, showed His wounds, encouraged people in checking Him by touch. Hallucination won't eat supper with you. Such ideal hallucinations which does all these things would be a bigger miracle than the ressurection itself.

The Thievery of the Body by Apostles


"Apostles thieved the Jesus body so they can tell that He ressurected."

...and they 'reasonably' lied everyone around until they were killed, when they could simply admit that they lied to save their lifes.... Many people would tell a lie to save their live but to lose it?

The Thievery of the Body by Authorities


"The authorities had moved the Jesus body to another, more secure tomb"

The authorities wanted people to believe that Jesus was actually dead and didn't ressurect. Why would they do something that caused them with such problems later? Why didn't they publicly show the Jesus body when the news about ressurection started to spread?

Jesus Didn't Die on the Cross, He Only Fainted


"People only thought that He died, but He only fainted and then waked up"

So... He went through 6 judgements, was beaten to bloody pieces with roman flagrum, was so weak that He couldn't carry the patibulum to the place of crucifixion, His hands and feets was nailed to the cross, was bleeding and choking for 6 hours, His side was pierced with a spear, breathed through a cocoon made of LOTS of spices and linen clothes, then He disentangled from these clothes, moved off the huge stone with His bare hands with nail holes, defeat the roman guards or sheaked through them, walked on His highly wounded feet through the whole town in the heat time and showed Himself to the apostles in a great shape, since they saw a Lord of life in Him.

Sorry, I don't believe in James Bond. It's not that simply that His hit points went from 1000/1000 to 1/1000 and He regained them slowly in a tomb.

The Ressurection


The ressurection takes all facts under consideration. It doesn't bend the facts. It comes out of the facts. So far it's the simplest and only theory that gets all facts together.

Your Own Theory


You can create your own theory.

There are two general rules if you want to think about alternative explanation:

1. you must take ALL facts under consideration
2. you cannot bend the facts to the theory but rather let the facts speak for themselves
 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / @Phoenix00017

Hello,

Here’s the whole text for the Big Issues, starting from the post below.

I can change formatting to the one you wrote me about. I need 3 infos:

1. How to make an empty line

2. How to make a bold text

3. How to make italic text

Some formatting trials:

Trial break

Trial break

bold words

italics


This is a big heading

This is a smaller heading

While this is even smaller one

even smaller?

 
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Topic: Kongregate / Free weapons for dragon age forge!!

My friend Krycha80 needs a few swords to finish his collection… Please spare them if you have any :) Thx!

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / @Navarre - an attempt of answer to atheists argumentation

@ Navarre:

This thread seems to be less of a reply as a discourse. If you want to de-construct my post, please do so argument by argument. If you want me to simplify and re-post me arguments for you to refute, I will be happy to do so.


Yeah… For some time I was deconstructing it and then I started to discuss some doubts that appeared.. Discussion is getting wider and wider, and I didn’t want to ignore any on-topic post. Now it goes to the science methodology and the purpose of philosophy as a whole…


These issues are interesting and I want to discuss them, but if we’ll start it, it will probably only get wider instead of clarified.


Apologies to TheBSG and FuzzyBacon. It started to be interesting but first I will finish replying to Navarre’s post.


And I cannot say when I’ll be able to do so :( It requires some effort to form a clear and sensible answer, and I’m to tired after work and some other issues. Please treat this thread as kind of hibernated.


Navarre, I will give you a shout when the reply will be ready.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / @Navarre - an attempt of answer to atheists argumentation

That rule is not meant to be applied to biology, but you are applying it wrong here. Every minute you are using energy to increases the order of your brain, but 1,000 times that energy is lost as heat. Just because order increased somewhere does not mean the universe didn’t become more disordered overall.


Yes, and this rule cannot be applied to any closed system at all. It is about the physical universe.


The only reason why I pick up this example is to show that different sciences and humanities create rules which are bound only with specific areas or layers of reality. As above – not every rule from the physics works in biology.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / @Navarre - an attempt of answer to atheists argumentation

it’s a huge mistake to base anything in science on what a philosopher says about it. Philosophy of science is the “study” of empiricism and rationalism, and not about science itself.


Don’t mix philosophy of science with philosophy as a whole. Study of empiricism and rationalism, as well as humanism, existentialism, personalism, idealism and many other philosophy trends are not the philosophy of science and humanities. These are general philosophy trends.




Philosophy and methodology of science and humanities are the main overview of what science is, what is the area of it’s exploration and what are the tools it uses. You can’t be a good scientist if you don’t know what are you doing, what do you explore and what tools do you have to do it.


Philosophy of science tells you i.e. what are the conditions that theory should fulfill to be a scientific theory, or what is science about: how it is in reality or how it’s supposed to be etc.


If you know nothing about science and humanities, the book about philosophy of science is the first book you should read. Probably it’s title will be “Introduction to science and/or humanities” or “Philosophy of sciences/humanities”.


Then, if you are interested in particular science or humanity, you should read the book about methods which are used by this science or humanity. It will be called like “Introduction to [insert science/humanity name here, like history or chemistry]”.


You say it’s a huge mistake to base anything in science on what a philosopher says about it. I say there is no statement in science which is not based on the philosophy of science.


I can see that you using some philosophical statements yourself when you talk about science, like “Observe the physical universe, attempt to influence the results by changing factors, observe the results again” or by pasting a graphics that contains such sentences.




There’s no “rule” of scientific methodology that cannot be applied to any and every field.


In such case the theory of evolution is incorrect, because it stands in contradiction with second law of thermodynamics, which says that every process that occurs will tend to increase the total entropy of the universe, while the evolution is about increasing the order and complexity.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / @Navarre - an attempt of answer to atheists argumentation

Originally posted by genealogist:

The methods of a specific part of science can be used only within the area of this part of science. If they are used beyond these boundaries then it is a major methodological error from the science point of view.

This is an absurd claim, and you should stop talking.

I see no point to discuss about something that can be easily checked. Every book about science philosophy will tell you that.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / @Navarre - an attempt of answer to atheists argumentation

Keep your ad personam arguments about my parents to yourself.
I won’t ask you anymore about ‘verifiable evidence’.
I’ve edited my last post.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / @Navarre - an attempt of answer to atheists argumentation

I see many many interesting thoughts in the last posts :)


I will try to answer to some of them but when I’ll come back from the holidays in August.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / @Navarre - an attempt of answer to atheists argumentation

@Solidus, Redem, FuzzyBacon:


Your posts go pretty much in the same way like TheBSG’s last post. You write about the groups of evidences I mentioned only to give you examples of various kinds of evidences, while the most important and crucial thing to continue with part two is to answer the question: what kind of evidence are you expecting? and: what do you mean by “verifiable evidence”?


@Solidus:

It wasn’t my intention to ignore your post. The answer to it is the same as for TheBSG’s post. It’s not the point to provide the dictionary definition of words “verifiable” and “evidence”. The point is that by “verifiable evidence” every person means something else, and defining “verifiable” as “possible to verify” makes it as clear as defining “God” as “Godly object”. If you know what “Godly object” means to me, it’s a good definition for you. I don’t know what “possible to verify” means to you.


Maybe this will clarify the meaning of my question: what criteria do you use to verify the evidences?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / @Navarre - an attempt of answer to atheists argumentation

@ TheBSG


None of those are verified… Do you think everything in the Odyssey happened simply because all of those people existed and history suggests that many of the battles were real?

Personal experience can be very clearly contrasted to actual phenomenons and mental experiences. Besides, people in other religions outside of your own can ACTUALLY display quite powerful feats, but you easily disregard their religion as false: Why?


I didn’t provide any evidences yet. I mentioned these main groups I can remember now to give you some examples.


My question: what kind of evidence do you expect? Or in other words: what do you mean by “verifiable evidence”?


I give myself the right to not know the answer to every question, and I give the same right to people who discuss with me. If you don’t know what kind of evidences do you expect, simply say so.