“The fundamental choice is not whether humans will have faith, but rather what the objects of their faith will be, and how far and into what dimensions this faith will extend.” -Matt Emerson

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Matt Emerson asserts that science is faith-based, since scientists believe that the predictions of their theories will be borne out. It’s true that faith, by definition, is the belief in an outcome for which we cannot be certain. Indeed, we could not have been certain that LIGO would have found gravitational waves, nor that Einstein’s predictions for their properties would have been correct.

Image Credit: SXS, the Simulating eXtreme Spacetimes (SXS) project (http://www.black-holes.org).

Image Credit: SXS, the Simulating eXtreme Spacetimes (SXS) project (http://www.black-holes.org).

But the claim that science is faith-based not only misunderstands the nature of science and the scientific process, but ignores the facts that scientific “beliefs” are based in the full suite of evidence available, and that as more and better evidence becomes available, those beliefs change accordingly. The true separator of science from faith is how far you’re willing to test your most deeply held beliefs, and whether you’ll change your conclusions when the evidence compels you to do so.

Image credit: public domain / US Government, of a schematic of how LIGO works. Modifications made by Krzysztof Zajączkowski.

Image credit: public domain / US Government, of a schematic of how LIGO works. Modifications made by Krzysztof Zajączkowski.

Go read the whole, maddening takedown over on Forbes.

Comments

  1. #1 Wow
    March 8, 2016

    So car travel is a matter of faith, because you have faith that the car will work. Or not explode. Or the roads will not be closed. Or that petroleum distillates will act the same way they did last week.

    Or any of those predictions that you make every single frigging day.

    Trousers are faith? After all, you predict they’ll hide your arse when you wear them. And have faith they will do so.

  2. #2 Richard Engkraf
    United States
    March 8, 2016

    Faith is a position which admits no conceivable alternative. People of faith tend to shape their conception of the universe (including scientific evidence) to fit their belief, instead of building up a view of the universe based upon objective evidence. Bertrand Russell defined faith as a belief which cannot be shaken by contrary evidence.

  3. #3 See Noevo
    March 8, 2016

    Oh boy.
    I haven’t read Ethan’s article yet, but just based on the title, this thread could turn into a real doozy.

    I hope to read this piece and opine later tonight.

  4. #4 Pat
    USA
    March 8, 2016

    Whoever try to equate or prove faith lacks faith. Jesus turned water to wine. Elisha strike his enemies with blindness. You can not prove those miracles and many more with science. You either believe or you don’t. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrew 11:1.

  5. #5 See Noevo
    March 8, 2016

    Ethan,

    Science IS based on faith, in the sense that science cannot proceed without certain NON-scientific, UN-provable, PHILOSOPHICAL presumptions, such as
    1) You really exist,
    2) A real world (i.e. not a dream), including real people, outside of yourself exists,
    3) Your senses provide a reasonably reliable representation of this real world, and so can be reasonably trusted,
    4) Your intellect, reason, logic can likewise be relied on to make valid conclusions about this real world,
    5) This real world operates in consistent, and apparently universal, ways (i.e. “laws”).

    Science, as well as probably all conscious human endeavors, require these elements of general faith.

    [*Modern* science – or rather *many modern scientists* – have distinguished themselves in more specific and extreme faiths, such as
    a) Faith that something can come from nothing.
    b) Faith that the various universal constants, whose precise settings are required for our universe’s existence, settled on these settings by chance.
    c) Faith that the Big Bang’s hydrogen and helium led naturally and inexorably to you.

    Simple ABCs, but extraordinary faith.]

    One further note, while sticking with the science.
    You write “But if it hadn’t been true — if advanced LIGO had reached design sensitivity and seen nothing for years, or if it had seen something that conflicted with Einstein’s theory — that faith would be *instantaneously discarded*, and replaced by something even better: a quest to discover how to extend and supersede Einstein’s greatest accomplishment to account for the new evidence.”

    “Instantaneously discarded”? Really?
    So, when certain cosmological observations were confounding and perhaps contradicting Einstein’s theory AND BEFORE someone later proposed the bandaids of, say, dark energy/dark matter, Einstein’s theory was discarded?

    Or was his theory *held onto*, until something better, something less flawed, came along?

    I think it was held onto, not instantaneously discarded.
    “Livin’ on a prayer”, so to speak.

    Like with evolution. But that’s another story.

    You end with:
    “The fundamental question is neither what the object of humanity’s faith will be nor how far it will extend, but rather how far you’re willing-and-able to test your most deeply held beliefs, and whether you’ll have the courage to change your conclusions to follow where the evidence guides. That is what separates science from anything faith-based, and why any faith-based belief system will never be considered scientific.”

    A couple points on that:
    First, no one is saying science is essentially the same as religion. They are different. However, they do share and require certain aspects of faith. And both deal with questions about truth – the former primarily with physical truths, the latter primarily with non-physical truths.

    Second, I hope you’re not saying that the only real truth is “scientific” truth – truth which is physical, testable, predictable.

    Because that would be an un-scientific, philosophical position.

    Lastly, on religion, or more specifically, on Christianity.
    Above you mentioned not just evidence, but “*quality* evidence.”
    The only reason I believe in Christianity is because of the *quality* of the evidence for the physical (and predicted) resurrection of Jesus Christ. I’m thinking specifically of the people who were murdered for refusing to deny their witness of that physical resurrection.

    Ethan, based on your logic and your understanding of human behavior and your understanding of history…

    Who do you say Jesus Christ is?

  6. #6 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    March 8, 2016

    I know it may be unwise to feed the troll, but:

    Science IS based on faith, in the sense that science cannot proceed without certain NON-scientific, UN-provable, PHILOSOPHICAL presumptions
    [list of presumptions]

    There is ample evidence to support those presumptions, sunshine. Just because we might need faith to consider them doesn’t mean we can’t test them scientifically.
    W.R.T.

    Faith that the Big Bang’s hydrogen and helium led naturally and inexorably to you

    “Inexorably”? Bad choice of word, much like Ethan unwisely using instantaneously. And no, it does NOT require faith. The principles behind fusion, chemical reactions and so on are well understood. It is not impossible to work out how we got from “hydrogen and helium” to us.

  7. #7 Nils-Erik Thorén
    Sweden
    March 9, 2016

    Science rests on the axiom that there exists a world independent of any observers.

    Under scrutiny, there is no evidence for such a claim. We only know what consciousness shows us. And consciousness only shows us perception and thoughts. So we can only know perception and thought.
    That we choose to interpret it as perception *of a world* is simply a logical step we cannot take. It’s a step of faith.

  8. #8 Sinisa Lazarek
    March 9, 2016

    @SN

    I would very much disagree that religion deals with questions of truth. I would be very happy if religion did that, but it doesn’t and never did.

    Religion BELIEVES (on faith) in the absolute truth of the view or statements presented by it’s founder/originator. Be it Jesus, Moses, Buddha, Mohamed etc.. It never looks to question or test those claims, because that would be viewed as a lack of faith in the truth of those sayings.

    Blindly following someone else’s views and proclaiming it for truth without any evidence is not searching for truth, it’s blind faith. Again, I really wish religion operated differently.. but it doesn’t.

  9. #9 Wow
    March 9, 2016

    “Science IS based on faith, in the sense that science cannot proceed without certain NON-scientific, UN-provable, PHILOSOPHICAL presumptions”

    That don’t quantify faith.

    1) You really exist,

    If you don’t who is asking?

    2) A real world (i.e. not a dream), including real people, outside of yourself exists,

    If you are dreaming, then you are discovering what you want to discover, it’s still reliable science. So another one that doesn’t matter.

    3) Your senses provide a reasonably reliable representation of this real world, and so can be reasonably trusted,

    If they aren’t,then why is everyone else hallucinating the same shit? Unlike ACTUAL faiths, we don’t get schism upon schism multiplying through time, we get toward a greater single understanding of the universe.

    4) Your intellect, reason, logic can likewise be relied on to make valid conclusions about this real world,

    If they can’t, then see #3

    5) This real world operates in consistent, and apparently universal, ways (i.e. “laws”).

    If they don’t you won’t find them. If you do find them, then they exist.

    Duh.

  10. #10 Wow
    March 9, 2016

    “I would very much disagree that religion deals with questions of truth”

    It’s a load of cock.

    Why are there thousands of faiths and thousands times more sects if they’re all looking at truth???

    They are looking at opinions and desire, and these multiply the more people you canvas these things on.

    If there were ANY truth, there wouldn’t be any more than one description of god.

  11. #11 Wow
    March 9, 2016

    “There is ample evidence to support those presumptions, sunshine”

    No there isn’t.

    NONE OF THOSE ARE FAITH.

    If these presumptions are NOT presumptions of faith science, then they can’t be presuming what they claim to, therefore they don’t exist as what they claim to be.

    “Just because we might need faith to consider them doesn’t mean we can’t test them scientifically.”

    Just because we have faith doesn’t mean what we have faith in is a faith nor does it make that thing faith based.

    You have faith that your job will feed you and your family (if you have one), right?

    So your job is faith based?????

    Sorry, sunshine, you don’t know what the words mean. Try going back to school and stop having faith that you already know the answers.

  12. #12 Wow
    March 9, 2016

    “” Faith that the Big Bang’s hydrogen and helium led naturally and inexorably to you”

    “Inexorably”? ”

    inexorable/ɪnˈɛks(ə)rəb(ə)l/
    adjective
    impossible to stop or prevent.

    So do you know which prehistoric butterfly you would need to stomp on to remove someone? No? Then it was impossible for you to stop or prevent, wasn’t it.

  13. #13 Wow
    March 9, 2016

    a) Faith that something can come from nothing.

    It’s not faith. It’s realising we don’t know it can’t. And we have evidence it did happen: there’s something now.

    b) Faith that the various universal constants, whose precise settings are required for our universe’s existence, settled on these settings by chance.

    No,we can measure them right now and see that they can’t have changed for at least 4 billion years. And we don’t know they haven’t changed, but if they have, what evidence do you have they DO change? And what was the change?

    c) Faith that the Big Bang’s hydrogen and helium led naturally and inexorably to you.

    Isn’t faith. It’s conversational English. A native tongue of some billion hominids on planet Earth. Welcome to planet Earth. Please recognise that your tourist phrasebook does not go into enough detail about the language to cover every eventuality and that presuming so is one surefire way to indicate that you’re not a native of the planet.

  14. #14 Wow
    March 9, 2016

    Weird that faithiests, in their rage at trying to demonise science, will gladly attack faith as unfounded conjecture completely inconnected with the truth.

    Then turn round and insist that their faith is the absolute and incontrovertible fact of reality.

  15. #15 Sinisa Lazarek
    March 9, 2016

    @ Wow #11

    That, and the other thing which I find curious… they absolutely reject any other supernatural beings other than in their own “manual”. That’s really unfair. I mean .. there is JUST AS STRONG evidence for the existence of elves and dragons, giants and mermaids and mages that would make Jesus wimper in fear… as there is evidence for Jesus resurecting, Budhha levitating or turning water to wine etc…

    What evidence is there that one is truer than the other?

  16. #16 Sinisa Lazarek
    March 9, 2016

    p.s.. or Santa Claus for that matter. I mean.. I swear on everything holy that I saw Him every year when I was a kid! And he knew what I wanted.. I mean.. it was a miracle! And other people saw him too.. oh yes.. many of my young contemporaries had the same experience for several years.. oh yes! Much more substantial evidence then for this God dude.

  17. #17 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    March 9, 2016

    It’s the same pivot they use in court in the US, where they claim that opening government functions with a prayer is just a watered-down nonsectarian tradition at this point, but then turn around and scream that their religious freedom is being curtailed if they’re not allowed to do it.

  18. #18 dean
    United States
    March 9, 2016

    Who do you say Jesus Christ is?

    Most likely a fictional being referenced only in your chosen holy book but not in any external historical records.

    he only reason I believe in Christianity is because of the *quality* of the evidence for the physical (and predicted) resurrection of Jesus Christ. I’m thinking specifically of the people who were murdered for refusing to deny their witness of that physical resurrection

    You’d have to have some reference for that outside of the bible, because that doesn’t count. And while you’re at it, provide evidence for the huge earthquake that allegedly occurred when Jesus died, and for the people who were claimed to have risen from their tombs at that time. Surely someone must have noted that so that there are historical records, verifiable, right?

    Oh wait – you don’t deal in evidence. Lies and unsupported faith are your currency. Never mind.

  19. #19 Wow
    March 9, 2016

    Also how can you have physical evidence of something you claim hasn’t happened yet???

  20. #20 Wow
    March 9, 2016

    ISIS is being murdered because they won’t give up their witness of what Allah told them to do.

    So I guess this proves they are right??

    I suppose it’s just like the trials for being a witch: you prove your assertion by being killed,actual evidence be damned.

  21. #21 See Noevo
    March 9, 2016

    To Sinisa Lazarek #5:

    “Blindly following someone else’s views and proclaiming it for truth without any evidence is not searching for truth, it’s blind faith.”

    If you don’t consider the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ to be evidence of the truth of His teachings, we don’t need to pursue this any further.

    ………….
    “And he said, `Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house,
    for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’
    But Abraham said, `They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’
    And he said, `No, father Abraham; but if some one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’
    He said to him, `If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if some one should rise from the dead.'”
    [Luke 16]

  22. #22 Dean
    United States
    March 9, 2016

    “If you don’t consider the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ to be evidence of the truth of His teachings, we don’t need to pursue this any further.”

    Something that has to be taken on faith alone, as is the case for the resurrection, cannot be considered evidence for anything.

  23. #23 Sinisa Lazarek
    March 9, 2016

    @SN #18

    “If you don’t consider the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ to be evidence of the truth of His teachings, we don’t need to pursue this any further.”

    What evidence of physical resurrection? Witnessed by whom? As far as I know, the earliest “testaments” don’t mention any resurrection.. “.. they went to the tomb and the tomb was empty, and they were afraid.” .. done. You should check when was “what” added to “unchangeable” manuscript to appease the times when they were happening.

    As for quoting old testament.. what does that have to with anything.. I’m not a Hebrew.. Abraham is not my ancestor.. lol. You seem to have a bit of confusion as to what you believe in. Do you believe in god of israelites.. or do you believe that a person called jesus, happened to be god reincarnate on earth just so he could intentionally be masacred for some “global” inherent sin.. whatever that means..

  24. #24 CFT
    March 9, 2016

    Wow,
    You have made it abundantly clear you are a very angry atheist, it is kind of hard to miss. Ok, so what? Your position is also one taken on faith without conclusive evidence, as in science (if you were actually trying to be scientific) you can’t actually prove something does not exist. Yet you feel justified mocking others for their faith in intelligent agents of creation, while you have faith that the universe can winked into existence by spontaneous existence out of nothing (basically a miracle) Your position is equally absurd when it comes to first causes without evidence. The biggest actual difference between your position and a person who believes in any kind of god these days is actually financial, as you believe others who do not share your beliefs should be forced to fund scientific inquiry if they wish to or not, while they have next to nothing to say about forcing you to finance their institutions and activities.

    I avoid the problem entirely by staying away from absurdity sticking to the truth of what I can know. I’m agnostic, as I don’t know how the universe started, or if it even started at all. All I do know about the universe is that it extends far beyond what is actually known about it, even by you. Drawing conclusions with any kind of certainty about the universe springing forth from nothing in an instant outside of time, or being parted from the waters of chaos in seven days is worse than cosmically premature, it’s pointless.

    The saddest thing about you Wow, is not what facts you know, or what you think you know, it’s what you do with it. You take great pride, interest, and pleasure in looking down on other people to feel better about yourself instead of trying to find a better way to get your point across and convince people of the strength of your own argument. This is not the hallmark of a great thinker or teacher.

  25. #25 Wow
    March 9, 2016

    “If you don’t consider the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ to be evidence of the truth of His teachings”

    If you haven;ty proven the physical resurrection ever happened, you have nothing to get sniffy about.

    Prove THAT first.

  26. #26 Wow
    March 9, 2016

    “Wow,
    You have made it abundantly clear you are a very angry atheist”

    You have made it abundantly clear you can’t separate passion for anger when it appears in someone you hate to think might be right.

  27. #27 Wow
    March 9, 2016

    “Your position is also one taken on faith without conclusive evidence”

    No it isn’t.

  28. #28 Wow
    March 9, 2016

    “Yet you feel justified mocking others for their faith in intelligent agents of creation”

    Well yes, because it’s fucking stupid.

    “you can’t actually prove something does not exist. ”

    I don’t have to.

    “while you have faith that the universe can winked into existence by spontaneous existence out of nothing”

    Nope, that’s not based on faith.

    “Your position is equally absurd when it comes to first causes without evidence.”

    Nope, it isn’t.

    “I avoid the problem entirely by staying away from absurdity sticking to the truth of what I can know. ”

    Evidently not.

    “I’m agnostic, as I don’t know how the universe started, or if it even started at all. ”

    Neither do I. However, there are several likely possibilities, though a supernatural intelligence is not one of them by a long shot.

    This DOES however make you an ATHEIST.

    “All I do know about the universe is that it extends far beyond what is actually known about it,”

    How do you know that? You ASSUME it. You don’t, however, know it.

    “You take great pride, interest, and pleasure in looking down on other people to feel better about yourself ”

    Nope, that’s just presumption on your part, obviously to berate me and make me look small so that you seem bigger.

    “trying to find a better way to get your point across”

    This IS a better way to get my point across.

    I, unlike you, do not insist you take my route. Because unlike you I respect the possibility I’m wrong and allow others autonomy without insisting that my way is the only way.

    Entirely unlike yourself.

    “This is not the hallmark of a great thinker or teacher.”

    How the fuck would you know?

  29. #29 Narad
    March 9, 2016

    Science IS based on faith, in the sense that science cannot proceed without certain NON-scientific, UN-provable, PHILOSOPHICAL presumptions, such as
    1) You really exist,
    2) A real world (i.e. not a dream), including real people, outside of yourself exists,

    Neither of these is required in the slightest. I reject ontology wholesale but still heed the wisdom of Mr. Natural.

    You’re as incompetent at philosophy as you are at everything else.

  30. #30 MobiusKlein
    March 9, 2016

    troll the feed, not do!

  31. #31 See Noevo
    March 9, 2016

    ScienceBlogs’ definition of “troll”:
    One who posts opinions which contradict or challenge those of ScienceBlogs.

  32. #32 Jack Archer
    Ottawa, Canada
    March 9, 2016

    Allow me to submit that the basic problem is that a generation of scientists has grown up who are not aware of where science comes from, or what supports the branch of knowledge they are part of: what is the trunk under that branch?

    I don’t blame them: a science career requires rapid early specialization. And conversation with many scientists reveals that many get through university not only without taking any philosophy courses, but even really not knowing what philosophy is. I’ve heard scientists of respectable standing speak of philosophy as if it meant anything that consists of baseless conjecture.

    Some see the goofier religions, and rightly deride them. But because they have grown up in an atheistic culture that disparages all religion, they don’t bother to sift the pile to see if there is one religion that stands out in its relation to science. They might have an indication of this special relationship, if they had gotten to know philosophy and its history.

    The physical sciences are what used to be called “natural philosophy.” That is, the branch of philosophy interested in the natural world. It inherited its systematic approach to knowledge from the parent discipline, the wider philosophy.

    The science of the mind, philosophy, was applied to the natural world with confidence because its methods had already turned up truth in the logical, moral, and theological disciplines. It worked. It still does as part of the scientific method.

    The ancient, pre-philosophical view of the world was that humanity was in a patch of light, surrounded by impenetrable darkness: the darkness of ignorance, the limit of knowledge; and the limits of arbitrary nature: because nature was considered arbitrary. In that early world view, there was no ultimate sense to inquiry because there was no reason to presume that inquiry would be rewarded. If nature was the product of arbitrary gods, and the forces of nature were their whims, then daring inquiry was just as likely to meet with punishment; and certainly futility.

    The reason that Greek philosophy and Jewish religion rushed together and fused in the Catholic church was in part because they both had arrived, by different paths, to being “atheist” in regard to nature. Socrates was condemned for corrupting youth; his probing questions led them to question and reject the pantheon of nature gods. The Romans had the same kind of killing reaction to early Christianity, which encouraged atheism toward their pantheon.

    They were right: the Genesis creation story is a god-by-god take-down of the Babylonian pantheon of nature gods. The plagues of Moses are a god-by-god refutation of the nature gods of Egypt.

    Genesis insisted, against the ancient nature gods, that the sun was just a light, not a god; likewise the moon. The ocean just water, not a god. And so on. Nature was devoid of gods. It was inert, made.
    And because made by a mind which our minds in some way resemble, knowable in a real way.

    This was a revolution in thought. The model was flipped: man was not walking in a small patch of light, surrounded by impenetrable darkness; rather he was covered by a local shadow, beyond which was unquenchable light. It meant he should punch through. It meant inquiry could be expected to bear fruit. It meant knowledge not only could be systematized, but that we were *supposed* to do so. It meant we were made for science. That the search for knowledge would not be futile. Literally could not be.

    When the early Christians wanted to discern which scriptures were authentic and could be kept as historical artifacts, and which should be rejected as fakes and later additions, they used the Greek methods of systematic inquiry to build a method. They committed to it. And when they had completed the investigation, they threw out the books that the method showed were not from the apostles. They stood by it even when seemingly valuable books were shown to be later additions. The method they devised is still the accepted standard, used in every history faculty in every university worldwide, for judging the reliability of a historical text. I include this for those asking why evidence of the resurrection can be considered reliable, but it also highlights the energy and integrity that went into the logical trial.

    The importance for them of getting this right, and the imperative to be honest (the Bible records curses for anyone who adds or removes a word) were a feature, not a drawback.

    Put another way, that we could be children of God in a universe of God’s making meant it was ours to get to know, and that our minds, made after His, could be trusted. In this new climate of inquiry, the search of the universe becomes like a kid’s search under the tree on Christmas morning: confident.

    Atheism in our scientific culture is, in civilizational terms, brand new. We are still living on the elan of previous days. I worry that the ennui of true atheism will take the impetus out of science.

    Think of it: you convince a young scientist that everything is really an accident; that it’s ultimately without any ultimate meaning; that it will end without denouement or reward; that after his own brief lifespan, he will cease utterly to exist and that anyone who remembers what he achieved, no matter how great, will disappear – and that, in cosmic terms, in an eyeblink.

    The danger is that he will believe you.

    The Catholic synthesis of philosophy is the foundation of the scientific civilization we live in, and the scientific method it spawned. It’s not the enemy of science. It’s its parent.

    Truth does not war with truth.

    Ok, Wow, I’m done: your comment section again.

  33. #33 See Noevo
    March 9, 2016

    Some other thoughts regarding my comment #5’s point 4 (that science cannot proceed without certain non-scientific, un-provable, philosophical presumptions, such as “Your intellect, reason, logic can likewise be relied on to make valid conclusions about this real world.”):

    How does a scientist with an atheistic evolutionary worldview consider rationality and, more importantly, how does he justify reliance on this rationality?
    For in his view, this rationality comes from an organ (i.e. the brain) which is the product of an un-directed, NON-RATIONAL process (i.e. evolution).
    It’s like inanimate matter producing animate matter (i.e. the never-observed hypothetical process of abiogenesis.).

    What does he say about how the non-rational produces the rational?
    What is the process by which a non-rational being determines that it is now rational?

  34. #34 Brian
    CA
    March 10, 2016

    Another day, another argument from WOW. Amazing how no one ever argues with anyone on this site except for him. The pussy still won’t provide a link to his Facebook or even tell us his real first name. Why? Because he’s a stereotypical Internet pussy who talks to people online in a way that he’d NEVER do in person.

  35. #35 Wow
    March 10, 2016

    “ScienceBlogs’ definition of “troll”:”

    Same as the regular definition of troll.

  36. #36 Wow
    March 10, 2016

    “Some other thoughts regarding my comment #5’s point 4 (that science cannot proceed without certain non-scientific, un-provable, philosophical presumptions”

    Is it going to be “I guess I might be wrong there”, right?

    Oh, fuck. No it isn’t. It;s merely doubling down on the stupid.

    Come back when you have something that appears to have been through the brain of a recent hominid rather than a stone age credulous moron.

  37. #37 Wow
    March 10, 2016

    “How does a scientist with an atheistic evolutionary worldview consider rationality and, more importantly, how does he justify reliance on this rationality?”

    Because it works, bitch.

    “For in his view…”

    How the fuck would you know? You’re a credulous magic-believer who still believes in the fairy tale of santa clause writ larger and even less realistically.

    Rationality has no room inside that faithiest head. It gets in the way of the hope for presents off santa when the big day arrives.

    “What does he say about how the non-rational produces the rational?”

    We haven’t seen it. That’s what he’d say.

    We’d also wonder why the “rational” produces the irrational. See you for example. Our conclusion is that you are inherently irrational and want it that way.

    “What is the process by which a non-rational being determines that it is now rational?”

    Well, as far as we’ve been able to determine, you don’t actually ever become rational. You stay irrational and merely get even less rational and more strident as your brain is bombarded with facts that illustrate to it that it’s seriously fucked up, and so your ego, in a self defence mechanism hat is really lame, merely goes deeper into denial.

  38. #38 Wow
    March 10, 2016

    “Science rests on the axiom that there exists a world independent of any observers.

    Under scrutiny, there is no evidence for such a claim.”

    under scritiny, the lack of that being the case would render everything irrelevant and the fact that there are thousands of millions of people who all agree in many aspects of what reality consists of indicate that this observation is independent of observer.

    if you don’t believe me, please jump off a tall building. If it doesn’t really exist, then you’ll be fine. And if you die, then that would be because you wished, at that point in time, to die, so no harm, eh?

    Not accepting a valid reality independent and uncaring of your desires, viewpoint or opinion would be pointlessness squared.

    And there’s absolutely no reason to presume it.

    And evidence against it. Unlike your assertion.

  39. #39 Wow
    March 10, 2016

    “Jesus turned water to wine.”

    No he didn’t. Even if he existed.

    “Elisha strike his enemies with blindness.”

    No he didn’t. Even if he existed.

    “You can not prove those miracles and many more with science. ”

    Yes you can, since every miracle changed the physical reality in some concrete physical way and had no explanation or recourse other than through magic.

    Which means to find out if the answer was “It’s magic”, requires science to investigate the evidence and the natural explanation of the occurrence.

    You know, science.

    Totally able to disprove those miracles. And if those miracles didn’t happen (they didn’t), then there was no miracle to be proved.

  40. #40 Wow
    March 10, 2016

    “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrew 11:1

    So at last it comes clean: those things claimed to be seen were never seen and could never have been seen.

    I have never seen a leprechaun and it’s pot of gold.

    Therefore they must exist for you, because they’ve never been seen.

    Whilst I will rely on what I could see and can see to determine that I won’t waste my time looking for leprechauns to bum a loan off them.

    Let me know how your search for them goes, mind. I could do with a laugh.

  41. #41 Wow
    March 10, 2016

    Julian, I think I misinterpreted who you were speaking to there.

  42. #42 Wayne Minyard
    March 10, 2016

    I think Wow illustrated the point well, that doubt in the reality of spiritual things (generally) or faith in Jesus Christ (specifically) is based on moral doubts, not rational ones.

  43. #43 Wayne Minyard
    March 10, 2016

    BTW Wow, the evidence for the Resurrection is actually fairly stout. The Resurrection has only internal evidence for sure, but the life and existence of Jesus Christ cannot be doubted by anyone with a serious mind. Just for starters, try Josephus in his Antiquities of the Jews mentioning Jesus. Try Tacitus while you’re at it. I can better prove Jesus existed than you can prove Ceasar Augustus lived. There is tremendous evidence, mostly internal, but nonetheless viable.

  44. #44 Sean T
    March 10, 2016

    @Wayne Minyard:

    Please define what you mean by “internal evidence”. Is that just an obfuscating term for “it’s in the Bible”? If so, that’s no evidence at all. For instance, there’s plenty of “internal evidence” about the deeds of Harry Potter. Are we to doubt the actual existence of Harry Potter and all his wizardry in the face of all the “internal evidence” that is before us? Of course, we do. In similar vein, it’s not that difficult to disbelieve in Jesus’ existence in the face of similar “internal evidence.”

    Of course, you are guilty of moving the goal posts here. There are really two independent questions. One is whether or not a man named Jesus of Nazareth existed. The other is whether or not a man named Jesus of Nazareth was actually the son of God, performed several miracles, was killed and then subsequently resurrected. Obviously, the first of these questions could be answered in the affirmative without implying an affirmative answer to the second. Like the saying goes, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. The first claim, namely that someone named Jesus of Nazareth existed and went around Judea as a religious teacher is not really that extraordinary of a claim. The existence of a particular human is not something I’m inclined to doubt when someone claims it. There have been plenty of humans on the earth; I can’t claim to know all of them. If someone claims that a human named Jesus of Nazareth existed some 2000 years ago, I am in no position to doubt that. (It may well still be a false claim; I just don’t require a great deal of evidence to believe it.)

    On the other hand, precisely nobody alive today has ever witnessed someone being raised from the dead. The claim that Jesus of Nazareth was raised from the dead is therefore a quite extraordinary claim, requiring quite extraordinary evidence to back it up. A story in a book that only claims that a couple of people went to his tomb after he was purportedly crucified and did not find his body there hardly qualifies as extraordinary evidence, even granting the validity of that particular Biblical story. We have precisely zero independent sources that document the appearance of Jesus to his disciples after his death. Only Biblical accounts are available.

    Additionally, in case you are unaware, those Biblical accounts are neither intended to be historical, nor are they contemporary accounts of the purported death and resurrection of Jesus. They are basically propaganda put forward by Jesus’ disciples to win converts and they were generally agreed by Biblical scholars to be written more than a half century after the crucifixion. Hardly would any serious scholar of history consider such accounts to be solid evidence of anything. Just as an example, how seriously would a historian take a biography of Abraham Lincoln written in 1911 by a KKK recruiter whose purpose in writing it was to show that the Civil War was an atrocity perpetrated on the South by the North and that KKK actions against Blacks are therefore justified?

    Given that, where is the non-Biblical evidence that Jesus performed miracles and was raised from the dead? I don’t think Tacitus or Josephus shows any such evidence; those sources merely present evidence that Jesus existed.

  45. #45 Sinisa Lazarek
    March 10, 2016

    @ Wayne

    sorry, but your logic is very flawed. You argue that Jesus actually existing is evidence that Jesus ressurected. That’s a good one. So you Wayne, are Batman, just because you can prove you were born and exist? That simply doesn’t work. Jesus being born, living and dying like billions of people before and since him is no problem. And I for one have no problem in accepting another preacher in israel during that time. Plenty of evidence for that.. I agree. I even believe he healed and had some small following, like many apocaliptic preachers of the time. And yes, he raised some ruffus on Pashover and was dealt with switfly. End of story. Evidence for anything beyond that… NON EXISTANT, heck even his contemporaries of the time (read.. rest of Judea) didn’t want anything to do with that sect. Heck.. even today you have sects who’s enlightened Guru’s preach end of days the next year.. or next one after that, if God forbid they get it wrong. And guess what. Jesus preached the end of days during that period. None came.. and none will… Universe will unfold according to science.. if end of days come, it will by a meteor or similar event.. not by Battle of Middle Earth against Satan… ups.. ment Sauron. Sorry, but it’s same delusion as other sects, the only difference here is that by chance or intent it was picked up by one bloody and ruthless Emperor called Constantine and got emporewed with all the money and birocracy to make it a state religion, mandatory under the penalty of death…

  46. #46 Wow
    March 10, 2016

    “BTW Wow, the evidence for the Resurrection is actually fairly stout. ”

    Really?

    “The Resurrection has only internal evidence for sure,”

    Oh, so no evidence at all, then. Ah well. Please don’t get my hopes up just to dash them all on the rocks, please.

    There’s more evidence of Merlin than Jesus Christ.Yeah, most of it is internal evidence, but there’s some external ones too.

    “Just for starters, try Josephus in his Antiquities of the Jews mentioning Jesus. ”

    Well, yeah, and there were medieval authors talking of Arthur.

    But here’s a problem. A big one. All the events that were supposed to be there, even absent the miracles, never damn well happened.

    “I can better prove Jesus existed than you can prove Ceasar Augustus lived.”

    Better prove Merlin existed. I’ll beat you on that one.

    But I can pretty much guarantee you that any actual historian will be able to beat you in proving Caesar lived. By a country mile.

    “There is tremendous evidence, mostly internal, but …”

    ..that makes it not evidence at all.

  47. #47 Wow
    March 10, 2016

    “A story in a book that only claims that a couple of people went to his tomb after he was purportedly crucified and did not find his body there hardly qualifies as extraordinary evidence, even granting the validity of that particular Biblical story”

    Which was written by people over a hundred years after the event, therefore not even by reporters who had been told this by people actually alive then, never mind actual eyewitnesses.

    There are people alive today who KNOW that Jesus Christ is risen again and walks among them teaching. They know this ABSOLUTELY because they are worshipping at that person WHO YOU CAN GO AND MEET. REALLY. Actually meet and talk and take photos and show those photos to other people, get writing off them that remains really there even after you have left their presence.

    Absolutely 100% really there. Jesus Christ. In the flesh.

    Problem is, there are currently near a dozen such Jesus Christs alive today. Each with their own followers who each KNOW ABSOLUTELY that they are Jesus Christ.

    In fifty years time, what stories about them will someone in the area make from the reports of members of one of these groups?

    If it were a hundred years later, and it was scrabbled together from rumour pictures and reminiscences of the grandchildren of these people of what th

  48. #48 Wow
    March 10, 2016

    “doubt in the fiction of spiritual things (generally) or faith in Jesus Christ (specifically) is based on rational doubts,”

    FTFY Wayne.

  49. #49 See Noevo
    March 10, 2016

    Thank you for #32, Jack Archer!

  50. #50 dean
    March 10, 2016

    “cannot be doubted by anyone with a serious mind.”

    We can stop taking you seriously right there.

  51. #51 Wow
    March 10, 2016

    “who talks to people online in a way that he’d NEVER do in person.”

    How do you know, Bri?

    Tell you what, post a day and time (check the timetables) and come down to Exeter Central and I’ll meet you there. See whether you’ll talk to be like you do on the internet.

    You’ll be fairly safe. We don’t allow people to own guns so I can’t shoot you dead.

    Or do you only feel safe making these posts to people you’ll never meet in person?

  52. #52 Wow
    March 10, 2016

    And how do you know I’m a he?

  53. #53 Wow
    March 10, 2016

    “Allow me to submit that the basic problem is that a generation of scientists has grown up who are not aware of where science comes from, or what supports the branch of knowledge they are part of: what is the trunk under that branch? ”

    Would that be your problem, Jack? And please stop torturing language like that. It’s a branch, not a tree branch.

    “The importance for them of getting this right, and the imperative to be honest ”

    Did not exist, any more than Mormon’s thought it important to get their fantasies right. Propaganda and cults don’t do truth, it’s inimical to them. See Scientology.

    “Some see the goofier religions, and rightly deride them”

    So you are the arbiter of which religions are goofy and which don’t deserve derision??? Who made you god emperor??

    “The physical sciences are what used to be called “natural philosophy.” ”

    Yaaaawn. Try something we don’t already know.

    “Think of it: you convince a young scientist that everything is really an accident”

    Why the hell would you do that? Do you teach your kids that language is really an accident?? Or that faith is really an accident? After all, it is pretty random as to whether you’re born under the “right one”. Oddly enough, everyone born in one seems to have hit the jackpot in that lottery.

    Try teaching them science. Not editorialise from the faithiest group.

    “will disappear – and that, in cosmic terms, in an eyeblink.

    The danger is that he will believe you. ”

    1) Why is it a danger?
    2) Is it better to pretend that this is all a silly dress rehearsal for the “real deal” of a life that will NEVER END and therefore have no purpose, but that this life, for everyone here now, in the past or forever in the future, is meaningless because it’s not the “real life”, just a script read for the part later, if you pass audition?

    “The Catholic synthesis of philosophy is the foundation of the scientific civilization we live in”

    Ah, I see I was right. You ARE the one with the problem working out what the hell science is and where it came from.

    Nope.

    Greek pre-Aristotle and Plato (Christianity was pretty much started there as a mode of religion, and caused the Greeks to lose a thousand years on science, when they were the leaders), Arabic and Indian polytheism and scientific discovery (until Islam, the Arabic fruit of the same christianity then knocked the Arabs off the most advanced civilisation for over 600 years), then the enlightenment in Europe where the superstition and credulosity of the Christian European were kicked to the kerb and its mysticism was ignored in favour of what could be rationally discovered and inferred (then tested for fallacy) which then led to our current science.

    Christianity held science back.

    Yours was a load of bollocks.

    “Truth does not war with truth. ”

    How do you know this? What the hell does it even MEAN?

  54. #54 Wow
    March 10, 2016

    Also why is this scientist you’re scaring into believing your goofy religion male???

  55. #55 Wow
    March 10, 2016

    “the Bible records curses for anyone who adds or removes a word”

    Ah, magic curses. Just like Egyptian curses on tomb robbers.

    Tell me, what the hell happened to everyone when the Nicean Accords were finalised?

  56. #56 See Noevo
    March 10, 2016

    To Sean T #44:

    “… those Biblical accounts are neither intended to be historical, nor are they contemporary accounts of the purported death and resurrection of Jesus.”

    Apparently, many of the *non-biblical* books/documents of antiquity which scholars today consider historical, authentic, and accurate were actually written *far less contemporaneously* than was the New Testament. For example, I’m told the earliest extant manuscript of Virgil was written 350 years after Virgil’s death. For Plato and Euripides, well over a thousand years.
    Compare these to the far more contemporaneous NT accounts, written 30-90 years after Christ.
    ………….
    “They are basically propaganda put forward by Jesus’ disciples to win converts and they were generally agreed by Biblical scholars to be written more than a half century after the crucifixion.”

    Propaganda?
    Win converts?
    Win converts FOR WHAT? For a HOAX?

    No one willingly dies for what they know to be a hoax, at least not for a hoax from which they know they stand to gain nothing.
    History shows that most of the Apostles, as well as many of their contemporaries, willingly went to their executions for refusing to deny their witness of the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    If they didn’t see Christ raised from the dead, what did they have to gain by lying that he did?
    – Gain a “heaven” which they know is bogus since Christ did NOT rise from the dead, as he predicted, to confirm his Divinity and the truth of his teaching?
    – Or gain some earthly power/pleasure/wealth/comfort (for without an afterlife, what else is there to live for?) by “lording” the Gospel over others? How much earthly power/pleasure/wealth/comfort might you have a chance to grab if you’re dead?
    Why wouldn’t you agree to retract your “lie” about Christ’s resurrection if, in doing so, the executioner would spare your life (and as long as you’re alive, you at least have a chance of getting’ some earthly goodies)?

    Sean T, based on your logic and your understanding of human behavior and your understanding of history,
    *where has anyone ever willingly died for what they know to be a hoax, specifically, a hoax from which they know they stood to gain nothing*?

    Sean T, who do you say Jesus Christ is?
    …………
    P.S.
    “if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.
    We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.
    … If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.
    … If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all men most to be pitied.”
    [1 Cor 15]

    P.P.S.
    If Christ be not raised from the dead,
    then TO HELL WITH CHRISTIANITY,
    and with everything else.
    [See Noevo, 2016 ANNO DOMINI]

  57. #57 Wow
    March 10, 2016

    “Apparently, many of the *non-biblical* books/documents of antiquity which scholars today consider historical, authentic, and accurate were actually written *far less contemporaneously* than was the New Testament. ”

    Apparently you made that shit up.

    “For example, I’m told the earliest extant manuscript of Virgil”

    I thought you were going to give examples of historical work.

    “Compare these to the far more contemporaneous NT accounts, written 30-90 years after Christ.”

    Where is the contemporaneous account of the walking dead???

    “If they didn’t see Christ raised from the dead, what did they have to gain by lying that he did?”

    We don’t have the evidence they ever said anything about being raised from the dead.

    “Why wouldn’t you agree to retract your “lie” about Christ’s resurrection”

    Still isn’t proof that they said anything about it, because those people didn’t write it, and nobody alive at the time wrote the claims.

    *where has anyone ever willingly died for what they know to be a hoax, specifically, a hoax from which they know they stood to gain nothing*?

    Druids.
    Mayans.
    Zulus (indeed any of the aboriginal faiths on any of the continents).
    Egyptians.
    Greeks.
    the list goes on.

    “… If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.”

    Only if the Old testament is true, which it isn’t.

    “… If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all men most to be pitied.”

    Welp, that’s some surefire proof that christianity is right: you’d feel bad if you didn’t believe. FFS.

    “If Christ be not raised from the dead,
    then TO HELL WITH CHRISTIANITY,”

    Correct.

    “and with everything else.
    [See Noevo, 2016 ANNO DOMINI]”

    Ah, so you’re a psycho nutball and only fear of someone seeing you and punishing you keeps you frombeing a mass murderer.

    You’re definitely not doing yourself any favours here.

    Most humans manage to be nice despite not being frightened to death of some skycop watching and getting a rap sheet on us of everything we would do. We’re nice without having to be forced.

  58. #58 Wow
    March 10, 2016

    “Propaganda?
    Win converts?
    Win converts FOR WHAT? For a HOAX?”

    See Scientology.

    Or any other cult. Davidians died for their belief. Does that make David Koresh right? Or his followers deluded? And what did David get out of it????

    Oh, right. Yeah. Forgot about the sex money and control.

  59. #59 See Noevo
    March 10, 2016

    As I guessed in #3, this thread is turning into a bit of a doozy.

    But considering the lopsided representation in the comments, what do you call someone who makes over half of the many posted comments (30 out of 58)?

    “Troll”?
    No. At least not by ScienceBlogs’ definition (#31).

    “Enraged, obsessive, atheist control freak”?
    Wow, I’m not sure what to call him.

    Whatever it is, his disproportionate volume would have been banned on Jason Rosenhouse’s blog, probably. (But given he and Jason are on the same side, maybe not.)

  60. #60 dean
    March 10, 2016

    “No one willingly dies for what they know to be a hoax,”

    As noted above, that is patently false. But you are still asserting, without any proof at all, that there really was a Jesus who was crucified on the cross.

    Without any evidence of that nothing else you say is justified.

  61. #61 Brian
    CA
    March 10, 2016

    Everyone, please don’t let WOW give you an impression of what an atheist is. I’m atheist as well, but I don’t feel the need to shove my non-beliefs down everyone’s throat. I’m guessing that he’s in his early 20’s or younger and hasn’t come to the conclusion yet that if you have a problem with people who believe in God, then you’re going to have a problem with MOST people.

    Come to terms with the fact that you’re a religious minority. It’ll make your life easier. Or…or…or…you can do what you do now…pick fights with everyone you talk to online…making sure that everyone on a physics website wishes you were gone…because apparently that makes you appear “smart”. Nope, you just appear to be an angry, whiny pretentious loser hiding behind a keyboard. And that’s coming from me, a fellow atheist.

  62. #62 Brian
    CA
    March 10, 2016

    And WOW, we can prove who the complete pussy is right now..

    My facebook link is facebook.com/bmeadows3

    What’s yours? (quick, make an excuse to not give it out)

  63. #63 Wow
    March 10, 2016

    Don’t have one.

    But
    a) Has piss all to do with being brave off the internet
    b) Proves nothing.
    c) Wouldn’t give you that info anyway, because you’re a fucking freak who would easily resort to stalking

    But everyone please don’t mistake bri for a human.

  64. #64 Wow
    March 10, 2016

    “disproportionate volume”

    on the internet there is no volume.

    No sound, see.

    But it proves nothing.It’s just you whining.

  65. #65 Wow
    March 10, 2016

    “then you’re going to have a problem with MOST people. ”

    Only with weak willed pussies.

    PS you’ve been wrong twice about me now. Your guesses merely indicate your own problems.

  66. #66 Brian Meadows
    CA
    March 10, 2016

    3 posts…ZERO facebook links…What a complete fucking pussy. I bet you’re scared to even say your real first name, aren’t you? (go ahead, make up another fucking excuse, pussy)

  67. #67 Narad
    March 10, 2016

    Some other thoughts regarding my comment #5’s point 4

    Perhaps you should get around to the wholesale collapse of the two basic “planks” before disgorging additional “thoughts” that are based in nothing other than self-admiration.

    Allow me to reinforce my original point: you’re a philosophical ignoramus. Otherwise, you’d realize that your bloviating amounts to an aesthetic complaint. Even worse, the underlying claim is that monist materialism is just as bad as your preferred partriarchal blend of supernaturalism and occultism.*

    Time to man up rather than fantasizing about slipping the pontiff a personal note while he was in Philadelphia to bless him with your guidance.

    You can (1) continue to ignore being called out your ignorance, (2) try to defend your position, or, e.g., (3) try to figure out what’s missing from Hume’s “association of ideas” in the Treatise of Human Nature.

    I presume that, as with your body of comments as a whole, you are unwilling to seek any sort of pastoral advice about what’s going on, but whatever.

    * Although I’m giving you too much credit here, given that what you actually worship is the Catechism as though it were some sort of D&D manual.

  68. #68 Narad
    March 10, 2016

    Another day, another argument from WOW. Amazing how no one ever argues with anyone on this site except for him. The pussy still won’t provide….

    It would be totes kewl it you had a less generic pseudonym. I’ve had to tweak the Greasemonkey killfile once already this week, and I’m just not in the mood to dork around with making it blog-specific.

    TIA.

  69. #69 PJ
    Perth, west Oz
    March 10, 2016

    It would be more beneficial to the rest of us if you ignored what you perceive as trolling and NOT comment, rather than fuel the fire. You only lower your own standards buying into argument.
    🙂

  70. #70 Narad
    March 10, 2016

    It would be more beneficial to the rest of us [sic] if you ignored what you perceive as trolling and NOT comment, rather than fuel the fire specified an antecedent for that pronoun, lest you be taken to be tone-trolling.

    FTFY.

  71. #71 Sean T
    March 10, 2016

    SN,

    Who the heck said that the followers of Jesus of Nazareth thought that the idea that he was the son of God was a hoax? I’m sure that they believed in all the miracles and the resurrection. I’m sure that they believed it every bit as much as you do. That doesn’t make them right, though. People believe in all kinds of things that are wrong. Some people even die for their wrong ideas; Christians certainly aren’t alone in that regard. Many people have laid down their lives throughout history in the cause of many ideas. That does not lend support to those ideas; it’s only evidence that those people who believe those ideas do so very fervently.

    Specifically, people have died because they believed that the German race was superior to other races. People have died for the belief that Jim Jones was a powerful religious leader and that they should drink poisoned Kool Aid. People have died because of their fervent belief in David Koresh’s teachings – and those are just modern examples.

    As for who Jesus Christ was, well, assuming that an actual person named Jesus of Nazareth actually existed, he likely WAS an intinerant preacher who gained a following in Judea in the first century. His teaching was later seized upon by a Roman emperor as a potential force for uniting the empire and Christianity became an influential, major religion at that point. I don’t have any evidence to believe that if Jesus existed that he was anything more than that.

  72. #72 Sean T
    March 10, 2016

    BTW:

    P.S.

    Since Christ was not raised, then yes, all the myths of the ancient Hebrews and later accounts of the Jews living in Palestine that we call the Bible are nothing more than myths, legends, or fairy tales. I can accept that.

    P.P.S.

    To hell with Christianity, well, personally I’m okay with that. I’m an atheist, in case you haven’t figured that out, so I hold Christianity in no particularly high regard, at least not any more so than any other religion. Really, though, you are almost as much an atheist as I am. There is similar evidence for all the other religions as there is for Christianity. There have literally been thousands of gods worshipped throughout history. I disbelieve in all of them; you only disbelieve in one fewer than I do.

  73. #73 See Noevo
    March 11, 2016

    To Sean T #70:

    “Who the heck said that the followers of Jesus of Nazareth thought that the idea that he was the son of God was a hoax?”

    I don’t think anyone here has said that.

    But I DO think some here (and many others elsewhere) HAVE said or implied “hoax”, regarding the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    “I’m sure that they believed in all the miracles and the resurrection. I’m sure that they believed it every bit as much as you do.”

    With one big difference: They WITNESSED the physical miracles and particularly the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    As to the rest of your post, you miss the point.
    Yes, some people have sacrificed their lives for their *beliefs* – even *beliefs* which turned out to be false (e.g. David Koresh and his followers).
    And some people have risked their lives for “beliefs” *they knew were false* (i.e. scams, hoaxes), *provided* they have a potential reward that, to them, was worth the risk (e.g. a lethal scam artist making millions).
    But there is a big difference between *believing* something and *witnessing* something.
    There is also a big difference between *one* person declaring his witness of a physical event (i.e. the resurrection) and *many* people declaring their witness of the same physical event.
    *Most important*, these witnesses of the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ would have no reason on earth (or in “heaven”) to maintain that witness in the face of execution if their witness was not true. (See again #56 beginning with “If they didn’t see Christ…”.)

    No one willingly dies for what they know to be a hoax, at least not for a hoax from which they know they stand to gain nothing.
    That’s the evidence, and the answer, to your “As for who Jesus Christ was, well, …he likely WAS an intinerant preacher who gained a following in Judea in the first century…. I don’t have any evidence to believe that if Jesus existed that he was anything more than that.”

  74. #74 See Noevo
    March 11, 2016

    To Sean T #71:

    “There is similar evidence for all the other religions as there is for Christianity.”

    Wrong.
    Christianity is based on *physical* realities *witnessed* in human history. And on logic.

  75. #75 Wow
    March 11, 2016

    “It would be more beneficial to the rest of us if you ignored what you perceive as trolling and NOT comment, rather than fuel the fire. ”

    It’s how they troll, PJ. Their only wish is to berate someone for not being like them, they haven’t anything of themselves to put forward, because that opens them to being criticised.

    And I don’t give a fig at all.

    Which merely annoys the shit out of them.

  76. #76 Wow
    March 11, 2016

    “Wrong.
    Christianity is based on *physical* realities *witnessed* in human history”

    Wrong. Nobody knows that the books are anything other than fable.

    Homer’s Oddesey is a tale of someone who actually lived and the trojan war has as much of more evidence for it than events in christianity’s fantasy tales.

    And a reliigon based on it, which is now defunct and called Mythology without anyone batting an eyelid. This is YOUR mythos, not our reality.

    Nobody who wrote those words in the bible were there to see them. So from that point of view, your claims are 100% false.

  77. #77 Wow
    March 11, 2016

    “No one willingly dies for what they know to be a hoax, at least not for a hoax from which they know they stand to gain nothing.”

    Except that they do stand to gain from it. Ask David Koresh. Oh, you can’t, because he died for what he knew to be a hoax.

    You keep proclaiming this line, and it never gets any more accurate no matter how many times you repeat it.

    “With one big difference: They WITNESSED the physical miracles and particularly the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

    And Hermione WITNESSED the patronus Harry Potter used to remove the death eaters, and the physical destruction of He Who Shall Not Be Named.

  78. #78 Wow
    March 11, 2016

    Hundreds of people WITNESSED Perseus defeat the Kraken with the head of the Medusa on the winged pegasus saving Persephone and becoming ruler of an actual real city state in Greece!

    And when it came to converting them by the sword to take up Christianity, thousands died because they knew that this was true.

    Why would they do that if there were no winged horses, Krakens or Medusae?

  79. #79 Wow
    March 11, 2016

    Oopse, Andromeda, not Persephone.

    Mind you, people witnessed the eternal winter of her abduction (how could they not and still believe the religion was true?). Though there is only internal evidence of this, but it’s pretty solid. After all, Athens exists and we have massive amounts of information about the cities of Greece that this true religion talked about.

  80. #80 Wow
    March 11, 2016

    Here’s a tip for you if you’re ever given that BS whine “Please prove X doesn’t exist”:

    “I just did”.

    When they reply you didn’t, demand they prove you didn’t. When they point to nowhere you claiming the proof, point out that they’re only proving it isn’t where they have mentioned, not that it was never given.

  81. #81 Wow
    March 11, 2016

    ” Another day, another argument from WOW. Amazing how no one ever argues with anyone on this site except for him.”

    Amazing that on a thread where See Nowt is arguing with Sean, Sinsa, Narad, Dean, Mobius, Ethan and me, that Bri claims the above to be the case.

  82. #82 Sean T
    March 11, 2016

    SN,

    You continue to beg the question. What evidence do we have that anyone actually witnessed the resurrection? It says so in the Bible. However, the veracity of the Bible is precisely what is at question here. I don’t think anyone has ever argued that the Bible is true, but the resurrection never happened. That would be an irrational argument. Implicit in taking the position that the resurrection didn’t happen is the notion that the Bible is false. I would have thought that is obvious. Arguing that the Bible is true because that Bible says that the Bible is true is basically all you’ve done. Fine. I will grant the premise that if the Bible is true then the account of the resurrection is also true. Now, can we please move past this and can you please provide your evidence independent of the Bible that shows that the resurrection occurred?

  83. #83 Sean T
    March 11, 2016

    SN,

    You do seem to have trouble dealing with the idea that the Bible may be false. It’s a valid point that the writings that constitute the Bible must be explained in some other manner if we disbelieve the idea that they represent true events. A simple explanation, and one consistent with the nature of human societies of the time, is that people like to tell stories about heroes. These stories often exaggerated the exploits of the heroes, many times to the point where they become quite unbelievable.

    That explanation may or may not be the case WRT the Bible; we probably will never know the true motivation of those who wrote it. Another possible explanation (and I again don’t maintain that this is actually how it happened) may well be that there really was a man named Jesus who travelled though Judea preaching doctrines that were in opposition to those taught by the traditional Jewish spiritual leaders. Jesus’ teachings attracted followers, who in accord with the Jewish scripture, believed him to be the Messiah that was promised. The traditional leaders believed that Jesus was a threat to their own power, and that the people following him were looking at him as a liberator from Roman rule. They went to the Romans and told them that Jesus was fomenting rebellion against the empire. The Romans crucified Jesus to forestall the rebellion.

    Now, Jesus’ followers would no doubt have been quite upset by that turn of events. Jesus clearly would not be liberating the Jews from Roman rule. Maybe that was the end of it, but maybe others picked up on the whole Jesus story a half century of so later and figured they could still use Jesus as a tool to foment rebellion. Whoever it was, they came up with the story that Jesus didn’t really die, but was resurrected and would still liberate the Jews. (Keep in mind that early Christianity was not really a separate religion; it wasn’t until Paul began preaching to the Gentiles that it really separated. Jesus’ followers would have still considered themselves Jews). They embellished the story with references to miracles and with references to witnesses to the resurrection, including stories of Jesus’ appearances to his disciples after his death.

    Like I said, I have no idea if such an account has any truth to it. It does have its advantages, though, over the idea that the Biblical account is true. It doesn’t require belief in anything supernatural or miraculous. It fits well with human nature – people do follow religious leaders, tell stories, exaggerate stories about heroes, rebel against governments they consider foreign. There is also historical evidence that there was a faction of Jews who were interested in rebelling against the Roman Empire. The Romans forcefully put down a rebellion in Judea around AD 70, a timeline that is quite close to the time when the Biblical accounts were first written.

  84. #84 Wow
    March 11, 2016

    Bri, come to exeter central. You tell me when, we’ll see who is the pussy.

  85. #85 Brian
    CA
    March 11, 2016

    I’ll try this again. Because you CONVENIENTLY ignored the question before. What is your real first name?

  86. #86 Wow
    March 11, 2016

    When are you coming round?

    Or should I just go

    Buck-buck-buckaaawk!

  87. #87 Orion
    March 11, 2016

    There’s a lot of euro-centrism here with regards to the origin of science. Science didn’t start with Christians or the Catholic church. They were actually kind of late to the party. Science, specifically the performance of the scientific method to disprove various hypothesis, has its origins in many cultures.

    What science claims to know or have knowledge of, it typically through a process of elimination. Any hypothesis that stands thorough testing is taken as true because nothing has disproved it yet.

    The most famous example that comes to mind is the centuries old laws of motion proposed by Newton. And he was effectively right and we still use his laws to estimate forces at non-relativistic speed. But Einstein came along and proposed a new hypothesis and theory. Tested the hell out of them and they’ve consistently proven to not be false (effectively true). And, possibly, at some point Einstein’s theories may be revised the same way Newton’s were.

    Science doesn’t require faith, although it does require a priori. It simply makes statements regarding the world we apparently live it. It doesn’t state that the world actually exists. If this is all an elaborate simulation or some god toying with just one person, science seeks to describe the universe, real or imagined. Science, almost by definition, makes no claim about things outside the universe its trying to measure. It makes no claim about the supernatural — which by definition is outside the measurable, natural world. But, as such, the supernatural acts outside of the natural world and does not affect it. If it did affect the natural world, it wouldn’t be supernatural, it would be natural.

    Science has trouble knowing how the universe started since the natural world didn’t exist before then to be measured. We can measure right up to that point. What science can say is that a particular theological position isn’t consistent with the known world and that there is evidence that it couldn’t have happened and have the world still be like it is.

    The problem with most modern religions with regard to science is that the religions make significant, specific claims which turn out to be impossible unless some god changed everything after the fact to make it consistent with what we currently see. If a god exists, they don’t seem to affect the natural world. And if that’s the case, then what’s the point of changing your actions to appease something that doesn’t interfere? What’s the point of prayer in that regard?

    Ultimately it’s not faith in general that science is disproving, but specific claims of religious doctrines. It’s ultimately the problem of the faithful to merge their existing beliefs with the continued disproving of the claims of their religion.

  88. #88 See Noevo
    March 11, 2016

    To Sean T #82:

    “You continue to beg the question. What evidence do we have that anyone actually witnessed the resurrection? It says so in the Bible. However, the veracity of the Bible is precisely what is at question here.”

    Probably no evidence of the resurrection exists that would satisfy you. I will provide none.
    I’ll just ask a few questions:

    – Isn’t it odd that Christianity admittedly bases its validity ultimately on one physical event (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:12-20) that could have been easily disproved?
    For instance, why didn’t the skeptics or enemies of this new faith just retrieve Christ’s corpse from the tomb?

    – If they tried but the tomb was empty, who could have taken the body?

    – Could the body of been taken by followers who a) weren’t afraid of arrest or execution for bribing or overpowering Roman soldiers guarding the tomb, but at the same time b) WERE so afraid of arrest or execution that they exercised no similar heroics in trying to prevent Christ’s execution?

    – Why didn’t the skeptics or enemies of this new faith search and eventually find Christ’s corpse elsewhere?

    – What would have been the ultimate goal of these hypothetical tomb-raiding Christ followers?
    To promote a religion whose validity they knew was now disproven by the absence of resurrection?

    – Does any credible oral tradition or extra-biblical secular writing indicate the Apostles were not executed but in fact went on to live ordinary lives and die natural deaths?

  89. #89 dean
    March 11, 2016

    Probably no evidence of the resurrection exists that would satisfy you. I will provide none.

    So there is a great deal of evidence but none you will supply. You are still the king of making sweeping claims and finding a way to avoid supporting them.

  90. #90 Ragtag Media
    United States
    March 11, 2016
  91. #91 Ragtag Media
    March 11, 2016

    dean, you once said there was no such thing as crucifixion in Jesus time so why should you be believed on anything?

  92. #92 Narad
    March 11, 2016

    I see that S.N., given his usual desire for attention and nothing else, has failed to respond to my observation that his entire “philosophical” argument promptly collapses upon even rudimentary epistemological inspection.

  93. #93 Narad
    March 11, 2016

    Wrong.
    Christianity is based on *physical* realities *witnessed* in human history.

    Oh, the irony.

  94. #94 dean
    United States
    March 11, 2016

    you once said there was no such thing as crucifixion in Jesus time so why should you be believed on anything?

    You have a serious issue with reading for comprehension. I said that here was no evidence, external to the bible, for the crucifixion of jesus.

    Either you can’t read or you’re just making up another quote.

  95. #95 Ragtag Media
    United States
    March 11, 2016

    You have a serious issue with reading for comprehension. I said that here was no evidence, external to the bible, for the crucifixion of jesus.
    No I didn’t “Peter Breath” YOU DO!!

    QUOTE!!!!!!!
    * there isn’t any historical evidence
    * the romans did not use crucifixion as mentioned in the biblehttp://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2012/09/23/weekend-diversion-you-are-responsible-for-what-you-say/#comment-560875
    So WTF?

  96. #96 See Noevo
    March 11, 2016

    Isn’t the internet amazing?

    Comment #522
    dean
    April 17, 2015
    “Well, rm, if you want to support the contention that this jesus lived and then died for your sins, you’d have to present some sort of tangible evidence: historical, for example, that is not tied to the bible, since those authors really needed to make the case for his existence.
    But
    * there isn’t any historical evidence
    * the romans did not use crucifixion as mentioned in the bible
    * the big census that preceded the birth of jesus is not in roman records, and they did not conduct them as described
    There may be a lot of just so stories in the new testament, but there is no description of real events.
    “Your”
    He probably isn’t, since he supports science and can spell. Both of those are considered detriments in the modern republican party.”

    http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2012/09/23/weekend-diversion-you-are-responsible-for-what-you-say/

  97. #97 See Noevo
    March 11, 2016

    Two more thoughts somewhat related to #74…

    1)
    Christianity is strikingly different from the other major religions – Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism – in that its visible, physical founder claimed to BE God.

    2)
    The Catholic Church surpasses any other religious or secular *organization* – that is, a body with a particular mission, a singular authoritative leader, management structure, bylaws (e.g. creeds, doctrines, practices, canon law) – in human history in terms of longevity. Through thick and thin, from Peter to Francis and the 264 in between, over about 2,000 years.
    Why, it’s almost unbelievable!
    Unless you consider Matthew 16:18.

  98. #98 Sinisa Lazarek
    March 12, 2016

    @SN #73 #88

    Don’t mean this to be offensive, I mean it sincerely, don’t know to which branch of christianity you belong, or from where you gather your sources or who tought you the history of early christianity, but your timeline and who said what is very off. I welcome you to research it on your own. After all, I assume you search for the truth. Consider everything written after 300 a.d as irrelevant if not quoting some earlier source which can be checked, since it’s far off removed from actual events to be considered legitimate. There are many documents preserved from the period of cca 0-300 a.d. And of that multitude of documents, only 3 landed in what you call “new testament”. And New Testament is a brand name created at the Nicaea Council under the orders of Constantine. Put it in perspective. That’s 300 years.. that’s same as us here writing a blog post about what ACTUALLY happened on 1776 when US declared independence. Except that US event was a global event.. Jesus event was like trying to write a history of a local traveling salesman from 1776.. based on watered down hear-say. A Gospel is not a historical account.. altough many just love to label it as such. Look at etimology.. Gospel means good news.. from greek “evangelion”.. It’s sort of an advert for the “what we do” of the particular sect. And that’s why we have 30+ gospels from the period of around 100ad.. every city, every area had their own “manual” on what the important aspects of following are.

    Secondly, and most importantly. Jesus never ever said he was anything other than a hebrew. He even emphasysed that in several places. He was a proud member (altough a bit radical) of Israel and Jehova was his deity. Never ever, even once did he preach to anyone other than jews, never ever did he proclaim his teachings as a new religion, and never did he say or do anything that was outside of judaism. Yes, he did preach the end of days, but so did several other movements within judaism.

    There is plenty of historical evidence to when and how Jesus’ teachings began to be preached to non-gentiles, who started it, why.. when the idea to split from judaism was reached, by whom, what were the consequences.. etc. But I’ll leave that to you to research.

  99. #99 Wow
    March 12, 2016

    There needs to be a thought first, See Nowt, before there can be “more thoughts”.

    “Christianity is strikingly different from the other major religions”

    Nope, it isn’t. Bhudda was an ordinary man who achieved enlightenment. And christianity doesn’t claim Jesus IS god. NOWHERE does the fictional character Jesus claim he’s god, in fact he 100% refutes it.

    Two errors in your claim.

    “The Catholic Church surpasses any other religious or secular *organization*”

    Ah, so argumentum ad populum. And most of those, like those of Islam, are converted or face death for not doing so. It’s just that most of the killing happened in your faith before you were born, and most of the current killing outside your view (because you live in an already converted cult stronghold).

    “Through thick and thin, from Peter to Francis and the 264 in between, over about 2,000 years.”

    And over 5000 different sects all insisting the others are wrong.

    Which rather kills your “we’re the most popular” myth.

  100. #100 Sinisa Lazarek
    March 12, 2016

    @ SN #97

    ” in that its visible, physical founder claimed to BE God.”

    again.. where in the world did you dig that up. Where did Jesus claim to BE God? Not even he was that egoistic or delusional. And what God botches the healing 2 times.. and has to come the 3rd time to finaly be able to heal?

    “The Catholic Church surpasses any other religious or secular *organization* – that is, a body with a particular mission, a singular authoritative leader, management structure, bylaws (e.g. creeds, doctrines, practices, canon law) – in human history in terms of longevity.”

    I think the Hebrews, Thaoists and many others are laughing hard on this one…

  101. #101 Wow
    March 12, 2016

    “that’s same as us here writing a blog post about what ACTUALLY happened on 1776 when US declared independence”

    And we have religious retards insisting that these founders were christians and founding a christian nation, despite massive documentation insisting that this was a secular nation and held no religion.

    And these are ORIGINAL documents in their original and still current language.

  102. #102 Wow
    March 12, 2016

    “Probably no evidence of the resurrection exists that would satisfy you. ”

    Probably because there is no evidence for it.

    I mean “no evidence” satisfes me that the claims are unproven. That’s what evidence does. It satisfies dean too.

    What it doesn’t do is prove it happened by its nonexistence. That’s entirely unsatisfactory.

    When I provide no proof there is definitely no god, you are not satisfied with that proof.

    Therefore there is no proof that satisfies you that god doesn’t exist. Therefore why should anyone provide one?

  103. #103 Wow
    March 12, 2016

    China is a secular organisation and has more adherents and has existed for longer than the catholic church (and longer than Christianity or even Judaism).

    Fail!

  104. #104 Wow
    March 12, 2016

    “– Isn’t it odd that Christianity admittedly bases its validity ultimately on one physical event (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:12-20) that could have been easily disproved?”

    It could easily be proved. It hasn’t.

    The founding of Rome is based ultimately on one physical event (the story of Romulus and Remus) that could easily have been proved.

    Therefore the Roman Pantheon is truth?!?!?

    But besides that, your corinthians quote merely asks rhetorical questions and is not proclaiming a provable physical event.

    By someone who wasn’t there, written over 20 years, if it isn’t just a fake, after the event.

    Lord of the Rings is as much a tale based on one physical event that could easily have been disproved.

  105. #105 Wow
    March 12, 2016

    “For instance, why didn’t the skeptics or enemies of this new faith just retrieve Christ’s corpse from the tomb?”

    There was no tomb enshrining christ, and the claim that there was a resurrection wasn’t made until much much later, and why the fuck would anyone bother? It’s not like a hero coming back to life isn’t a central part of at least one story in every mythos ever promulgated in human history.

    If it were fact, why did the shroud of Turin have to be faked?

    “– Does any credible oral tradition or extra-biblical secular writing indicate the Apostles were not executed but in fact went on to live ordinary lives and die natural deaths?”

    Does that prove anything other than they were killed for insurrection? Cults have died to the last man and did not live ordinary lives and die of natural deaths. This does not prove the cult has the ultimate truth of reality.

  106. #106 Wow
    March 12, 2016

    “Science has trouble knowing how the universe started since the natural world didn’t exist before then to be measured.”

    Actually, it has a problem because the query is nonsensical. What is north of the north pole is unanswerable because it;s badly formed. What’s the difference between a duck’s legs is a joke question BECAUSE it can’t be answered, despite being a question.

  107. #107 Wow
    March 12, 2016

    “dean, you once said “there was no such thing as crucifixion in Jesus time “”

    is not
    “* the romans did not use crucifixion as mentioned in the bible”

    1) You couldn’t nailed through the hands, but through the wrists. The hands will rip and fracture and you will not be held; Indeed apart from one report of “they nailed them to the cross” no nails were reportedly used, just bindings. The death comes because you slowly asphyxiate as your body can’t stand that position and your organs fail.

    2) The crossbeam, not the cross, was carried. If at all. Usually not. Indeed most cases it wasn’t a cross at all.

    3) Nothing about needing to get someone down early so they don’t hang about on a holiday (which would be easy to avoid in any case, because you just don’t hold crucifixions that close to a holiday).

    4) Impalement was a common additional method used, it wasn’t used only to hasten the death because of a fictional deadline, see #3

    5) No foot rests. Rather ruins the point of the crucifixion. See #1

    6) the crucified were never taken down and would not be entombed, being instead allowed to decay on the cross, since this was part of the punishment and deterrent for others (like a gibbet in later times). Which is again why there’s no deadline for death here.

    7) Mass crucifixions were not done for “varied reasons” but as a mass punishment for some widespread insurrection (cf spartacus or the failed coup in Nero’s time) and would be done in mass for those who took part.

  108. #108 Dean
    United States
    March 12, 2016

    Ragtag, I realize reading is difficult for you. That comment was not saying the Romans never used it. The point was they did not use it in the way or for the purpose the biblical story presents. The details described are not correct.

    I would suggest you try to keep up but you’ve shown too often you can’t, or won’t.

  109. #109 Wow
    March 12, 2016

    http://www.oddee.com/item_98878.aspx

    I guess that these people must be right, because they physically exist, proved to exist and claimed to be god.

    And it’s a top 10 so not exhaustive.

    Why did the Applewhites kill themselves for what they knew to be a hoax? They MUST have been higher beings! Why did their followers kill themselves if it hadn’t been proven to them that they were in physical fact, gods?

  110. #110 See Noevo
    March 12, 2016

    To Sinisa Lazarek #98:

    Don’t mean this to be offensive, I mean it sincerely, but you seem to under the faulty assumption that unless something is *written*, and written contemporaneously, about something, then that something didn’t happen.

    Even the Church readily admits the New Testament was written generations *after* Christ’s crucifixion.
    The Church existed long before theNT, and in fact, would exist even if *nothing* were *written* about it.

    But tell me, how would one test the accuracy of the first written account of something, anything?

  111. #111 Wow
    March 12, 2016

    You seem to be incapable of understanding that you need proof for claims, not whine about how you have a story and that this must be proof.

  112. #112 Wow
    March 12, 2016

    When the story has to happen either four years at least later or six years earlier AT THE SAME TIME, when it talks about events that are nowhere else documented, especially when they would have been documented (a census for example, especially one requiring a unique and singular exodus of people to random places around the roman empire), then we know the story is a load of cock.

    When the story talks about magic, we know it’s a work of fiction. It doesn’t need elves and dragons to make it fiction.

  113. #113 See Noevo
    March 12, 2016

    To Sinisa Lazarek #100:

    Me: “[Christianity’s] visible, physical founder claimed to BE God.”

    You: “again.. where in the world did you dig that up.”

    Where in the world did you dig up that He did NOT?
    …………..
    Me: “The Catholic Church surpasses any other religious or secular *organization… in terms of longevity.”

    You: “I think the Hebrews, Thaoists and many others are laughing hard on this one…”

    You may be right. Would you please provide me a list of the Hebrews’ #1s, that is, their various singular authoritative leaders for, say, the last 2,000 years?

    And the same for the “Thaoists”?

    I looked for a while but couldn’t find anything.

  114. #114 Wow
    March 12, 2016

    “Where in the world did you dig up that He did NOT?”

    From the bible quoting what he’s supposed to have said.

    Duh.

    “Would you please provide me a list of the Hebrews’ #1s, that is, their various singular authoritative leaders for, say, the last 2,000 years?”

    There have been 266 popes. Not a single one lasted 2000 years. Sorry.

    “I looked for a while but couldn’t find anything.”

    Take your head out of your arse first.

  115. #115 Wow
    March 12, 2016

    If youre going to demand that they all hold the same title (what the hell that is supposed to prove remains completely opaque), then try this place:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emperor_of_China

  116. #116 Wow
    March 12, 2016

    ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.’ (Luke 18:19)

  117. #117 Dean
    March 12, 2016

    Sn, it is not at all clear what you tried to say at your post 96.

  118. #118 PJ
    Perth, west Oz
    March 12, 2016

    Amazing !! The topic mentioned faith, NOT any form of religion!

    I have faith in the way I deal with construction of projects, with the repair of damaged products; that does not require any form of religion to operate. If an error is made, I learn from it and change my method to encompass the better way of operating.
    🙂

  119. #119 See Noevo
    March 12, 2016

    Sinisa Lazarek:

    I’d hoped you would have answered my #100 by now.
    Maybe you’ll get to it eventually.

    When and if you do, I sure hope you won’t try to support your opinion – that Jesus never claimed to be God – by citing certain Gospel verses. Because you’re already of the position that the Gospels are b.s.

  120. #120 Sinisa Lazarek
    March 13, 2016

    @SN

    You’ve written several things which make me question your maturity and inteligence and thus question if any discourse with you is worth while. But let me post this anyway, and be done.

    You claimed that Jesus proclaimed himself God. Show me where he did that. You know.. like he said..”blessed are meak” .. point me to a quote by Jesus where he says he’s the God.

    Secondly.. you wrote some nonsence about church existing even before that…Before when? When did the chruch begin according to you??

  121. #121 See Noevo
    March 13, 2016

    To Sinisa Lazarek #120:

    “You claimed that Jesus proclaimed himself God. Show me where he did that. You know.. like he said..”blessed are meak” .. point me to a quote by Jesus where he says he’s the God.”

    Some direct examples:
    “I and the Father are one.” John 10:30

    “Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, *I AM*.” John 8:58
    (You have to know some Old Testament to get this one.)
    ………..
    “Secondly.. you wrote some nonsence about church existing even before that…Before when?”

    I’ll correct the typo in #110:
    The Church existed long before the NT (i.e. before the writing of the New Testament).
    ……………
    “When did the chruch begin according to you??”

    At Pentecost.

  122. #122 See Noevo
    March 13, 2016

    Also, Sin, you haven’t answered the last of my #113 questions:

    Would you please provide me a list of the Hebrews’ #1s, that is, their various singular authoritative leaders for, say, the last 2,000 years?

    And the same for the “Thaoists”?

  123. #123 See Noevo
    March 13, 2016

    Ethan,

    I’m a little disappointed you didn’t respond to my earlier point. It was…
    “Second, I hope you’re not saying that the only real truth is “scientific” truth – truth which is physical, testable, predictable.
    Because that would be an un-scientific, philosophical position.”

    A mere Yes or No answer would suffice.
    A mere Yes or No would say a lot, regarding the subject of your article.

  124. #124 Sinisa Lazarek
    March 13, 2016

    @SN

    None of the quotes you provided demonstrate your claim.. Being one with god is not same as being god, before Abraham was I AM (reference to Jehova.. Jehova spoke to Moses I am that which IS).. etc.. I asked for a quote where Jesus says he is Jehova.. that he is is the Father (to use your terminology). Claiming to be son of God (as all prophets claim) and claiming to be God are two very different things. Why your group decided to create a new god where one already existed.. and keep quoting both as they are same is your groups own misguided doing. Now even you can’t seem to recognize which is which.

    As for Pentecost.. ok, let’s see what it says from your book:

    And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.

    While those on whom the Spirit had descended were speaking in many languages, the Apostle Peter stood up with the eleven and proclaimed to the crowd that this event was the fulfillment of the prophecy.

    Wow.. nice story, very theatrical.. so what happened.. other than the whole group acting like they were possesed (mm.. interesting.. if that happened say 1400 years after.. they might have been accused of being satan’s spawn.. lol). So something, which they call Spirit.. (by the way.. how come Jesus didn’t appear to them but some cloven tounges like flames.. whatever that is? ).. and then one of them “proclaims” that prophecy is fullfiled.. lol.. So why do you scream and shout when someone else “proclaims” something?? Eh? Further.. when this was happening (according to your own book).. all of them were happy Jews, not christians or anything like your fancy imagination. They gathered to celebrate their hebrew holiday. So I ask you again.. what do you believe in? More and more it sounds like you should get circumsized, shave the top of your head and go cry at the vailing wall in Jerusalem, because you really want to be a hebrew at the end of day. You adopt their holidays and you prey to the God of Moses. I mean, nothing wrong with that fantasy.. just be clear about it.

    As for your ridiculus #113… do your own homework if you are that interested in names of their leaders.

  125. #125 Wow
    March 13, 2016

    “I’d hoped you would have answered my #100 by now.”

    There was nothing to answer. Hell I answered it (and gave why there was nothing to answer) and you don’t seem to have noticed. At all.

    “you won’t try to support your opinion – that Jesus never claimed to be God ”

    And where did he say that he was god? He didn’t. That’s why you never answered Sinsa’s question of where you get that from.

    ““I and the Father are one.” John 10:30”

    Nope, not saying he’s god. He’s saying they’re one. A husband and wife are one (it is in many marriage services spoken by the vicar presiding), but it is still two people. Not someone marrying themselves.

    ““Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, *I AM*.””

    All he’s claiming is that he was there before Abraham, like many people were. Cain, for example. Cain wasn’t god.

    Meanwhile you forgot everywhere he rebuked people for claiming he’s god.

    And god is tempted by satan when he goes out into the desert?????

  126. #126 Wow
    March 13, 2016

    “Would you please provide me a list of the Hebrews’ #1s, that is, their various singular authoritative leaders for, say, the last 2,000 years?”

    The Rabbinic order have existed from maybe 300BC or earlier, dumbass. Cohenim, the descendents of Cohen claim to be linearly descended from Cohen, which was long before Joseph.

    And the Chinese Emperors.

  127. #127 Wow
    March 13, 2016

    “Second, I hope you’re not saying that the only real truth is “scientific” truth – truth which is physical, testable, predictable.
    Because that would be an un-scientific, philosophical position.”

    Prove it would be an unscientific philosophical position and why it would be wrong if it were philosophical at all. Please explain what YOU mean by “scientific truth”. Are you really just writing things twice and you actually meant “physical, testable, predictable” but too much of a dumbass not to want to hide it behind some pseudostatement?

    Because physical, testable, predictable claims are scientific and it’s not at all philosophical.

    I know this isn’t what you want to hear, so you’ll pretend it hasn’t been said.

  128. #128 Wow
    March 13, 2016

    There have been times when there was no pope in the catholic church, therefore the contiguous head is much much less than the 2000 years you claim, moron.

    The earlier history of the church also had many coexistent popes, therefore your claim of singular head is also much much shorter than you claim.

    And none of it proves anything about the catholic church except that you love it for no goddamned reason whatsoever.

  129. #129 Sinisa Lazarek
    March 13, 2016

    regarding the “truth”, SN, you don’t want to get into the meaning of the word because that’s just another pitfall for you..

    Without going too much into it.. just to quote webster.. truth is being in accord with fact or reality. A fact A fact is something that has really occurred or is actually the case. The usual test for a statement of fact is verifiability. And reality is the state of things as they actually exist, rather than as they may appear or might be imagined. So, your notions fail on all standards, even set by yourself.. go figure.

  130. #130 See Noevo
    March 13, 2016

    Sinisa Lazarek,

    “You’ve written several things which make me question your maturity and inteligence and thus question if any discourse with you is worth while. But let me post this anyway, and be done.”

    You’re done.

    Farewell, Sin.

  131. #131 Wow
    March 13, 2016

    “You’re done.”

    Ah, so someone made you god emperor of the internet. Who was that? Was it a lizard alien overlord?

    But you’ve still failed to show
    1) That JC says he was god
    2) That he wasn’t a frigging loon
    3) That it wasn’t just made up afterward

    Mind you, that’s not the only thing you’ve not shown. You know, like how it’s relevant that there’s been a pope in charge of one sect of christianity for a long time, not necessarily contiguous, and not necessarily one alone.

    I mean, what the hell was that claim supposed to say? “It’s really old, by its post-hoc redefinition of its history”?

  132. #132 Narad
    March 13, 2016

    Ethan,

    I’m a little disappointed you didn’t respond to my earlier point.

    It’s always cute when S.N. demands concierge service.

  133. #133 Wow
    March 13, 2016

    “I have faith in the way I deal with construction of projects,”

    That doesn’t make them faith based projects, though, does it.

    ” with the repair of damaged products”

    It doesn’t make the job of repairman a faith based job, though, does it.

    Which is the problem with the WSJ’s claim.

  134. #134 PJ
    Perth, west Oz
    March 13, 2016

    @#133, WOW

    Quite right, slim …..
    🙂

  135. #135 Nils-Erik Thorén
    Sweden
    March 14, 2016

    Thank you Ethan for taking the time to point out my mistake in #7. I highly appreciate it! The “next time” I will formulate similar statements a lot more careful.

    (No need to pass this comment through, just wanted to express my gratitude)

  136. #136 See Noevo
    March 14, 2016

    To Nils-Erik Thorén #135:

    Would you care to point out how Ethan corrected your #7?
    It might benefit our understanding.

    He didn’t correct any of my posts, so I guess they’re OK in his view.

  137. #137 Narad
    March 14, 2016

    Would you care to point out how Ethan corrected your #7?
    It might benefit our understanding.

    Given that anybody who, y’know, actually reads the blog rather than just popping in occassionally for some attention-whoring already knows exactly what the reference is to, no, it wouldn’t benefit “our” understanding.

  138. #138 Narad
    March 14, 2016

    I suppose I might as well note that S.N.’s dubbing of Sinisa as “Sin” fits right in with his well-known misogyny, which Occam’s razor strongly suggests is a product of sexual frustration.

    Leaving aside his dismaying performances at RI and Jason’s (where he was banned), as well as his Disqustink presence (“Hillary,” “b*tch,” etc.), I presume, just as S.N. does in his comment 136 here, that his lack of a response to this earlier comment is a concession of its accuracy.

  139. #139 dean
    United States
    March 16, 2016

    ScienceBlogs’ definition of “troll”:
    One who posts opinions which contradict or challenge those of ScienceBlogs.

    As usual, sn can’t get even the most basic facts straight.

    ScienceBlogs’ definition of “troll”:
    One who posts opinions which blatantly contradict all of known science, makes conclusions on assertion rather than fact, never uses logic to support arguments, never supplies references or evidence when pressed for such, and asks questions without wanting to know the answers.
    Reference: see any post by a creationist, especially see noevo.

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