Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
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05-02-2015, 11:01 AM (This post was last modified: 08-02-2015 04:34 PM by DLJ.)
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(03-02-2015 07:21 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  
(03-02-2015 06:14 PM)Call_of_the_Wild Wrote:  Jesus Christ was/is the greatest man that ever lived.

There is zero evidence that jesus christ the myth, the legend, the zombie savior ever was a historical person. We have no physical evidence, no works of carpentry, no personal items, no writings...furthermore, no one who EVER wrote of jesus knew him...no one. All writings of jesus were written down by people who were either born after he died, or never actually met him, thus all stories are based on myth, legend and hearsay.

For example. If upon his death, the earth shook, corpses burst out of their graves and walked around town, and the entire earth grew dark from 3-6 pm, someone AT THE TIME would have thought these events significant enough to perhaps write down...nope, we wait until the first quarter of the 4th century to have an epiphany and start writing down stories, and we all know how people LOVE to tell stories, and exaggerate them. odd not a word until then Consider A thinking person would call bullshit. Allow me to expound....

No one who ever wrote of jesus, actually knew him. When you learn this, and validate this, it throws the whole Christianity belief basis out the window, thus discrediting it. Lets look at this real quick..

The epistles were written after the mythical jesus's death;

1) paul - written about 60 C.E., of the 13, he actually wrote 8. See the bottom where I get into Paul a bit more.

2) James - Epistle of James mentions Jesus only once as an introduction to his belief. Nowhere does the epistle reference a historical Jesus and this alone eliminates it from an historical account.

3) Peter - Many scholars question the authorship of Peter of the epistles. Even within the first epistle, it says in 5:12 that Silvanus wrote it. Most scholars consider the second epistle as unreliable or an outright forgery. The unknown authors of the epistles of Peter wrote long after the life of the traditional Peter. Moreover, Peter lived (if he ever lived at all) as an ignorant and illiterate peasant (even Acts 4:13 attests to this). In short, no one has any way of determining whether the epistles of Peter come from fraud, an author claiming himself to know what Peter said (hearsay), or from someone trying to further the aims of the Church. Encyclopedias usually describe a tradition that Saint Peter wrote them. However, whenever you see the word "tradition" it refers to a belief passed down within a society. In other words: hearsay. This is the definition of Pseudepigrapha; a book written in a biblical style and ascribed to an author who did not write it.

4) Jude - Even early Christians argued about its authenticity. It quotes an apocryphal book called Enoch as if it represented authorized Scripture. Biblical scholars do not think it possible for the alleged disciple Jude to have written it because whoever wrote it had to have written it during a period when the churches had long existed. Like the other alleged disciples, Jude would have lived as an illiterate peasant and unable to write (much less in Greek) but the author of Jude wrote in fluent high quality Greek..more forgery.

Then there are the non-christian sources as follows;

1) Josephus Flavius, (37–100 CE) the Jewish historian, lived as the earliest non-Christian who mentions a Jesus. Although many scholars think that Josephus' short accounts of Jesus (in Antiquities) came from interpolations perpetrated by a later Church father (most likely, Eusebius), Josephus' birth in 37 C.E. (well after the alleged crucifixion of Jesus), puts him out of range of an eyewitness account. Moreover, he wrote Antiquities in 93 C.E., after the first gospels got written. Therefore, even if his accounts about Jesus came from his hand, his information could only serve as hearsay.

Josephus, a prolific and comprehensive Jewish historian, who would frequently write a few pages on the execution of common Jewish thieves, has not one authentic line that mentions Yeshua. “He” does mention “Christ” on two occasions, yet both have been convincingly exposed as interpolations.

2) Pliny the Younger (born: 62 C.E.) His letter about the Christians only shows that he got his information from Christian believers themselves. Regardless, his birth date puts him out of range as an eyewitness account.

3) Tacitus, the Roman historian's birth year at 64 C.E., puts him well after the alleged life of Jesus. He gives a brief mention of a "Christus" in his Annals (Book XV, Sec. 44), which he wrote around 109 C.E. He gives no source for his material. Although many have disputed the authenticity of Tacitus' mention of Jesus, the very fact that his birth happened after the alleged Jesus and wrote the Annals during the formation of Christianity, shows that his writing can only provide us with hearsay accounts.

4) Suetonius, a Roman historian, born in 69 C.E., mentions a "Chrestus," a common name. Apologists assume that "Chrestus" means "Christ" (a disputable claim). But even if Seutonius had meant "Christ," it still says nothing about an earthly Jesus. Just like all the others, Suetonius' birth occurred well after the purported Jesus. Again, only hearsay.

5) Talmud: Amazingly some Christians use brief portions of the Talmud, (a collection of Jewish civil a religious law, including commentaries on the Torah), as evidence for Jesus. They claim that Yeshu in the Talmud refers to Jesus. However, this Yeshu, according to scholars depicts a disciple of Jehoshua Ben-Perachia at least a century before the alleged Christian Jesus or it may refer to Yeshu ben Pandera, a teacher of the 2nd centuy CE. Regardless of how one interprets this, the Palestinian Talmud didn't come into existence until the 3rd and 5th century C.E., and the Babylonian Talmud between the 3rd and 6th century C.E., at least two centuries after the alleged crucifixion. At best it can only serve as a controversial Christian or Jewish legend; it cannot possibly serve as evidence for a historical Jesus.

6) Thallus/africanus, In the ninth century a Byzantine writer named George Syncellus quoted a third-century Christian historian named Sextus Julius Africanus, who quoted an unknown writer named Thallus on the darkness at the crucifixion: 'Thallus in the third book of his history calls this darkness an eclipse of the sun, but in my opinion he is wrong.' All of the works of Africanus are lost, so there is no way to confirm the quote or to examine its context. We have no idea who Thallus was, or when he wrote. Third century would have put him being born long after jesus's alleged death, thus hearsay.

7) Phlegon of Tralles was a Greek writer and freedman of the emperor Hadrian, who lived in the 2nd century AD. case closed, more hearsay, born after the alleged jesus's death.

Christian apologists mostly use the above sources for their "evidence" of Jesus because they believe they represent the best outside sources. All other sources (Christian and non-Christian) come from even less reliable sources, some of which include: Mara Bar-Serapion (circa 73 C.E.), Ignatius (50 - 98? C.E.), Polycarp (69 - 155 C.E.), Clement of Rome (? - circa 160 C.E.), Justin Martyr (100 - 165 C.E.), Lucian (circa 125 - 180 C.E.), Tertullian (160 - ? C.E.), Clement of Alexandria (? - 215 C.E.), Origen (185 - 232 C.E.), Hippolytus (? - 236 C.E.), and Cyprian (? - 254 C.E.). As you can see, all these people lived well after the alleged death of Jesus. Not one of them provides an eyewitness account, all of them simply spout hearsay.

So when we consider that during times of miraculous events, no one AT THE TIME thought they were significant enough to even write down, it kind of of makes a thinking person contemplate the validity of a story told and written down based on myth and hearsay 60-150 years later..For example;

Matthew 27:45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.

Mark 15:33 And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.

Luke 23:44-48 And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.

Unfortunately, there is not one shred of evidence that this happened...zero, all of the royal scribes, historians, philosophers, and literate people who wrote down and recorded EVERYTHING of any significance, failed to note the whole earth going dark mid-day for three hours...an eclipse lasts about 7.5 mins max, so it wasn’t that....nothing, .....zero. Never happened.

Another example:

Matthew 27:51-53
King James Version (KJV)
51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

Again…no one thought a zombie invasion was worthy of writing down…seems rather odd.

When you research authorship of each book of the bible, you find out they were not written by whom you think, which makes them suspect for any level of validity. Let’s look at the gospels a bit more…

Writings of the Gospels: Mark (60 to 75 CE), Matthew (80 to 90 CE), Luke (80 to 90 CE based on the Gospels of Mark), and John (80 to 110 CE) (Albl 283). I have shown before in various venues the issues with the Gospels, the fact that we don’t know who wrote the gospels, the community effort that put them together, and the fact that they don’t agree with one another, all of which make them a suspect source of empirical evidence. When one posits a super natural, extraordinary story, one requires extraordinary evidence....sadly it doesn't exist, except philosophically.

The Gospel of Matthew is generally believed to have been composed between 70 and 110, with most scholars preferring the period 80–90; a pre-70 date remains a minority view, but has been strongly supported. The anonymous author was probably a highly educated Jew, intimately familiar with the technical aspects of Jewish law, and the disciple Matthew was probably honored within his circle. The author drew on three main sources to compose his gospel: the Gospel of Mark; the hypothetical collection of sayings known as the Q source; and material unique to his own community, called "Special Matthew", or the M source. Note the part where I said...disciple matthew honored...and anonymous writer.

I find it interesting that the writer of matthew refers to "matthew" in the third person. Matthew claims jesus was born in "the days of herod the king." Yet Herod died in 4 BCE. Luke reports that jesus was born "when Cyrenius (Quirinius) was governor of Syria." Cyrenius became governor of Syria in 6 CE...that is a discrepancy of 9 years. Luke says Jesus was born during a roman census, and it is true there was a census in 6 CE. This would have been when jesus was 9 years old according to matthew. There is no evidence of an earlier census during the reign of Augustine. Which is true?

Matthew also reports that Herod slaughtered all first born in the land in order to execute jesus. No historian, contemporary or later, ever mentions this alleged genocide, an event that should have caught someones attention....like the many miraculous stories of jesus, no one at the time thought they were cool enough to record...odd don't you think?

The gospel of Mark; Most modern scholars reject the tradition which ascribes it to Mark the Evangelist, the companion of Peter, and regard it as the work of an unknown author working with various sources including collections of miracle stories, controversy stories, parables, and a passion narrative. Mark is the oldest of the synoptic gospels, of which the authors of matthew, and luke based their stories. All scholars agree that the last 12 verses of Mark, are highly dubious and are considered interpolations. The earliest ancient documents of mark end right after the women find the empty tomb. This means that in the first biography, on which the others based their reports, there is no post-resurrection appearance or ascension of jesus.

Luke: Tradition holds that the text was written by Luke the companion of Paul (named in Colossians 4:14). Many modern scholars reject this view, although the list of scholars maintaining authorship by Luke the physician is lengthy, and represents scholars from a wide range of theological opinion. According to Raymond E. Brown, opinion concerning Lukan authorship was ‘about evenly divided’ as of 1997.

John: The gospel identifies its author as "the disciple whom Jesus loved." Although the text does not name this disciple, by the beginning of the 2nd century, a tradition had begun to form which identified him with John the Apostle, one of the Twelve (Jesus' innermost circle). Although some notable New Testament scholars affirm traditional Johannine scholarship, the majority do not believe that John or one of the Apostles wrote it, and trace it instead to a "Johannine community" which traced its traditions to John.

paul - written about 60 C.E., of the 13, he actually wrote 8. Not a single instance in any of Paul's writings claims that he ever meets or sees an earthly Jesus, nor does Paul give any reference to Jesus' life on earth (except for a few well known interpolations - Bible interpolation, or Bible redaction, is the art of adding stuff to the Bible). Therefore, all accounts about a Jesus could only have come from other believers or his imagination. Hearsay.

There’s no indication from Scripture that Paul and Jesus ever met before the Damascus Road incident. And Acts 9:4-7 doesn’t specify whether the Lord’s encounter with Paul was physical or not. It only says Paul saw a bright light and heard a voice. (hallucination/lie)The men with him heard a loud sound but didn’t see anything. In subsequent re-tellings of the encounter Paul never indicated that He had actually seen Jesus at that time.

Various works cited or used:

Mueller, J.J., Theological Foundations: Concepts and Methods for Understanding the Christian Faith. Winona: Anselm Academic, Christian Brothers Publications, 2011. Print.

Albl, Martin C. Reason, Faith, and Tradition: Explorations in Catholic Theology. Winona: Anselm Academic, Christian Brothers Publications, 2009. Print.

The Catholic Study Bible: The New American Bible 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University press, Inc., 2011. Print.

Moule, C. F. D., The birth of the New Testament. New York: Harper & Row, 1962. Print

Lieu, Samuel N. C., and Montserrat, Dominic, Constantine: History, Historiography, and Legend. London: Routledge, 2002. Print.

O'Collins, Gerald, Christology: A Biblical, Historical, and Systematic Study of Jesus. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. Print.

Carrier, Richard, On the historicity of jesus: why we might have reason for doubt. Sheffield, England: Sheffield Phoenix press, 2014. Print.

I offered a response to this but when I try to preview before post, I get an empty post as was seen on this very thread...yesterday...whats up with that?

Nothing now. I fixed it. You had a start-quote in the place of an end-quote.
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05-02-2015, 11:05 AM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(03-02-2015 08:50 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  Not so fast. Avoiding the question doesn’t get you any brownie points.

I wasn't avoiding the question, I was just giving you a chance to properly educate yourself on the matter before you were intellectually destroyed...by me of course.

(03-02-2015 08:50 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  Dualism has not been shown to exist. You need it to exist for your god to exist. Since there is no evidence to support your assertion...poof, your imaginary friend remains imaginary.

I disagree with the notion that arguments in favor of dualism failing to demonstrate that the origin of the mind could not have been natural.

(03-02-2015 08:50 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  You can spin your yarn in every way apologists have spun it throughout the years and in the end you still have nothing to prove the existence of gods.

The no-spin zone starts with me.
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05-02-2015, 11:59 AM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(05-02-2015 11:05 AM)Call_of_the_Wild Wrote:  
(03-02-2015 08:50 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  Not so fast. Avoiding the question doesn’t get you any brownie points.

I wasn’t avoiding the question, I was just giving you a chance to properly educate yourself on the matter before you were intellectually destroyed...by me of course.

Yet here you are puffing up your chest and STILL avoiding the question.

(05-02-2015 11:05 AM)‘Call_of_the_Wild Wrote:  
(03-02-2015 08:50 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  Dualism has not been shown to exist. You need it to exist for your god to exist. Since there is no evidence to support your assertion...poof, your imaginary friend remains imaginary.

I disagree with the notion that arguments in favor of dualism failing to demonstrate that the origin of the mind could not have been natural.

Just to be clear I’m using the term Dualism in the “Western philosophical traditions, as exemplified by Descartes, equate mind with the conscious self and theorize on consciousness on the basis of mind/body dualism”

In other words that the mind can exist without the body.

As for what you write above you need to restate as I can make no heads or tails of it.

(05-02-2015 11:05 AM)‘Call_of_the_Wild Wrote:  
(03-02-2015 08:50 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  You can spin your yarn in every way apologists have spun it throughout the years and in the end you still have nothing to prove the existence of gods.

The no-spin zone starts with me.

We’ll see.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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05-02-2015, 12:02 PM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(05-02-2015 11:01 AM)Call_of_the_Wild Wrote:  I offered a response to this but when I try to preview before post, I get an empty post as was seen on this very thread...yesterday...whats up with that?

Formatting issues. You probably didn’t close GWG’s quote first using [/quote] before your response.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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05-02-2015, 02:07 PM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(05-02-2015 12:02 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  Formatting issues. You probably didn’t close GWG’s quote first using before your response.

Ok...I will double check it...thanks Thumbsup
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05-02-2015, 05:46 PM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(04-02-2015 09:25 PM)Call_of_the_Wild Wrote:  
(03-02-2015 07:30 PM)TheInquisition Wrote:  That the myth of Jesus is as real as the Godfather movie?

Jesus gave me a deal, either accept him as Lord and Savior and have eternal life, or "otherwise" Big Grin

And I must say, it was "an offer I couldn't refuse". Thumbsup

And how did Jesus make this offer? Did he tweet you? Consider

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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05-02-2015, 07:34 PM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(03-02-2015 07:21 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  There is zero evidence that jesus christ the myth, the legend, the zombie savior ever was a historical person.

Yet the vast majority of historians believe that Jesus existed, based on what they believe to be good evidence. Hmmmm.

(03-02-2015 07:21 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  We have no physical evidence, no works of carpentry, no personal items, no writings...

So you are expecting to find a hammer with the initials "J.C" inscription on it?

(03-02-2015 07:21 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  furthermore, no one who EVER wrote of jesus knew him...no one. All writings of jesus were written down by people who were either born after he died, or never actually met him, thus all stories are based on myth, legend and hearsay.

The Gospels were all written by either disciples or friends of the disciples, within the lifetime of the disciples. Second, the Resurrection account was not a story based on legend, but something that was believed shortly after the cross.

(03-02-2015 07:21 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  For example. If upon his death, the earth shook, corpses burst out of their graves and walked around town, and the entire earth grew dark from 3-6 pm, someone AT THE TIME would have thought these events significant enough to perhaps write down...

First off, the vast majority of people living at that time and in that region could not read or write...and this was long before facebook and twitter...as far as the corpses is concerned, it doesn't state how many corpses were resurrected, and I doubt they would have been recognized by those that were in Jerusalem anyway. Third, the darkness was mentioned by historian Thallus

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thallus_(hi...of_Thallus

(03-02-2015 07:21 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  nope, we wait until the first quarter of the 4th century to have an epiphany and start writing down stories, and we all know how people LOVE to tell stories, and exaggerate them. odd not a word until then Consider A thinking person would call bullshit. Allow me to expound....

4th century? Every book in the NT was written prior to the 2nd century.

(03-02-2015 07:21 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  No one who ever wrote of jesus, actually knew him.

Each of the Gospels were written in the genre of "biography"...biographies of a man named Jesus...and since they were written as biographies, they mention information about him that only someone that was close to him would know. We have reasons to believe that the Gospels were written by either the disciples of friends of the disciples..so at the very least, the stories that we have was originated by close followers of Jesus, and that is the very least that can be said.

(03-02-2015 07:21 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  When you learn this, and validate this, it throws the whole Christianity belief basis out the window, thus discrediting it. Lets look at this real quick..

The epistles were written after the mythical jesus's death;

1) paul - written about 60 C.E., of the 13, he actually wrote 8. See the bottom where I get into Paul a bit more.

Paul's earliest epistles was written early to mid 50's C.E.

(03-02-2015 07:21 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  2) James - Epistle of James mentions Jesus only once as an introduction to his belief. Nowhere does the epistle reference a historical Jesus and this alone eliminates it from an historical account.

3) Peter - Many scholars question the authorship of Peter of the epistles. Even within the first epistle, it says in 5:12 that Silvanus wrote it. Most scholars consider the second epistle as unreliable or an outright forgery. The unknown authors of the epistles of Peter wrote long after the life of the traditional Peter. Moreover, Peter lived (if he ever lived at all) as an ignorant and illiterate peasant (even Acts 4:13 attests to this). In short, no one has any way of determining whether the epistles of Peter come from fraud, an author claiming himself to know what Peter said (hearsay), or from someone trying to further the aims of the Church. Encyclopedias usually describe a tradition that Saint Peter wrote them. However, whenever you see the word "tradition" it refers to a belief passed down within a society. In other words: hearsay. This is the definition of Pseudepigrapha; a book written in a biblical style and ascribed to an author who did not write it.

4) Jude - Even early Christians argued about its authenticity. It quotes an apocryphal book called Enoch as if it represented authorized Scripture. Biblical scholars do not think it possible for the alleged disciple Jude to have written it because whoever wrote it had to have written it during a period when the churches had long existed. Like the other alleged disciples, Jude would have lived as an illiterate peasant and unable to write (much less in Greek) but the author of Jude wrote in fluent high quality Greek..more forgery.

All irrelevant.

(03-02-2015 07:21 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  Then there are the non-christian sources as follows;

1) Josephus Flavius, (37–100 CE) the Jewish historian, lived as the earliest non-Christian who mentions a Jesus. Although many scholars think that Josephus' short accounts of Jesus (in Antiquities) came from interpolations perpetrated by a later Church father (most likely, Eusebius), Josephus' birth in 37 C.E. (well after the alleged crucifixion of Jesus), puts him out of range of an eyewitness account. Moreover, he wrote Antiquities in 93 C.E., after the first gospels got written. Therefore, even if his accounts about Jesus came from his hand, his information could only serve as hearsay.

The problem with your assessment and what you fail to mention is the fact that scholars already know what parts of Josephus accounts were interpolated...and once those interpolations are omitted, what do you have? The historical Jesus. No need to throw the baby out with the bath water.

Second, as you mentioned, Josephus was born in 37 CE, which means that by the time he was 20, he was an adult during the lifetime of the original disciples which would include Paul, who died around 65 CE. So this was not hearsay if the eyewitnesses of Jesus were the ones around telling the story in the same time and region that Josephus lived.

(03-02-2015 07:21 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  Josephus, a prolific and comprehensive Jewish historian, who would frequently write a few pages on the execution of common Jewish thieves, has not one authentic line that mentions Yeshua. “He” does mention “Christ” on two occasions, yet both have been convincingly exposed as interpolations.

As just mentioned, the part that was interpolated can be omitted and if that is the case you would still have the historical Jesus.

(03-02-2015 07:21 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  2) Pliny the Younger (born: 62 C.E.) His letter about the Christians only shows that he got his information from Christian believers themselves. Regardless, his birth date puts him out of range as an eyewitness account.

Right, and he said that these Christians were singing hymns to "Christ as if to a god"...and I use this passage as a reference when I try to explain to my Jehovah Witness friends that the concept of the Trinity was believed well before the reign of Constantine Big Grin

(03-02-2015 07:21 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  3) Tacitus, the Roman historian's birth year at 64 C.E., puts him well after the alleged life of Jesus. He gives a brief mention of a "Christus" in his Annals (Book XV, Sec. 44), which he wrote around 109 C.E. He gives no source for his material. Although many have disputed the authenticity of Tacitus' mention of Jesus, the very fact that his birth happened after the alleged Jesus and wrote the Annals during the formation of Christianity, shows that his writing can only provide us with hearsay accounts.

Bogus. Tacitus casually stated that Jesus was indeed crucified by Pontius Pilate, just like the Gospels tell us...and he didn't need to live in the 30's C.E to know this just like someone that is alive in 2050 didn't need to live in the 1960's to know that Oswald shot JFK (allegedly).

(03-02-2015 07:21 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  4) Suetonius, a Roman historian, born in 69 C.E., mentions a "Chrestus," a common name. Apologists assume that "Chrestus" means "Christ" (a disputable claim). But even if Seutonius had meant "Christ," it still says nothing about an earthly Jesus. Just like all the others, Suetonius' birth occurred well after the purported Jesus. Again, only hearsay.

I will give you this one...however, it is bogus to say that even if he meant Christ, it says nothing about the early Jesus...it would imply that Jesus existed, wouldn't it? Second, if the criterion is that a person had to live during the time of a person or even to establish historicity, then we need to disregard practically the entire genre of history then.

(03-02-2015 07:21 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  6) Thallus/africanus, In the ninth century a Byzantine writer named George Syncellus quoted a third-century Christian historian named Sextus Julius Africanus, who quoted an unknown writer named Thallus on the darkness at the crucifixion: 'Thallus in the third book of his history calls this darkness an eclipse of the sun, but in my opinion he is wrong.' All of the works of Africanus are lost, so there is no way to confirm the quote or to examine its context. We have no idea who Thallus was, or when he wrote. Third century would have put him being born long after jesus's alleged death, thus hearsay.

Regardless of who Thallus was, if there was never any darkness to begin with, then there wouldn't have been a need to provide a natural explanation for it, now would there? The fact that he tried to provide a naturalistic explanation for a darkness would imply that there was indeed a darkness during that time.

(03-02-2015 07:21 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  Christian apologists mostly use the above sources for their "evidence" of Jesus because they believe they represent the best outside sources. All other sources (Christian and non-Christian) come from even less reliable sources, some of which include: Mara Bar-Serapion (circa 73 C.E.), Ignatius (50 - 98? C.E.), Polycarp (69 - 155 C.E.), Clement of Rome (? - circa 160 C.E.), Justin Martyr (100 - 165 C.E.), Lucian (circa 125 - 180 C.E.), Tertullian (160 - ? C.E.), Clement of Alexandria (? - 215 C.E.), Origen (185 - 232 C.E.), Hippolytus (? - 236 C.E.), and Cyprian (? - 254 C.E.). As you can see, all these people lived well after the alleged death of Jesus. Not one of them provides an eyewitness account, all of them simply spout hearsay.

You take all of those sources, PLUS the Gospels, PLUS the writings of Paul, it is when you take ALL of these accounts and put them together, that is why it is enough for historians to conclude that Jesus of Nazareth existed...that is why the vast majority of all historians believe that Jesus existed.

(03-02-2015 07:21 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  So when we consider that during times of miraculous events, no one AT THE TIME thought they were significant enough to even write down, it kind of of makes a thinking person contemplate the validity of a story told and written down based on myth and hearsay 60-150 years later..For example;

Matthew 27:45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.

Mark 15:33 And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.

Luke 23:44-48 And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.

So if you were living during that time and in that region, and darkness covered the land, what would you have wrote down? You would have grabbed a pen and pad and wrote "Darkness covered the land for about 3 hours"...and then what? What good would it have done to write it down? Not to mention the fact that again, the majority of the people could not read and write anyway...and when the earth did receive light once again, it would have been something that have been forgotten about (for the most part).

(03-02-2015 07:21 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  Unfortunately, there is not one shred of evidence that this happened...zero, all of the royal scribes, historians, philosophers, and literate people who wrote down and recorded EVERYTHING of any significance, failed to note the whole earth going dark mid-day for three hours...an eclipse lasts about 7.5 mins max, so it wasn’t that....nothing, .....zero. Never happened.

First off, only Luke's narrative state that it covered the "whole earth", the other two state that it only covered the entire land, which could mean only Jerusalem was in darkness.


(03-02-2015 07:21 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  Another example:

Matthew 27:51-53
King James Version (KJV)
51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

Again…no one thought a zombie invasion was worthy of writing down…seems rather odd.

The people COULD NOT READ OR WRITE. You are making it seem as if as soon as stuff happened, people were supposed to run into their homes and just start writing away. After you write it, then what?? What happens after that? You put the paper in a drawer? What happens? Writing it down serves no purpose whatsoever.

(03-02-2015 07:21 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  When you research authorship of each book of the bible, you find out they were not written by whom you think, which makes them suspect for any level of validity. Let’s look at the gospels a bit more…

Actually when you research the history of Christianity, you will find that we get the knowledge of who wrote the Gospels from the early church fathers, dating back to the 2nd century AD.

(03-02-2015 07:21 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  Writings of the Gospels: Mark (60 to 75 CE), Matthew (80 to 90 CE), Luke (80 to 90 CE based on the Gospels of Mark), and John (80 to 110 CE) (Albl 283).

All Gospels can be argued to have been written prior to 70AD, and we will get to why in just a bit.

(03-02-2015 07:21 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  I have shown before in various venues the issues with the Gospels, the fact that we don’t know who wrote the gospels, the community effort that put them together, and the fact that they don’t agree with one another, all of which make them a suspect source of empirical evidence.

First off, we don't "know" who wrote anything in antiquity, you know why? Because no one alive was there. The question is, what are the reasons we believe that they wrote it, and as I said, it is because this was the uniform testimony from the early church, who was a lot closer to the scene than people living 2,000 years later in a far away land that frequent religious forums.

(03-02-2015 07:21 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  The Gospel of Matthew is generally believed to have been composed between 70 and 110, with most scholars preferring the period 80–90; a pre-70 date remains a minority view, but has been strongly supported. The anonymous author was probably a highly educated Jew, intimately familiar with the technical aspects of Jewish law, and the disciple Matthew was probably honored within his circle. The author drew on three main sources to compose his gospel: the Gospel of Mark; the hypothetical collection of sayings known as the Q source; and material unique to his own community, called "Special Matthew", or the M source. Note the part where I said...disciple matthew honored...and anonymous writer.

First off, the pre-70 date has been strongly supported as you admit. Why? Because the Temple of Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD, and NO Gospel mentions this event...and it would have been a good idea for, lets say, Matthew to have mentioned it. Why? Because Jesus predicted that the Temple would be destroyed (Matt 24:1-2).

And throughout the book, Matthew is painting Jesus out to be this wonderful prophecy fulfiller, if the book was written AFTER Jesus fulfilled the prophecy, it would have been a great idea to jot that tad bit of information down, right? Just sayin'. The Temple may not have been anything to you, but for the Jews, this was their central place of worship....this was a significant event for them of 9/11 portions...yet it was not mentioned anywhere in the New Testament...why? Because it hadn't happened yet, that is why.

That is good reasons to conclude that no Gospel should be dated post 70AD, so we can take that date and work backwards from there.

(03-02-2015 07:21 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  I find it interesting that the writer of matthew refers to "matthew" in the third person.

Writing in the third person is just a literary style that is based on the discretion of the author.

(03-02-2015 07:21 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  Matthew claims jesus was born in "the days of herod the king." Yet Herod died in 4 BCE. Luke reports that jesus was born "when Cyrenius (Quirinius) was governor of Syria." Cyrenius became governor of Syria in 6 CE...that is a discrepancy of 9 years. Luke says Jesus was born during a roman census, and it is true there was a census in 6 CE. This would have been when jesus was 9 years old according to matthew. There is no evidence of an earlier census during the reign of Augustine. Which is true?

There is also no evidence that there wasn't an earlier census during the reign of Augustine. You are talking as if we currently know everything there is to know about ancient history. We are 2,000 years removed from the scene....Luke was just a few decades removed from the scene, and the last I checked, the closer you are in the time frame of the events, the closer you are to the truth value of what occurred, and absence of evidence is NOT evidence of absence.

(03-02-2015 07:21 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  Matthew also reports that Herod slaughtered all first born in the land in order to execute jesus. No historian, contemporary or later, ever mentions this alleged genocide, an event that should have caught someones attention....like the many miraculous stories of jesus, no one at the time thought they were cool enough to record...odd don't you think?

Yeah, "in the land"...and Bethlehem was a small town back then in the same way it is a small town now, with the population currently under 30k, and that is probably just of what the town represents (Christ' birth) as opposed to it being a cool place to live. How many children would have been under the age of 2 in a small town at that particular town? Not many.

(03-02-2015 07:21 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  The gospel of Mark; Most modern scholars reject the tradition which ascribes it to Mark the Evangelist, the companion of Peter, and regard it as the work of an unknown author working with various sources including collections of miracle stories, controversy stories, parables, and a passion narrative. Mark is the oldest of the synoptic gospels, of which the authors of matthew, and luke based their stories. All scholars agree that the last 12 verses of Mark, are highly dubious and are considered interpolations. The earliest ancient documents of mark end right after the women find the empty tomb. This means that in the first biography, on which the others based their reports, there is no post-resurrection appearance or ascension of jesus.

The question is, why would they reject the early church testimony that Mark, companion of Peter, wrote a Gospel? As if people living 2,000 years after the fact know something that the early church fathers didn't know.

Second, no one will disagree about whether the last 12 verses of Mark was an interpolation...but it is bogus to imply that the earliest manuscripts of Mark doesn't have a post-mortem account. The young man in the tomb told the women "Tell his disciples and Peter, he is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see him, just as he told you." So the narrative is saying that not only had Jesus risen, but he planned a meeting with his followers.

(03-02-2015 07:21 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  Luke: Tradition holds that the text was written by Luke the companion of Paul (named in Colossians 4:14). Many modern scholars reject this view, although the list of scholars maintaining authorship by Luke the physician is lengthy, and represents scholars from a wide range of theological opinion. According to Raymond E. Brown, opinion concerning Lukan authorship was ‘about evenly divided’ as of 1997.

Above you were talking about lack of eyewitnesses, but guess what...in his preface, Luke stated that his account is BASED on eyewitness testimony (Luke 1:1-3). He also stated that he "carefully investigated everything from the beginning", so if he used Mark as a source for his material, then it is because he thought Mark was a valid source.

And even if it wasn't Luke (for arguments sake), whoever wrote it is claiming that the information is based on eyewitness accounts. This doesn't strike me as something someone would say if he is making something up. That there was eyewitness accounts to an event that never happened based on a man that never existed?? Makes no sense.

(03-02-2015 07:21 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  John: The gospel identifies its author as "the disciple whom Jesus loved." Although the text does not name this disciple, by the beginning of the 2nd century, a tradition had begun to form which identified him with John the Apostle, one of the Twelve (Jesus' innermost circle). Although some notable New Testament scholars affirm traditional Johannine scholarship, the majority do not believe that John or one of the Apostles wrote it, and trace it instead to a "Johannine community" which traced its traditions to John.

Ok, so for arguments sake, lets say that John the disciple didn't write it...but guess what, it was ONE of the disciples...someone that was there (John 21:24). So again, right back to eyewitness testimony.

(03-02-2015 07:21 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  paul - written about 60 C.E., of the 13, he actually wrote 8. Not a single instance in any of Paul's writings claims that he ever meets or sees an earthly Jesus, nor does Paul give any reference to Jesus' life on earth (except for a few well known interpolations - Bible interpolation, or Bible redaction, is the art of adding stuff to the Bible). Therefore, all accounts about a Jesus could only have come from other believers or his imagination. Hearsay.

First off, there is no debate over who wrote 1Corinthians, particularly 1Corin 15:3-7...Paul wrote it. And no one has claimed that Paul met Jesus, but guess what...for the third time, you want to talk about eyewitnesses? Paul stated that he met with Peter and James, who WERE eyewitnesses (Gal 1:18-24).

(03-02-2015 07:21 PM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  There’s no indication from Scripture that Paul and Jesus ever met before the Damascus Road incident. And Acts 9:4-7 doesn’t specify whether the Lord’s encounter with Paul was physical or not. It only says Paul saw a bright light and heard a voice. (hallucination/lie)The men with him heard a loud sound but didn’t see anything. In subsequent re-tellings of the encounter Paul never indicated that He had actually seen Jesus at that time.

Well, he stated in 1Corin 15:3-7 that he was one of the people that Jesus appeared to, now whether he was talking about the Damascus road incident or another appearance that we don't know about, we don't know.
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05-02-2015, 07:36 PM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(05-02-2015 05:46 PM)Chas Wrote:  And how did Jesus make this offer? Did he tweet you? Consider

He made it to me in a Holy Book that has been carefully passed down and preserved for thousands of years, that applies to his followers today as much as it did yesterday. I sincerely doubt that Twitter will be around in 2,000 years...yet, 2,000 years after the words were written, the Bible is still here....that, my friend, is preservation.
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05-02-2015, 07:40 PM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(05-02-2015 11:59 AM)Full Circle Wrote:  Yet here you are puffing up your chest and STILL avoiding the question.

What was the question?

(05-02-2015 11:59 AM)Full Circle Wrote:  Just to be clear I’m using the term Dualism in the “Western philosophical traditions, as exemplified by Descartes, equate mind with the conscious self and theorize on consciousness on the basis of mind/body dualism”

In other words that the mind can exist without the body.

I couldn't have said it better myself Cool

(05-02-2015 11:59 AM)Full Circle Wrote:  As for what you write above you need to restate as I can make no heads or tails of it.

Its funny, because I just read it and neither can I lol. Never mind.
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05-02-2015, 07:45 PM
RE: Commonly Used Debate Arguments for Dummies
(05-02-2015 09:28 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  Cool, I admire your honesty of having fear instead of faith.

Of course most atheists see Christianity as a simple religion created by men to control other men, the "offer you can't refuse" makes this apparent.

Hey, Christianity isn't for everyone. Jesus said himself...Matt 7:13-14

"13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."


I am not preaching, but it was relevant.
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