Not So Pleasant Dinner Conversation – Juries, etc (Postzilla) part 2

Rather than having one mega post, here is part 2 of the post about juries, etc. Part one is here.

I have said that there are only stories that Paul existed as claimed.  That includes his supposed conversion.  I can also say that there are only stories that Simon Magus flew around since that also cannot be shown as true either.  There are many stories that have no evidence supporting them.  We have the claims that King Solomon used demons to build the Temple of Solomon. I ask our Christians:  Is that a story or is it the truth?  How can you tell? We have no evidence of such a temple so who knows how it was built, if it existed at all.  This also applies to the supposed empty tomb.  We have no tomb so we have no idea if anyone was in it, or if anyone disappeared from it.

Acts is a story, and again, we have nothing more than it to claim that someone named Luke traveled with someone named Paul who could do miracles.   In this, SS assumes both men existed as described in the bible with no evidence of such a thing.  If this is simply a story, then there was no information exchanged “first hand”.  It is claimed that “Paul refers numerous times to his conversion experience numerous times in his letters”.  No he does not.  We have these two passages that mention a conversion but no details:

1 Galatians: 15 But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being.

1 Corinthians 15: Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

We have Acts where the story gets different details when it’s told.  It is claimed  that as long as we have accounts written by someone themselves, then their claims should be considered evidence of an occurrence.  Hmmm, so when I claim that Daleks have landed in my backyard and are enjoying pina coladas, that should be taken as evidence that this really did happen?  What?  Someone doesn’t believe me when I’ve written this down myself?  Darn, I guess “once again, sometimes nothing is  good enough”.  :) Continue reading “Not So Pleasant Dinner Conversation – Juries, etc (Postzilla) part 2”

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Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Juries, sources and what the gospels has to say about 500 witnsses among other things (aka Postzilla part 1)

religion selective hearingthis post has been split into two parts.  part 2 can be found here.)

 

Sorry for the hiatus on the blog, everyone.  I thought I might address one of the comments on one of the other blog entries since there are some interesting claims by a Christian apologist and a blog entry is more conducive to a thorough investigation of them.   I’ve also been kibitzing in comments so check there for more discussion. This is a long post, but you know that this will often be the case on my blog.  They may be to your taste or not.

Currently, we’ve had Ben and his guest poster Silverswiper (from here out termed SS) commenting on my reviews of their claims.  They  indulge in the usual Christian apologist nonsense but that’s what I’m here to rebut so it works out well.  I do appreciate their participation.  Their use of a lot of the typical apologist claims always gives a good place to start from.  As is common, refuting the claims of theists, especially Christians gets very tedious and repetitive.   Dearly held beliefs given to them by people they trust are hard to eradicate.  Add to that the very pleasant fantasy that one is the special focus of some omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent deity, and it’s a very addictive combination.  I found it to be so myself when I was a Christian and it is not pleasant at all to lose such beliefs.  The feelings of withdrawal e.g. “I can’t have been that wrong.”  will keep a believer coming back for years, still hoping for any evidence for their god or eventually any gods at all.

I found myself in that situation when I finally lost my faith in Christianity and went looking at other religions.  Thanks to that search, I know a lot about many religions.  I had a shelf full of books about Wicca.  I still have a handful of manuals from the Rosicrucians and a shelf full of books on comparative religion.   They all unsurprisingly gave many promises of what worshipping the god and following the religion would achieve.  And unsurprisingly, all of those promises failed just like the ones offered by  Christianity. Then one goes to the effort of creating a god that doesn’t fail, one that does nothing but exist, just to salve those wounds of abandonment.

SS has offered stories  as evidence and I have berated him for that.  He claims that stories are evidence.  I’ll try to clarify why that is the case in the instances of claiming that since a story exists about Jesus, that means he existed.  I can claim that I have a dragon in my attic.  Is this evidence for the dragon or just a claim that I have one?  A similar instance: I claim I killed a man.  Is this evidence or just a story until I can provide evidence to support it?

For example, the claim of an “empty tomb” is nothing more than a story, it has nothing to support that there was a tomb or that it was empty.  A story isn’t a bad thing but it’s not the truth.  Much of ancient history we know because of similar stories, claims of cities, battles, and gods. But what is history and what is myth can be determined by artifacts, contemporary accounts, etc.   SS used an old apologist claim that “pretty much all of ancient history can be discounted because, after all, they are just “stories”.”  Unfortunately, he and other apologists, fail to realize that those stories that archaeologists have followed have either been proven true, partially true or false.  For instance,  we had folks following the story of the battle of Troy and have found a site that is generally agreed upon as the site of  Troy, the site and artifacts fits the legend fairly well.  However, we have not found evidence of the Greek gods’ involvement there or of Cassandra or any of the magical things claimed by the legends.  In contrast, your stories about Jesus  Christ is a story that has gods and events and real places mentioned,  *but* there are no artifacts, no contemporary accounts for what should have been very noticeable things, etc.  Both stories  have extraordinary claims concerning magic and gods and there is no reason to think that those parts of the stories are true.  We have a city of Troy; Christians don’t even have a tomb.  That’s what is different between the bible stories and the stories from other sources, be they pagan or not.   Continue reading “Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Juries, sources and what the gospels has to say about 500 witnsses among other things (aka Postzilla part 1)”