Reliability of the Gospels
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11-12-2012, 09:45 AM
RE: Reliability of the Gospels
(11-12-2012 09:24 AM)Free Wrote:  
Quote:If a fan of Harry Potter, handed down the stories with perfect fidelity to a series of Other Harry Potter fans, it would not be proof positive that wizards existed, only that a story can be repeated as told.


In pure logic and reasoning, we would need to categorize this assertion among the fallacies known as False Analogy.

Quote:In an analogy, two objects (or events), A and B are shown to be similar. Then it is argued that since A has property P, so also B must have property P. An analogy fails when the two objects, A and B, are different in a way which affects whether they both have property P.

http://onegoodmove.org/fallacy/falsean.htm

Since we know conclusively that Harry Potter is fictional (P), but cannot determine conclusively that the existence of Jesus is fictional (P), the analogy is false.

Quote:Again I feel a need to emphasize that supernatural claims are not and never will be substantiated by the repeating of a story, no matter how well it's retold

Again, there is more to this than the mere supernatural claims. As they say, "do not throw the baby out with the bathwater."
But what does the alleged reliability of the transmission of supernatural myths mean? Of what importance is it?

What baby are we in danger of throwing out with the mythical bathwater?

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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11-12-2012, 11:34 AM
Reliability of the Gospels
(11-12-2012 09:24 AM)Free Wrote:  
Quote:If a fan of Harry Potter, handed down the stories with perfect fidelity to a series of Other Harry Potter fans, it would not be proof positive that wizards existed, only that a story can be repeated as told.


In pure logic and reasoning, we would need to categorize this assertion among the fallacies known as False Analogy.

Quote:In an analogy, two objects (or events), A and B are shown to be similar. Then it is argued that since A has property P, so also B must have property P. An analogy fails when the two objects, A and B, are different in a way which affects whether they both have property P.

http://onegoodmove.org/fallacy/falsean.htm

Since we know conclusively that Harry Potter is fictional (P), but cannot determine conclusively that the existence of Jesus is fictional (P), the analogy is false.

Quote:Again I feel a need to emphasize that supernatural claims are not and never will be substantiated by the repeating of a story, no matter how well it's retold

Again, there is more to this than the mere supernatural claims. As they say, "do not throw the baby out with the bathwater."

I am not asserting that everything in the bible or Koran is without basis. I am asserting that all supernatural claims are unsupported by evidence and a mere juxtaposition with possible historical events does not create such evidence.
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11-12-2012, 12:49 PM
RE: Reliability of the Gospels
(10-12-2012 09:55 PM)Free Wrote:  
Quote:Perhaps you're just stuck on this example of Islam. Take Greek mythology (or in fact anything today referred to as "mythology"). We have little doubt that the stories have been well-preserved and passed on "as is". But that doesn't make them true, even if there are people who claimed to have seen the events.

Remember also that the writers of the gospels had a bias... they wanted people to believe that Jesus not only existed but was the Son of God, and so they had reason to lie, embellish, and hide important facts. A bias doesn't necessarily make their stories lies, embellishments, or slanted, but it does give us good reason to doubt them -- especially 2000 years after the fact when we can't interview them for ourselves. A skeptic would view these stories in the same way that he or she views mythology; the events don't parallel things that we know happen in our lives, so it's unlikely that they were true simply because they were in the past.

I agree with most of what you have said, however, what the argument here is about is whether or not there is any actual historical value in the gospel regarding Jesus of Nazareth.

Some people say none at all, others say maybe there's something there. I am of the school that perhaps there's something there, and the gospels themselves are an embellishment of an earlier text that had the sayings of Jesus without the narrative. This hypothetical text is known as "The Q Source."

As mentioned earlier, the Gospel of Thomas may be a good example of a Q source.
I wasn't straw-manning the argument... my reply was an argument for why we shouldn't look for "historical value" in the gospel regarding Jesus of Nazareth. I compared it to other documents that one, if he or she was inclined to believe that they were about factual events, might see as "historical"... or if one was not inclined to believe them, "mythical".

Bart Ehrman did a great series on The Historical Jesus (I'd love to cite it but I can't find the link to the free downloads -- perhaps someone else here can). He was inclined to believe that Jesus was an apocalyptic prophet (and a real person). Other have rightly questioned whether Jesus was real (due to his lack of making a mark in history outside of the scriptures). The truth is that we can't, with the evidence at hand, know for certain whether he was real or not, but I'm not going to be led to believe it just because he was written about in a book by his biased believers... otherwise, why not just believe The Book of Mormon or Dianetics?

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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11-12-2012, 04:30 PM
RE: Reliability of the Gospels
It seems we have
transitioned from the Gospels to the Quaran:



The typical argument I hear regarding the Qur' an is


“The original texts of most of the former divine Books were lost altogether, and only their
translations exist today. The Qur’an, on the other hand, exists exactly as it
had been revealed to the Prophet; not a word - nay, not a dot of it - has been
changed. It is available in its original text and the Word of God has been
preserved for all times to come.”
[/font]


And further,


“So well has it [the Qur'an] been preserved both in memory and in writing, that the Arabic text we
have today is identical to the text as it was revealed to the Prophet. Not even
a single letter has yielded to corruption during the passage of the centuries.
And so it will remain forever, by the consent of Allah."



Both Points, even if true (except for the consent of Allah part, as an imaginary character
cannot give consent), have absolutely nothing to do with the validity of any of
the supernatural claims in the Qur'an. In fact there has never been, and I
seriously doubt there will ever be be, any verifiable evidence
to corroborate any text or claim in the Qur'an except for some of the
mundane geographic, mundane biographical and mundane historical contexts of the
stories.



There have been many "Holy Books" written, some before some after the Qur'an;
all purporting to convey the word of their deity or deities. None of them including the Qur'an are
anything other then old stories, asserting the supernatural, with a sprinkle of
reality, in a vain attempt to lend credence to their wildly absurd supernatural
claims.



You may substitute the word Bible in place of Qur'an and the argument is virtually identical, although
the Bible arguably has suffered more translations and alterations then the
Qur'an, neither touch on any truth or evidence of the supernatural, other than
the writings themselves which embroils one in many logical fallacies including but not limited to,
begging the question, appeals to authority, bandwagon, and shifts of the burden
of proof.
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11-12-2012, 07:00 PM
RE: Reliability of the Gospels
(11-12-2012 09:45 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(11-12-2012 09:24 AM)Free Wrote:  In pure logic and reasoning, we would need to categorize this assertion among the fallacies known as False Analogy.


http://onegoodmove.org/fallacy/falsean.htm

Since we know conclusively that Harry Potter is fictional (P), but cannot determine conclusively that the existence of Jesus is fictional (P), the analogy is false.


Again, there is more to this than the mere supernatural claims. As they say, "do not throw the baby out with the bathwater."
But what does the alleged reliability of the transmission of supernatural myths mean? Of what importance is it?

What baby are we in danger of throwing out with the mythical bathwater?


Well that depends on the perspective you hold on to. Even to me, the transmission of the supernatural myths is merely evidence of the Greek embellishment for a historical figure for the purpose of driving forward a zealot ridden belief system.

The "baby" we are in danger of tossing out is the historicity of a significant person. Despite my disdain for a religion as an atheist, my personal nature in reference to historical persons is to establish history with indifference.

So somewhere beneath the myths and embellishments, somebody named Jesus who was regarded as the Christ by many 1st century Jews was crucified by Pontius Pilate around AD 30 - 35.

How can anyone become an atheist when we were all born with no religious beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were ...
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11-12-2012, 07:07 PM
RE: Reliability of the Gospels
(11-12-2012 11:34 AM)vindicarblack Wrote:  
(11-12-2012 09:24 AM)Free Wrote:  In pure logic and reasoning, we would need to categorize this assertion among the fallacies known as False Analogy.


http://onegoodmove.org/fallacy/falsean.htm

Since we know conclusively that Harry Potter is fictional (P), but cannot determine conclusively that the existence of Jesus is fictional (P), the analogy is false.


Again, there is more to this than the mere supernatural claims. As they say, "do not throw the baby out with the bathwater."

I am not asserting that everything in the bible or Koran is without basis. I am asserting that all supernatural claims are unsupported by evidence and a mere juxtaposition with possible historical events does not create such evidence.
No one here is saying anything about the supernatural claims supplying any direct evidence of anything other than the embellishment of a historical person.

Think of it as a chain of evidence, linking one thing to the next to present a reasonable argument. Each link provided an explanation, but even the entire chain proves nothing conclusively.

When it comes to history, it is generally written according to the best argument that explains the evidence.

How can anyone become an atheist when we were all born with no religious beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were ...
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11-12-2012, 07:08 PM
RE: Reliability of the Gospels
(11-12-2012 07:00 PM)Free Wrote:  
(11-12-2012 09:45 AM)Chas Wrote:  But what does the alleged reliability of the transmission of supernatural myths mean? Of what importance is it?

What baby are we in danger of throwing out with the mythical bathwater?


Well that depends on the perspective you hold on to. Even to me, the transmission of the supernatural myths is merely evidence of the Greek embellishment for a historical figure for the purpose of driving forward a zealot ridden belief system.

The "baby" we are in danger of tossing out is the historicity of a significant person. Despite my disdain for a religion as an atheist, my personal nature in reference to historical persons is to establish history with indifference.

So somewhere beneath the myths and embellishments, somebody named Jesus who was regarded as the Christ by many 1st century Jews was crucified by Pontius Pilate around AD 30 - 35.


One has to stay skeptical of the supernatural content and understand the forces that inject it into the narrative to uncover any evidence that may exist.

I don't deny that there may have been such a person.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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11-12-2012, 07:22 PM
RE: Reliability of the Gospels
(11-12-2012 07:08 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(11-12-2012 07:00 PM)Free Wrote:  Well that depends on the perspective you hold on to. Even to me, the transmission of the supernatural myths is merely evidence of the Greek embellishment for a historical figure for the purpose of driving forward a zealot ridden belief system.

The "baby" we are in danger of tossing out is the historicity of a significant person. Despite my disdain for a religion as an atheist, my personal nature in reference to historical persons is to establish history with indifference.

So somewhere beneath the myths and embellishments, somebody named Jesus who was regarded as the Christ by many 1st century Jews was crucified by Pontius Pilate around AD 30 - 35.


One has to stay skeptical of the supernatural content and understand the forces that inject it into the narrative to uncover any evidence that may exist.

I don't deny that there may have been such a person.


Being skeptical is just a given, yes. Yet, a quick browse of the history of Greek culture shows us that a mere man was never good enough for a society that parked a god on every street corner, so to speak. They had to make Jesus into something greater than he actually was to sell him to a god crazy populace.

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12-12-2012, 06:08 PM
Reliability of the Gospels
All of the holy books fail even the loosest standard of evidence as they are iteration after iteration of hearsay within hearsay
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12-12-2012, 06:25 PM
RE: Reliability of the Gospels
(12-12-2012 06:08 PM)vindicarblack Wrote:  All of the holy books fail even the loosest standard of evidence as they are iteration after iteration of hearsay within hearsay
But the one question remains: "What is the origin?"

One of the biggest problems for those who adhere to the total myth of Jesus theory is that there is no evidence in antiquity whatsoever of anybody ever claiming Jesus was a myth. Although this is an argument from silence, it escapes the fallacy moniker for the reason that it is a reasonable inductive argument where no deductive argument can dispute it.

Since we have so many ancient writings of people who were not Christians but knew of Jesus, yet none saying he never existed, the argument from silence here can be very convincing.

Believe me, I have looked long and hard for any of this kind of evidence and found absolutely none.

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