The Library

As suggested by one of my guests, here is a list for Christians that would like to familiarize themselves with what atheists think.  Please make suggestions for sources to be added. 

Most of these links will be to Amazon since that’s easiest, but make sure you think about your local booksellers when looking for these books.  They also are likely available on interlibrary loan at your local branch.  The links are in no particular order.  If books are out of copyright, a great source that may have them is Project Gutenberg.  There are country-specific ones so look about.

The Bible – this website has a bunch of versions plus the abilty to search by keyword and by chapter/verse.  Some versions of the bible also have commentary.  You too can see just how silly the thing is.

Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why by Bart Ehrman – Ehrman is a Biblical scholar and has written many books. This is the one I’ve read so far.

What Do You Do With a Chocolate Jesus?: An Irreverent History of Christianity  – a humorous tour through Christian history. 

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins – One of the “classics”.  I haven’t read this.  Christians often think all atheists worship Dawkins.  And they are wrong.

God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Hitchens – another “classic”.  I haven’t read it either.  Hitch was a good pro-atheism writer but I can’t forget he was quite mistaken when it came to other things.

Letter to a Christian Nation by Harris – the last of the triumvirate of “classics”. Again, haven’t read it.

Why Evolution Is True by Coyne – good overview of evolutionary theory, without being too technical.

Good Book: The Bizarre, Hilarious, Disturbing, Marvelous, and Inspiring Things I Learned When I Read Every Single Word of the Bible by Plotz – a compliation of David Plotz’s column for Slate about the Old Testament.  Humorous from Jewish man’s point of view. Here are the columns on Slate.

The Library at Infidels.org – a large collection of rebuttals of apologetics. For example, a review of Lee Strobel’s nonsense.

Testament by Meslier – The book by a French Catholics priest on atheism. It was found after his death, and that was probably very good for Meslier’s continued existence.  Quoted by Random Thoughts, and reviewed by another atheist here.

The Age of Reason Thomas Paine – written by Thomas Paine, American Revolutionary type.  More about it here

The tyranny of god by Joseph Lewis –  The link is to Project Gutenberg’s copy.  Lewis is American, mid-20th century.

A history of God by Karen Armstrong – British author who has done a lot of analysis of religion and history.  I’ve read this one of hers: Holy War: The Crusades and Their Impact on Today’s World  Very through review of how the Crusades started and how they are still screwing up the world today.

Atheism the case against God by George Smith – American teacher and philosopher 

Why I am not a Christian by Bertrand Russell – one of the most famous 19th century free-thinkers. 

Mistakes of Moses by Robert Ingersoll – another famous 19th century freethinker.  He has many many more as you can see by Project Gutenberg’s list of his works that they have.

Letters from the Earth – by Mark Twain aka Samuel Clemens.  One of his best. 

Eve playing with dinosaur - From Eve's Diary by Mark Twain

Eve playing with dinosaur – From Eve’s Diary by Mark Twain

Eve’s Diary (with lovely art nouveau illustrations!) by Mark Twain, aka Samuel Clemens

Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven – short story by Twain.  A version of heaven in Twain’s inimitable style e.g. bitingly sarcastic. 
In defense of Atheism: The Case Against Christianity, Judaism and Islam by Michel Onfray – A French philosopher.

Why are you atheists so angry?: 99 things that piss off the godless by Greta Christina – a well-known blogger in the atheosphere, Greta does a great job in answering that old theist question.

Various writings by Dan Barker, former pastor and co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Right now, it seems the link to Dan’s personal deconversion story is broken but you can listen to it on the link above, “Losing Faith in Faith” talk .

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53 responses to “The Library

  1. Pingback: What the Boss Likes – Welcome to the Library | Club Schadenfreude

  2. Common sense by Jean Meslier a former priest
    The Age of Reason Thomas Paine
    The tyranny of god by Joseph Lewis
    A history of God by Karen Armstrong
    Atheism the case against God by George Smith.

    I will continue to populate the list as we go along

  3. Refutation of “Misquoting Jesus”- Misquoting Truth A Guide to the Fallacies of Bart Ehrman’s “Misquoting Jesus”

    Refutation of the God Delusion- http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/the_god_delusion.html

    The Dawkins Delusion

    God is No Delusion: A Refutation of Richard Dawkins

    Refutation of Letter to a Christian Nation- http://www.tektonics.org/gk/harrisletter.html

    Karen Armstrong Refuted- http://www.tektonics.org/af/armstrongk01.html
    Refutation of HEGM- http://tektonics.org/gk/homermark.html
    http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/gmark/20010123/000359.html

    Critique of Atheism: The Case Against God: http://tektonics.org/qt/smithg01.html

    • Potato, You need to explain why you think your links are worthwhile in your own words. Putting just links up shows us only how lazy you are and my guess is that you only want to put links up so you don’t have to take responsibility for the arguments therein. Like many Christians have tried in my experience, you want the ability to say “but but *I* didn’t say *I* believed those.” when the arguments are ripped apart. They all fail so amusingly, I will let the links up. It’s always so cute when Christians want to claim atheism is a religion. Poor things have nothing else to say except trying claims that amount to “but you are not better than us”, which golly really makes me respect Christianity even more 🙂 And the claim that “infinite regressions are impossible” is just one of those great baseless claims. Christians, including dear WLC who uses this claim, cannot show that this claim is true at all.

      And here’s another good one. This is from the supposed refutation of Letter to a Christian Nation: “Without substance is your statement that “every devout Muslim has the same reasons for being a Muslim that you have for being a Christian.” (6) Really? May I ask what exactly you think those “reasons” are and how you arrive at the conclusion that they are the “same” (presumably, you mean, in quality, since it is wrong to say that a Christian uses “Mohammed did X” as a reason for being a Christian). You don’t explain any of these “reasons,” and I certainly do not see you offering any survey of, or answers to, Muslim (or Christian) scholars or apologists. May I ask if in fact you have done any research concerning evidences for these or ANY religious systems? Have you in fact composed an argument promoting the “theft theory” for the body of Jesus? Have you indeed gone through the Koran showing it errors? Have you shown that Moses did not exist as Jews claim he did?”

      It’s just perfect. I agree with Mr. Harris. And why you know I did research other religions and I know that the reasons are the same. And I don’t prevent comments being made to my supposedly “great” refutation like JP does. I guess he’s not too keen on being shown wrong. Well, I can show him wrong. Every “devout Muslim” is just as sure his arguments for the existence of his god are right as every “devout Christian”. You all use the cosmological argument, you all use the ontological argument. You claim that “just look at the world, you can see the hand of my god in it”. You claim that there is physical proof of the events in your respective holy books and you cannot produce this evidence. And you are both sure that the other people who use the same arguments are wrong. For example, the Qu’ran and bible claim a magical flood. No evidence for any such thing. Supposedly demons helped Solomon build the first temple and palace, per the qu’ran and the bible has that there were thousands upon thousands of pounds of precious metals in this. No evidence for any such thing. Bible claims that there were plagues in Egypt. No such thing, and funny how no one noticed one of the most powerful kingdoms in the world was supposedly defenseless. Christians claim a magical half-god but no one noticed him gathering thousands of people right outside an occupied city and no one can figure out where his tomb supposed was. Golly the most important place in Christian myth and ooopsie, we forgot where it was.

      and it goes on, all the same old argument and all of the same cowardice when it comes to allowing people to actually comment on the claims made on good ol’ tectonics.

      • You could have saved yourself the time and instead typed “I will now proceed to raise a bunch of issues unrelated to the topic at hand”.

        Speaking of the red herring, I might address those later, if I have time.

      • Poor Potato. It is always a shame when a Christian finds that they must lie. Please do tell how reviewing your links and the nonsense they claim is unrelated to the topic of sources for atheist and theist arguments.

        I’m guessing you thought you could post links up here and either glory in how wonderful they were or accuse me of not allowing such nonsense through. And poor Potato, I did the unthinkable and showed just how silly your fellow Christians are and how cowardly they were.

      • “Poor Potato. It is always a shame when a Christian finds that they must lie.”

        1) When did I claim to be a Christian?

        2) When did I lie?

        “Please do tell how reviewing your links and the nonsense they claim is unrelated to the topic of sources for atheist and theist arguments.”

        1) You “reviewed” one link, and raised a bunch of irrelevant issues. I will deal with those.

        “I’m guessing you thought you could post links up here and either glory in how wonderful they were or accuse me of not allowing such nonsense through.”

        So you make assumptions a lot. I will note this for later.

        “And poor Potato, I did the unthinkable and showed just how silly your fellow Christians are and how cowardly they were.”

        Again, when did I claim to be a Christian?

      • So, you’re not a Christian, eh? So we have someone who posted links to Christian apologetics and said that they would answer my rebutals if they had time or would deal with them later. Pretty amusing behavior for someone who is not a Christians. But if you wish to continue to deny it, I’m good with that. I do hear a cock crowing somewhere around here….. What are you, Potato, other than a root vegetable? Let me guess, you might be a Christian who decided that they didn’t like the term since it comes with so much baggage thanks to other Christian’sactions.

        You lied when you claimed my post was off topic. You see, Potato, all of those topics were on those links you gave and I picked a few of the more amusing. I guess you must not have read those links. Now, all of the links you posted were supposed rebuttals to links I have in my library. Now, why would a averred non-Christian do that, try to show that my links are wrong?

        You have not shown my assumption wrong.

        And again, tell me you are not a Christian. I think three is the magic number, yes?

      • “So, you’re not a Christian, eh? So we have someone who posted links to Christian apologetics and said that they would answer my rebutals if they had time or would deal with them later. Pretty amusing behavior for someone who is not a Christians. But if you wish to continue to deny it, I’m good with that. I do hear a cock crowing somewhere around here…..”

        Nor did I deny my Christianity. There are many Christians who may also refer to an agnostic source (such as Bart Ehrman’s “Did Jesus Exist”).

        “What are you, Potato, other than a root vegetable? Let me guess, you might be a Christian who decided that they didn’t like the term since it comes with so much baggage thanks to other Christian’sactions.”

        As already noted, you like to make baseless assumptions.

        “You lied when you claimed my post was off topic. You see, Potato, all of those topics were on those links you gave and I picked a few of the more amusing. I guess you must not have read those links. Now, all of the links you posted were supposed rebuttals to links I have in my library.”

        No, you went off topic by mentioning such things like the world flood, when you were referring to the Tektonics article.

        “Now, why would a averred non-Christian do that, try to show that my links are wrong?”

        Above.

        “You have not shown my assumption wrong.”

        I didn’t disprove it, so, therefore, it must be correct? Not in any scenario.

        “And again, tell me you are not a Christian. I think three is the magic number, yes?”

        No thanks.

      • ROFL. Oh my. Now, you say “Nor did I deny my Christianity” only when I directly call you on it. Sure, Potato, your fussing about me calling you a Christian was what then? why would you be so demanding for me to show where you called yourself a Christian if you weren’t denying it? You certainly didn’t want to be known as a Christian it seems. And why would that be? My best guess is that you wanted someone to think that people other than Christians believed in such nonsense as your supposed rebuttals. Agnostics may indeed refer to Ehrman’s books, and there are debates about how good they are even in the atheist community. What I think has happened is that you wanted to create the impression that “even non-Christians” agree with Christian apologists. And that is deceitful.

        I know you really hate when I mention many of the problems of your religion, but claiming that mentioning the flood when talking about apologetics is off topic is just hilarious. It’s an example of how religion fails, even when trying to make up apologies for itself.

        I knew you wouldn’t deny you were a Christian a third time. So much for me being wrong, eh?

      • I hardly have any time, so I’ll point a few things out and leave the rest for later.

        “And I don’t prevent comments being made to my supposedly “great” refutation like JP does.”

        1) It’s not a blog.

        2) If you want to make comments, you can email him, meet him on TheologyWeb, or you can hit him up on YouTube.

        “You claim that there is physical proof of the events in your respective holy books and you cannot produce this evidence.”

        >Archaeological evidence? There are the existence of Hittites; Biblical cities, such as Jericho, Hazor, Dan, Megiddo, Shechem, Samaria, Shiloh, Gezer, Gibeah, Beth Shemesh, Beth Shean, Beersheba, Lachish, etc.; the Moabite Stone; Obelisk of Shalmaneser III; etc.

        “For example, the Qu’ran and bible claim a magical flood. No evidence for any such thing.”

        >Not everyone claims it was a Global Flood. Just putting that out there. The scientific and historical evidence would indeed definitely support this type of flood. As for universal floods, it’s a highly debated topic, however, you can take into consideration the geological strata, fossils, etc.

        “Supposedly demons helped Solomon build the first temple and palace”

        >You’re asking for corporal evidence of a supernatural, uncorporal entity?

        “per the qu’ran and the bible has that there were thousands upon thousands of pounds of precious metals in this. No evidence for any such thing.”

        >Though it was destroyed in 586 BC, the Second Temple was rebuilt on the same site. The Wailing Wall is all we have left of even the Second Temple…

        “Bible claims that there were plagues in Egypt. No such thing, and funny how no one noticed one of the most powerful kingdoms in the world was supposedly defenseless.”

        >You basically answered your own question. Egyptians were well known to leave out embarrassing details. There’s many details about being defeated/invaded, which are left out of the official records. Though, I believe there are the Ermitage Papyrus and the el-Arish Shrine. Though, I’m not too sure.

        “Christians claim a magical half-god”

        >Half-god? Are you sure you studied Christianity?

        “but no one noticed him gathering thousands of people right outside an occupied city”

        >Where do you get the “no one noticed Him” idea from?

      • Potato, I know just how likely it is for someone like the tectonics guy to respond to an email or on youtube or on the forum. Tektonics is a website, websites can have comments added to pages.

        There is no archaeological evidence for the events in the bible. By your claims, any book that mentions real people and real places makes it real. That would make any modern thriller real since they mention New York City. it also makes the Greek gods real since Athens, Sparta, etc are mentioned.

        The bible claims there was a global flood. Is the bible now wrong? The scientific and historical evidence does not support that type of flood. You claim scientific and historical evidence does. Present that evidence. I’m a geologist, Potato, and I know your claims about geological strata, fossils etc are lies. Too bad about that.

        There is no evidence that there was a first temple as described by the bible. There is no evidence that the Second Temple was built at a same site since we don’t know where the first might have been built. And yes, the wailing wall is thought to be from the Second Temple. So, what does this have to do with the missing 10s of thousands of pounds of gold, silver, etc that the bible claims made up the first temple?

        The Egyptians may have left out embarrassing details. We are not talking about what the Egyptians left out, we are talking about why no one noticed anything wrong at all in Egypt. There was trade you know. Egypt was not in a vacuum. Other kingdoms constantly fought with it. And magically they didn’t notice that the Egyptian army was supposedly wiped out. You mention the “ermitage papyrus”. The Hermitage Papyrus is instructions for a king,not about any catastrophe. I think you may be thinking of the Ipuwer Papyrus that describes wars in Egypt. It unfortuanly describes an invation, not some exodus. It also shows that Egyptians don’t always hide information, throwing one more of your claims out the window.

        And yes, I was a Christian, Potato. Christians claim a magical half-god, you know, his name is Jesus Christ. He is born of a god and a woman. He does magical acts. I know you don’t like this because it makes him sound like any demigod, from Theseus to Herakles, but it does fit.

        You ask where I get the ‘no one noticed him” idea from. Well, I get it from the Romans not noticing him or any of the supposed events around him. Neither did the Jews. Christians often bring up a rabbinical mention of a Joshua who was hung for being a sorcerer. Not cruxified by Rome as a threat to the state, just a man strangled for being a sorcerer. So again, no one noticed a man/god who did magical things.

      • “ROFL. Oh my. Now, you say “Nor did I deny my Christianity” only when I directly call you on it. Sure, Potato, your fussing about me calling you a Christian was what then? why would you be so demanding for me to show where you called yourself a Christian if you weren’t denying it? You certainly didn’t want to be known as a Christian it seems. And why would that be? My best guess is that you wanted someone to think that people other than Christians believed in such nonsense as your supposed rebuttals.”

        >No, it was to prove how much you make assumptions. And you just proved my point even more.

        “Agnostics may indeed refer to Ehrman’s books, and there are debates about how good they are even in the atheist community. What I think has happened is that you wanted to create the impression that “even non-Christians” agree with Christian apologists. And that is deceitful.”

        >Actually, Christians can agree with atheists, atheists can disagree, Christians can disagree, and atheists can agree with Christians. Bart Erhman seems to acknowledge that Jesus existed. Is that deceitful?

        “I know you really hate when I mention many of the problems of your religion, but claiming that mentioning the flood when talking about apologetics is off topic is just hilarious. It’s an example of how religion fails, even when trying to make up apologies for itself.”

        >It’s hilarious how you went off topic from the tektonics post about Sam Harris.

    • Few things. I will deal with the rest at a later time.

      “I know just how likely it is for someone like the tectonics guy to respond to an email or on youtube or on the forum. Tektonics is a website, websites can have comments added to pages.”

      Erm… not all sites have comment pages. And he responds daily.

      “There is no archaeological evidence for the events in the bible.”

      >Did you disregard everything I just said, then make a baseless assertion?

      “By your claims, any book that mentions real people and real places makes it real. That would make any modern thriller real since they mention New York City. it also makes the Greek gods real since Athens, Sparta, etc are mentioned.”

      >You’re putting words in my mouth. You need to stop making assumptions.

      “The bible claims there was a global flood. Is the bible now wrong? The scientific and historical evidence does not support that type of flood. You claim scientific and historical evidence does. Present that evidence. I’m a geologist, Potato, and I know your claims about geological strata, fossils etc are lies. Too bad about that.”

      >Mhm. Did you read what I just said?

      “There is no evidence that there was a first temple as described by the bible. There is no evidence that the Second Temple was built at a same site since we don’t know where the first might have been built. And yes, the wailing wall is thought to be from the Second Temple. So, what does this have to do with the missing 10s of thousands of pounds of gold, silver, etc that the bible claims made up the first temple?”

      >According to the manuscript evidence, it was taken away, back to Babylon. Or for some reason, do you reject all manuscript evidence?

      “And yes, I was a Christian, Potato. Christians claim a magical half-god, you know, his name is Jesus Christ. He is born of a god and a woman. He does magical acts. I know you don’t like this because it makes him sound like any demigod, from Theseus to Herakles, but it does fit.”

      >Mhm. So, you’re telling me you were a Christian, yet you don’t even understand the doctrine of the hypostatic union?

      “You ask where I get the ‘no one noticed him” idea from. Well, I get it from the Romans not noticing him or any of the supposed events around him. Neither did the Jews. Christians often bring up a rabbinical mention of a Joshua who was hung for being a sorcerer. Not cruxified by Rome as a threat to the state, just a man strangled for being a sorcerer. So again, no one noticed a man/god who did magical things.”

      1) The crucifixion is basical historical fact. It is attested to by countless historians on both sides of the issue. On the crucifixion, we have Josephus, Tacitus, Lucian, the Talmud, and though it is debated by some, Mara Bar-Serapion, etc.

      2) There is a big difference between “no one noticed him” and “no one cared about him”. Most of the Jews were illiterate to begin with. And the Romans wouldn’t care about that as long as the Jews didn’t annoy them.

      • I didn’t say all sites have comment pages. I said that comments could be added to sites. Again, I will not waste time on forums that I do not trust.

        Potato, yes there are hittites, no it doesn’t show that any of the claims of the bible are true. AS I have said, the appearance of real people and real places in a story doesn’t not make it true. If that is what you want to claim, then you must accept that Poseidon and Athena are as real as your god since those stories contain real people and places. If you don’t agree, then you must explain why we should believe in your god because of the appearance of the real people and real places and not the greek gods. I have not made any assumptions, Potato, I have read what you have written and you claimed that since the Hittites were mentioned that was archaeological evidence for the bible. That what you wrote was not thought through is not my fault.

        You also claimed “>Not everyone claims it was a Global Flood. Just putting that out there. The scientific and historical evidence would indeed definitely support this type of flood. As for universal floods, it’s a highly debated topic, however, you can take into consideration the geological strata, fossils, etc.” So yes, I have read what you said. You have claimed that there is scientific and historical evidence for the “global flood” aka ‘this type of flood”. e.g. “geological strata, fossils, etc”. There is no scientific or historical evidence for universal floods or global floods, Potato. You have claimed to have evidence. And I have requested it.

        What manuscripts, Potato? And again, writing about stories doesn’t much matter if there is no evidence of such a thing. Do the Babylonians record getting tons of gold, silver, etc?

        And yes, I know the doctrine of hypostatic union. It makes JC no less of a half man/half god, that did magical things. The supposed joining of the human and spiritual doesn’t not change that there are parts. It’s the problem of having a regular god/woman tryst, it sounds so much like so many other religions that Christianity didn’t like the original story and had to come up with the idea of hypostatic union 300 years later.

        The cruxifiction is not a historical fact. It is not attested to by “countless historians on both sides”. It’s too bad for you that I know all of the supposed source and they are not even remotely countless. You are again not telling the truth. Josephus is agreed to be a forgery. Tacitus and Lucian talk about Christians, not Christ, which would mean that any mention of worshippers would be “evidence” that the god worshipped existed. So, does Isis exist? The Talmud does not mention Jesus Christ, only that instance that I mentioned of the hanged man. Mara bar Serapion talks about a “king of the jews” being killed but the letter about this is decades after the supposed events. I find that it may be a bit toward the idea of a historical Jesus, but that’s not the one that Christians worship, they don’t worship a itinerant rabbi, they worship a magical son of God.

        Please provide evidence that “most of the jews were illiterate” and what does this have to do with Jewish folks knowing Jesus. And I love how you make baseless claims that the Romans didn’t care about Jesus. The Romans did not notice and did not care about JC because they never mentioned him, noticed that he gathered thousands of men just outside of Jerusalem an occupied city that had revolted, etc. Sure, Potato, a very militarized empire just wouldn’t have noticed such a thing or cared. Nice claim, but there is no reason to believe it.

      • “I didn’t say all sites have comment pages. I said that comments could be added to sites. Again, I will not waste time on forums that I do not trust.”

        >Speaking of not allowing comments, why do you avoid Nick Peter’s refutation?

        “Potato, yes there are hittites, no it doesn’t show that any of the claims of the bible are true. AS I have said, the appearance of real people and real places in a story doesn’t not make it true. If that is what you want to claim, then you must accept that Poseidon and Athena are as real as your god since those stories contain real people and places. If you don’t agree, then you must explain why we should believe in your god because of the appearance of the real people and real places and not the greek gods. I have not made any assumptions, Potato, I have read what you have written and you claimed that since the Hittites were mentioned that was archaeological evidence for the bible. That what you wrote was not thought through is not my fault.”

        1) I never said that it makes it true or not.

        2) The crucifixion is another example.

        “You also claimed “>Not everyone claims it was a Global Flood. Just putting that out there. The scientific and historical evidence would indeed definitely support this type of flood. As for universal floods, it’s a highly debated topic, however, you can take into consideration the geological strata, fossils, etc.” So yes, I have read what you said. You have claimed that there is scientific and historical evidence for the “global flood” aka ‘this type of flood”. e.g. “geological strata, fossils, etc”. There is no scientific or historical evidence for universal floods or global floods, Potato. You have claimed to have evidence. And I have requested it.””

        1) The sentence got cut off. If you read it in context, you could clearly see that I mean a local flood anyway. “As for universal floods”

        “What manuscripts, Potato? And again, writing about stories doesn’t much matter if there is no evidence of such a thing. Do the Babylonians record getting tons of gold, silver, etc?”

        Actually, yes, I do believe that the Persians record something about this. I would have to brush up on it though.

        “And yes, I know the doctrine of hypostatic union. It makes JC no less of a half man/half god, that did magical things. ”

        Your first and second sentence contradicted each other.

        “The cruxifiction is not a historical fact. It is not attested to by “countless historians on both sides”.”

        >Lol. And since you like quoting Wiki so much, “Jesus’ crucifixion is described in all four Canonical gospels, attested to by other ancient sources, and is firmly established as an historical event confirmed by non-Christian sources.”

        “Josephus is agreed to be a forgery.”

        1) If you wish to go on the historical consensus route, then you would have to accept the crucifixion.

        2) There may be interpolations, however most historians say that this bit was not altered- “…And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross…”

        “Tacitus and Lucian talk about Christians, not Christ”

        1) Lolno

        2) Tacitus: “Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus…”

        3) Lucian: “…the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account…”

        “which would mean that any mention of worshippers would be “evidence” that the god worshipped existed. So, does Isis exist?”

        >And, more things I never said.

        “The Talmud does not mention Jesus Christ, only that instance that I mentioned of the hanged man.”

        >Debated, however many historians say that it is about Christ, such as Peter Schäfer.

        “Mara bar Serapion talks about a “king of the jews” being killed but the letter about this is decades after the supposed events.”

        >Tell me when contemporary accounts are a requirement for ancient history.

        “Please provide evidence that “most of the jews were illiterate” and what does this have to do with Jewish folks knowing Jesus.”

        1) William Harris, Ancient Literacy. 90-97% were illiterate.

        2) How can you support the claim that they didn’t notice him?

        “And I love how you make baseless claims that the Romans didn’t care about Jesus. The Romans did not notice and did not care about JC because they never mentioned him, noticed that he gathered thousands of men just outside of Jerusalem an occupied city that had revolted, etc. Sure, Potato, a very militarized empire just wouldn’t have noticed such a thing or cared. Nice claim, but there is no reason to believe it.”

        >Yes, because every time a crowd gathers, it’s an insurrection plot.

        That would explain those rowdy “Justin Biebers” and them “One Directions”.

      • Tater,
        Nick can come here any time if he thinks his refutation is that good. Since he has not, there is no reason to waste my time on it. You see, I have done the dance with Christians who claim that they want to debate an atheist and then when the going gets too hard, they ban my posts. I have had a poor Roman Catholic tell me I wasn’ t “charitable” enough when I posted to her blog and that she didn’t want to even read what I said. Nice willful ignorance there. I’ve had Ben who you can see around in comments here say that he didn’t want my posts on his blog because he didn’t want his friends and family to know anything different than what he wrote. These TrueChristians are why I don’t bother much with those who claim to refute me but can’t do it here. There’s a reason why they won’t come here. And it’s never a good one.

        Potato, lying doesn’ t help your case. You did claim that there was archaeology about the Bible, and cited the Hittites, etc. Here is my statement and your reply: ““You claim that there is physical proof of the events in your respective holy books and you cannot produce this evidence.”
        “>Archaeological evidence? There are the existence of Hittites; Biblical cities, such as Jericho, Hazor, Dan, Megiddo, Shechem, Samaria, Shiloh, Gezer, Gibeah, Beth Shemesh, Beth Shean, Beersheba, Lachish, etc.; the Moabite Stone; Obelisk of Shalmaneser III; etc.” – Potato, 7/22 @ 4:33 PM

        It is very funny to see you try to claim “I never said it makes it true or not”. You certainly tried, Potato. The cruxifiction has no physical evidence for it either. You of course did not try to explain why your god should be considered to exist when there is mention of real people and places and other gods that meet that requirement do not. Again, why should I believe in your god and not Poseidon or Athena?

        Your bible claims it was a global flood, so if Christians don’t agree then they are disagreeing with their bible and their supposed savior who evidently had no problem in believing the story as detailed in the bible and it shows that 1 Peter 3’s claim that the water of the flood is the same as the water of baptism is evidently wrong since you want to claim that the flood isn’t what is claimed by the bible at all. The bible does not indicate a “local flood” in any way. If we cannot believe this part, then why believe the rest since it might not be accurate either.

        Again, I don’t care what you believe, Potato, I care what you can support with evidence. Show where the Persians record “something like” taking tons of gold, silver, etc from Israel.
        No, my sentences don’t contradict each other. The claim of hypostatic union e.g. the union of the mortal and divine, is an excuse to make JC not seem like just one more half-god. Again, Potato, we have who was the result of a mating between a woman and a god. Now, this god could have just magicked up JC but he didn’t. He evidently had to mate with a woman. But since you are so sure I’m wrong, I want you to explain hypostatic union and how it does not mean that someone is the product of the human and the divine. You see, tater, just saying my sentences contradict isn’t enough here on my blog. You have to show how they do.

        Of course, you are unable to show that the cruxifiction is a historical fact and that it is attested to by “countless historians on both sides”. And oh, how cute! You whine about using Wikipedia entries. Poor thing, I guess you can’t stand sources that list their references. It’s even sweeter when your quote from wiki (this entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crucifixion_of_Jesus ) shows that you are indeed wrong when you claim countless sources. It also shows that the source for the claims in your quote to be from The Cambridge Companion to Jesus, The Jesus Legend: A case for the historical reliability of the synoptic Jesus, The acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus, Jesus Remembered, and Jesus and the Gospels: an Introduction and Survey. These are not unbiased works and again, and I do love wiki because I can find that out. These sources are indeed correct that the cruxifiction is described in all four gospels. Golly, Buddha’s miracles are in books about Buddha too! However, it is not established as an historical event by non-Christian sources. We have mentions of the cruxifiction in stories that are being related by people who were not there and were decades or centuries after the event. Repeating nonsense never makes it true, Potato. It’s like saying that since there are reports of Mohammed flying on a magical horse in Islamic literature, and other sources mention this story, that means it’s true.
        No, Potato, I do not have to accept the cruxifiction. There is no historical consensus.

        Josephus isn’t what you claim. Anyone can read that here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephus_on_Jesus#Testimonium_Flavianum_2

        Tacitus and Lucian did mention Christus, my mistake and I thank you for pointing it out. Again, we have two men who was not there, who only knew Christians (or Chrestians), and was reporting a story told to them. Tacitus says this “Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judæa, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacitus_on_Christ Lucian says this: “The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day ……. All this they take quite on faith, with the result that they despise all worldly goods alike, regarding them merely as common property.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucian_on_Jesus Which shows neither are reporting this as a true event. does not believe in such nonsense at all.
        Many historians do not say the mention in the Talmud of a hanged man is the Christ. If so, show these “many”, and if you can’t, it’s just one more attempt to appeal to popularity that you can’t support. Peter Schafer may say it’s about the Christ but he has no evidence and ignores that there is no indication that this man was cruxifed by the Romans, not stoned and hanged by the Jews. Again, we have two events that cannot both have happened to one man. One can read about Jesus and the Talmud here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_in_the_Talmud We have Schafer saying that “Schäfer argues that the message conveyed in the Talmud was a “bold and self-confident” assertion of correctness of Judaism, maintaining that “there is no reason to feel ashamed because we rightfully executed a blasphemer and idolater.” This is a bit of a problem since the Jews *didn’t* execute anyone per the bible. Which story is right then?

        And potato, you said that the Talmud mentioned Jesus. “) The crucifixion is basical historical fact. It is attested to by countless historians on both sides of the issue. On the crucifixion, we have Josephus, Tacitus, Lucian, the Talmud, and though it is debated by some, Mara Bar-Serapion, etc.” – Potato 7/22, 9:59 This shows your claim that “more things I never said” is wrong.

        Oh my and then you whine “tell me when contemporary accounts are a requirement for ancient history”. That’s just perfect, Potato. Contemporary accounts are used to establish the likelihood that a claim from ancient history is true. If there is only one source making a claim, then there is a reason not to believe it, if the event would have been known to a wide range of people. It’s so great to see you whine about this when your fellow Christians work so hard in claiming that non-Christian accounts that are even kinda sorta close in date are “evidence” for their god. Potato, there are things called primary sources, secondary sources and tertiary sources. Primary sources are eyewitness sources, right at the event. Contemporary sources can be eyewitnesses or people who were around at the same time of the event reporting on an event that has happened through their own eyewitness or that of others. Secondary sources can also be contemporary since they report on what other people have related. Primary contemporary sources are the best one can have, and mulitiples of them are even better since we can corroborate stories. Now, I know you’ll try to claim that the gospels are this, but they are not, we know little about the authors and cannot confirm that they were eyewitnesses, nor can we confirm that they weren’t just reporting on what someone told them, truthfully or not.

        Thank you for the citation of William Harris’s book. You of course have not explained what literacy has to do with Jews knowing about Jesus. I can support the claim that the Jews didn’t notice Jesus because no one wrote about him, not even the 3%-10% who could write, you know the religious leaders who were supposedly directly involved. The Roman scribes who were literate did not mention this man who was supposedly so popular that *thousands* of people followed him around.

        And I do love how you try your best to claim that the Romans wouldn’t have cared of a legion’s worth of men were gathering outside of Jerusalem. That is just wonderful, Potato. I do love how one Christian claims that the Romans wouldn’t notice, but another claims that the Palestine was always revolting. Again, one more instance of how two contradictory things can’t happen together. Which is it, Potato? Which of you should I believe. Alas, Potato, a Justin Bieber concert as analogy fails since it isn’t a gathering of adult men around a supposed “messiah” in an occupied land that is constantly in turmoil, as Christians have admitted. No, a JB concert is a bunch of pre-teen girls and boys watching a singer. Analogies have to have actual similarities to work. That does seem to be something that a lot of apologists can’t quite get a handle on.

      • “The Egyptians may have left out embarrassing details. We are not talking about what the Egyptians left out, we are talking about why no one noticed anything wrong at all in Egypt. There was trade you know. Egypt was not in a vacuum. Other kingdoms constantly fought with it. And magically they didn’t notice that the Egyptian army was supposedly wiped out. You mention the “ermitage papyrus”. The Hermitage Papyrus is instructions for a king,not about any catastrophe. I think you may be thinking of the Ipuwer Papyrus that describes wars in Egypt. It unfortuanly describes an invation, not some exodus. It also shows that Egyptians don’t always hide information, throwing one more of your claims out the window.”

        >Why would they need to mention the event? It wasn’t even the entire army.

      • Ah, another Christian who has evidently not read his bible. That is a shame because it is worth a read:
        (NIV)Exodus 14: 4 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.” So the Israelites did this.

        5 When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds about them and said, “What have we done? We have let the Israelites go and have lost their services!” 6 So he had his chariot made ready and took his army with him. 7 He took six hundred of the best chariots, along with all the other chariots of Egypt, with officers over all of them. 8 The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, so that he pursued the Israelites, who were marching out boldly. 9 The Egyptians—all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots, horsemen[a] and troops—pursued the Israelites and overtook them as they camped by the sea near Pi Hahiroth, opposite Baal Zephon.

        10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. 11 They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”

        13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

        15 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. 16 Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. 17 I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. 18 The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.”

        19 Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, 20 coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long.

        21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, 22 and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.

        23 The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea. 24 During the last watch of the night the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion. 25 He jammed[b] the wheels of their chariots so that they had difficulty driving. And the Egyptians said, “Let’s get away from the Israelites! The Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.”

        26 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.” 27 Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing toward[c] it, and the Lord swept them into the sea. 28 The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived.

  4. “Tater,
    Nick can come here any time if he thinks his refutation is that good. Since he has not, there is no reason to waste my time on it. You see, I have done the dance with Christians who claim that they want to debate an atheist and then when the going gets too hard, they ban

    my posts. I have had a poor Roman Catholic tell me I wasn’ t “charitable” enough when I posted to her blog and that she didn’t want to even read what I said. Nice willful ignorance there. I’ve had Ben who you can see around in comments here say that he didn’t want my

    posts on his blog because he didn’t want his friends and family to know anything different than what he wrote. These TrueChristians are why I don’t bother much with those who claim to refute me but can’t do it here. There’s a reason why they won’t come here. And it’s

    never a good one.”

    >What makes your blog any different? You have written posts for other sites on this blog. What makes you stop with Nick’s?

    “Potato, lying doesn’ t help your case. You did claim that there was archaeology about the Bible, and cited the Hittites, etc.

    >Okay. So?

    It is very funny to see you try to claim “I never said it makes it true or not”. You certainly tried, Potato. The cruxifiction has no physical evidence for it either. You of course did not try to explain why your god should be considered to exist when there is mention of

    real people and places and other gods that meet that requirement do not.”

    1) What did I say? Evidence. Not proof. Evidence. Evidence does not make something completely true, for there can be evidence that opposes it.

    2) Phyiscal evidence for a historical resurrection, in which the body ascended into Heaven? This is your second classification error.

    “Again, why should I believe in your god and not Poseidon or Athena?”

    >Evidence, textual purity, literary style, literary purpose, etc. separate the two by worlds.

    “It is very funny to see you try to claim “I never said it makes it true or not”. You certainly tried, Potato.”

    >Above.

    “Your bible claims it was a global flood, so if Christians don’t agree then they are disagreeing with their bible and their supposed savior who evidently had no problem in believing the story as detailed in the bible and it shows that 1 Peter 3’s claim that the water of

    the flood is the same as the water of baptism is evidently wrong since you want to claim that the flood isn’t what is claimed by the bible at all. The bible does not indicate a “local flood” in any way. If we cannot believe this part, then why believe the rest since it

    might not be accurate either.”

    1) It all depends how you exegete scripture. “kol erets” is used almost always as a local event. “tebel” is always used to describe the entire world, and this word was not used. I may go more into this.

    2) 1 Peter 3 is using a method of comparison.

    “Again, I don’t care what you believe, Potato, I care what you can support with evidence. Show where the Persians record “something like” taking tons of gold, silver, etc from Israel.”

    >Like I said, I’ll have to check back with this one.

    “No, my sentences don’t contradict each other. The claim of hypostatic union e.g. the union of the mortal and divine, is an excuse to make JC not seem like just one more half-god. Again, Potato, we have who was the result of a mating between a woman and a god. Now, this

    god could have just magicked up JC but he didn’t. He evidently had to mate with a woman. But since you are so sure I’m wrong, I want you to explain hypostatic union and how it does not mean that someone is the product of the human and the divine. You see, tater, just

    saying my sentences contradict isn’t enough here on my blog. You have to show how they do.””

    >It isn’t “half-God” and “half-man”, but 100% of the two natures.

    “Of course, you are unable to show that the cruxifiction is a historical fact and that it is attested to by “countless historians on both sides”. And oh, how cute! You whine about using Wikipedia entries. Poor thing, I guess you can’t stand sources that list their

    references. It’s even sweeter when your quote from wiki (this entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crucifixion_of_Jesus ) shows that you are indeed wrong when you claim countless sources. It also shows that the source for the claims in your quote to be from The Cambridge

    Companion to Jesus, The Jesus Legend: A case for the historical reliability of the synoptic Jesus, The acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus, Jesus Remembered, and Jesus and the Gospels: an Introduction and Survey. These are not unbiased works and

    again, and I do love wiki because I can find that out.”

    >You see, ClubS, just saying they are biased isn’t enough. You have to show how they are biased.

    “These sources are indeed correct that the cruxifiction is described in all four gospels. Golly, Buddha’s miracles are in books about Buddha too!”

    >Are the sources for Buddha Greco-Roman bioi? Moreover, I believe the earliest source is the Lalitavistara, which dates to +300. The Synoptic Gospels are +20-40, with John being at most +60. Hardly a fair comparison.

    “However, it is not established as an historical event by non-Christian sources. We have mentions of the cruxifiction in stories that are being related by people who were not there and were decades or centuries after the event.”

    >Really now, the history of Antiquity and the history today are much different. Contemporary accounts are hardly necessary.

    “Josephus isn’t what you claim. Anyone can read that here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephus_on_Jesus#Testimonium_Flavianum_2

    >You need to explain why you think your links are worthwhile in your own words. Putting just links up shows us only how lazy you are and my guess is that you only want to put links up so you don’t have to take responsibility for the arguments therein. However, they hold to the bit about Pilate as authentic. So?

    “Which shows neither are reporting this as a true event. does not believe in such nonsense at all.”

    >Don’t see how Tacitus is questionable.

    “Many historians do not say the mention in the Talmud of a hanged man is the Christ. If so, show these “many”, and if you can’t, it’s just one more attempt to appeal to popularity that you can’t support.”

    >You’re applying a double standard. In your words, “Josephus is agreed to be a forgery”. What would this be? A historical consensus (not really forged, since its only bits and pieces). However, when I try to mention a historical consensus it is an argument ad populum? Why?

    “Peter Schafer may say it’s about the Christ but he has no evidence and ignores that there is no indication that this man was cruxifed by the Romans, not stoned and hanged by the Jews. Again, we have two events that cannot both have happened to one man. One can read

    about Jesus and the Talmud here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_in_the_Talmud We have Schafer saying that “Schäfer argues that the message conveyed in the Talmud was a “bold and self-confident” assertion of correctness of Judaism, maintaining that “there is no reason

    to feel ashamed because we rightfully executed a blasphemer and idolater.” This is a bit of a problem since the Jews *didn’t* execute anyone per the bible. Which story is right then?”

    >

    “Oh my and then you whine “tell me when contemporary accounts are a requirement for ancient history”. That’s just perfect, Potato. Contemporary accounts are used to establish the likelihood that a claim from ancient history is true. If there is only one source making a

    claim, then there is a reason not to believe it, if the event would have been known to a wide range of people. It’s so great to see you whine about this when your fellow Christians work so hard in claiming that non-Christian accounts that are even kinda sorta close in

    date are “evidence” for their god. Potato, there are things called primary sources, secondary sources and tertiary sources. Primary sources are eyewitness sources, right at the event. Contemporary sources can be eyewitnesses or people who were around at the same time of

    the event reporting on an event that has happened through their own eyewitness or that of others. Secondary sources can also be contemporary since they report on what other people have related. Primary contemporary sources are the best one can have, and mulitiples of

    them are even better since we can corroborate stories.”

    >Do you read actual scholars? Or do you take advantage of your Googleism? You cannot go by soley contemporary sources for Antiquity. None of Alexander the Great’s contemporary accounts have survived. Or what about the Punic Wars? Or the crossing of the Alps?

    >Like you said, “If there is only one source making a claim, then there is a reason not to believe it, if the event would have been known to a wide range of people.” And I suppose that Vesuvius never erupted either. Vesuvius only had one contemporary- Pliny the Younger.

    >For more info, read “Jesus and the Eyewitnesses” by Richard Bauckham.

    “Now, I know you’ll try to claim that the gospels are this, but they are not, we know little about the authors and cannot confirm that they were eyewitnesses, nor can we confirm that they weren’t just reporting on what someone told them, truthfully or not.”

    >There are clear criteria for determining authorship of a document. Unless of course, you can establish that they are not really eyewitnesses.

    “Thank you for the citation of William Harris’s book. You of course have not explained what literacy has to do with Jews knowing about Jesus.”

    >I asked you how you could support that no one noticed him.

    “I can support the claim that the Jews didn’t notice Jesus because no one wrote about him, not even the 3%-10% who could write, you know the religious leaders who were supposedly directly involved.”

    >Why would they write about him? They thought he was a lunatic. And paper was expensive back them. It would be a waste to them. Moreover, the Jewish people mainly passed down accounts orally.

    “The Roman scribes who were literate did not mention this man who was supposedly so popular that *thousands* of people followed him around.”

    >Yes, thousands went to see Him, however, it doesn’t mean everyone was His follower. Some may have came for food, others came because it was news.

    “And I do love how you try your best to claim that the Romans wouldn’t have cared of a legion’s worth of men were gathering outside of Jerusalem.”

    >Now tell me why they would care. Was Jesus leading an insurrection movement? No. Did He attempt one? No. So, why would they care?

    “That is just wonderful, Potato. I do love how one Christian claims that the Romans wouldn’t notice, but another claims that the Palestine was always revolting. Again, one more instance of how two contradictory things can’t happen together. Which is it, Potato? Which of

    you should I believe. Alas, Potato, a Justin Bieber concert as analogy fails since it isn’t a gathering of adult men around a supposed “messiah” in an occupied land that is constantly in turmoil, as Christians have admitted. No, a JB concert is a bunch of pre-teen girls

    and boys watching a singer. Analogies have to have actual similarities to work. That does seem to be something that a lot of apologists can’t quite get a handle on.”

    1)Not everyone thought He was the Messiah. Some thought He was John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, etc.

    2)Grown men? So it has to be adults? Then, can I apply that to the Gay Pride Parade?

    Nick Peters offers a bit more about this in his rebuttal.

    • This is getting too much like work. 🙂  Oh well. Here we go again.

      Potato, I have indeed written posts here about posts on other blogs. What you forget is that I always let the person know that I have done so in order that they may come here and try to refute what I have written. Poor Nick did not do that. I was told about his supposedly wonderful refutation by many people but not Nick. That tells me he was not interested in having his standard nonsense shown to be wrong. That, my dear tater, is the difference between me and Christians who do their best to hide from the fact that their claims fail. Again, Nick can come here any time and write whatever he wants. I am not replying to his blog post because there is nothing new in it. I think it’s hilariously bad but that doesn’t mean I want to waste time on it. You and he are a dime a dozen and if I wasted time on every ignorant Christian’s blog, I’d be doing so until the heat death of the universe.

      You have lied when commenting here on my blog. I do appreciate the examples of Christian duplicity. Keep on going! It’s great to see you respond “okay. So?” when you’ve been caught lying. So? It’s important since you lied, and I have no reason to respect or believe liars, especially Christians who supposedly has said that you should not lie, no matter what. When you claim your god exists, you have no evidence of it. And again, you have avoiding answering the question, why should I consider your god to exist when you use the same claims of evidence that other people use to claim that their gods exist and *you* don’t believe those claims?

      There is no physical evidence for a magical resurrection. There is evidence that opposes the claims of the bible, but you seem unable to apply your qualifications to your own nonsense.

      And please do tell me about how “classification errors” apply with the resurrection. I do enjoy when Christians try to use obscure terms to hide their bullshit.
      You claim that “evidence, textural purity, literary style, literary purpose, etc” show that Poseidon and Athena aren’t as real as your god. Okay, demonstrate how each of these work, because I’m betting you are again just throwing out terms hoping no one calls you on them. Tell me about “textural purity”. You see, there is just as much evidence that P&A exist, why there are real cities, and real people cited. The literary purpose? To relate a real event. Or can you show me that it isn’t? Show me the “worlds” that separate the myths of P&A and the myths of your god.

      And we get another great word “exegete”. It means “explain” or “interpreting”, usually a text. Which is what Christians have been doing for millennia and coming up with different claims on what their god “really” meant. That’s all apologetics is, people insisting that their interpretation is the only “right” one, rather like the Talmud, a bunch of rabbis all sure that of course it’s “obvious” that God meant “x”. Every new bunch of Christians decides that those “other” interpreters have no idea what they were doing, as you have when you claim that one word is “almost always” something, which also shows that there are indeed times where it doesn’t mean what you claim. The instance in 1 Peter 3 says that everyone but 8 people were saved, the entire world was killed except for these 8 people and the animals on the ark. So, again, your claims of a “local” event are shown to be false. I think that the local flood concept is much more sensible, but that isn’t the story your bible tells. And again we have your religion that is at best exaggeration evidently and no evidence again that it is telling the truth at all.

      Still waiting for the claims that Persian history logs the tons supposedly taken (and I do mean tons: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Chronicles%2022&version=NIV)
      Hypostatic union (and gee, yes, it is the nonsense that JC is 100% god and 100% human) is the excuse that the early Christians tried to use to make their half-man/half god sound different. Again, they didn’t agree, banishing anyone who different agree, and made this up and then declared it the “truth” with no evidence at all.

      It’s also quite flattering to see you parrot me, but at least do it with some clue. I have showed how they are biased since I posted the titles of your sources that the cruxifiction is a “historical fact”. Anyone can google them and see just what they are, apologetic books with the same lack of evidence you have. Try again.

      And oh my, it’s great to see you insist that any evidence for any other god must be exactly the same as the supposed evidence of your god. No, dear, there is no “bioi” for Buddah, but golly, he wasn’t in the Greco-Roman sphere of influence. Shucks. It seems the earliest biography is the Buddhacarita, dated to the beginning to the beginning of the second century CE, and there are incomplete but earlier writings. And why yes, the gospels are dated to within decades of an event that you cannot show happened. You cannot show that the gospels are any more true, no matter when they were written. If you read the wiki entry on Buddha, you’ll see the same problems with Buddha as JC. Now, it happens that there was a recent episode of Secrets of the Dead that was about Buddha’s earthly remains. You can watch the entire episode here: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/secrets/category/episodes/ It’s quite fascinating what they discover. We can follow historical evidence for the Buddha, but again we have no evidence that he was some kind of magical being. We have much more trouble following Jesus, ostensibly closer in time, and again, no evidence of divinity or magic at all.

      The history of antiquity and today are the same, and it’s quite cute to see you claim that they are different and of course provide no reasoning or evidence why this should be considered to be the case. We have record of who the Romans put to death, but we have nothing about JC or the supposed martyrs. Ooopsie!

      Aw, and again parroting me. How flattering, but alas, you forget that I have already shown why I think Josephus isn’t what you’ve claimed. Too bad for you. Poor tater. Pilate is considered an authentic bit, but you wish to claim that the rest is too. However, at best we have a forgery added to the quote about JC, claiming that he did magic. If Josephus didn’t write this, then we have a report of a story about a ordinary man, killed by the Romans, not a half-man/half-god that did magic. As I wrote, I have no problem in finding the idea of Jesus being one man that legends built up around; I find the idea that no man is needed at all to be just as conceivable and I prefer it. However, you need a magical being, not just some regular guy who isn’t magical at all. You can argue for a itinerate wannabee messiah, but that gets you no closer to your 100%man/100%god.

      What’s great about this is that you want to require contemporary accounts for Buddha but not your god. Just perfect! So much for your whines about ancient history being somehow “different”. Tacitus is just as questionable as Josephus since both are reporting stories they have heard. The notorious passage in Josephus is considered a forgery. The passage in the Talmud does not refer to a cruxified man that the Romans killed. I need no historical consensus for the passage in the Talmud since it does not say a man was killed by cruxifiction by the Romans. It says that a man was stoned and hanged by the Jews. And we have no consensus by historians that the Talmud passage is about cruxifiction. You have claimed this and have not supported that claim. The wiki article does not support that claim of consensus. A consensus is “general agreement”, and you do not have that. And when have I said that consensus is an argument ad populum?I may have, and I’m guessing I also said that a consensus must have support for its claims, not just that people agree.

      I did ask you “what story is right then?” And I do ask questions for a reason. Why didn’t you answer this, tater? Who killed Jesus, the Romans or the Jews and how? One of the stories has to be wrong since both can’t be right. Tell me how you know.

      And of course, you ignore the answer to your question about when contemporary accounts are required for ancient history. I take the time to educate you and what do I get? Attempts to make believe I haven’t read “actual scholars”. Poor thing, I guess that’s all you have since I have shown your claims wrong again. You’re right, one can’ t go “solely” by contemporary accounts for history. But they are used when available, which you tried to claim they were’t. One uses a number of sources for figuring out ancient history just like I said when I mentioned primary (aka contemporary sources), secondary and tertiary sources. We also use archaeology, etc. And all of this shows that the essential events of your religion never happened. We have no primary sources for the great majority claims of your bible.

      It just keeps getting better. You evidently now want to claim there is no evidence that Vesuvius erupted since you evidently think that there is no evidence except Pliny’s report. That is just fabulous. I guess we can ignore the ash, the dead city of Pompeii, that big cinder cone, etc. Yes, we have one eyewitness report of the event written down. And we have the physical evidence to support it. Now, let’s consider the supposed events of the cruxifiction. No reports of an earthquake strong enough to shake the temple. Well, earthquakes are relatively common so maybe no one found it that remarkable. The sun going dark in the middle of the day. Quite a bit more remarkable and no one noticed. The dead rising, very unique event and no one mentions it at all. Or how about the Egyptian army being all killed (I trust you saw my post showing you wrong again). No opposing country noticed and took the opportunity to invade.

      Jesus and the Eyewitnesses is amusing, but again, has no evidence that anyone was an actual eyewitness. I’ve read it and the basic assumption is that the gospels are true and thus they have to be by eyewitnesses. Unfortunately, Bauckham doesn’t show why we should think they are true, other than assuming that there were eyewitnesses. He also assumes that Papias is accurate, for which there is no evidence (and per your argument that things that happen centuries later shouldn’t be considered reliable, are of questionable use). It’s excellent to see that even back then, the early Christians disagreed on their “exegesis” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papias_of_Hierapolis

      I agree, there are clear criteria for determining the authorship of a document. And we have no idea who the real authors of the gospels were. We can say with some reliability that the same person wrote something but not why they wrote it or who they were. In that the gospels do not agree in some dramatic aspects where two events could not have happened without contradicting the other, we know that there is no good reason to assume that the authors were eyewitnesses.

      If there were even a fraction of a percent of the population that could read and write, why did they not notice people remarking about the dead rising from the grave? Why wasn’t this something important if it happened? I know I’d certainly write about it. You are right, if the Jews simply thought JC was a lunatic, why write about him? But per the bible, that wasn’t the case was it? This supposed messiah had the undivided attention of the Sadducees and Pharisees, the educated classes. He had the attention of Rome. Christians often change their mind on how well-known they want their supposed messiah to be. In some cases, why everyone knows of JC, that literally thousands knew of him, saw his miracles, and followed him around. Then we have the JC that supposedly know one knew about when it comes to historical records and the lack of them and that little problem of them assembling right outside of an occupied city, on the plains where people could see them. Jesus was a supposed messiah, who was gathering people who spoke against the established law. I do love how you think an occupying force wouldn’t care if someone was gathering people and who said he was the messiah, the messiah which Jewish myth said would create a new powerful kingdom. Sure, tater. Any messiah, by definition, was leading an insurrectionist movement. I think you should read your bible and see what it actually says, since you have been shown to be completely wrong before. Matthew 21 is a good place to start.

      No it doesn’t have to be grown men, tater. That’s funny though. Having a legion’s worth of grown men following a supposed messiah is a problem since those are the men who can cause problems if they revolt. I wouldn’t been too worried if there was a legion’s worth of 10 year olds, but a legion’s worth of adult men would be a problem if one was afraid of a revolution. Now, is that easier to understand? If there was a legion’s worth of gay men who had a reason to be rebellions and angry, I would also find that to be a danger. However, if you’ve ever been to a gay pride parade, you’d know that it’s not exactly an event where someone is claiming to be the son of god and that what he says should be followed. There’s much more dancing and glitter.

      • “Potato, I have indeed written posts here about posts on other blogs. What you forget is that I always let the person know that I have done so in order that they may come here and try to refute what I have written. Poor Nick did not do that. I was told about his supposedly wonderful refutation by many people but not Nick.”

        >Right. Considering he posted a comment with the link on your blog, but it was never approved…

        “That tells me he was not interested in having his standard nonsense shown to be wrong. That, my dear tater, is the difference between me and Christians who do their best to hide from the fact that their claims fail.”

        >So you hide in fear while they make a refutation?

        “Again, Nick can come here any time and write whatever he wants. I am not replying to his blog post because there is nothing new in it. I think it’s hilariously bad but that doesn’t mean I want to waste time on it. You and he are a dime a dozen and if I wasted time on every ignorant Christian’s blog, I’d be doing so until the heat death of the universe.”

        1) Did you think that *gulp* it was possible that you might write a post on your own blog? Oh wait! But that would mean he could actually refute you a second time. My bad.

        2) Sigh. More arguments from stone.

        “You have lied when commenting here on my blog. I do appreciate the examples of Christian duplicity. Keep on going! It’s great to see you respond “okay. So?” when you’ve been caught lying. So? It’s important since you lied, and I have no reason to respect or believe liars, especially Christians who supposedly has said that you should not lie, no matter what. When you claim your god exists, you have no evidence of it. And again, you have avoiding answering the question, why should I consider your god to exist when you use the same claims of evidence that other people use to claim that their gods exist and *you* don’t believe those claims?”

        >So, you just ignored everything I said along with the context of my words. Congrats.

        “There is no physical evidence for a magical resurrection. There is evidence that opposes the claims of the bible, but you seem unable to apply your qualifications to your own nonsense. And please do tell me about how “classification errors” apply with the resurrection. I do enjoy when Christians try to use obscure terms to hide their bullshit.”

        >Ladies and gentlemen, this is an example of how far people will go to defend atheism. They continue to waddle in their intelletcual dishonesty. What do you expect as “physical” evidence? The body? It’s not much of a resurrection or ascension then. The empty tomb? What’s to stop your from making your absurd ad hoc theories? Scenario: Someone is missing. Do you ask for physical evidence that they’re missing? Unless you’re an idiot, no. What is physical evidence? The body? No. Then they wouldn’t be missing. How do you know someone is missing? Testimonies of eyewitnesses who have last seen the individual in accordance to his state of abscence. You won’t get far asking for anything tangible. Do you ask for scientific proof that Abe Lincoln was elected on November 6, 1980? No. It’s not a scientific event. It would have to be observable, measurable, and repeatable. Thus, the claim is a classification error. But of course, like you say, classification errors are no more than obscure terms that Lincolnists use to imagine their fanciful president. Of course, since his election is unscientific, we cannot say when he was elected.

        “You claim that “evidence, textural purity, literary style, literary purpose, etc” show that Poseidon and Athena aren’t as real as your god. Okay, demonstrate how each of these work, because I’m betting you are again just throwing out terms hoping no one calls you on them. Tell me about “textural purity”.”

        >99.5% (Some put it as 99.9%) textually pure from over 5,700 documents. No document in Antiquity comes near that. I believe the Illiad takes second place with 500 documents and 95% purity rate.

        “You see, there is just as much evidence that P&A exist, why there are real cities, and real people cited.”

        >So, you put words in my mouth again.

        “The literary purpose? To relate a real event. Or can you show me that it isn’t?”

        >Do you actually know the difference between Greco-Roman bioi and mythological epics? Or are you just going to sit there going “OMG derp it’s a book with deities, therefore they are the same!”, while ignoring the literary style, intended audience, historical context, cultural context, etc.? The Gospels are the ones making clear historical claims (Luke 3:1).

        “And we get another great word “exegete”. It means “explain” or “interpreting”, usually a text. Which is what Christians have been doing for millennia and coming up with different claims on what their god “really” meant. That’s all apologetics is, people insisting that their interpretation is the only “right” one, rather like the Talmud, a bunch of rabbis all sure that of course it’s “obvious” that God meant “x”. Every new bunch of Christians decides that those “other” interpreters have no idea what they were doing, as you have when you claim that one word is “almost always” something, which also shows that there are indeed times where it doesn’t mean what you claim.”

        >So, you are raising a red herring, complaining about exegesis in general, and not about the flood. Right.

        “The instance in 1 Peter 3 says that everyone but 8 people were saved, the entire world was killed except for these 8 people and the animals on the ark. So, again, your claims of a “local” event are shown to be false. I think that the local flood concept is much more sensible, but that isn’t the story your bible tells. And again we have your religion that is at best exaggeration evidently and no evidence again that it is telling the truth at all.”

        >Kol eretes refers to people, not geography (Genesis 18:25, 1 Chronicles 16:23, Isaiah 14:7, etc.). And I’ll expand on this.

        “Hypostatic union (and gee, yes, it is the nonsense that JC is 100% god and 100% human)”

        >Are you going to make a real argument, or just make an argument from stone?

        “is the excuse that the early Christians tried to use to make their half-man/half god sound different. Again, they didn’t agree, banishing anyone who different agree, and made this up and then declared it the “truth” with no evidence at all.”

        >So, do you do anything else than make assertions?

        “It’s also quite flattering to see you parrot me, but at least do it with some clue. I have showed how they are biased since I posted the titles of your sources that the cruxifiction is a “historical fact”. Anyone can google them and see just what they are, apologetic books with the same lack of evidence you have. Try again.”

        >So, they are biased if they defend Jesus? What? So, atheists books are biased, because they defend atheism. Oopsie, better shut down your “Library”.

        “And oh my, it’s great to see you insist that any evidence for any other god must be exactly the same as the supposed evidence of your god. No, dear, there is no “bioi” for Buddah, but golly, he wasn’t in the Greco-Roman sphere of influence. Shucks.”

        >So yes, it is hardly a fair comparison.

        “It seems the earliest biography is the Buddhacarita, dated to the beginning to the beginning of the second century CE, and there are incomplete but earlier writings.”

        >Ah yes, right. However, that is still what- 500+ years? And my bad, the Lalitavistara dates to +700~.

        “If you read the wiki entry on Buddha, you’ll see the same problems with Buddha as JC.”

        >Oh noes! She quoted Wikipedia! Some deep scholarship. Was the first complete source for Jesus +500?

        “Now, it happens that there was a recent episode of Secrets of the Dead that was about Buddha’s earthly remains. You can watch the entire episode here: *Quotes PBS* It’s quite fascinating what they discover. We can follow historical evidence for the Buddha, but again we have no evidence that he was some kind of magical being. We have much more trouble following Jesus, ostensibly closer in time, and again, no evidence of divinity or magic at all.”

        >I believe PBS has done bits of the Shroud of Turin and the Tomb of Christ too.

        “The history of antiquity and today are the same, and it’s quite cute to see you claim that they are different and of course provide no reasoning or evidence why this should be considered to be the case.

        >And I suppose the ancient Greeks had the internet to store all of their information permanently? Mor over, there is so little to work with. What survives from the first century could fit on a 3 foot bookshelf. And for example, there is very little evidence that supports Caesar crossing the Rubicon, however it still makes it in our history books, doesn’t it?

        “We have record of who the Romans put to death, but we have nothing about JC or the supposed martyrs. Ooopsie!”

        >As I recall, Pilate’s Record (along with the other Roman governers’) is lost. Or did you (or any actual qualified source) find it after 2,000~ years?

        “Aw, and again parroting me. How flattering, but alas, you forget that I have already shown why I think Josephus isn’t what you’ve claimed. Too bad for you. Poor tater. Pilate is considered an authentic bit, but you wish to claim that the rest is too.”

        >When did I say that? The bit about Pilate is authentic.

        “However, at best we have a forgery added to the quote about JC, claiming that he did magic. If Josephus didn’t write this, then we have a report of a story about a ordinary man, killed by the Romans, not a half-man/half-god that did magic.”

        >Cool. So, in conclusion, you don’t refute anything.

        “As I wrote, I have no problem in finding the idea of Jesus being one man that legends built up around; I find the idea that no man is needed at all to be just as conceivable and I prefer it. However, you need a magical being, not just some regular guy who isn’t magical at all. You can argue for a itinerate wannabee messiah, but that gets you no closer to your 100%man/100%god.”

        >Does this address anything, or are you just babbling?

        “What’s great about this is that you want to require contemporary accounts for Buddha but not your god.”

        >Never said that. I was saying how intellectually dishonest it was to compare the two.

        “Tacitus is just as questionable as Josephus since both are reporting stories they have heard.”

        >So, can you prove this? Or do you again apply a double standard with your complaints of exegesis?

        “The notorious passage in Josephus is considered a forgery.”

        >Woah! So you really weren’t listening! Pilate is legitimate.

        “You have claimed this and have not supported that claim. The wiki article does not support that claim of consensus. A consensus is “general agreement”, and you do not have that. And when have I said that consensus is an argument ad populum?”

        >Oh noes! Wikipedia! Scholarship’s greatest weakness! Besides, the Talmud is pretty late, so it’s not a major source.

        “I did ask you “what story is right then?” And I do ask questions for a reason. Why didn’t you answer this, tater? Who killed Jesus, the Romans or the Jews and how? One of the stories has to be wrong since both can’t be right. Tell me how you know.”

        >I must have missed that section. I’ll work on a response. As for now, I’ll leave you with Matthew 27:24–25 and I Thessalonians 2: 14-16.

        “And of course, you ignore the answer to your question about when contemporary accounts are required for ancient history. I take the time to educate you and what do I get? Attempts to make believe I haven’t read “actual scholars”.”

        >Using Wikipedia is deep scholarship to you?

        “But they are used when available, which you tried to claim they were’t.”

        >When did I say “don’t use them when they aren’t available”?

        “One uses a number of sources for figuring out ancient history just like I said when I mentioned primary (aka contemporary sources), secondary and tertiary sources. We also use archaeology, etc.”

        >Funny. There aren’t much of any documents that have survived.

        “It just keeps getting better. You evidently now want to claim there is no evidence that Vesuvius erupted since you evidently think that there is no evidence except Pliny’s report. That is just fabulous. I guess we can ignore the ash, the dead city of Pompeii, that big cinder cone, etc. Yes, we have one eyewitness report of the event written down. And we have the physical evidence to support it.”

        >Your words not mine. “If there is only one source making a claim, then there is a reason not to believe it, if the event would have been known to a wide range of people.” One source making a claim = no reason to believe, according to you. Moreover, it was +30. YOur claim was one of exclusivity- if only one source makes a claim, there is no reason to believe it.

        “Now, let’s consider the supposed events of the cruxifiction.”

        >JP Holding has a whole series on this.

        “No reports of an earthquake strong enough to shake the temple. Well, earthquakes are relatively common so maybe no one found it that remarkable.”

        >Yes.

        “The sun going dark in the middle of the day. Quite a bit more remarkable and no one noticed.”

        >Apparently no one really noticed Vesuvius either. What with 90% of the citizens supposedly surviving and 1 person noting it. Moreover, the people might have thought of it as a normal event. I believe Thallus seems to claim this. It’s debated as to what this darkness really was. The word for covering was “ge”, which is ambiguous as to whether it was a large plot of land or small. A large area would be something like “oikumene”. The darkness does not necessarily refer to anything supernatural either- it’s the word “skotos”. The root can also refer to shadows.

        “The dead rising, very unique event and no one mentions it at all.”

        >They’d be targets, like Lazarus, so the pharisees would keep it hidden. If they made it a huge event out of it, or left it alone, people would know something was up. Moreover, it probably wasn’t much to note anyway. They came out of tombs (implying they had a fair sum of money), and they were considered holy. How much would that be? Probably about what- 10 people?

        “Or how about the Egyptian army being all killed (I trust you saw my post showing you wrong again). No opposing country noticed and took the opportunity to invade.”

        >As you can note, some ran away (verse 25), and the ones who were killed were only the ones who followed them into the sea (verse 28). And who are you expecting to write anything? The people of Jericho? The Canaanites? The Phillistines? As Glenn Miller put it, :They do not show up in the extremely few literary remains we have of those places”.

        “Jesus and the Eyewitnesses is amusing, but again, has no evidence that anyone was an actual eyewitness. I’ve read it and the basic assumption is that the gospels are true and thus they have to be by eyewitnesses. Unfortunately, Bauckham doesn’t show why we should think they are true, other than assuming that there were eyewitnesses.”

        >So,

        “He also assumes that Papias is accurate, for which there is no evidence (and per your argument that things that happen centuries later shouldn’t be considered reliable, are of questionable use). It’s excellent to see that even back then, the early Christians disagreed on their “exegesis” *Quotes Wikipedia*”

        >ClubS, you need to explain why you think your links are worthwhile in your own words. Putting just links up shows us only how lazy you are and my guess is that you only want to put links up so you don’t have to take responsibility for the arguments therein.

        “I agree, there are clear criteria for determining the authorship of a document. And we have no idea who the real authors of the gospels were. We can say with some reliability that the same person wrote something but not why they wrote it or who they were. In that the gospels do not agree in some dramatic aspects where two events could not have happened without contradicting the other, we know that there is no good reason to assume that the authors were eyewitnesses.”

        >Interesting. So, how do we know that all of the documents from Antiquity were not forged by some man named “Bill” who mastered various writing techniques, handwritings, and languages? Moreover, there are no events where the two events could not have happened without contradicting each other.

        “If there were even a fraction of a percent of the population that could read and write, why did they not notice people remarking about the dead rising from the grave? Why wasn’t this something important if it happened? I know I’d certainly write about it. But per the bible, that wasn’t the case was it? This supposed messiah had the undivided attention of the Sadducees and Pharisees, the educated classes. He had the attention of Rome. Christians often change their mind on how well-known they want their supposed messiah to be. In some cases, why everyone knows of JC, that literally thousands knew of him, saw his miracles, and followed him around. Then we have the JC that supposedly know one knew about when it comes to historical records and the lack of them and that little problem of them assembling right outside of an occupied city, on the plains where people could see them.”

        >In a predominantly oral society, where writing equipment was expensive? Right.

        “Jesus was a supposed messiah, who was gathering people who spoke against the established law.”

        >More failed exegesis on your part. Matthew 5:17.

        “I do love how you think an occupying force wouldn’t care if someone was gathering people and who said he was the messiah, the messiah which Jewish myth said would create a new powerful kingdom. Sure, tater. Any messiah, by definition, was leading an insurrectionist movement. I think you should read your bible and see what it actually says, since you have been shown to be completely wrong before. Matthew 21 is a good place to start.”

        >Cool. However, you have complained before about how unstable exegesis is. So, really, according to your words, you can’t say that some Jews who thought Jesus would create a physical kingdom had the “right” interpretation. Anyway, looking at Christ’s teachings, it is highly doubtful that He ever implied or insisted upon a revolt. Matthew 20:25–28, Matthew 22:20-21, John 3, and John 18:36 would be a good place to start.

        “No it doesn’t have to be grown men, tater.”

        >”gathering of adult men”… Right…

        “That’s funny though. Having a legion’s worth of grown men following a supposed messiah is a problem since those are the men who can cause problems if they revolt.”

        >Because again, only some thought He was the Messiah. Others thought He was a mere prophet, or a good teacher. Moreover, it’s doubtful that only His disciples came to see Him, and not others who were seeking food or just came because it was news. And even if He did have a legion, it is also doubtful that all of them followed Him all the time. Some were even commanded to stay, such as the man at Gerasenes.

        “I wouldn’t been too worried if there was a legion’s worth of 10 year olds, but a legion’s worth of adult men would be a problem if one was afraid of a revolution. Now, is that easier to understand? If there was a legion’s worth of gay men who had a reason to be rebellions and angry, I would also find that to be a danger. However, if you’ve ever been to a gay pride parade, you’d know that it’s not exactly an event where someone is claiming to be the son of god and that what he says should be followed. There’s much more dancing and glitter.”

        >No violence. Right. That would explain the Seattle’s Pridefest, the Toronto Pride Parade, the incident with the activist at the Family Research Council, the Castro District, etc.

        As for the Persians, I might have some more studying to do- after all, I’m not a Googlist-Wikipedian scholar. However, I recall that there is the Cyrus Cylinder, though I don’t recall how specific it is.

        “And the claim that “infinite regressions are impossible” is just one of those great baseless claims. Christians, including dear WLC who uses this claim, cannot show that this claim is true at all.”

        >I almost forgot about this. I’ll leave you with the Grim Reaper Paradox.

      • Oh my. I guess no one noticed Vesuvius erupting except those folks whose bones we found in the city. I guess the feet of ash is imaginary!

        And still nothing about the magical Babylonians taking the tons of gold away. So sad, the Cyrus Cylinder doesn’t say anything about the Babylonians taking the gold. Now, if you’d deign to actually do some research on it, the Cyrus Cylinder is possibly about how the Israelites were repatriated but that is not agreed upon by scholars. And what biblical thing confirms this, oh darn one of those “apocryphal” books, the Book of Ezra, since the supposedly god approved books couldn’t be bothered in actually mentioning this.

        And dear, I never said that there was no violence at pride festivals. You see, where I said “If there was a legion’s worth of gay men who had a reason to be rebellions and angry, I would also find that to be a danger.”

        Still no evidence that infinite regressions are impossible. And oh, the Grim Reaper Paradox? Yep, it’s the same claim again, against infinite regression that has already been addressed. Again, Christiansn try to dress up the same old nonsense in new clothes. Can you tell me why I should believe that time can be divided into infinitely small units? You see, tater, one can imagine paradoxes but they don’t always hold true with reality e.g. Zeno’s paradox.

        anything I didn’t address and you want me to, let me know.

      • Somewhere in the middle of my post, I said “When did I say ‘don’t use them when they aren’t available’?

        It should be “When did I say ‘don’t use them when they are available’?

      • “Oh my. I guess no one noticed Vesuvius erupting except those folks whose bones we found in the city. I guess the feet of ash is imaginary!”

        >Irrelevant. Your claim is the following:

        1) “X” is a historical event that ClubS deems as something that is worth mentioning (this is arbitrary and subjective opinion).

        2) If people (whom ClubS deems worthy) do not write anything about “X”, there is no reason to believe “X”.

        3) “X” was not mentioned (by anyone ClubS deems worthy), so there is no reason to believe “X”.

        According to YOUR standard, Vesuvius never erupted. Of course, you inject arbitrary excuses and exeptions, thus revealing your bias and making your standard fall apart completely. In a

        nutshell, your argument is merely “because I say so”. You see ClubS, unlike what you might think, your arguments are not anything new. Atheists like you always persist upon and abuse the

        argument of silence fallacy. It’s all material apologists have dealt with time and time again. No outside source mentions Josephus, nor Gamaliel. I guess they didn’t exist. Josephus

        doesn’t mention Rabbi Hillel. But he should have, considering Josephus was a devout Pharisee. 90% of the people in Pompeii survived. Are you telling me no one noticed it, especially when

        it affected multiple cities? It’s because it didn’t happen! Don’t use arguments from silence. It is a terrible way to confront history. See also: christianthinktank(dot)com/5felled.html

        “And still nothing about the magical Babylonians taking the tons of gold away. So sad, the Cyrus Cylinder doesn’t say anything about the Babylonians taking the gold. Now, if you’d deign to

        actually do some research on it, the Cyrus Cylinder is possibly about how the Israelites were repatriated but that is not agreed upon by scholars.”

        >All that is necessary is above.

        “And what biblical thing confirms this, oh darn one of those “apocryphal” books, the Book of Ezra, since the supposedly god approved books couldn’t be bothered in actually mentioning

        this.”

        >Since when is Ezra apocrypha?

        “And dear, I never said that there was no violence at pride festivals. You see, where I said “If there was a legion’s worth of gay men who had a reason to be rebellions and angry, I would

        also find that to be a danger.””

        >Sure thing. To seek terror and vengeance upon those who were against their marraige and/or furiously mocked them.

        “Still no evidence that infinite regressions are impossible. And oh, the Grim Reaper Paradox? Yep, it’s the same claim again, against infinite regression that has already been addressed.

        Again, Christiansn try to dress up the same old nonsense in new clothes.”

        >That’s an assertion, not an argument.

        “Can you tell me why I should believe that time can be divided into infinitely small units?”

        >No one is arguing that. If there could be infinte Grim Reapers between noon and 1 (time being divided into infinitely small units), infinite regressions would be possible. So are you

        conceding that infinite regressions are impossible?

        “You see, tater, one can imagine paradoxes but they don’t always hold true with reality e.g. Zeno’s paradox.”

        >Exactly the point. If an infinite regress were possible, then the Grim Reaper scenario would hold true to reality.

      • One more long post from someone who is ever-so busy at work. Take your time, Potato. I don’t much care when you answer.

        I do enjoy seeing you again misrepresenting me. But that’s what a TrueChristian does, isn’t it? We have Christian claims that the events depicted in the Gospels are historical. That is not my opinion, that it Christian opinion. We have them claiming that there are historical references to these events, but there aren’t. We have references to Jesus but none of the events of the cruxifiction/resurrection. We have no physical evidence of the supposed events, like the earthquake, darkening of the sun, and rising of the dead. Now, in the case of the eruption of Vesuvius back in 79 AD, we have Pompeii, Herculaeum, feet of ash, very very dead people, etc. We also have Pliny writing about it. So we have one letter, and physical evidence. And with the cruxifiction, we have no contemporary reports of it or the magical events that occurred around it or any letters about it (Pliny wrote about Christians, not Christ). So, we do have no one mentioning it and indeed why believe that something that has no evidence actually occurred. We have many claims of strange events with no evidence. We have claims of Hindu yogis healing people. Does Potato believe that this happened or does he have some qualms about the claims? We have claims that Queen Elizabeth II is really a reptiloid. Does Potato believe this claim without evidence?

        It’s nice to see Potato claiming that he finds it strange that I consider the supposed resurrection something “worthy” of notice. I guess gee, that it is just subjective and arbitrary. So, we have this event that I dare think worth mentioning if I had heard about it.

        Then we look at the people who write something about or who do not write something about it. We have no contemporary writers noting the events around the cruxifiction or that the supposedly dead person was resurrected and wandering around doing more miracles. No letters. No noting of this major earthquake that supposedly scared soldiers, etc. I’ve been through an earthquake, a little one the one on the East Coast back in 2011. It was around 5.8 and I felt a hard vibration and that’s it. It shifted some unsupported masonry structures (the Washington Monument, the National Cathedral for example) but that’s about it. Now, we have reports of an earthquake during which the “rocks split” and no one notices in the real world.

        If I said that I had been through an earthquake enough to split rock, wouldn’t you expect me to be able to show evidence of this? Christians claim that this earthquake happened and want you to take their word for it since they can’t show evidence of it.

        We have several people writing about the story of this man decades later, a story that they heard about. These people also write about Christians, but the existence of worshippers of a supposed supernatural force is no evidence for that force. If this is to be considered evidence, then the existence of Wicca worshippers show that the Goddess exists, the existence of Hindus shows that Vishnu exists, etc.

        I do not split people into those who are worthy and those who are not. I look at their writings and I evaluate those. If the writing is decades after by people who were not there and who are reporting about stories they were told, then their claims are suspect. We have no evidence supporting them. I require both contemporary reports, physical evidence, etc. Those are my standards, and by those standards Vesuvius erupted. By those standards, Jesus the magical messiah did not. And it’s wonderful again to watch him lie when he claims that my argument is “because I say so.” He can of course not support this. He may try if he wants. I’ve been waiting a while.

        I know that no outside source mentions Josephus or Gameliel. Those personages are not claimed to be magical people. We can assume that they exist since there are indeed collaborators and rabbis. Josephus mentions the descentant of Rabbi Hillel, so evidently he doesn’t think that Shimon ben Gameliel sprung from God’s forehead fully formed. Pompeii has a population in 79 AD estimated between 10 and 20 thousand. At the moment, we’ve excavated only part of the site and area and have already 1144 confirmed dead. So, to claim that “90% of the people in Pompeii survived” is a claim that may indeed be wrong. The argument from silence is not a bad thing when we have physical evidence to support the claims. That’s what Potato doesn’t seem to grasp. No one says that no one noticed Pompeii, only that there is a limited amount of documentary evidence. There is more than enough physical evidence.

        And *still* no evidence for the Babyloninans taking tons of gold, silver, etc. Alas, Potato’s claim about the cyrus cylinder has been shown to be wrong. He claimed that this information was out there, and of course it is not. How sad.

        I am wrong in saying that the book of Ezra is apocrypha. And still we have no evidence that the claims in it happened. Where are these tons of silver and gold? Per the bible they supposedly got this much gold “3 3/4 tons or about 3.4 metric tons” (there was supposedly 22 tons of silver) And this is where? And where do similar records on the part of the Babylonians and Persians show that they did this or even could do this?
        Sigh and again, no evidence of any group of people gathered outside of Jerusalem in the thousands. Yep, angry people can be a problem. A legion’s worth of men promised that the messiah would lead Israel to freedom is something that the Romans just wouldn’t be concerned about, right? You know to seek revenge upon the Romans who are in their holy city?

        And I can show that Christians dress up the same old nonsense in new clothes and I have right in the Grim Reaper paradox. It’s is the Kalam argument in new clothes, with the same claims the Kalam argument makes about infinities http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalam_argument#Contemporary_argument . It is an assertion that is based on fact. I don’t need to argue it since there is nothing to debate. One is the other but in new clothes. Alas for Potato, that time can be divided into infinitely small unites is exactly what is being argued for in the Grim Reaper paradox. Read it here: http://alexanderpruss.blogspot.com/2008/01/grim-reaper-paradox.html In the case of the grim reaper, there is a problem with having an action against a physical entity to take an infinitely small amount of time. Unfortuantely for our Tater, this does not mean that there cannot be an infinite regression of possible universes and big bangs. We simply don’t know yet what there could be before or between BBs. There is nothing that shows that one is related to the other. We are not limited to time in the infinite regression of universes. The same applies to Zeno’s paradox. It is dependent on space being infinitely divisible and it is not. There is nothing that says the infinite regression of universes is dependent on space or time.

      • “I do enjoy seeing you again misrepresenting me.”

        >As do I.

        “But that’s what a TrueChristian does, isn’t it?”

        >No, but it’s what a fundy atheist does.

        “We have Christian claims that the events depicted in the Gospels are historical. That is not my opinion, that it Christian opinion. We have them claiming that there are historical references to these events, but there aren’t. We have references to Jesus but none of the events of the cruxifiction/resurrection. We have no physical evidence of the supposed events, like the earthquake, darkening of the sun, and rising of the dead.”

        >What do you except as “physical evidence”?

        “Now, in the case of the eruption of Vesuvius back in 79 AD, we have Pompeii, Herculaeum, feet of ash, very very dead people, etc. We also have Pliny writing about it. So we have one letter, and physical evidence. And with the cruxifiction, we have no contemporary reports of it or the magical events that occurred around it or any letters about it (Pliny wrote about Christians, not Christ). So, we do have no one mentioning it and indeed why believe that something that has no evidence actually occurred. We have many claims of strange events with no evidence. We have claims of Hindu yogis healing people. Does Potato believe that this happened or does he have some qualms about the claims? We have claims that Queen Elizabeth II is really a reptiloid. Does Potato believe this claim without evidence?”

        >Alas, we also have claims that a giant bearded, top hat wearing, emancipating, wrestling 16th president existed, but with no evidence. Why did no one note the events [in the Bible]? Why did no one note Vesuvius?

        “It’s nice to see Potato claiming that he finds it strange that I consider the supposed resurrection something “worthy” of notice. I guess gee, that it is just subjective and arbitrary. So, we have this event that I dare think worth mentioning if I had heard about it. Then we look at the people who write something about or who do not write something about it. We have no contemporary writers noting the events around the cruxifiction or that the supposedly dead person was resurrected and wandering around doing more miracles. No letters. No noting of this major earthquake that supposedly scared soldiers, etc. I’ve been through an earthquake, a little one the one on the East Coast back in 2011. It was around 5.8 and I felt a hard vibration and that’s it. It shifted some unsupported masonry structures (the Washington Monument, the National Cathedral for example) but that’s about it. Now, we have reports of an earthquake during which the “rocks split” and no one notices in the real world.”

        >Apparently, no one noticed the exploding volcano that doestroyed 9 cities, shook the area for miles, and killed tens of thousands of people.

        “If I said that I had been through an earthquake enough to split rock, wouldn’t you expect me to be able to show evidence of this? Christians claim that this earthquake happened and want you to take their word for it since they can’t show evidence of it.”

        >”Spliting rocks” is vague. Can’t rocks split under any degree of pressure depending factors (mineral composition, previous stresses, etc.), distance from the epicenter, etc.?

        “We have several people writing about the story of this man decades later, a story that they heard about. These people also write about Christians, but the existence of worshippers of a supposed supernatural force is no evidence for that force. If this is to be considered evidence, then the existence of Wicca worshippers show that the Goddess exists, the existence of Hindus shows that Vishnu exists, etc.”

        >I’ll get back to this.

        “I do not split people into those who are worthy and those who are not. I look at their writings and I evaluate those. If the writing is decades after by people who were not there and who are reporting about stories they were told, then their claims are suspect. We have no evidence supporting them. I require both contemporary reports, physical evidence, etc. Those are my standards, and by those standards Vesuvius erupted. By those standards, Jesus the magical messiah did not. And it’s wonderful again to watch him lie when he claims that my argument is “because I say so.” He can of course not support this. He may try if he wants. I’ve been waiting a while.”

        >Yet why did no one note Vesuvius?

        “I know that no outside source mentions Josephus or Gameliel. Those personages are not claimed to be magical people. We can assume that they exist since there are indeed collaborators and rabbis.”

        >So, you use your predetermined worldview (bias) to make excuses for the argument of silence. Nice. Another “because I say so”.

        “Josephus mentions the descentant of Rabbi Hillel, so evidently he doesn’t think that Shimon ben Gameliel sprung from God’s forehead fully formed.”

        >So? But he never directly mentions Rabbi Hillel, who was the founder of the school of the Hillelites. Even John the Baptist is mentioned by Josephus. You are missing the point: arguments of silence are old, overused, and just bad.

        “Pompeii has a population in 79 AD estimated between 10 and 20 thousand. At the moment, we’ve excavated only part of the site and area and have already 1144 confirmed dead. So, to claim that “90% of the people in Pompeii survived” is a claim that may indeed be wrong. The argument from silence is not a bad thing when we have physical evidence to support the claims. That’s what Potato doesn’t seem to grasp. No one says that no one noticed Pompeii, only that there is a limited amount of documentary evidence. There is more than enough physical evidence.”

        >With 10,000~ casualties, and over 100,000 people witnessing the event (not just Pompeii), you’d think someone mentioned it. But no.

        “And *still* no evidence for the Babyloninans taking tons of gold, silver, etc. Alas, Potato’s claim about the cyrus cylinder has been shown to be wrong. He claimed that this information was out there, and of course it is not. How sad. And still we have no evidence that the claims in it happened. Where are these tons of silver and gold? Per the bible they supposedly got this much gold “3 3/4 tons or about 3.4 metric tons” (there was supposedly 22 tons of silver) And this is where? And where do similar records on the part of the Babylonians and Persians show that they did this or even could do this?”

        >I remember something about how Osorkon I gifted/offered/sacrificed a massive amount of gold to various temples and deities. His father was Sheshonq I, who was the man who sacked Solomon’s Temple.

        “Sigh and again, no evidence of any group of people gathered outside of Jerusalem in the thousands. Yep, angry people can be a problem. A legion’s worth of men promised that the messiah would lead Israel to freedom is something that the Romans just wouldn’t be concerned about, right? You know to seek revenge upon the Romans who are in their holy city?”

        >It’s too bad (actually, quite the opposite), that it wasn’t Christ’s goal to do that. There’s simply no reason to note this. Repeating yourself doesn’t help, ClubS.

        “And I can show that Christians dress up the same old nonsense in new clothes and I have right in the Grim Reaper paradox. It’s is the Kalam argument in new clothes, with the same claims the Kalam argument makes about infinities http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalam_argument#Contemporary_argument . It is an assertion that is based on fact. I don’t need to argue it since there is nothing to debate. One is the other but in new clothes. Alas for Potato, that time can be divided into infinitely small unites is exactly what is being argued for in the Grim Reaper paradox. Read it here: http://alexanderpruss.blogspot.com/2008/01/grim-reaper-paradox.html In the case of the grim reaper, there is a problem with having an action against a physical entity to take an infinitely small amount of time. Unfortuantely for our Tater, this does not mean that there cannot be an infinite regression of possible universes and big bangs. We simply don’t know yet what there could be before or between BBs. There is nothing that shows that one is related to the other. We are not limited to time in the infinite regression of universes. The same applies to Zeno’s paradox. It is dependent on space being infinitely divisible and it is not. There is nothing that says the infinite regression of universes is dependent on space or time.”

        >This is all bluster.

        Your concern about whether time can be infinitely divided ought to cause you to realize the argument from the GR paradox is sound.

        1. If the past is actually infinite, then a finite interval of time can be divided infinitely.
        2. A finite interval of time cannot be divided infinitely.
        3. Therefore, the past is not actually infinite.

        You already agreed with that second premise. You said so explicitly. The Grim Reaper paradox proves the first premise. If the past is actually infinite, then there are an actually infinite number of hours in the past. So it is possible for a Grim Reaper to be set during each hour in the past such that each goes off at 12:00pm + 1/n minutes, with ‘n’ being the number of the reaper. If ‘n’ goes to actual infinity, then the time between noon and 1 pm is infinitely divisible. There’s no escaping it. This argument is rock solid, and no amount of blustering or hand waving can help you get out of it.

      • Potato, please show me that I have misrepresented you. I have shown your own quotes where you have made false claims. I have shown where you are wrong. Now, again, I expect you to show evidence of your claims.

        And tell me, what is a “fundy atheist”? An atheist that shows a Christian to be wrong? Oh horrors!

        You ask what I accept as physical evidence. Well, physical means having material existence; perceptible especially to the senses and subject to natural laws. So, to have physical evidence we need evidence that people can perceive. An earthquake will have fault lines and they will split only the layers of earth present at the time. So, we need a fault line that shows that it happened at the time that JC supposedly was cruxified. Christians can’t agree on this, so that this the first problem you encounter. But say we give a decent range, say 5-10 years. We still have nothing. Then we have the problem of making this earthquake happen at the same time that people across the eastern Med noted that the sun went dark. This would require contemporary records of the sun going dark. We have some claims that it was an eclipse but we can predict eclipses though natural laws. There was none of the sun in the years that may possibly have contained the supposed “passion” events able to be seen as a complete darkening of the sun. There are claims of a dust storm, but we would also be able to find this too, as a physical remnant in the soil record if it was enough to blot out the sun. We don’t. We have no evidence of an earthquake busting open graves, nor do we have evidence of people either being reburied or living a good long time after. How long were they wandering around? Same going back into the OT. We have no evidence of a mass burial of the “first born” in Egypt. We have no evidence of the entire Egyptian army being wiped out like the bible claims. We have no evidence of millions of people wandering around in a small area about 300 miles wide by 100 miles, for 40 years. No latrines, nothing. And archaeologists love latrines, because that’s where all of the broken things get thrown. We have no evidence of a global flood that the bible claims as true. Flood leave very unique geological features, rather like how a volcanic eruption leaves very distinct geological features. We see none of that. Now, one can postulate that this god screwed around with the laws of physics so we don’t see what we should expect. And this is called the theory of last Thursday, since we can also postulate that we did not exist before last Thursday and only think we can remember beyond that. This also shows a god to be a capricious ass.

        Again, we have many types of evidence that Abraham Lincoln existed, we are not limited to one compilation of stories and no physical evidence nor contemporary accounts. And giant? Abe was 6’ 4”, by no means a giant. He did wear a top hat, and we have one of those in the Smithsonian Museum that is documented. We do have the Emancipation Proclamation. We have his hand written copy of the Gettysburg Address. All of this is physical evidence. Potato does show himself to be quite silly. We have what of the supposedly most important human being in existence, Jesus Christ? Well, ummm, hmmmm. We have those who believed that most important event in his life was his death and resurrection and who have no idea where that happened. We do know where Abe is buried. From what I can see, Potato must believe that Queen Elizabeth is a reptiloid and that yogis do heal people because why let evidence cloud his desire to believe in them. How silly. He’s right in asking “Why did no one note the events [in the Bible]? Why did no one note Vesuvius?” We know that Vesuvius erupted and don’t even need humans to bother noting it, though Pliny did. We could do the same with the other claims in the bible but alas there is none of that nifty physical evidence and not even one letter saying “Hey, I just saw this guy curing lepers and he even raised the daughter of a Roman centurion from the dead!” Potato also shows an ignorance about Pompeii, Herculaneum and Vesuvius. When cities are entirely covered with yards of volcanic ash (as fine as talcum powder) and rock, cities are usually abandoned. We can see this at Montserrat, the city in the Caribbean. Even in the 20th century, we did not bother digging it out. If one read research about Vesuvius, the research is based on the letters from Pliny *and* archaeological evidence. Now, the problem that Potato will now encounter is that since we supposedly have no evidence that Vesuvius erupted, then we can also say that Pliny and Tacitus didn’t exist, and then why JC and early Christians didn’t exist either because that is one rather large part of the little Christians have to even grasp onto to show that their non-magical man existed. Now, I have discovered that Suetonius, yes, that Suetonius, also has mentioned Pliny the elder’s mis adventures in the eruption of Vesuvius: http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/L/Roman/Texts/Suetonius/Pliny_the_Elder*.html So, we have another notation about the eruption. Pliny the Elder mounted a rescue operation supposedly, since he died there. And people were evacuated, so again people knew.

        Potato also wants to claim that “splitting rocks” is vague. So, tater, how is an earthquake splitting rocks vague? How can this be interpreted as being something else? We can also go with the other biblical claims that the rocks in front of tombs were being disturbed. Since the women claimed not to be able to move the stone, I think I can comfortably guess that the rocks are at least 100 pounds if not more. Yep, rocks can split depending on composition, stresses, and cleavage patterns. Strength of the earthquake felt depends on distance from the epicenter. But why would this earthquake not be right there where the death supposed was? Nice that he now wants to invoke science now, isn’t it? We have a geology of limestone under Jerusalem. Limestone is used for roads and building since it is not prone to breaking easily along cleavage lines. Most of the limestone of the area is massive quarryable limestone, with some that is thinly layered http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerusalem_stone . Now, considering the context of the verse, we have a book that it trying to make the impression that heaven and earth protest at the death of this man. Now, saying “hey, I bet it was the weakest stone in the area that split” is rather silly as an excuse because again, we see a Christian depowering its story to try to explain why we can’t see any evidence of it.

        And now Potato will “get back” to “this” aka the problem of “We have several people writing about the story of this man decades later, a story that they heard about. These people also write about Christians, but the existence of worshippers of a supposed supernatural force is no evidence for that force. If this is to be considered evidence, then the existence of Wicca worshippers show that the Goddess exists, the existence of Hindus shows that Vishnu exists, etc.” I wonder if it will be like how he has gotten back to his claims that the Babylonians took tens of tons of precious metals from Israel.

        I have of course again shown that his claims that I denote people worth and not worthy. Nice again that he has yet again made more false claims, been called on them and ignores when that happens. Yay! Poor thing does seem to be stuck on his claims about Vesuvius, which have already been shown to be wrong. I guess that’s all he has. Tsk.

        No, potato, I have no predetermined world view. Please do show me where I do. And I have made an argument that shows your claims about the argument from silence don’t work. The reader may read what I have read at their leisure. It’s nice that Potato does try to claim I only say “because I say so”, but can never show one single occurrence where I have done such a thing.

        And hmmm, we have Potato claiming that he remembers “something” about Osorkon gifted/sacrifice/offered a massive amount of goal to various temples and deities. Funny how Sheshonq 1 and Osorkon are Egyptian, not Babylonian. This Sheshonq is also known as Shishak, the pharaoh mentioned in Raiders of the Lost Ark as the man who took the Ark of the Covenant. Now, there is a place in Eqypt that has his exploits mentioned, the Bubasite gate in Karnak, and wouldn’t you know, there is no mention of such a great accomplishment of bringing back tens of tons of gold and a really dangerous magical box from Israel. Could an Egyptian pharaoh have invaded Israel and Judah? Yep. Did he come back with a ludicrous amount of treasure? No evidence of that at all.
        The Romans had no idea, if they knew of JC at all, that his supposed goal was not a resurrection. This is a empire that has had multiple resurrections in Israel. But golly, if the guy say he’s not interested in a resurrection, I’m sure that they were fine with that.

        And finally, the poor little claim “This is all bluster.” Of course we have no actual rebuttal, but just a last little whine. Potato cannot show that his grim reaper paradox is any different from the WLC kalam argument. He says I should “realize” that what I have said makes this paradox “sound, but he cannot show how that is the case. Again, one more baseless claim that is nothing more than shit thrown at a wall and the hope that someone doesn’t actually ask him how does that work. So I will, how does that work, Potato? Show me how one shows the other is sound. I’m waiting. There is no reason to think that time can have any part of it infinitely divided and the possibility that time is infinite as a whole does not support or unsupport that time may not be infinitely split. Potato is making one more baseless assumption. Whee. If you can show this to be the case, potato, please do so. Again, I’m still waiting. No supposed bluster, no hand-waving. So much for your “rock solid” argument.

      • edited – copy of prior post that Potato has made and evidently continues to make to clog up the comments.

      • “Potato, please show me that I have misrepresented you. I have shown your own quotes where you have made false claims. I have shown where you are wrong. Now, again, I expect you to show

        evidence of your claims.”

        >I fail to see where that occured.

        “And tell me, what is a “fundy atheist”? An atheist that shows a Christian to be wrong? Oh horrors!”

        >I don’t recall that you had the ability to see into the future of an opposite dimension where I am magically wrong about everything.

        “You ask what I accept as physical evidence. Well, physical means having material existence; perceptible especially to the senses and subject to natural laws. So, to have physical

        evidence we need evidence that people can perceive.”

        >Some of which could not apply to Biblical scenarios.

        “An earthquake will have fault lines and they will split only the layers of earth present at the time. So, we need a fault line that shows that it happened at the time that JC supposedly

        was cruxified. Christians can’t agree on this, so that this the first problem you encounter. But say we give a decent range, say 5-10 years. We still have nothing.”

        >I believe earthquakes were frequent around that area. And indeed, there are a couple candidates. In Eusebius’s Chronicon, Olympiad 202, we do find some notices of widespread quakes

        during that time. And there are findings like this- dailymail(dot)co.uk/sciencetech/article-2149750/Jesus-died-Friday-April-3-33AD-claim-researchers-tie-earthquake-data-gospels-date.html

        “Then we have the problem of making this earthquake happen at the same time that people across the eastern Med noted that the sun went dark. This would require contemporary records of

        the sun going dark. We have some claims that it was an eclipse but we can predict eclipses though natural laws. There was none of the sun in the years that may possibly have contained

        the supposed “passion” events able to be seen as a complete darkening of the sun. There are claims of a dust storm, but we would also be able to find this too, as a physical remnant in

        the soil record if it was enough to blot out the sun. We don’t.”

        >Like I said before, the size was unspecified (the area it covered). It could have even been a cloud. Moreover, like I also said before, ancient history does not also run on contemporary

        documents. I believe Tertullian, Lucian (of Antoich), Thallus, and Eusebius mention this.

        “We have no evidence of an earthquake busting open graves,”

        >Earthquakes happened frequently around the area.

        “nor do we have evidence of people either being reburied or living a good long time after.”

        >How long did they live? Until Christ’s ascension? Until they died? How many were there? It is not likely there were more than a dozen.

        “How long were they wandering around? Same going back into the OT. We have no evidence of a mass burial of the “first born” in Egypt. We have no evidence of the entire Egyptian army

        being wiped out like the bible claims. We have no evidence of millions of people wandering around in a small area about 300 miles wide by 100 miles, for 40 years. No latrines, nothing.

        And archaeologists love latrines, because that’s where all of the broken things get thrown.”

        >JP Holding has a bit on this- tektonics(dot)org/af/exoduslogistics.html To quote what he said earlier, “Millions of everyday Scythians on the steppes left behind zero evidence of their

        existence, over a period of hundreds of years. So why would a mere 600K~ Israelites leave evidence behind after just 40 years?”

        “We have no evidence of a global flood that the bible claims as true. Flood leave very unique geological features, rather like how a volcanic eruption leaves very distinct geological

        features. We see none of that. Now, one can postulate that this god screwed around with the laws of physics so we don’t see what we should expect. And this is called the theory of last

        Thursday, since we can also postulate that we did not exist before last Thursday and only think we can remember beyond that. This also shows a god to be a capricious ass.”

        >ClubS, we’ve been over this before.

        “Again, we have many types of evidence that Abraham Lincoln existed, we are not limited to one compilation of stories and no physical evidence nor contemporary accounts.”

        >No, we have no evidence.

        “And giant? Abe was 6’ 4”, by no means a giant. He did wear a top hat, and we have one of those in the Smithsonian Museum that is documented. We do have the Emancipation Proclamation. We

        have his hand written copy of the Gettysburg Address. All of this is physical evidence.”

        >ClubS, we have letters from Santa Claus. We have Batman’s Tumbler. I have a Batman Cowl. What is your point?

        “Potato does show himself to be quite silly. We have what of the supposedly most important human being in existence, Jesus Christ? Well, ummm, hmmmm. We have those who believed that most

        important event in his life was his death and resurrection and who have no idea where that happened.”

        >There are 3 possible places. So your assertion that we “lost it” is absurd.

        “We do know where Abe is buried.”

        >How do you know it is Abe Lincoln, and not anyone else I mentioned?

        “From what I can see, Potato must believe that Queen Elizabeth is a reptiloid and that yogis do heal people because why let evidence cloud his desire to believe in them. How silly. He’s

        right in asking “Why did no one note the events [in the Bible]? Why did no one note Vesuvius?” We know that Vesuvius erupted and don’t even need humans to bother noting it, though Pliny

        did.”

        >That doesn’t answer my question. So, yours is “if “X” happened, why did no one note it?”. Now, if you make exceptions, your standard falls apart. Of course, then no one really needs to

        note the other events in the Gospels. Especially not the minor ones.

        “We could do the same with the other claims in the bible but alas there is none of that nifty physical evidence”

        >Most wouldn’t leave that sort of thing.

        “and not even one letter saying “Hey, I just saw this guy curing lepers and he even raised the daughter of a Roman centurion from the dead!””

        >Sure we do. They’re called the Gospels.

        “Potato also shows an ignorance about Pompeii, Herculaneum and Vesuvius. When cities are entirely covered with yards of volcanic ash (as fine as talcum powder) and rock, cities are

        usually abandoned. We can see this at Montserrat, the city in the Caribbean. Even in the 20th century, we did not bother digging it out. If one read research about Vesuvius, the research

        is based on the letters from Pliny *and* archaeological evidence.”

        >Which is irrelevant to the argument of silence (which is what you are making). The whole point is literary evidence for Vesuvius, because by your argument, we ought to expect dozens of

        such contemporary witnesses to Gospel events. Dragging in archaeology is missing the point, which is literary evidence.

        “Now, the problem that Potato will now encounter is that since we supposedly have no evidence that Vesuvius erupted, then we can also say that Pliny and Tacitus didn’t exist, and then

        why JC and early Christians didn’t exist either because that is one rather large part of the little Christians have to even grasp onto to show that their non-magical man existed.”

        >That is ridiculous. If Christ and early Christians never existed, neither do you. After all, all I have of you are your writings.

        “Now, I have discovered that Suetonius, yes, that Suetonius, also has mentioned Pliny the elder’s mis adventures in the eruption of Vesuvius: So, we have another notation about the

        eruption. Pliny the Elder mounted a rescue operation supposedly, since he died there. And people were evacuated, so again people knew.”

        >Ah, but Suetonius is merely just reporting stories.

        “Potato also wants to claim that “splitting rocks” is vague. So, tater, how is an earthquake splitting rocks vague? How can this be interpreted as being something else?”

        >Because it doesn’t tell how strong the earthquake really is.

        “We can also go with the other biblical claims that the rocks in front of tombs were being disturbed. Since the women claimed not to be able to move the stone, I think I can comfortably

        guess that the rocks are at least 100 pounds if not more.”

        >

        “Yep, rocks can split depending on composition, stresses, and cleavage patterns. Strength of the earthquake felt depends on distance from the epicenter. But why would this earthquake not

        be right there where the death supposed was?”

        >Where were the tombs located? How far from Jerusalem? How many rocks were split?

        “Nice that he now wants to invoke science now, isn’t it? We have a geology of limestone under Jerusalem. Limestone is used for roads and building since it is not prone to breaking easily

        along cleavage lines. Most of the limestone of the area is massive quarryable limestone, with some that is thinly layered .”

        >It says “rocks were split” and doesn’t go into much detail after that.

        “Now, considering the context of the verse, we have a book that it trying to make the impression that heaven and earth protest at the death of this man. Now, saying “hey, I bet it was

        the weakest stone in the area that split” is rather silly as an excuse because again, we see a Christian depowering its story to try to explain why we can’t see any evidence of it.”

        >

        “And now Potato will “get back” to “this” aka the problem of “We have several people writing about the story of this man decades later, a story that they heard about. These people also

        write about Christians, but the existence of worshippers of a supposed supernatural force is no evidence for that force. If this is to be considered evidence, then the existence of Wicca

        worshippers show that the Goddess exists, the existence of Hindus shows that Vishnu exists, etc.” I wonder if it will be like how he has gotten back to his claims that the Babylonians

        took tens of tons of precious metals from Israel.”

        >Well yes. After all, I have these other posts to discuss, as you keep raising more and more red herrings. Come to TWeb if you want to have a deep discussion about this.

        “I have of course again shown that his claims that I denote people worth and not worthy.”

        >What?

        “Nice again that he has yet again made more false claims, been called on them and ignores when that happens. Yay! Poor thing does seem to be stuck on his claims about Vesuvius, which

        have already been shown to be wrong. I guess that’s all he has. Tsk.”

        >No, not yet.

        “No, potato, I have no predetermined world view. Please do show me where I do.”

        >Essentially, you claim “X” is “magical”, therefore “X” is complete nonsense, and everything connected to “X” is nonsense. However, in Ancient History, this is dishonest. Even historians

        recorded miracles. For example, Tacitus and Suetonius record Tiberius “prophesying” using Astrology, however, it does not mean Tiberius never existed. Moreover, in events like the

        Gospels, archaelogical evidence would be misapplied to some events. Thus, what we have recorded is what we can use to determine the event. Along with the fact that we have bare minimum

        of what the ancients had. To quote Nick, “For one thing, one has a bare minimum of what the ancients had in archaeology. It is usually said one has 1% of 1% of 1%. What archaeological

        evidence would CS expect to find for some people accepted as historical. What could we expect to find of Gamaliel, for instance?”

        “And I have made an argument that shows your claims about the argument from silence don’t work. The reader may read what I have read at their leisure.”

        >And I have made an argument that shows your claims about the argument from silence don’t work. The reader may read what I have read at their leisure.

        “It’s nice that Potato does try to claim I only say “because I say so”, but can never show one single occurrence where I have done such a thing.”

        >Again, you yourself are the evidence.

        “And hmmm, we have Potato claiming that he remembers “something” about Osorkon gifted/sacrifice/offered a massive amount of goal to various temples and deities. Funny how Sheshonq 1 and

        Osorkon are Egyptian, not Babylonian.”

        >He also stole quite a bit from Solomon (1 Kings 14)

        “This Sheshonq is also known as Shishak, the pharaoh mentioned in Raiders of the Lost Ark as the man who took the Ark of the Covenant.”

        >Citing Raiders of the Lost Ark as a legitimate scholarly source isn’t the best thing to do.

        “Now, there is a place in Eqypt that has his exploits mentioned, the Bubasite gate in Karnak, and wouldn’t you know, there is no mention of such a great accomplishment of bringing back

        tens of tons of gold and a really dangerous magical box from Israel. Could an Egyptian pharaoh have invaded Israel and Judah? Yep. Did he come back with a ludicrous amount of treasure?

        No evidence of that at all.”

        >So we at least know that he did attack Israel. However, not all the toponyms have survived (most of them were obliterated), which again shows how we really have a bare minimum. It is

        possible that the toponym was erased over time. Moreover, 1 Kings specifically focused on Jerusalem without including full details of the surrounding region. Also, to quote Yigal Levin,

        “Rehoboam apparently saved Jerusalem and his throne by this tribute tothe Egyptian monarch. That may well be why Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Bubastite Portal”. So, we have Rehoboam

        making a pay-off. A hieroglyphic text at Bubastis, Osorkon I gave huge amounts of gold and silver to the temples of Egypt. This is most likely from the treasuries of the Temple and

        royal palace at Jerusalem, and other cities of Israel and Judah.

        “The Romans had no idea, if they knew of JC at all, that his supposed goal was not a resurrection. This is a empire that has had multiple resurrections in Israel. But golly, if the guy

        say he’s not interested in a resurrection, I’m sure that they were fine with that.”

        >What are you talking about? I said He wasn’t attempting an insurrection. I doubt that they would jump everytime a crowd gathered. What do you think a marketplace would be like?

        “And finally, the poor little claim “This is all bluster.” Of course we have no actual rebuttal, but just a last little whine. Potato cannot show that his grim reaper paradox is any

        different from the WLC kalam argument. He says I should “realize” that what I have said makes this paradox “sound, but he cannot show how that is the case. Again, one more baseless claim

        that is nothing more than shit thrown at a wall and the hope that someone doesn’t actually ask him how does that work. So I will, how does that work, Potato? Show me how one shows the

        other is sound. I’m waiting. There is no reason to think that time can have any part of it infinitely divided and the possibility that time is infinite as a whole does not support or

        unsupport that time may not be infinitely split. Potato is making one more baseless assumption. Whee. If you can show this to be the case, potato, please do so. Again, I’m still waiting.

        No supposed bluster, no hand-waving. So much for your “rock solid” argument.”

        >ClubS, I would appreciate it if you stop refusing to give a substantive response to what I’ve already said. There’s nothing here to respond to. It’s just more bluster and hand waving.

  5. Hi – So, I visited your site. Here’s an invitation to visit mine. Especially something I added today called is God loving – or Angry? Just my point of view. No scripture quoting. Just something to read and hopefully ask – what if?
    Also read your story. There’s a link in the post to mine as well.
    You can take it or leave it. Or not even visit. It’s not up to me to convert anyone. Maybe you’ll feed on it, as the name of your site suggests. Maybe not. That’s entirely your choice. Your free will.

    WGS

    • hello WGS, Thanks for visiting my site. I’ll take a look at yours in the near future (I have my parents visiting this weekend so my time is a little constrained.)

      The idea that a god can be loving or angry is more evidence that theists don’t agree on what this god of theirs actually is. We have Christians with their god acting like any other bronze/iron age god, simply humans writ large. We also have Christians who insist that their god is some “ground of being” or some other vagueness that they have created to avoid the contradictions and strangeness of the god of the bible. Your god may be angry or loving, but without any evidence that it exists at all, then it’s like talking about how angry or evil Darth Vader is.

      I do not “feed” on anything but the tasty food that I and my husband make. I do get amusement out of the schadenfreude that people cause themselves, especially from their willful ignorance and arrogance.

      And again, there is no evidence of free will. We are creatures of our experiences and our physicality. There certainly is no evidence of free will in religion, because as soon as your god interferes, there is no free will at all. I believe that humans can change their minds but again that’s a result of influences and physicality. We don’t make choices in a vacuum.

      • Interesting take on the name schadenfreude. Willful ignorance and arrogance is something everyone seems to have. The cooking part’s good though. My wife & I like to cook to, so that part’s good.

        Anyway – I agree that theists don’t agree on who / what God is. That’s definitely a problem – probably with the willful ignorance & arrogance of people. But that doesn’t mean God doesn’t exist. It just means we don’t understand, in large part because of our pride – or as you said – will ignorance and arrogance.
        You referred early to the verse about God’s ways are higher than ours. Personally, I think people calling out to that verse as a way of ending a discussion are taking a cop out. I don’t disagree with the statement – there’s no way I could begin to understand someone who could create the universe. However – Isaiah 1:18 also had God saying to us – “Come now let us reason together”. I think this is the approach. Yes – we won’t understand everything. But we are called to learn! Based on what you’ve said in your story, I’d think that would be very appealing to you – the chance to learn literally anything you want from God. Maybe not here – but in Heaven. For me – that’s one of the things I really look forward to.

        As for free will – I actually think you made my point for me. When you say we don’t make choices in a vacuum, you agree that we make choices. That we consider other things around us doesn’t take away from the fact that we make the choice. And based on those choices – people react differently to us – God reacts differently to us – and ultimately those choices come to shape our view of everything around us. One direction or another, it turns into a never ending spiral in one direction or another. Unless we exercise out free will to make the choice to go in a different direction.
        Or unless God interferes, as you point out. But even then, we can choose how we react to His interference. Do we think He did it for our good? Or do we think He’s out to get us? But if we think He interfered, we have acknowledged that He does exist and does have some power over us. After that, we also have the freedom to choose how we react to His interference. Do we go with it – accept it – and go in that direction? Do we fight it – and go in some other direction, based on our evaluation of the alternatives? Or do we ignore it, and just blindly keep trying to do what we want to do, regardless?
        Interestingly enough, based on what’s in Revelation, I think God prefers either of the first two to the last one of just blindly going on – where He says He wishes the people were either hot or cold, but not lukewarm. Again – because even those who are very much against him – acknowledge that He exists.
        What I sometimes wonder about is what happens with those people when they die? I certainly don’t know – and won’t until I (hopefully) get to Heaven – but is it possible they will be there?
        Romans 10:9 says – That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
        Some who really hate God will actually acknowledge those two things. It’s the ones who ignore Him that don’t.
        Interesting, isn’t it?
        Jesus said we should be like little children. They take things very simply. What if it really is that simple? And “well meaning” people – like the Pharisees and teachers of the law did – make it too complicated?
        What if?

        Well – that got long.
        On the other side of things – I have to look up something a read a while back on a description of a potter making something from clay. Don’t remember now where I read it. When I find it – I’ll answer the question over on my blog.

        It’s good to “talk” with you.
        Have a great weekend with your parents,
        WGS

      • I’m glad you like to cook. My husband and I cook a lot, and our stuff is very good. Not terribly healthy for you, with the butter we use, but tasty.

        WGS, you say you believe in God, which seems to be the Christian God. There is no evidence that this god, as defined by the bible pretty clearly with lots of details, exists. I have watched Christians try to redefine their god constantly in accordance to their personal hates and desires. I have also watched this god get vaguer and vaguer since come Christians realize that none of you can show that this god exists as defined. I get to see lots and lots of Christians insisting that they know so much about their god but when the problems with their god are pointed out, then they insist that “there’s no way I could begin to understand someone who could create the universe”. Well, which is it? Can you understand it, claim that it supposedly “loves” us, that it wants people to obey the parts of the bible you like or “not begin to understand it”?

        Isaiah 1 does say “Come let us reason together.” However, that depends on the translation. Some say “Let us settle the matter.” Which seems to make more sense since this god is threatening more harm if its chosen people don’t tow the line. It’s “obey or else”. To say “let us reason together” would mean that there is a discussion to come to a conclusion, often to convince someone of your point. How does this work if you can’t even begin to understand the being saying this?

        It would indeed appeal to me to speak to this god and to learn what the heck it really wants. But that doesn’t happen, WGS. I have opened the door and no one was there. I have called out into the darkness and still nothing. I prayed when I was losing my faith and got bupkis. I get a lot of excuses from Christians why my prayers didn’t work when I was losing my faith. I have been told that I didn’t do it right (and of course can’t get the Christian to tell me what “right” means), I wasn’t sincere enough (shades of the Great Pumpkin) or they simply punt and tell me that they can’t tell me why, though they will constantly claim that they know what this god wants. Except in this rather troubling instance.
        And why should anyone need to wait until they are dead? Thomas didn’t, so why should I? Or is it that it’s easier to claim miracles that never happened rather than actually do them and save that lost sheep? It’s rather late to wait until after you are dead since your bible says that after you are dead, no more chances. The book of life is closed and that’s all that you are judged by, not by some last chance after you are dead. To claim that anyone learns anything after they are dead is a great way to try to get out of any responsibility. No one has come back and said “hey this actually works.” Nope, it’s awfully nice to say “wait until you are dead” because then you don’t have to provide evidence for your claims. So many religions do this.

        No, WGS, I didn’t make your point for you. Nice attempt to twist my words but it isn’t honest. I have said that we make choices based on our prior experiences and physicality, thus we have no free will. You have claimed that we make choices based on nothing that has come before, the libertarian view of free will that anyone can do anything anytime. Please correct me if you don’t think this is accurate. They are entirely different claims. If I cannot make a choice that isn’t predicated on a prior event or the physicality I am stuck with, then that choice is always going to be what it is. Now, if I have been exposed to the idea that I can consider other possibilities, I can change my mind but only because I have been exposed to that concept that other ideas are as valid as the ones I hold. If I can’t change my mind because of brain damage, then I am truly screwed per your claims.

        Let’s look at your claim that this god will react to me differently depending on what I do. Why, if it is omniscient as Christians claim? It has always will always know what I will do. If one believes that everything is this god’s will, as many Christians claim, then it puts into place everything that makes me who I am. There is no way to go in a different direction. And again, your bible says nothing about free will and repeatedly says that this god interferes and controls people. As soon as an omnipotent, omniscient being does something that interferes with someone’s ability to do what they want, then free will stops. As soon as Christians claim that grace is *all* that saves someone, this grace which is this god choosing who and who does not accept its claims, then free will is gone. Per your bible, I may not be able to choose this god if it has decreed so. And we end up again with Christians disagreeing and being unable to show that their version is the right one. Since none of you can do this, there is no reason to believe *any* of you.

        You make the argument that you can ignore your god’s interference as long as people can “choose” how to react to it and that’s “free will”. No, that’ is not right since your god’s actions prevent people from doing what they intend. It is not just a choice, it is a direct stopping of intentions. If an omnipotent being says I can’t do something, I can’t by definition.

        You again appear to try to make believe that atheists have to believe in your god. When I say that your god interfered I am saying that the story says your god interfered. I do not believe that it exists at all and am only repeating what the myths say. There is no evidence that your god does anything, WGS. So, there is no reason to accept, fight or ignore your god. I think it’s a vile character, just like I find Darth Vader a vile character. Doesn’t mean I believe the Lord of the Sith actually exists in a galaxy far far away.

        In Revelation, it says that everyone who doesn’t believe in your god is murdered by your god, no matter if hot, cold or lukewarm. No “hey, go on about your business, no hard feelings.” Nope, they are killed and then, consigned to hell. Then we have the curious events where this god has itself ruling over earth and the believers for an “aeon” but must release its archenemy to corrupt these believers and have one more slaughter fest. I will say that I am against the idea of a god like yours, but believing in its actual existence? Nope, not at all. And I know that terrifies Christians, because you have to admit that people who don’t believe in your god or any god are just as happy and decent and humane as you are. There is nothing special about you. The mere existence of atheists threatens your claims.

        You claim not to know what happens to people who don’t believe in your god when they die. Why not, when the bible says *exactly* what happens? Is what the bible says too distasteful for you to claim that it’s still a mystery to you? And if you claim that the bible is wrong about what it says, then why believe that any of the bible is right in what it claims?

        Romans 10:9 does say that if you believe that JC is lord, raised from the dead, etc you are saved. And how does one be able to do this? If this god has chosen you to be able to do so, as it says in Acts 13, Romans 8, 9, Ephesians 1, 2 thess 2 (one of my favorites), 2 Tim 1 etc. (yes, I do know that other verses support the idea of choice, or works or some other means, some problem isn’t it for a supposedly divinely inspired book?) Some people might acknowledge that these baseless claims are true. I don’t. I don’t believe in a magical god/man who did miracles that no one noticed and that supposedly rose from the dead. It’s a ridiculous story that even the supposedly “divinely inspired” can’t get straight. It’s no more true than Osiris dying and then living again. I do like Romans 10 because it again shows that Christians don’t agree, not even with themselves. Paul says that no one knows about this god without being told, but he said earlier than one just has to look around to know this god. Some Christians say that everyone knows about Jesus without being told. Which is it? It also shows how the OT is mangled by Paul to make his claims. It’s always a bit rough with future and past tenses show that your claims are rather iffy.

        Yep, JC said that we should be like children. Paul said that we shouldn’t be like children. Who should we believe? And hmmm, who made it too complicated with all of those silly laws? Oh yes, God, if you believe your bible. You know, those laws that JC said to follow until the heaven and earth end. I haven’t noticed that happening.

        You do pose a lot of “what ifs” and each other Christian poses other what ifs that contradict yours. Again, why should any of you be believed? It does appear that you are using a what if question as a rhetorical one because you already believe you have the only right answer. All of the what ifs make Pascal’s wager seem even that more silly, why assume that you have the right god to worship and that it exists at all? I do not believe that any gods exist; there is no evidence of them or any of the special events that make up their myths. I do not need the belief of a divine carrot and stick to act as I do. I am not afraid of bogeymen.

        And no problem with long posts. I find them necessary in such convoluted discussions.

        As for potters and clay, the bible says that the potter e.g. your god, can make whatever he wants and do whatever he wants with it. Without exception, even if he destroys some of his creations to make a point to the other creations no matter what those creations want. And poof goes free will.

        I’ll pop over to your blog and reply to your post. It will likely contain some of the same points as I have made here.

      • hello WGS. I hope you had a great thanksgiving holiday. I am looking forward to your answer to my question about the verse from Romans and any other questions or observances of mine that you may wish to address. If you have answered these on your blog, please let me know.

  6. Pingback: Clubschadenfreude, Pt 1. Evidence for “baseless claims.” Wild Assumptions. | Christ is The Cure

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