Yet Another Logical/Scientific Epic Fail by Jesus
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14-03-2013, 05:18 PM (This post was last modified: 14-03-2013 05:23 PM by Starcrash.)
Yet Another Logical/Scientific Epic Fail by Jesus
A talk by historian Richard Carrier showed me another gem from the New Testament that I had totally missed. To quote Mark 7:1-15...

Quote: 7 And there are gathered together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, who had come from Jerusalem,

2 and had seen that some of his disciples ate their bread with defiled, that is, unwashen, hands.


3 (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands diligently, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders;


4 and when they come from the market-place, except they bathe themselves, they eat not; and many other things there are, which they have received to hold, washings of cups, and pots, and brasen vessels.)


5 And the Pharisees and the scribes ask him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with defiled hands?


6 And he said unto them, Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoreth me with their lips, But their heart is far from me.


7 But in vain do they worship me, Teaching as their doctrines the precepts of men.


8 Ye leave the commandment of God, and hold fast the tradition of men.


9 And he said unto them, Full well do ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your tradition.


10 For Moses said, Honor thy father and thy mother; and, He that speaketh evil of father or mother, let him die the death:


11 but ye say, If a man shall say to his father or his mother, That wherewith thou mightest have been profited by me is Corban, that is to say, Given to God;


12 ye no longer suffer him to do aught for his father or his mother;


13 making void the word of God by your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things ye do.


14 And he called to him the multitude again, and said unto them, Hear me all of you, and understand:


15 there is nothing from without the man, that going into him can defile him; but the things which proceed out of the man are those that defile the man.

The scientific error here is very easy to spot: Jesus and his disciples were eating food with dirty hands, and the Pharisees and the scribes suggested that he ought to wash his hands (as was tradition) and Jesus rebukes them by declaring that they ought to follow the law over traditions. But now that we know about the Germ Theory of Disease, this would have been a perfect opportunity for Jesus to make hand-washing a law or to explain why the Pharisees were correct about being health-conscious (because they were). So Jesus, who supposedly knew about germs, ate with dirty hands and argued with people who told him that he shouldn't do that.

The logical errors are many, and a little harder to notice: For one thing, Jesus argued over following the law over tradition, but there was no part of the Jewish law that demanded eating with dirty hands. What Jesus did was make a fallacious argument of Ad Hominem Tu Quoque, in which he dismissed their arguments because they were just as guilty of not following the rules. As many of us know, shooting the messenger is unreasonable. It doesn't matter if the Pharisees and scribes followed the old rule of stoning disobedient children, because they could be wrong *and* Jesus could be wrong... pointing out that your opponent is wrong doesn't prove that you're right.

The other thing I'd like to point out here is the message in verse 15 where Jesus says that nothing going into a man "defiles him", which could very well be an argument for the eating of food that the Old Testament declared "unclean" and "forbidden". Not only does this contradict the Old Testament, but it allows for cannibalism (because Jesus doesn't note any exceptions). But as far as logical contradictions go (which is my theme here), Jesus is arguing that people aren't defiled by the food they eat. That's not what the Pharisees were arguing against -- they made a point about *how* he was eating, not what he was eating. So Jesus also set up a straw man to knock down.

Not only is the bible full of myth (debunking fundamentalism), but even a liberal view of the bible leaves one wondering how an all-knowing God could have allowed such poor reasoning into His holy book.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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15-03-2013, 06:42 AM
RE: Yet Another Logical/Scientific Epic Fail by Jesus
But over-cleanliness also leads to health problems, so perhaps he was on to something Wink

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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15-03-2013, 08:02 AM
RE: Yet Another Logical/Scientific Epic Fail by Jesus
Ummm, Jesus wasn't omniscient.

It stands no reason why He would understand germs and such. He had the earthly knowledge of the humans of that time.

Edit:
The only time He could know "more" would be if God revealed it to Him. Apparently, God didn't have a concern of germs at that moment in time because that's not what Jesus is addressing.

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15-03-2013, 08:26 AM
RE: Yet Another Logical/Scientific Epic Fail by Jesus
Quote:The scientific error here is very easy to spot: Jesus and his disciples were eating food with dirty hands, and the Pharisees and the scribes suggested that he ought to wash his hands (as was tradition) and Jesus rebukes them by declaring that they ought to follow the law over traditions. But now that we know about the Germ Theory of Disease, this would have been a perfect opportunity for Jesus to make hand-washing a law or to explain why the Pharisees were correct about being health-conscious (because they were). So Jesus, who supposedly knew about germs, ate with dirty hands and argued with people who told him that he shouldn't do that.

The logical errors are many, and a little harder to notice: For one thing, Jesus argued over following the law over tradition, but there was no part of the Jewish law that demanded eating with dirty hands. What Jesus did was make a fallacious argument of Ad Hominem Tu Quoque, in which he dismissed their arguments because they were just as guilty of not following the rules. As many of us know, shooting the messenger is unreasonable. It doesn't matter if the Pharisees and scribes followed the old rule of stoning disobedient children, because they could be wrong *and* Jesus could be wrong... pointing out that your opponent is wrong doesn't prove that you're right.

The other thing I'd like to point out here is the message in verse 15 where Jesus says that nothing going into a man "defiles him", which could very well be an argument for the eating of food that the Old Testament declared "unclean" and "forbidden". Not only does this contradict the Old Testament, but it allows for cannibalism (because Jesus doesn't note any exceptions). But as far as logical contradictions go (which is my theme here), Jesus is arguing that people aren't defiled by the food they eat. That's not what the Pharisees were arguing against -- they made a point about *how* he was eating, not what he was eating. So Jesus also set up a straw man to knock down.

Not only is the bible full of myth (debunking fundamentalism), but even a liberal view of the bible leaves one wondering how an all-knowing God could have allowed such poor reasoning into His holy book.
1. Many arguments between Jesus and the Pharisees had to do with the oral Talmud and their posting men's traditions above scripture, something some people on this forum do sometimes, too. The Talmud proscribed the handwashing. Jesus was looking for clean hearts. His disciples who loved Him were "ready to dine". 2. There is no discussion of health issues in this passage... the Pharisees wanted to know why the Son of God's disciples wouldn't bow to the traditions of the elders...
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15-03-2013, 09:39 AM
RE: Yet Another Logical/Scientific Epic Fail by Jesus
(15-03-2013 06:42 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  But over-cleanliness also leads to health problems, so perhaps he was on to something Wink

Except every nurse will say that washing your hands is the number one germ fighter and recommend that there's never too much (with basic soap and water).


(15-03-2013 08:02 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  Ummm, Jesus wasn't omniscient.

It stands no reason why He would understand germs and such. He had the earthly knowledge of the humans of that time.

Edit:
The only time He could know "more" would be if God revealed it to Him. Apparently, God didn't have a concern of germs at that moment in time because that's not what Jesus is addressing.
So instead of addressing the issue and having it done with, we waste time discussing it and quoting it and living it and.... ? Only to be proven the truth by doctors later?

I know, I know... in his time.
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15-03-2013, 03:30 PM (This post was last modified: 15-03-2013 03:48 PM by Starcrash.)
RE: Yet Another Logical/Scientific Epic Fail by Jesus
(15-03-2013 08:26 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  1. Many arguments between Jesus and the Pharisees had to do with the oral Talmud and their posting men's traditions above scripture, something some people on this forum do sometimes, too. The Talmud proscribed the handwashing. Jesus was looking for clean hearts. His disciples who loved Him were "ready to dine". 2. There is no discussion of health issues in this passage... the Pharisees wanted to know why the Son of God's disciples wouldn't bow to the traditions of the elders...

Do you even think before speaking or is defense of the bible a knee-jerk reaction?

I already answered the "traditions above scripture" argument... they aren't mutually-exclusive because the scripture didn't command anyone to eat with dirty hands. Jesus could "look for clean hearts" and also avoid disease at the same time. The Jewish traditions weren't "evil" or "sinful", so there wasn't any need to discard of them (especially when they were scientifically correct!).

And I also mentioned that there "ought" to be a discussion of health issues in that passage... I know there aren't any, but that's noticeably lacking. Aren't you the same person who was arguing that the Old Testament was chock full of "recipes for good health"? Yes, here it is ...


Quote: How convenient! Of course, the Jews were more advanced beyond their contemporaries--the 600 Bible laws contain over 200 "recipes" for good health...

And yet here is another chance to introduce a "recipe for good health" that Jesus totally missed. Not only did he not point out the wisdom of washing one's hands before eating, but he decided to argue against it, setting an example for future Christians who might also be tempted to "follow the Jewish traditions" by also washing their hands. Do you see yet why I'm skeptical of the Old Testament's "recipes for good health"? They were accidental if even existent.

Keep your arguments consistent. You're not going to do a good job of that by defending the bible, because the bible is inconsistent. Most importantly, it's logically inconsistent. Maybe you don't understand logic enough to address this part of my argument, too, but it's worth looking into.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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15-03-2013, 03:36 PM (This post was last modified: 15-03-2013 03:45 PM by Starcrash.)
RE: Yet Another Logical/Scientific Epic Fail by Jesus
(15-03-2013 08:02 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  Ummm, Jesus wasn't omniscient.

It stands no reason why He would understand germs and such. He had the earthly knowledge of the humans of that time.

Edit:
The only time He could know "more" would be if God revealed it to Him. Apparently, God didn't have a concern of germs at that moment in time because that's not what Jesus is addressing.

Well, this is a new argument. Jesus was fully god but not omniscient? Wasn't he at least on speaking terms with His father, an omniscient being? Don't you think partway through his speech to the Pharisees that His father might say, "Psst! I gotta talk to you for a second before you teach this lesson about not washing your hands, a lesson that I fully intend to allow into my inspired word"?

But you say God didn't reveal that because God "didn't have a concern of germs" (despite the fact that it would end up in the bible that way). Do you have kids? Does it concern you when they do harmful things? Is this another example of God's "love", how he lets people discover germs thousands of years later after millions have died from it? Is that why the bible includes pages of boring lineages but not a single page about how to cure cancer?

Finally, I'd love to point out that I know you don't find the bible to be scientifically accurate, but I'd assume that you think it's logically accurate. Did you fail to address the logic part (the part that would be important for liberal believers like you) because you couldn't? Or did you simply not have the time?

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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15-03-2013, 04:04 PM
RE: Yet Another Logical/Scientific Epic Fail by Jesus
I can't remember what it's called, but there's a cognitive bias in which people will take a group of arguments, debate against the one that they believe is the weakest, and believe that they've shot them all down. If anyone's familiar with it or can find it, I'd be grateful for the reminder.

By any name, it's very frustrating. I'd appreciate it if arguments against my conclusion would take on all of my arguments, not attempt to "pick the low-hanging fruit". Or at least agree with me on the arguments that you can't take on, if that is the case.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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16-03-2013, 04:06 AM
RE: Yet Another Logical/Scientific Epic Fail by Jesus
(15-03-2013 08:02 AM)kingschosen Wrote:  Ummm, Jesus wasn't omniscient.

It stands no reason why He would understand germs and such. He had the earthly knowledge of the humans of that time.

Edit:
The only time He could know "more" would be if God revealed it to Him. Apparently, God didn't have a concern of germs at that moment in time because that's not what Jesus is addressing.
Re "Ummm, Jesus wasn't omniscient."

If you admit that, why then, do you Christians dote over things he allegedly said?

Surely it's not because you admire his teachings? Most of what he said was fundamentally flawed. He was no great teacher, and most definitely not a philosopher.
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16-03-2013, 02:44 PM (This post was last modified: 16-03-2013 02:48 PM by darthbreezy.)
RE: Yet Another Logical/Scientific Epic Fail by Jesus
(15-03-2013 04:04 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  I can't remember what it's called, but there's a cognitive bias in which people will take a group of arguments, debate against the one that they believe is the weakest, and believe that they've shot them all down. If anyone's familiar with it or can find it, I'd be grateful for the reminder.



By any name, it's very frustrating. I'd appreciate it if arguments against my conclusion would take on all of my arguments, not attempt to "pick the low-hanging fruit". Or at least agree with me on the arguments that you can't take on, if that is the case.

Are you trying to describe cognitive dissonance? Cognitive dissonance is when someone holds conflicting beliefs but it's extremely uncomfortable to let go of either, even though the keeping of both beliefs is impossible (e.g. Jesus was fully god, Jesus was not fully god on Earth--but someone needs to keep both of these beliefs in order to justify their answers to any questions, even though it makes NO logical sense to do so).

Keep your rosaries out of my ovaries, and your theology out of my biology.
"If you could reason with religious people, there would be no religious people." --Dr. House
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