Why the Atheist Worldview Beats the Christian Worldview

Why the Atheist Worldview Beats the Christian Worldview July 31, 2018

Christian apologists, perhaps knowing that they won’t do well in the arena of argument and evidence, try instead to beat the atheist worldview by arguing that it’s more pleasing or happier. In several recent posts, I’ve responded to the claim that Christian hope is a strong plus for Christianity. It’s not. It incorrectly imagines that consoling is enough, it encourages Christians to not see reality clearly, it encourages complacency and magical thinking, it provokes anxiety when promises and reality don’t mesh, it makes God a jerk, and it infantilizes Christians.

Let’s now look at the big picture of each worldview. Compare Christianity and atheism, and atheism wins.

Positives of Christianity (and the negatives)

Let’s start with Christianity’s positive traits. The church can create community for its members, and it can catalyze their good works and charitable giving. As such, it is an important social institution. While this natural part of the church is a positive, however, the supernatural side doesn’t hold up as well. Let’s look at some examples. For one, heaven is a nice idea, but it comes as a package deal with hell.

And you’re told that God is eager for a relationship, but he won’t even meet you halfway when his very existence isn’t obvious.

Laying your problems at the feet of Jesus might be comforting, but they’re usually still there when you go back to check. Why are prayers answered at a rate no better than chance?

One of Christianity’s strongest selling points, we’re told, is that salvation doesn’t require works but is a gift. All you need is faith. But with so many interpretations of correct belief within Christianity, how do you know the Jesus you have faith in is the right one? You may be headed for hell if you guess wrong.

What is God’s goal when he allows bad things to happen to people—tsunamis that kill hundreds of thousands or childhood cancers, for example? As an omnipotent being, he could achieve any goal without causing suffering.

Christians might deal with issues like these by compartmentalizing, by not asking questions, or by denying their doubt. But not being able to honestly raise your concerns, let alone resolve them, creates mental stress, not a healthy relationship.

Facing reality (and the positives of atheism)

When challenged with some of these concerns, a common Christian response is to argue that the atheist worldview is bleak and empty (as if “that worldview is depressing” is any argument against it being correct). But let’s consider that worldview—a world without God. This would be a world where praying for something doesn’t increase its likelihood; where faith is necessary to mask the fact that God’s existence is not apparent; where no loving deity walks beside you in adversity; where natural disasters kill people indiscriminately; where far too many children live short and painful lives because of malnutrition, abuse, injury, or birth defects; and where there is only wishful thinking behind the ideas of heaven and hell.

Look around, because that’s the world you’re living in. But this isn’t anarchy, it’s a world where people live and love and grow, and where every day ordinary people do heroic and noble things for the benefit of strangers. Where warm spring days and rosy sunsets aren’t made by God but are explained by science, and where earthquakes happen for no good reason and people strive to leave the world a better place than they found it. God isn’t necessary to explain any of this. Said another way, there is no functional difference between a world with a hidden god and one with no god.

It’s not that the atheist worldview finds no value in life. In fact, the opposite is true: the Christian worldview is the one that devalues life. Of what value is tomorrow to the Christian when they imagine they’ll have a trillion tomorrows? What value are a few short years here on earth when they have eternity in heaven?

There are consequences. If the atheist is right, the Christian will have missed seeing their life for what it truly is—not a test to see if you correctly dance to the tune of Bronze Age traditions; not a shell of a life, with real life waiting for you in the hereafter; not drudgery to be endured or penance paid while you bide your time for your reward; but rather the one chance you have at reality. We can argue whether heaven exists, but one thing we do know is our one life here on earth: a too-short life, no matter how long you live, that you can spend wisely or foolishly. Where you can walk in a meadow full of flowers, and laugh and learn, and do good things and feel good for having done them. Where you can play with children, and teach someone, and love.

I won’t be able to visit new places after I die; I won’t be able to learn another language, or comfort a friend, or apologize, or forgive, or simply stop and smell the roses. If it’s important to me, I’d better do it in the one life I know I have. Life is sweeter when that’s all you’ve got. Sure, there’s a downside to having a finite number of days on this earth. It’s a downside, but that’s why it’s an upside.

Atheism is far from being a depressing worldview—just ask any ex-Christian atheist. They’ll tell you how empowered and free they feel now that they can honestly ask questions and follow evidence where it leads.

They seek only the truth, but the truth is enough.

You can only live once,
but if you do it right, once is enough.
— Mae West

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Image via Sivesh Kumar, CC license
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  • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

    Well said!

  • Kevin K

    …that salvation doesn’t require works but is a gift…

    That’s the Protestant way of thinking only. Catholics don’t subscribe to that notion. “Faith without works is dead” and all that. Say three Hail Mary’s and put a fiver in the “Poor Box”. And never you mind what that altar boy is doing.

    Of course, that’s one of the many, many, many, many (ad infinitum) bits of evidence that the whole enterprise is man-made.

    • Bob Jase

      With all the Hail mary’s that are said you’d think no passes would ever be intercepted or fumbled.

      • Kevin K

        Whenever Notre Dame plays a Protestant school in sportsball, no matter what the outcome, I always yell at the TV “God Hates You!” to the losers.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Faith without works is dead

      Of course, that passage in James says a little more than that. For example, it actually gives an example of the kind of “works” that need to accompany faith. Interestingly, or not, it does not include prayer, or even avoiding sin. No, what it talks about is serving others. If you have faith but do not help your neighbor, then your faith is worthless.

      James 2: 15-17: “If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

      Actually, it’s a pretty clear message: your “thoughts and prayers” are worth diddly squat.

      • Greg G.

        James is all about following the Law. In Galatians 5:14, Paul said that loving your neighbor fulfilled the whole law. In James 2:8-11, James says that’s a good start but if you don’t obey the law, you will be murdering and committing adultery. In Romans 13:6,8-10, Paul points out that if you love your neighbor, you won’t be killing, or stealing, and all that stuff.

        • Otto

          I have heard that the word translated to “neighbor” could also be translated to “fellow Jew”…at least from the Hebrew in the OT, and then the NT just assumes the ‘neighbor’ translations. Is there any truth to that Greg or am I talking out of my ass?

        • Greg G.

          Off the top of my head, I know that the “love your neighbor as yourself” part of the quote of Leviticus 19:18 from Galatians, James, Romans, and, I think, Mark and Matthew, are verbatim from the Septuagint. I am not sure about the Hebrew version. Christians apparently didn’t pay a lot of attention to that.

        • Greg G.

          After checking, Matthew 19:19, Matthew 22:39, Mark 12:31, Romans 13:9, Galatians 5:14, and James 2:8 each have 6 Greek words in order from Leviticus 19:18, and Luke 10:27 has five of them.

          Also, Galatians 3:6, James 2:23, and Romans 4:3 quote from Genesis 15:6 LXX getting the last seven Greek words verbatim. But Romans doesn’t match the Galatians version of the first three words (about Abraham believing) but it does match the James version.

        • Greg G.

          Strong’s Concordance for רֵעַ rea` says this:
          Outline of Biblical Usage [?]

          I. friend, companion, fellow, another person
              A.friend, intimate
              B.fellow, fellow-citizen, another person (weaker sense)
              C.other, another (reciprocal phrase)

          But the friends, companions, and neighbors of anyone following the Jewish law would probably be a Jew anyway, so it would have been redundant to spell it out for them.

  • Bob Jase

    Let’s see, atheists never worry about being possed by demons, never worry about having a tornado hit their home because there’s a gay couple down the road, never worry about an invisible someone standing around watching them masturbate, get to enjoy this life whenever possible w/o feeling guilty that it’ll cost them in their afterlife and can act genuinely good to others because its the right thing to do and not out of fear of punishment.

    • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

      Really, that’s not so much a worldview as theists like to strawman as it is all the bovine stool WE. DO. NOT. PUT. UP. WITH.

    • Phil

      My patio chairs got knocked over in the last winds. I am struggling to figure out what I am being punished for.

      • epeeist

        I broke a nail the other day, personally I blame teh gayz.

      • Bob Jase

        Aeolus is not mocked!

  • Ctharrot

    My (admittedly inexpert) sense is that the jury’s still out on the relative mental health pros and cons of belief and unbelief. Or more precisely, the research so far is a bit preliminary and mixed.

    But for the sake of argument, let’s go ahead and grant the apologists’ general thesis, that the hope experienced by believers, as opposed to the jaundiced realism experienced by atheists, is sufficient justification for belief. Would they agree that specific doctrines offering greater hope are therefore better justified?

    Universal reconciliation, by my reckoning the most morally and intellectually defensible soteriology out there, reflects a worldview that is immeasurably more optimistic and uplifting than the one espoused by Calvinists, Catholics, and the fire-and-brimstone Charismatics and Baptists who did their level best to scare my little sister and me with images of shadows and pits and fire and wailing without end.

    If hope and comfort and reassurance are the standard, shouldn’t Universalism be the Most Correct Faith?

    • Daffodil

      Should be, yes, but that still leaves the tendency to look to the future for your happiness and fulfillment rather than the here and now. It also does not allow some to control others, which is a big part of religion.

    • Jim Jones

      > My (admittedly inexpert) sense is that the jury’s still out on the relative mental health pros and cons of belief and unbelief. Or more precisely, the research so far is a bit preliminary and mixed.

      Clearly people want to believe. Even the craziest shit convinces some. My best guess is that it is part of our tribal nature – we are strongly motivated to join a group and follow the leader.

      The question that has occupied me for a few years now is, what IS a religion? We seem to have a case of can’t see the forest for the trees. It’s one thing to come up with a wacky idea like this, but why do so many people comply with it?

      The most basic form for strangers forming a group is a gang. I hardly need to point out how common these are.

      Religions are usually better organized and better structured than common gangs but they still have similarities at their core.

      Religion offers social inclusion – like a gang.

      It offers the opportunity to bully others – like a gang.

      It encourages the commission of actual crimes against non members – like a gang.

      It offers a veneer of superiority to others – like a gang.

      Those who leave are loathed and sometimes threatened or hurt – like a gang.

      When a rival member dies they rejoice – like a gang.

      Members brag about how powerful and important their boss is – like a gang.

      The religious want to graffiti up the walls, park, or anything else they can put their mark on – like a gang.

      And you fear not praising the boss enough – like a gang.

      (They both recruit young people, though religion tends to start at an earlier age, and is usually more successful at it.)

      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2018/03/06/parents-suing-la-district-request-anonymity-after-death-threats-from-christians/

      • Ctharrot

        Yeah, although I think those parallels are clearest the more organized and fundamentalist the group is. Looser, more heterodox denominations tend to be less horrid to outsiders, and generally more humane. At least that was my experience when I was still a Christian. The difference between the insular fundagelical church of my youth and the UCC congregation of my twenties was night and day.

    • Bob Jase

      “If hope and comfort and reassurance are the standard, shouldn’t Universalism be the Most Correct Faith?”

      What? And let those people in too?

      • Ctharrot

        What I wouldn’t give to watch Craig or Habermas or McDowell sit through a UU youth choir belting out, “We are Gay and Straight Together.”

        But yeah, that’s basically my point. The typical apologists are advertising hopeful theology as a worldview preferable to gritty atheism, but not so hopeful that it’s . . . liberal.

        • Greg G.

          What I wouldn’t give to warch Craig or Habermas or McDowell sit through a UU youth choir belting out, “We are Gay and Straight Together.”

          I’d like the Bob Jones University Choir to sing that just to watch the ground churn over Bob’s grave from him turning over.

        • Ctharrot

          As Ringo would say,

    • eric

      If hope and comfort and reassurance are the standard…

      That’s a big if. I wouldn’t assume that human psychology is such that we naturally become happier when other people are happier. That may be true for some people, and it may be true for a lot of people when considering their families or some sort of extended tribal/friend network, but I very much doubt it’s universally true. Some people are going to find their mental health in lording it over others. And given our evolution from (earlier) social hierarchical apes, that probably even shouldn’t be considered abnormal.

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    Yeah, ignorance is bliss. Don’t know how that makes it a good thing, however.

    • eric

      Who wants to spend their life in a drug-induced haze of the opiate of the people? it might be pleasurable and all, but…

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        I’m reminded of how the goblin who gets Imperious cursed is depicted in the Harry Potter movie. He is all happy go-lucky, but that’s because he’s just in a stupor, and mindlessly succombing to the command of the one who cursed him.

        The books described the imperious curse as being very blissful, but it’s still not good.

        • eric

          I’ve had a few beers tonight (day off tomorrow). It’s a great feeling, but I certainly wouldn’t want to go through eternity like this.

          Bliss is sort of like a great vacation. It’s good and all, but after a while, you need a vacation from your vacation.

  • Damien Priestly

    Although the Christian worldview is disgraceful…as Hitchens Celestial-Tyranny shows — there mostly is not an atheist worldview. There are worldviews that lead to atheism, however — Skepticism, Humanism, etc.

    • Halbe

      Or is it the other way around? First get rid of the theistic crap that prevents you from thinking straight, and then come to a worldview that is actually terhered to reality?

  • Greg G.

    Religions are founded on the fear of the many and the cleverness of the few. –Stendhal

  • MesKalamDug

    I tried hard to believe. But I simply could not master it. I stopped trying when I was fifteen. It wasn’t the moral issues that I rejected – it was the cosmology. I couldn’t believe the heaven and hell stuff. And the phony history in the Bible didn’t help. But I don’t remember ever questioning conventional Christian moral teaching although some of its teaching seemed confused to me – like missionary work. Now, of course, I see how the valuable part can be perverted into a morality I reject. But that was then and this is now.

  • skl

    “… the Christian worldview is the one that devalues life. Of
    what value is tomorrow to the Christian when they imagine they’ll have a
    trillion tomorrows? What value are a few short years here on earth when they
    have eternity in heaven?”

    This seems to be contradicted by many Christians pro-life stance on abortion,
    as well as by Christianity’s call for what you noted earlier – “good works and charitable giving.”

    • Otto

      The here and now ‘Life’ is devalued. This is just a place to wipe our feet before the ‘Big Show’.

      https://www.gotquestions.org/not-of-this-world.html

      • WLC called life here on earth, “the cramped and narrow foyer opening up into the great hall of God’s eternity.”

        Sounds to me like his dissing God’s greatest creation.

    • Otto

      Additionally the Catholic Church finds abortion to be reprehensible…but child rape…meh…not that bad. That kind of shows that quality of life in ‘this world’ is not all that important to them. I don’t consider that ‘valuing life’….do you?

      • skl

        “I don’t consider that ‘valuing life’….do you?”

        Yes, I do. The Catholic Church teaches that abortion is
        wrong, even “reprehensible”, as you say.
        And I believe it also teaches that child rape, or any kind of rape, to be the same.

        • Joe

          What it teaches and what it enables are two different things.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And covers up…and protects…and justifies.

        • Otto

          What the Catholic Church teaches, and what it allows in its leadership and hides for its own benefit are two different things. Talk is cheap.

          Sometimes an abortion will literally save the life of the mother, guess what the Church’s position is though?

          Pro-life my ass. They care about theology and only theology.

        • skl

          “They care about theology and only theology.”

          If that’s so, then they sure are acting strange, what with all their hospitals, schools, adoption agencies, missions, and what not.

        • Otto

          That is not strange, all part of their theology.

          What is more important, that they actually help people try an be healthy or that they lie about things that could keep people healthy but goes against their theology? Wanna guess?

          https://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/mar/17/pope-africa-condoms-aids

          and

          “The Catholic Church is telling people in countries stricken by Aids not to use condoms because they have tiny holes in them through which HIV can pass – potentially exposing thousands of people to risk.
          The church is making the claims across four continents despite a widespread scientific consensus that condoms are impermeable to HIV.”

          https://www.theguardian.com/world/2003/oct/09/aids

          Pro life or Pro Catholic theology?

        • skl

          “What is more important, that they actually help people try an be healthy or that they lie about things that could keep people healthy but goes against their theology?”

          If I understand it right, their primary goal isn’t health, it’s
          heaven.

        • Otto

          >>>”If I understand it right, their primary goal isn’t health, it’s heaven.”

          I think that is kinda what I said. It is like if an organization started a Zoo and their primary goal was to learn about and save pink invisible unicorns.

        • skl

          That might be a good analogy.

          Except that the people who don’t like or believe in pink invisible unicorns are free to go to another zoo.

        • Otto

          I think you are down playing the influence of the Catholic Church just a smidgen as to how they are able to affect people and situations outside of the Church. In many rural areas of the US and other places around the world people don’t have a choice unless the choice is to ‘go to a Catholic hospital or don’t go to a hospital’. In Ireland (as it was pointed out to you) Catholic theology so permeated the gov’t and laws that a non-Catholic woman lost her life because the hospital would not perform a life saving procedure that Catholic theology forbade.

        • skl

          “In many rural areas of the US and other places around the
          world people don’t have a choice unless the choice is to ‘go to a Catholic hospital or don’t go to a hospital’.”

          Sounds like a great opportunity for Planned Parenthood to
          move in. Thar’s gold in them thar hills!

        • Otto

          Planned Parenthood was exactly the place that my wife was able to receive female health care including gynecological exams, pap smears and safe family planning options when we lived in a rural area. Unfortunately idiots like you think they are just abortion factories and are doing everything they can to shut them down nationwide, leaving a gap that the Catholic healthcare system is more than happy to fill, but not actually meet the needs of the population because of their theology.

        • Ignorant Amos

          At least skl has dropped all pretence of being anything other than the knuckle-dragging douche bag that we’ve all suspected for a long time.

        • Susan

          Sounds like a great opportunity for Planned Parenthood to move in. There’s gold in them thar hills!

          Gosh. We have Planned Parenthood (an organization aimed at providing health care for women and their families) vs. the propaganda financed by the political and financial power of the RCC and other christian organizations..

          Do you have anything but disingenuous weaselling to offer?

          No. No, you don’t.

        • Gold? They provide a service, and they get paid. Does PP do things differently than other organizations?

        • skl

          “ Does PP do things differently than other organizations?”

          Possibly. Most organizations that provide a product, a
          hands-on product, would move into areas where there is a pent-up demand for that product. But apparently PP has not done so in these ‘Catholic-hospital-only’ rural areas. PP’s missing out on a lot of “gold.”

        • PP is eager to harvest that “gold” in the same way that any nonprofit is–not really. They’re a nonprofit. They need to cover their costs, and they try to help out society. If you see PP’s motives as fundamentally different, explain.

        • skl

          “… they try to help out society. If you see PP’s motives as
          fundamentally different, explain.”

          Explain how PP is ‘helping out society’ by not moving into
          the subject areas.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Which is reprehensible and deplorable.

        • MadScientist1023

          You might want to pick a story, skl. Either churches do great things with secular benefits like improving healthcare and education, or they care about “heaven” and pushing their ideology to the point where they will help the spread of disease by spreading misinformation. If they’re just using these hospitals, missions, and whatnot as a sales mechanism, they don’t get credit for doing them.

        • skl

          They can do both:
          a) improving healthcare and education, and
          b) helping people to heaven.

        • MadScientist1023

          Except you just admitted that they (allegedly) do the second at the expense of the first. Therefore they don’t do both.

        • skl

          They don’t do the second at the expense of the first. They can ‘Walk and chew gum’ at the same time.

        • MadScientist1023
        • Greg G.

          Then they should get out of the healthcare business and leave it to those who are serious about healthcare.

        • skl

          I think they are serious about healthcare.
          I googled “top ranked hospitals+catholic” and this was the first hit:

          “U.S. Catholic hospitals dominate Top 100 list
          … Last week Thompson Reuters released its annual list of the
          100 Top Hospitals in the U.S.”
          https://cnsblog.wordpress.com/2009/04/06/us-catholic-hospitals-dominate-top-100-list/

        • Greg G.

          I already gave you five articles that said they are not serious. They are very good at the healthcare they do, but they do not do all healthcare. They can do 21st century healthcare with an 11th century philosophy.

        • skl

          Seriously, you think deliberately destroying a human life is “healthcare”, and I (and they) do not.

          Good night.

        • Greg G.

          When it leaves the woman suffering, bleeding, contracting an infection that requires a longer hospitalization, and sometimes the death of the woman, then yes. Did you read the article I linked for you about the woman who was bleeding but they refused to treat her because it meant an abortion. The gave her directions to another hospital and pushed her in a wheelchair to the parking lot. Just because “religion”.

          They count as much as someone who needs a kidney transplant but do not have a donor who will give consent to use their kidney.

        • skl

          Take 6:
          Your eye lids are getting very heavy…

        • Susan

          Take 6

          No. When you say good night on the internet, it means you’re leaving.

          Run along now.

        • Greg G.

          I have to upvote everybody who has argued against skl before I go to bed. He hates that.

        • Susan

          I have to upvote everybody who has argued against skl before I go to bed. He hates that.

          I miss Kodie.

          “Send us an honest christian.”

        • Greg G.

          Yes, like I have always said, “she gives ridicule to the ridiculous.”

        • BlackMamba44

          Kodie could articulate my thoughts better than I could.

          I miss her, too.

        • Clint W. (Thought2Much)

          What happened to Kodie? Did she just leave because she got fed up with stupid people?

        • Ignorant Amos

          As far as I can remember she said she just needed a break…from the stupid religious people no doubt.

        • Greg G.

          She announced a while back that she was going to take a break from posting.

        • Susan

          What happened to Kodie?

          She said she was taking a break. She wasn’t specific about the reasons.

        • Ignorant Amos

          No. When you say good night on the internet, it means you’re leaving.

          But…but…but…idiocy is a factor with skl don’t forget.

        • Greg G.

          You have no intelligent response.

        • Medical care as a way to advance the Catholic worldview. Who knew a noble practice could be subverted that way?

        • Jim Dailey

          From the Centers for Disease Control:

          https://www.cdc.gov/condomeffectiveness/latex.html

          The most reliable ways to avoid transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), are to abstain from sexual activity or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner.

          Another study shows that 1/2 of new HIV cases in Toronto in 2016 were due to condom failures (probably incorrect usage of the condom). The study was published in the NIH.

          It appears to me that the Catholic Church is espousing practices fully consistent with leading health authorities.

        • Clint W. (Thought2Much)

          Yes, and the best way to avoid getting injured or dying in a car accident is to never ride in any type of motor vehicle.

        • Jim Dailey

          Well Clint, I suppose you ignore traffic laws and car safety features you regard as inconvenient?

        • Clint W. (Thought2Much)

          No, I’m saying no one should drive or ride in a motor vehicle at all. Don’t you realize that almost all car accidents are caused by incorrect usage of the vehicle? Why take that chance?

          If you absolutely insist on going anywhere in a motorized vehicle, then you should do so only if it’s absolutely necessary, say to go to work or to get necessary supplies for your home. You should never go anywhere in any kind of motorized vehicle just to go someplace fun, or for some any sort of purely social engagement.

          The most reliable way to avoid injury or death by motorized vehicle accident is to abstain from motor vehicle activity, or to only go anywhere in a motor vehicle when it’s absolutely necessary. I’m sure that statistics from the NTSB will back me up on this. By not going anywhere in anything with an engine, we would be following practices fully consistent with leading transportation authorities.

        • Jim Dailey

          While you are at it, look up the accident statistics for driving the wrong way on a one way dirt road.

        • Clint W. (Thought2Much)

          Wait, are you trying to tell me that you willingly participate in being transported in motorized vehicles? It’s not 100% safe! Thousands of people die every year in vehicular accidents! Even people who wear seatbelts correctly are killed in accidents every year.

          I believe this happens because God doesn’t want any of us to use motorized transportation, but most people just aren’t paying attention.

          If you want to be immoral and use motorized vehicles for transportation, then go ahead. But I’m going to follow God’s plan, and abstain completely from getting inside any motorized vehicle.

        • Greg G.

          You make it sound like there are thousands of people dying in car crashes every year and greater numbers being injured. If that were so, the powers that be would make it illegal. Do you think the world is insane?

        • If Jim got into a car accident, I’m sure he’d avoid using emergency services to be consistent with his “no medical help” policy for pregnancy accidents.

        • The Binding of Mike

          Either walk, or ride that ass.
          It’s what Jesus would have done.

        • Otto

          Look up the survival statistics for relying on religion for your healthcare.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Well Clint, I suppose you ignore traffic laws and car safety features you regard as inconvenient?

          Ya realise you are making the argument for condom use for us with that question, right?

          Talk about hoisting yerself by yer own petard.

          You were right about one thing earlier…you really aren’t that smart.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Leading health authorities and the RCC should be espousing the use of motor vehicles, so much unnecessary death and injury could easily be avoided.

        • Greg G.

          Never, ever take a shower. It is the slipperiest place in your house. If you slip, there is nothing but hard objects for your head to land on.

        • Clint W. (Thought2Much)

          Oh, man, you’re right. Baths are probably a bad idea, too, since you have to step into the tub, where you could slip and kill yourself.

          Thanks for looking out for us, Greg!

        • Greg G.

          Maybe you could wear a helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads. Dress like a naked skateboarder. Just be careful to not break a hip.

        • Clint W. (Thought2Much)

          Nope. There’s a chance that I could use the equipment incorrectly, leading to injury or death. Since it’s not 100% certain that the safety equipment will keep me from being injured, I should just abstain from bathing or showering altogether.

        • Ignorant Amos
        • Greg G.

          Bubble wrap is much too sexy for shower wear. There is nothing sexier than popping bubble wrap all over your body. It is sexy with a feather. It is kinky if you use a live chicken.

        • Even that advice is too reckless. Frightened by this thread, I just ordered one of these. Ya never can be too safe.

          http://cdn1.bigcommerce.com/server1000/64cbb/products/91/images/1383/onesuitpro-2_0__35118.1505492911.1280.1280.jpg?c=2

        • Greg G.

          I have that equipment for my work, just in case I have to work on high voltage. But not too high, otherwise we give way to contrators. I suppose it still fits.

        • Ignorant Amos
        • I came across a response on Quora to the question, “What fact do movies always get wrong?” (or something like that). One answer touched on something I’d seen in a sitcom (“Psych”) just recently: when you step on a mine, it clicks to activate, but then it won’t blow up until you step off. That had always seemed like an odd design feature, and this respondent said that it doesn’t work that way.

        • Ignorant Amos

          It all depends on the type of mine.

          But yeah…most anti-personnel mines are of the kind that the down ward pressure sends a striker into a percussion type charge…like firing a pistol sends a firing pin into the percussion cap on a bullet exploding the gunpowder in the round.

          The click idea is a TV trope.

          https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/LandMineGoesClick

          Bouncing mines are those that “click” and when ones foot is lifted, but the click is the actuating of a small charge that lifts the mine up to waist height before the main charge goes off sending shrapnel further afield in order to take out more than just the guy on top of it.

        • Susan

          Maybe you could wear a helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads.

          As long as you don’t wear a condom, you have a right to medical care, no matter how irresponsibly you acted by willfully taking a shower.

        • Pofarmer

          You guys are reminding me of a great clip of a shower scene from the movie “The Darwin Awards”. Unfortunately, I can’t find a clip.

          Here’s an idea what it’s like.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WizROIojlA

        • Ignorant Amos

          Beds…there’s some real dangerous shit right there…

          W75: “Accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed” — 10,206 deaths

          W06: “Fall involving bed” — 10,386 deaths

          More death caused by bed related falls than from buildings…

          That’s almost 2,000 more deaths than those from a “fall from, out of or through building or structure.”

          Mattress on the floor and no sheets, quits, blankets, or pillows…that’s what should be being espoused by health authorities and the RCC.

        • Clint W. (Thought2Much)

          Holy crap! Is nothing absolutely, 100% safe in this world!?!?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Apparently nothing is worse than using condoms though.//s

        • Greg G.

          I have never heard of death from sex between a human and a wild hippo, at least not with proper use of a condom.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I wouldn’t doubt it has happened though. When this sort of thing goes on…

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

          You specify “wild” hippo…as opposed to domesticated one?

        • Greg G.

          I saw a video of a lion sauntering up behind a hippo in a plain and sniffed its butt. The hippo spun around and grabbed the lion by the head and flung it. Fortunately, the tusks were not used so the lion made a getaway. I expect that if you survived the approach and didn’t surprise the hippo, you would be good to go. You go first.

          I saw a century old picture of a person posing on the back of a domesticated hippo, or at least a rather young one. So, I wouldn’t put it past someone to have tried to have sex with one. It probably wouldn’t be done with witnesses so nobody could say how the dude’s pants came off.

        • Ignorant Amos

          There is a couple of stories of owners being killed by there pet hippos, so who knows what grudge they might have held.

        • Sounds like this video. Watch the last 10 seconds.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuUDhW8skb8

        • Greg G.

          That is it.

        • Just the warm embrace of Jeebus that’s 100% waiting for you in heaven.

        • Susan

          Mattress on the floor and no sheets, quits, blankets, or pillows…that’s what should be being espoused by health authorities and the RCC.

          I hope you don’t use your stove to cook things. Unplug it and it makes a lovely planter.

          If you decide to cook, statistically you could set your house on fire.

          Don’t expect me to come running to help rescue you, your children and your house.

          I warned you not to cook. 0% chance of cooking fires if you don’t cook.

        • Greg G.

          I hope you don’t use your stove to cook things. Unplug it and it makes a lovely planter.

          A planter? Didn’t you see Little Shop of Horrors? If you get your legs bitten off by a carnivorous plant, don’t come running to me.

        • If you get your legs bitten off by a carnivorous plant, don’t come running to me.

          I think that’s pretty much guaranteed.

        • Ignorant Amos

          It appears to me that the Catholic Church is espousing practices fully consistent with leading health authorities.

          Seriously? That’s what you got from that piece?

          Only by being dishonest. You quote mined that fact sheet then misrepresented it’s meaning.

          Leading health authorities, like the RCC, are espousing the practice of not using condoms because half the cases of HIV in Toronto were as a result of condom failure?

          Did ya miss this bit in your hurry to be dishonest?

          Latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly, are highly effective in preventing the sexual transmission of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. In addition, consistent and correct use of latex condoms reduces the risk of other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including diseases transmitted by genital secretions, and to a lesser degree, genital ulcer diseases. Condom use may reduce the risk for genital human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and HPV-associated diseases, e.g., genital warts and cervical cancer.

          This is an example of you being less than honest…and also being very stupid.

          What does the World Health Organisation have to say about the practices of condom use vis a vis HIV contraction?

          http://www.who.int/hiv/topics/condoms/en/

          Don’t seem to be espousing what you are suggesting.

          What about USAID?

          https://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1864/CondomSTIIssueBrief.pdf

          Nope…not espousing the nonsense you are asserting either.

          What about those Cannuck’s you think are espousing the same as the RCC?

          http://www.catie.ca/en/fact-sheets/prevention/condoms

          Wise up Jim.

        • Jim Dailey

          I started to read your references, but in the first one noted

          “Condoms, when used correctly and consistently, are highly effective in preventing HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). A large body of scientific evidence shows that male latex condoms have an 80% or greater protective effect against the sexual transmission of HIV and other STIs.”

          80% effective?

          You like those odds?

          I hope you wise up Amos. Honestly.

        • Otto

          Listening to you is like listening to someone argue that helmets are not 100% effective at preventing head injuries and should therefore their use should be discouraged.

          I hope you wise up Jim. Honestly.

        • 80% effective for condoms vs. 0% effective for condoms. So the Catholic church advocates for no condoms.

          Are you getting it yet? Besides, it says “80% or greater.” Presumably that means 80% when used in the stupidest way.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Jim, the point is that no health health service espouses not using condoms like the RCC ya dolt.

          Try and work out the outs of not using a condom. I know you admitted you are not the sharpest tool in the box, but it really can’t be all that hard. It’s basic math that my 8 year old grandson can understand.

          In your example…condom use was 50% effective. If no condom is used what do you think will likely happen?

          In my example, transmission of disease is 20% likely, as opposed to non use of condoms where the likely hood of contracting a disease is far greater.

          Let me try an analogy from my military experience in bomb disposal. As a final approach soldier my wearing an explosive ordinance suit (bomb suit) did not guarantee I wouldn’t be blew to smithereens, but it was far better to be wearing one than not, even though the suit is cumbersome and uncomfortable. Some percentage of protection is better than none at all…regardless of the odds.

          UXB’s, mines and IED’s will always have to be disposed of, people are always gonna shag, better any protection, than none at all.

        • Jim Dailey

          What did the CDC say was the “most reliable” way to avoid STDs again?

        • Michael Neville

          The most reliable way to avoid being in a traffic accident is to never get into a car. But for those of us who use cars, defensive driving and obeying traffic laws work pretty well. Since the Catholic hierarchy are professional celibates (note this does not mean they’re actual celibates) they ignore how normal people deal with STDs and preach sexual abstinence only. But then the RCC has never concerned itself with humanity, just power and riches.

        • Susan

          defensive driving and obeying traffic laws work pretty well

          And seatbelts save lives when collisions occur.

        • Greg G.

          Do you mean the one that is not realistic to implement? The one that cannot be a realistic public policy?

        • I’m pretty sure they’d say that if you’re going to have sex, you should use a condom.

          Did I get it right? That was a toughie.

        • Jim Dailey

          Quote and reference above.

          “The most reliable ways to avoid transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), are to abstain from sexual activity or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner.”

        • Yes, obviously abstinence as an action is the best of all. Abstinence as a policy, however, is pretty much the worst. Just look at red state, abstinence-only sex education and see how poorly they do on unwanted pregnancy stats compared to states with a more evidence-based approach.

        • Jim Dailey

          Good. “Obviously abstinence as an action is the best of all”

          Now you clearly have and understand the best advice evidence-based science can offer. What you do to promulgate this knowledge is up to you.

        • I just did. Abstinence as policy is idiotic.

        • Greg G.

          Abstinence works until the sex drive is triggered. A hug and a kiss on the cheek can lead to a cascade of compromises. A certain percentage of the “just this once” decision makes abstinence a less reliable method for society. The only way to combat that problem is to teach the kid that sex is the dirtiest, nastiest, most vile thing you could ever do and you should save it for someone you love. If successful, abstinence would be more successful, but undoing the brainwashing is problematic, resulting in broken people with unhealthy attitudes towards sex.

          But where would the RCC be without unhealthy attitudes towards sex. No priests or nuns. No bishops, cardinals, or popes, either.

        • Otto

          Obviously not getting in motor vehicles as an action is the best of all…if your goal is to eliminate auto accidents.

          Now you clearly have and understand the best advice evidence-based science can offer. What you do to promulgate this knowledge is up to you. Maybe you should ask the church to make it a sin.

        • Jim Dailey

          You people fastidiously ignore the part about entering into long term monogamous relationships.

          Now let’s hear all the whining about how difficult it is to actually find and maintain such a relationship.

        • Otto

          And you miss the point that some people just like having sex and it is really none of your business how or why it is done.

        • Jim Dailey

          And you miss the point that lying to them about the inherent risks puts them in severe danger.

        • Otto

          But lying to them about things that can be done to mitigate the risks is A-OK. Lying is GOOD if it lines up with the Church.

        • Jim Dailey

          So the CDC and the Catholic Church are involved in a conspiracy of lies?

          Otto, you need to calm down.

          Amos supplied statistics that condoms are only 80% effective in stopping disease transmission. Russian roulette has better odds. Do you seriously think it’s a good idea to tell people that rubbers will keep them safe?

        • Otto

          >>>”So the CDC and the Catholic Church are involved in a conspiracy of lies?”

          Nope just the Church.

          >>>”Do you seriously think it’s a good idea to tell people that rubbers will keep them safe?”

          If you ask a dishonest question is it somehow less of a deceit in your mind?

          Jim when did you stop beating your wife?

        • Susan

          Amos supplied statistics that condoms are only 80% effective in stopping disease transmissions.

          No. You’ve been corrected on that but let’s grant that for the sake of argument your inept metaphor.

          Russian roulette has better odds.

          Statistically, far, far, far more people have sex than play Russian roulette.

          But let’s use your church’s advice for those that do play Russian roulette.

          They advocate that Russian roulette players put a bullet in every barrel. Because empty barrels cause head injuries that can lead to death.

          Otto you need to calm down

          What you don’t acknowledge is that Otto and others here are remarkably calm in the face of your cold’-blooded theology.

          Do you seriously think it’s a good idea to tell people that rubbers will keep them safe?

          Do you seriously think it’s a good idea to tell people that it’s better to play Russian roulette (a false anology) with mostly empty chambers is better than playing it with a bullet in every chamber?

          Do you seriously think it’s a good idea to tell people that it’s better to wear a seatbelt than to not wear a seatbelt?

          Yes. Because it is.

        • Ignorant Amos

          So the CDC and the Catholic Church are involved in a conspiracy of lies?

          Nope…because the CDC and the Catholic Church are giving different messages…your dishonesty is the problem, and the earlier excuse I provided to you that you might be being dishonest and unaware of it, no longer holds water.

          Amos supplied statistics that condoms are only 80% effective in stopping disease transmission. Russian roulette has better odds.

          Do you practice at being this thick? Rubbers will keep them 80% more safe than no rubber.

          To use your Russian roulette analogy…playing Russian roulette with a bullet in every chamber is a lot more dangerous than playing with a gun with one bullet removed…which isn’t as safe as with two bullets removed, which isn’t as safe as with three bullets removed,…see where this is going?

          Do you seriously think it’s a good idea to tell people that rubbers will keep them safe?

          A lot safer than no rubber ya dolt, yes…and all the health authorities agree. Now wise up.

        • Jim Dailey

          So, to carry the RR analogy through, the Church says “Don’t play RR”, and you find fault either because they don’t follow up with “But if you MUST play, here is a gun, properly loaded to assure that you have the minimum risk”?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Jim, people are going to have sex. People are going to have casual sex…it’s what people do. The health authorities that you think are on the same page as the RCC on this, they’re not, recognise that having sex as being a natural human condition. So, they all say that having sex using condoms is much safer than having sex without condoms.

          The RCC is telling lies. The RCC is telling people who are going to have sex anyway, that condoms don’t work. Not don’t work 50%, or 20% of the time. They are doing that because they want uneducated people to not wear condoms, because YahwehJesus doesn’t like it.

          The RCC says condoms don’t work, don’t wear them. The CDC says condoms work most of the time, it’s better to wear them than not. If you are such a pig thick stupid dolt that you don’t/can’t/ or won’t see the difference, that’s fine…you’re an imbecile, but don’t pretend there is no difference, everyone else here knows there is, so it’s you who is wrong.

        • Pofarmer

          At some point you have to wonder. Did religion make them disshonest and stupid or did they start out that way?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Oh I think the stupid start out that way…then religion makes them dishonest. Those that are not stupid and are honest with themselves, also manage to pull themselves out of the religious mire.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And you miss the point that lying to them about the inherent risks puts them in severe danger.

          Since you can’t demonstrate that is the case, and furthermore, it is a non sequitur ta boot.

          In the meantime, you miss the point that lying to people about the inherent risks that don’t exist in condom use, puts them in severe danger…and is a top ten sin according to your silly book of rules.

        • Pofarmer

          Look, dumbass. People are going to have sex regardless. There have been multiple studies showing that availability of contraception in no way increases sexual activity. There was already an aids epidemic ongoing in Africa and elsewhere. Condoms lessen the risk of getting HIV. There is no evidence that abstinence works on any kind of scale at all. Hell, your fucking priests have been having sex with young boys. At least they didn’t use condoms. I think a hearty fuck you and your stupidity are in order.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You people fastidiously ignore the part about entering into long term monogamous relationships.

          That’s because unlike you, we realise that in the real world, a place you apparently have never been, that that scenario is not the norm.

          Now let’s hear all the whining about how difficult it is to actually find and maintain such a relationship.

          No need to whine about it…even Roman Catholics have problems doing it ya dumb fuckwit. I should know, I married a Catholic that had been divorced three times before.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Not having sex. Does the RCC espouse not having sex?

          People are going to have sex, given that people are going to have sex, using condoms is better than not wearing condoms if protection against STD’s is ones goal.

          All health authorities know this and espouse the wearing of condoms.

          The RCC does not espouse the wearing of condoms…though some are coming around to idea.

        • Greg G.

          The only contraceptive method approved by the RCC is the rhythm method. Do you know what the term is for people who practice the rhythm method? Parents.

          Why would anyone listen to an organization who doesn’t understand sex beyond biology?

        • Perhaps Jim would be more understanding about the shagging if he could channel his 17-yo self.

        • MR

          Sometimes I wonder if these people ever were 17 years old. I guess when you’re so indoctrinated you just call it sinful thoughts and loathe yourself until such time as you can get married. From that point on you just loathe everyone who enjoys guilt-free sex. Religious indoctrination. Gotta love it.

        • Greg G.

          The death rate of people in hospitals is much higher than the death rate of people not in hospitals. Does that mean we should not ever go to a hospital?

          In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul appears to think the coming of Christ is so imminent, there is no reason to get married unless you really, really want to have sex. Paul understood that people have powerful sex drives. Why can’t you recognize that?

        • Greg G.

          Be realistic. Sexual advice from professional virgins is not realistic.

          Every long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner begins as a short-term relationship with someone who might not be uninfected. Important sentences from the beginning and end of the paragraph which you omitted are:

          Consistent and correct use of male latex condoms can reduce (though not eliminate) the risk of STD transmission. To achieve the maximum protective effect, condoms must be used both consistently and correctly.

          However, many infected persons may be unaware of their infections because STDs are often asymptomatic or unrecognized.</blockquote?

          Another study shows that 1/2 of new HIV cases in Toronto in 2016 were due to condom failures (probably incorrect usage of the condom). The study was published in the NIH.

          And another study from the Ontario HIV Epidemiology and Surveillance Initiative http://www.ohesi.ca/documents/OHESI-New-HIV-Diagnoses-preliminary-updates.pdf shows that in 2016, new AIDS diagnoses had trending decline over the previous decade despite a growing population and more testing for AIDS. If half the cases were condom failures, it means that lots of people are using them.

          It appears to me that the Catholic Church is espousing practices fully consistent with leading health authorities.

          It seems to me that you cherry-picked sentences that sound like something the Church would say but you omitted everything the leading health authorities say that the Church opposes. Health authorities recognize that people will have sex. The Church opposes all sex without marriage. The Church opposes condoms even when there is no chance of pregnancy. Health authorities recognize that condoms used correctly are effective against transmission of disease.

          How has Catholic sexual advice worked out for professionally celibate priests?

          Survey of AIDS Infection Among Priests Shocks U.S. Catholics
          https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2000/februaryweb-only/26.0.html

          20/20: Priests With AIDS
          https://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=123808&page=1

          Report: Priests hit hard by hidden AIDS epidemic
          http://www.actupny.org/YELL/catholicpriests.html

          Catholic Priests are AIDS Carriers
          http://fathersmanifesto.net/aidsdeaths.htm

        • Jim Dailey

          Yes, the old “everyone is doing it”. Good argument. Bye.

        • Susan

          Bye.

          Ignore all responses and run.

          Charming as always.

        • Greg G.

          Yes, the old “everyone is doing it”. Good argument. Bye.

          Is that a reading comprehension issue or an honesty issue? It is definitely not true.

          I did not use that argument in the first paragraph. You quoted “or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner.” How does one get into a long-term relationship? You don’t just get into one. You get into a relationship. If the people are compatible and the circumstances are right, it might become a long-term relationship.

          I didn’t use that argument in the second paragraph. I merely cited a study that had the opposite conclusion you tried to take from yours.

          I didn’t use that argument in the third paragraph. I merely cited articles that even Catholic priests get AIDS to dispute your implication that the Catholic method is useful in preventing AIDS. Has there been a similar AIDS crisis among leading healthcare authorities? I would bet that more experts in the study of AIDS have died from being shot down in an aircraft than have died from AIDS.

        • Clint W. (Thought2Much)

          “Is that a reading comprehension issue or an honesty issue?”

          I’ve been wondering that myself, considering that Jim’s responses to me don’t make any sense as replies to my comments.

        • TheNuszAbides

          Jim’s responses to me don’t make any sense as replies to my comments.

          well, expecting [a supernaturalist who clearly feels obligated to defend his tribal bubble] to make sense is setting a horribly high bar, but you already knew that.

        • Pofarmer

          It’s strictly an accident.

        • Otto

          >>>”It appears to me that the Catholic Church is espousing practices fully consistent with leading health authorities.”

          It is also the fact that most alcohol related traffic fatalities would be avoided if people didn’t drink. Does that mean it is a good strategy to only promote complete abstinence or is a more pragmatic approach superior? I don’t see the Church telling their congregants to not drink alcohol to avoid drinking and driving…why is that do you think? I will tell you why…because they have decided it is not part of their theology. The Catholic Church does not get to look at some problems pragmatically and some problems dogmatically and get to pretend like they have the moral high ground.

        • Jim Dailey

          As a matter of fact, the Church regards drinking to excess as a sin.
          Since a “drunk” driver by definition…

        • When you get into an accident after being hit by a drunk driver, I’m sure you’ll feel much better when you’re recovering at home without using medical care.

        • Greg G.

          the Church regards drinking to excess as a sin

          Since when does a church get to decide what a sin is? Most religions decide what is supposed to be a sin but then they attribute it to their god thingy.

        • Otto

          Nice attempt at a dodge, you didn’t actually address the point that I made and I am not surprised in the least.

        • Moron. You just argued that condoms aren’t perfect. The Catholic church is arguing that people shouldn’t use them at all.

          Result: people have sex without condoms. See the problem?

          I don’t have the crayons to explain it any more simply.

        • Jim Dailey

          Name calling?

          I know you know the Catholic Church’s stance on sex. It isn’t about abstinence.

          Get a grip Bob.

        • Greg G.

          I know you know the Catholic Church’s stance on sex. It isn’t about abstinence.

          For pre-marital sex, it is abstinence or up the loophole.

          https://youtu.be/pwB7_HvMghQ

        • Susan

          For pre-marital sex, it is abstinence or up the loophole.

          No. Up the loophole is strictly forbidden in RCC teachings because all sexual acts must be “open to procreation”.

          The loophole in the video is based on that position that the RCC professes to loathe. sola scriptura.

          They will find you gauche and badly catechized for not recognizing that the church is the representative of Yahwehjesus on earth, and they are the only ones qualified to interpret the scripture. Church over scripture. ‘Cause they are the anointed representatives.

          They do have RCC loopholes, though. If you rape children or protect child rapists, they will send you elsewhere or if the pressure gets too heavy and the temperature gets too hot, they will keep you out of the range of secular prosecution in Vatican City.

          You will have to pray. And make amends with Yahwehjesus through church authorized means.

          Much as they hate sola scriptura, they must abide by Adam and Eve as first parents and acknowledge the power of the Devil and his demons.

          Or they wouldn’t have much of a package to sell.

        • Pofarmer

          Or they wouldn’t have much of a package to sell.

          That’s really the fucking deal isn’t it? Sticks and carrots.

        • Susan

          Sticks and carrots.

          Mostly sticks.

          Sharpened into pokers.

          And heated to white hot temperatures.

        • Sample1

          Damn near haiku, seventeen syllables just not 5-7-5. :-j

          Mike

        • Greg G.

          Sticks as sharp pokers
          At white hot temperatures.
          Carrots weaponized.

        • Susan

          just not 5-7-5

          Mostly sticks sharpened

          Into pokers and heated to

          White hot temperatures

        • Now it’s poetry.

        • Greg G.

          Even the carrots are weaponized.

        • The Binding of Mike

          Up the loophole.

        • Grimlock

          Up the loophole is strictly forbidden in RCC teachings because all sexual acts must be “open to procreation”.

          Well, unless I’m mistaken, pretty much everything entails a nonzero chance of procreation. I mean, some are ridiculously improbable, but still nonzero. So… All acts are sexual acts?

          #logic

        • Greg G.

          I recall a story that was along the lines of a woman who had been shot during a US Civil War battle blamed her pregnancy on the bullet passing through a man’s testicle before it hit her.

          Don’t forget all the stories of Zeus impregnating young, beautiful women. But shame on you if you question that the Holy Ghost came on Mary.

        • Susan

          Well, unless I’m mistaken, pretty much everything entails a nonzero chance of procreation. I mean, some are ridiculously improbable, but still nonzero. So… All acts are sexual acts?

          Yep.

          But only some are “open” to procreation. Natural law… blah… blah.. blah.

          Logic will not be your friend on this journey.

        • Grimlock

          That’s okay. I figure I’ll just improve upon their moral theory. I’m sure they’ll be totally open to that.

        • Fuck the church’s stance on sex–it’s clearly out of touch with reality. Condoms help prevent STDs. Since Jeebus isn’t lifting a finger to reduce the incidence of STDs, our only option is to do it ourselves. Jeebus could only praise this approach.

        • Jim Dailey

          Ha – an atheist preaching about charity!

        • Greg G.

          Atheists do charity. Religious people seem to resent it because it shows that charity is not a religious thing.

        • Susan

          Ha- an atheist preaching about charity!

          Why is that funny Jim? Let us in on the joke.

        • Pofarmer

          There’s no joke. Jim’s just an asshole.

        • You’re surprised that atheists have morals?

        • TheNuszAbides

          either that or he counts it a victory for The Source of Objective Morality – miraculously penetrating the Hardened Atheist Heart and all that rot.

        • Susan

          Name calling?

          Well, lots of people die when they have sex without condoms. Your church tells people not to use condoms, pretending that they just won’t have sex and if they do, it’s their fault because the RCC warned them.
          .
          The idea seems to be that if they disobey the church’s teaching about having sex, better that they should become infected with HIV.

          Name calling isn’t so bad compared to that. It seems appropriate to call names when faced with such a cold-blooded position.

          When someone defends a position that means the unnecessary sickness and death of people, it’s hard not to call names. It’s a contemptible position.

          Get a grip Bob.

          Not very convincing, Jim.

          When a priest or bishop rapes a child, a parishioner or a less powerful member of the clergy, is it a bigger sin to do so with or without a condom?

        • Michael Neville

          Tone trolling? Get a grip Jim.

          The RCC hierarchy, professionally celibate virgins, have extolled abstinence as the ne plus ultra of sexual relationships. Paul wrote: “Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” (1 Cor 7:1 NIV) Speaking of marital relations he goes on to say: ” Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6I say this as a concession, not as a command. I wish that all of you were as I am.” (1 Cor 7:5-7 NIV, emphasis added)

          I could go on with quotes from the Church Fathers and Doctors such as Ambrose, Augustine, Tertullian and Jerome on how even married sex was sinful and chastity was to be preferred above all other relationships. Jerome liked the idea of a sexless paradise. According to him, coitus was not part of the prelapsarian (prior to the fall) world: “And as regards Adam and Eve we must maintain that before the fall they were virgins in Paradise, but after they sinned, and were cast out of Paradise, they were immediately married.” It was apparently contrary to God’s plan that Adam and Eve would eventually get around to actually using the sex organs that God had built into them.

          Don’t try to peddle your fantasies about the Catholic Church’s views of sex. We know better.

        • Pofarmer

          Another study shows that 1/2 of new HIV cases in Toronto in 2016 were due to condom failures (probably incorrect usage of the condom). The study was published in the NIH.

          You do realize, by itself, that statement tells us zero about the efficacy of Condom use.

        • Michael Neville

          Jim’s religious masters have told him that Baby Jesus cries whenever someone uses a condom and therefore condoms are evil!

          Many years ago, when I was in Vietnam, I was in an Army Exchange. A soldier came up to the counter and said he was there for his usual order. The clerk went into the back room and returned with a carton of condoms. A Catholic chaplain was there and started to upbraid the soldier for using condoms because of Baby Jesus’ tears. The soldier told the priest he didn’t know what he was talking about. Infantrymen would put condoms on the muzzles of their rifles to keep moisture out but the weapons could be fired through the condoms without problems.

        • Greg G.

          Well, as long as you are not using them to prevent the creation of life, it’s OK.

        • Rudy R

          Wonder how many of those using condoms incorrectly are Catholics.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          That are all used to push an agenda and they cheerfully use to hold governments hostage to their demands, are you really so naive as to think that they run these institutions for the betterment of all? They refuse to do medically indicated abortions, hell they even defrocked a nun who saw fit to treat a women as an actual person and not a disposable baby factory. They threaten to shut down adoption agencies if they aren’t allowed to discriminate, and religious schools are renowned for forcing their indoctrination on kids rather than teach them reality. but please continue to tell us how benevolent that churches are.

        • skl

          If going under anesthesia for surgery at a Catholic hospital
          is indoctrinating the patient, and going through the adoption process with a Catholic agency is getting Catholic catechesis, and learning math at a Catholic school is getting brainwashed with jesus-stuff, and a patient or couple or student don’t want that, then they can go to a non-Catholic hospital/adoption agency/school instead. But even many non-Catholics choose to go to Catholic hospitals/adoption agencies/schools.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Go ahead and TRY to tell me that catholic churches don’t charge for ALL of those services…c’mon, TRY.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          I really can’t tell if you are being deliberately ignorant or trying to make some obscure point and failing.

          The church supports institutions and then attempts to influence people / force people to follow their beliefs by the power those institutions bring. Catholic hospitals refuse to do abortions, even ones that are medically necessary, and if your choice is a catholic hospital or a 100 mile round trip it’s not really a choice for many people. Catholic adoption agencies refuse to place children with same sex couples, and threaten to shut down if laws are passed obliging them to do so. This is not in the interests of the children, or the prospective parents but as a way of exercising religious privilege so they can keep their power over society. Catholic schools do indeed deliver a good education, generally, but also give the church unfettered access to the most easy to indoctrinate age group. It almost like they have a less than benevolent agenda behind their actions, Its almost like the good they do is, at best, a byproduct.

          The church has monopolies on healthcare and adoption agencies in many areas, and travel is not an option for many people, please at least attempt to engage with the actual reality on in the ground.

        • Susan

          I really can’t tell if you are being deliberately ignorant or trying to make some obscure point and failing.

          Usually both.

          You haven’t met skl before?

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          we have crossed swords in the past, but i like to be generous in my dealings on line, he may actually have / be able to make a point this time round.

        • Ignorant Amos

          It would be novel I suppose.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          hope springs eternal

        • skl

          I really can’t tell if you are being deliberately ignorant or trying to make some obscure point and failing.

          Just say what you really mean:
          You want to force Catholic hospitals to perform abortions.

        • That’s certainly what I’d like to see. How about if Catholic hospitals followed the rules the other hospitals had to follow–crazy idea? How about if they provided all reasonable services to the citizens, since taxpayer and insurance money is paying?

          If following the law is a problem, I can think of an easy solution for the Catholic hospital.

          BTW, are you Catholic?

        • skl

          Thank you for saying what you really mean:
          You want to force Catholic hospitals to perform abortions.

          “How about if they provided all reasonable services to the citizens…”

          The Catholic hospitals do provide all reasonable services; they just don’t think abortion is a reasonable service.

          “… since taxpayer and insurance money is paying?”

          But taxpayer money (i.e. government funding) isn’t allowed to pay for abortions. And I don’t think you want to say that
          patients’ insurance companies should refuse to pay their patients’ claims if the claims are for services provided at Catholic hospitals. But maybe you do.

          “BTW, are you Catholic?”

          No, I’m not. I’m just a nonreligious person who doesn’t like abortion.

        • Greg G.

          “How about if they provided all reasonable services to the citizens…”

          The Catholic hospitals do provide all reasonable services; they just don’t think abortion is a reasonable service.

          They don’t think treating a life-threatening problem to save a women is reasonable until the doomed fetus heartbeat stops.

          No, I’m not. I’m just a nonreligious person who doesn’t like abortion.

          Then don’t have one and mind your own business.

        • skl

          “They don’t think treating a life-threatening problem to save a women is reasonable until the doomed fetus heartbeat stops.”

          As I said earlier, all this fuss about the small percentage of mothers said to die for lack of an abortion is curious. Just say what you really mean:
          You are OK with ANY AND ALL abortions; there
          is not a single abortion you would deny to a woman who wanted to have it.

          I’m just a nonreligious person who doesn’t like abortion.

          “Then don’t have one and mind your own business.”

          And if you don’t like slavery, then don’t have a slave, and mind your own business.

        • Greg G.

          And if you don’t like slavery, then don’t have a slave, and mind your own business.

          It’s a matter of consent. If consent doesn’t matter to you, then think of armed robbery as a charity to the needy.

        • skl

          Say Goodnight, Greg G.

        • Nice redirection! I totally bought your high-ground approach and completely missed that you have provided no arguments of your own and are praying that Greg G leaves you alone.

          You’re clever.

        • skl

          I see Greg G.’s in your fan club and up-voting your every response. But he should be in bed. Good night, Greg.

        • Greg G.

          Are you jealous? Say something intelligent or funny and not totally disagreeable and I will upvote it.

          You are more concerned about up votes than a person’s consent concerning the person’s own body. How shallow you are!

        • Ignorant Amos

          How shallow you are!

          Lower than a snakes belly.

        • More redirection? I thought that, having been caught at it before, you’d avoid that in the future. But hey, maybe it’ll work for you eventually, eh?

          What works best around here is argument and evidence.

          Pro tip: if you don’t have a good answer, you could always say, “Good point” or “Let me think on that a bit.” I should do that more myself, I’ll admit, but I think that might apply to you as well.

        • skl

          Let me think on that a bit.

          Good night, Bob S.

        • Greg G.

          Is consent that unimportant to you? You can’t even acknowledge it.

        • I know–crazy notion, isn’t it? Having Catholic hospitals follow the rules for “hospitals.” I’m just a nutty guy.

          I’m just a nonreligious person who doesn’t like abortion.

          I wonder then why you’re asking for special treatment for religious hospitals over other hospitals. Should a Jehovah’s Witness hospital be allowed to not give blood transfusions? Should a Christian Science hospital be allowed to charge for prayers and refuse medical care?

          If I’m a patient and go to the nearest emergency room, I want them to give me the best Western medical care possible rather than them deciding beforehand what subset they’ll perform. If they can’t be a hospital, they shouldn’t act like one.

        • skl

          “I know–crazy notion, isn’t it? Having Catholic hospitals follow the rules for “hospitals.” I’m just a nutty guy.”

          No, that’s not a crazy notion, you nutty guy.
          Catholic hospitals, and all hospitals, “follow the rules for hospitals.” But forcing a doctor to abort a human life isn’t part of the rules.

          “I wonder then why you’re asking for special treatment for religious hospitals over other hospitals. Should a Jehovah’s Witness hospital be allowed to not give blood transfusions?”

          I’d like to see an article on such a JW hospital.

          “If I’m a patient and go to the nearest emergency room, I want them to give me the best…”

          More smokescreen sensationalism. Now it’s emergency room denials! Just say what you really mean:
          You would insist on the approval of ANY abortion a woman wanted, in or out of any emergency situation.

        • “I wonder then why you’re asking for special treatment for religious hospitals over other hospitals. Should a Jehovah’s Witness hospital be allowed to not give blood transfusions?”
          I’d like to see an article on such a JW hospital.

          That’s nice. Now, back to the point: you’re OK with a JW hospital imposing their religious beliefs (no blood transfusion) on their patients. Right?

          You would insist on the approval of ANY abortion a woman wanted, in or out of any emergency situation.

          Wrong again. Say, I have an idea: if you want to know my opinion, you could, y’know, ask.

        • skl

          Again, I’d like you to show me an article on such a JW hospital. Try using Google.

          You would insist on the approval of ANY abortion a woman wanted, in or out of any emergency situation.

          “Wrong again. Say, I have an idea: if you want to know my opinion, you could, y’know, ask.”

          Please list the abortions you would not allow to the women who wanted them. And while you’re at it, maybe you could show what % of abortions you would be denying.

        • Greg G.

          Again, I’d like you to show me an article on such a JW hospital.

          It’s a hypothetical. Is that over your head?

          Please list the abortions you would not allow to the women who wanted them. And while you’re at it, maybe you could show what % of abortions you would be denying.

          It’s a matter of consent. Why is that so hard for you? It is between a person and the doctor. The decision is not yours, not mine, and not Bob’s.

        • This is a hypothetical question. Are you allowed to consider those?

          It is not the case that “You would insist on the approval of ANY abortion a woman wanted, in or out of any emergency situation” describes my situation. I’m surprised that you dumped that on me since I’ve never said that. Perhaps you’ll be more careful in the future.

        • skl

          Please list the abortions you would not allow to the women who wanted them. And while you’re at it, maybe you could show what % of abortions you would be denying.

        • Greg G.

          First list all the abortion situations that are any of your business.

          See how easy that was?

        • Sure, we can talk about that once we’re in agreement on the main point of this post. Until then, it’s another one of your redirections.

        • skl

          You wrote
          “It is not the case that “You would insist on the approval of ANY abortion a woman wanted, in or out of any emergency situation” describes my situation.”

          Please describe your situation, because it’s quite unclear now.

        • The pregnant woman chooses up to the date decided by experts within that jurisdiction as being where the developing fetus has the inherent value of a person (and at that date, they must override the woman’s preference).

          I’m amazed that this could be new to you.

        • skl

          Well, that’s a bit clearer.

          So, you would approve of at least 90% of abortions (ref: 90% in https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/10/21/doctors-trump-wrong-late-abortions/92515324/).

          And for the other 10% you’d defer to “experts.”
          But obviously, the “experts” you would defer to are only a subset of experts. Specifically, they’re the group of “experts” who “scientifically” divine personhood at precise times, but
          always long after conception – maybe 23 weeks, maybe 24,
          maybe 27. (But even if the one in the womb is declared a person by even these “experts”, the person may be killed for having certain birth defects.)

          And the “personhood calculation” may vary, as you note, from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. But really, it may also vary within
          a jurisdiction, depending on who your doctor is. If you want that certain abortion you need to brush up on doc shopping so that you’ll have a doc who will give you the answer you want. Your “expert” physician’s word is golden. As Guttmacher says

          “· only the physician, in the course of evaluating the specific circumstances of an individual case, can define what constitutes “health” and when a fetus is viable; and

          · states may not require additional physicians to confirm the attending physician’s judgment that the woman’s life or health is at risk in cases of medical emergency.”

          https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/state-policies-later-abortions

          But this could mean Bob S. would go along with the abortion denial by an “expert” in city X even though it might very well be approved by an “expert” in city Y!

          This is all not clear enough.

          What I’d like to know is how many abortions have been denied by the “experts” in recent years.

          And also, how many of the denials resulted in lawsuits against the physicians. I never seem to see them in the media.

        • Greg G.

          Do you know how many abortions you get to approve or disapprove? Whenever the pregnancy is in your uterus.

        • skl

          But Bob S. doesn’t have a uterus yet he gets to disapprove
          of many abortions, or at least accede to the disapproval (if there are any) of the physician “experts”.

        • Greg G.

          If he cedes the approval/disapproval to somebody else, he is neither approving nor disapproving. It isn’t his uterus so that is how it should be. It isn’t your uterus so your approval/disapproval is irrelevant. The doctor can make a medical decision about whether it can proceed.

        • It’s always good for a laugh when “pro-choice” is positioned symmetrically with “pro-life.” If pro-life is an imposition, then pro-choice must be as well. So there you go–pro-life people are as reasonable as anyone.

        • skl

          He cedes the approval/disapproval to people who do not
          own the uteruses in question.

          But I’d still like to know how many abortions are
          actually disapproved by these people.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Was that a question?

        • Aren’t you cute with all your questions! Sometimes the answers are complicated–is that your point?

          And we’re still back to the fact that the single cell is really, really different from the newborn. It’s like a smooth color spectrum from blue to green. We can disagree where to draw the line separating blue from green, but we will be in agreement that blue is not green.

        • skl

          “Aren’t you cute with all your questions!”

          Then I mustn’t be cute, because I didn’t ask any questions.

          “It’s like a smooth color spectrum from blue to green. We can disagree where to draw the line separating blue from green,
          but we will be in agreement that blue is not green.”

          I still would like to know the number of abortion requests you would have denied because the “expert” saw “green.”

        • Greg G.

          Then I mustn’t be cute, because I didn’t ask any questions.

          You did ask questions. You just failed to punctuate properly.

        • Aren’t you cute with all your vague requests! Best of luck with your quest.

        • skl

          Nothing “vague” about it.
          It’s very clear: The number of abortions that have been denied.

          We have all kinds of data on the abortions approved (e.g.
          USA Today article above). I just want to see how many were disapproved. That way, I’d know approximately what percentage of abortions you would disapprove. In other words, I’d see the ‘argument and evidence’ backing up your claim that you wouldn’t approve of any and all abortions.

          As you said earlier,
          “What works best around here is argument and evidence.”

        • As you said earlier,
          “What works best around here is argument and evidence.”

          And apparently what works for you is misdirection and changing the subject. We can’t even agree on the fundamental spectrum argument. That issue is interesting. This one is boring since I have nothing interesting to say.

        • skl

          No misdirection or changing the subject. You made a claim and I just asked for the argument and evidence supporting your claim.

          The “spectrum argument” is “interesting” only for those wanting to justify ending certain human lives. You’re OK with ending at least 90% of them. I’d find it interesting to know what % you’d save (i.e. what % of abortions you’d deny).

          I just noticed something. Greg G. seems to have gone to bed earlier tonight.

        • Susan

          The “spectrum argument” is “interesting” only for those wanting to justify ending certain human lives.

          Then, you’re against tumour removal. “Human lives” is the worst kind of bullshit equivocation. Which is why (as forced birthers do, as you are doing now) you won’t answer Bob’s question.

          Refusing to develop an organism inside your body is not “ending” a human life. Any more than refusing to continue donating bone marrow would be “ending” a human life.

          Greg G. seems to have gone to bed earlier tonight.

          Or maybe he needs a night off from talking to a disingenous weasel.

        • Pofarmer

          Or maybe he needs a night off from talking to a disingenous weasel.

          It’s funny, I just used that exact term to describe Mathew Kelly on a facebook post fawning over his “Philosophy.” Probably shouldn’t have done that. Don’t see the term that often.

          Let me see if I can find the meme.

          Ah, Yes. “Feed your Faith and your Fear will Starve to death.”

          What fear? The Fear instilled by the very organization requiring your faith?

          It’s just such a bunch of bullshit.

        • Greg G.

          Greg G. seems to have gone to bed earlier tonight.

          You seem to have taken a major interest in my bedtime. That is creepy.

        • Pofarmer

          So, you want to consider a fertilized egg a person?

        • Susan

          apparently what works for you is misdirection and changing the subject.

          Everywhere he comments.

          Every time he comments.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Then I mustn’t be cute, because I didn’t ask any questions.

          Nah…just an idiotic liar.

          Omitting a question mark from a question doesn’t make it not a question, it just means grammar is another thing you are shite at.

        • Greg G.

          I think the first step in making the list for him is to list the abortions where you would get to make any decision in the matter. The reduces the math problem involved, too.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The Catholic hospitals do provide all reasonable services; they just don’t think abortion is a reasonable service.

          The problem is that the law of the land says it is reasonable. And for the women whose lives it saves it is more than reasonable. You are a fuckwit, pure and simple.

          No, I’m not. I’m just a nonreligious person who doesn’t like abortion.

          Not just abortion…any criticism of religion. You are a liar.

          Nobody “likes” abortion ya dumb prick…but do explain your reasoning as to why it offends you so much?

        • I finally found a quote that helps clarify where the money for religious hospitals comes from.

          For religious hospitals, 46 percent of all revenues came from Medicaid or Medicare, 51 percent was patient revenue from other third-party payers, such as commercial insurers, and only 3 percent was classified as non-patient revenues.

          Of those non-patient revenues, the majority came from county appropriations (31 percent) and income from investments (30 percent). Only 5 percent derived from unrestricted contributions, such as charitable donations from church members. So, at best, charitable contributions made up a tiny faction of religious hospitals’ operating revenues. (Source: “No Strings Attached: Public Funding of Religiously-Sponsored Hospitals in the United States”)

          http://static1.1.sqspcdn.com/static/f/816571/11352520/1300824226243/bp_no_strings.pdf

        • skl

          I’m glad you found what you were looking for.
          But I don’t see what bearing it has on what we’re discussing.

        • Jim Dailey

          If following the law is a problem, I can think of an easy solution for the Catholic hospital.

          What would that be?

        • Step aside and let another organization provide health care.

        • Jim Dailey

          Sure. There are plenty of places that do abortions.
          Or are you anti-choice?

        • So you imagine a checklist of services a hospital will perform, and religious dogma is allowed to arbitrarily whittle that list down.

          If shitting on the First Amendment doesn’t bother you, perhaps it would if it came home. Say a loved one of yours is being wheeled from the ambulance into the ER, and an administrator walks alongside and says, “OK, now just to be clear, we don’t provide blood transfusions here.” Or imagine any other set of typical hospital services it didn’t provide–antibiotics, anesthesia, and so on. You might say that no religion would not provide anesthesia, but that’s not the point. In the first place, I’m pretty sure religious objections were made for anesthesia when it first became available. In the second place, it doesn’t matter. These are arbitrary from the standpoint of the patient. They don’t have to make sense. No outsider says, “Hold on, your religion can hold those beliefs because I find them nutty.”

        • Jim Dailey

          Well just send the afflicted to the nearest atheist hospital.

          Oh wait

          There aren’t any

        • Greg G.

          Catholic hospitals will tell the unsuspecting parents anything to get them to sign a waiver to let them keep the baby’s foreskin.

        • Pofarmer

          Actually, there are lot’s. They are typically called community hospitals, they were all secular. Now they are being bought up by Catholic Chains that don’t have to pay taxes. There are also many for profit hospital chains that aren’t affiliated with any religion.

        • Susan

          There are also many for profit hospital chains that aren’t affiliated with any religion.

          In my country, we have socialized medicine. Lots and lots and lots of hospitals with no religious affiliation.

          When someone needs hospital care, they get it.

        • Pofarmer

          Selfish bastards.

        • Jim Dailey

          Community hospitals = atheist hospital? Bullshit.

        • Greg G.

          Anything that doesn’t operate with the assumption that there are god thingies is atheistic. We didn’t get advanced science until people stopped putting God into their equations. Advanced medicine doesn’t rely on god thingies. The best medical procedures done in a Catholic hospital are atheistic.

          Praying for good outcomes has been shown to be ineffective. However, telling someone that people are praying that people are praying for that person to have a good outcome probably can be detrimental. Apparently it gives believers a false confidence that results in not following doctors’ atheistic orders.

        • Pofarmer

          Meh. Certainly all hospitals are not religious. Dr.’s without borders and fhe American Red Cross are also purposefully secular.

        • You could always send them to the nearest scientific hospital.

          Oh, wait. All medicine comes from science. Supernatural belief has taught us exactly zero about medicine.

        • Greg G.

          You can’t get a quality exorcism at a science based medical facility.

        • OK, but besides the exorcism, medieval thinking, the focus on an evidence-less afterlife, and the child fucking … what has Christianity ever done for us??

        • Susan

          what has Christianity ever done for us?

          Um…

          Um… um… um….

          Wait… I know this one…

        • The Binding of Mike

          The Spanish Inquisition?

        • Grimlock

          Nobody expected that answer.

        • Jim Dailey

          And apparently atheism has taught us nothing about how to get people to chip in, stack some bricks, and create a place for the betterment of mankind.

          Go figure.

        • There are lots of overlapping categories here–atheists, humanists, liberals, and so on. I’ll just go with “liberals”: ask a liberal how charity should work, and they will likely be eager for more charity work done by society–that is, “government” or “us.” So yeah, liberals are happy to pay for bricks getting stacked. That seems a lot fairer than expecting individuals to pick up the slack (maybe).

        • Michael Neville

          Since you appear to be completely ignorant about atheism (along with a large number of other subjects), let me explain that atheism is purely and simply a belief in the non-existence of gods. How you can conflate bricklaying with gods is something that only you understand.

        • Greg G.

          Atheism is a position that there is insufficient evidence for god thingies. Arithmetic is about how numbers work together.

          Arithmetic has taught us nothing about how to get people to chip in, stack some bricks, and create a place for the betterment of mankind. Does that mean there is something wrong with arithmetic?

          Atheists groups are small so they do small projects. The RCC is huge and rich but it tells Africa that condoms cause AIDS.

        • Susan

          There aren’t any.

          I have no idea what you’re trying to say.

          Are you suggesting that there aren’t plenty of hospitals that have no religious affiliation?

          Hospitals run without supernatural beliefs interfering with proper medical care?

        • epeeist

          Oh wait

          There aren’t any

          Here in the UK we have a large number of public hospitals, none of which are religious.

        • Michael Neville

          The majority of American hospitals aren’t affiliated with any religious sects. But Jim Dailey will claim that secular ≠ atheist.

        • epeeist

          But Jim Dailey will claim that secular ≠ atheist.

          It’s sloppy thinking leading to poor use of language.

          There aren’t any “theist” hospitals either, though there are hospitals run by particular religious denominations. Hospitals that are not run by religious organisations of any kind would be “non-religious”.

          In each of the above types of hospital there may be staff who are theists or atheists.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Why would there be?

          Now, if you are suggesting that atheists don’t build hospitals or fund the building of them or have them named after them, then that’s another thing you get wrong.

          Ever hear of the American philanthropist Stephen Girard?

          At the time of his death, Girard was the wealthiest man in America and he bequeathed nearly his entire fortune to charitable and municipal institutions of Philadelphia and New Orleans, including an endowment for establishing a boarding school for “poor, male, white orphans” in Philadelphia, primarily those who were the children of coal miners, which opened as the Girard College in 1848. Girard’s will was contested by his family in France but was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in a landmark case, Vidal et al. vs Girard’s Executors, 43 U.S. 127 (1844). Michael Klepper and Robert Gunther, in their book The Wealthy 100, posit that, with adjustment for inflation, Girard was the fourth-wealthiest American of all time, behind John D. Rockefeller, Cornelius Vanderbilt and John Jacob Astor. He was an atheist all the way up to his death, and he included his views on religion in his last testament.

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

          https://infidels.org/library/historical/robert_ingersoll/what_infidels_have_done.html

          https://www.rationalresponders.com/how_many_hospitals_have_atheists_built

        • Jim Dailey

          “Come on grandma, we need to take you to the hospital.”

          “Which hospital?”

          “Dawkins Memorial.”

          “No no! Not there!”

          “Why grandma?”

          “I went there 10 years ago with a broken toe and they tried to euthanize me! They said I was past the prime of life, and life was pointless anyway, so who in their right mind would want to exist on a meaningless rock floating in an uncaring universe if they weren’t in tip-top shape to abuse their sex organs with everything that walks or crawls? It was so depressing, I nearly let them!”

          “Well grandma, you have to admit they have a point. And my inheritance is dwindling. I need to buy some crap for myself to overcome my existential ennui. Sooo….”

          “No no!”

          “Stop struggling grandma! It won’t hurt a bit.”

        • Greg G.

          There are articles from all over the world about a Catholic hospital that would not treat a women who needed medical care for a miscarriage for several days. She died from an infection because of it. A nun was excommunicated for allowing an abortion in a similar situation. Another woman was having a miscarriage but the Catholic hospital rolled her to the parking lot in a wheelchair and gave her directions to a different hospital.

          You can’t find anything comparable about an atheist hospital so you write fiction.

          What if Grandma was in constant pain and wanted to die? The Catholic hospital would make sure she suffered as long as they could make her.

        • Jim Dailey

          Well you atheists should build hospitals all over the world so you can all decide who deserves to live and then terminate those you don’t like.
          Oh wait, you do that already….

        • Greg G.

          You are bearing false witness, again.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Really?

          Who’d have believed it?

          Me, me, me, me, me, me…

        • You need to drop the sarcasm and just say what you mean to say. Does atheism drive you do something bad? Then spit it out, clearly.

          This comment seems to be about insurance companies, and atheism says nothing about insurance companies.

        • You’ve lost me. All atheists are depressed? All atheists want to kill people? Since that’s not the case, I’m wondering what clever point you’re trying to make.

        • Susan

          You’ve lost me.

          And the plot.

        • Grimlock

          That’s brilliant. It’s a rendition of how an atheist might make an absurdly exaggerated caricature of a Christian critizising atheists. Right?

        • Jim Dailey

          Thank you. Yes.

          Apologies to Aldous Huxley and Brave New World. Supposedly the original dystopian novel.

        • Susan

          Apologies to Aldous Huxley and Brave New World.

          You are not Aldous Huxley. You are just making shit up with no connection to reality.

          You are part of the world that Aldous Huxley was describing.

          You didn’t read the book, did you?

        • Ignorant Amos

          You didn’t read the a book, did you?

          Ever.

          FTFY.

        • Grimlock

          Of course, as a response to Bob’s comment above, it leaves a lot to be desired. It is, for instance, apparently completely unrelated to what he wrote. It’s also a bit too easy to suspect you actually think that’s how atheists thinks (Poe’s Law and all), which would be rather absurd.

          So how about you give another shot at actually responding to Bob?

        • Pofarmer

          These really are very unhappy people. Still assholes.

        • Greg G.

          If a woman is having a miscarriage with bleeding and a risk of infection when the nearest hospital is a Catholic one, they cannot help her until the fetus dies on its own. If the woman dies first, too bad for both. They have been known to push the woman in a wheelchair to the parking lot and give her directions to some other hospital.

        • Greg G.

          You want to force Catholic hospitals to perform abortions.

          Death of Savita Halappanavar
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Savita_Halappanavar

          Termination of pregnancy as emergency obstetric care:
          the interpretation of Catholic health policy and the
          consequences for pregnant women
          https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1016/S0968-8080(13)41711-1

          Abortion ban linked to dangerous miscarriages at Catholic hospital, report claims
          https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/feb/18/michigan-catholic-hospital-women-miscarriage-abortion-mercy-health-partners

          Here’s What Happens When A Catholic Hospital Won’t Try To Save You
          https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/catholic-hospitals-refuse-to-treat_us_5b06c82fe4b05f0fc8458db3

          Nun Excommunicated For Allowing Abortion
          https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126985072

        • skl

          All this fuss about the small percentage of mothers said to
          die for lack of an abortion is curious.

          Just say what you really mean:

          You are OK with any and all abortions; there is not a single abortion you would deny to a woman who wanted to have it.

        • Greg G.

          A person who needs a kidney cannot take a kidney from someone without the consent of the person with the kidney. It’s the same with a piece of a liver. You cannot take the heart or the cornea from a corpse unless the person gave consent while they lived to donate organs after death. Your right to life does not extend to using the organs of another person without their consent. Why should an embryo or a zygote get more rights to another person’s organs than a free living person?

          Your right to swing your fist ends at the next person’s nose. Your right to life ends when it requires the use of somebody else’s organs without their consent.

          The fact the women can die due to pregnancy is a very good reason to require their consent to remain pregnant. Even the fact that the pregnancy strips nutrients from her body, iron from her blood, calcium from her bones while dumping toxins into her blood for her kidneys to filter and hormones to create changes to her body and to affect her emotions.

          No matter how much you dislike abortion, you have no right to impose it on an unwilling person. Get over it.

        • skl

          You seem to have tried to make a number of abortion arguments.
          None of them makes sense to me.

          And I won’t respond to any of them. (Or maybe just one.)

        • I won’t respond to any of them.

          Nice slapdown to Greg G’s position! I’ll bet he’ll be reevaluating his arguments after that ass-whuppin’ you gave them.

        • Greg G.

          I won’t be able to sit for a week and a half.

        • Greg G.

          Do you not understand the concept of consent? Or do you not understand the concept that consent should be afforded to women?

        • skl

          Take 4: Good night, Greg.

        • Greg G.

          You don’t care about consent. You don’t get to run off because you want to. You must have permission.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Passive/aggressive prick.

        • Questioning54

          You write as if the fetus put itself there or was inadvertently taken in to the body by some sneaky invasion on its own part. But the fetus makes no choice to be there. People cause the fetus to be there. It has no conscious intention to use the mother’s organs etc. Even a parasite has no intention. It is living its given life cycle. But a parisite enters organs opportunistically; the organs have other functions to the human being that are limited by the parasitic invasion.
          There are plenty of reasons for allowing abortion without using the parasite analogy which is not accurate. An invading parasite will never become a human being no matter how long it stays in the body of a person.
          I guess I think abortion should be the woman’s decision but taking into account all that is special about a fetus, as well as the woman’s circumstances. It should not be forced on her by pressure from others (that can happen) and she shouldn’t be forced not to have an abortion if the circumstance in her opinion warrant it.

        • Greg G.

          You write as if the fetus put itself there or was inadvertently taken in to the body by some sneaky invasion on its own part. But the fetus makes no choice to be there.

          A tumor had no choice to be there either. It doesn’t matter how it got there or whether it is a person, it has no right to use another person’s organs without the consent of the other person.

          If it is a person who needs a kidney or a lobe of liver, if there is no consenting donor, the person will probably die. If a person needs a heart or a lung and the perfect donor has just died without having stated a wish to donate organs after death, the person in need goes without. A pregnant woman should have as much say about the use of her organs, the calcium in her bones, and the iron in her blood, as a dead person.

        • The fetus started as a single cell. Its personhood grows with time. Detect and terminate the pregnancy early to avoid a late-stage abortion.

        • GalapagosPete

          Doesn’t matter how it got there, or whether it’s a person. Even if the woman originally agreed wholeheartedly to have a baby, she is entitled to change her mind. Personhood is irrelevant, because no person has a right to use the resources of another person’s body without that person’s ongoing consent.

        • Greg G.

          Even if the woman originally agreed wholeheartedly to have a baby, she is entitled to change her mind.

          Right. Situations can change rapidly. Maybe the guy chickens out and decides he isn’t ready to be a father. She can decide she doesn’t want to be a single mother.

        • Questioning54

          So a born alive baby who is still dependent on the mother (or somebody) to live is nothing more than a nuisance taking up some more worthy persons time and energy, so killing him/her is ok?

        • Greg G.

          A born baby will be taken care of by somebody who has consented to care for it.

        • Questioning54

          WE HOPE!

        • Greg G.

          I understand there are foster parents who in it for the money with enough interest to keep the kid alive with money left over. I don’t think more unwanted pregnancies is the solution.

          Better contraception and availability is necessary. The abstinence method works great in theory but is hard to implement in practice because it is unrealistic.

        • Questioning54

          We hope so

        • GalapagosPete

          Please quote exactly where I said that.

        • Questioning54

          You didn’t say that. Just asking if the dependence makes a newborn baby less worthy, as it does an unborn.

        • Greg G.

          It is not a matter of being less worthy. You are trying to make the unborn more worthy than the born. A person whose life requires a transplant to live cannot use another person’s organ without the other person’s consent, even when the other person is dead.

          A fetus uses the woman’s kidneys, pancreas, liver, lungs, and heart. It draws iron from her blood and calcium from her bones. The biology of the fetus produces toxic wastes which end up in the woman’s blood. It also produces hormones that affect the woman’s thoughts, emotions, and feelings. There is also a risk of death during childbirth (which, for some reason, is higher in the USA than in other developed countries). It is not a trivial inconvenience. If the woman accepts all this and wants to have a baby, it is wonderful. If the woman does not want all that, she should not be forced to undergo the process. Either way, it is none of my business nor yours.

        • GalapagosPete

          Actually, you can’t, so why should we pretend you can? I was just being sarcastic; you simply have no good argument to refute what I’ve said, so you just decided to go right to ad hominem. You’re also pretending – or genuinely, delusionally believe – that there is literally no significant difference between the situation where a fetus is living inside a woman and where it no longer is.

          I don’t *believe* it either – I just recognize it as a fact. Your belief and my belief is irrelevant, they do not affect reality, which is where I live, and where you live as well, the difference between us being that you deny reality when it suits you. Unfortunately, that simply makes you sound dumb when you present your “arguments,” which sharply reduces your effectiveness – right down to zero.

          Irrational claims are not going to get rational people to accept your position. You would be better off contributing to research to come up with a way to transplant a fetus at any stage of development so the issue becomes moot.

        • Questioning54

          I suppose there is a difference then between using somebody’s time, energy and attention and using their organs.
          Babies have a right to the parents’ time energy and attention with or without their consent. (They can be adopted out, but as the partner of an adopted person I see the pain such a situation brings.)

        • Greg G.

          Babies have a right to the parents’ time energy and attention with or without their consent.

          By having the child and not giving it up for adoption is giving consent for the care of the child. Sometimes, becoming a parent is more demanding than expected and may be more than the person is capable of.

        • Questioning54

          Prevention is better than cure.

        • Greg G.

          Of course prevention is better before the fact. Choice and consent are always important.

        • GalapagosPete

          I agree. If only everyone did.

        • GalapagosPete

          Presuming that you mean birth control, and not abstinence, of course. The latter is simply not a practical solution, especially among teens, even if it would be 100% effective.

        • Say what you really mean: you favor forced child bearing.

        • skl

          I like child bearing more than child killing.

        • Greg G.

          So do I. But I think it should be an option. It is not my business and it is none of your business.

        • Say what you really mean: you favor forced child bearing.

          But clarify your position for me. Do you have a cutoff point (abortions OK in first trimester, for example)? Or is it no abortions ever?

        • skl

          “Do you have a cutoff point (abortions OK in first trimester, for example)? Or is it no abortions ever?”

          That’s kind of like asking
          “Are you OK with killing an innocent human being at time X, or time X+Y, or are you not OK with killing an innocent human being ever?’

          You can guess my response.

        • Greg G.

          You can guess my response.

          Yes, your response is always whatever makes the least sense.

        • A single cell = innocent human being? I guess we’ll just have to disagree on that one.

        • Ignorant Amos

          All this fuss about the small percentage of mothers said to die for lack of an abortion is curious.

          What a rotten oxygen thieving cunt you are.

          One person dying needlessly is too much ya hideous prick.

          But anyway…you still haven’t a fucking clue what you are wittering on about…

          Every year, worldwide, about 42 million women with unintended pregnancies choose abortion, and nearly half of these procedures, 20 million, are unsafe. Some 68,000 women die of unsafe abortion annually, making it one of the leading causes of maternal mortality (13%). Of the women who survive unsafe abortion, 5 million will suffer long-term health complications. Unsafe abortion is thus a pressing issue. Both of the primary methods for preventing unsafe abortion—less restrictive abortion laws and greater contraceptive use—face social, religious, and political obstacles, particularly in developing nations, where most unsafe abortions (97%) occur. Even where these obstacles are overcome, women and health care providers need to be educated about contraception and the availability of legal and safe abortion, and women need better access to safe abortion and postabortion services. Otherwise, desperate women, facing the financial burdens and social stigma of unintended pregnancy and believing they have no other option, will continue to risk their lives by undergoing unsafe abortions.

          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2709326/

          “I am OK with any and all abortions; there is not a single abortion I would deny to a woman who wanted to have it.”…there, I said it.

          You are not a nice human being…fuck off and die.

        • Greg G.

          But… but… but… skl doesn’t like abortion, therefore nobody should have one ever. A lot of men are like that until their 13 year old daughter is pregnant, then the abortion process is too slow for them, especially when the amount of melanin in the skin could be a factor.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Indeed…or when the women in their adulteress relationship might be up the duff…something witnessed in reality…

          A text message sent in January to U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy by a woman with whom he had an extra-marital relationship took him to task for an anti-abortion statement posted on Facebook from his office’s public account.

          “And you have zero issue posting your pro-life stance all over the place when you had no issue asking me to abort our unborn child just last week when we thought that was one of the options,” Shannon Edwards, a forensic psychologist in Pittsburgh with whom the congressman admitted last month to having a relationship, wrote to Mr. Murphy on Jan. 25, in the midst of an unfounded pregnancy scare.

          Fucking hypocrites.

        • MR

          Or religious background.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          Do i expect a health provider to perform medically necessary and perfectly legal operations, Yes.

          do you think that hospitals should be able to refuse to give blood transfusions?

          Just say what you mean: Women should have no bodily autonomy and can be treated like disposable baby factories.

        • skl

          “do you think that hospitals should be able to refuse to give blood
          transfusions?”

          There is no “should”, no right or wrong. There is only what one likes or
          dislikes. The powers that be determine which likes become law.
          I like hospitals giving blood transfusions. I don’t like hospitals, or
          anyone, giving abortions.

          “Just say what you mean: Women should have no bodily autonomy and can be treated like disposable baby factories.”

          Part of what I mean is that I don’t like abortion and that the pro-abortion
          arguments, including that one, don’t make sense to me.

        • Halbe

          Savita Halappanavar. Does it make sense now?

        • Michael Neville

          So why should your opinion be a factor in determining whether or not abortions should be provided? If you don’t like abortions, don’t have one, but don’t insist that your personal opinion should control what someone who doesn’t share your hatred of women.

        • skl

          “If you don’t like abortions, don’t have one…”

          and if you don’t like slavery, don’t have a slave.

        • So killing the single fertilized human egg cell is morally similar to owning a slave?

        • skl

          It’s worse.

        • Greg G.

          If you were escaping a burning building and you save only one, would you choose to save your slave, an incubator with a hundred fertilized eggs, a puppy, or a MAGA hat?

        • Killing a single fertilized human egg cell is very bad because if what it might become or because of what it is now?

          And I’m puzzled because a single cell sounds so insignificant. The brain of a fly has more cells. Is it just magically important because it has Homo sapiens DNA? DNA seems like an odd thing to get emotional about.

        • skl

          It’s late and I tire of these ceaseless shallow silly abortion arguments.
          I must have given at least several scores of responses on this and other aspects of the subject here:
          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2017/07/spectrum-argument-for-abortion-revisited-2/

          As the blog owner you can probably extract/filter all of them and get your answers.

        • Greg G.

          Your answers seem to be whatever feeling comes to your mind first, which then prevents you from considering the logical implications of your position. You don’t seem to think rationally about anything.

        • Not really. But that’s sufficient answer–you have no answer. Thanks.

        • Ignorant Amos

          His guard has dropped again.

          Only a religitard could hold his fucked up in the head position.

          It is an irrational position to hold outside being a believer and believing the religious mumbo jumbo and souls bullshit.

        • Oh, no–skl has assured me that he’s an atheist.

        • Clint W. (Thought2Much)
        • Greg G.

          He reminded my just last night.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Oh I know that’s his claim…I’ve seen it elsewhere…talk is cheap, ain’t it?

          What he demonstrates in thinking is much different to what he claims. For some reason he thinks claiming he is a non-believer gives him some currency among other non-believers. He doesn’t realise that we know non-believers can be every bit as idiotic as believers. But his comments give him away as a liar and believer.

        • Greg G.

          This comment ends with 666. I knew it! You are the Antichrist!

        • For the love of Satan, it took you long enough!

        • Ignorant Amos

          That says all we need to know what kind of human being (and I use that term loosely) you are.

        • Otto

          For me personally I would prefer to be killed when I was a single cell rather than living as a slave…but to each their own.

        • Rudy R

          Says I guy who was never a slave.

        • Michael Neville

          I don’t like slavery and I don’t have slaves. Sorry, instead of a witticism you came up with a half-witticism.

        • skl

          So if I like slavery I can have slaves.

        • Susan

          if I like slavery I can have slaves

          Only if consent means nothing.

        • Michael Neville

          Why is it that Christian apologists are so lousy at analogies? Do you study extra hard to suck at analogies or does it just come naturally?

        • skl

          “Why is it that Christian apologists are so lousy at analogies?”

          If they’re lousy at analogies, it must be an “ecumenical”
          kind of condition. Because I’m not Christian.

          In any case, a slave owner doesn’t need the consent of the
          slave, and an abortionist doesn’t need the consent of the baby.

        • Michael Neville

          Okay, you’re some other kind of theist, the particular flavor is immaterial. And no, don’t lie that you’re a skeptic or atheist, I’ve seen you in action too many times before to believe such obvious nonsense.

          It’s also obvious that you’re the kind of forced-birther who thinks a non-sentient clump of cells has more rights than an adult woman. Which is why your slavery analogy fails.

        • Greg G.

          Think of the fetus as the slave owner who uses the woman’s organs against her consent. You are on the side of the slave owner.

        • Ignorant Amos

          It’s a dead give away that he is a lying holy rolling idiot.

        • Greg G.

          Half-wits like you. You make them look smart.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Is having slaves lawful?

          No. Now stop talking shite ya fucking idiot.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I’d expect nothing less from a halfwit.

        • Greg G.

          I don’t like hospitals, or
          anyone, giving abortions.

          Not your business.

          Part of what I mean is that I don’t like abortion and that the pro-abortion
          arguments, including that one, don’t make sense to me.

          When they start to develop procedures to transplant a fetus into another person, they won’t take volunteers, just people who don’t think women should have a choice. You’ll just have to deal with the unwanted pregnancy.

        • I don’t like hospitals, or anyone, giving abortions.

          And what are doing to reduce the demand? That’s where progress can be made.

        • Greg G.

          Catholics are opposed to birth control which would reduce abortions by reducing unwanted pregnancies.

          Given that, I expect you don’t get the connection between birth control, unwanted pregnancy, and abortions.

        • skl

          Take 5: Good night, Greg.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Given that, I expect you don’t get the connection between birth control, unwanted pregnancy, and abortions.

          Idiots never will. Hence the vacuous reply.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          Well i do like hospitals that give abortions, so do we cancel each other out? And more the point expect service industries to do their jobs, not try to enforce their personal code of ‘ethics’ on other people.

          Tell you what, if you don’t like abortions, never have one, just stop trying to interfere with people who do, or is the idea the other people wish to exercise rights that you don’t just painful to you? or is it the fact that it is women making decisions about their own bodies for themselves that gives you the vapors?

          So you would be perfectly happy to watch a loved one die because a hospital refused to give a blood transfusion because the attending physician though it was icky, you would just shrug your shoulders and go, oh well, i guess he is doing what he thinks is right.

          I am not asking you to like people having abortions, nobody, or at least there are very few people, who want to have abortions, abortion is always the last worse option, but sometimes it is the only option. kind of like blood transfusions.

          You are arguing that a whole group (50% of the population) should lose their bodily autonomy, if that isn’t offensive to you on the face of it then you don’t have a ‘moral’ code. The fact you don’t like something is not, and never shall be, a reason to prevent it. Either build an argument supporting your cause or accept that no one is going to take you seriously..

        • skl

          “The fact you don’t like something is not,
          and never shall be, a reason to prevent it.”

          But what is liked by the powers that be is
          what becomes law, whether you like the “reason” or not.

          Regardless, your “reasons” don’t make sense to me.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          the ‘power that be’ at least in my part of the world is an elected government that is answerable to the people, by way of regular elections, unless you are living in Somalia or Russia i guess the same is true for you, so please don’t try and pretend that the ‘they’ is some unknown force with unknowable motives and reasons.

          Also please try to stay on track, these posts are about if a medical professional should be able to refuse to do their job on personal ethical grounds, if you want to rabbit hole about other ethical questions please start a new thread. try addressing some of the points raised rather than trying to derail a debate in which you are failing to support your arguments.

          I am not surprised that my reasons make no sense to you, they are based in an ethical framework that has been thought about, not knee jerk reactions to things that make me feel uncomfortable. but please continue to make your ‘arguments’

        • BlackMamba44

          Sea K. Lion

        • Sample1

          To exist, hospitals must compete effectively with others who provide medical goods and services or they will fail. Mission statements and corporate visions aside, that’s the brass tacks about any business.

          Largely because of a past privileged status, Catholic hospitals today, on that issue, are literally getting away with murder. Dogma follows the dollars and that builds power. It’s no coincidence Catholicism can’t remain ascetic, attractive and influential outside its core base. Not enough money in that. It’s a global leaning ideology just like Islam.

          Remove the unearned privileges and I’d like to see how long it would take for their Holy Spirit to guide them to a new interpretation of abortion. One that brings home the bacon. We are talking about human beings here. Survival is a pretty big motive to reconsider one’s take on reality. The pearl clutching hysterics witnessed by this corporation is a last plea for privilege and relevance. Like a grocery store, the bright and inviting, but dirt cheap, products are found near the entrance. The price you pay for moving in deeper beyond the eye candy is, in a real sense, the price of your life. Your forfeiture of conscience and autonomy is in payment to the overlords who always know what’s best for you who will think for you and who will void that contract when one from the inner ruling party is threatened.

          It’s a great time to be alive to begin to see the writing on the wall for this Mother of all anachronisms unless you’re in a position to be dependent upon them. Then it’s hell on earth though the indoctrinated will be told it’s living virtuously. A grotesque lie the inner party knows all too well about fostering. They say the greatest feat pulled off by the devil was to make people deny god exists. The greatest feat pulled off by this system is making you deny that they are the devil.

          Mike

        • skl

          “…Catholic hospitals today, on that issue, are literally getting away
          with murder
          … The price you pay for moving in deeper beyond the eye candy is, in a real sense, the price of your lifethey are the devil.”

          Shiver me timbers!!!

          It’s a wonder these devilish death factories haven’t been shut down by the gov.!

        • Sample1

          Decided to delete my reply.

          Mike

        • Greg G.

          hospitals, schools, adoption agencies, missions, and what not

          Those sound like money-making opportunities where they can still impose their religious indoctrination. The hospitals aren’t free and they give excellent care until the best interests for the health of the patient conflicts with their religious dogma.

          Their missions in Africa spread the lie that condoms cause AIDS just to prevent condom use for contraception but it made the AIDS epidemic worse.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And they are all still based on an theological exegesis of the NT…albeit a late one.

        • skl

          The “troll” is done talking to you today.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Talk to me when churches PAY TAXES and also obey SECULAR laws relating to medical care.

        • Hospitals? You mean the ones paid for with insurance and state money?

          Seems to me that pretty much every church thing you point to, you’ll find someone else’s money supporting it.

        • skl

          “Hospitals? You mean the ones paid for with insurance and state money?”

          Yes, hospitals.
          Now, if you want to push for legislation that forbids patients’ insurance companies (and Medicare and Medicaid) from paying for the patients’ health care bills if they are incurred at a Catholic hospital,
          go knock yourself out.

        • I’m not sure how you got confused about what I’m talking about. Let me try again: churches’ support of hospitals is not that big a deal. The money for them comes from government and insurance as much as if they were not religious.

        • skl

          I’m not sure what you think the problem is.

        • One problem is your not seeing that a hospital being Catholic is not a big bonus on the Christian side of the ledger. But perhaps there are other problems, too.

        • Greg G.

          Somebody said recently that they teach that your body is not your body, but God’s.

          When someone’s sexual desires are not aligned with what the culture allows, becoming an asexual priest seems like a good idea. The new gay priests meet other gay priests and they do their adult things. The pedophiles get to babysit because priests are trusted. But the pedo priest doesn’t get turned over to the police. They get transferred to new hunting grounds with unsuspecting parents.

        • Otto

          I just read where Nuns are starting to get on the #MeToo movement bandwagon. Watch this one completely blow up if it gets traction. I can pretty much guarantee this is a problem that goes very deep.

        • Greg G.

          I saw an article about Buddhist nuns complaining about a monk, too.

        • skl

          “Somebody said recently that they teach that
          your body is not your body, but God’s.”

          Then I’d guess they’d try to take care of bodies
          even more than non-Christians.

          “The new gay priests meet other gay priests
          and they do their adult things.”

          There does seem to be a lot of gay priests. I don’t know if that was ever the church’s intent. Maybe in the future the church
          will have a lot fewer, based on this:
          https://www.reuters.com/article/us-pope-homosexuality/pope-tells-bishops-not-to-accept-gay-seminarians-report-idUSKCN1IP36J

          “But the pedo priest doesn’t get turned over
          to the police. They get transferred to new hunting grounds with unsuspecting parents.”

          As with homos, I’d imagine it was also not the church’s intent to accept pedos. Hopefully, in the future there will be a
          lot fewer of them, too.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Nope on taking better care of peoples’ bodies.

          First example: Savita Halappanavar, NOT catholic, but refused a therapeutic abortion of her stillbirth, DIED because catholics don’t give a shit about people, but only about doctrine.

        • Ignorant Amos

          But abortion isn’t wrong or even reprehensible…so pah!

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          WHY does the catholic church consider abortion reprehensible?

          If it’s just the bible or dogma, that’s stupid and should be rethought.

        • Pofarmer

          No, it does NOT. It teaches that doing anything that might cause someone to question their faith, or think ill of the church, is worse than raping a child. One is an assault on the body, the other is an assault on the Church, and is much worse.To my knowledge, no one has been excommunicated for raping a child, and some have been given jobs in the Vatican.

        • Michael Neville

          There was the case in Brazil some years ago where a nine-year-old girl was raped by her stepfather and became pregnant with twins. Her mother took her to a hospital and the ob-gyns there all concluded that the girl would not survive the pregnancy, let along the delivery. So with her mother’s approval the girl was given a chemical abortion. The archbishop of São Paulo excommunicated everyone concerned with two exceptions. The girl wasn’t excommunicated since she was too young to make an informed decision on the abortion and the rapist stepfather wasn’t excommunicated because the Catholic Church doesn’t consider rape to be a major sin.

      • Tommy

        They value “life” but they don’t value “the living”.

    • Greg G.

      The Christian pro-life stance on abortion was never an issue they cared about. It was simply something they could use to fire up the base for political action. The Catholic stance on birth control is about the quantity of Catholics being produced, not the quality of life.

      The Christian call for charitable giving means “tithing to the church”.

      • Venavis

        I love it when Christians claim to be ‘pro-life’. There is nothing ‘pro-life’ about Christianity. One need only point to the fact that the religious wing of the government is also the wing trying to prevent people from accessing healthcare, cutting food benefits to children, wanting to bomb other countries, etc….

        • Greg G.

          It is a death cult. Their logo is an execution device.

      • skl

        “The Christian pro-life stance on abortion was never an issue they cared about. It was simply something they could use to fire up the base for political action.”

        You must mean the churches were pushing political action meant to punish women. At least that’s what I’ve heard.

        “The Catholic stance on birth control is about the quantity of Catholics being produced, not the quality of life.”

        But even the Protestant churches, not just Catholic ones, were against contraception until less than a hundred years ago. Now most and perhaps all Protestant churches are OK with contraception. Must be
        the Protestant churches want fewer Protestants and more Catholics.

        “The Christian call for charitable giving means “tithing to the church”.”

        I wasn’t aware of that. I’ve read that conservatives give more to charity than liberals. Must be that all of the donations to non-church charities is coming from non-Christian liberals. Although I’d like to see the data confirming that.

        • Greg G.

          You must mean the churches were pushing political action meant to punish women. At least that’s what I’ve heard.

          I read an article or a snippet that the leaders of the Moral Majority were looking for a cause. They were not driven by this cause. It was just a tool for them.

          But even the Protestant churches, not just Catholic ones, were against contraception until less than a hundred years ago. Now most and perhaps all Protestant churches are OK with contraception. Must be
          the Protestant churches want fewer Protestants and more Catholics.

          Or maybe the Protestant churches have realized that if they come out against birth control, the women go elsewhere and take their husbands with them.

          I wasn’t aware of that. I’ve read that conservatives give more to charity than liberals. Must be that all of the donations to non-church charities is coming from non-Christian liberals. Although I’d like to see the data confirming that.

          I saw that data some 15 years ago or so. Churches are not very open with their finances so the amount that goes to charity is likely slim. Many are closing because their collections don’t pay the electric bill for the church and the parsonage. They are basically selling seat licenses for a weekly show with a gospel choir and a motivational speaker to yell at them.

        • skl

          “I read an article or a snippet that the leaders of the Moral Majority were looking for a cause. They were not driven by this cause. It was just a tool for them.”

          A tool for them to achieve the real goal: punishing women.
          Or so I’ve heard.

          “Or maybe the Protestant churches have realized that if they come out against birth control, the women go elsewhere and take their husbands with them.”

          Or maybe the Catholic church is against contraception to increase the quantity of Catholics who will leave the church because of contraception.

          “I saw that data some 15 years ago or so.”

          So, given what you said earlier, the data must have shown that
          – all of Christians’ charitable giving was encompassed in their 10% tithing to their church with none to outside charities, and
          – all of the outside charities’ donations came from non-Christians.

          I’d like to see that data.

        • Greg G.

          A tool for them to achieve the real goal: punishing women.
          Or so I’ve heard.

          You just heard it from Pofarmer, right? If you converse with a pro-lifer who is a bit inexperienced in the debate, they will often admit to it. After it is pointed out to them, they become more careful about admitting it.

          Or maybe the Catholic church is against contraception to increase the quantity of Catholics who will leave the church because of contraception.

          If you are going to troll, at least make sense.

          So, given what you said earlier, the data must have shown that
          – all of Christians’ charitable giving was encompassed in their 10% tithing to their church with none to outside charities, and
          – all of the outside charities’ donations came from non-Christians.

          Bullshit. It would only have to show that most of Christian charity is to their churches, how much other charities get from churches, and how much churches help the needy minus the amount spent on proselytising them.

          I’d like to see that data.

          I bet you would like somebody else to look it up for you. If you really wanted to see it, you would have looked it up yourself by now.

        • skl

          “If you converse with a pro-lifer who is a bit inexperienced in the debate, they will often admit to it.”

          No, I haven’t heard it [the goal of punishing women] from pro-lifers. Only from pro-aborters.

          Me: “Or maybe the Catholic church is against contraception to increase the quantity of Catholics who will leave the church because of contraception.”
          You: “If you are going to troll, at least make sense.”

          My statement makes sense, given your premises, which were
          1) “The Catholic stance on birth control is about the quantity of Catholics being produced”, and
          2) “Protestant churches have realized that if they come out against birth control, the women go elsewhere and take their husbands with them.”

          So,
          a) Protestant churches approve of contraception to boost membership (or prevent a loss), thus
          b) Catholic church condemns contraception to lose membership (preceded by a temporary boost through births).

          “It would only have to show that most of Christian charity is to their churches, how much other charities get from churches, and how much churches help the needy minus the amount spent on proselytising them.”

          I’d like to see that data.

          “If you are going to troll, at least make sense…I bet you would like somebody else to look it up for you. If you really wanted to see it, you would have looked it up yourself by now.”

          You are the one who appears to be the troll, making claims (e.g. “The Christian call for charitable giving means “tithing to the church”.”) without being able to back them up.

          Lastly, I don’t know why you’re having this extended back and forth with a “troll.”
          [Oh, unless it’s for the proverbial “other readers” (who you believe to be stupid/ignorant and need you to prevent them from being mislead by the “troll”.).]

        • Guestie

          With any luck, the data will distinguish between membership dues disguised as charity (money given to one’s church, temple, or mosque, for example) and actual charity. Most of the money given to churches (etc.) is for salaries and real estate. The salaries pay people who provide services to — mostly — the membership. The real estate is used — mostly — by the membership. To say that this is charity means that membership dues to a non-profit country club that lets poor kids play golf two weekends a year is also charity. Most of the membership dues goes to salaries and real estate.

          I’d like to see that data because I keep hearing that conservatives give more to charity.

        • Greg G.

          Another thing is that the church is tax-exempt but still falls under the protection of the police and fire department, shifting the tax burden to non-church members. They don’t pay their fair share.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Still, why are you baby eating atheists always down on us Christian’s…what harm are we doing against you? //s

        • Bob Jase

          “The salaries pay people who provide services to — mostly — the membership. The real estate is used — mostly — by the membership.”

          Basically they are their own favorite charity.

        • skl

          “Most of the money given to churches (etc.) is for salaries and real estate.”

          Nothing’s really “free” in this world. A preacher needs to eat just like the rest of us, and food costs money. The listeners need a roof over their heads, and roofs cost money, too.

          “I’d like to see that data because I keep hearing that conservatives give more to charity.”

          Try this: https://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/21/opinion/21kristof.html

        • Guestie

          I’m familiar with that study. That’s the one that counts membership dues (“tithing”) as charity, but only when the organization is religious. That’s not the data I asked for.

          A golf pro needs to eat just like the rest of us and food costs money. People in the 19th hole need a roof over their heads and roofs cost money too. But that doesn’t mean the money given to the country club is charity. Or does it?

        • skl

          “I’m familiar with that study.”

          Not sure what you mean, because the article notes three (3)
          studies, each of which has conservatives giving more.

          As for what the results are sans donations to churches:
          “According to Google’s figures, if donations to all
          religious organizations are excluded, liberals give slightly more to charity than conservatives do. But Mr. Brooks says that if measuring by the percentage of income given, conservatives are more generous than liberals even to secular causes.
          … Conservatives also appear to be more generous than
          liberals in nonfinancial ways. People in red states are considerably more likely to volunteer for good causes, and conservatives give blood more often. If liberals and moderates gave blood as often as conservatives, Mr. Brooks said, the American blood supply would increase by 45 percent.”

          “A golf pro needs to eat just like the rest of us and food
          costs money.”

          Then he better perform well enough to make the cut after the second round on Friday. Because if doesn’t, he’ll receive precisely zero in prize money. Those who do make the cut will receive money that comes from ticket buyers and TV advertising revenues, neither of which is deductible as charitable donations (although the
          PGA Tour does choose to give quite a bit of their money to charities).

          “People in the 19th hole need a roof over their heads and
          roofs cost money too. But that doesn’t mean the money given to the country club is charity.”

          Correct, it doesn’t. The roof is paid for by mandatory
          country club membership dues and the drink /food tabs members run up.
          (I say “mandatory” to distinguish country club membership dues from church “membership dues”, which, of course, are not mandatory for participation/attendance.)

        • Guestie

          It was the Brooks study to which I referred. The one that finds that liberals give more money to charity when you exclude membership dues to religious clubs.

          “Golf pro” refers to an employee of a country club who is there to help congregants improve their game. Not someone on the professional circuit. Prize money doesn’t enter into it.

          Why do you think that money given to a religious organization is charitable when the overwhelming majority of the money pays for membership services? It can’t be the voluntary aspect. My synagogue has mandatory membership dues, for example.

        • skl

          “It was the Brooks study to which I referred. The one that finds that liberals give more money to charity when you exclude membership dues to religious clubs.”

          You must have missed the part that says
          But Mr. Brooks says that if measuring by the percentage of income given, conservatives are more generous than liberals even to secular causes.

          “Why do you think that money given to a religious organization is charitable when the overwhelming majority of the money pays for membership services?”

          Because the powers that be have said so for about a century.

          “My synagogue has mandatory membership dues, for example.”

          Perhaps you get a discount for being an atheist Jew.

        • I’m not sure where you’re going with this. You’re abandoning any claim to the truth of religion and just saying that it’s useful?

        • skl

          Just trying to help out Guestie, who offered
          “I’d like to see that data because I keep hearing that
          conservatives give more to charity.”

        • When you drop conservatives’ giving to churches (which makes sense, because country clubs don’t count as charities, either), the studies I’ve seen say that conservatives don’t give more to charity.

        • skl

          Well, these studies appear to say otherwise.
          (Also, they make sense to me intuitively, as in, liberals would give less to charity because they want and expect government to take care of ‘charity needs’, while conservatives don’t.)

        • Yes, liberals do think that we should all contribute to the wellbeing of those in need. It’s always puzzled me that Christians talk a good story, but they prefer charity from churches rather than society. Maybe they like the poor to sing for their supper, I dunno.

        • Phil

          My opinion is that in an ideal world there would not be the need for charities. Whatever charities are doing, they should be a function of the government. Starving people and those needing medical care should not be left to the whim of individuals. If governments are not there to ensure the well being of the populace, what are they for?

        • “Government” = “us,” but for some people, it’s “them.”

        • Guestie

          “You must have missed…”

          Nope, didn’t miss it.

          “…the powers that be…l

          Ah, not thinking for yourself. I see.

          “…discount…”

          You don’t seem to understand what mandatory means.

        • skl

          “Nope, didn’t miss it. Noted that it excluded
          liberals donations to religious causes.”

          You seem to be saying the opposite of what Brooks is saying.
          You seem to be saying that liberals, not conservatives, give more to religious and secular causes combined when measured by percentage of income given.

        • Guestie

          I don’t know how you reached that conclusion. I didn’t say anything of the sort.

        • Greg G.

          I don’t know how you reached that conclusion.

          He does that a lot.

        • Ignorant Amos

          A hell of a lot.

        • skl

          So you agree conservatives give more than liberals.

        • Greg G.

          So you agree conservatives give more than liberals.

          Only if you count paying for a seat license for a weekly motivational speech and a gospel choir as charity.

        • skl

          No. I guess you didn’t read the article about the studies.

        • Greg G.

          The Brooks book has been debunked.

          You need to read this:

          Debunking the “Conservatives Give More to Charity” Myth
          http://www.gospelpolitics.com/debunking-the-conservatives-give-more-to-charity-myth.html

          and this:

          Who’s more charitable — conservatives or liberals?
          http://articles.latimes.com/2014/mar/31/business/la-fi-mh-conservatives-or-liberals-20140331

          and this:

          Who’s More Generous, Liberals or Conservatives?
          http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2014/10/17/Who-s-More-Generous-Liberals-or-Conservatives

          and this:

          Who Really Gives? Partisanship and Charitable Giving in the United States
          http://themonkeycage.org/2012/10/who-really-gives-partisanship-and-charitable-giving-in-the-united-states/

        • skl

          Looked at the first two. The LA Times article concludes
          “The bottom line, according to the MIT study, was that “liberals are no more or less generous than conservatives once we adjust for differences in church attendance and income.””

          However, a little earlier it says
          Conservatives may give more overall, MIT says, but that’s because they tend to be richer, so they have more money to give and get a larger tax benefit from giving it.”

          I’m thinking that if conservatives are indeed richer, they’re
          probably not only in higher tax brackets (i.e. tax as a percentage of income) but also paying higher taxes, much of which go to charity in the form of social welfare programs (e.g. food stamps, welfare).

          Which would mean conservatives give even more, voluntarily and involuntarily.

          Good night again, Greg G.

        • Greg G.

          The unbolded quote ” and get a larger tax benefit from giving it” counters your second embolded text.

          And what you quote refutes what you cited above:

          As for what the results are sans donations to churches:
          “According to Google’s figures, if donations to all
          religious organizations are excluded, liberals give slightly more to charity than conservatives do. But Mr. Brooks says that if measuring by the percentage of income given, conservatives are more generous than liberals even to secular causes.
          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2018/07/why-the-atheist-worldview-beats-the-christian-worldview/#comment-4017555435

        • Guestie

          I agree that most country club members are more conservative than not.

        • skl

          And, no doubt, that most country clubs have a golf course, pool,
          restaurant.

        • Guestie

          Here’s a suggestion: The proportion of the a church’s budget that is given away to charitable causes is the amount that the donors to the church can deduct as charity. The amount that funds membership services is not deductible.

          That would be a good rule for all non-profits. I wouldn’t want to see special rules that apply only to religious non-profits; that wouldn’t be fair.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Nothing’s really “free” in this world. A preacher needs to eat just like the rest of us, and food costs money. The listeners need a roof over their heads, and roofs cost money, too.

          Aye….the bell’s and whistles all cost money….a mitre cost near $40,000 last time I looked…Prada slippers don’t come cheap either…private jets. limo’s and big and big fancy houses.

        • A preacher needs to eat just like the rest of us

          And that’s also true for the staff at the country club. And from the financial pass-through standpoint, a church looks far more like a country club than a charity. Hmm … maybe that’s why they like to keep their books secret.

        • skl

          I’m not interested in delving into the off-topic of tax law
          right now.

          You can try taking your concerns to the IRS and Congress.

        • I’m simply supporting Guestie’s comment. Churches are far more like country clubs than charities.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          I’ve read that conservatives give more to charity than liberals.

          That’s only until contributions to churches (which only donate between 1 – 4% to charity, on average) are subtracted.

          THEN, secular people are far more generous according to statistics.

        • Ignorant Amos

          THEN, secular people are far more generous according to statistics.

          And the reasons for doing it are far superior ta boot.

        • Grimlock

          I’d love to have those statistics available. Do you remember where you got ’em?

    • Pofarmer

      Pro-life stance on abortion is mainly cover for controlling Women’s sex lives.

  • sandy

    Seriously, how can a Christian worldview that relies on belief with out facts, willful ignorance, threats, fear and intellectual dishonesty be a better choice than Atheism which is based on truth seeking, reason and facts? Simply, it isn’t a better choice and that is why Christianity’s numbers are down especially among teenagers and young adults.

    • Grimlock

      While I’m sure you’re aware of this, I think the following should be noted.

      1) There are plenty of cases where someone’s atheistic views are the result of faulty reasoning, non-conscious causes, and erroneous facts.
      2) Similarly, there’s not really hard to see how someone can be, for instance, intellectually honest and a Christian.

    • Seriously, how can a Christian worldview that relies on belief with out facts, willful ignorance, threats, fear and intellectual dishonesty be a better choice than Atheism which is based on truth seeking, reason and facts?

      That’s sort of dealing yourself a winning hand: “How can something bad be better than something good?”

      Anyone who hangs around the digital sandbox long enough realizes that believers don’t have a monopoly on credulity or self-serving sophistry. It doesn’t matter whether I hear I’m just following the evidence or I’m just following the Lord’s will, I hear someone saying they’re going to believe whatever and behave however they darn well please.

  • Ficino

    “And you’re told that God is eager for a relationship, but he won’t even meet you halfway when his very existence isn’t obvious.”

    St. Thomas Aquinas teaches us that God has no real relations with creatures, although creatures have real relations with God.

    • Ignorant Amos

      That Aquinas fella…another one that claimed to know stuff about a god that we are told by Christians is beyond our knowledge when we ask the awkward questions.

    • Grimlock

      How is that supposed to work?

      If I were to put it in terms of operators, I’d say that A * B, where A and B are entities and * is an operator, is a relation. I don’t see how one would say that there is only a relation for A and not B, for instance. The operator might imply that they stand in relation to each other in different ways (e.g. A < B), but the relation seems equally "real"

      • Ficino

        I am not prepared to accept the Thomistic teaching that God has no real relations to creatures, only relations of reason, as we talk about us and Him, but creatures have real relations to God. Aquinas wants to exclude real causal relations from God because if he admits them, God as A can be said to actualize His causal operations toward B, so that God would not be fully actual under all sets of conditions. Like you, I think their position is confused. Aquinas holds it, though. See Thomas Ward’s paper here:

        http://faculty.fordham.edu/klima/SMLM/PSMLM6/PSMLM6.pdf

        • Grimlock

          Aaaah… I think I see the motivation for such a peculiar view of relations. I tried to read the paper by Ward, but I admit that (not for the first time) I found the Thomist verbiage to be a bit too dense and impenetrable.

        • Ficino

          Despite their other problems, I think “theistic personalists” like Wm. Lane Craig have an easier time talking about God acting in the world than Thomists do. I remain unconvinced about the Thomistic attempt to marry an Aristotelian Unmoved Mover that does nothing but think its own thinking without alteration and the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

        • Grimlock

          I guess they might have an easier time, but I’m not sure if they have an easy time.

          But it does seem somewhat less meaningless. I can at least somewhat follow the ideas in play. I did get talked at by a Thomist over at Armstrong’s blog sometimes over the last couple of months, but I had a hard time distinguishing it from gibberish. WLC and such at least seem to care somewhat about being understood.

        • Otto

          >>>”I found the Thomist verbiage to be a bit too dense and impenetrable.”

          As a longtime Catholic I think that is supposed to be a ‘feature” and not a ‘bug”.

          The phrase “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit” come to mind.

        • Ficino

          As far as I can see now, Thomists would allow that God has relations “in ratione” toward creatures, so that when a creature changes, its relation to God changes by a mode of our negating some property in the creature, on the lines of a Cambridge change. But nothing in God changes, so it’s not a relation “in re”. But Aquinas denies that God is in even a logical genus, let alone a natural genus. I don’t know whether he can have both God in notional relations with creatures and God in no logical genus, since wouldn’t a logical genus be defined by notional, not real or natural, properties?

          At some point I may try to tackle this point seriously, because it looks as though there’s a chink in the armor there.

      • Greg G.

        Perhaps it is like our relationship with the sun. Perhaps excluding life forms that survive on volcanic vents, different life forms have different relationships with the sun, the most direct being chlorophyllic plants. Another example might be the parasitic life forms that live in and on our bodies that we are not even aware of, not like the gut bacteria we have a symbiotic relationship with.

        • Grimlock

          But in those cases we still have relations, they’re just a tiny bit imbalanced.

    • Kevin K

      So, it’s like my dog has a real relation with me but I don’t have a real relation with it?

      I will never-ever understand why people put so much stock in Aquinas.

      • Ficino

        No, the human-animal friend relation isn’t really an apt example. A little closer might be one person can evoke emotions in a second person, without the first person’s being affected by the reaction of the second. Aristotle uses the example of the person who unknowingly pains you or the beloved attracting the lover by sight at a distance without directly being affected by the lover who sees him (the beloved is male in Ari’s example in Metaphysics Lambda).

        Aquinas’ fancy footwork is to avoid having to say that God brings Himself from potency to act in any way whatsoever, since God is Pure Act.

        (is there a kind of Argumentum ad litteras maiuscules – i.e. Capital Letters Argument? heh heh)

        • Kevin K

          Basically, Aquinas is saying that we’re stalkers/Peeping Toms and God™ is an unwilling victim.

      • Bob Jase

        Same reason that Republicans love Newt Gingrich – he sounds like what they think smart people sound like.

      • Ignorant Amos

        Because in his writing he talks bubbles, but the bubbles he talks sounds deep and meaningful…even if they can’t admit they don’t really understand it and it is indeed a loada bubbles.

        • Kevin K

          Never confuse volubility and obtuseness with sophistication.

        • Otto

          You just kicked the leg out from under Catholic theology.

        • Kevin K

          I have my uses.

    • quinsha

      That makes it sound like humans are God stalkers.

  • otrame

    The truth will set you free. Somebody said that once. And the truth is the God of the Bible doesn’t exist.

    • Since religion has had influence in society for millennia despite the nonexistence of God, isn’t “Does God exist?” pretty much the least relevant question we could ask about religion?

      • Kevin K

        You’re absolutely correct, but I do think there’s value in not ceding the ground. Overton windows and all that.

      • Grimlock

        It seems to me that you’d first need to have some framework for what makes something relevant in this context. It seems plausible that there are some frameworks wherein asking whether God exists is indeed very relevant, and others where it is not.

        Which is not to say that I don’t think there are plenty of other interesting questions about religion and its influences and consequences.

        • I didn’t mean to imply that you shouldn’t ask the question, just that we should ask how important it is in the grand scheme of things. If gods don’t have anything to do with the persistence of religion as an institution in our society, maybe the question is just not very important.

        • Susan

          If gods don’t have anything to do with the persistence of religion as an institution in our society, maybe the question is just not very important.

          Belief in gods does. So, yes. It’s an important question.

        • But that’s a different question. All I’m saying is that the fact that God doesn’t exist hasn’t stopped religion from persisting as an institution in civilization.

        • Grimlock

          Oh, sure. As I said, its importance certainly seems relevant in some ways, and not so relevant in others.

          The belief in a god’s existence certainly seems relevant for many of the popular religions today. And disbelief in a god also seems a nice way to remove a person’s attachment to the religion. But as you note in another comment (more or less), this belief hardly seems to originate in dwelling upon the philosophical arguments for theism. So to encourage deconversion, while the goal might be to make someone realize that there is no god (and so to be set free), asking the question of God’s existence is not all that relevant. More relevant might be to satisfy the needs that organized religion does satisfy in some other ways.

        • More relevant might be to satisfy the needs that organized religion does satisfy in some other ways.

          Absolutely. And secular society has ways to legislate morality independently from religious beliefs too. The Bible still sez slavery’s okay, but America abolished slavery without having to deconvert every religious person.

        • Grimlock

          Yeah. Though (and I don’t think that you disagree with this) it’s beneficial if one can also eventually change people’s minds. I’m sure there’s a fascinating interplay between legislation influencing attitudes and attitudes influencing legislation.

          But – ref. such issues as creationism in schools – it’s a royal pain to keep fighting battles that’s been won in legislation because people’s minds haven’t been sufficiently changed.

        • Well, I’d say it’s better to change people’s minds about oppression and marginalization rather than expect them to not be religious anymore.

        • Grimlock

          Sure. Or it’s at the very least easier.

          My point was simply that I don’t think the job is done once something has been passed into legislation. Because – at least on contentious topics – that won’t necessarily be enough to change enough minds.

        • The bible acknowledges slavery as part of the human condition.

          Because it was. In fact, it still is, but now we offshore much of the slave labor to the other side of the globe, and principally through economic measures, except where our prisons our concerned. We keep them in cages and chains and have them fighting wildfires for almost nothing.

          It distinguishes between kinder slavers (like Jefferson maybe) from the especially cruel ones.

          It shows slaves their best options for surviving the situation, even with profoundly limited options.

          It shows how to engage in revolutionary tactics to alter the social order, which includes overcoming the slavers.

          The bible isn’t a list of endorsements.

          It’s a collection of allegories for describing the world as it is.

      • Otto

        How about “Does a God that cares about where we put our naughty bits exist?” or “Does a God that cares about abortion exist?”… while I agree with your basic point, adding just a little bit to the question seems to add a lot of relevance.

      • Joe

        It’s the tent pole of religion, so it’s the most relevant question we can ask.

        • That’s not logical. You’re saying that if God doesn’t exist there ain’t a tent. And since religion has been an institution in our civilization for millennia (and yeah, a problematic one in so many ways), then we have to conclude that it’s things like authority, myth and ritual, and the way religion reinforces the ingroup/outgroup dynamic, that keep the religion running.

          As far as how religion operates in society, and has throughout history, whether God exists appears to be of very little relevance.

  • Steve Jones

    “It’s not that the atheist worldview finds no value in life. In fact, the opposite is true: the Christian worldview is the one that devalues life. Of what value is tomorrow to the Christian when they imagine they’ll have a trillion tomorrows? What value are a few short years here on earth when they have eternity in heaven?” I’m quoting you on this Bob. I hope you don’t mind. It’s concisely what I always questioned that opened the door outside of my own religious belief so long ago. -Steve Jones

    • Ignorant Amos

      And why are Christians so sad when one of their own has gone to the more than trillions of years of tomorrows big party?

      And why are there so many Christians seeking the help of the scientific world of medicine in order to stave off the day they go to the more than trillions of years of tomorrows big party?

      They aren’t all that sure about their own convictions methinks.

      And if suicide is a grievous sin, is it because back in the day they thought folk would be wanting out of the waiting room before they’d paid their way? Why is martyrdom not a sin…and why are Christian martyrs such a rarity in this day and age? Because deep down they know it’s all a loada ballix.

      I don’t think believers give any real consideration to just how long eternity is, and what this means in real terms…I keep a James Joyce quote for just such occasions as these….

      “What must it be, then, to bear the manifold tortures of hell forever? Forever! For all eternity! Not for a year or an age but forever. Try to imagine the awful meaning of this. You have often seen the sand on the seashore. How fine are its tiny grains! And how many of those tiny grains go to make up the small handful which a child grasps in its play. Now imagine a mountain of that sand, a million miles high, reaching from the earth to the farthest heavens, and a million miles broad, extending to remotest space, and a million miles in thickness, and imagine such an enormous mass of countless particles of sand multiplied as often as there are leaves in the forest, drops of water in the mighty ocean, feathers on birds, scales on fish, hairs on animals, atoms in the vast expanse of air. And imagine that at the end of every million years a little bird came to that mountain and carried away in its beak a tiny grain of that sand. How many millions upon millions of centuries would pass before that bird had carried away even a square foot of that mountain, how many eons upon eons of ages before it had carried away all. Yet at the end of that immense stretch time not even one instant of eternity could be said to have ended. At the end of all those billions and trillions of years eternity would have scarcely begun. And if that mountain rose again after it had been carried all away again grain by grain, and if it so rose and sank as many times as there are stars in the sky, atoms in the air, drops of water in the sea, leaves on the trees, feathers upon birds, scales upon fish, hairs upon animals – at the end of all those innumerable risings and sinkings of that immeasurably vast mountain not even one single instant of eternity could be said to have ended; even then, at the end of such a period, after that eon of time, the mere thought of which makes our very brain reel dizzily, eternity would have scarcely begun.”

      An eternity in Heaven would be Hell for me…no thanks…thank fuck I believe they are just the imaginations of some fuckwit human minds.

      • Greg G.

        And why are there so many Christians seeking the help of the scientific world of medicine in order to stave off the day they go to the more than trillions of years of tomorrows big party?

        Why would they have faith healers to extend their lives? Why lay hands on one another for healing? Why even pray for someone to get better?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yep…seems to me to be a gaping flaw.

          Why did Jesus go about healing the sick and dying? Robbing them of a golden opportunity.

          Brian: Who cured you?

          Ex-Leper: Jesus did, sir. I was hopping along, minding my own business, all of a sudden, up he comes, cures me! One minute I’m a leper with a trade, next minute my livelihood’s gone. Not so much as a by-your-leave! “You’re cured, mate.” Bloody do-gooder.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U74s8nFE7No

          The whole loada ballix is complete nonsense.

        • Greg G.

          There’s no pleasing some people.

        • TheNuszAbides

          That’s just what Jesus said, sir!

    • I’m glad it was useful.

  • Grimlock

    Atheism is far from being a depressing worldview

    True – atheism is after all not a worldview.

    Atheism is at most a proposition, namely that there is no such thing as god(s). There does not from this follow an epistemological preference, political orientation, moral theory, or much of anything else.

    In many cases atheism is a part of a person’s worldview, though I’d guess in many cases it’s a conclusion stemming from other more fundamental aspects of the worldview. These might be called atheistic worldviews, in the same way as a worldview containing a deontolotical moral theory could be called a deontolotical worldview.

    I suspect one reason so many want to call atheism a worldview is to have some symmetry with Christianity. But such a symmetry is erroneous. Atheism is not a worldview, regardless of whether it is asserted by an apologist or an atheist.

    • epeeist

      I suspect one reason so many want to call atheism a worldview is to have some symmetry with Christianity.

      But there is symmetry only if you don’t think about or wall off the differences. Atheism is at a minimum the lack of belief in all but theism is not the belief in all gods. Instead it is the belief in one god or pantheon of gods and one of a mixture of attitudes to other gods, either the lack of belief in such gods; the active belief in their non-existence; or the belief that they are somehow a mistaken attribution of one’s own god.

      • Grimlock

        I’m not really sure what you’re getting at..?

        • epeeist

          Is it more understandable now I added the missing word?

        • Grimlock

          Yup!

          Though not quite sure what you meant by this:

          But there is symmetry only if you don’t think about or wall off the differences.

        • epeeist

          Simply that theists rarely explore what the word “theism” actually means, they are usually happy to take it as synonymous with belief in their own particular god.

        • Grimlock

          Oh yes, agreed.

      • Grimlock

        Okay, making an attempt of understanding your point. Is it something about how atheism and theism aren’t symmetric either? If so, I agree with that.

        Is it about how atheism is just one of the possible configurations of god-beliefs (disbelief is every god), and theism is the rest of the configurations (belief in at least one god)? If so, I agree with that as well.

        • Norman Parron

          Actually another definition of atheism has gawd in it…its not the lack of belief as it is living ‘a’ without, ‘theism’ gawd. Not that one does not exist but living as if there is none. As in there may be a gawd..BFD! who cares … and go on with your life. I think they now call this apatheism? I suppose I am that, as I struggle against the present gawds not because of gawd but because the gawd’s fan club are a bunch of bigoted aholes.

        • Grimlock

          What’re you getting at? I mean, beyond the rather obvious fact that there are multiple definitions of atheism running around, and your generalizing (and therefore obviously erroneous) assertion about Christians.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You’ve noticed too?

        • Grimlock

          Yup. Barely. It was subtle. Oh so incredibly subtle.

        • Ignorant Amos

          As subtle as a sledgehammer ya mean..//s

        • Grimlock

          A sledgehammer wielded by an overly aggressive berserker in a glasstore.

        • epeeist

          Not that one does not exist but living as if there is none.

          Functional atheism or apatheism.

    • Kevin K

      Not to push back on your main point, but do you think Christianity specifically and religion in general is a “worldview”? Especially when you consider how fractured religion is — it’s hard for me to find a coherent “worldview” in there. Other than something akin to “magic is real” — but that doesn’t apply to non-deistic religions like zen Buddhism, Confucianism, and the like.

      I think when people complain about the “atheist worldview”, they’re basically complaining that they don’t like liberal sexual ethics.

      • Grimlock

        […] do you think Christianity specifically and religion in general is a “worldview”?

        Not necessarily. I’d say that Christianity can be a worldview for quite a few people (as from it their conscious moral theory, epistemology, etc. might spring). But I don’t think it must necessarily be the case, and nor do I think there is one unique Christian worldview. Religion more generally is, I think, the same.

        I was careful not to claim that theism is a worldview, because I don’t think it is.

        I think when people complain about the “atheist worldview”, they’re basically complaining that they don’t like liberal sexual ethics.

        I sort of agree, but I think it might also be more general – a complaint about how they a) don’t like some other specific political view that is in tension with their political/religious view, or b) notice that there are out-group members.

        What do you think?

        • Kevin K

          I guess because there are so many different “worldviews” available to Christians, it’s probably more accurately termed a “personview”.

          As to your second point, yes, I think that’s correct. We don’t wear the same hat as they do, and they don’t like that one bit.

        • Grimlock

          I tend to think of a worldview as something that does belong to an individual, though people might have very similar (possibly identical?) worldviews. I’m not sure if this is the most common way of thinking about it.

          While I don’t really have any specific empirical data to back this up, I suspect that it will get better once atheism gets even more mainstream. Hopefully. It’s like… Exposure therapy?

      • Mr. James Parson

        We all know that Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is correct version of Christianity, don’t we?

        • Kevin K

          Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879

        • Mr. James Parson

          You are going to hell. Splitter

        • Kevin K

          Die, heretic scum!

        • Mr. James Parson

          I am going to pray to you that you might be saved.

          I am going to pray to you in Jebus’s name.

    • Mr. James Parson

      I would narrow it down even smaller.

      This is no evidence for anything like god.

      I don’t know if there is a god or not. Probably not though

      • Grimlock

        I assume you mean that in reference to how I define atheism. I chose that definition for two reasons. First, because among the reasonable definitions, it’s the definition that entails the greatest commitment, and it still doesn’t make it a worldview. Second, it’s my currently preferred definition of atheism.

  • Norman Parron

    Christassinity fail at your 1st point “…create community for its members…” not a outright fail but can be done without religion as I belong to 4 ‘communities’ that have nothing to do with religion.
    “…, and it can catalyze their good works and charitable giving…” Really? I want proof! They do not supply proof! They CLAIM to do charity and may even show up to food distributions, but they as a whole do very little as they, unlike secular charities, don’t PROVE they do it! If they follow jesus’ rules then were does the money for HHHUUGE churches come from? How to Mega-con-men get their 5 mansions, 2 jets, & 5 limos from???

    • Ignorant Amos

      Christassinity fail at your 1st point “…create community for its members…” not a outright fail but can be done without religion as I belong to 4 ‘communities’ that have nothing to do with religion.

      But that is an non sequitur to the point though. The whole sentence nowhere excludes the idea that there is nowhere else that one can find, or create a community for members of a group.

      The church can create community for its members, and it can catalyze their good works and charitable giving.”

      It is merely pointing out that one of the attractions of religion is that it creates just such a community for it’s members…i.e. a pro to being a member of Christianity.

      “…, and it can catalyze their good works and charitable giving…” Really? I want proof!

      Seriously? You want evidence that Christians do charitable works?

      They do not supply proof!

      Yeah they do…but even if they didn’t, there’s plenty of evidence they do anyway.

      They CLAIM to do charity and may even show up to food distributions, but they as a whole do very little as they, unlike secular charities, don’t PROVE they do it!

      You aren’t going to be one of those dopey atheists that is going to make comments that embarrasses the rest of us, are you?

      If they follow jesus’ rules then were does the money for HHHUUGE churches come from? How to Mega-con-men get their 5 mansions, 2 jets, & 5 limos from???

      Another non-sequitur…do all Christians own huge churches, 5 mansions, 2 jets, and 5 limos? Are all Christians mega-con-men? This line of reasoning is just pure silly pants nonsense.

      Far be it for me to defend Christians, but how can I not when an atheist is so erroneous in his thinking?

      • Norman Parron

        Really? Then go to any large church and ask for their books to see how much they give to charity vs income. Good luck. SO if they are so giving, they should be happy to show you. Now go to a secular charity and how long will they stay a charity if they collect $100K and show $100 going out for charity! So why are churches AUTOMATICALLY given a free ride on this charity thing? Because of their honesty? Like the honest truth they deal out on sunday? And yes I do realize this does not apply to all as there are small poor churches, which again is strange considering how much cash the mega-church con-men spend on jets! Where is all that charity to even just help out their fellow xtians!?!?!
        Also the ‘community’ is for members only! Try going as an atheist & after they find out you will never convert!

        • Ignorant Amos

          Really?

          Yeah really.

          Then go to any large church and ask for their books to see how much they give to charity vs income. Good luck. SO if they are so giving, they should be happy to show you.

          Another non-sequitur, your gripe was that wanted evidence that Christians are charitable, nothing about the amounts that certain churches give and the transparency of their accounts as evidence.

          But let’s look at your new assertion anyway…a large Church whose books are transparent…

          https://www.churchofengland.org/about/leadership-and-governance/church-england-pensions-board/pensions-board-membership/annual

          https://www.presbyterianireland.org/Resources/General-Assembly/Statement-of-Accounts-2008-2015.aspx

          Now go to a secular charity and how long will they stay a charity if they collect $100K and show $100 going out for charity!

          Again..another non-sequitur to the discussion…so pah!

          So why are churches AUTOMATICALLY given a free ride on this charity thing?

          Yet another non-sequitur.

          Because of their honesty?

          And yet another…

          Like the honest truth they deal out on sunday?

          And yet again another…do you not know what the fallacy of the non-sequitur is?

          And yes I do realize this does not apply to all as there are small poor churches, which again is strange considering how much cash the mega-church con-men spend on jets! Where is all that charity to even just help out their fellow xtians!?!?!

          Completing your list of non-sequitur’s…amazing.

          You wanted “proof” (evidence) that Christian’s do good works and give to charitable organisations…that’s what I’m addressing, not all that other pish, stuff, and nonsense red herrings you seem to think is relevant.

          Christian’s give to charity…that’s a fact. There are Christian charitable organisations doing charitable work using the money that they get from Christian’s, even in the U.S., and that’s a fact.

          Your beef is with the IRS in the U.S., but the U.S. is not the end all and be all of the Christian world…elsewhere it isn’t a problem to provide the evidence that Christian’s give to charity and that those charities are seen to be transparent…at least enough to demonstrate you are wrong and Christian’s are charitable givers.

          Charity reporting and accounting: the essentials November 2016 (CC15d)

          All charities must keep accounting records, and prepare annual accounts which must be made available to the public on request.

          https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/charity-reporting-and-accounting-the-essentials-november-2016-cc15d/charity-reporting-and-accounting-the-essentials-november-2016-cc15d–2

          There’s one thing being a “rabid atheist”, but don’t go taking the head-staggers in your rabidity.

          Learn to pick your fights a bit better in future…btw you’re not a sock-puppet of Cygnus are ya?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Also the ‘community’ is for members only! Try going as an atheist & after they find out you will never convert!

          Well, there are certain places in the “community” that is not for members only…

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

          …but again…so what…most communities are for the members only…and that is another non-sequitur.

          I’m the chairman of a football supporters club, try becoming a member if you are a supporter of the opposition. Another ridiculous stance you’ve provided.

          Try going as an atheist & after they find out you will never convert!

          Where do you pull this shit from?

          Bart D. Ehrman is an example of a well known non-believer who goes to church all the time.

          Lots of outed atheists still go to church. I’ve been myself plenty of times.

          Robert M. Price is a Christian atheist that doesn’t even believe Jesus existed who still goes to an Episcopal Church in North Carolina…and if you believe that the congregation don’t know who he is, yer even dafter than I’m thinking ya are demonstrating here.

          http://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com/bio.htm

        • whoops

          http://www.tierra-nueva.org/

          there goes your last two comments.

        • Halbe

          Really!? All I see is a ministry that cynically targets the poor and the desperate in order to score more Jesus points by “harvesting souls”. Lots of info on the site on how they constantly push Jesus on their targets, but very little info on how they actually help. And of course no financial accountability at all, so it is anybody’s guess how much money is actually spent on charity. In short: typical Christian ministry…

        • Well you see what you want to.

          But nobody else in that community is helping convicts start their own businesses.

          Helping gang members leave the life.

          Helping the undocumented immigrants that everyone else craps all over.

        • Susan
      • RichardSRussell

        Math problem:

        Given: Religion + Good Works = Good Works

        Solve for Religion.

        —Dan Barker, atheist leader and former child evangelist

        • Ignorant Amos

          Love it.

          Can a have a wee go?

          Given: Religion + Good Works = Good Works

          Then: Religion = Good works – Good works

          Then: Religion = Zero

          Where: Zero = Nothing

          Therefore: Religion = Nothing

          Simples!

  • carbonUnit

    In fact, the opposite is true: the Christian worldview is the one that devalues life.

    They seem to value life immensely, until one is born. Then they don’t seem to care anymore.

    • Mr. James Parson

      Their jury seems to be out on miscarriages.

  • A lot of liberal Christians discard hell, so it’s not always a package deal.

    • Ignorant Amos

      Ah but ’em’s not the True Christians™ of the Book.

  • RichardSRussell

    When challenged with some of these concerns, a common Christian response is to argue that the atheist worldview is bleak and empty (as if “that worldview is depressing” is any argument against it being correct).

    Cancer is depressing, but if you’ve got it, you’re better off facing it squarely instead of living in denial.

  • eric

    I’m not a believer but I’d but a lot of things ahead of ‘atheist’ in a description of my world view. Family, health, community, scientific curiosity, enjoyment of fiction and games, all come before ‘atheism’ in terms of the sorts of thoughts that guide my daily choice of activities.

    Do I believe in an afterlife and does that belief color my choices? No, and yes sure. Does it color my choices all that much? Probably not. I expect I’d still teach my kid exactly the same things about right and wrong, still do the same hobbies, still make the same choices about work/life balance even if I did believe.

    So I think this is something of a false dichotomy. Not in the sense that there’s a meaningful middle ground between belief and non-belief (logically they may be a binary pair), but in the sense that ones’ world view can come from a lot of internal states and beliefs that have nothing to do with theology one way or another.

  • Matt Woodling

    God, that was painful to read. Since when is “atheism” a worldview? To me, it’s just an answer to a claim that there is a god. And that answer is “I don’t think there’s sufficient reason to believe that.” Every other aspect of an atheist’s life is something else.

  • Triggerman1976

    From the prophet of New Atheism, Richard Dawkins,
    “In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic
    replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people
    are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or rea-
    son in it, nor any justice. The universe we observe has pre-
    cisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom,
    no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but
    blind, pitiless indifference. (River Out of Eden, p133)”

    According to atheist philosopher Alex Rosenberg,
    “[Nihilism] (which consistent atheism requires) denies that there is really any such thing as intrinsic moral value. People think that there are things that are instrinsically valuable, not just as a means to something else: human life or the ecology of the planet or the master race or elevated
    states of consciousness, for example. But nothing can have that sort of intrinsic value—the very kind of value morality requires. Nihilism denies that there is anything at all that is good in itself or, for that matter, bad in itself. (The Atheist Guide to Reality, p54 PDF)”

    What does this mean?

    Atheists have no grounds to appeal to anything having any kind of value or moral obligation in any true sense. Therefore the atheist CANNOT, in any meaningful sense justify the claim that their worldview is better.

    • What does “in any true sense” mean? Please support your answer with dictionary definitions of the words in question (value, morals, good, bad, etc.).

      • Triggerman1976

        Sounds like a similar argument that I’ve dealt with before. Ah yes, https://triggermanblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/19/objective-morality-and-incoherent-appeals-to-definitions/

        But I’ll summarize the argument: definitions are dependent upon certain facts that are ONLY meaningfully true if they follow from a person’s worldview. It is a fallacy of logic to appeal to a definition of something without having first provided a coherent justification for such an appeal to be true. Any such appeals must necessarily follow from the presuppositions of the person’s worldview. Given the presuppositions that are intrinsic to atheism—as illustrated in the quotes—the atheist has no grounds for any claim (morally or factually) to be meaningfully true, if they are consistent with their worldview. If they do insist that they are meaningfully true, then they are being inconsistent with their worldview. Such an insistence then demonstrates that atheism is incapable of providing a coherent justification to which to appeal.

        The atheist may claim that they are sufficient, in and of themselves, to ground such claims. However the instance that they demand from another something that they cannot justify as meaningfully true—that is that there is a way the other person OUGHT to treat them—there is a tacit admission that they are incapable and insufficient to ground said claim. It is therefore, not meaningfully true.

        So, appealing to a dictionary for a definition is fallacious on multiple levels, because the definition that the dictionary provides can only be meaningfully true if the definitions flow logically and consistently from a worldview that is capable and sufficient to provide a coherent justification that satisfies the necessary preconditions of intelligibility.

        • Thanks for the summary. An “Oh, I’ve dealt with that before” with a page of links isn’t inviting.

          definitions are dependent upon certain facts that are ONLY meaningfully true if they follow from a person’s worldview. It is a fallacy of logic to appeal to a definition of something without having first provided a coherent justification for such an appeal to be true. Any such appeals must necessarily follow from the presuppositions of the person’s worldview.

          What does one’s worldview have to do with the truth of a statement? A statement is true independent of someone’s worldview, preferences, and so on.

          Given the presuppositions that are intrinsic to atheism

          Atheism is one answer (“No”) to one question (“Do you have a god belief?”).

          the atheist has no grounds for any claim (morally or factually) to be meaningfully true, if they are consistent with their worldview.

          1. Huh??

          2. See my explanation of “atheism” above.

          If they do insist that they are meaningfully true, then they are being inconsistent with their worldview.

          Explain. As you can imagine, this sounds pretty wrong to me.

          “Meaningfully,” huh? Presumably there’s an implied objective morality slipped in with this word. I don’t make claims to objective morality (so perhaps we’re in agreement here) because as far as I can tell, it doesn’t exist (and perhaps we’re not here).

          Last time I checked, there’s no claim of objective anything in the dictionary’s definitions of good, bad, morality, purpose, and so on.

          that is that there is a way the other person OUGHT to treat them—there is a tacit admission that they are incapable and insufficient to ground said claim.

          The is/ought problem? Drop any claim to objective moral truth, and it’s no longer a problem.

        • Triggerman1976

          Let’s answer these questions.

          -What does ones worldview have to do with truth?

          Everything. Worldviews—via their presuppositions—define what is true, even that truths exists, so they are not “independent”, because there is no such thing as a neutral fact. All facts must be interpreted.

          -Atheism is the answer to one question.

          And the answer to that one question has definite and extensive philosophical consequences in the answer to multiple other questions. You don’t get to saw off the limb you’re sitting on from the tree it’s connected to and not fall.

          —2

          See above.

          —I don’t make claims to objective morality.

          Then you cannot make moral claims. You are merely expressing personal opinions that hold no bearing on anyone, at anytime, in anyplace. They are not true in any meaningful sense. You must erase the words “right” and “wrong” from your vocabulary because, apart from an objective morality, they have no meaning. All that you can ever say is, “I don’t like X.”

          —The is/ought problem?

          Then you just refuted every claim that you have and can ever make against Christianity. Bravo!

        • Greg G.

          -What does ones worldview have to do with truth?

          Everything. Worldviews—via their presuppositions—define what is true, even that truths exists, so they are not “independent”, because there is no such thing as a neutral fact. All facts must be interpreted.

          Truth is independent of worldview. If you appeal to worldview, it tells me that your beliefs do not align with what everybody actually sees. Your beliefs cannot be distinguished from your imagination.

          -Atheism is the answer to one question.

          And the answer to that one question has definite and extensive philosophical consequences in the answer to multiple other questions. You don’t get to saw off the limb you’re sitting on from the tree it’s connected to and not fall.

          Only if you have a worldview that cannot be distinguished from imaginary wishes.

          —I don’t make claims to objective morality.

          Then you cannot make moral claims. You are merely expressing personal opinions that hold no bearing on anyone, at anytime, in anyplace. They are not true in any meaningful sense. You must erase the words “right” and “wrong” from your vocabulary because, apart from an objective morality, they have no meaning. All that you can ever say is, “I don’t like X.”

          Wrong. Anybody can make moral claims. Those that claim to make objective moral claims can make no logical argument to support the claim without relying on a worldview that has premises based on the imagination.

          —The is/ought problem?

          Then you just refuted every claim that you have and can ever make against Christianity. Bravo!

          You are making the claim that Christianity is true. Atheists just say there is insufficient evidence to support your claim. It is up to you to supply the evidence that supports your claim. But all you have is a worldview that you can’t distinguish from your imagination.

        • Pofarmer

          This poster may be too dumb for words, honestly.

        • Otto

          He is another “you can’t know anything about reality…therefore my Christianity is true” guy.

          ffs even if we go down this rabbit hole and decide that solipsism is the only thing that makes sense…how do we get to “Jesus is therefore the answer”…?

        • TheNuszAbides

          i’ve never seen him try this hard to copy/paste attempts at intellectual effort, though. he must have learned something from previous visits – in the sense that some animals can learn to mimic apologists who denigrate/misapprehend atheism.

        • -What does ones worldview have to do with truth?
          Everything. Worldviews—via their presuppositions—define what is true, even that truths exists, so they are not “independent”, because there is no such thing as a neutral fact. All facts must be interpreted.

          “God exists” is a statement that’s true or false, regardless of my worldview.

          -Atheism is the answer to one question.
          And the answer to that one question has definite and extensive philosophical consequences in the answer to multiple other questions. You don’t get to saw off the limb you’re sitting on from the tree it’s connected to and not fall.

          Meaningless. Explain further.

          —I don’t make claims to objective morality.
          Then you cannot make moral claims.

          So then you do make claims to objective morality? Fascinating. Give me evidence that this slippery concept actually exists. Shared morality, sure. Strongly felt morality, sure. But I see no evidence of objective morality.

          We should define terms. I’ve been using WLC’s definition, “moral values that are valid and binding whether anybody believes in them or not.”

          You are merely expressing personal opinions that hold no bearing on anyone, at anytime, in anyplace. They are not true in any meaningful sense.

          Where in the dictionary for true, right, wrong (or whatever word you’re using) does it depend on objective anything?

          —The is/ought problem?
          Then you just refuted every claim that you have and can ever make against Christianity. Bravo!

          You just made an empty and meaningless claim. Bravo!

        • Triggerman1976

          Bob, you’re depending upon an objective reality in order for your words to make sense, else I could explain this by saying,

          Refrigerator filled the max butter by slipping into quick and the burden on the other reason for the burden of the negative wooden spoon on the blue tickle.

        • you’re depending upon an objective reality

          I agree. Now show me that objective morality exists.

          I believe that’s the third time I’ve asked. Do I have to keep count? Or do I sense that you see the problem, that your claim of objective morality doesn’t like to be challenged? My suggestion is to drop that claim.

        • Triggerman1976

          The easiest way to do this is to ask a question:

          What (concrete or abstract) makes something morally wrong?

        • Otto

          Explain to us why every time a Christian like yourself is asked for evidence of an objective morality that is mind independent and exists outside of humans the first ‘answer’ is to ask a question?

          Answering a question with a question is not the way to present evidence for your claim.

        • You’d think that giving them the mic to explain their Christian viewpoint would be received with thanks. But no, they just run away. Or move the goalposts. Or change the subject. Or something.

        • Otto

          He hasn’t said it yet but I am pretty confident he is a presuppositionalist…he can’t explain it because he just assumes it.

        • epeeist

          .he can’t explain it because he just assumes it

          You’re eliminating the possibility that he is too stupid to provide anything that looks like an explanation?

        • Otto

          You are right…but if he is a presuppostionalist his position precludes that from ever happening.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Iirc, that was the case the last time the Muppet pitched up.

        • Ignorant Amos
        • Triggerman1976

          You don’t get to tell me how to argue my position.

        • Otto

          You have yet to present an argument for your position.

        • Susan

          You don’t get to tell me how to argue my position.

          Someone needs to because you’re not good at it.

          Find someone who agrees with you who can show you how to present an argument.

        • Otto

          BTW you never did tell me how I did on your presuppostional quiz…?

        • Susan

          I had a quiz?

        • Otto
        • Susan

          Sorry Otto. I completely forgot about that. I also forget what your answer was.

          I shouldn’t have typed so thoughtlessly.

          I was probably mistaking “beginning with your conclusion” for “presuppositionalism”.

          The difference is that at least the presuppositionalists come out and say it.

          I made an effort to review presuppositionalism so I could respond here but my eyes glazed over with the circularity.

          That they glaze over with the circularity that catholics provide might be why I sometimes don’t see a difference.

          =====

          Edit: Missing letter

        • Otto

          >>>”The difference is that at least the presuppositionalists come out an say it.”

          I completely agree with that.

          >>>”my eyes glazed over with the circularity.”

          It is awful and lazy. Like I said I find Catholicism worse but I am definitely biased.

        • Susan

          I find Catholicism worse

          So do I. They smother it in incense and pageantry and indoctrinate children before their brains have developed.

          And they will keep telling you to read great, big books about nothing when you finally stand up to them. And that’s all they’ve got.

        • epeeist

          What (concrete or abstract) makes something morally wrong?

          No, this isn’t the way it works. You were asked to show that objective morality exists, all the above does is beg the question in that it assumes the existence of objective morality.

          As ever, your claim that such a thing exists, your burden to demonstrate this.

        • Triggerman1976

          Answering the question coherently and not changing the subject shows it.

        • Actually, it was you who changed the subject.

        • epeeist

          And once more you avoid fulfilling the burden upon you.

          You really aren’t very good at this logic thing are you.

        • Triggerman1976

          Avoiding the question reveals that the person who is asked doesn’t have an argument.

        • epeeist

          Avoiding the question reveals that the person who is asked doesn’t have an argument.

          True, so why are you avoiding the request to demonstrate that “objective morality” exists?

        • Triggerman1976

          I’m not. You are.

        • epeeist

          I’m not.

          As ever, the person making the ontological commitment has the burden of proof.

          You are claiming that “objective morality” exists, this is an ontological commitment and the burden therefore falls upon you.

          Now I am guessing here, but I don’t think you are capable of fulfilling that burden. You could of course prove me wrong…

        • A Socratic dialogue? What fun!

          Fourth time: show me that objective morality exists.

        • Triggerman1976

          Answer the question and I will.

        • I actually have to work to get your answer? Nah, I’m good. I’ll just rest comfortably in my tentative conclusion that this is just a smokescreen, and you have no good justification for your claims for objective morality.

          Fifth time.

        • MR

          It’s almost as if the claim can’t be defended.

        • Susan

          Answer the question and I will.

          Do you have an answer?

          If so, provide it.

        • Greg G.

          What (concrete or abstract) makes something morally wrong?

          What my empathy, informed as well as I can know about the suffering that results from it or would likely result from it, leads me to think about something. But that is not objective. How strongly you feel about something does not make it objectively moral.

        • Triggerman1976

          I’lm going to guess that you’ve never really thought that through, especially since the implicit claim that you’re making is that it’s moral to be empathetic, which is a moral claim that has to be justified.I also recomend that you read Paul Bloom’s book “Against Empathy: The Case For Rational Compassion”.

        • Greg G.

          I have thought it through. It is not possible for morality to be objective. Even if it was objective, we would have no way to ascertain it. We have only our own subjective morality or nothing. My subjective morality relies on my empathy plus acquired knowledge.

          I have not heard of Paul Bloom or his book. Can you summarize his reasoning, please?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Can you summarize his reasoning, please?

          Not if his review of Ehrman’s “DJE?” is anything to go by he can’t.

        • TheNuszAbides

          it doesn’t undercut your position. the nutshell of ‘against empathy’ is that we shouldn’t emphasize feeling the pain of others because it apparently favors tribalism (just the ‘others’ close to us), and whatever he presents as ‘rational compassion’ is basically geared towards the humanist ‘expanding the circle’ concept.

          not that i’ve read the book – but it’s discussed in Harris’s Waking Up #56.

        • Greg G.

          My empathy isn’t limited to my tribe or my species. My empathy extends to any sentient being. Now I might favor my family, friends, and favorites but that has nothing to do with my empathy.

          If Emperor from Star Wars forced me to choose between the annihilation of everybody I have ever met or everybody I have never met, the weight of my empathy would go with the latter.

        • TheNuszAbides

          I don’t know the details of Bloom’s reasoning, that’s just my paraphrasing of the shorthand I heard on the podcast.

        • Greg G.

          That’s OK. Your homework assignment is…

        • Susan

          The easiest way to do this is to ask a question:

          The honest way to do it is to provide an answer.

          You’re the one making the claim.

        • epeeist

          Everything. Worldviews—via their presuppositions—define what is true, even that truths exists, so they are not “independent”, because there is no such thing as a neutral fact.

          So if truth is relative to a world-view then the statement “truth is relative to a world-view” must be relative to a world-view…

        • So if truth is relative to a world-view then the statement “truth is relative to a world-view” must be relative to a world-view.

          When did your fundies start to parrot postmodern rhetoric on the message boards? Seems to me like perspectivism and relativism are pretty much anathema to them outside of the com-box.

        • epeeist

          When did your fundies start to parrot postmodern rhetoric

          Post-modern? Self-reference goes back to at least as far as Plato’s Protagoras.

        • Um, yeah, but it’s funny to hear Scripturebots use it in the com-box, when they certainly believe in the Objective and Absolute that such rhetoric ostensibly denies.

          I mean, call me a po-mo jerkoff if you want, but at least I walk it like I talk it.

        • Triggerman1976

          They are not “relative”, they are “dependent”. Those are not the same thing.

        • epeeist

          They are not “relative”, they are “dependent”.

          OK, if truth is dependent on a world view then the proposition “truth is dependent on a world view” must be dependent on a world view.

        • Triggerman1976

          And that worldview is Christianity, which is founded on the Truth.

        • epeeist

          And that worldview is Christianity, which is founded on the Truth.

          Which, by your “reasoning” is just another world view.

          Oh, and your “objective morality”? If all truth is dependent on a world view then any moral proposition must be world view dependent and therefore not objective.

        • Triggerman1976

          Then it’s not true that it’s not objective.

        • epeeist

          I can do “not” logic, but it isn’t necessary in this case.

          I am going to help you out here. If you want me to accept a proposition then you are going to have to do some work and present some justification for its truth. I like the formulation given by Tarski:

          ‘S’ iff p

          A statement is true if and only if it corresponds to the facts, thus the statement ‘Snow is white’ is true if and only if snow is white. If I want to make the claim ‘Snow is white’ I actually have to present some evidence showing that snow is actually white.

        • Triggerman1976

          Hate to break this to you, but snow isn’t white. It’s clear crystalline structure reflects the unified spectrum of light.

        • epeeist

          Hate to break this to you, but snow isn’t white.

          In which case the statement is false.

          Your point being?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Hate to break this to you, but snow isn’t white. It’s clear crystalline structure reflects the unified spectrum of light.

          Bwaaahahaha…which makes it the colour white. That would be the evidence explaining why snow is white ffs.

          The “color” of all the frequencies in the visible spectrum combined in equal measure is white, so this is the color we see in snow, while it’s not the color we see in the individual ice crystals that form snow.

          https://science.howstuffworks.com/nature/climate-weather/atmospheric/question524.htm

          It is also the reason other things are white too…silly boy.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White#Scientific_understanding_(Color_science)

          Snow can be made to be not white.

          Ice is just very compact snow, without a lot of light-scattering bubbles. Light can penetrate much deeper into ice than into snow. The deeper the light goes, the more the longer wavelengths, toward the red end of the spectrum, get scattered out, and eventually the reds dissipate, leaving only blue colors to be reflected back to us. So the ice takes on a beautiful, eerie blue tone.

          Hate to break this to ya. All colours are the property possessed by an object of producing different sensations on the eye as a result of the way it reflects or emits light. Bright spark.

          I don’t think you are as clever as you claim to be…Dunning-Kruger effect.

        • epeeist

          Bwaaahahaha…which makes it the colour white.

          The thing I was trying to illustrate was how a statement is true only if it corresponds to the facts, he ignores this in favour of criticising the example. Why is it that the theists we get here are incapable of seeing anything except literally (except teh buybull of course, that is full of metaphor).

          Snow can be made to be not white.

          Indeed

        • Ignorant Amos

          Oh I fully concur. I was merely pointing out that what pedantic Brains was pointing out was still erroneous.

          So asinine with just the one head, remarkable.

        • Triggerman1976

          You just repeated everything that I said by quoting sources that confirmed what I said.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You are one dopey bastard.

          Hate to break this to you, but snow isn’t white.

          Everyone knows snow is white ya Bozo. The reason snow is white is for the reason you’ve given for why you assert it isn’t.

          And it isn’t always white for other reasons.

          You are a dickhead.

          Intellectual superior, my arse.

        • Triggerman1976

          Well, that’s where your head seems to be.

    • epeeist

      Let’s take an argument from analogy shall we:

      P1: The universe has a mean density of 6 particles per cubic metre

      P2. Humans are part of the universe

      C: Humans have a mean density of 6 particles per cubic metre

      If you want to show that the universe has a property and that therefore humans have the same property then you need to show that the said property distributes from the former to the latter.

      • Triggerman1976

        Funny, I don’t remember making any claims about the physical properties of the universe. Guess that would make the analogy irrelevant to the question.

        • Pofarmer

          It’s actually pretty plain.

        • Susan

          I don’t remember making any claims about the physical properties of the universe.

          You attempted to extrapolate observations about the”bottom of” the
          universe into observations about humans.

          epeeist was showing why that doesn’t work.

          It seems to have gone right over your head.

          “If you want to show that the universe has a property and therefore humans have the same property then you need to show that the said property distributes from the former to the latter”.

        • Ignorant Amos

          It seems to have gone right over your head.

          Whaaa? Well I never. Who’d have thunk such a thing. A Christian? Whoooosh! Right over their head? Heaven’s ta Murgatroyd…I can hardly believe it. //s

        • Greg G.

          Heaven’s ta Murgatroyd

          Snagglepuss?

        • Ignorant Amos
        • Triggerman1976

          Actually, that was Dawkins who did that, not me. Nice straw man thought.

        • Susan

          that was Dawkins who did that

          No.

        • Triggerman1976

          Yes, it was. You admitted it by claiming that it was taken out of context.

        • Susan

          You admitted it by claiming that it was taken out of context.

          That makes absolutely no sense.

          Now, are you going to show us how believing god(s) exist provides grounds for appealing to value or moral obligation?

          You seem to imply it does but you’ve not shown any connection.

        • Sample1

          You may like this take on objective morality, or lack there of, by Alex O’Connor, somebody I stumbled across about a year ago. And happy I did.

          https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6tcquI2ylNM

          Mike

        • Susan

          You may like this take on objective morality

          Thanks Mike.

          Nothing new, but a very clearly stated explanation of the process he went through.

          I’ve given up on asking theists who proclaim things to “define their terms” (even though that’s a very basic thing to do in any field). They hate me for doing so.

          The bit at the end was good. The why ought we do that which is good?

          Which is what they always throw at us as if they had an answer for it. They never do.

          There is also Euthyphro’s dilemma. Is something good because god(s) say so or do god(s) say so because it is good?

          Combine that with why we ought to do that which is good, and that we have no objective way of determining whether what the gods say is good and that none of the gods can answer that question (in principle) and all we have is meaningless apologetics being thrown at us as if we never considered them before.

        • Sample1

          Glad you got something out of the vid. That young man has a nimble mind and gives me much hope for his millennial generation.

          If you’ve shared before I’ve since forgotten but what were some of the cracks that you were able to widen on your path out of religious bondage?

          I seem to recall unanswered prayers in the face of awfulness but maybe I’m mistaken.

          Mike
          Edit done grammar

        • Susan

          what were some of the cracks that you were able to widen on your path out of religious bondage?

          Fairly long story.

          To make it short, every time I asked a question about something that made no sense or asked for support for an assertion, all I got was bullshit.

          It still happens to this day.

          It’s been bullshit all the way down.

          The long version would take too long.

        • Sample1

          Ah. Gotcha. You were kind of lucky. Easy bullshit might be quicker to shed than sweet smelling ambiguity.

          Well my friend got, “I don’t know, it will make sense in heaven” when she asked her biology teacher religious things. At least he was partially honest. She never thought about for some 15yrs until she met me. Haha. Now she’s atheist. Has been about the same length of time as me too but I got to freedom about six months earlier. Haha.

          Mike

        • Otto

          He makes the same argument I have made against religious objective morality, I don’t claim to have come up with it myself, but as Susan said this is nothing new. Also he says that what he is arguing goes against what Matt Dillahunty has argued…and maybe at one point he was right, but more recently I have heard Dillahunty make the same argument he is ostensibly making here, that the foundation for a moral position is subjective. But once the subjective foundation is established the ‘ought’ can be argued objectively by demonstrating which behavior is better for the subjective goal or value as the foundation. For instance the rules of Chess are subjectively determined, but once that is done the argument that a certain move is ‘better’ than another can often be demonstrated to be true. The same can hold true with morality, quite often we implicitly agree with basic ‘rules’ of morality (which ARE subjective, but are agreed upon) without even consciously realizing it, but once that is done we can objectively say certain behaviors are objectively good and bad.

          In my mind the real kicker is that acting morally is itself a selfish action, it is a ‘good’ type of selfishness, but make no mistake, acting morally is often done in self-interest (at least on some level), and people often can’t see this.

          EDIT: I also forgot to mention I felt he did a very good job of articulating the position.

        • Sample1

          I agree 100%. Well said.

          Mike

        • I’d be careful of taking the word of a schoolboy like Alex “Cosmic Skeptic” O’Connor, since he misunderstands what objective means in the context of morality. It’s not surprising that, since the only living philosopher he can name is William Lane Craig, Alex seems to think that objective entails no human input whatsoever, and subjective means anything that wouldn’t exist if humans didn’t exist.

          Nope. No. Nopity nope nope.

          Subjective means pertaining solely to personal opinion or taste. Plenty of socially constructed phenomena are objective in the sense that they’re not matters of opinion. The border between Connecticut and Massachusetts is man-made, and the character Hamlet from the play Hamlet is a creation of human imagination. However, if I said my cousin’s Massachusetts home is really in Connecticut, or that the character Hamlet is a lizard, I’d be wrong. Objectively wrong. It’s not a matter of opinion.

          Things like murder, torture, and rape aren’t just matters of opinion either. They’re not “subjective.” Even a choad like Frank Turek can make Alex look foolish by having him deny that torturing children for fun is objectively wrong. Objective morality isn’t about what’s eternally true and unchanging and absolute, the way fundies describe it. It’s about the social construction of ethical constructs that are independent of people’s personal opinions.

          Let’s be reasonable.

        • Ignorant Amos

          It’s about the social construction of ethical constructs that are independent of people’s personal opinions.

          Intersubjective?

        • Pofarmer

          Indeed.

        • Pofarmer

          “What we have here, is a failure to communicate.”

          I think first, we’d have to agree on what the definition of “objective” is, and how it applies to morality. For what you’re describing, I think the term that Amos brought up “Intersubjective” works better. It’s a term widely agreed on. Daniel Finke thinks we can get to Objective morality via secular means, or at least he did, but I found him unconvincing at the time. So, it’s not that Alex is “wrong” it’s just that you two are defining the terms differently. That’s why Susan always asked people to define their terms. “What are you claiming and how do you support it.” As for myself, I think that the vast variety of moral systems on Earth indicates that there can be a large number of intersubjective moral systems that work for different groups in certain circumstances, but I don’t think that there exists any kind of “objective” or universal morality. Perhaps someday we could get there, but not any time real soon.

        • epeeist

          but I don’t think that there exists any kind of “objective” or universal morality.

          “Universal” means everybody inter-subjectively agrees. It is therefore possible, but whether it will ever happen is another matter.

        • Otto

          I think once some basics are generally agreed upon we can objectively argue how to best accomplish them. The basics are subjective. We are only starting to get the basics settled now though…and it seems to be 2 steps forward and one back. I think ever so slowly worldwide morality on the whole is converging…but it is painfully slow with a lot of hiccups.

        • Otto

          Oh and Struther Martin FTW…!

        • Greg G.

          Subjective means pertaining solely to personal opinion or taste.

          You and I loathe murder, torture, rape, and, especially, torturing children for fun. But some people murder, torture, rape, and torture children for fun. It is consistent their personal opinions and tastes. We have ranking government officials who accept torture as necessary. Our justice system is not perfect, yet the death penalty is sentenced and carried out. It is irrational to think it is never carried out on an innocent person. That would be murder. But some people are willing to accept the occasional state murder.

          Therefore, those are subjective moral values. You are conflating your most deeply held, emotional reactions with objectivity. Let’s be reasonable.

        • How are you defining objective morality? To be as accomodating as possible, I’ve been using WLCs “moral truths that are valid and binding whether anyone is there to appreciate them or not” (paraphrased).

          You?

        • What WLC says is neither here nor there to me. As I mentioned in my post, I’m not making objective morality seem like the religious person’s conception of a universal, eternal, absolute code of conduct. I’m saying that cultural values, taboos, and norms develop in a community to create ethical constructs that don’t depend on personal opinion. Our culture doesn’t consider slavery or torture mere matters of personal preference. They’re not subjective.

        • Triggerman1976

          I’ve shown lots of connections, you’re depending on it now as a matter of fact.

        • Otto

          Presuppostionalism…apologetics for lazy people.

        • Susan

          I’ve shown lots of connections.

          You literally have shown no connection.

          You can reply here if you can show a connection. I’ll ask again.

          How does believing god(s) exist(s) provide grounds for appealing to value or moral obligation?

        • epeeist

          Funny, I don’t remember making any claims about the physical properties

          So you are saying you quoted Richard Dawkins (a universe without good or evil) and Alex Rosenberg (moral nihilism) without trying to imply a relationship between the two?

        • Triggerman1976

          Yes. You do know what a physical property is, right?

        • epeeist

          You do know what a physical property is, right?

          Properties? Yes, I know what properties are.

          I know what “distribution” and valid (and invalid) rules of replacement are too.

    • Well, dang! If the prophet of the New Atheism has spoken, I’m sure not going to object to whatever was said.

      • MR

        They really have trouble with these concepts.

        • Pofarmer

          Not being a******’s would be a start.

      • Susan

        If the prophet of the New Atheism has spoken

        (Peace Be Upon Him).

        Not only that, he quoted an atheist philosopher describing nihilism, without showing the context of the description.

        I’m not sure about the (which atheism implies) bit that’s put in brackets. I have a feeling Triggerman added that. Who could know? He didn’t include a link.

        Where was I? Oh, yeah. That’s two atheists, one of whom is our prophet, even though he didn’t apply for the job.

        And everyone has seen that quote torn out of context, like… I don’t know… I’m going to guess… maybe a gazillion times?

        • Triggerman1976

          You do know that both of those books are free-to-download, right? That’s why I included citations.

          Further, to claim that it has been “taken out of context” often betrays an ignorance of the chapter from which it comes. After discussing everything from bees to the bearing of children in a woman’s life, Dawkins relates a quote about a bus crash in order to draw that conclusion.

        • Susan

          You do know that both of those books are free-to-download, right?

          Then, you should take advantage of that opportunity and read the book if you’re going to just copy/paste the standard paragraph that apologists provide without showing they’ve read the book.

          You should also try not referring to “Atheist prophets” when you quote that paragraph.

          It’s a silly package.

        • Triggerman1976

          Did that years ago, maybe you should take your own advice.

        • TheNuszAbides

          the Rosenberg thing is interesting, in light of what i gleaned from Sean Carroll’s ‘future of naturalism’ … symposium i suppose? a fair amount of energy was spent by his philosopher colleagues explaining to everyone else how they hoped to get him away from ‘the cliff’, which could maybe-disingenuously be oversimplified as “[nihilism]” since it is something like despair over philosophical naturalism’s capacity, or rather lack thereof [several years ago, as far as Rosenberg understood it] to explain consciousness.

    • Otto

      Atheists have no grounds to appeal to anything having any kind of value or moral obligation in any true sense. Therefore the atheist CANNOT, in any meaningful sense justify the claim that their worldview is better.

      I used to have a Christian worldview that God was going to punish me if I didn’t think the rights things by sending me to be tortured after I die.

      Now I have a worldview that when I die there is nothing…I am just dead.

      I think in a meaningful sense my current worldview is better.

      • Triggerman1976

        Thinking something doesn’t make it true. And you had a unbiblical worldview to begin with, so that explains that.

        • Greg G.

          Thinking something doesn’t make it true. And you had a unbiblical worldview to begin with, so that explains that.

          Exactly. And you can’t “worldview” something into truth, either. He had a Christian worldview, how he doesn’t. He prefers not being confused by having to attribute things to “mysterious ways”.

        • Pofarmer

          You’re a presumptuous moron. So that explains a lot.

          I feel better now.

        • DogGone

          Thank you, me too 🙂

        • Otto

          You are right, thinking something is true does not make it so.

          So then what reason is there to think anything about Christianity is true? None.

          >>>”And you had a unbiblical worldview to begin with”

          But I am sure your view is completely biblical….you are the True Christian…lol.

          You wanna believe in the bogeyman…be my guest.

        • Triggerman1976

          Except for that whole Jesus rising from the dead thing. That’s a pretty good reason. Just saying.

        • Otto

          How could you or I know that Jesus rose from the dead if we can’t even be sure we are not just brains in a vat?

          …oh…and there is no evidence to come to the conclusion Jesus did that even if we can get over that hurdle.

        • Triggerman1976

          How do you know that you aren’t merely a brain in a vat?

        • Otto

          That is what I said…did you read my question?

        • Triggerman1976

          And you shouldn’t ask questions that you don’t know the answer to in a rhetorical situation.

        • Otto

          Well obviously you have nothing to contribute on this front.

        • Phil

          What’s the point of rhetorical questions?

        • Triggerman1976

          Really?

        • Phil

          Oh dear oh dear…… A rhetorical question is one that doesn’t require a response….. and yet you did respond.

        • Greg G.

          Even if I am a brain in a vat, I am presented with a reality simulation where it hurts if I try to run through a brick wall but it doesn’t if I walk through a doorway. We cannot pray to be able to walk through solid walls as the Bible suggests.

        • Triggerman1976

          It doesn’t ACTUALLY hurt because you aren’t feeling pain if that’s the case. And it doesn’t.

        • Greg G.

          Then you won’t mind if I drop my sledge hammer on your toe.

        • Triggerman1976

          No evidence…except for all the evidence.

        • Otto

          All what evidence?
          Anonymous writers saying so? How is that evidence?

        • Triggerman1976

          What does it matter if they’re “anonymous”?

          (They aren’t.)

        • Otto

          It doesn’t completely matter…but being anonymous is a problem. Even if we knew who wrote the gospels the information would need to be corroborated somehow and knowing who wrote them would help with that.

          And I know in fundie culture you guys think they weren’t anonymous, but among scholars who actually study the question and who are actually trying to get at the truth of the matter it is not even controversial. Look, like I said if you wanna live in your insular world and just take everything dogmatic in your religion and elevate it to ‘proven beyond a reasonable doubt’ be my guest. That dog don’t hunt here.

        • Triggerman1976

          First, I reject the assertion that we don’t know who wrote them on historical grounds. https://triggermanblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/11/dating-the-gospels-a-presuppositional-problem/

          But, being an ACTUAL scholar, who ACTUALLY studies this stuff, who ACTUALLY had to sit sit in years of classes and learn HOW to study history and has done ACTUAL historical research, I’m insulted by your naive and incorrect understanding of how historical corroboration is done.

          You might have an argument if there was only 1 account. But there’s 4, each featuring independent and corroborating testimony, which is something most ancient historians would absolutely kill to have for almost any other figure in ancient history. And something of a dirty secret in scholarship, which is kinda like the 6 oclock news: if it’s new and controversial, it’s probably going to have to be walked back, because if it bleeds it leads. And t usually within the next year or so happens because the conclusion usually doesn’t follow. Been in this game too long, seen it happen too many times.

        • Otto

          First linking to your own blog does not constitute ‘historical grounds’.

          >>>”But, being an ACTUAL scholar”

          Yeah right…and so is my cat.

          >>>”You might have an argument if there was only 1 account. But there’s 4

          Which plagiarize from 1…showing they are not independent of each other and not corroborating each other…and are not eyewitness accounts.

          If you were a scholar and could back up everything you say you could turn actual NT scholarship on its head and make a boatload of money…instead you blog and reason like shit.

        • Greg G.

          Scholars have identified the sources that Mark used to create his gospel. Most of them have nothing to do with Jesus. It shows that the gospel is a fictional story. That they other gospels also have these fictional accounts shows they rely on fiction or rewriting historical writings to fit the story.

          Matthew and Luke used Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews. Matthew used it to make up the nativity of Jesus story. Luke used it for some parts of the gospel that do not align with Mark and Matthew, which rules out coincidence. If it was coincidence, the coincidences would be spread throughout instead of appearing only in the 25% or so not taken from Mark and Matthew. In Luke, Josephus is used more frequently. Apologists will point to six or eight and pass them off as coincidence but there are dozens of places and many are obviously taken from Josephus. Gamaliel argues for the disciples saying that if they are false, something bad would happen to them like it did to Judas the Galilean, who was active when Herod the Great died decades earlier. Couldn’t Gamaliel come up with something more recent? Actually he was compensating for the example of Theudas who would have be a decade in the future. But Theudas and the sons of Judas the Galilean are mentioned in back to back paragraphs in Antiquities of the Jews.

        • Triggerman1976

          Matthew and Luke could not have used Josephus since, by even the most liberal accepted textual scholars, Josephus’ works were written AFTER them (M & L AD70-90, Jos. AD93-94), and no one who has actually READ Josephus would draw that conclusion.

          The Apostle Peter was Mark’s source.

        • Greg G.

          Then what source was Luke reading for the Gamaliel speech? Judas the Galilean was ancient history when Gamaliel was supposed to have spoken and Theudas was ten years in the future. The account makes no sense in context. But Josephus describes what happened to Theudas in one paragraph and what happened to the sons of Judas the Galilean in the next, and describes Judas the Galilean, too.

          In Acts 21:38, Paul is mistaken for the Egyptian, who we know from Josephus, but the Egyptian did not lead the Sicarii into the desert. He led some people to the Mount of Olives. But Josephus described another figure who led people into the desert and described the Sicarii in nearby paragraphs.

          There are a few dozen such coincidences in Luke and Acts. After you plead coincidence a dozen times, you have to realize there is a pattern that needs an explanation. Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews and his biography are a part of the M and L sources. It means that the earliest those gospels could have been written are the end of the first century. That makes it nearly impossible for them to be eyewitness reports.

        • Triggerman1976

          The name “Theudas”, by survey of ancient Aramaic and Hebrew names, is a fairly common name. But here’s the question that needs to be answered: did Gamaliel know what he was talking about?
          There’s a number of factors that need to be considered:
          1. Josephus could be wrong. There are several instances where Josephus has been shown to be in error, either in facts or dating. Unless you are willing to argue that Josephus was divinely inspired and is inerrant this is a reasonable possibility.
          2. The writer of Acts could be wrong. However, the writer of Acts is remarkably careful with his facts and has not only to be demonstrated to be accurate in facts, but even in dating events. However, even human beings are allowed to make a mistake, thus making this an argument against the doctrine of inerrancy.
          3. Both could be wrong. For the reasons stated above.
          4. Both could be correct. It’s a false dichotomy to force a choice between them. Gamaliel (via Luke) could be referring to a man named Theudas that is lost to history (logical possibility given the history of the Jews with foreign oppressors) and Josephus chose not to mention that one in favor of the other one, which is entirely within his purview in presenting his narrative. The very use of the phrase, *pro houtos ho hēmera* in Acts 5:36 accompanied by the pronoun phrase *meta houtos* in v37 are referring to sequences of events, one preceded by the other.

          I’m going to guess that you haven’t actually read Antiquities 20:167-172, because Josephus links “the Egyptian” to “the robbers (Hendrickson trans)” as their spiritual leader. And the word used by Luke, some translations do use “desert”, but *eremos* is used to distinguish the city, where civilization is, from the rural, where there is no civilization, a better translation would be “countryside” because Josephus notes that of the Egyptian’s followers, “the robbers stirred up the people to make war with the Romans, and said they ought not to obey them at all; and when any persons would not comply with them, they set fire to their villages, and plundered them (Antiquities 20:172).” And again, Luke puts the phrase *pro houtos ho hēmera* in the mouth of the Roman soldier in 21:38 to covey a sense of time having passed, especially since the Egyptian, Josephus notes (20:172), had gone into hiding.
          So, it seems like, once again, you’re setting up a false dichotomy.

          Since Acts and Josephus cover some of the same territory (Jerusalem) there is bound to be some coincidence in reporting. It requires no further explanation than two different authors writing about two different things happen to cover some of the same territory. If Josephus and Acts DIDN’T have some occasional intersection you’d STILL be complaining. So, it simply doesn’t follow that Josephus is a source for Acts especially when there is very good reason to date Acts pre-AD70 (my position), which would make Acts a source for Josephus (I don’t accept this), especially since the latest, most commonly accepted date by scholars is AD90, 3 years BEFORE Josephus produced his works.

        • Greg G.

          This post was not active when I tried to reply. Here is the text in full and my reply is below it:
          ________________________________________
          The name “Theudas”, by survey of ancient Aramaic and Hebrew names, is a fairly common name. But here’s the question that needs to be answered: did Gamaliel know what he was talking about?
          There’s a number of factors that need to be considered:
          1. Josephus could be wrong. There are several instances where Josephus has been shown to be in error, either in facts or dating. Unless you are willing to argue that Josephus was divinely inspired and is inerrant this is a reasonable possibility.
          2. The writer of Acts could be wrong. However, the writer of Acts is remarkably careful with his facts and has not only to be demonstrated to be accurate in facts, but even in dating events. However, even human beings are allowed to make a mistake, thus making this an argument against the doctrine of inerrancy.
          3. Both could be wrong. For the reasons stated above.
          4. Both could be correct. It’s a false dichotomy to force a choice between them. Gamaliel (via Luke) could be referring to a man named Theudas that is lost to history (logical possibility given the history of the Jews with foreign oppressors) and Josephus chose not to mention that one in favor of the other one, which is entirely within his purview in presenting his narrative. The very use of the phrase, *pro houtos ho hēmera* in Acts 5:36 accompanied by the pronoun phrase *meta houtos* in v37 are referring to sequences of events, one preceded by the other.

          I’m going to guess that you haven’t actually read Antiquities 20:167-172, because Josephus links “the Egyptian” to “the robbers (Hendrickson trans)” as their spiritual leader. And the word used by Luke, some translations do use “desert”, but *eremos* is used to distinguish the city, where civilization is, from the rural, where there is no civilization, a better translation would be “countryside” because Josephus notes that of the Egyptian’s followers, “the robbers stirred up the people to make war with the Romans, and said they ought not to obey them at all; and when any persons would not comply with them, they set fire to their villages, and plundered them (Antiquities 20:172).” And again, Luke puts the phrase *pro houtos ho hēmera* in the mouth of the Roman soldier in 21:38 to covey a sense of time having passed, especially since the Egyptian, Josephus notes (20:172), had gone into hiding.
          So, it seems like, once again, you’re setting up a false dichotomy.

          Since Acts and Josephus cover some of the same territory (Jerusalem) there is bound to be some coincidence in reporting. It requires no further explanation than two different authors writing about two different things happen to cover some of the same territory. If Josephus and Acts DIDN’T have some occasional intersection you’d STILL be complaining. So, it simply doesn’t follow that Josephus is a source for Acts especially when there is very good reason to date Acts pre-AD70 (my position), which would make Acts a source for Josephus (I don’t accept this), especially since the latest, most commonly accepted date by scholars is AD90, 3 years BEFORE Josephus produced his works.

          ___________________________________________________

          referring to sequences of events, one preceded by the other.

          Yes, and Luke got the sequence wrong because he was just filling the pages with modified stories from Josephus. How many Theudas’ led a group of people and came to a bad end? It is not like Josephus listed a lot of leaders of small groups by name, but we find three of the names Josephus used in Acts. It was the sons of Judas the Galilean who were killed after Theudas but Josephus said a little bit about their more famous father, who apparently started the Zealot sect, per Jewish Wars.

          Antiquities of the Jews 20.8.6 §167-172
          6. These works, that were done by the robbers, filled the city with all sorts of impiety. And now these impostors and deceivers persuaded the multitude to follow them into the wilderness, and pretended that they would exhibit manifest wonders and signs, that should be performed by the providence of God. And many that were prevailed on by them suffered the punishments of their folly; for Felix brought them back, and then punished them. Moreover, there came out of Egypt about this time to Jerusalem one that said he was a prophet, and advised the multitude of the common people to go along with him to the Mount of Olives, as it was called, which lay over against the city, and at the distance of five furlongs. He said further, that he would show them from hence how, at his command, the walls of Jerusalem would fall down; and he promised them that he would procure them an entrance into the city through those walls, when they were fallen down. Now when Felix was informed of these things, he ordered his soldiers to take their weapons, and came against them with a great number of horsemen and footmen from Jerusalem, and attacked the Egyptian and the people that were with him. He also slew four hundred of them, and took two hundred alive. But the Egyptian himself escaped out of the fight, but did not appear any more. And again the robbers stirred up the people to make war with the Romans, and said they ought not to obey them at all; and when any persons would not comply with them, they set fire to their villages, and plundered them.

          The Egyptian led a bunch up to the Mount of Olives and they got slaughtered. That was the end of the story about him. The word translated as “wilderness” in Antiquities is “ἐρημίαν” and in Acts, it is “ἔρημον” so it’s the same root.

          We can play this game thirty or forty times, and each time, you will use the same type of argument but it loses it force after the first half dozen. It is the number and the density of these so-called coincidences. If they are mere coincidences, they should be found evenly spread out in the Gospel of Luke. But they appear only in the 25 or 30% of Luke that doesn’t come from Mark or Matthew. Unless you want to find more matches in the majority part of gLuke.

          It is not just a matter of covering the same place and time. It is how the material is used. Some names are there who do not play a role in Acts. Berenice seems to be in Acts because Josephus mentioned her with Agrippa.

          There are about 34 people in the New Testament that are historically verified or possible verified by written documents or hard archaeological evidence. Twenty of those people are found only in Luke and Acts. Seventeen of those twenty are named in the works of Josephus that still exist.

          I doubt that I have to point out the parallels in Luke and Acts for these to passages from Josephus’ autobiography:

          Life 2 excerpt
          Moreover, when I was a child, and about fourteen years of age, I was commended by all for the love I had to learning; on which account the high priests and principal men of the city came then frequently to me together, in order to know my opinion about the accurate understanding of points of the law.

          Life 3 §13-16
          3. But when I was in the twenty-sixth year of my age, it happened that I took a voyage to Rome, and this on the occasion which I shall now describe. At the time when Felix was procurator of Judea there were certain priests of my acquaintance, and very excellent persons they were, whom on a small and trifling occasion he had put into bonds, and sent to Rome to plead their cause before Caesar. These I was desirous to procure deliverance for, and that especially because I was informed that they were not unmindful of piety towards God, even under their afflictions, but supported themselves with figs and nuts.1 Accordingly I came to Rome, though it were through a great number of hazards by sea; for as our ship was drowned in the Adriatic Sea, we that were in it, being about six hundred in number,2 swam for our lives all the night; when, upon the first appearance of the day, and upon our sight of a ship of Cyrene, I and some others, eighty in all, by God’s providence, prevented the rest, and were taken up into the other ship. And when I had thus escaped, and was come to Dieearchia, which the Italians call Puteoli, I became acquainted with Aliturius, an actor of plays, and much beloved by Nero, but a Jew by birth; and through his interest became known to Poppea, Caesar’s wife, and took care, as soon as possible, to entreat her to procure that the priests might be set at liberty. And when, besides this favor, I had obtained many presents from Poppea, I returned home again.

        • Ignorant Amos

          But, being an ACTUAL scholar, who ACTUALLY studies this stuff, who ACTUALLY had to sit sit in years of classes and learn HOW to study history and has done ACTUAL historical research, I’m insulted by your naive and incorrect understanding of how historical corroboration is done.

          Bwaaahahahahaha…now that is really funny.

        • Pofarmer

          Is this the dude that has like 600 hours of college credits and no degrees?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Remember that Clampett, no, this is a different Coco altogether.

          Triggerman was here about three months ago…same shtick…he just fucked off to Croydon and hit the reset button.

          I thought I read somewhere that he has a qualification in philosophy of religion…that’ll be a waste of paper.

          He cited Ehrman’s book “DJE?” at me three months ago, but he only got to read it more recently.

        • Otto

          He describes himself on his blog as an ‘average Joe’ but doesn’t give much more info because he ‘isn’t that interesting’…so yeah that sounds like a Scholar to me.

        • Pofarmer

          For f**** sake. Even the Catholic Church says their anonymous.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Sure what ta fuck do they know?…oh, hang on, maybe, just maybe…

        • Triggerman1976

          Which “Catholic Church”? The one that existed before the 4th century? Or the ones that existed after the 11th?

        • An actual scholar? Great! Give us some interesting stuff, like telling us who gMark was written by and how you know.

        • Triggerman1976

          Mark wrote it. The early church fathers say so, and it only became a question when people who didn’t want to believe it started engaging in wild speculation rather that dealing with the evidence.

        • Do you know the tenuous history of the claim that Mark wrote it and are just embarrassed to share it with us? Or do you not know it?

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2014/08/why-the-gospel-of-mark-is-likely-not-an-eyewitness-account/

        • Triggerman1976

          “paltry” doesn’t mean non-existent and your article demonstrates this.

          Of course what you’re attempting to argue is that because the best examples of these evidences are late, therefore they shouldn’t be trusted. But that logic doesn’t follow. While the witnesses are, at best, fragmentary, they demonstrate a consistency in transmission. And the fact that there is consistency across every tradition with absolutely no…let me repeat that…ABSOLUTELY NO…zip…zero…zilch…argument in the history over authorship of any of the gospels is evidence too.

          Papias was like the Alex Jones of the early church, he believed a lot of crazy things, and everyone just kinda let him talk.

        • Did you not know this evidence trail before you read my post?

          “paltry” doesn’t mean non-existent and your article demonstrates this.

          That’s cool! We much share a common language. Wow—small world.

          Of course what you’re attempting to argue is that because the best examples of these evidences are late, therefore they shouldn’t be trusted.

          I’m saying that we should trust in proportion to the reliability of the evidence. This is very, very poor evidence.

          But that logic doesn’t follow. While the witnesses are, at best, fragmentary, they demonstrate a consistency in transmission.

          What consistency? We have the final document in the trail. And from that you’re inferring that there was no tampering with the basic story as it went from person to person to person?

          And the fact that there is consistency across every tradition with absolutely no…let me repeat that…ABSOLUTELY NO…zip…zero…zilch…argument in the history over authorship of any of the gospels is evidence too.

          For our sharing a common language, I’m having a hard time with this. You’re saying that no scholar today questions the traditional assignments of authorship of the gospels?

          Papias was like the Alex Jones of the early church, he believed a lot of crazy things, and everyone just kinda let him talk.

          Sorry to go back to square 1, but you do realize that the problems with Papias’s reliability is just the tip of the iceberg, right?

        • Triggerman1976

          — This is very, very poor evidence.
          That’s a very subjective argument. The quality of the evidence is not what is in question, only the quantity.

          –We have the final document in the trail.
          No, we have fragments in Greek, with more complete copies surviving in Latin (as the primary language of the western church in later years) and Armenian (as a regional language). Irenaeus was an influence more in the west.

          –For our sharing a common language, I’m having a hard time with this. You’re saying that no scholar today questions the traditional assignments of authorship of the gospels?
          That’s okay, because I often question whether or not you can actually read, because I didn’t say anything about modern scholarship, I specifically said that there is no question in HISTORY. There is no discussion about authorship, when it comes to the canonical texts, for almost 1800 years. Nothing. It’s always attributed to the historical attributions. The burden of proof for the critic is to provide evidence of such questions IN HISTORY, in the first—oh let’s make it reasonable–500 years of the church. I’ve had that challenge out there for a decade. No takers. What I get is hand-waving and arguments from authority.

          –that the problems with Papias’s reliability is just the tip of the iceberg
          The problem is that Papias believed weird things, but believing weird things doesn’t invalidate things that he said if they have corroboration. Everyone believes weird things, everyone believes wrong things, but the weird and the wrong don’t cancel out the true things.

        • That’s a very subjective argument. The quality of the evidence is not what is in question, only the quantity.

          We must be talking about different things. Here’s my wrapup of my argument from the post (at your earliest convenience, please tell me about whatever it is that you’re arguing):

          Count the successive people in the claim “Mark wrote the gospel of Mark, which documents an eyewitness account”: (1) Peter was an eyewitness and (2) Mark was his journalist, and (3) someone told this to (4) Papias, who wrote his book, which was preserved by (5) copyist(s), and (6) Eusebius transcribed parts of that, and (7) more copyist(s) translated Eusebius to give us our oldest manuscript copy. And the oldest piece of evidence that we can put our hands on was written four centuries after Mark was written.

          Back to you:

          No, we have fragments in Greek, with more complete copies surviving in Latin (as the primary language of the western church in later years) and Armenian (as a regional language). Irenaeus was an influence more in the west.

          Yet again, this is all in the post. I have no idea why we must go over this successive times. If there’s a problem with the original post, quote that and give me your correction.

          From the original post: “how do we know what Eusebius said? The oldest copies of his book are from the tenth century, though there is a Syriac translation from 462.” So take your pick: a Greek Eusebius from the 10th century or a Syriac translation from the 5th. If you have something better than these, point them out to me.

          there is no question in HISTORY. There is no discussion about authorship, when it comes to the canonical texts, for almost 1800 years. Nothing.

          Which does what about the problems listed above? Does this somehow mean we have something older than the Syriac translation of the 5th century?

          The burden of proof for the critic is to provide evidence of such questions IN HISTORY, in the first—oh let’s make it reasonable–500 years of the church. I’ve had that challenge out there for a decade. No takers.

          Which is just what you’ll get from me. No takers. I throw in the towel. I couldn’t give a shit.

          Now that that’s over and we’ve had the ritual humiliation where I have nothing to offer to an irrelevant point, let’s get back to the original issue, quoted above.

          The problem is that Papias believed weird things, but believing weird things doesn’t invalidate things

          I agree. You gonna take this somewhere interesting, or do I need to point, yet again, to the problem (which I’ve thoughtfully quoted above)?

        • Greg G.

          And the fact that there is consistency across every tradition with absolutely no…let me repeat that…ABSOLUTELY NO…zip…zero…zilch…argument in the history over authorship of any of the gospels is evidence too.

          Bart Ehrman (Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium, pp. 249-250) points out:

          Because our surviving Greek manuscripts provide such a wide variety of (different) titles for the Gospels, textual scholars have long realized that their familiar names do not go back to a single ‘original’ title, but were added by later scribes.

          There doesn’t seem to have been titles on the originals of any of the Gospels. They kept making up some titles even after they assigned authors to them. The Matthew that Papias talked about is not the one we have today. They apparently fudged the name of it because they didn’t know who wrote it and they had a name for a gospel and no gospel with that name.

          Papias was like the Alex Jones of the early church

          Good one!

        • Triggerman1976

          –There doesn’t seem to have been titles on the originals of any of the Gospels.
          Except that whenever one is cited as authoritative, it’s always one of the four canonicals. Ehrman absolutely LOVES to conflate the Gnostic and proto-gnostic “gospels” with the canonicals. Michael Kruger and Andreas Köstenberger respond to much of the titular problem by noting that the Christians adopted a codex-form very early as opposed to scrolls common in every other religion or social strata (THE HERESY OF ORTHODOXY, p.285). Any documents in that form are easy to lose the first few pages out of.

          –They kept making up some titles even after they assigned authors to them.
          Except that the same names keep appearing attached the same texts. You never find a copy of Matthew ascribed to anyone but Matthew, or Mark to anyone but Mark, or Luke to Luke, or John to John. Even the Gnostic texts are clearly titled and not attributed to anyone else.

          –The Matthew that Papias talked about is not the one we have today.
          Papias also claimed that people were interpreting (translating) Matthew. That means that we do have it, in a translated form.

          –They apparently fudged the name of it because they didn’t know who wrote it and they had a name for a gospel and no gospel with that name.
          See above.

        • Greg G.

          –They kept making up some titles even after they assigned authors to them.
          Except that the same names keep appearing attached the same texts. You never find a copy of Matthew ascribed to anyone but Matthew, or Mark to anyone but Mark, or Luke to Luke, or John to John. Even the Gnostic texts are clearly titled and not attributed to anyone else.

          I don’t think you have a titled manuscript from before Irenaeus.

          –The Matthew that Papias talked about is not the one we have today.
          Papias also claimed that people were interpreting (translating) Matthew. That means that we do have it, in a translated form.

          Papias said they were having trouble interpreting it. Scholars say it was not translated into Greek, it was written in Greek. That means you do not have what Papias called Matthew.

        • Phil

          “But, being an ACTUAL scholar, who ACTUALLY studies this stuff, who ACTUALLY had to sit sit in years of classes and learn HOW to study history and has done ACTUAL historical research” What a waste of a life.
          Especially when I can’t get past this idea of a god. Sounds too ridiculous to pursue. I love the way you guys duel over the nuances of 2,000 year old texts. It is fascinating. But oh so pointless until somebody can actually show some evidence for a god’s existence in the first place. Then we may proceed to the question of which god. After that it becomes necessary to decide which of various denominations is correct. Once all that is settled I will happily study the relevant holy materials and take part in these scholarly discussions.

        • Triggerman1976

          Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.

          You mean the evidence for the God that you know exists and are dependent upon for your very life that is all around you?

        • Otto

          Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.

          You mean like accepting beliefs based on too many needless and unwarranted preusppositions…?

        • Phil

          Really?

        • Ignorant Amos

          As thick as a bag of bricks.

        • epeeist

          As thick as a bag of bricks.

          How many of the theists visiting this site does it take to reach an IQ in double figures?

        • Triggerman1976

          Don’t beat yourself up, I mean–good grief–you’ve already admitted to being “ignorant”.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yeah…and if you think you are not ignorant on most things too…you are even dumber than I think you are, and that’s saying something about how dumb I already think ya are.

        • Triggerman1976

          I’m not the one posting bogus quotes.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Nor have I…and you provided me with two links to the Justin Martyr book and chapter that supports I didn’t ya dopey bastard.

        • What evidence?

        • Triggerman1976

          Everything: in heaven and on earth and under the earth. There is no where you can go where God’s power and majesty are not on display.

        • Y’know, I can’t blame you. That’s a common mistake, but no, I’m afraid “everything” isn’t evidence of the hand of the Christian god but the work of Quetzalcoatl.

        • Phil

          Give us an example of this power and majesty that can only have come from a god and can’t be attributed to normal physical processes.

        • Triggerman1976

          By your daring to say, as an atheist, that there is such a thing as a “normal physical process”. The atheist has no grounds to say that such a thing exists. By making such a statement, he is giving tacit acknowledgement of the God he knows exist, who made the world and everything in it, but who sustains it, and carries it along to its appointed end, so that he can say that there is such a thing as a “normal physical process”.

        • Otto

          Presuppositionalism is apologetics for the lazy.

        • Triggerman1976

          Failing to recognize that there are such things as presuppositions, their origination, and their effect on thought, is a sign of a lazy thinker.

        • Otto

          That has nothing to do with my point…stacking presuppositions like lego’s is just mental masturbation.

        • Phil

          Is this what years of ACTUAL study does to your brain? Twist everything around and mangle it up until you get the result you want. But I guess years of interpretation of ancient texts because it isn’t obvious what the gobbldeygook means, that you can’t take anything for what it simply means.

          “Normal physical process” is nothing more than what it says. What we observe, calculate and predict. Exactly what experience would show in the absence of anything supernatural. You re-iterate that you know what I know that I don’t know. So weird. The theist has no grounds to say that “a god did it” let alone which one of thousands of gods.

          So where is this example of power and majesty or godly intervention in anything ever?

        • Triggerman1976

          What is your justification for the validity of those observations and what makes you think that you have any grounds to make any future declarations about those observations?

        • Phil

          Wow! Way to go evading the questions with distractions. What justification for the validity of your assertion that a god exists. What makes you think you have any grounds to make any declarations based on that unfounded assertion.

          Repeat: Give us an example of this power and majesty

          Repeat: How do you know what I know that I don’t know.

          “The atheist has no grounds to say that such a thing exists. By making such a statement, he is giving tacit acknowledgement of the God he knows exist”

          So you are saying that an atheist is someone who knows there is a god? Sheesh! Atheists must be superior to theists as they only believe there is a god. We actually know? Unbelievable nonsense.

        • Phil

          What evidences is that? How do you know what I know without me even knowing it? What god dependency is that and which god? Whatever imaginary god you have in mind, can you tell he/it/she to sod off and leave me alone. I am quite happy without any imaginary interference in an imaginary way.

          I am really puzzled over “Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.” What has that got to do with anything? Is it a random profound statement that you throw in to seem erudite?

        • Ignorant Amos

          What does it matter if they’re “anonymous”?

          It means anyone could’ve written them, making them not eyewitness and not evidence…hearsay at best.

          (They aren’t.)

          Yeah..they really are…even Christian scholars admitt they are.

        • Triggerman1976

          Well, let’s just say that they’re anonymous–again, they aren’t–they weren’t written by “just anyone”, which is something even atheist scholars, like Bart Ehrman, will concede in published work. They were written by people deeply familiar with the culture, the languages, the politics,and the immediate history. If they weren’t eyewitnesses themselves, they were writing what the eyewitnesses were saying, which makes them–for all intents and purposes– eyewitness statements.

          Do you normally make fallacious appeals unnamed authorities?

        • Otto

          >>>”they were writing what the eyewitnesses were saying, which makes them–for all intents and purposes– eyewitness statements.”

          Try using that argument in a court of Law and see how fast your ‘eyewitness statement’ is dismissed as hearsay…and you are laughed out of court.

        • Do you normally make fallacious appeals unnamed authorities?

          I’m sure your justification for your position will be rock solid and convincing. Go.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Well, let’s just say that they’re anonymous–again, they aren’t–they weren’t written by “just anyone”, which is something even atheist scholars, like Bart Ehrman, will concede in published work.

          When ya don’t know who wrote them, then anyone could’ve wrote them. But you are being pedantic for the sake of contrariness. Obviously, to someone with a functional brain, I didn’t actually mean “just anyone”, nor is that what I said.

          They were written by people deeply familiar with the culture, the languages, the politics,and the immediate history.

          Ya think? So were all those other scriptures that contradict the canonical NT held so dearly by folk like you today.

          Since you mention Ehrman…

          LOST SCRIPTURES: BOOKS THAT DID NOT
          MAKE IT INTO THE NEW TESTAMENT

          We may think of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament as the only sacred writings of the early Christians, but this is not at all the case. Lost Scriptures offers an anthology of up-to-date and readable translations of many non-canonical writings from the first centuries after Christ–texts that have been for the most part lost or neglected for almost two millennia.

          Here is an array of remarkably varied writings from early Christian groups whose visions of Jesus differ dramatically from our contemporary understanding. Readers will find Gospels supposedly authored by the apostle Philip, James the brother of Jesus, Mary Magdalen, and others. There are Acts originally ascribed to John and to Thecla, Paul’s female companion; there are Epistles allegedly written by Paul to the Roman philosopher Seneca. And there is an apocalypse by Simon Peter that offers a guided tour of the afterlife, both the glorious ecstasies of the saints and the horrendous torments of the damned, and an Epistle by Titus, a companion of Paul, which argues page after page against sexual love, even within marriage, on the grounds that physical intimacy leads to damnation. In all, the anthology includes fifteen Gospels, five non-canonical Acts of the Apostles, thirteen Epistles, a number of Apocalypes and Secret Books, and several Canon lists. Ehrman has included a general introduction, plus brief introductions to each piece.

          Lost Scriptures gives readers a vivid picture of the range of beliefs that battled each other in the first centuries of the Christian era. It is an essential resource for anyone interested in the Bible or the early Church.

          https://www.bartdehrman.com/lost-scriptures-books-that-did-not-make-it-into-the-new-testament/

          If they weren’t eyewitnesses themselves, they were writing what the eyewitnesses were saying, which makes them–for all intents and purposes– eyewitness statements.

          That’s not how it works ya Dime Bar. They were anonymous writings that are not eyewitness accounts, this is not disputed by rational critical thinking learned people.

          The Book of Mormon on the other hand, is far better attested to…but you don’t find the evidence for that nonsense at all convincing I presume?

          Do you normally make fallacious appeals unnamed authorities?

          First, learn what the appeal to authority fallacy is before making an eejit of yourself.

          Secondly, are you claiming that there are no “Christian scholars” of the NT that state that the gospels are anonymous writings?

          Neither the evangelists nor their first readers engaged in historical analysis. Their aim was to confirm Christian faith (Lk. 1.4; Jn. 20.31). Scholars generally agree that the Gospels were written forty to sixty years after the death of Jesus. They thus do not present eyewitness or contemporary accounts of Jesus’ life and teachings. ~ The New Oxford Annotated Bible: With the Apocrypha

          That’s the Bible preferred by all sorts of Christian scholars and clerics…

          The premier study Bible used by scholars, pastors, undergraduate and graduate students, The New Oxford Annotated Bible offers a vast range of information, including extensive notes by experts in their fields; in-text maps, charts, and diagrams; supplementary essays on translation, biblical interpretation, cultural and historical background, and other general topics.

          Is that authoritative enough for ya?

          Unfortunately, much of the general public is not familiar with scholarly resources like the one quoted above; instead, Christian apologists often put out a lot of material, such as The Case For Christ, targeted toward lay audiences, who are not familiar with scholarly methods, in order to argue that the Gospels are the eyewitness testimonies of either Jesus’ disciples or their attendants. The mainstream scholarly view is that the Gospels are anonymous works, written in a different language than that of Jesus, in distant lands, after a substantial gap of time, by unknown persons, compiling, redacting, and inventing various traditions, in order to provide a narrative of Christianity’s central figure—Jesus Christ—to confirm the faith of their communities.

          As scholarly sources like the Oxford Annotated Bible note, the Gospels are not historical works (even if they contain some historical kernels). I have discussed elsewhere some of the reasons why scholars recognize that the Gospels are not historical in their genre, purpose, or character in my article “Ancient Historical Writing Compared to the Gospels of the New Testament.” However, I will now also lay out a resource here explaining why many scholars likewise doubt the traditional authorial attributions of the Gospels.

          https://infidels.org/library/modern/matthew_ferguson/gospel-authors.html

          Sorry if you’ve been kept out of the loop…but that’s your problem, not mine.

        • Triggerman1976

          Yeah, Ehrman is fond of mentioning those other writings. The problem is that some were considered “useful” and others weren’t, which is why they were condemned. Ehrman is very selective with his evidence, and he makes a lot of claims that anyone who has spent any amount of time actually reading the sources realizes that he’s overselling his position, almost to the point of misrepresentation, but he’s careful not to cross that line. Ehrman loves to flaunt his credentials and treads dangerously close to making arguments based solely on his authority.

          The Book of Mormon? Anyone bringing that up demonstrates just how desperate and unsubstantiated their argument is. There is no meaningful comparison between that (written in the 1820s) and the Bible as far as historical attestation. Bible: lots(people, places, events). Book of Mormon: 0 (zip, zero,zilch)

          There’s lots of scholars that make lots of claims, the problem is that they don’t expect people to check the references and see if the arguments are supported by the evidence. So, I can be pretty sure that there are “Christian scholars” who make those claims. The problem is this pesky thing called “facts”. They talk about the gospels as if they’re unusual, outliers among similar historical documents of similar age when they actually have some of the same features, including an APPEARANCE of anonymity. Almost every historical source that we have from that period has no direct attribution of authorship , it’s almost all secondary. It was actually considered to be dishonorable to write about yourself in 1st person, much less give self-attribution (ie Caesar’s Gallic Wars, written by Julius Caesar is told in 3rd person).

          I love that fallacious appeal to consensus in that quote. “Scholars generally agree that the Gospels were written forty to sixty years after the death of Jesus.” Scholars can agree to anything, it doesn’t make it so. Especially when texts that they accept as being written within 20 years of the events contain DIRECT QUOTATIONS from texts that aren’t supposed to exist for another 20 to 40 years. Did Paul have a time machine when he quoted Luke in 1 Corinthians? And if Luke is supposedly using Matthew and Mark, why does he use completely different phrasing? That’s also a problem with 1 Timothy, which also quotes John and Luke, and 2 Timothy quoting Matthew and Hebrews. Only if one ASSUMES non-Pauline authorship (a thoroughly modern assumption) of the Timothy letters and late dates for the gospels is this a problem.

          Yeah, I do kinda like Ehrman, especially when he contradicts “scholars”, when he writes, “…there is historical information in the Gospels. This historical material needs to be teased out by careful, critical analysis. (Did Jesus Exist?, Chapter 3)”

        • Greg G.

          If they weren’t eyewitnesses themselves, they were writing what the eyewitnesses were saying, which makes them–for all intents and purposes– eyewitness statements.

          No, it would make them hearsay accounts.

          The epistles tend to not have eyewitness statements. What they say about Jesus appears to only come from the Old Testament, not first century accounts. The source material of the Gospel of Mark is the most popular literature of the day, so popular that copies of it have survived to the present and can be identified as the basis for the gospel. Either that or Jesus intentionally tried to live his life like Odysseus but nobody realized it for a half century.

        • Triggerman1976

          No, a “hearsay account” would be if they were hearing it from a second generation.
          For example: ME telling you about something that I saw or did is an eyewitness statement. YOU telling your S/O what I said or did is hearsay.
          Having actually read the Odyssey, anyone making any claims of any similarities between Odysseus and Mark either cannot f****** read or is counting on gullible people to have not read anything more than the back of a shampoo bottle. Probably the latter.

        • Otto

          >>>”ME telling you about something that I saw or did is an eyewitness statement.”

          ME telling you about something that I saw or did is an eyewitness statement, and then you relating what I said to other people is HEARSAY!

        • Triggerman1976

          And if, as I were telling you, you were writing it down or recording it in some other way, so that you could tell others, it would still be an eyewitness statement.

        • Otto

          If you took that recording or writing into a court of law it would be hearsay.

          And for this discussion it doesn’t matter, you cannot show that the gospels were written that way…you just suppose they were so you feel better about the whole thing.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Mohammad rode a flying horse in that case.

          And the Joseph Smith nonsense is far better attested to than the NT…why aren’t you a Mormon?

        • Triggerman1976

          I’m sorry, you’re comparing an actual work of fiction almost 200 years old, that has been deliberately changed thousands of times to get it to cohere to a set of doctrines that it cannot support, to a set of documents that was hand-copied for almost 1600 years with a 90-98% accuracy of transmission? Are you kidding?

        • Otto

          90-98%…lol.

          Any chance you have any idea what they got wrong?

        • Sure, I know that the Book of Mormon isn’t historical, but so what? The argument you would make for the accuracy of our versions of the NT books is soundly beaten by the BoM–# manuscripts, time from event to autograph, time gap from autograph to our best copies, semantic gap between us and the originals, and so on.

          a set of documents that was hand-copied for almost 1600 years with a 90-98% accuracy of transmission? Are you kidding?

          90% is abysmal. I assume you’re referring to the Dead Sea Scrolls copies vs. the MT?

          I’ve explored the problem for the NT with a thought experiment here
          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2016/04/a-simple-thought-experiment-defeats-claim-that-bible-is-accurate/

        • Ignorant Amos

          I’m sorry, you’re comparing an actual work of fiction almost 200 years old,…

          Don’t apologise, I know that, and you know that, but those Mormons actually believe it is god given, and not fiction. Why are they wrong in any significant way you are not wrong about the NT?

          …that has been deliberately changed thousands of times to get it to cohere to a set of doctrines that it cannot support,…

          Well that’s interesting. Notwithstanding the decades of so-called oral tradition, we don’t have any mss of the NT from the first 200 years, so there is no way of knowing how many times it changed in that time to support the ever changing doctrines of the early Christian doctrines, but we know it had to be lots. The bit that gets the prestige’s accolade of being the first, Rylands p52, demonstrates that changes were made.

          Fortunately we have an original of the Book of Mormon in order to compare with the modern and note the changes. No such thing exists for the NT.

          The problem with the doctrine argument is that the early Christian texts that were deemed doctrinal controversial to the proto-orthodox Christians were declared heretical and not preserved. But that still didn’t prevent the arguments on issues of doctrine from continuing for centuries. The First Council of Nicaea was convened on issues of doctrine ffs…that was in the 4th century…others followed.

          …to a set of documents that was hand-copied for almost 1600 years with a 90-98% accuracy of transmission?

          Nope. Pure apologetic hogwash. As long ago as John Mill’s research 300 years ago, it was discovered that there was a problem…30,000 of them over 100 mss as a matter of fact.

          Mill’s work noted over 30,000 discrepancies between some 100 extant New Testament manuscripts. His work was attacked by Daniel Whitby and Anthony Collins. Whitby’s Examen claimed that Mill had destroyed the validity of the text; Collins received a reply from Bentley (Phileleutherus lipsiensis). Bentley defended Mill noting essentially that Mill was not responsible for the differences between the various manuscript, he only pointed them out. Bentley further noted that Christendom had indeed survived despite the errors, essentially asserting that Whitby’s attacks were unfounded.

          Today the number of errors is a guesstamation over 5,000 or so Greek mss…between 300,00 and 400,000 perhaps. And it is agreed that the majority are irrelevant to the big picture, but many are not.

          https://ehrmanblog.org/bart-ehrman-daniel-wallace-debate-original-nt-lost/

          The discovery of the early first century copy of the Gospel of Mark mentioned at the link, turned out to be a hoax.

          Compared to 3,913 changes or so, for the Book of Mormon. Which seem to be irrelevant to the believer, who’d have thought it?

          Are you kidding?

          It’s you that is kidding with this fuckwittery, but you know that already, you’ve just come back here and pressed the reset button.

          Let’s grant you that the NT copiers didn’t even make one single mistake over 1600 years for the sake of argument, so fucking what? That does nothing for the historical veracity of the story. That just means that they were very good copiers. Of course that they were good copiers is bullshit, and we have the evidence to prove it.

          Muslims make the same nonsense claim too btw…and their book is also nonsense too.

          Scholars disagree with each other, and with you and I, on what implications the errors have on the big picture, the matter isn’t settled and many scholars don’t think it will ever be.

        • Triggerman1976

          –we don’t have any mss of the NT from the first 200
          You forgot the important qualifier “complete”. There’s lots of fragments, and then there’s the quotations. But on a documentation scale, 200 years for a complete manuscript of an ancient text is UH-MAYZ-ING, especially when the next closest, the works of Homer, is 500 years. And that’s with Homer not having his books burned on orders from the government.

          –there is no way of knowing how many times it changed in that time to support the ever changing doctrines of the early Christian doctrines
          –The problem with the doctrine argument is that the early Christian texts that were deemed doctrinal controversial to the proto-orthodox Christians were declared heretical and not preserved.
          I mean its like there weren’t Christians and critics writing about Christians and what they believed for four hundred years quoting the gospels and Paul and Peter and Christians discussing what heretical groups believed…oh…wait…they were.

          –Fortunately we have an original of the Book of Mormon
          No, we don’t. It was lost by an associate of Smith and had to be “re-inspired”. And they aren’t “Mormons” any longer, as of August 17, 2018, they are The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

          –Pure apologetic hogwash.
          Yeah. No. The vast majority of NT manuscript “discrepencies” are in whether a writer uses the Greek equivalent of the English articles “a” or “an”. Then there’s variations in spelling, but koine Greek did not have standardized spelling. Then there’s whether or not the copyist uses a pronoun or the name of the person. Then there’s word order, which really doesn’t matter in koine Greek. Then there’s nonsense errors that don’t affect the meaning of the text. Skips, duplications, conflations, all of which lead those “in the know” to announce that there is a 90-98% accuracy in transmission.

          –The discovery of the early first century copy of the Gospel of Mark mentioned at the link, turned out to be a hoax.
          Not a “hoax” it was scholars jumping the gun. When the script of P137 was properly examined it was dated late 2nd early 3rd, giving evidence of a very early use of nomina sacra.

          –Of course that they were good copiers is bullshit, and we have the evidence to prove it.
          If by “proving” you mean bogus quotes, false equations, wild imagination, and circular reasoning…no, you don’t. You’re welcome to try though.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You forgot the important qualifier “complete”.

          Nope…I forgot fuck all of the sort. You can’t get the number of discrepancies in a complete manuscript from a shard ya moron. Even if all the shards came from the same papyri.

          There’s lots of fragments, and then there’s the quotations.

          Is there fuck “lots” of fragments ya dolt. You must think I’m new to this subject or something. There are 12 “fragments”, none of which can be definitively dated, because paleography doesn’t work that way.

          Since Paleographic dating as it currently exists is unable “to construct a 95% confidence interval for NT manuscripts without allowing a century for an assigned date” none of the fragments of the canonical Gospels nor non canonal works like Egerton Papyrus 2 can be said definitively predate Against Heresies c. 180 CE. So the best that can be said is that the canonal Gospels existed in some form no later then 145 CE. Anything before that date is pure speculation.

          The “lots” of fragments are….p4 150-250?, p46 200?, p52 125?, p64+67 200?, p66 200?, p75 175-225?, p77 200?, p90 150?, p98 200?, p103 200?, p104 150?

          As for lot’s of quotations, there is no meaningful quoting of our canonical gospels occurred until Irenaeus’ Against Heresies c. 180 CE .

          But on a documentation scale, 200 years for a complete manuscript of an ancient text is UH-MAYZ-ING, especially when the next closest, the works of Homer, is 500 years.

          But we don’t have a complete NT manuscript 200 years after the alleged events. [O]ur first fully intact copy with a definitive (i.e. not dated palaeographically) date is the Codex Sinaiticus at 330-360 CE.

          https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Gospels

          And the Codex Sinaiticus is different from the NT we have today and what went before.

          Codex Sinaiticus is one of the most important books in the world. Handwritten well over 1600 years ago, the manuscript contains the Christian Bible in Greek, including the oldest complete copy of the New Testament. Its heavily corrected text is of outstanding importance for the history of the Bible and the manuscript – the oldest substantial book to survive Antiquity – is of supreme importance for the history of the book.

          http://www.codexsinaiticus.org/en/

          And that’s with Homer not having his books burned on orders from the government.

          Homer? Who cares? Wise up will ya? You are comparing apples and oranges…talk about category error. Are you trying to suggest that the lack of Christian texts available is due to persecution? Give me a fucking break with that shite.

        • Triggerman1976

          –But we don’t have a complete NT manuscript 200 years after the alleged events.
          We don’t have a complete manuscript for ANYTHING from the first century or before. So its kinda funny with the double-standard that gets employed. So when anything even close to being a complete manuscript turns up at a date earlier than anything else, its kinda amazing. SO if it feels like I’m being dismissive, its not your imagination, I am.

          –the Codex Sinaiticus is different from the NT we have today
          I bet you don’t know what the differences are or why…or even if…they matter. I mean it represents a stop in a relatively stable line of transmission, even with multiple “corrective” hands being inserted at various times. But Sinaiticus is only relevant when comparing readings that come before and come after, unless your one of those Codex Sinaiticus-only weirdos.

        • What is your position on NT manuscripts? Are you just marveling that we have as good a collection as we do? Or are you making some stronger claim about what they do to buttress Christian arguments?

        • Ignorant Amos

          We don’t have a complete manuscript for ANYTHING from the first century or before. So its kinda funny with the double-standard that gets employed.

          There is no double standard employed by me. If anything, the double standard is employed by those in NT biblical studies. Which scholars have long time recognized.

          You are conflating accuracy in content, to veracity of content. If the Gospel of Mark we have today was as perfect to every single letter as the one the original author put down on papyrus, it still wouldn’t mean that what it claims happened, actually happened. For such a self acclaimed smart guy, I can’t understand what is so difficult about this for you to comprehend? Mark is far from perfect btw.

          When classicist’s are looking at other non Christian ancient mss, complete or not, regardless of the time from autograph to first extent copy, or accuracy in transference, the supernatural and paranormal claims are categorized as outside the scope of the historian automatically.

          But when some/most Christian historians/bible scholars, do same, bias kicks in.

          Now, outside of the resurrection of Jesus, I do not know of any historical claim that is accepted by a consensus or majority of professional historians, or even a single respected historian, that involves a paranormal occurrence. The reason why is that historians recognize that it is not their place to make claims about the universe that science cannot. History can only provide warrant for particular claims that involve uncontroversial general propositions. History tells us about events that have taken place in our world, but it cannot tell us the type of physical and metaphysical world that we live in. Name one case, outside of the resurrection of Jesus, where a respected historian has argued that we can use historical methodology to prove a paranormal claim about the world. I can think of none.

          If anything, I do not have a special prejudice against the supernatural, but rather a general prohibition against using the method of history to try to verify paranormal claims. This is because I do not believe that history is the correct epistemology for establishing the kind of universe we live in; it can only tell us about particular events that have occurred within existing scientific knowledge. If you disagree, name one, just one, paranormal claim about the past, outside of the resurrection of Jesus, that is accepted among professional historians. I can think of none.

          That is the real limitation of history. It is not that it can say nothing just about miracles or the supernatural, but that it is simply the wrong epistemology entirely for dealing with the paranormal.

          Do yourself a favor and read the whole article before commenting further ya Doofus.

          https://celsus.blog/2014/06/25/history-and-the-paranormal/

          And this one…

          https://celsus.blog/2013/03/31/history-probability-and-miracles/

          So when anything even close to being a complete manuscript turns up at a date earlier than anything else, its kinda amazing.

          Yip…no argument here from me. Even the hoax FCM mss that turned out to be from a couple of centuries later. But not for the reasons you think are pushing. To quote Ehrman…

          “Well it is a big deal for textual scholars. It is probably our earliest surviving fragment of any copy of Mark’s Gospel.”

          https://ehrmanblog.org/what-the-new-fragment-of-marks-gospel-looks-like-the-so-called-first-century-mark/

          Now you can appreciate that it isn’t because it supports the supernatural that Ehrman is excited. And he would’ve been soaking his pants if it had indeed been a first century mss, but again, not because it would verify the truth claims held within.

          SO if it feels like I’m being dismissive, its not your imagination, I am.

          I give zero fucks…you’ve clearly demonstrated your stupidity already. Your position goes against the scholarship of both those secular and rational Christian scholars in the field. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you can’t justify your asininity with anything near convincing supporting evidence, and that is a bad thing.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I bet you don’t know what the differences are or why…or even if…they matter.

          Well, I probably don’t know why you think so, but the readers here will attest I know a wee bit…some of them have been interacting with me for 10+ years. Admittedly, I knew a lot less then than now.

          I have a web site at hand for just such an accusation…

          https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/bible-versions-and-translations/absent-from-codex-sinaiticus-oldest-new-testament/

          But I’m nearly sure I gave an example and link to at least one other source? Here it is again…

          http://www.codexsinaiticus.org/en/codex/

          But again, it doesn’t demonstrate anything supernatural within its pages have any veracity…something you are struggling with comprehending…strange, given you claim to be such a smart cookie.

          I mean it represents a stop in a relatively stable line of transmission, even with multiple “corrective” hands being inserted at various times.

          Yeah..not that either. Again, I refer to the ending of Mark as an example.

          But Sinaiticus is only relevant when comparing readings that come before and come after, unless your one of those Codex Sinaiticus-only weirdos.

          No shit Sherlock. That’s the drum you are banging soft boy…the accuracy of the transmission of the NT texts to the fucking bullshit being spewed by the toss-bags to the gullible douches hovering up said bullshit. But get this, I really don’t care. You can’t get back to the original autograph no matter how hard you squirm. Therefore, you have no way of knowing what changes occurred, whether they were significant or not to any theology…and it doesn’t really matter to me, because none of it demonstrates a 3 in 1 god-man with supernatural powers did a lot of supernatural hocus pocus and was eventually resurrected from his grave and eventually flew up into the sky to a place called Heaven…so pah!

        • Triggerman1976

          –I have a web site at hand for just such an accusation…
          I mean, wow. I love how there’s absolutely NO discussion of the fact that the KJV’s NT text isn’t based on actual Greek manuscripts. The seven collated, printed texts that it gets its text from are; I mean they’re late texts from the Byzantine tradition, but they are what they are.

          –But again, it doesn’t demonstrate anything supernatural within its pages have any veracity…

          Except for what it demonstrates within its pages. What I think that you don’t understand is that a denial of the supernatural doesn’t disprove the supernatural. All that you can say is, “I don’t believe it.” Which would be enough, I mean Jesus himself said that even if a man rose from the dead people wouldn’t believe it…wait a minute…but that doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen. I mean there’s people who don’t believe that men have walked on the moon, why should a man rising from the dead be any different?

        • Ignorant Amos

          I mean, wow. I love how there’s absolutely NO discussion of the fact that the KJV’s NT text isn’t based on actual Greek manuscripts. The seven collated, printed texts that it gets its text from are; I mean they’re late texts from the Byzantine tradition, but they are what they are.

          It goes to the centre of what Christians are reading, what they believe about it, and an example of the corruption that went on.

          Except for what it demonstrates within its pages. What I think that you don’t understand is that a denial of the supernatural doesn’t disprove the supernatural.

          Again…I have reasonable expectation based on prior probability. Nothing that has ever had a supernatural explanation has been demonstrated to have turned out to have a supernatural explanation…not one thing in the history of mankind. And again, once you permit the supernatural mumbo jumbo of your particular woo-woo, you cannot deny that of all the other woo-woo’s you don’t believe in, to do so is to commit to special pleading, and that is fallacious.

          What it demonstrates within it’s pages is that the authors had fanciful imaginations…and plagiarized the fanciful imaginations of others. That’s it…nothing more than that.

          All that you can say is, “I don’t believe it.” Which would be enough,…

          I am, and I know it is…the onus probandi is not on me either.

          I mean Jesus himself said that even if a man rose from the dead people wouldn’t believe it…wait a minute…but that doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen.

          Correct. And it doesn’t mean that it did happen either. It is a story with no corroborating evidence.

          I mean there’s people who don’t believe that men have walked on the moon, why should a man rising from the dead be any different?

          You can’t be fucking serious? You need a refund for that education you think you got. You were robbed.

          I’m not even going to justify that brain fart with a reply.

        • Triggerman1976

          –It goes to the centre of what Christians are reading,
          Given the amount of heresy that most self-professing Christians willingly embrace, I seriously doubt that they’re reading their Bibles, much less the KJV, anyway.

          –Again…I have reasonable expectation based on prior probability. Nothing that has ever had a supernatural explanation has been demonstrated to have turned out to have a supernatural explanation.
          Except for all the ones that have a supernatural explanation…like the resurrection of Jesus.

          –What it demonstrates within it’s pages is that the authors had fanciful imaginations…and plagiarized the fanciful imaginations of others.
          Anytime anyone says that, I can pretty well guarantee that they’ve never actually read what is supposed to be “plagiarized”, because if they did they’d realize how much BS is in that statement and never repeat it again.

          –Correct. And it doesn’t mean that it did happen either. It is a story with no corroborating evidence.
          Lots of corroborating evidence, denying it doesn’t make it go away.

          –You can’t be fucking serious? You need a refund for that education you think you got. You were robbed.
          Yes, I am deadly serious: there are actually people who believe that man never walked on the moon.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Given the amount of heresy that most self-professing Christians willingly embrace, I seriously doubt that they’re reading their Bibles, much less the KJV, anyway.

          No argument from me on that observation.

          But historically, Protestant Christian’s have been taught the KJV from the pulpit, and that’s the version that’s in the homes of Christians here in the old world. That the majority of scholars wouldn’t have it anywhere about them, is a different discussion.

          Except for all the ones that have a supernatural explanation…like the resurrection of Jesus.

          Nope…never happened. It’s a story in a book, nothing more than that. Some people believe it, like some people believe that the US didn’t put a man on the moon, just demonstrates what we already know. Humans are gullible. You have an uncorroborated assertion with absolutely no supporting evidence. In other news, Mo rode a flying horse and Joe Smith got golden tablets and some magic spectacles with which to read them, from an angel named Moroni.

          Anytime anyone says that, I can pretty well guarantee that they’ve never actually read what is supposed to be “plagiarized”, because if they did they’d realize how much BS is in that statement and never repeat it again.

          Nope…and scholars realize it. Anytime an apologist suggests otherwise, I can pretty much tell they haven’t a clue about what it is they are talking about. No one with an ounce of rational thinking denies that Matt and Luke stole from Mark. Much of the content in Mark was nicked and adapted from elsewhere.

          Earlier scholars (e.g., John Wick Bowman), as many today (e.g., J. Duncan M. Derrett), saw gospel echoes of the ancient scriptures in secondary coloring here or redactional juxtaposition of traditional Jesus stories there. But the more recent scrutiny of John Dominic Crossan, Randel Helms, Dale and Patricia Miller, and Thomas L. Brodie has made it inescapably clear that virtually the entirety of the gospel narratives and much of the Acts are wholly the product of haggadic midrash upon previous scripture. Earl Doherty has clarified the resultant understanding of the gospel writers’ methodology. It has been customary to suppose that early Christians began with a set of remarkable facts (whether few or many) and sought after the fact for scriptural predictions for them, the goal being to show that even though the founding events of their religion defied contemporary messianic expectation, they were nonetheless in better accord with prophecy, that recent events clarified ancient prophecy in retrospect. Thus modern scholars might admit that Hosea 11:1 (“Out of Egypt I have called my son”) had to be taken out of context to provide a pedigree for the fact of Jesus’ childhood sojourn in Egypt, but that it was the story of the flight into Egypt that made early Christians go searching for the Hosea text. Now it is apparent, just to take this example, that the flight into Egypt is midrashic all the way down. That is, the words in Hosea 11:1 “my son,” catching the early Christian eye, generated the whole story, since they assumed such a prophecy about the divine Son must have had its fulfillment. And the more apparent it becomes that most gospel narratives can be adequately accounted for by reference to scriptural prototypes, Doherty suggests, the more natural it is to picture early Christians beginning with a more or less vague savior myth and seeking to lend it color and detail by anchoring it in a particular historical period and clothing it in scriptural garb. We must now envision proto-Christian exegetes “discovering” for the first time what Jesus the Son of God had done and said “according to the scriptures” by decoding the ancient texts. Today’s Christian reader learns what Jesus did by reading the gospels; his ancient counterpart learned what Jesus did by reading Joshua and 1 Kings. It was not a question of memory but of creative exegesis. Sometimes the signals that made particular scriptural texts attractive for this purpose are evident (like “my son” in Hosea 11:1), sometimes not. But in the end the result is a new perspective according to which we must view the gospels and Acts as analogous with the Book of Mormon, an inspiring pastiche of stories derived creatively from previous scriptures by a means of literary extrapolation.

          http://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com/art_midrash1.htm

          Lots of corroborating evidence, denying it doesn’t make it go away.

          Then present it. The gospel yarns are not it btw.

          Yes, I am deadly serious: there are actually people who believe that man never walked on the moon.

          I know that, but that wasn’t the problem with your stupid analogy.

        • Triggerman1976

          –Protestant Christian’s have been taught the KJV from the pulpit, and that’s the version that’s in the homes of Christians here in the old world.

          So what.

          –You have an uncorroborated assertion with absolutely no supporting evidence

          Except for all the evidence that corroborates it.

          I’m sorry, Price citing Earl Doherty? A non-specialist AND a mythicist? Circle-jerking much? I mean to quote Bart Ehrman on Doherty’s book, THE JESUS PUZZLE, it’s a book, “”filled with so many unguarded and undocumented statements and claims, and so many misstatements of fact, that it would take a 2,400-page book to deal with all the problems… Not a single early Christian source supports Doherty’s claim that Paul and those before him thought of Jesus as a spiritual, not a human being, who was executed in the spiritual, not the earthly realm.”
          (Bart Ehrman. DID JESUS EXIST?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth. pp 252-8)

          Crossan is not Price’s friend either: he wrote an entire book defending the historicity of Jesus.

          –The gospel yarns are not it btw.
          That’s a claim that you bear the burden to prove.

          –I know that
          If it fits, it ain’t “stupid”.

        • Ignorant Amos

          –Protestant Christian’s have been taught the KJV from the pulpit, and that’s the version that’s in the homes of Christians here in the old world.

          So what.

          Those Christians are getting their Christianity from a corrupted source, something you infer doesn’t exist.

          –You have an uncorroborated assertion with absolutely no supporting evidence

          Except for all the evidence that corroborates it.

          Then present it…a made up supernatural yarn in an ancient book doesn’t count…even if a lot of gullible people bought that snake oil.

          I’m sorry, Price citing Earl Doherty? A non-specialist AND a mythicist? Circle-jerking much?

          Ad hominem

          I mean to quote Bart Ehrman on Doherty’s book, THE JESUS PUZZLE, it’s a book, “”filled with so many unguarded and undocumented statements and claims, and so many misstatements of fact, that it would take a 2,400-page book to deal with all the problems… Not a single early Christian source supports Doherty’s claim that Paul and those before him thought of Jesus as a spiritual, not a human being, who was executed in the spiritual, not the earthly realm.”

          And yet with all the problems and errors that Ehrman claimed Docherty made, he is at odds to make an argument against it other than to assert it was problematic.

          (Bart Ehrman. DID JESUS EXIST?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth. pp 252-8)

          Aye, I’ve got it in my library. It’s a clusterfuck of a book.

          I’ve also got Bart Ehrman and the Quest of the Historical Jesus of Nazareth…where those Ehrman disparaged counter his clusterfuck.

          I’ve also got Raphael Lataster’s “Jesus Did Not Exist: A Debate Among Atheists” where he decimates Ehrman’s clusterfuck.

          But there are plenty of other places where Ehrman’s clusterfuck gets torn a new one…for example…an extensive take apart at the link below…

          https://vridar.org/2012/04/16/3-earl-dohertys-response-to-bart-ehrmans-case-against-mythicism-chapters-1-2-2/

          Crossan is not Price’s friend either: he wrote an entire book defending the historicity of Jesus.

          Irrelevant to the reason he is being cited…and Crossan’s views are somewhat controversial among his fellow historical Jesus peers too…btw which Jesus was J. D. Crossan defending?

          –The gospel yarns are not it btw.
          That’s a claim that you bear the burden to prove.

          Nope…you struggle with this burden of proof Malarkey don’t you?

          I don’t have to demonstrate a wild arsed story in an old book is not evidence that the wild arsed story is true. If you want the yarn entered into evidence, you own the onus probandi to demonstrate why…something you struggle with…that’s why you are trying to shift that burden. Put up, or shut up. Got evidence?

          –I know that
          If it fits, it ain’t “stupid”.

          But the analogy doesn’t fit, that’s why it is a stupid analogy…have ya not worked out why yet?

        • Triggerman1976

          –Those Christians are getting their Christianity from a corrupted source, something you infer doesn’t exist.
          Now you’re just making stuff up.

          –Then present it…a made up supernatural yarn in an ancient book doesn’t count…even if a lot of gullible people bought that snake oil.

          I agree. If we’re going to discuss ancient history then we should use good, well attested historical documents, like those in the Bible, which are just like the other well attested historical documents from its time…oh, wait, that’s right, there are no other documents as well attested historically from that time as the biblical documents. You don’t get to cherry-pick.

          –Ad hominem
          You use the term, but you don’t know what it means. Calling someone a “non-specialist” is not ad hominem if its true.

          –he is at odds to make an argument against it other than to assert it was problematic.
          When he says that it would take a “2400 page book” to deal with all the errors, I believe him, because I think of how many words I’ve had to type to correct your errors.
          Here’s my review of Ehrman’s book: https://triggermanblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/06/book-review-bart-ehrmans-argument-for-a-historical-jesus/

          –Raphael Lataster
          Having read a few of his paper’s, I’m not terribly impressed with his scholarship. He mis-cites sources (is this deliberate), or cuts off sources one line before they would refute the claim he is making (definitely deliberate), or says sources make claims that they don’t (which is simply dishonest). He also cites non-scholarly opinion sources in a scholarly paper as though it speaks authoritatively, which is simply bad, bad scholarship. Let’s just say that I’ve read enough mythicist garbage to know bad arguments when I see them, and his arguments are B-A-D bad.
          Also, I’m a researcher, if you put a source in a footnote or claim that a source says something, you better believe that I am going to do my best to track that source down and read it. And the instant that you misrepresent what a source says, that argument is TOAST, it is FALSIFIED, it is INVALID. What I do love is that he will quote Ehrman against Ehrman, which is either absolute genius or complete, unreflective bias on display.

          Oh, and Doherty doesn’t seem to understand what Q is, and he argues in a circle, something I document here: https://triggermanblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/27/thats-a-nice-tight-circle-youre-reasoning-in/
          On dating NT documents and the issue of Q: https://triggermanblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/11/dating-the-gospels-a-presuppositional-problem/

          So much for tearing someone a new one.

          –Irrelevant to the reason he is being cited
          Wrong. Very relevant, especially when the person’s argument is being used to support the conclusion. I’m going to guess that you’ve never had to write scholarly papers where your cited sources better have some relevance to your conclusion, and a form of literature that doesn’t come into existence for 200 years after what is being compared to.

          –you struggle with this burden of proof Malarkey don’t you?
          That’d be you, since I back up my claims. Now, you made a very specific claim that it’s a “yarn” and you have to back it up and not shift the burden. My claim is that they’re historical testimonies to the man, Jesus of Nazareth, and as such,”Testimony offers us, I wish to suggest, both a reputable historiographic category for reading the Gospels as history, and …as the entirely appropriate means of access to the historical reality of Jesus.”
          (Richard Bauckham. JESUS AND THE EYEWITNESSES, 2nd Edition. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. Grand Rapids, MI. 2017. p 31)

          –But the analogy doesn’t fit…
          Yes, it does. Like a glove.

        • Greg G.

          –Ad hominem
          You use the term, but you don’t know what it means. Calling someone a “non-specialist” is not ad hominem if its true.

          It is an ad hominem fallacy when you say that instead of addressing the argument. I don’t believe you have read their arguments.

          The best way to refute Jesus mythicism is to present evidence for Jesus’ existence. If there was such evidence, there would be no Jesus mythicism.

        • Ignorant Amos

          –Those Christians are getting their Christianity from a corrupted source, something you infer doesn’t exist.

          Now you’re just making stuff up.

          Take it up with your fellow Christians.

          http://www.jesusisprecious.org/bible/nkjv/alexandrian_corrupt_source.htm

          http://www.balaams-ass.com/journal/resource/nkjv01.htm

          Of course King James Version onlyists will claim it is all the other bibles are the corrupt versions.

          You use the term, but you don’t know what it means. Calling someone a “non-specialist” is not ad hominem if its true.

          Ffs…it may also be true that Docherty is an arsehole, but his arseholiness or lack of credentials are irrelevant.

          It is an ad hominem if their arguments are sound. Price is not a non-specialist. Docherty’s credentials are not in question, it’s whether his hypothesis and evidence supporting it has any merit. Specialists say it has. Specialists say his research has merit.

          You attacked the man, not his argument…ad hominem all day long.

          One of the greatest scientists of all time, Michael Faraday, had no formal education. Not even an idiot would say Faraday was a “non specialist” as if it mattered, because it doesn’t matter.

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

        • Triggerman1976

          –Of course King James Version onlyists will claim it is all the other bibles are the corrupt versions.
          That’s why no one takes them seriously.

          — but his … lack of credentials are irrelevant.
          I bet you wouldn’t say that about your dentist or your heart surgeon. Credentials are INCREDIBLY relevant. Non-specialists don’t know how to examine sources and judge them for worthiness, some specialists don’t for that matter.

          –It is an ad hominem if their arguments are sound.
          IF, IF their arguments are sound. So you think circular arguments and arguments based on out of date scholarship and non-scholarly works, are sound?

          –One of the greatest scientists of all time, Michael Faraday, had no formal education.
          But he attended regular lectures and wound up as an assistant to a noted chemist. Further, even an informal education was considerably more comprehensive 200+ years ago, because the available body of knowledge was considerably smaller.

        • Ignorant Amos

          That’s why no one takes them seriously.

          Except all the millions of eejits that believe the KJV is the word of YahwehJesus of course.

          I won’t say read it, very few do.

          They get it read to them, well bit’s of it anyway. Which is apparently the majority Christians.

          KING JAMES VERSION (KJV)

          The KJV (also known as the Authorized Version) is a word-for-word (or formal equivalent) translation originally published in 1611 at the request of King James I of England. It has been frequently reprinted and its spelling updated. Most copies today are slightly adapted from a 1769 edition. So many people have used the KJV over the centuries that it has become the single most important book in shaping the modern English language. Many of the best and most ancient Hebrew and Greek manuscripts of Bible books have been discovered since 1850, so the KJV could not make use of them. In many cases, it is helpful to read and study the KJV alongside another more recent translation. The KJV is still the most widely owned and used English translation in the United States.

          — but his … lack of credentials are irrelevant.
          I bet you wouldn’t say that about your dentist or your heart surgeon.

          For some bizarre reason you think that all professional disciplines are on an equal footing academically. Pure nonsense.

          Credentials are less relevant than practical ability. Qualifications only get one in the door. Hands on experience is much more preferred. Far better to have a heart surgeon that is better with his hands than answering questions in an exam.

          I know some hobbyist guys who are excellent at working on cars far better than many qualified mechanics in the trade.

          Computer savvy youngsters with no credentials are prime example of your error.

          Credentials are INCREDIBLY relevant.

          Well, no, they’re only relevant when they are relevant…which is when arseholes want to invoke the Invincible Authority version of the argumentum ad verecundiam.

          The Degree Is Doomed

          Higher education, however, is in the midst of dramatic, disruptive change. It is, to use the language of innovation theorists and practitioners, being unbundled. […] And with that unbundling, the traditional credential is rapidly losing relevance. The value of paper degrees lies in a common agreement to accept them as a proxy for competence and status, and that agreement is less rock solid than the higher education establishment would like to believe.

          Non-specialists don’t know how to examine sources and judge them for worthiness,…

          You are conflating an ability with credentials. Ergo committing the ad hominem fallacy.

          If an individuals argument can stand up, then nothing else about them should matter.

          …some specialists don’t for that matter.

          Demonstrating my point entirely ffs.

          –It is an ad hominem if their arguments are sound.
          IF, IF their arguments are sound.

          Of course…I prefer a sound argument from an amateur vis a vis an unsound argument from an expert with credentials up the kazoo, ant day of the week…and so should you.

          So you think circular arguments and arguments based on out of date scholarship and non-scholarly works, are sound?

          That’s a straw man. Where did I make such a claim? When you can demonstrate someone has made a circular argument based on out of date scholarship and relies on non-scholarly work that doesn’t stand up to critique, then you will have demonstrated it unsound. Now ante up, or fuck up.

          –One of the greatest scientists of all time, Michael Faraday, had no formal education.
          But he attended regular lectures and wound up as an assistant to a noted chemist. Further, even an informal education was considerably more comprehensive 200+ years ago, because the available body of knowledge was considerably smaller.

          A complete non sequitur and a loada fuckwittery to boot.

          Now if ya haven’t anything sensible to say “Mister I’m so-clever-my-brain-is-too-big-for-the-room”…give my head peace and fuck away aff.

        • Triggerman1976

          –KING JAMES VERSION (KJV)
          Yeah, and I’ve got 4 of them…and every one of them is different.

          –For some bizarre reason you think that all professional disciplines are on an equal footing academically. Pure nonsense.

          What I think–and this is speaking as a trained researcher–is that if I’m going to get my information from someone, they should have meaningful credentials in the field in which they are writing, *especially* if they are going to be drawing conclusions. Because those credentials mean that they should have been trained to deal with sources. I have a very difficult time taking the word of a someone who has an undergraduate or even a master’s degree in–oh, say– geology trying to deal with history and trying to determine what is or is not a a valid historical source. Likewise, I would have issue with a trained historian trying to deal meaningfully with geology. So I recognize that proficiency in one academic discipline doesn’t automatically make one qualified to speak authoritatively in another.

          –Credentials are less relevant than practical ability.

          I still bet you wouldn’t let even the most capable dentist perform open heart surgery on you, because you place credentials–which demonstrate *proficiency* and *knowledge* as much as ability–over mere ability.

          –I know some hobbyist guys who are excellent at working on cars far better than many qualified mechanics in the trade.

          Being both a trained and certified automotive technician and a former parts/service manager there’s a measure of truth there, however, even the most experienced mechanic knows to take advantage of training opportunities to expand their base of knowledge.

          –Computer savvy youngsters with no credentials are prime example of your error.

          The error is actually yours. It doesn’t matter how “savvy” someone is with a piece of technology if they haven’t been trained to perform critical analysis of sources or know where to find sources. It’s not to say that there aren’t some very capable amateurs out there, but they always defer to professionals.

          –You are conflating an ability with credentials.
          I’m saying that credentials are *usually* an indication of ability. I am more likely to take my Porsche Cayman to a mechanic who is ASE-certified in European cars than I am to my cousin “Buck”, regardless of how many Chevy 350s that I know he’s built on his back porch.

          –If an individuals argument can stand up, then nothing else about them should matter.

          That’s the question though: does the argument “stand up”? Is it based on valid sources? Does it follow from the support of the evidences and the premises? I’m willing to give anyone the benefit of the doubt if, IF, *IF* the argument stands up.

          –That’s a straw man. Where did I make such a claim?

          I wasn’t making a claim that you did, I was simply asking a valid question.

          –When you can demonstrate someone has made a circular argument based on out of date scholarship and relies on non-scholarly work that doesn’t stand up to critique

          Oh, that’s easy, almost any popular atheist who’s published within the last two decades, I mean if your primary sources that you’re quoting are dated prior to 1947, more than likely you’re dealing with some seriously out of date scholarship . Richard Carrier’s arguments are clearly circular: he begins with his conclusion and finds evidence to support it. The fact that there is no historian that takes his work seriously is an indicator that there’s something fishy there.

          –A complete non sequitur and a loada fuckwittery to boot.

          Wow, hit you with some extremely relevant biographical facts that essentially refute your assertion about someone that *YOU* bring up and you get all dismissive. It almost hurts my feelings, but it demonstrates just how desperate you are to hold onto myths.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yeah, and I’ve got 4 of them…and every one of them is different.

          Kinda makes my point…cheers.

        • Ignorant Amos

          What I think–and this is speaking as a trained researcher–

          So ya keep saying…though there is little evidence supporting your claim…talk is cheap.

          is that if I’m going to get my information from someone, they should have meaningful credentials in the field in which they are writing, *especially* if they are going to be drawing conclusions.

          So whose information do you espouse when it comes to the field of New Testament studies? Whose conclusions are the correct ones? Whose credentials make their hypothesis the correct one? You do know that scholars are not in agreement when it comes to the topic of Jesus, right? Scholars with doctorates believe all sorts of nonsense. So much for credentials. Let me guess…you cherry pick the ones that best suit yer beliefs…am I right?

          Because those credentials mean that they should have been trained to deal with sources.

          Indeed. How’s that been working out? You don’t consider John Dominic Crossan’s credentials of any importance when he considers the sources. What about Bart Ehrman? I guess you think he’s a great scholar when he argues for an historical Jesus, but a pants scholar when he asserts the problems with the sources?

          I have a very difficult time taking the word of a someone who has an undergraduate or even a master’s degree in–oh, say– geology trying to deal with history and trying to determine what is or is not a a valid historical source.

          I have no doubt ya do…especially when what they propose cuts right through your bullshit beliefs. But what about the actual arguments they make? What about actually addressing the arguments and quit the ad hominem attacks. Credentialed folk are very often wrong, while less credentialed sometimes wrong.

          Likewise, I would have issue with a trained historian trying to deal meaningfully with geology. So I recognize that proficiency in one academic discipline doesn’t automatically make one qualified to speak authoritatively in another.

          Yeah…like I said, and which nothing you’ve said addresses, not all academic subjects are on an equal footing. You’ve heard the idiom…

          “Amateurs Practice Until They Get It Right; Professionals Practice Until They Can’t Get It Wrong”

          But not when it comes to bible studies.

          Jesus studies seems to be a lot of opinion. Probable and possible are not the same.

        • Pofarmer

          What to fuck is a “Trained Researcher” anyway?

        • Ignorant Amos

          I still bet you wouldn’t let even the most capable dentist perform open heart surgery on you, because you place credentials–which demonstrate *proficiency* and *knowledge* as much as ability–over mere ability.

          For a “trained researcher” you can’t read for comprehension very well.

          Credentials are less relevant than practical ability.

          In other words, two qualified doctors will not necessarily be as efficient as each other. A doctor straight out of medical school will not have the same experience as one in the field a number of years. While the other will not be trained up on the latest innovations in medicine. But anyway, you analogy is shite. I’d rather have a dentist perform open heart surgery than a burger flipper in Mc Donalds or a shelf stacker in Walmart.

          And get this, you are still comparing apples and oranges, because as I said, all professional disciplines are not equal. It is a lot easier to learn how to study the buybull than it is to become an astronaut.

        • Greg G.

          But anyway, you analogy is shite. I’d rather have a dentist perform open heart surgery than a burger flipper in Mc Donalds or a shelf stacker in Walmart.

          Let’s narrow that down a bit further. Would you rather have the burger flipper or the shelf stacker performing your surgery?

          It is a lot easier to learn how to study the buybull…

          But one apparently must avoid learning much of anything else simultaneously. That’s the hard part. Nothing else can matter if it’s not in the good book.

        • Triggerman1976

          –For a “trained researcher” you can’t read for comprehension very well.
          Better than you can.

          –I’d rather have a dentist perform open heart surgery than a burger flipper in Mc Donalds or a shelf stacker in Walmart.
          I’d rather have a heart surgeon, even one just out of medical school, because I want someone who’s got some kind of qualification.

          –all professional disciplines are not equal.
          I never claimed that they were.

          — It is a lot easier to learn how to study the buybull
          Here’s my 8-hour seminar on how to do it PROPERLY
          https://youtu.be/Hm4UjyEGQQk

        • Otto

          You got a whole 11 views?

          You are a trained Bozo…you are a fucking clown.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Being both a trained and certified automotive technician and a former parts/service manager there’s a measure of truth there,…

          Wow…your skill set knows no boundaries.

          …however, even the most experienced mechanic knows to take advantage of training opportunities to expand their base of knowledge.

          A non sequitur. But you support my claim that experience trumps credentials. Even the most credentialed mechanic doesn’t know everything. And a very experienced amateur may well know more than a well credentialed mechanic.

          I’m a fully qualified electrician, but I have very little experience, because I chose to follow a different professional stream. An experienced DIYer could do a better job wiring a house than me. Now they won’t know what a Wheatstone Bridge is, understand Kirchhoff’s Theory, or recognise Ohm’s Law…but none of that matters to experience.

          And get this, with all that said, I’m better qualified than most electricians, because I have experience in a plethora of sub disciplines within the profession that most electricians don’t learn. They are specialised disciplines within the profession.

          I’ve trained in overhead HV cables, underground HV mains cables, airfield ground lighting, Power station maintenance, generator operating, electrical design, event lighting…and of course, yer run-of-the-mill everyday domestic wiring…just to mention a few. So while you might want a regular spark to wire up your new extension, because experience over my credentials…you may not want the same guy to attempt a live line tap on a 33kV power line, because he will not have any experience or qualifications in that area of expertise. In other words, he will be an electrician without a clue.

        • Triggerman1976

          –your skill set knows no boundaries.
          It’s only bounded by time not spent in comment threads.

          –A non sequitur.
          You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.

          –And a very experienced amateur
          The difference between an amateur and a professional is that the professional gets PAID. I don’t care how much experience an amateur thinks he has, if you ain’t makin’ that paper, you ain’t got nothin.

          –because I chose to follow a different professional stream.
          Me too, because I like to eat, and have a roof over my head, so I bust my ass in another career because there ain’t much bacon to be made in the library.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The error is actually yours.

          Nope.

          It doesn’t matter how “savvy” someone is with a piece of technology if they haven’t been trained to perform critical analysis of sources or know where to find sources.

          Tell that to Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates.

          Another non sequitur…ffs, you keep saying how qualified up the kazoo ya are, but don’t demonstrate much ability. Credentials are not everything, by your example, though we’ve yet to be told what, when, and where your alleged credentials came from.

          It’s not to say that there aren’t some very capable amateurs out there, but they always defer to professionals.

          Exactly. In the same way professionals defer to other professionals. That’s how they became professionals in the first place. Now you’re getting it. It isn’t the amateurs credentials that are important. It is how their argument stands up to scrutiny and what evidence they use to support said arguments.

        • Triggerman1976

          –Nope.
          Yep.
          –Tell that to Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates.
          And yet that have lots of college-educated people running their companies for them.

          –you keep saying how qualified up the kazoo ya are, but don’t demonstrate much ability.
          Refuted you on multiple occasions in this conversation using actual scholarship.

          –what, when, and where your alleged credentials came from.
          Major research university in the Southeastern United States in the past decade. I like my privacy.

          — It is how their argument stands up to scrutiny and what evidence they use to support said arguments.
          When its bad arguments, based on bogus evidence, because they haven’t taken the time to learn how to make an argument much less how to analyze and use sources, they fall flat on their face.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I’m saying that credentials are *usually* an indication of ability. I am more likely to take my Porsche Cayman to a mechanic who is ASE-certified in European cars than I am to my cousin “Buck”, regardless of how many Chevy 350s that I know he’s built on his back porch.

          Yet another shite analogy. What is it with the religious and shite analogies?

          I’m saying that credentials are *usually* an indication of ability. I am more likely to take my Porsche Cayman to a mechanic who is ASE-certified in European cars than I am to my cousin “Buck”, regardless of how many Chevy 350s Porsche Cayman’s that I know he’s built on his back porch.

          There, fixed that for ya. if cousin “Buck” demonstrates an expertise working on Porsche’s, then fuck the credentials of the ASE-certified mechanic in European cars. The only reason for shelling out a fortune to the garage is to maintain the cars warranty. The only difference between cousin “Buck” and the ASE-certified mechanic is that the mechanic is required to to pass tests to work on peoples cars and charge money for it.

        • Triggerman1976

          –Yet another shite analogy.
          That’s your opinion, and you’re entitled to it, even when its WRONG.

          — if cousin “Buck” demonstrates an expertise
          Big Ole “IF”. If “Buck” has never even seen a Cayman’s engine specs, or asks “what’s that?,” I might not want to let him anywhere near it. What you miss though is that you’re STILL trading on credentials. The question is would you want “Buck” making his cred on your $56,000(US base MSRP) car or would you want him to have made it on someone else’s?

        • Ignorant Amos

          That’s the question though: does the argument “stand up”? Is it based on valid sources? Does it follow from the support of the evidences and the premises? I’m willing to give anyone the benefit of the doubt if, IF, *IF* the argument stands up.

          Then stop the fuckwittery and refute the arguments…don’t link to your screeds of rubbish on your blog. Do it here. So far, you haven’t.

        • Triggerman1976

          Hey, you don’t run this comment section.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I wasn’t making a claim that you did, I was simply asking a valid question.

          Circular argument…no. Non scholarly work…depends.

          Why don’t you show where you believe these crimes have been committed by the scholars in question?

          Btw…is the bible a scholarly source and not a circular argument?

        • Triggerman1976

          –Circular argument…no. Non scholarly work…depends.
          You REALLY need to learn what an argument is.

          –Why don’t you show where you believe these crimes have been committed by the scholars in question?
          Isn’t that what we’ve been going on about for like 3 weeks?

          –.is the bible a scholarly source and not a circular argument?
          It’s a primary source.

        • Pofarmer

          What the fuck is a “Trained Researcher” anyway?

        • Otto

          Apparently it is a presuppostionalist with an over inflated ego.

          I know…. that was redundant.

        • Greg G.

          Says the guy with the over-inflated avatar. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

          Edited for a better joke.

        • Otto

          You have to clue me in on who the avatar is….since I am admittedly not a trained researcher.

        • Greg G.

          Otto Pilot.

        • Otto

          LOL….I thought you were talking about his avatar…I am a bit slow today.

          Good one!

        • Greg G.

          I am a bit slow today.

          Perhaps you need some fresh air.

        • MR

          Otto, go tell him to blow you.

        • Otto

          Sometimes the avatar needs to be re-inflated for safety purposes.

        • Triggerman1976

          It’s someone who has actually learned how and practices research: how to handle, locate, evaluate, read, and–most importantly–represent sources.

        • Pofarmer

          That doesn’t tell me squat. I had multiple writing intensive courses in college. That’s basically the description of about every college Junior, hopefully.

        • epeeist

          You will note that one of the things he misses out is the ability to determine whether sources correspond with the facts…

        • Pofarmer

          After today’s judicial dog and pony show, it’s abundantly clear that facts don’t matter.

        • epeeist

          Whether what Ford says is true or not one of the things that came out was the sheer misogyny of the whole event, including of the candidate.

        • Pofarmer

          And the more you look at Kavanaugh, and learn about his past dealings, the more you realize 100% that he’s a political operative. I think the Pug’s desperately want to sweep all that under the rug and get this guy rammed through. He’s the absolute worst possible choice for a high judgeship, which is why the Federalist society likes him so much. The scariest thing is, the supposed #2 on the list is WORSE.

        • epeeist

          I think this article is bang on the nail.

        • MR

          His and Graham’s angry rants were something I’d expect to see on the parliament floor of some second or third world country, not the United States. If he’d been a democratic nominee, it would have been just as embarrassing.

        • Pofarmer

          I don’t know if this will work or not. The woman immediately to the left of Kavanaugh in the photo is his wife. Dark hair, Dark blouse. That’s a “You’re full of shit” look, if I’ve ever seen one.

          https://amp.businessinsider.com/images/5badeffb9c5d67b51c8b4568-1136-852.jpg

        • epeeist

          It definitely isn’t the good Catholic wife look is it?

        • Triggerman1976

          Writing courses? How many research courses have you had, where you were assigned a topic and had to spend hours in JSTOR sifting through articles?

        • Greg G.

          Dumbass. He said the courses were writing-intensive.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Appeal to numbers (argumentum ad numerum)

          He only has to have done it once to understand the experience ya dopey bastard.

          My first third level course essay was on the subject of Cleopatra VII Philopator…it was only a 500 word essay, but being so trained, you will understand that 500 words is a lot harder than 2500 to achieve. Anyway, there were more after that, all assessed for marking at university level and favorably graded, does that qualify me as a “Trained Researcher”? Of course it does…now wise to fuck up ya Dime Bar.

        • Otto

          You provide nothing that leads anyone to believe you know “how to handle, locate, evaluate, read, and–most importantly–represent sources”. Just because you have learned to jerk yourself off doesn’t mean the rest of the world is impressed. Where are YOUR credentials?

        • Triggerman1976

          You haven’t been following this conversation very closely, have you?

        • Otto

          You haven’t provided anything to refute my statement, nor have you provided anything to substantiate your claims. You are a clown.

        • Greg G.

          You are a clown.

          People who go to Clown College tend to take that as a compliment.

        • Otto

          He didn’t go to Clown College…he is just a trained researcher clown.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Oh, that’s easy, almost any popular atheist who’s published within the last two decades,…

          Quit the generalisation…be specific…show your work…make a fucking argument.

          I mean if your primary sources that you’re quoting are dated prior to 1947, more than likely you’re dealing with some seriously out of date scholarship .

          Fuck sake…the irony is stinking my eyes. You do know how old the buybull is, right?

          Richard Carrier’s arguments are clearly circular: he begins with his conclusion and finds evidence to support it.

          Demonstrating you don’t know what ta fuck you are talking about. If ya did, you’d know Carrier had to be dragged kicking and screaming to look into mythicism. It’s what he found when he did, that lead him to investigate further and resulting in a paradigm change in his understanding.

          Carrier cites accepted scholarship…a lot of which comes from Christian scholars.

          Now just on that, are you contesting Carrier’s credentials?

          The fact that there is no historian that takes his work seriously is an indicator that there’s something fishy there.

          This is the fictitious “consensus” argument. Just claiming it doesn’t make it so. For such a stickler for research, where is your source for such a claim?

          The methods used by scholars in Jesus study are flawed, and historians know it…even Christian historians.

          Carriers work is as a result of him taking an dedicated amateurs work seriously. Carrier was an historical Jesus proponent until he was coerced into looking at Docherty’s hypothesis. When he actually looked at the data and evidence, he seen the flaw in current thinking.

          As to the claim that no historian takes his work serious, how ta fuck do you know? How many historians give a fuck about it enough to investigate the subject? And I love the way you lot shift between hyper-specific historians and then the generalised scholar, when it suits your dishonest arse.

          Historians don’t take supernatural claims seriously…it is beyond their purview, whatever historians take seriously about Jesus, it isn’t the magic mumbo jumbo, so pah!

          Apparently no historian took Thomas L. Thompson’s work seriously…until they did…now his once deemed a kook position, is now part of mainstream scholarship. Go figure.

        • Triggerman1976

          –Quit the generalisation

          I’ve been specific, you haven’t been paying attention.

          –You do know how old the buybull is, right?
          Parts of the Bible, especially in the Hebrew Scriptures, may be at least 3000 years old, but as a PRIMARY SOURCE, that’s what historians want.

          –If ya did, you’d know Carrier had to be dragged kicking and screaming to look into mythicism.
          And now, he’d STARVE if he didn’t keep milking that cow for all it’s worth.

          –This is the fictitious “consensus” argument.
          Really? “Fictitious”? I’m curious, where is Carrier teaching now? That’s right, no where.
          How many historians cite his work, other than to criticize it for its pomposity and hold it up as an example of how NOT to do historical scholarship? Again, NONE.
          Scholarly consensus is that the guy and his work is a joke perpetrated on the simple-minded.

          –Thomas L. Thompson’s work
          Well, in the “mainstream” liberal halls of European academia Thompson fits right in, but he’s someone else who regularly strays outside of his specialty as a Hebraisist. He’s selective in his evidence, and has not updated any of his older works to reflect or respond to new discoveries which put his hypotheses in danger. He simply regurgitates questionable scholarship in linguistically dense tomes. And no historian would take him seriously since he’s a theologian and NOT a historian.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7f30aca4bf61948a47367750f5ff23dbea1631c6ad6cc2dce709a06d706d4c1c.jpg

        • Ignorant Amos

          Wow, hit you with some extremely relevant biographical facts that essentially refute your assertion about someone that *YOU* bring up and you get all dismissive. It almost hurts my feelings,…

          It’s a non sequitur because it is irrelevant to his qualifications…he had none. It refutes fuck all because you argument is that credentials are the be all, and end all of who is qualified to do what…it really isn’t….Michael Faraday had no formal education in the subjects he became a genius in, demonstrating that credentials are not necessary in order to be an expert.

          …but it demonstrates just how desperate you are to hold onto myths.

          Desperate? I couldn’t actually give a fuck either way other than it’s interesting as a hobby to read about. Whether the religion is built upon an actual guy called Jesus, or is created from whole cloth, won’t effect my lack of gods belief one iota. The guy described in the supernatural pig shit in the buybull, certainly didn’t exist. That guy is definitely a myth and only Christians think differently, and not even all Christians at that either.

          I’m not the one desperate to hold onto myths…that’ll be the believer in myths…in other words, YOU.

        • Otto

          >>>”It refutes fuck all because you argument is that credentials are the be all, and end all of who is qualified to do what…”

          And his ‘credentials’ consist of being ‘an average Joe stuck in middle America’…oh and a self-proclaimed “trained researcher”.

        • Triggerman1976

          –Michael Faraday had no formal education
          Except for the fact that he was taken in and TRAINED by one of the foremost scientists of his day, which is a FACT that you continue to ignore. Natural ability + education = genius.

          — I couldn’t actually give a fuck either way other than it’s interesting as a hobby to read about.
          Except for the fact that you only read one side: the ignorant and dishonest side.
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f6d4593ffdfee749472cdb0a87627155924117e33bbf21d6132ce6a5abc4d7e8.jpg

        • Otto

          Here is how that equation works on you.

          No natural ability + No formal education in the field you claim to be an expert in = internet doofus with an delusions of grandeur and an over inflated ego.

        • Triggerman1976

          Insults+no actual argument=Otto

        • Otto

          You have to answer that way because you have no actual credentials.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Except for the fact that he was taken in and TRAINED by one of the foremost scientists of his day, which is a FACT that you continue to ignore.

          Yeah…first, that’s not what happened. See, Michael Faraday was another subject that I had occasion to research in order to write a scholarly essay for assessment and marking at third level education…so I know you are talking out of yer arse. He was Humphrey Davy assistant well after he was self educating and he wasn’t “TRAINED” by Davy so much as he learned from Davy as his laboratory assistant. The Davy family treated Faraday as a lacky and it nearly drove him away from science. Faraday day was a genius with expertise way and above what he learned from Davy.

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

          But none of that matters to my point…he had no formal education or academic credentials…he was a self educated bookbinder whose only degree was an honorary award and not even in the sciences. So my example of Faraday, and thus my point, still stands,

          Natural ability + education = genius.

          Yeah…no credentials in that equation anywhere…so pah!

          Except for the fact that you only read one side: the ignorant and dishonest side.

          Says the guy who gets his info from a short discussion involving a lying retarded creotard with NO FUCKING CREDENTIALS. You’re a moron and the irony in stings. You have no idea what you are talking about and know nothing about what I’ve read. And we know how much of the other side you’ve read…not very much from your ignorant fuckwittery.

        • Otto

          >>>”I still bet you wouldn’t let even the most capable dentist perform open heart surgery on you, because you place credentials–which demonstrate *proficiency* and *knowledge* as much as ability–over mere ability.”

          How about a guy who puts a lot of emphasis on credentials, but describes himself on his blog as an “average Joe, stuck in middle America, and is opinionated” and wants to pass himself off as a ‘trained researcher’ who knows more than people with actual credentials.

        • Triggerman1976

          My work as a researcher is all over my blog. But I am just the “average Joe, stuck in middle America”, who also happens to be a trained researcher. I mean, how many 2500-word, multi-source essays can you write in a Saturday morning?

          My personal best is 4 before noon, and that includes doing work on a 5,000 word position paper, as well as research and writing for a thesis paper.

        • Otto

          And you have ZERO credentials…the very thing you think is MOST important. You are an example of the very thing you criticize. … hypocrite.

        • Triggerman1976

          Pot. Kettle on line 1.

        • Otto

          I am not claiming to have credentials…you are. Keep up you are falling behind.

        • Golly, you’re fabulous. I want to join your cult.

        • Rudy R

          Appeal to authority?

        • Triggerman1976

          Never claimed to be one, just that I know them, and what they use to demonstrate their case.
          https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/21/Appeal-to-Authority

        • Ignorant Amos

          You are appealing to your own authority as a “Trained Researcher”.

          Because you can research and write a scholarly essay, you believe that gives you some sort of gravitas. I’ve news for you, it doesn’t.

          Even trained researchers make mistakes…and looking at your shoddy workmanship, I’d be asking for my tuition fees to be refunded from that Good Ole Billy Bob University for Rednecks that you got fleeced at.

        • Ignorant Amos

          So ya say….talk is cheap….and your blog is a huge parcel of shite btw.

        • epeeist

          What I think–and this is speaking as a trained researcher–is that if I’m going to get my information from someone, they should have meaningful credentials in the field in which they are writing, *especially* if they are going to be drawing conclusions.

          So go on then, when it comes to the historicity of Jesus who are the trained historians we should be paying attention to?

        • Triggerman1976

          That’s a very good question that needs some clarification: do you mean historians who discuss historical methods in order to understand how to handle specific sources, or do you mean specific historians that hold a particular view?
          If the former, then one of the most accessible that I recommend is by Martha Howell and Walter Prevenier, specifically their book “Reliable Sources: An Introduction to Historical Methods”, Allison Greene, who is at University of Georgia now, I think, does a good job as well, and Mark Clark at Mississippi State also.

          If the latter, Dale Allison, Paula Fredrickson, R. Joseph Hoffman, and Gerd Lüdemann.

        • epeeist

          That’s a very good question that needs some clarification

          Quite simply I am asking about those whose primary training is in history rather than theology, bible studies or history of religion. Those who are working in departments of history rather than schools of theology, divinity, bible studies, new testament studies or other departments whose focus is religion rather than history.

        • “King James Version onlyists will claim it is all the other bibles are the corrupt versions.”
          That’s why no one takes them seriously.

          What kind of argument is this? No one takes them seriously … except other KJV-onlyists. It’s similar to people shaking their head with disbelief at your supernatural views … except people who share them.

        • Triggerman1976
        • Ignorant Amos

          When he says that it would take a “2400 page book” to deal with all the errors, I believe him, because I think of how many words I’ve had to type to correct your errors.
          Here’s my review of Ehrman’s book: https://triggermanblog.word

          I’ve read Ehrman’s book and the rebuttal’s. How many rebuttal’s have you read? None from what I can see.

          You’ve corrected nothing of mine so far with anything near resembling a cogent argument. You just declare stuff as fact because you say so…that fuckwittery doesn’t fly around here.

          Ehrman already wrote a book and what he did write was a complete fuck up and failed miserably. I’ve read your take on Ehrman’s book, it’s a fuck up too.

        • Ignorant Amos

          –Raphael Lataster
          Having read a few of his paper’s, I’m not terribly impressed with his scholarship. He mis-cites sources (is this deliberate), or cuts off sources one line before they would refute the claim he is making (definitely deliberate), or says sources make claims that they don’t (which is simply dishonest). He also cites non-scholarly opinion sources in a scholarly paper as though it speaks authoritatively, which is simply bad, bad scholarship.

          You can, of course, support your assertions?

          Let’s just say that I’ve read enough mythicist garbage to know bad arguments when I see them, and his arguments are B-A-D bad.

          Lataster is not a mythicist…he is agnostic on the issue, dopey.

          You say you see bad arguments, yet you give no examples, just spout shite.

          Also, I’m a researcher, if you put a source in a footnote or claim that a source says something, you better believe that I am going to do my best to track that source down and read it.

          You claim to be things you fail to demonstrate any competence in. So pah!

          And the instant that you misrepresent what a source says, that argument is TOAST, it is FALSIFIED, it is INVALID.

          Talk is cheap.

          What I do love is that he will quote Ehrman against Ehrman, which is either absolute genius or complete, unreflective bias on display.

          The complete bias on display is your own. That’s because you don’t know what ta fuck you are talking about, and refuse to find out.

          Here’s the thing. Ehrman writes/says stuff in one place where he contradicts in some place else. Ehrman goes all unscholarly when it comes to Jesus historicity.

          I think it is a good thing not to forget the outrageously unprofessional and scurrilous ways in which Bart Ehrman treated the arguments of mythicists. Those mythicists have every right to reply and defend themselves. That’s not stooping to the level of Ehrman’s unprofessionalism. It’s the right thing to do. If the result is not a stand-alone compendium of mythicist arguments, that’s a loss, but at least we will hear the defence of those Ehrman has so blatantly misrepresented. (Richard Carrier calls Ehrman a liar, a probable liar, or a suspected liar, at least seven times in his chapter.)

          https://vridar.org/category/biblical-studies/book-reviews-notes/ehrman-did-jesus-exist/

          It’s really not that hard to find examples of Ehrman’s scurrilous antics in DJE?, even without buying the books that go into detailed rebuttal. But that doesn’t interest a teacher, researcher, and integrity honest scholar like you…because you’re a dickhead.

        • Pofarmer

          I’m not so sure we shouldn’t quit giving this moron oxygen.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I hear ya chum…unless the fuckwit presents something decent, I’m done. I’ve wasted too much time on the cretin as it is already.

        • Triggerman1976

          –You can, of course, support your assertions?
          I wouldn’t make ’em if I couldn’t back them up.

          –Lataster is not a mythicist
          Having read his work–he’s a mythicist, he’s just hiding in the closet.

          –You say you see bad arguments
          Yes. That’s because bad arguments stick out like a sore thumb.

          –You claim to be things you fail to demonstrate any competence in.
          And yet I come up with scholarly sources to refute every claim that you’ve made. Proof’s in the puddin.

          –Talk is cheap.
          Guess that’s why you’re still going.

          — That’s because you don’t know what ta fuck you are talking about, and refuse to find out.
          My library, my education, and my blog tell an entirely different story.
          Oh, I read that book BART EHRMAN AND THE QUEST FOR THE HISTORICAL JESUS over the weekend. It was a complete HOWLER. The only valid point in the book… well 2… was Richard Carrier’s nitpicking Ehrman’s citation of Pliny and the fact that DM Murdoch had to admit that she misrepresented the Priapas statue in her book, which I also read. Aside from that, it was circle-jerk, toes-smashed trash. That’s 8 hours of my life I’ll never get back.

          –Ehrman goes all unscholarly when it comes to Jesus historicity.
          Ehrman goes “unscholarly” when he thinks that he’s dealing with morons, like IFBs and Jesus-mythers.

        • Ignorant Amos

          –You can, of course, support your assertions?
          I wouldn’t make ’em if I couldn’t back them up.

          Yet in spite of this assertion, you continually don’t.

          –Lataster is not a mythicist
          Having read his work–he’s a mythicist, he’s just hiding in the closet.

          Bwaaaahahaha…scholar, my arse.

          -You say you see bad arguments
          Yes. That’s because bad arguments stick out like a sore thumb.

          And yet again, you fail to present one…what is everyone to think?

          -You say you see bad arguments
          Yes. That’s because bad arguments stick out like a sore thumb.

          And yet I come up with scholarly sources to refute every claim that you’ve made. Proof’s in the puddin.

          Whaaa? You’ve not refuted a single point sucessfully. You’ve certainly not done anything with scholarly sources. Are you in an alternative dimension or something?

          I say you are lying about your credentials, you are to stupid to be who you claim to be…to the point of delusional.

          –Talk is cheap.
          Guess that’s why you’re still going.

          I’m not the one continually making unsupported assertion, after unsupported assertion.

          You do realise there is an audience here…right?

          — That’s because you don’t know what ta fuck you are talking about, and refuse to find out.

          My library, my education, and my blog tell an entirely different story.

          No, they really don’t. Your interaction here on the other hand, demonstrates my point.

          Oh, I read that book BART EHRMAN AND THE QUEST FOR THE HISTORICAL JESUS over the weekend. It was a complete HOWLER.

          If you say so…I don’t believe you that you read it, so pah!

          The only valid point in the book… well 2… was Richard Carrier’s nitpicking Ehrman’s citation of Pliny…

          Nitpicking? I thought you were a scholar and a researcher. Again you miss the point…

          • CARRIER: Ehrman exposes how careless his research for this book was by horribly bungling his treatment of a key source. He discusses the one letter of Pliny the Younger that mentions Christ, but in a way that demonstrates he never actually read that letter, and misread the scholarship on it, and in result so badly misreports the facts that this section will certainly have to be completely rewritten if ever there is a second edition.

          The error itself is not crucial to his overall thesis, but reveals the shockingly careless way he approached researching and writing this book as a whole. As I wrote:

          “Ehrman’s treatment of the sources and scholarship on this issue betray the kind of hackneyed mistakes and lack of understanding that he repeatedly criticizes the “bad” mythicists of (particularly his inability even to cite the letters properly and his strange assumption that both subjects are discussed in the same letter–mistakes I would only expect from an undergraduate). But if even historicists like Ehrman can’t do their research properly and get their facts right, and can’t even be bothered to read their own source materials or understand their context, why are we to trust the consensus of historicists any more than mythicists? And more particularly, how many other sources has Ehrman completely failed to read, cite, or understand properly?”

          • EHRMAN: Claims it was just a typo.

          Carrier counters….
          https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/1151#pliny

          Ehrman remains silent.

          …and the fact that DM Murdoch had to admit that she misrepresented the Priapas statue in her book, which I also read.

          That’s not the complaint ya fuckwit…

          • CARRIER: Ehrman makes a false statement in his attempt to demonstrate that mythicist D.M. Murdock is unreliable as a scholar; but instead ends up proving he is unreliable as a scholar. Regarding a particular statue that Murdock cites as evidence of one of her theories, Ehrman claims “there is no penis-nosed statue of Peter the cock in the Vatican or anywhere else except in books like this, which love to make things up,” clearly meaning the statue she referred to never existed but was made up (by her).

          A correct statement would have been “the statue she refers to does exist, or once did, but it’s not a statue of Peter but of the pagan god Priapus, of which we have many examples; the notion that this one represents Peter comes only from the imagination of theorists like her.” But that is not what he said, or anything like it. It’s clear to me that Ehrman simply didn’t research this claim. He assumed that because she presented only a drawing of it, and the statue looked ridiculous, that she was making this up. The result: he makes a false claim that misinforms readers and establishes that he is not a reliable critic of D.M. Murdock’s work. And as I pointed out, if he couldn’t even be troubled to check facts like this, what else “didn’t he check” in this book?

          • EHRMAN: Insists that’s not what he meant, and that he knew the statue existed all along, and that he was only saying in the book that it wasn’t a statue of Peter.

          Ehrman attempts his rebuttal on his blog.

          Carrier counters…. https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/1117#priapus

          Ehrman remains silent.

          Ehrman’s wording is what fucked him up…he was sloppy.

          Aside from that, it was circle-jerk, toes-smashed trash. That’s 8 hours of my life I’ll never get back.

          Demonstrating that you really didn’t read it.

          Ehrman’s disegenuous treatment of Rene Salm.

          https://vridar.org/2012/05/16/nazareth-rene-salms-preliminary-response-to-bart-ehrman/

          Ehrman’s mistakes are many. A few errors is to be expected, but the book is a clusterfuck and fails to demonstrate Jesus historicity.

          Ehrman spends a lot of time trying to discredit a list of mythicists and believes that in doing so, supports historicity. This is a creationist tactic. Picking holes in evolution no more verifies creationism, than picking holes in mythicism verifies historicity.

          –Ehrman goes all unscholarly when it comes to Jesus historicity.

          Ehrman goes “unscholarly” when he thinks that he’s dealing with morons, like IFBs and Jesus-mythers.

          And in doing so, makes himself look like a moron and an arsehole among his peers? I don’t think so.

          But hey, maybe that’s your excuse for why you look like a moron and an arsehole on this blog…because ya sure don’t appear to be very scholarly for all yer boasting.

        • Greg G.

          I thought you were a scholar and a researcher.

          He has said he was a “reasearcher. Get it right.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Murdock defended herself here against Ehrman’s fuckwittery…

          http://freethoughtnation.com/new-book-about-bart-ehrman-and-the-christ-myth/

          Ehrman used to be a great scholar, until he pretended to read books he never read, evidently farming them out to his grad students and then making sloppy and egregious errors as to their contents. Not only do we encounter this dishonesty but he also libeled me and others repeatedly by slinging charges of “fabrication” at us. He’s done that before – it’s a bad habit.

          Moreover, Ehrman has never been a “great scholar” when it comes to the massive body of mythicist literature dating back centuries. He barely knew it existed until mythicists brought it to his attention just a few years ago. He scarcely has scraped the surface of this scholarship, and he is no expert on it and should never have written this book pretending otherwise. ~ Acharya S

        • Triggerman1976

          She was forced to admit that she blatantly misrepresented facts (lied) in a published work, then tried to cover up the misrepresentation by criticizing how scholars like Ehrman, someone who is actually employed as a professor at a major university, do their research.

          Oh, yeah, she was someone else who was prone to using out of date scholarship and non-specialists, because she was not a specialist either.

        • Ignorant Amos

          She was forced to admit that she blatantly misrepresented facts (lied) in a published work, then tried to cover up the misrepresentation by criticizing how scholars like Ehrman, someone who is actually employed as a professor at a major university, do their research.

          No she didn’t blatantly lie about anything. Demonstrate with evidence or shut ta fuck.

          But again with the non sequitur. What Murdock did or didn’t do, is not the issue. It’s what Ehrman did is the issue. He didn’t do his research, professor at a major university or not.

          https://tomverenna.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/carrier-on-ehrmans-response-to-criticisms/

          Oh, yeah, she was someone else who was prone to using out of date scholarship and non-specialists, because she was not a specialist either.

          I couldn’t give a fuck. Her not being a specialist is irrelevant. Like everyone, she got things wrong. Well whoopty-fucking-do, the person that never a mistake, never made anything. There is plenty of her research that is of value…apparently, I’ve not read her stuff.

          Her only relevance to this conversation is that Ehrman thought by refuting her reference to the bronze cock nosed statue believed to be in the vaults of the Vatican as existing, he’d somehow refuted mythicism…complete fuckwittery, and he was wrong about the statue existing. Ehrman chose low hanging fruit to go after in order to try and discredit a whole topic. It was lousy scholarship on his part and he has been taken to task for it. It backfired, because all it did was demonstrate a weakness in his own position.

        • Triggerman1976

          –Demonstrate with evidence or shut ta fuck.
          Read her book “The Christ Conspiracy” what she says about the bust in question, then read what she writes in response to Ehrman’s call-out. It’s 180-degrees in the opposite direction. Any more crawfishing and she could be eaten at a Friday night boil.

          –What Murdock did or didn’t do, is not the issue.
          When it’s passed of as “truth”, it IS the issue.

          –He didn’t do his research…
          How he did what he did (grad assistant(s) or what not) is not the issue, he was right. She wasn’t just wrong, she LIED.

          — Her not being a specialist is irrelevant.
          You’re right, it isn’t relevant. What is relevant is that she was sloppy with sources, used out of date materials, used materials from other non-specialists representing them as authorities, and blatantly misrepresented facts. If she HAD been a specialist, she would probably have been run out of academia. But she just turned to suckers like you to buy her materials and passed herself off as a specialist.

          –he’d somehow refuted mythicism…
          Now THAT’S a straw man. Mythicism is its own refutation. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e0a622af297fee16d57bf4f382af278eec19cdbe169916e2c4fef7fc9748de10.jpg

        • Greg G.

          Nope. Mythicism is thecrealization that the earliest literature about Jesus comes from the Old Testament. The sources for the Gospel of Mark comes from mostly centuries old literature. The other gospels are based on Mark and more literature.

        • Triggerman1976

          That assumes Markan priority, which I reject, based upon historical and textual evidence, and actually reading Mark.

        • What is your explanation for the synoptics?

        • Greg G.

          Let’s compare Mark 6:14-29 and Matthew 14:1-12. The story has a basis in the Book of Esther. The offer of “up to half of my kingdom” is a dead give away in Mark 6:22-23 when compared with Esther 5:3, 6; 7:2. Mark calls Herod a king four times. Matthew 14:1 calls Herod “the tetrarch” so Matthew knows that Herod was not the king. But by Matthew 14:9, he as forgotten that and calls him the king, just like in Mark 6:26, and in the same verse of both gospels, the king is grieved by having John beheaded. In Mark 6:20, Herodias wanted JtB killed while, in Matthew 14:5, Herod wanted to have him killed. Mark developed the regret angle but Matthew did not so having Herodias instruct the daughter to ask for JtB’s head on a platter makes no sense.

          But if the story was originally based on Esther, the elements come together. In Esther 1, the king wanted his wife, Vashti, to dance in front of men wearing her crown, which Jewish scholars interpreted as the crown and nothing but the crown, which would be why she refused. The offer of “half my kingdom” was given to Esther three times, after she replaced Vashti as queen.

          In Mark 1:40-45, Jesus healed a leper and told him to say nothing to anybody. Matthew 8:1-4 has a crowd following Jesus down from the Sermon on the Mount. It doesn’t make much sense when Matthew has Jesus tell the ex-leper to not tell anybody, like in Mark, when there was multitude of witnesses.

          In Mark 3:19, Jesus had gone home and, in Mark 3:31, his family was standing outside. In Matthew 12:15, Jesus had left a synagogue and conversed with multitudes, including some Pharisees. While surrounded by a multitude in Matthew 12:46-47, he was told that his mother and brothers were standing outside, looking for him. Matthew went back to Mark’s text without editing the setting of the story. He has Jesus leaving a house he never entered in Matthew 13:1 to follow Mark 4:1 to the beach.

          Mark 10:35-41 has James and John ask Jesus to sit at either hand in glory. Matthew 20:20-24 follows the story but instead of James and John asking for the favor, their mother poses the question to Jesus. However, Jesus responds to the brothers and they respond to him just as they did in Mark. The other ten disciples become indignant at the brothers in both stories but not at their mother. Matthew seems to have forgotten his beginning.

          These are examples of editorial fatigue where the author makes a change in the story but fails to maintain the change throughout the story.

          There are four examples of Luke making changes to Mark but then following Mark as written rather than maintaining the change. There’s an example of Luke doing that with Matthew where Matthew is not clearly using Mark plus a few places where Luke is using Matthew where Matthew is using Mark.

          However, there have been no identified cases where Mark has signs of editorial fatigue using any other gospel.

          The evidence indicates that Matthew used Mark while Luke used Mark and Matthew, so there is no need for the Q hypothesis.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And you think you are an individual that thinks at a scholarly level…wise ta fuck up ya moron.

        • That graphic would indeed be pretty bad reasoning if anyone followed it.

          But tell me more about your position w/r Jesus mythicism. Is “the consensus is against it!” all you’ve got? I’ll admit that that’s an important data point, but I wonder if you argue against mythicism yourself.

        • Triggerman1976

          I created that graphic it when I listened to Richard Carrier debate Jonathan McLatchie on the Unbelievable podcast, because that’s just what he did.
          https://www.premierchristianradio.com/Shows/Saturday/Unbelievable/Episodes/Unbelievable-Mythicism-debate-Did-St.-Paul-believe-in-a-real-or-celestial-Jesus-Richard-Carrier-vs-Jonathan-McLatchie

        • Ignorant Amos

          Whaoh! You cite a debate between an IDiot creationist layperson and a doctorate holding Classical historian as your source material for that stupid graphic. Siding with the non-expert after your whole credentials shtick. Hypocrite. Nowhere in that debate is your meme supported. This is how you were trained to do research? Holy fuck!

          …because that’s just what he did.

          Not in the podcast I listened to he didn’t…nor does his hypothesis rest on your fuckwittery, but you’d know that if you are a trained researcher.

          That fuckwit McLatchie is a creationist…he believes all the epistles ascribed to the Pauline corpus are genuine to Paul…what happened to your reliance on the experts?

          So it seems you haven’t actually read Carrier’s argument? Go you ya demon researcher….fucking Coco.

        • Greg G.

          From Did Jesus Exist as Part One:

          Odd as it may seem, no scholar of the New Testament has ever thought to put together a sustained argument that Jesus must have lived. To my knowledge, I was the first to try it, and it was a very interesting intellectual exercise.    –Bart Ehrman

          I haven’t checked back in a while. Has anybody provided scholarly works for a sustained argument of Jesus existence that Ehrman missed?

          This shows that the consensus on the historical Jesus is not based on reason, evidence, or historical methods. The consensus is unsound.

          The independent Gospel sources presented by Ehrman are: Mark, Q, M, L, sayings source, passion narratives, protoThomas. [ http://ocabs.org/journal/index.php/jocabs/article/viewFile/80/47 ]

          We have Mark and we have scholarly evidence for Mark’s sources and most of it isn’t even about Jesus. The others are speculations based on the assumption that Jesus existed and those imagined sources are about Jesus.

          You don’t even accept Mark as a primary document so you have nothing.

        • Greg G.

          I went back and reread the article I linked to. I hadn’t read it in a while. It’s well worth reading if you haven’t and worth rereading if you have:

          Ehrman and Brodie on Whether Jesus Existed: A Cautionary Tale about the State of Biblical Scholarship
          Tom Dykstra
          http://ocabs.org/journal/index.php/jocabs/article/viewFile/80/47

        • Ignorant Amos

          Read her book “The Christ Conspiracy” what she says about the bust in question, then read what she writes in response to Ehrman’s call-out. It’s 180-degrees in the opposite direction. Any more crawfishing and she could be eaten at a Friday night boil.

          For someone so clever, you are so fucking stupid. Murdock may well have been lying through her eye teeth (she wasn’t), that’s not the issue soft boy. Ehrman’s misrepresenting her is the point in question. For such a research scholar you are a complete clusterfuck.

          Despite his unprofessional antics, Ehrman clearly defamed me by claiming that the statue did not exist, that it wasn’t in the Vatican and that I “made it up.” Thus, his comments in DJE are FALSE and libelous.

          http://freethoughtnation.com/bart-ehrman-caught-in-lies-and-libel/

          When it’s passed of as “truth”, it IS the issue.

          How hard a concept is this for such a clever dick like you to grasp?

          Ehrman…the highly credentialed scholar…made a boo-boo, in a long list of boo-boo’s, in his crappy piece of shite book. Ehrman fucked up then tried to back track out of it by claiming he didn’t say the statue didn’t exist…it does. That’s the issue.

          How he did what he did (grad assistant(s) or what not) is not the issue, he was right. She wasn’t just wrong, she LIED.

          It is the issue, if he was wrong…and he was wrong in any plain reading of the case…of course a faux researcher would fail to see that. If who ever did Ehrman’s research was as inept as you, then the fuck up is understandable.

          http://freethoughtnation.com/the-phallic-savior-of-the-world-hidden-in-the-vatican/

          You’re right, it isn’t relevant. What is relevant is that she was sloppy with sources, used out of date materials, used materials from other non-specialists representing them as authorities, and blatantly misrepresented facts.

          Except it was Ehrman who did all those things. Murdock backed her claim up and both you and Ehrman, or one of his flunkies, have reading comprehension issues…go you ya Billy Big pants super researcher…NOT!

          If she HAD been a specialist, she would probably have been run out of academia.

          Because only specialists never get things wrong, right? And specialists never get run out of academia either…you’re a cretin.

          But she just turned to suckers like you to buy her materials and passed herself off as a specialist.

          Nope…not me…another research failure on your part.

          Now THAT’S a straw man.

          When you go away, do some research, and learn what the straw man fallacy actually is…then we can start over.

          Mythicism is its own refutation.

          Your meme demonstrates that you know absolutely fuck all about the subject you are attempting to refute…faux researcher…and dopey cunt.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Oh, and Doherty doesn’t seem to understand what Q is, and he argues in a circle, something I document here: https://triggermanblog.word

          If there is something in that screed that’s relevant…post it here…soliciting to ones own blog is not cool…and you’ve been told that already.

          On dating NT documents and the issue of Q: https://triggermanblog.word

          If there is something in that screed that’s relevant…post it here…soliciting to ones own blog is not cool…and you’ve been told that already.

          So much for tearing someone a new one.

          You’re too easy…that’s because you believe in nonsense. Punting towards pages of fuckwittery on your blog doesn’t help you much. Try making an argument here that can be addressed.

        • Ignorant Amos

          –Irrelevant to the reason he is being cited

          Wrong. Very relevant, especially when the person’s argument is being used to support the conclusion.

          Crossan being no friend of Price is irrelevant. Crossan being an historical Jesus proponent is irrelevant. I cited Crossan as an example of the many different Jesus’s that scholars believe existed.

          Cynic philosopher – The many borrowings from Greek philosophy in Jesus’ teachings would make sense if Jesus had actually been a wandering Cynic or a Stoic philosopher, or the Galilean equivalent. Burton L. Mack, John Dominic Crossan, Gerald Downing and others have strongly defended this view, citing plenty of Cynic statements with their equivalents in the Gospels.

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd/2012/01/will-the-real-jesus-please-stand-up/

          I’m going to guess that you’ve never had to write scholarly papers where your cited sources better have some relevance to your conclusion, and a form of literature that doesn’t come into existence for 200 years after what is being compared to.

          You’d guess wrong. And this is not a place where we are scholarly writing. And the only sources you’ve cited are your own blog posts. And the relevance to the form of literature and when it supposedly came into existence is not relevant.

          What’s relevant is that a respected Christian New Testament scholar believes what he believes and thinks he can support his theses. Whether it is nonsense or not, has fuck all to do with the point I’m making.

          But even now you are talking outta yer arse of course…

          Estimated Range of Dating: 70-160 A.D.

          Form criticism and redaction criticism indicate that the Gospel of Peter was dependent upon a number of sources, but it is quite possible that the document as we have it antedates the four gospels of the New Testament and may have served as a source for their respective authors. The Gospel of Peter was probably composed in the second half of the first century, most likely in western Syria. As such, it is the oldest extant writing produced and circulated under the authority of the apostle Peter. The creation of a passion and resurrection narrative was the product of a communitiy of believers who understood the ultimate activity of God to have taken place in their own time, when the powers of unrighteousness and death were conquered by God’s definitive act of raising the dead. Accordingly, the fate of Jesus is interpreted, in the hindsight of scripture, as God’s vindication of the suffering righteous one.

          http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/gospelpeter.html

          If I were you, I’d be looking for a refund from Billy Bob’s Clown University, you’re not even funny anymore.

        • I’d be looking for a refund from Billy Bob’s Clown University

          Get it straight–it’s Billy Bob’s Klown Kollege.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Silly me!

        • Triggerman1976

          –The many borrowings from Greek philosophy in Jesus’ teachings
          Which is it? Was he a Cynic or a Stoic or was he even an Epicurean (after all he was accused of being a drunk and he wasn’t one to avoid a party)? I have to ask because anyone familiar with the philosophies of the ancient world can find some kind of parallel. Or is it more likely that all truths are true regardless of the packaging because all truth has a common source? I’ll take “C”.

          — the only sources you’ve cited are your own blog posts
          And if you read them carefully, you will see that I cite relevant sources heavily.

          –But even now
          Just wait…
          “It is possible that the Gospel of Peter used a source similar to that preserved independently in Mark and John.”–(me interjecting, or used Mark and John as the source)–“The basic stories”,–(aka the pre-existing gospels of Mark and John)–“underlying the accounts”–(aka the eyewitness testimony preserved in the gospels)–“of the epiphany and the empty tomb are form-critically discreet and probably very old.” (p 77)
          (Ron Cameron. THE OTHER GOSPELS: Non-Canonical Gospel Texts. Westminster Press. Philadelphia, PA. 1982)

          Just a little heads-up about form critics: most of them talk out of their ass, they have to, because they don’t have any actual evidence, hence their vocabulary is littered with words like “probably”, and “most likely”, and “most scholars believe”, never mind that last one because they’ll never actually tell you which scholars.

          “Elements that are parallel to other apocryphal gospels also indicate it is not as old as Crossan suggests, asRaymond Brown’s critique shows (Brown 1994, 1317–49). Lapham (2003, 94) and Rebell (1992, 98) note the connection to Serapion means this is a *second-century work*, probably rooted in Syria and from the middle of that period (p133).(emphasis added)”
          (Darrell L. Bock. THE MISSING GOSPELS: Unearthing the Truth Behind Alternative Christianities. Thomas Nelson. Nashville, TN. 2006.)

          One thing that I learned at “Billy Bob’s Clown University” was that textual criticism was no laughing matter, and that one should learn the idiosyncrasies of particular scholars, because that’s usually where they mess up.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Which is it?

          Well that’s the point. Scholars can’t make up their minds.

          Was he a Cynic…

          Some scholars who believe he existed think he was.

          … or a Stoic…

          Yeah…apparently not, at least no a good one. I thought you were a scholar in philosophy of religion and an expert researcher.

          The last several years have seen an explosion of research on the historical Jesus. The historical Jesus has recently been described as a magician (Morton Smith), a social revolutionary (Richard Horsley and John Dominic Crossan), a charismatic Jew (Geza Vermes), a wise sage (Ben Witherington), a Cynic philosopher (F. Gerald Downing), a religious ecstatic and mystic (Marcus Borg), an advocate of covenantal monism (E. P. Sanders), a marginal Jew (John P. Meier), an apocalypticist (Bart Ehrman), and a prophet (Paula Fredriksen and N. T. Wright). It seems like the historical Jesus is malleable enough to be squeezed into the shape of any of the prophets, revolutionaries, exorcists, sages, militarists, fanatics, politicians, and philosophers who populated first century Judea. With the proliferation of so many options, I want to conduct a simple experiment. I want to ascertain if there is any common character-type from the menagerie of the ancient world to which we can confidently assert the historical Jesus bore no significant resemblance. In other words, what was the historical Jesus clearly not like?

          https://www.sbl-site.org/publications/article.aspx?ArticleId=334

          …or was he even an Epicurean (after all he was accused of being a drunk and he wasn’t one to avoid a party)?

          Hmmmm…

          Earthy Hedonist – Or was he a male chauvinist pig? Onlookers criticize him for being “a glutton and a drunk” who consorts with riffraff like tax collectors and whores (Luke 5:30; 5:33-34; 7:34, 37-39,44-46).

          I have to ask because anyone familiar with the philosophies of the ancient world can find some kind of parallel.

          What? You mean the character was multifaceted and all things to all men…just like a made up hotch-potch ya mean.

          Or is it more likely that all truths are true regardless of the packaging because all truth has a common source? I’ll take “C”.

          Well of course you do, because that fits your narrative. Unfortunately actual multi-omni god-men should not be logical contradictions, that’s the purview of mythical characters in a story cobbled together over time with increasing embellishments.

          Although the chaos of the current quest ensures that unanimous consent remains elusive on virtually every issue, the clear majority of historical Jesus scholars accepts some version of this embarrassment criterion.

          The problem with the criterion of embarrassment is that it is a loada shite.

          https://vridar.org/2010/12/25/embarrassing-failure-of-the-criterion-of-embarrassment/

          — the only sources you’ve cited are your own blog posts
          And if you read them carefully, you will see that I cite relevant sources heavily.

          Your screeds of dross are too long and tedious to wade through in order to pick out the bullet points you rely on to support your argument here. It is bad crack to refer to your blog posts to support your arguments on someone else’s blog. It’s almost like you are incapable of making your argument otherwise. Which doesn’t sit right with me if you are such an astute scholar as you claim to be.

        • Ignorant Amos

          “It is possible…

          Lot’s of things are possible.

          Just a little heads-up about form critics: most of them talk out of their ass, they have to, because they don’t have any actual evidence, hence their vocabulary is littered with words like “probably”, and “most likely”, and “most scholars believe”, never mind that last one because they’ll never actually tell you which scholars.

          No need for the heads up, I’ve read enough to know that historians deal with probabilities. But don’t confuse “probability” and “possibility”…there are vastly less “probabilities” than “possibilities” and probabilities are less fanciful than possibilities.

          But thanks anyway for admitting the Unidentified Experts Fallacy, which dovetails nicely into the Invincible Authority Fallacy. Jesus studies suffer immensely from both.

        • Ignorant Amos

          “Elements that are parallel to other apocryphal gospels also indicate it is not as old as Crossan suggests, asRaymond Brown’s critique shows (Brown 1994, 1317–49). Lapham (2003, 94) and Rebell (1992, 98) note the connection to Serapion means this is a *second-century work*, probably rooted in Syria and from the middle of that period (p133).(emphasis added)”
          (Darrell L. Bock. THE MISSING GOSPELS: Unearthing the Truth Behind Alternative Christianities. Thomas Nelson. Nashville, TN. 2006.)

          The reference in Serapion means that terminus post quem was a 2nd century work.

          Commenting in the Journal of Theological Studies on Justin Martyr’s ancient testimony and this present document, D.H. Stanton wrote: “The conclusion with which we are confronted is that The Gospel of Peter once held a place of honor, comparable to that assigned to the Four Gospels, perhaps even higher than some of them…”

          Its earliest possible date of composition would be in the middle of the first century, when passion narratives first began to be compiled. The latest possible date would be in the second half of the second century, shortly before this gospel was used by the Christians at Rhossus and the copy discovered at Oxyrhynchus was made.

          https://www.preteristarchive.com/ChurchHistory/0100_gospel_peter.html

          The dating of the Gospel of Peter just isn’t settled. It’s as simple as that. An honest interlocutor AND supposed scholar would acknowledge that fact and not cherry pick.

          You’re not much of a researcher methinks.

          But anyway…

          You seem to be somewhat confused. I can’t make this any clearer. I don’t cite Crossan’s hypothesis as correct, I’m using him as an example of how fucked up the study of Jesus is, because he is a respected Christian scholar whose hypothesis flies in the face of many others. Including you apparently.

          One thing that I learned at “Billy Bob’s Clown University” was that textual criticism was no laughing matter, and that one should learn the idiosyncrasies of particular scholars, because that’s usually where they mess up.

          Bwaaaahahaha! There goes a bag of irony meters right there.

          So how do you get to who has the most accurate argument…including the mythicists?

          Am telling ya, get yer money back from that education you paid for, you’ve been robbed.

        • Pofarmer

          You’re not much of a researcher methinks.

          Nah, he’s an apologist, quoting other apologists.

        • Ignorant Amos

          –you struggle with this burden of proof Malarkey don’t you?
          That’d be you, since I back up my claims. Now, you made a very specific claim that it’s a “yarn” and you have to back it up and not shift the burden. My claim is that they’re historical testimonies to the man, Jesus of Nazareth, and as such,”Testimony offers us, I wish to suggest, both a reputable historiographic category for reading the Gospels as history, and …as the entirely appropriate means of access to the historical reality of Jesus.”
          (Richard Bauckham. JESUS AND THE EYEWITNESSES, 2nd Edition. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. Grand Rapids, MI. 2017. p 31)

          All of which can be refuted…so pah!

          –But the analogy doesn’t fit…
          Yes, it does. Like a glove.

          Nope, it doesn’t, and here’s why…

          Yes, I am deadly serious: there are actually people who believe that man never walked on the moon.

          …it’s a poor analogy because there is solid evidence that refutes the moon landing conspiracy theorists. If even nearly such evidence existed for Jesus, the conversation would be moot. No matter how hard you think it does, it really doesn’t. But hey, you’re such a clever guy…get your book written and published…you’d be onto a winner where no one else has succeeded.

        • Triggerman1976

          –All of which can be refuted
          And yet, no one has, because its unassailable research.

          –Nope, it doesn’t
          And yet, in spite of all the evidence there’s a large number of people who don’t believe it. Now you know how I feel when I talk to people like you.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And yet, no one has, because its unassailable research.

          Bwaaaahahahaha!

          And yet, in spite of all the evidence there’s a large number of people who don’t believe it. Now you know how I feel when I talk to people like you.

          Bwaaaahahahaha!

        • Pofarmer

          Dude. You’re a fucking moron. Shake the dust off of your feet and move on.

        • Triggerman1976

          Name-calling is the last resort of a person who doesn’t have an actual argument.

        • Pofarmer

          I’m not arguing, i’m making an observation.

        • epeeist

          Also, I’m a researcher

          In what subject, at which institution?

        • Triggerman1976

          Philosophy of religion with an emphasis on history and theology.
          Major reasearch university in the South Eastern United States.

        • epeeist

          Well that helps a lot given that this would seem to cover Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.

          I would expect someone with a background in philosophy to use language a little more exactly, I live near Manchester in the UK which has a “major research university”. However the areas of leading research are in science and engineering, while it does research in other subjects these are not at the same level.

          So, a fallacy of division from you, just because you are at a “Major reasearch(sic) university” does not mean that your subject is a distinguished part of the university’s research effort.

        • Triggerman is commenting from central Mississippi. I don’t know what universities are in that area to speculate.

          I’m not sure why it should be a secret.

        • Otto

          >>>”oh, wait, that’s right, there are no other documents as well attested historically from that time as the biblical documents. You don’t get to cherry-pick.”

          Which parts are the most well attested historical parts? The part where Zombies rose out of their graves and walked around Jerusalem? The part where someone turned water to wine? The part where Satan whisked a guy into the desert for 40 days and tempted him even though the guy was supposedly God?

        • Greg G.

          I think the position one takes on Matthew 27:52-53 is the marker between goofy and very goofy.

        • Otto

          I love the people that say Jesus is God and he rose from the dead…but even that part is just too much.

        • Greg G.

          How can Jesus be the firstfruits of the dead, per 1 Corinthians 15:20-23, if Lazarus and the Matthean zombies were ahead of him?

        • Triggerman1976

          Before you say something else retarded, get informed with some scholarship, http://www.peeranormal.com/podcast/peeranormal-12-zombies/
          Then go actually READ what it is that you’re trying to talk about
          https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+27%3A45-54&version=ESV

          https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+2%3A1-11&version=ESV

          https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+4%3A1-11&version=ESV

          And come back when you learn how not to straw man.

        • Otto

          I asked a question…one you failed to answer and instead put a bunch of links in that had nothing do do with my question. Asking a question is not a strawman you dimwit. The only thing that is retarded is you thinking any of that answers how any of those Bible are well attested. If Zombies went into the city and appeared to many where is the attestation? ONE guy wrote this and no one else in Jerusalem noticed? How is THAT ‘well attested’? You are a fuckin moron.

        • Triggerman1976

          Did you bother to follow any of those links and possibly LEARN something?
          No. Because you love your straw men too much to let them go.

        • Otto

          I did click on the links and I LEARNED they did not relate to my question…and again, a question is not a straw man. For such a self-described intellectual I would think you would know the definition of a straw man.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I mean its like there weren’t Christians and critics writing about Christians and what they believed for four hundred years quoting the gospels and Paul and Peter and Christians discussing what heretical groups believed…oh…wait…they were.

          The problem is, you are viewing this from your myopic orthodox 21st century position. During the first three centuries, heresy was as the others. The canon today, was not the canon during the first three centuries of Christianity. There were a lot more groups with their own scriptures than you appear to think there were…or choose to ignore.

          Try reading “THE LOST CHRISTIANITIES: THE BATTLES FOR SCRIPTURE AND THE FAITHS WE NEVER KNEW”

          What if Marcion’s canon-which consisted only of Luke’s Gospel and Paul’s letters, entirely omitting the Old Testament-had become Christianity’s canon? What if the Ebionites-who believed Jesus was completely human and not divine-had ruled the day as the Orthodox Christian party? What if various early Christian writings, such as the Gospel of Thomas or the Secret Gospel of Mark, had been allowed into the canonical New Testament? Ehrman (The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture), a professor of religion at UNC Chapel Hill, offers answers to these and other questions in this book, which rehearses the now-familiar story of the tremendous diversity of early Christianity and its eventual suppression by a powerful “proto-orthodox” faction. The proto-orthodox Christians won out over many other groups, and bequeathed to us the four Gospels, a church hierarchy, a set of practices and beliefs, and doctrines such as the Trinity. Ehrman eloquently characterizes some of the movements and Scriptures that were lost, such as the Ebionites and the Secret Gospel of Mark, as he outlines the many strands of Christianity that competed for attention in the second and third centuries. He issues an important reminder that there was no such thing as a monolithic Christian orthodoxy before the fourth century. While Ehrman sometimes raises interesting questions (e.g., are Paul’s writings sympathetic to women?), his book covers territory already well-explored by others (Gregory Riley, The River of God; Elaine Pagels, Beyond Belief), generating few fresh or provocative insights.

          https://www.bartdehrman.com/the-lost-christianities-the-battles-for-scripture-and-the-faiths-we-never-knew/

          …and “LOST SCRIPTURES: BOOKS THAT DID NOT MAKE IT INTO THE NEW TESTAMENT”

          We may think of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament as the only sacred writings of the early Christians, but this is not at all the case. Lost Scriptures offers an anthology of up-to-date and readable translations of many non-canonical writings from the first centuries after Christ–texts that have been for the most part lost or neglected for almost two millennia.

          Here is an array of remarkably varied writings from early Christian groups whose visions of Jesus differ dramatically from our contemporary understanding. Readers will find Gospels supposedly authored by the apostle Philip, James the brother of Jesus, Mary Magdalen, and others. There are Acts originally ascribed to John and to Thecla, Paul’s female companion; there are Epistles allegedly written by Paul to the Roman philosopher Seneca. And there is an apocalypse by Simon Peter that offers a guided tour of the afterlife, both the glorious ecstasies of the saints and the horrendous torments of the damned, and an Epistle by Titus, a companion of Paul, which argues page after page against sexual love, even within marriage, on the grounds that physical intimacy leads to damnation. In all, the anthology includes fifteen Gospels, five non-canonical Acts of the Apostles, thirteen Epistles, a number of Apocalypes and Secret Books, and several Canon lists. Ehrman has included a general introduction, plus brief introductions to each piece.

          Lost Scriptures gives readers a vivid picture of the range of beliefs that battled each other in the first centuries of the Christian era. It is an essential resource for anyone interested in the Bible or the early Church.

          https://www.bartdehrman.com/lost-scriptures-books-that-did-not-make-it-into-the-new-testament/

        • Triggerman1976

          –The canon today, was not the canon during the first three centuries of Christianity
          How do you know that?

          Ooh, even better question, given that assertion: how did Marcion know which books Christians would consider to be authoritative and could be manipulated to support his heresy if there was no canon? How could he reject the Hebrew scriptures if they weren’t considered to be canonical by the church?

          Michael Kruger, in his book THE QUESTION OF CANON, argues that, given the Jewishness of the early church and the eschatological bent of Judaism towards a final revelation, as well as the covenantal nature of the Hebrew scriptures, that with the coming of the Messiah there would be new revelation, and that revelation, as a covenantal act, would produce scripture, and with scripture canon. Therefore the church recognizes what is canon.

          As to why the Roman church has its canon, the Eastern Orthodox has its canon, the Ethiopian and Coptics have their canons, and the Protestants have theirs…that’s a whole other discussion. The problem with bringing up Marcion though is when he gets responded to by people like Tertullian and Epiphanius, and when Marcionism and Gnosticism get responded to later, everyone seems to know intuitively what is or isn’t authoritative when they make their arguments. The fact that this doesn’t become “official” until later is a whole other discussion.

        • Ignorant Amos

          –The canon today, was not the canon during the first three centuries of Christianity

          How do you know that?

          Oh…maybe it was because there was no canon during the first 3 centuries I suppose.

          There were all sorts of Christian texts being used as official scripture.

          Now, going forward, ya can’t have a “New Testament” canon until ya have a “New Testament”…it sorta has to work that way.

          But even then, there were different canon’s. Including scriptures deemed heretical.

          Did you know there was no officially ratified Roman Catholic NT canon until the 1545 CE Council of Trent?

          Ooh, even better question, given that assertion: how did Marcion know which books Christians would consider to be authoritative and could be manipulated to support his heresy if there was no canon?

          You’ve got this arse backwards…no surprise there then. I didn’t say the canonical scriptures didn’t exist. The scriptures that would eventually become part of the canon were in place by 120 CE, Marcion compiled his favored texts 130-140 CE, but there was no one definitive canon of official Christian scriptures. And Marcion didn’t use one.

          Adolf von Harnack argued that Marcion viewed the church at this time as largely an Old Testament church (one that “follows the Testament of the Creator-God”) without a firmly established New Testament canon, and that the church gradually formulated its New Testament canon in response to the challenge posed by Marcion.

          Paul and Luke were the only Christian authors to find favour with Marcion, though his versions of these differed from those later accepted by mainstream Christianity (also termed Proto-orthodox Christianity).

          Marcion created a definite group of books which he regarded as fully authoritative, displacing all others. These comprised ten of the Pauline epistles (without the Pastorals) and a gospel similar to that of Luke. It is uncertain whether he edited these books, purging them of what did not accord with his views, or that his versions represented a separate textual tradition.

          To which Marcion added his own gospel, known as “The Gospel of the Lord”. Marcion was the first to gather a number of texts together under the “Christian” label a propose “his” canon be “thee” canon, but it was rejected.

          I’d have thought you’d have known this…it’s common enough knowledge.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Development_of_the_New_Testament_canon#Marcion_of_Sinope

          How could he reject the Hebrew scriptures if they weren’t considered to be canonical by the church?

          Which “the church” are ya talking about?

          Oh…and my bad. I thought we were talking about the NT in this sub-thread…silly me. I also got that impression from your previous sentence.

          “Ooh, even better question, given that assertion: how did Marcion know which books Christians would consider to be authoritative and could be manipulated to support his heresy if there was no canon?

          Which Hebrew scriptures in particular were considered to be authoritative Christian canon, and in what Christian canon did Marcion use any Hebrew texts in 130-140 CE?

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Development_of_the_Old_Testament_canon#Marcion

          Also, and which early Christians are ya talking about? There were many, believing all sorts of nonsense, just as there are today.

          Michael Kruger, in his book THE QUESTION OF CANON, argues that, given the Jewishness of the early church and the eschatological bent of Judaism towards a final revelation, as well as the covenantal nature of the Hebrew scriptures, that with the coming of the Messiah there would be new revelation, and that revelation, as a covenantal act, would produce scripture, and with scripture canon. Therefore the church recognizes what is canon.

          Which church? Where is this “canon” you talk about in the first three centuries?

          Canon:- The books of the Bible officially accepted as Holy Scripture.

          Accepted by who? Who decides? When did this happen?

          You seem to be a bit all over in that comment of yours above.

          As to why the Roman church has its canon, the Eastern Orthodox has its canon, the Ethiopian and Coptics have their canons, and the Protestants have theirs…that’s a whole other discussion.

          Yeah…why bring it up…it’s a non sequitur…none of those existed during the first three hundred years of Christianity…so pah!

          The problem with bringing up Marcion though is when he gets responded to by people like Tertullian and Epiphanius, and when Marcionism and Gnosticism get responded to later,…

          The problem is yours, not mine…he is just another of your irrelevant red herrings in an attempt to obfuscate…or try and show you think you know more than the rest of us. Wise up.

          …everyone seems to know intuitively what is or isn’t authoritative when they make their arguments.

          Absolute bullshit.

          The fact that this doesn’t become “official” until later is a whole other discussion.

          Well no, it really isn’t…it goes to the heart of my comment you are taking umbrage with. You are trying to be a contrary bastard just for the sake of it, and failing miserably.

        • Triggerman1976

          –maybe it was because there was no canon during the first 3 centuries I suppose.
          Except… no. If there was text, there was canon.

          –There were all sorts of Christian texts being used as official scripture.
          Again…no. There were texts, like the Shepherd of Hermas or the Epistle of Barnabas, which some did consider to be Scripture and even argued for canonical inclusion–SoH is a trip, BTW–because they were considered “helpful”. But when one reads the apostolics, it’s very clear what was considered to be authoritative and what is referred to as “Scripture” and its what we find in the 27 books of the NT.

          –Did you know there was no officially ratified Roman Catholic NT canon until the 1545 CE Council of Trent?

          Yes. Fortunately, there were things like the Council of Rome(AD382), the Council of Carthage (AD397), Athenasius’ 39th Festal Letter (AD367) and by discussion in the apostolics http://www.ntcanon.org/table.shtml

          –Accepted by who? Who decides? When did this happen?
          The church.
          God.
          Upon inspiration and production.

          –Yeah…why bring it up
          Interesting fact that you might need for a radio contest one day.

          –he is just another of your irrelevant red herrings in an attempt to obfuscate
          Then why tf did you bring it up?

          –Absolute bullshit.
          That’s what your opinion is.

          –You are trying to be a contrary bastard just for the sake of it,
          Now you’re just sounding like my wife.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Except… no. If there was text, there was canon.

          Ballix. Keep talking shite Mr. I’m-So-Clever-Even-Trump-Is-in-Awe, it’s your intellectual integrity’s death throes we are witnessing.

          So what’s the point of the word “canon” if all text was canon?

          If you want to redefine the word to fit your nonsense….go right ahead, ya cockwomble.

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

          http://www.ntcanon.org/

        • Triggerman1976

          “[The] Old Testament covenantal background provides strong historical reason for thinking that early Christians would have had a predisposition toward written canonical documents and that such documents might have arisen naturally from the early Christian movement. At a minimum, the covenantal context of early Christianity suggests that the emergence of a new corpus of scriptural books…

          “Our suspicions are confirmed when we examine the New Testament corpus in more detail and recognize that it too bears some of the characteristics of the ancient treaty-covenants…

          “Given this background, we come to the key question: what would happen if the early Christians believed that the authoritative message of the apostles were put in written form? How would such documents be viewed? Initially, of course, the apostles delivered their message orally through teaching and preaching. But it was not long before they (and others) began to write their message down. And these apostolic documents told Christians to “stand firm and hold to the traditions you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter” (2 Thess 2:15). And again, “If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person and have nothing to do with him” (2 Thess 3:14). It is here that we see the obvious connection between the role of the apostles and the beginnings of the canon. If apostles were viewed as the mouthpiece of Christ, and it was believed that they wrote down that apostolic message in books, then those books would be received as the very words of Christ himself. Such writings would not have to wait until second-, third- or fourth-century ecclesiastical decisions to be viewed as authoritative— instead they would be viewed as authoritative from almost the very start. For this reason, a written New Testament was not something the church formally “decided” to have at some later date, but was instead the natural outworking of the early church’s view of the function of the apostles.”

          Michael J. Kruger. THE QUESTION OF CANON:Challenging the Status Quo in the New Testament Debate. IVP Academic. 2013. pp 69; 77.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Nothing your man writes changes the facts. No one is denying that the books that would become the NT canon were in place, or were being used by some as their holy scriptures, but there was no settled canon of authoritative books being used by Christians during the first 3 centuries. There were other books being used as authoritative scripture at the time that were binned. There were lots of different books being used by different Christianities…many of which were to become heretical. You are trying to retcon…it doesn’t work that way.

          Your man has a thesis, it is contrary to the thesis of others such as Bauer, Ehrman, and Pagels.

          It is here that we see the obvious connection between the role of the apostles and the beginnings of the canon. If apostles were viewed as the mouthpiece of Christ, and it was believed that they wrote down that apostolic message in books, then those books would be received as the very words of Christ himself. Such writings would not have to wait until second-, third- or fourth-century ecclesiastical decisions to be viewed as authoritative— instead they would be viewed as authoritative from almost the very start.

          But not part of a canon of books regarded by all Christians in the same way…how hard is this for you to comprehend Mr. Smart Alec?

          The problem is that much of the writing being used as scripture was forged. So stuff was being pushed as having apostolic authority when it isn’t. Even books that made the canon and are now part of the NT are known to be not what they represent.

        • Triggerman1976

          —but there was no settled canon of authoritative books being used by Christians during the first 3 centuries.
          It seems pretty settled when you read any writers from the first 300 years of the church. Further, when you read the Synod of Carthage (397) all that they’re doing is affirming what they, “have received from our fathers that those books must be read in the Church.” But then there’s the Muratorian fragment which most scholars date before AD200 which lists 22 of 27 books of the NT as authoritative. The fact that there was no “official” list for 300 years, doesn’t mean that people didn’t know what was canon.

          –The problem is that much of the writing being used as scripture was forged.
          People reeeeaaaalllly need to read more than Bart Ehrman because he really oversells this schlock in popular form, at least in his scholarly work he’s a little more forthcoming:
          “The frequent occurrence of forgery in this period does not suggest a basic tolerance of the practice. In actuality, it was widely and strongly condemned, sometimes even within documents that are themselves patently forged.87 This latter plo y serves , o f course , t o thro w th e scen t of f one’ s ow n deceit . On e o f its striking occurrences i s in the orthodox Apostolic Constitutions, a book of ecclesiastical instructions , ostensibl y writte n i n th e nam e o f Jesus ‘ apostles , which warn s it s reader s t o avoi d book s falsel y writte n i n th e nam e o f Jesus ‘ apostles (VI , 16) . On e canno t hel p thinkin g of 2 Thessalonians , whic h cautions against letters falsely penned in Paul’s name ( 2 :1 —2 ); many New Testament scholars believe that 2 Thessalonians is itself non-Pauline.

          “We have seen that Irenaeus accuses various heretical groups o f producing and distributing forged documents . W e are fortunate to have some of these documents now in our possession, in part due to th e remarkable discoveries of the present century. As already seen, however, heretics were not alone in producing such works. The Apostolic Constitutions is in fact an orthodox production, as is 3 Corinthians, forged by the presbyter of Asia Minor whom Tertullian condemns . So far as can be determined, in neither case was the deceit meant for ill: the deposed presbyter claimed that he did it “out of love for Paul, “meaning, we might suppose, that his use of Paul’s pen to condemn a docetic Christology was meant to honor th e apostle’s memory as one who strove for orthodoxy even from beyond the grave.”

          (Bart Ehrman. THE ORTHODOX CORRUPTION OF SCRIPTURE:The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament. Oxford University Press. New York, NY. 1993. p 23)

          He has to admit that Christians were very good at sniffing out forgeries and pseudepigraphic works, even within orthodoxy. Also, there’s this,
          “[The] incessant focus on the diversity within early Christianity proves to be a red herring, distracting us from the real issues at hand. It discourages us from asking the hard questions about
          what distinguishes books from one another, and insists that all versions of Christianity must have equal claim to originality. Ironically, then, commitment to the Bauer thesis serves not to encourage careful and nuanced historical investigation but
          actually serves to stifle such historical investigation by insisting that only the random flow of history can possibly account for why some books were received and others were not. Thus, it is this philosophical devotion to “no-one-view-is-the-right-view” that explains why so many scholars still affirm Bauer’s thesis despite the fact that his particular arguments have been refuted. The siren song of pluralism will always drown out the sober
          voice of history.”

          (Andreas J. Köstenberger and Michael J. Kruger. THE HERESY OF ORTHODOXY: How Contemporary Culture’s Fascination with Diversity Has Reshaped Our Understanding of Early Christianity. Crossway Publishing. Wheaton, IL. 2010. p 237.

        • Ignorant Amos

          It seems pretty settled when you read any writers from the first 300 years of the church.

          What is settled? That there was all sorts reading all sorts? There’s something basic about this interaction that you are failing to grasp. There was lots of texts being read as scripture during the first 300 years of Christianity. Some of them made it into the canon of the NT. That didn’t happen until after more than 300 years. You are trying to point to all texts as canonical by a wide definition of the word. Well, every Christian group seen their book or group of books as authoritative…even all the ones that were declared heretical and destroyed. You can’t point to the winners writings and declare that their favorite books, the ones they were writing about, the ones that eventually made the canon, were canon at that time those guys were writing about them. Other guys were writing about other books apparently.

          If you want to declare that every Christian had there own scripture that they held as authoritative to themselves, fine, but then the point is lost. There were hundreds of canons saying all sorts of rubbish about Jesus, Christian beliefs, and the various Churches. The word has become redundant…we might as well just swap the word canon for book and be done. But my point still stands. There was no official authoritative Christian book during the first 300 years.

          Further, when you read the Synod of Carthage (397) all that they’re doing is affirming what they, “have received from our fathers that those books must be read in the Church.”

          And received from others fathers those books that must not be read in the Church, even though some of them were still being read as authoritative well after that synod…which was still after 300 years of the Churches.

          But then there’s the Muratorian fragment which most scholars date before AD200 which lists 22 of 27 books of the NT as authoritative.

          So not a NT canon. The books weren’t NT, because no NT existed yet. They were books that eventually made the NT. It also has 2 books not in the NT and is missing 8 of the books that are in the NT. It could be pre-200 CE, or it could be 4th century…so more than 3 centuries. It is a 7th century Latin mss that might be a copy of an earlier Greek work.

          The definitive formation of the New Testament canon did not occur until 367, when bishop Athanasius of Alexandria in his annual Easter letter composed the list that is still recognised today as the canon of 27 books. However, it would take several more centuries of debates until agreement on Athanasius’ canon had been reached within all of Christendom.

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

          Which Christians were using the MF and when?

          The fact that there was no “official” list for 300 years, doesn’t mean that people didn’t know what was canon.

          So what was the canon? Were the Gnostics books canon too? Who was using what as canon?

          Christian Group A was using their favorite book, Christian Group B was using their favorite book, Christian Group C was using their favorite book…and so on. Groups B & C didn’t see Group A’s book as “official”…so it wasn’t canonical…Group A didn’t see B & C’s texts as “official”..Group C & A were not impressed with B’s book of nonsense. Many Christian groups seen the others as heretical. The word heretical has only got relevance when the orthodox won the day and a single set of texts was recognized as “official”…until then the other was heretical to the others.

          You seem to be using the word canon to mean any text being used as scripture…but of course you know that isn’t how I’m using the word. This is typical of Christian weaseling.

        • Triggerman1976

          –There was no official authoritative Christian book during the first 300 years.
          And you’d STILL be wrong.

          –So not a NT canon.
          Yes, it was.

          –The books weren’t NT, because no NT existed yet.
          “We’re all dumber for that statement. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

          –So what was the canon?
          The one that we have now.

          –Many Christian groups seen the others as heretical.
          Not nearly as many as you’d think.
          Was there disagreement? Yes. Over governmental structure, titles, technical nomenclature. Did some groups prefer particular texts over others? Maybe. There’s some question over how widespread certain texts were. John was more popular in the west than the east. Mark is found more in the north than the south. Matthew and Luke are almost always evenly spread across the middle.

          –You seem to be using the word canon to mean any text being used as scripture

          I use it to mean what it means: an authoritative list. If it gets quoted as or referred to as “scripture” in secondary texts, that term has definite meaning within the Jewish tradition from which the Christian church arises.

        • Greg G.

          My house was built 20 years ago. It didn’t exist until then. But the nucleus of the atoms existed 2000 years ago, but in other forms. Likewise, the books that were later canonized existed but the canon did not, until it included certain books and excluded others.

        • epeeist

          My house was built 20 years ago.

          My elder daughter used to have an American boyfriend. I used to enjoy pointing out that our house was built when America was still a British colony…

        • Ignorant Amos

          And you’d STILL be wrong.

          Well when you can demonstrate with evidence why, then I might concede. Got evidence?

          –So not a NT canon.
          Yes, it was.

          Nope…it wasn’t…and you’ve just ignored all the reasons I’ve provided as to why…so pah!

          –The books weren’t NT, because no NT existed yet.
          “We’re all dumber for that statement. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

          It’s hard to imagine how you could get any dumber. Christian apologetics has rotted your mind. And your passive aggressive nonsense is hilarious…imaginary gods suck my shite through the Virgin Mary’s sweaty sock.

          –Many Christian groups seen the others as heretical.
          Not nearly as many as you’d think.

          There were enough to make it an issue. The NT even had to warn of it ffs.

          http://www.badnewsaboutchristianity.com/bb0_paul.htm

          I can no longer take you bullshit seriously anymore.

          Was there disagreement? Yes. Over governmental structure, titles, technical nomenclature.

          Ballix. Wise ta fuck up ya moron.

          https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/first/diversity.html

          The Council of Nicaea was convened to address a heretical theology ffs.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Council_of_Nicaea#Character_and_purpose

          Did some groups prefer particular texts over others? Maybe.

          Maybe? No maybe about it.

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

          There’s some question over how widespread certain texts were. John was more popular in the west than the east. Mark is found more in the north than the south. Matthew and Luke are almost always evenly spread across the middle.

          What about all the other texts you’re not mentioning?

          So different Christians were using different texts, there was no canon…happy days…hoist by your own petard.

          –You seem to be using the word canon to mean any text being used as scripture

          I use it to mean what it means: an authoritative list. If it gets quoted as or referred to as “scripture” in secondary texts, that term has definite meaning within the Jewish tradition from which the Christian church arises.

          But there were all sorts of texts being claimed as authoritative by a diversity of Christians…who seen the other’s texts as heretical. There was no one authoratitive Christian text being used as a canon. The texts that were put together in the canon were the texts of the proto-orthodox who won the day and became the orthodox…eventually the Roman Catholic Church.

          J. D. Crossan gives priority to the Gospel of Peter aka the Cross Gospel.

          The Gospel of Peter (Greek: κατά Πέτρον ευαγγέλιον, kata Petrōn euangelion), or Gospel according to Peter, is one of the non-canonical gospels rejected as apocryphal by the Church Fathers and the Catholic Church’s synods of Carthage and Rome, which established the New Testament canon. It was the first of the non-canonical gospels to be rediscovered, preserved in the dry sands of Egypt.

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

          You’ve demonstrated that you are an idiot. I’ve wasted enough time on dealing with your deluded mindwankery…you can have the last word. I’ve got bigger fish to fry.

        • Otto

          He literally lives in his own self-constructed reality.

        • Triggerman1976

          –Got evidence?
          Yep. Got lots. That’s why I confidently said that you were wrong.

          –Nope…it wasn’t
          Yes, it was, it was an authoritative list of accepted books, the very definition of the word “canon”. Your “reasons” miss the whole point: people then knew what was authoritative and what was not. This is seen when it is compared to Athenasius’ Festal Letter in 367 and the canon list produced by the Council of Carthage in 397. It tracks through time.

          –It’s hard to imagine how you could get any dumber.
          Pot, kettle on line 1.

          –There were enough to make it an issue.
          Oh, where to begin.
          Your link references Gnostic works, these are 2nd century, NOT AUTHORITATIVE. Also, it MISREPRESENTS (how surprising) what Eusebius says about the bishops that served in Jerusalem, he never refers to them as “bishops of the circumcision”, rather Eusebius says, “These are the bishops of Jerusalem that lived between the age of the apostles and the time referred to, all of them ->belonging to the circumcision<-." "Belonging to the circumcision" just means that they were all Jewish in their heritage. Jews, in Jerusalem, being circumcised, who'd have thunk it? SOURCE: https://biblehub.com/library/pamphilius/church_history/chapter_v_the_bishops_of_jerusalem.htm

          Question: did the guy who wrote that piece of trash even bother to read the Bible? Paul was not a "Hellenistic Jew", Paul was a "circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee…(Philippians 3:5 ESV)" A "Hellenistic Jew" was a Jew who was acclimated and assimilated into to Greek culture, a good example of a Hellenized Jew was Paul's student Timothy (http://jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/7535-hellenism). By identifying himself as a "Hebrew of Hebrews" and a "Pharisee", Paul was fundamentally denying such a charge (see: http://jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/12087-pharisees). I mean, good grief, there are 5 year olds that can handle the Bible better at my church.

          I could go on, and on, and on…etc…etc…

          Bad news for the "Bad News for Christianity" blog folks: misrepresentation of facts gets you no points.

          –The Council of Nicaea was convened to address a heretical theology ffs.
          FFS, no one is denying that there were heretical theologies. The only way that there could be heretical theologies, and that they could be recognized as such, is if there was a historic orthodox theologies going back to the time of the apostles. Logic and reason, people: you might want to try it sometime.

          –What about all the other texts you're not mentioning?
          Which ones? The ones that were recognized as heretical, or the ones that were referred to as "helpful" but not authoritative, like the Shepherd of Hermas or the Epistle of Barnabas?

          –But there were all sorts of texts being claimed as authoritative by a diversity of Christians…
          Except for the fact they all recognized the same ones as being heretical. The fact that a group of Christians might consider Hermas to be authoritative whereas another might see it as helpful but not authoritative, begs only one question: what was their reasoning for it? I think it was Irenaeus who argued for Hermas' canonicity early in his life, but shifted to arguing it as just being helpful. By the 3rd century no one seemed to think anything else about it because it stops being cited. That seems to be how things worked.

          –J. D. Crossan gives priority to the Gospel of Peter aka the Cross Gospel.
          He would give priority to a book that has a 500 ft tall talking cross.

          –You've demonstrated that you are an idiot.
          I'm not the one linking to sites that have easily documentable misrepresentations and false statements as well as posting statements that PROVE his opponent's point. That's something that an idiot would do.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yep. Got lots. That’s why I confidently said that you were wrong.

          Oh I don’t mind being wrong…it’s how I can learn to be right. But although you claim to have evidence, you fail to present any. That’s exactly the same as having none. That’s how I know you’re wrong.

          Yes, it was, it was an authoritative list of accepted books, the very definition of the word “canon”.

          No it wasn’t. Because there was no single Christianity to be authoratative over. Each Christianity had it’s own favorite books. You can try and twist it anyway ya want. There was no authoritative canon during the first 3 centuries of the Christianities. Some were using that ridiculous Gospel of Peter as their holy texts, some were using other ridiculous books. Eventually a selection of ridiculous books got chosen to be authoritative when a group of Christianities formed the orthodox Church that became Roman Catholicism.

          Your “reasons” miss the whole point: people then knew what was authoritative and what was not. This is seen when it is compared to Athenasius’ Festal Letter in 367 and the canon list produced by the Council of Carthage in 397. It tracks through time.

          This is where your fuckwittery becomes apparent. The books existing doesn’t mean they were canonical. Other books existed. Lots of them. All considered scripture. All being held as authoritative until they weren’t. Many were late classed as heretical. You are retconning from the 4th century back. I already stated that the books that would become the canon existed, but they were part of a much larger collection of books that were used as scripture. There was no canon.

          Oh, where to begin.
          Your link references Gnostic works, these are 2nd century, NOT AUTHORITATIVE.

          They were authoritative to those Gnostic Christians that held them as Gnostic Christian holy scriptures ya dopey cunt…that’s the point. But they were not canonical, because there was no canon. There was no one Christianity, ever.

          Also, it MISREPRESENTS (how surprising) what Eusebius says about the bishops that served in Jerusalem, he never refers to them as “bishops of the circumcision”, rather Eusebius says, “These are the bishops of Jerusalem that lived between the age of the apostles and the time referred to, all of them ->belonging to the circumcision<-." "Belonging to the circumcision" just means that they were all Jewish in their heritage. Jews, in Jerusalem, being circumcised, who'd have thunk it? SOURCE: https://biblehub.com/librar

          Who cares, Eusebius was a lying bastard. Eusebius was writing in the 4th century. But anyway. The earliest Christians were Jewish Christians. Paul was a Jewish Christian, Peter and James were Jewish Christians…ALL the first followers of Jesus were Jews…guess what the alleged Jesus was….A FUCKING JEW….a member of the “belonging to the circumcision” gangs.

          There was all sorts of different Christian cults, with bizarre Christian beliefs, using a variety of different Christian scriptures, during the first 3 centuries of Christianity. That’s a fact. Deal with it ya clown.

          https://listverse.com/2014/02/07/10-bizarre-early-christian-sects/

          http://factsanddetails.com/world/cat55/sub352/item1417.html

          http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_chov.htm

        • Ignorant Amos

          Question: did the guy who wrote that piece of trash even bother to read the Bible? Paul was not a “Hellenistic Jew”, Paul was a “circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee…(Philippians 3:5 ESV)” A “Hellenistic Jew” was a Jew who was acclimated and assimilated into to Greek culture, a good example of a Hellenized Jew was Paul’s student Timothy (http://jewishencyclopedia.c…. By identifying himself as a “Hebrew of Hebrews” and a “Pharisee”, Paul was fundamentally denying such a charge (see: http://jewishencyclopedia.c….

          Whaaaa? Wise ta fuck up. Paul was a Hellenistic Jew, no question.

          Christianity is a product of Hellenistic Judaism.

          https://www.biblestudytools.com/classics/machen-the-origin-of-pauls-religion/the-religion-of-the-hellinistic-age.html

          http://michaelckw.blogspot.com/2010/07/st-paul-jew-or-hellenist-part-6.html

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

          I mean, good grief, there are 5 year olds that can handle the Bible better at my church.

          Which buybull?

          Who gives a fuck about the buybull…that is not what is being discussed. The canon is not the buybull and the buybull is not the canon.

          There is 45,000 + Christianities, which one are those poor 5 year olds being brainwashed with the fuckwittery you believe?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Bad news for the “Bad News for Christianity” blog folks: misrepresentation of facts gets you no points.

          When you refute the points with evidence, you’ll get some grace…as yet, you’ve earned none.

          FFS, no one is denying that there were heretical theologies. The only way that there could be heretical theologies, and that they could be recognized as such, is if there was a historic orthodox theologies going back to the time of the apostles. Logic and reason, people: you might want to try it sometime.

          FFS, everyone else’s theologies were heretical to the in-group. The term heretical is only meaningful in light of the orthodox Church. There was no orthodox Church until Constantine picked a side. Constantine didn’t pick a side until the Council of Nicaea. Had Constantine picked a different side, those heretical theologies would’ve been the orthodox theologies. Talk about someone using logic and reason? You try it sometime.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heresy_in_Christianity#Early_Christian_heresies

          Before AD 313, the “heretical” nature of some beliefs was a matter of much debate within the churches, and there was no true mechanism in place to resolve the various differences of beliefs. Heresy was to be approached by the leader of the church according to Eusebius, author of The Church History. It was only after the legalisation of Christianity, which began under Constantine I in AD 313 that the various beliefs of the Church began to be made uniform and formulated as dogma through the canons promulgated by the General Councils. Each phrase in the Nicene Creed, which was hammered out at the Council of Nicaea, addresses some aspect that had been under passionate discussion prior to Constantine I, and closes the books on the argument, with the weight of the agreement of the over 300 bishops, as well as Constantine I in attendance. [Constantine had invited all 1800 bishops of the Christian church (about 1000 in the east and 800 in the west). The number of participating bishops cannot be accurately stated; Socrates Scholasticus and Epiphanius of Salamis counted 318; Eusebius of Caesarea, only 250.] In spite of the agreement reached at the council of AD 325, the Arians, who had been defeated, dominated most of the church for the greater part of the 4th century, often with the aid of Roman emperors who favoured them.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heresy_in_Christianity#Early_suppression_of_heresies

          Orthodoxy and heresy are terms used in hindsight.

          http://www.vision.org/visionmedia/article.aspx%3Fid%3D145

        • Ignorant Amos

          Except for the fact they all recognized the same ones as being heretical. The fact that a group of Christians might consider Hermas to be authoritative whereas another might see it as helpful but not authoritative, begs only one question: what was their reasoning for it? I think it was Irenaeus who argued for Hermas’ canonicity early in his life, but shifted to arguing it as just being helpful. By the 3rd century no one seemed to think anything else about it because it stops being cited. That seems to be how things worked.

          Nonsense.

          1st and 2nd Clement are examples that refute your bullshit…

          The epistle was publicly read from time to time at Corinth, and by the 4th century this usage had spread to other churches. It was included in the 5th century Codex Alexandrinus, which contained the entire Old and New Testaments. It was included with the Gospel of John in the fragmentary early Greek and Akhmimic Coptic papyrus designated Papyrus 6. First Clement is listed as canonical in “Canon 85” of the Canons of the Apostles, suggesting that First Clement had canonical rank in at least some regions of early Christendom.

          Accepted as scripture, then deemed heretical, but still used as scripture regardless.

          –J. D. Crossan gives priority to the Gospel of Peter aka the Cross Gospel.

          He would give priority to a book that has a 500 ft tall talking cross.

          Anno…how stupid? A Christian scholar of the NT an all.

          What has the nonsense contained in the text got to do with it’s priority?

          –You’ve demonstrated that you are an idiot.

          I’m not the one linking to sites that have easily documentable misrepresentations and false statements as well as posting statements that PROVE his opponent’s point. That’s something that an idiot would do.

          Then you’ll have no problem supplying such…so far you’ve not done that.

        • Triggerman1976

          –Accepted as scripture, then deemed heretical
          Except Clement and Hermas was never declared heretical, just not authoritative. And besides, if you’ve ever read 1 Clement, it clearly demonstrates what the church in Rome at the end of the 1st century considered to be canon by their quotations and allusions.

          — A Christian scholar of the NT an all.
          The dude writes and talks like he’s been making up for lost time after spending the 60s in a monastery.

          –What has the nonsense contained in the text got to do with it’s priority?
          “Nonsense” pretty well sums up the Gospel of Peter.

          –Then you’ll have no problem supplying such
          You act like your serious about seeing whether its true or not and I will.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Except Clement and Hermas was never declared heretical, just not authoritative.

          I’ve said nothing about Hermas, but anyway, like Clement…

          Never declared heretical by whom? When was it authoritative? Where was it authoritative?

          https://www.jstor.org/stable/1583257?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

          You’re quite right about my error in writing “heretical” instead of “non-canonical” though, what I meant was Clement was thought to be authoritative, then “canonical”, then not.

          And besides, if you’ve ever read 1 Clement, it clearly demonstrates what the church in Rome at the end of the 1st century considered to be canon by their quotations and allusions.

          Which church in Rome? The Theodotians were a second century Christian Church in Rome…heretics?

          …16. That I am not speaking falsely of them in this matter, whoever wishes may learn. For if any one will collect their respective copies, and compare them one with another, he will find that they differ greatly. 17. Those of Asclepiades, for example, do not agree with those of Theodotus. And many of these can be obtained, because their disciples have assiduously written the corrections, as they call them, that is the corruptions, of each of them. Again, those of Hermophilus do not agree with these, and those of Apollonides are not consistent with themselves. For you can compare those prepared by them at an earlier date with those which they corrupted later, and you will find them widely different. 18. But how daring this offense is, it is not likely that they themselves are ignorant. For either they do not believe that the Divine Scriptures were spoken by the Holy Spirit, and thus are unbelievers, or else they think themselves wiser than the Holy Spirit, and in that case what else are they than demoniacs? For they cannot deny the commission of the crime, since the copies have been written by their own hands. For they did not receive such Scriptures from their instructors, nor can they produce any copies from which they were transcribed. 19. But some of them have not thought it worth while to corrupt them, but simply deny the law and the prophets, and thus through their lawless and impious teaching under pretense of grace, have sunk to the lowest depths of perdition.” Let this suffice for these things. ~ “Eusebius – The Two Theodoti: Historia Ecclesiastica, 5.28”

          https://earlychurchtexts.com/public/eusebius_theodotus_monarchianism.htm

          Scholars count at least 5 churches…possibly more if others were can be demonstrated not to be affiliated with those 5 church groups.

          They had their own scriptures, or intentionally corrupted texts to suit…as did the Marcionites. As noted by Eusebius above.

          From Paul to Valentinus: Christians at Rome in the First Two Centuries

          PART 4: SECOND DIACHRONIC SECTION: PROSOPOGRAPHIC INVESTIGATION

          PART 5: THE FRACTIONATION OF ROMAN CHRISTIANITY

          https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=vOoxGmc1DGAC&pg=PA347&lpg=PA347&dq=Theodotians&source=bl&ots=13nSCWXMmf&sig=wT0jF7gUdxzKbpFRdbxfqPa9nys&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwipu_v8_bXdAhXKB8AKHSTpBTIQ6AEwCXoECAEQAQ#v=onepage&q=Theodotians&f=false

          You are not getting this…there were many Christian Churches, with many scriptures that were deemed authoritative,…even part of a “group of texts” deemed authoritative, but there was many “groups of a variety of texts” that were deemed authoritative…some that later would be included in what is now called the NT canon…but most of them not. Conflict was real.

          For a philosopher of religion you appear very ignorant of a lot of stuff that is scholarly bread and butter fest.

          http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/content/BPL_Images/Content_store/Sample_Chapter/1405108452/Miles_sample%20chapter_Word%20Made%20Flesh.pdf

          — A Christian scholar of the NT an all.
          The dude writes and talks like he’s been making up for lost time after spending the 60s in a monastery.

          So fucking what? Another non sequitur from someone who claims an education in logic.

          Crossan is a major scholar in contemporary historical Jesus research.

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

          –What has the nonsense contained in the text got to do with it’s priority?
          “Nonsense” pretty well sums up the Gospel of Peter.

          I agree…so fucking what…nonsense pretty well sums up all Christian texts…but what has that got to do with gPeter’s potential priority? Not that I give a fuck anyway…because it has fuck all to do with me citing Crossan.

          –Then you’ll have no problem supplying such
          You act like your serious about seeing whether its true or not and I will.

          Nope…you are defaming a citation with a generalization “that have easily documentable misrepresentations and false statements”, but until you point out just such an error, how can anyone know you are not just doing what you are definitely the one thing an expert in doing, talking shite?

          For such an astute “expert” in scholarly circles, you don’t demonstrate any expertise. So until you play ball, I’m done with your fuckwittery.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Again…no. There were texts, like the Shepherd of Hermas or the Epistle of Barnabas, which some did consider to be Scripture and even argued for canonical inclusion–SoH is a trip, BTW–because they were considered “helpful”. But when one reads the apostolics, it’s very clear what was considered to be authoritative and what is referred to as “Scripture” and its what we find in the 27 books of the NT.

          I don’t care what you think, there was no single official Christian canon during the first three centuries of Christianity…that’s a fact. Because there wasn’t one official Christianity. There were lots of texts that were considered scripture that didn’t make the cut.
          it wasn’t until the orthodox Christian Church was established that a canon was cobbled together.

          “Lost Scriptures gives readers a vivid picture of the range of beliefs that battled each other in the first centuries of the Christian era. It is an essential resource for anyone interested in the Bible or the early Church.

          https://www.bartdehrman.com/lost-scriptures-books-that-did-not-make-it-into-the-new-testament/

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yes. Fortunately, there were things like the Council of Rome(AD382), the Council of Carthage (AD397), Athenasius’ 39th Festal Letter (AD367) and by discussion in the apostolics http://www.ntcanon.org/tabl

          I don’t care…they are not relevant to my point, nor is that table at the link. There was no recognized Christian canon in place during the first three hundred years of Christianity…when you can show me one, I’ll concede my position. Until that time, you are just blowing more hot air.

          I can’t understand why you are having such a problem with well held scholarly understanding.

          The first occasion we know of where the canon was discussed openly and in serious fashion, was the plenary synod of Laodicea (c. 360). While this synod decided that only canonical books were to be used, and while we know the matter was discussed, no specific list of sanctioned books was produced (there is a “Laodicean canon” but this was actually composed after the fact).

          http://www.earlychristianhistory.info/canon.html

        • Ignorant Amos

          –Accepted by who? Who decides? When did this happen?
          The church.

          But there was no “The church”….there were many churches, believing all sorts of mad stuff and using all sorts of mad writings.

          God.

          Bwaaaahahahaha…that’s how we know there is no God…an actual god wouldn’t have made such a clusterfuck of a job.

          Upon inspiration and production.

          You actually believe this crap, don’t ya? The Book of Mormon…the Quran…the Vedas…etc., upon inspiration and production.

        • Ignorant Amos

          –Yeah…why bring it up
          Interesting fact that you might need for a radio contest one day.

          So you admit it was your silly nonsense and you brought it up. It is the flannel you use when you have no response to the hard stuff.

          –he is just another of your irrelevant red herrings in an attempt to obfuscate
          Then why tf did you bring it up?

          When I cited Ehrman mentioning Marcion, it was to show that there were all sorts of scriptures being used to support all sorts of stuff…even the heresies. But when you mentioned him in an altogether different context, I’ve no idea what point you are trying to make, or it’s relevance to the discussion about canon…though am sure ya might think there is one.

          –Absolute bullshit.
          That’s what your opinion is.

          But the fact is, church patriarchs were using different texts as scripture. The table you linked to demonstrates that point.

          Many people erroneously think that the Biblical canon was decided at the Council of Nicća; and/or enforced by fiat of Emperor Constantine; this is simply not true. If it were, then the canons which now exist would not vary so wildly, nor would there be any canons which specify certain languages — since the churches which now exist nearly all descend from decisions of that Council. It is also belied by the discussions of canon which took place e.g. the III Carthage and Laodician synods which took place decades after Nicća, and in the correspondence of post-Nicene Fathers such as Jerome, Athanasius, Augustine, and so on. Clearly, neither Constantine nor Nicća had any weight in this matter.

          Many also think that an initial Biblical canon was decided upon by a Council or papal declaration early in the Middle Ages. This is also not true; in the west, at least, no such formal declaration was made until (as noted) the Council of Trent. Most other churches have never had any such formal declaration and simply continue with those canons which fell into place, long ago, simply by acclamation.

          Truth is that the Biblical canon is far less certain than most believe. Furthermore, Christians have through the centuries been influenced by works outside of whatever Biblical canons they observe. In particular, the writings of the Church Fathers had a tremendous effect on the development of Christian tradition and doctrine. Also, simple Christian legends — not written down until long after they’d been passed around — affected Christian tradition. Quite simply, the Bible is not the sole originator of Christian belief, no matter which books one places within it.

          http://www.earlychristianhistory.info/canon.html

          You could point to the Muratorian Fragment for a list of scriptures to be favoured, but that’s all it was, it wasn’t an official canon to be used by all Christians…and while it might be as early as 170 CE…it could be as late as 4th century.

          What do scholars in the field of studying this stuff have to say?

          https://www.westarinstitute.org/resources/the-fourth-r/how-the-canon-was-formed/

          21 Formation of the New Testament Canon

          Contrary to popular belief, the canon of the New Testament’s 27 books did not emerge at the very beginning of the Christian movement. Although written during the 1st century, or soon thereafter, it took 300 years before these books were declared
          to be canonical.
          Professor Bart D. Ehrman, Ph.D. , M.Div., The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Lost Christianities: Christian Scriptures and the Battles over Authentication.

        • Ignorant Amos

          –You are trying to be a contrary bastard just for the sake of it,

          Now you’re just sounding like my wife.

          Kudos to your wife then. I’m in good company.

        • The Shepherd of Hermas is a trip? Reread Revelation to help ground you in the nutty stuff that passes for the truth within Christianity.

        • Triggerman1976

          When you understand things like Hebrew apocalyptic imagery…not really.

        • Well, there’s your problem. You’re coming at the Shepherd of Hermas as an outsider. Fix that problem, and it’ll be as comfortable as Winnie the Pooh.

        • Ignorant Amos

          No, we don’t. It was lost by an associate of Smith and had to be “re-inspired”. And they aren’t “Mormons” any longer, as of August 17, 2018, they are The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

          Jaysus fuck…ya can’t even see the irony in what you’ve written…flabbergasting.

          Is this really a rabbit hole ya wanna go down?

          No, we don’t. It was lost by an associate of Smith and had to be “re-inspired”.

          Yes, we do, and no, it wasn’t lost by an associate and had to be “re-inspired”.

          The first 116 pages were stolen by the wife of the scribe Smith employed to copy the transcription of the golden plates. They never became part of the finished Book of Mormon.

          A page from the original manuscript of The Book of Mormon…

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Mormon#/media/File:Basic_BOM_Manuscripts.jpg

          Try and cut it up anyway ya want…the provenance of The Book of Mormon blows the shit clean out of the New Testament.

          How do you know someone didn’t steal the first pages of any of the gospels, or how many times the original authors redacted goodness knows how many drafts before settling on a draft. Or how many pages were lost between the first autograph and the centuries later extant copy, or how many alterations occurred from the original autograph and the oldest extant copy.

          And they aren’t “Mormons” any longer, as of August 17, 2018, they are The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

          Seriously, that matters why exactly? Who really gives a fuck ya Muppet? For my purposes here, they are the Mormons. We are talking about the Mormon holy scripture…it’s still called The Book of Mormon as per JS. That the fuckwit in charge today claims he had a visit from God who told him to use the full title TCoJCoLDS, and abandon the label Mormon, is a scream in itself. That you are believing him is hilarious. Finally, there is more than one flavour of Mormon and that geriatric auld prick no more speaks for them all, than the Pope speaks for all Christians, or even all Catholics…wise ta fuck…intellectual scholar, my arse.

        • Triggerman1976

          –the provenance of The Book of Mormon blows the shit clean out of the New Testament.

          Let’s see 200 years for a book written in the age of the printing press that was handled in a very controlled manner and has had hundreds of deliberate changes to keep it closer in line with other doctrinal documents versus 1600 years for a text (just the NT) that was not controlled and was copied by hand in various and often isolated geographic regions by scribes of varying quality, so that when you read a copy from the 3rd century it says the exact same thing as one from the 15th century, when you allow for things like spelling and pietistic expansion. Yeah, I’m not seeing any meaningful comparison.

          –Seriously, that matters why exactly?
          Because I like messing with you, that’s why. And because if we’re going to be chasing a red herring, it might as well be interesting and up to date.

        • So your argument is that with the BoM we have a clear evidence trail showing the games played with its content. By contrast, the changes made to the NT are clouded in history … so therefore we prefer the NT.

          That doesn’t sound like an effective argument to me, with cloudy history being a good thing.

        • Triggerman1976

          There were no “changes” to the NT, Bob, if there were it would have been found. I mean 1600 years of hand-copied text, thousands upon thousands of copies, with more being found every day, if there had been a change, it would have been found.

          Of course we have to define our terms here by what actually constitutes a “change”, which in this case would be alteration in the meaning of the message of the text, where in once place in copy 1 it meant A, but in copy 359 it meant not-A. That would be a change. We actually have that evidenced in the BoM, such instances do not exist in the NT textual tradition.

        • Greg G.

          In Mark 1:40-41, a leper begged Jesus to heal him. Most texts say Jesus “moved with compassion” but older, more reliable texts have “moved with anger”. Which is it?

        • Triggerman1976

          I think that the latter reading is more consistent with other instances of the Greek word translated as “anger” in Mark. As one commentator notes on the passage,
          “In a few ancient manuscripts, the Greek word splanchnizō, which refers to being moved with pity, replaces the term orgizō, which indicates anger. However, the substitution likely reflects a later change by a copyist, to avoid the difficulty of this verse. Jesus affirms His desire to cleanse the man, indicating He is not upset by the leper’s plea.”

          Barry, John D., Douglas Mangum, Derek R. Brown, et al. Faithlife Study Bible. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016. Print.

        • if there had been a change, it would have been found.

          Your childlike certainty is almost endearing.

          Suppose there’s a change (of significance) made in a copy. Now we have two traditions. But then the original tradition dies out (the manuscripts are lost to history). How are you going to even know that a change was made and where, let alone what the original was?

          I expand on that here:
          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2016/04/a-simple-thought-experiment-defeats-claim-that-bible-is-accurate/

        • Bob Jase

          Why Bob, you know there have been no changes to the NT. That’s why the KJV, the NIV, the NWT, the NLT and all the rest read exactly alike. Why, they’re even identical to the Vulgate!

        • Ignorant Amos

          One of my favourite translations is the LOLCat version.

          Genesis 1

          Boreded Ceiling Cat makinkgz Urf n stuffs

          1 Oh hai. In teh beginnin Ceiling Cat maded teh skiez An da Urfs, but he did not eated dem.

          2 Da Urfs no had shapez An haded dark face, An Ceiling Cat rode invisible bike over teh waterz.

          3 At start, no has lyte. An Ceiling Cat sayz, i can haz lite? An lite wuz.4 An Ceiling Cat sawed teh lite, to seez stuffs, An splitted teh lite from dark but taht wuz ok cuz kittehs can see in teh dark An not tripz over nethin.5 An Ceiling Cat sayed light Day An dark no Day. It were FURST!!!1

          6 An Ceiling Cat sayed, im in ur waterz makin a ceiling. But he no yet make a ur. An he maded a hole in teh Ceiling.7 An Ceiling Cat doed teh skiez with waterz down An waterz up. It happen.8 An Ceiling Cat sayed, i can has teh firmmint wich iz funny bibel naim 4 ceiling, so wuz teh twoth day.

          9 An Ceiling Cat gotted all teh waterz in ur base, An Ceiling Cat hadz dry placez cuz kittehs DO NOT WANT get wet.10 An Ceiling Cat called no waterz urth and waters oshun. Iz good.

          11 An Ceiling Cat sayed, DO WANT grass! so tehr wuz seedz An stufs, An fruitzors An vegbatels. An a Corm. It happen.12 An Ceiling Cat sawed that weedz ish good, so, letz there be weedz.13 An so teh threeth day jazzhands.

          14 An Ceiling Cat sayed, i can has lightz in the skiez for splittin day An no day.15 It happen, lights everwear, like christmass, srsly.16 An Ceiling Cat doeth two grate lightz, teh most big for day, teh other for no day.17 An Ceiling Cat screw tehm on skiez, with big nails An stuff, to lite teh Urfs.18 An tehy rulez day An night. Ceiling Cat sawed. Iz good.19 An so teh furth day w00t.

          20 An Ceiling Cat sayed, waterz bring me phishes, An burds, so kittehs can eat dem. But Ceiling Cat no eated dem.21 An Ceiling Cat maed big fishies An see monstrs, which wuz like big cows, except they no mood, An other stuffs dat mooves, An Ceiling Cat sawed iz good.22 An Ceiling Cat sed O hai, make bebehs kthx. An dont worry i wont watch u secksy, i not that kynd uf kitteh.23 An so teh…fith day. Ceiling Cat taek a wile 2 cawnt.

          24 An Ceiling Cat sayed, i can has MOAR living stuff, mooes, An creepie tings, An otehr aminals. It happen so tehre.25 An Ceiling Cat doed moar living stuff, mooes, An creepies, An otehr animuls, An did not eated tehm.

          26 An Ceiling Cat sayed, letz us do peeps like uz, becuz we ish teh qte, An let min p0wnz0r becuz tehy has can openers.

          27 So Ceiling Cat createded teh peeps taht waz like him, can has can openers he maed tehm, min An womin wuz maeded, but he did not eated tehm.

          28 An Ceiling Cat sed them O hai maek bebehs kthx, An p0wn teh waterz, no waterz An teh firmmint, An evry stufs.

          29 An Ceiling Cat sayed, Beholdt, the Urfs, I has it, An I has not eated it.30 For evry createded stufs tehre are the fuudz, to the burdies, teh creepiez, An teh mooes, so tehre. It happen. Iz good.

          31 An Ceiling Cat sayed, Beholdt, teh good enouf for releaze as version 0.8a. kthxbai.

          http://lolcatbible.com/index.php?title=Main_Page

        • Oh, yeah–because Jeebus. I forgot.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Let’s see 200 years for a book written in the age of the printing press that was handled in a very controlled manner and has had hundreds of deliberate changes to keep it closer in line with other doctrinal documents versus 1600 years for a text (just the NT) that was not controlled and was copied by hand in various and often isolated geographic regions by scribes of varying quality, so that when you read a copy from the 3rd century it says the exact same thing as one from the 15th century, when you allow for things like spelling and pietistic expansion. Yeah, I’m not seeing any meaningful comparison.

          What Bob said….but the Qu’ran will do too.

          Because I like messing with you, that’s why.

          Ya think that you being silly and looking like an idiot on this thread is messing with me? Bwaaaahhahahaha…keep her lit, that’s funny.

          ,blockquote>And because if we’re going to be chasing a red herring, it might as well be interesting and up to date.

          Well it’s your red herring…which is fallacious arguing. As for interesting, nope, it isn’t, it’s fucking stupid…but then that’s religion for ya. Up to date? Who gives a shit? It’s the musings of a geriatric fuck up. You thought you’d a wee gem of one-up-manship, but you were just being a silly boy. Sort yerself out, sofy boy.

        • Triggerman1976

          –Well it’s your red herring…
          Uh, no. You’re completely responsible for that one.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Whaaaaa?

          Don’t play the stupid cunt….the Mormons wanting to change their name and be known as that other fuckwittery was your irrelevant red herring. Wise up and own it.

          Brainy bastard, my arse….far too asinine for just the one head more like it.

        • Triggerman1976

          YOU brought THEM up as if they were relevant to the discussion.

        • Ignorant Amos

          What relevance does them wanting to be not called Mormons anymore have to this discussion? Absolutely none.

          Their relevance in my bringing them up is the example of their holy scripture. It ticks all the boxes and more, than the NT. You haven’t addressed this point, but want to flannel on about what the Mormons want to be called…irrelevant obfuscation that you brought up.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yeah. No. The vast majority of NT manuscript “discrepencies” are in whether a writer uses the Greek equivalent of the English articles “a” or “an”. Then there’s variations in spelling, but koine Greek did not have standardized spelling. Then there’s whether or not the copyist uses a pronoun or the name of the person. Then there’s word order, which really doesn’t matter in koine Greek. Then there’s nonsense errors that don’t affect the meaning of the text. Skips, duplications, conflations, all of which lead those “in the know” to announce that there is a 90-98% accuracy in transmission.

          I don’t give a rat’s arse. There are 100’s of thousands of scribal errors between the earliest extant copies of the NT, I said nothing about how many are insignificant…there are enough of significance to make it an issue. The issue is, you, I, nor anyone else, can know how many other errors were made prior to our extant copies, or what significance they made, because we don’t have the originals or those copies in between in order to compare. Anything else is pure speculation.

          Ehrman outlines some of the more important errors of significance, but there are plenty more apparently. It only takes one of great significance and the house of cards is fucked…the problem is the ones we don’t know about that were intentionally redacted out during the early church period.

          But get this sunshine…even if the book was perfect from cover-to-cover…it gives no more veracity to the contents as being true than it being a complete scribal clusterfuck, so pah!

        • Triggerman1976

          –there are enough of significance to make it an issue
          Really? Have you looked at every single one in order to come to that conclusion, or are you just jumping to it? Somewhere in the mess of my office, I’ve got a paper that was published in 2015(?) that discusses a triplicate Roman report where the same scribe writing 3 copies of the same document made different “errors” in the document itself and in each copy. This was an official government document! Tells me that the standards in the ancient world were a whole lot different, and maybe we’re making too big an issue.

          –Ehrman outlines some of the more important errors of significance,
          Ehrman regularly overstates his case, imposes false standards, and jumps to a whole lotta conclusions. Further, you make the exact same error that he does: confusing the transmission of the text with the truth of the text. Truth can be imperfectly transmitted and still be true.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Not a “hoax” it was scholars jumping the gun.

          See, I’ve been following this since the announcement during the Ehrman v Wallace debate I linked to earlier. Lots of dishonesty involved.

          It was a hoax because of the way it was announced and then allowed to fester for 6 years during which time experts knew they had fucked up, but kept shtum for no real reason.

          Like many of you I have many questions about the bizarre way the discussion of the so-called “First-Century Gospel of Mark” unfolded. I was intimately connected with the first announcement of the discovery, which was made precisely in order to trump me in a public debate. As it turns out the announcement was based on false information acquired through hearsay. But that’s the past, and Dan Wallace has apologized, so that is that. ~Bart Ehrman.

          But the whole nefarious saga goes a lot deeper than that.

          https://danielbwallace.com/2018/05/23/first-century-mark-fragment-update/

          Wallace claims he signed an NDA and couldn’t speak out when he discovered he’d been duped about the early dating. So, rather than recuse his reputation and correct the erroneous dating, he believed the NDA was still valid and he was duty bound to maintain the error he’d been previously complicit in earlier.

          There was also a hoax perpetrated by a Christian evangelical apologist with no scholarly credentials by the name of Josh McDowell.

          https://www.bricecjones.com/blog/the-first-century-gospel-of-mark-josh-mcdowell-and-mummy-masks-what-they-all-have-in-common

          Liar for Jesus prick at this video…

          https://vimeo.com/62646535

          When the script of P137 was properly examined it was dated late 2nd early 3rd, giving evidence of a very early use of nomina sacra.

          Nah…the script was initially examined by the same expert that later changed his mind after Wallace was given the erroneous data, then according to Wallace’s claim, he was hung out to dry.

          Somewhere along the line, I [Wallace] learned that the world-class papyrologist who dated the fragment to the first century had already, prior to my debate with Ehrman, adjusted his views. He was not so certain about the date (perhaps it was early second century). I learned that the rep knew, two weeks prior to the debate, that the papyrologist had changed his views. But I was told none of this. Regrettably, even when I made the announcement in Chapel Hill, I was giving misinformation. Even more regrettable, I have not been able to reveal the papyrologist’s uncertainty until now.

          There was some shenanigans going on about who said what to who, and when. And about who owned what, when, and where. And who seen what, when, and where.

          http://evangelicaltextualcriticism.blogspot.com/2018/05/first-century-mark-published-at-last.html

          Anyway…it was a hoax, because for 6 years the scholarship and the public have been led to believe there was a secret FCM papyrus certified by an expert in the field, when there wasn’t, and those nearest to it knew this, but said fuck all to clear the issue up and put everyone straight.

        • Pofarmer

          Definitely a hoax.

        • Triggerman1976

          –See, I’ve been following this since the announcement
          Really, me too. And I’d heard several other scholars make the same claim too, and when the publishing date for the research kept getting pushed back, I went, “Uh, oh. Somebody jumped the gun.”

          Also, calling someone a “liar” for not having complete information is itself LYING. Wallace was led to believe, by a representative of the collection that the fragment had been positively dated when it had not. The fact that Wallace had signed an NDA with the holders of the collection meant that he could not walk back his statements or clarify them. Other scholars and apologists, taking Wallace as a credible authority, repeated his statements. The end result being that once the fragment had been studied, everyone ended up looking like fools. It wasn’t some “nefarious plot”, it was a greedy collector trying to drive up the value of an artifact.

          Also, calling it a “hoax” is similarly dishonest.

          –Nah…the script was initially examined by the same expert that later changed his mind after Wallace was given the erroneous data,
          Look for yourself in the published paper, because that’s where I got it from
          https://www.ees.ac.uk/Handlers/Download.ashx?IDMF=45d9d9f7-8df4-4e8f-9eb5-9af2b048ef60

        • I heard Gary Habermas at a conference less than 4 months ago go on about “first-century Mark” and what powerful evidence it was.

          Yes, everyone looked like fools. (Or, I sure hope they did. Too often there seem to be no consequences for false statements like this. Apologists have been getting mileage out of this thing for what–5 years now?) You seem to be saying that this was an unavoidable bit of bad luck, but surely we can do more than just curse greedy collectors.

        • Ignorant Amos

          If by “proving” you mean bogus quotes, false equations, wild imagination, and circular reasoning…no, you don’t. You’re welcome to try though.

          Obvious example…

          Which is the correct ending of the Gospel of Mark?

          There are something like five iirc…which one is it?

          Are there any implications for Christians because of this?

          The reason we know about where scripture deviates from one another, is because we have the variations with which to compare. There is no way of knowing what other deviations existed and have been lost…therein lies the problem.

        • Are there any implications for Christians because of this?

          Perhaps this is a rhetorical question.

          Did you hear about the pastor who was bitten by a rattlesnake a few days ago? His father died from a rattlesnake bite in a church service. If there’s anyone who knows with certainty that the long ending of Mark (with its promise of safety against poison and snakes) is bullshit, it’s snake handlers.

        • Triggerman1976

          The correct ending is the one that it ended with, not the one(s) that got appended to it by later scribes, because “… the natural reading of these verses strongly suggests that the person who wrote them was not completely familiar with the entire gospel of Mark itself and was utilizing apocryphal and unorthodox sources.”

          White, James R. The King James Only Controversy: Can You Trust Modern Translations?. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 2009. Print. p.318

        • Ignorant Amos
        • Triggerman1976

          A few questions:
          1. How do these scholars know that Mark was the first gospel written and when it was written, without merely assuming it?
          2. Why is it necessary that Mark contain information that the other gospels posses?
          3. Did you know that some manuscripts of Mark omit the epithet “Son of God” in Mark 1:1, because Tabor fails to mention that?
          4. Why does anyone suppose that the Markan rendering of νεανίσκος in 16:5 poses a problem to Matthew and John’s use of ἄγγελος and Luke’s use of ἀνήρ, aside from theological reasons?

          –“Since Mark knows nothing of any appearances of Jesus as a resuscitated corpse in Jerusalem…”
          Except the second temple Jewish concept of “resurrection” has nothing to do with being a “resuscitated corpse” I’m going to guess that Tabor overlooked that pesky statement in 16:6.

        • Greg G.

          Mark repeatedly takes elements from other works, adds some Old Testament elements to create stories. It is mimesis and is not unusual for authors in that era to do that type of thing. Homer’s writing are still imitated. Did you see O Brother! Where Art Thou?

          Odysseus’ son, Telemauchus, traveled to two feasts. He walked to one and sailed to one. One was said to have nine ranks of 500. Mark took those elements, rounded the number down once and up once, combined them with Elisha’s mass feeding from 2 Kings 4 to get the Feeding of the 5000 and the Feeding of the 4000.

        • Triggerman1976

          Or the same word of the Lord that fed 100 men for Elisha has no problem feeding thousands of people on multiple occasions, since he had fed hundreds of thousands before for forty years.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Made up stories in a book…you just can’t see that.

        • Triggerman1976

          Recorded history in a book…you just can’t see that.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yip…me and every other non-Christian on the planet…and even many that are Christian.

          Of course we could all be wrong, your problem is that you failed to demonstrate that we are wrong…and why all those other believers in nonsense books are not right…so pah!

        • Triggerman1976

          Except for non-Christians like Bart Ehrman, Gerd Lüdemann, and the like.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Whaaaa? Where does Bart Ehrman claim the NT is recording history in a book?

          Did you ever see his debate with that Christian fuckwit William Lame Craig?

          Bart Ehrman etc… don’t believe the supernatural mumbo jumbo in the NT happened ya feckin moron. Find me a non-Christian that does, or stop talking shite.

        • Ignorant Amos
        • Greg G.

          Egyptian archaeology shows that the Hebrews were never in Egypt in large numbers.

          If they had wandered for 40 years, evidence for it should be plentiful, yet none has been found by archaeologists and many from all different religions have searched diligently for over a century.

          Israeli archaeology shows no cultural disruption in Canaan around the time the Bible says there should have been genocide. It does show many sites with no cultural difference except that some had pig bones and others didn’t. The early Hebrews were just Canaanites with a dietary restriction, apparently.

          The Exodus is a fairy tale, too.

        • Triggerman1976

          –Egyptian archaeology shows that the Hebrews were never in Egypt in large numbers
          Which archaeology are we referring to, because it’s divided on which dynasty the exodus occurred in? And what is meant by “large numbers”? How large is “large”? There’s an early and there’s a late date. The early date has uncovered some very strange, eerily similar data to the Exodus account, while the later date (the one favored) doesn’t show any, which should make one ask why the later is favored over the earlier. Just guessing it has something to do with those pesky things called “biases”.

          –Israeli archaeology shows no cultural disruption in Canaan around the time the Bible says there should have been genocide.
          The Bible is pretty clear that it took several hundred years to finally establish a clear and unique Israelite presence and dominance in Canaan. I mean, it’s like people don’t read the Bible.

          –The Exodus is a fairy tale, too.
          Everyone is entitled to an opinion, even when its wrong, like yours.

        • How large is “large”?

          Is this just busywork, or do you really not know? The Good Book talks about 600,000 men leaving Egypt. That means roughly 2 million Israelites in Egypt.

          Yep, that’s pretty large.

        • Greg G.

          I noticed something recently about 1 Chronicles and 2 Chronicles. They record much of 1 Kings and 2 Kings but they mention Elijah the prophet once saying he wrote a letter to Jehoram but Elisha isn’t mentioned at all. The parts of 1 & 2 Kings about those two were skipped. Whoever wrote the Chronicles apparently recognized those accounts as fairy tales.

        • Greg G.

          The authors of the Gospels and Acts are anonymous. The names applied are guesses. The Gospel of Matthew we have received is not the Gospel of Matthew that Papias mentioned. About seven of Paul’s letters show signs of being written by the same person so we can take that as Paul but the others with his name on them differ in writing style, vocabulary, theology, and contain anachronisms. 2 Peter is not by the same author as 1 Peter and is from the second century. So most of the New Testament books are either anonymous or anonymously forged.

        • Triggerman1976

          “the names applied are guesses”
          Really?! How did you come to that conclusion and what makes it authoritative?

          “The Gospel of Matthew is not the Gospel of Matthew that Papias mentioned”
          Papias referred to Matthew writing in “the Hebrew dialect”, but also says that it was “interpreted”, which is a Greek way of saying that it was translated, most likely referring to its Greek form. Big ole, “So what?”

          ” About seven of Paul’s letters show signs of being written by the same person…”
          Yeah, the accusation of anachronism is pretty far-fetched, especially if you’re familiar with second temple Judaism and the Dead Sea materials. Several of Paul’s letters mention people writing for him (eg Romans 16:22, which is in the minimal Pauline corpus, BTW). Same for the Petrines: Peter probably had scribes write for him seeing as he probably couldn’t write in Greek. I mean the sign-off on 1 Peter 5:12 is a tell-tale scribal signature. So the claim of “forged” is forced and, most likely, absurd.

        • Really?! How did you come to that conclusion and what makes it authoritative?

          Let’s just cut to the chase. You made the claim, so you defend it. Tell us who wrote each gospel and why that’s the case.

        • Greg G.

          “the names applied are guesses”
          Really?! How did you come to that conclusion and what makes it authoritative?

          The name “John” refers only to John the Baptist and to Simon’s father (when he is called, essentially, “Simon Johnson”).

          So getting the name John for the gospel comes from the fact that John is never mentioned by name and from:

          John 21:24 (NRSV)24 This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true.

          … which makes it guesswork.

          Luke is mentioned in three epistles: Colossians 4:14, 2 Timothy 4:11, and Philemon 1:24. Colossians is thought to a forgery because the theology is different from the other epistles with Paul’s name. The Pastorals deal with the structure of the church hierarchy, which is not a Paul topic as he expected the Lord to come any minute so there was no need to establish churches, get married, or to worry about having a family. Yet one of the forgeries mentions Luke in conjunction with Paul’s travels that correspond to the “we” passages in Acts, which appears to be fictional story to make the apostles, Peter, and Paul to parallel Jesus in the gospels, and draws from the Epistles attributed to Paul. So the name for the Gospel of Luke is based on fiction, forgeries, and guesswork.

          That leaves two gospels looking for names and two names mentioned by Papias. gMark has a tax collector named Levi but gMatthew calls him “Matthew” so they guessed the gospel must have been written by Matthew because he would know his own name.

          After all that guesswork, there is one gospel without a name and the name of a gospel without a gospel, therefore “Mark”.

          “The Gospel of Matthew is not the Gospel of Matthew that Papias mentioned”
          Papias referred to Matthew writing in “the Hebrew dialect”, but also says that it was “interpreted”, which is a Greek way of saying that it was translated, most likely referring to its Greek form. Big ole, “So what?”

          The Gospel of Matthew is not a translation. It was written in Greek. It has over 90% of gMark, much of it verbatim, and Mark was written in Greek. If Papias was reading Matthew in the “Hebrew dialect” then it was not the Matthew we have received.

          ” About seven of Paul’s letters show signs of being written by the same person…”
          Yeah, the accusation of anachronism is pretty far-fetched, especially if you’re familiar with second temple Judaism and the Dead Sea materials. Several of Paul’s letters mention people writing for him (eg Romans 16:22, which is in the minimal Pauline corpus, BTW).

          The Pastorals were written for another place in time. Colossians has a different theology. The amanuensis excuse doesn’t work for those.

          Except for Philemon, Paul’s epistles were intended to be read by a literate person to a group who may not have been literate, whereas Ephesians appears to have been written for consideration by a literate person or group to read, because the sentences tend to run on. Ephesians has nine sentences of 50 words or more. Romans has the second most with 3, and it is the longest of Paul’s letters. Ephesians 1:3-14 is one sentence in Greek with 202 words.

          2 Thessalonians seems to have been written by someone trying to imitate Paul’s style but missed the flare element of Paul’s style.

          Same for the Petrines: Peter probably had scribes write for him seeing as he probably couldn’t write in Greek. I mean the sign-off on 1 Peter 5:12 is a tell-tale scribal signature. So the claim of “forged” is forced and, most likely, absurd.

          NT scholars tend to think 1 Peter is a forgery because they assume that the gospels are not fiction so they must think that Peter, James, and John were really illiterate fishermen, which means 1 Peter was not written by the Peter of the gospels. I think Mark took the names from Galatians 2:9 and picked up on Paul’s disdain for them, then made the trio Jesus’ main sidekicks and illiterate fishermen. I see the Epistle of James as a response to Galatians and that parts of Romans and 1 Corinthians are responses to James. Scholars rate the Greek in the Epistle of James as the finest in the New Testament so he was not illiterate but well-trained. So I do not rule out that 1 Peter was written by Cephas, either. 1 Peter says more about Jesus than all the other non-Pauline letters combined but it all comes from the Old Testament, not first person accounts:

          Past
          Came by water and blood > 1 John 5:6 > Zechariah 13:1
          Blood, lamb without blemish > 1 Peter 1:19 > Exodus 12:5, Exodus 12:13
          Rejected by mortals > 1 Peter 2:4 > Isaiah 53:3
          Chosen and precious in God’s sight > 1 Peter 2:4 > Isaiah 42:1
          Suffered > 1 Peter 2:21, Peter 2:23; 1 Peter 4:1 > Isaiah 53:3
          Abused, didn’t return abuse > 1 Peter 2:23 > Isaiah 53:7
          Bore our sins > 1 Peter 2:24 > Isaiah 53:12
          Put to death > 1 Peter 3:18 > Isaiah 53:8-9
          Laid down his life > 1 John 3:16 > Isaiah 53:5, Isaiah 53:12

          Present
          Gone into heaven > 1 Peter 3:22 > Psalm 110:1, Isaiah 53:12
          At the right hand of God > 1 Peter 3:22 > Psalm 110:1
          Angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him > 1 Peter 3:22 > Isaiah 45:22-25
          Advocate for sin > 1 John 2:1 > Isaiah 53:11-12

          Future
          Will come > James 5:7-8, 1 Peter 1:5, 1 Peter 4:7 2 Peter 3:10, 1 John 3:2 > Isaiah 26:19-21, Daniel 7:11, Daniel 7:13; Isaiah 25:8
          Will come judging > James 5:9, Jude 14-15 > Psalm 96:13; Daniel 12:2

          But 2 Peter is another story.

          2 Peter 1:16-18 (NRSV)16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received honor and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” 18 We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain.

          This passage claims they are not following cleverly devised myths (apparently that was an accusation) and the proof is one of the most obviously cleverly designed myths in the New Testament. It uses Matthew’s version of the Transfiguration story. Matthew used Antiquities of the Jews that can be internally dated to the mid-90s so Matthew comes after that date. Matthew borrows the story from Mark but takes some language from the Baptism account in Mark and 2 Peter quotes that part. Mark’s story has events happening immediately throughout but this story about going up on the mountain and hearing a voice from the clouds is “after 6 days”, which tells us that Mark was basing the story on the Exodus account of Moses on the mountain, waiting 6 days to hear God using a cloud as a ventriloquist dummy.

        • Triggerman1976

          Except that Yocchanan who was an apostle and Clement of Rome, writing between AD95 and AD115 directly credits with it’s authorship, as well as Ignatius and Polycarp.
          John the Baptist wasn’t a disciple of Jesus, and there’s no mention of Simon’s father being a disciple. Only John and James, sons of Zebedee. You’re doing what is known as “stretching”.

          Anyone who is familiar with Paul’s theology and Second temple Judaism laughs at the claim that Colossians is a forgery. Colossians parallels Ephesians and was probably written around the same time. Paul’s argumentation fits perfectly in line with Jewish speculations found in the Dead Sea documents.

          Considering that there was no such thing as punctuation in koine Greek, arguments about sentence length aren’t really relevant. I put 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus in the realm of personal correspondence because they’re addressed to particular people and NOT churches, which is WHY they won’t have similar sentence structures and vocabularies to the open correspondence of the others. I mean it’s like people have their pet theories and don’t actually read.

          Scholars can think whatever they want to, I only care about what they can prove by evidence and argumentation. The problem with the assumption that these men were “illiterate” is that the Jews stressed education, especially for the men, which was accomplished in the synagogue. Again, they could easily hire a scribe.

          I see the epistle of James as an expansion of the Apostolic letter from Acts 15, maybe even meant to be read as a sermon, using classical Jewish pragmatic presentation, possibly a very early early example of Christian wisdom writing. Anyone who puts James at odds with Paul obviously cannot follow arguments.

          2 Peter, if we take 3:1 seriously, is a letter of application, following in the pattern of James, referring to “the prophetic word” (1:19) and the prophets (3:2), drawing from Genesis 6-9 & 19, Numbers 22, as well as 1 Enoch. Both demonstrate an adept interpreter of the Septuagint.

        • Greg G.

          Except that Yocchanan who was an apostle and Clement of Rome, writing between AD95 and AD115 directly credits with it’s authorship, as well as Ignatius and Polycarp.
          John the Baptist wasn’t a disciple of Jesus, and there’s no mention of Simon’s father being a disciple. Only John and James, sons of Zebedee. You’re doing what is known as “stretching”.

          ROMAN CHURCH WITH NO GOSPELS
          http://www.secularrights.com/clemromegosp.html

          In Early Christian Writings page 21, we read that whoever wrote it “knows 1 Peter, Hebrews and the tradition that lies behind the Synoptic Gospels. All that is missing is the Johannine tradition.”

          Clement of Rome is said to have died in 99AD. 1 Clement doesn’t mention 2John. 2 Clement does discuss the authorship of John but it is dated to after 150AD. Ignatius makes an allusion to John 3:8, quotes part of 1 John 3:7, and makes an allusion to 1 John 3:10.

          Please cite where Polycarp says John wrote a gospel. He is said to have been a disciple of John but he never gives any information about Jesus but what is in the New Testament. I suspect his disciple, Irenaeus wrote that letter in Polycarp’s name just to quote from all the books Irenaeus liked.

          The question is not whether John existed. I take Galatians 2:9 for that. I dispute whether he was a disciple of Jesus. the epistles only mention “apostles”, never “disciples”.

          And you accuse me of “stretching”.

          Anyone who is familiar with Paul’s theology and Second temple Judaism laughs at the claim that Colossians is a forgery. Colossians parallels Ephesians and was probably written around the same time. Paul’s argumentation fits perfectly in line with Jewish speculations found in the Dead Sea documents.

          I will concede that I was wrong about a different theology being the reason scholars dispute Colossians. Colossians is one that is disputed on style. That it is so similar with Ephesians works against it. It seems that one is heavily copied from the other which indicates that at least one is inauthentic.

          Considering that there was no such thing as punctuation in koine Greek, arguments about sentence length aren’t really relevant. I put 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus in the realm of personal correspondence because they’re addressed to particular people and NOT churches, which is WHY they won’t have similar sentence structures and vocabularies to the open correspondence of the others. I mean it’s like people have their pet theories and don’t actually read.

          Scholars of Greek do not go by punctuation. They go by sentence structure.

          Scholars can think whatever they want to, I only care about what they can prove by evidence and argumentation. The problem with the assumption that these men were “illiterate” is that the Jews stressed education, especially for the men, which was accomplished in the synagogue. Again, they could easily hire a scribe.

          But the gospels put them in Galilee where there were no synagogues in the early first century. They didn’t have synagogues in Judea, either, because they had the temple. Synagogues were a Diaspora thing.

          I see the epistle of James as an expansion of the Apostolic letter from Acts 15, maybe even meant to be read as a sermon, using classical Jewish pragmatic presentation, possibly a very early early example of Christian wisdom writing. Anyone who puts James at odds with Paul obviously cannot follow arguments.

          If you don’t recognize an argument when you see one, then you cannot follow arguments.

          In Galatians 5:14, Paul says that “Love your neighbor” fulfills the whole law, which was a teaching of Rabbi Hillel. James 2:8-11 says that is a good thing but you still must follow the whole law or you will be murdering and committing adultery. Paul comes back to it in Romans 13:6,8-10 where he quotes the same commandments James did and adds stealing and coveting to say that a person would do those things if they love.

          Paul is arguing for faith being necessary and sufficient in Galatians. In Galatians 3:6-9, he quotes from Genesis 15:6 to show that Abraham was justified by faith. James 2:17-26 argues the other way that Abraham was justified by his works by putting Isaac on the altar and also uses Genesis 15:6 to show that Abraham was justified. James says, “You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.” Paul says the opposite in Romans 3:28, “For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law.”

          Paul says in Romans 4:1-3, “For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.” In verse 3, he quotes Genesis 15:6 differently than he did in Galatians but verbatim as James 2:23 has it. In Romans 4:10-12, Paul points out that Abraham was justified in Genesis 15:6 before he was even circumcised, (which was long before the binding of Isaac incident that James claimed caused the justification). If microphones had been invented back then, it would have been a “drop the mike” occasion.

          2 Peter, if we take 3:1 seriously, is a letter of application, following in the pattern of James, referring to “the prophetic word” (1:19) and the prophets (3:2), drawing from Genesis 6-9 & 19, Numbers 22, as well as 1 Enoch. Both demonstrate an adept interpreter of the Septuagint.

          2 Peter copies from Matthew. Matthew’s nativity story is based on Antiquities of the Jews which puts Matthew no earlier than the end of the first century, and puts 2 Peter in the second century unless the author was looking over aMatthew’s shoulder.

        • Triggerman1976

          I would argue that Clement knew of the Johanine literature because in 1 Clement 16, he uses a couple of turns of phrase that is unique to John and only make sense with John’s gospel as the background to understand them.

          Polycarp’s active and passive quotation of Johanine literature in his Epistle to the Philippians, demonstrates a familiarity with them, so to demand something from him that he does not say is absurd. The better question would be, does he deny it? We only have that one letter. Now you can make that claim, but unless you have some evidence to substantiate it…well, you know that which can be asserted without evidence…so on and so forth. I mean, it would be kind of hard for Iraneus to write the letter since he probably wouldn’t have been born (AD130) when it was written (latest date AD140). He is the preserver of the letter.

          –“But the gospels put them in Galilee where there were no synagogues in the early first century.”
          Wrong. Out of date scholarship. Discoveries between 2007 and 2016 at Magdala, Gamala, and beneath a second century synagogue in Capernaeum demonstrate that there were, in fact, operating synagogues in the Galilee and Judea during the period of Jesus’ ministry. I recommend Runesson, Binder and Olsson’s book “The Ancient Synagogue from its Origins to 200 C.E.” (Brill, 2008) and its discussion.

          –“In Galatians 5:14, Paul says that “Love your neighbor” fulfills the whole law, which was a teaching of Rabbi Hillel. James 2:8-11 says that is a good thing but you still must follow the whole law or you will be murdering and committing adultery. ”

          Thank you for proving my point for me, because James’ argument in the passage begins with 2:1 extends to v13 and has to do with making unjustifed distinctions between persons, assuming one kind of person to be better than another, and in doing so violate the commandment; which is the exact same thing Paul is talking about in Galatians 5:13-15 but with a different focus.

          –Abraham
          difference between being justified (Paul) and living justified (James)

          –“2 Peter copies from Matthew. Matthew’s nativity story is based on Antiquities of the Jews”
          Prove it. Provide a citation from Josephus.
          Majority of scholars place the date of Matthew no later than AD90. Josephus is AD93-4. Can’t copy from something that isn’t written yet.

        • Greg G.

          I would argue that Clement knew of the Johanine literature because in 1 Clement 16, he uses a couple of turns of phrase that is unique to John and only make sense with John’s gospel as the background to understand them.

          If true, then the author of 1 Clement knew the gospel we call John but it does not identify the author of the gospel.

          Polycarp’s active and passive quotation of Johanine literature in his Epistle to the Philippians,

          Polycarp’s letter to the Philippians appears to quote from nearly every book of the New Testament that Polycarp’s disciple, Irenaeus, liked, Whether Polycarp wrote it or Irenaeus forged it in Polycarp’s name, the author of each of the quoted works is not established. That Irenaeus lists the books shows the names had been assigned by his time, but not that they were correct.

          They didn’t even have consistent naming conventions. Paul’s letters were named for the addressees while all the other letters are named for the author.

          –“But the gospels put them in Galilee where there were no synagogues in the early first century.”
          Wrong. Out of date scholarship. Discoveries between 2007 and 2016 at Magdala, Gamala, and beneath a second century synagogue in Capernaeum demonstrate that there were, in fact, operating synagogues in the Galilee and Judea during the period of Jesus’ ministry. I recommend Runesson, Binder and Olsson’s book “The Ancient Synagogue from its Origins to 200 C.E.” (Brill, 2008) and its discussion.

          Very interesting. Thank you for this. But it seems that the uses of synagogues are inferred from literary sources. The article First Century Synagogues by Chad Spigel http://www.bibleodyssey.org/places/related-articles/first-century-synagogues.aspx says:

          Although the origin of the synagogue as a Jewish institution is unclear, by the first century C.E. they were found in both Palestine and the Diaspora, where they were used for a variety of communal needs: as schools (Josephus, Antiquities 16.43), for communal meals (Josephus, Antiquities 14.214-216), as hostels, as courts (Acts 22:19), as a place to collect and distribute charity (Matt 6:2), and for political meetings (Josephus, Life 276-289).

          I checked the reference I bolded but I see nothing in that section about synagoges being used as schools. I found that Antiquities 16.241-243 mentions a school but it is not about a synagogue. Do you know what the article might be referring to?

          You seem to have missed this part:

          James says, “You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.” Paul says the opposite in Romans 3:28, “For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law.”

          James says faith is insufficient while Paul says faith is sufficient.

          –“2 Peter copies from Matthew. Matthew’s nativity story is based on Antiquities of the Jews”
          Prove it. Provide a citation from Josephus.

          Many have pointed out the similarities between the baby-killing pharaoh in the Moses nativity story in Exodus and the baby-killing Herod in the Jesus nativity in Matthew. The pharaoh wanted to limit the Jewish population because it was so big. Matthew’s account has the king having the babies killed out of fear of a prophecy and a warning in a dream to the father of a pregnant wife. But those elements are in AJ 2.9.2-3.

          AJ 17.7.1 tells about Herod having his own (adult) son put to death while AJ 17.2.4 tells how Herod had many people, including Pharisees, killed because the Pharisees prophesied that Herod’s government would cease. That ties Herod to the Moses story of Josephus. Both had many people killed for fear of a prophecy, according to Josephus. Josephus also specifically mentioned that the Pharisees were believed to have foreknowledge, which may be where Matthew got the idea for the wise men.

          Matthew has the family moving back to Israel but diverting to Nazareth because they learned that Herod’s son had taken over. Oh, we know that from Josephus, too! AJ 17.11.4 and 17.8.1.

          Exodus 30:1-5, 30:23-25, and 30:34-38 describe items that are to be used in the tabernacle rituals. Josephus also discussed them in 3.6.3, 3.6.6, and 3.8.3. Those items are the three gifts of the Magi, gold, frankincense, and myrrh which lines up in the order Josephus discusses them, not the order they are discussed in Exodus.

          I think the star probably comes from Numbers 24:17, but Josephus mentions a star in Jewish Wars that as a strange thing that happened in Judea.

          Throughout the story, Matthew is quoting from the Septuagint:
          Isaiah 7:14 “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 8:8-10 provides “God with us.”)
          Micah 5:2 “But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not the least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel”
          Hosea 11:1 “Out of Egypt I called my son”
          Judges 13:5 – that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophets: “He will be called a Nazarene.” (There are versions of the LXX that spell the transliteration of “nazirite” very similarly to the spelling Matthew uses. It is not someone who comes from Nazareth but someone who takes a vow of dedication to God.)

          But Matthew never quotes from Exodus despite the parallels.

          Remember that Josephus told Vespasian that he would become emperor so Vespasian kept him alive and it came true, so Josephus adds prophecies to his historical accounts. Prophecies are Josephus’ thing. That’s how we can rule out a common source.

          Majority of scholars place the date of Matthew no later than AD90. Josephus is AD93-4. Can’t copy from something that isn’t written yet.

          Exactly! Those scholars are guessing without identifying Matthew’s sources. They assume his sources are lost to history. They seem to think Matthew was good at copying but unable to write his own fiction. The evidence is strong that Matthew used Josephus’ account. The internal evidence of JA is strong for when it was written. That puts Matthew much later than those scholars would like it to be.

        • Triggerman1976

          –If true, then the author of 1 Clement knew the gospel we call John but it does not identify the author of the gospel.

          If you’re quoting something in that day and time, you didn’t have to provide a source, you used key phrases and words that would be familiar to the audience so that they would know where to look it up.

          –or Irenaeus forged it in Polycarp’s name
          Don’t make claims that you can’t substantiate.

          From Antiquities 16:43, “And the seventh day we set apart from labor; it is dedicated to the learning of our customs and laws…”<–right there "schools". "But they didn't use the specific word." Boo-freakin-hoo.

          –James says faith is insufficient while Paul says faith is sufficient.

          Quick Greek grammar lesson: James is using the indicative form of the verb, where as Paul is using the verb in its infinitive form to attach to the primary noun in the statement. They're talking about the same faith from two different directions.

        • Greg G.

          I would argue that Clement knew of the Johanine literature because in 1 Clement 16, he uses a couple of turns of phrase that is unique to John and only make sense with John’s gospel as the background to understand them.

          Which phrases are you talking about? I read 1 Clement 16 and it is based in Isaiah 53.

        • Triggerman1976

          The very first sentence leading up to the large quotation from Isaiah is entirely dependent upon themes and identities established in John’s gospel.

        • Greg G.

          I think you mean:

          1 Clement 16:2
          The scepter of the majesty of God, even our Lord Jesus Christ, came
          not in the pomp of arrogance or of pride, though He might have done
          so, but in lowliness of mind, according as the Holy Spirit spake
          concerning Him.

          The Suffering Servant song of Isaiah 53 begins with the last three verses of Isaiah 52. Here is the opening of the song:

          Isaiah 52:13 (NRSV)13 See, my servant shall prosper;    he shall be exalted and lifted up,    and shall be very high.

          Scholars note similarities between 1 Clement and Hebrews, such as:

          Hebrews 1:8 (NRSV)8 But of the Son he says,“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,    and the righteous scepter is the scepter of your kingdom.

          You do not need John to explain it.

        • Triggerman1976

          Actually, I was referring to v1:Christ belongs to the lowly of heart, and not to those who would exalt themselves over His flock. It’s only in John where “flock” language appears.

          But “The scepter of the majesty of God, even our Lord Jesus Christ”, the language there is equating language.
          That’s a paraphrase of John 12:41, where John explains a passage from Isaiah, and fits with Clement’s quotation of Isaiah 53.

          Hebrews 1:8 is dealing with a different context and is quoting from Psalm 45.

        • Greg G.

          Isaiah 53:6-7 mentions sheep three times including sheep gone astray.

          Psalm 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd

          Isaiah 40:11 (NRSV)11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd;    he will gather the lambs in his arms,and carry them in his bosom,    and gently lead the mother sheep.

          Philo of Alexandria, On Husbandry (De agricultura),
          For God, like a shepherd and a king, governs (as if they were a flock of sheep) the earth

          Gospel of Thomas 107
          Jesus said, “The Kingdom is like a shepherd who had a hundred sheep. One of them, the largest, went astray. He left the ninety-nine sheep and looked for that one until he found it. When he had gone to such trouble, he said to the sheep, ‘I care for you more than the ninety-nine.'”

          Micah 5:4 (NRSV)4 And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the Lord,    in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.And they shall live secure, for now he shall be great    to the ends of the earth;

          Any or all of these work better than John 10.

        • Greg G.

          2 Peter copies from Matthew.

          I neglected this before because I had posted information about this a day earlier, but I am not sure if it was for you.

          Mark 9:2-8 is the Transfiguration story. Mark goes overboard with most everything occurring immediately. But this story happens after six days. That recalls Exodus 24:13-18 where Moses waited for six days before God used clouds as a ventriloquism dummy, like he does in this passage. Moses even shows up. The “six days” should be a clue to you that Mark is making up a fictional account. The white clothing in Mark 9:3 comes from Daniel 7:9. Deuteronomy 18:15 says a prophet will rise up, as in Mark 9:4. The cloud speaking comes from Exodus 40:34 and the words “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him” come from Psalm 2:7. But Matthew inserts “in whom I am well pleased” into it, as it says in the baptism in Mark 1:11, which may come from Isaiah 42:1. Luke’s account agrees with Mark.

          2 Peter 1:17-18 has the words from the Matthew account. The whole account in Mark is made up from Old Testament verses so we know Matthew’s and Luke’s accounts are also fiction. That means 2 Peter believes in cleverly devised myths.

        • Triggerman1976

          Wow. I’ve seen a lot of mental gymnastics in my time, but that takes the gold medal.

          I’m going to guess that you’ve never heard of the correlation/causation fallacy either.

          Since Jesus, the Second Yahweh of the Hebrew Scriptures, has already appeared to people in the past–Moses and Elijah (he’s there too, don’t leave him out)–on mountains, which are incredibly common symbolic elements in the religious worldviews of the ANE.

          Seeing as I reject Markan priority, due to its circular argumentation, going back to it is pointless in your argumentation.

        • Greg G.

          I’m going to guess that you’ve never heard of the correlation/causation fallacy either.

          You seem to not understand the concept of allusions.

          Seeing as I reject Markan priority, due to its circular argumentation, going back to it is pointless in your argumentation.

          Have you never considered editorial fatigue? We see cases where a gospel author makes an editorial change to a passage being copied but doesn’t maintain the change throughout. It’s the sort of things human authors are susceptible to doing.

          Matthew Using Mark

          The Death of John the Baptist (Mark 6:14-29 and Matthew 14:1-12), Mark is drawing the story from the Book of Esther which involves a king with a kingdom. The offer of “up to half of my kingdom” is a dead give away in Mark 6:22-23 when compared with Esther 5:3,6; 7:2. Mark calls Herod a king four times. Matthew happened to know that Herod Antipas was a tetrarch (Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 17.8.1) and changed his title except in Matthew 14:9 when he slips up and calls him a king. In Mark 6:20, Herodias wanted John to be put to death but Herod feared John because he thought he was righteous and holy and enjoyed listening to him. In Matthew 14:5, Herod, not Herodias, wanted to put John to death but feared the multitude of John’s followers. But in Matthew 14:9, Herod grieved at having to heve John beheaded, just like in Mark 6:26, but Matthew didn’t develop that angle, he copied it from Mark.

          In Mark 1:40-45, Jesus heals a leper and tells him to say nothing to anybody. Matthew 8:1-4 has a crowd following Jesus down from the Sermon on the Mount. It doesn’t make much sense when Matthew has Jesus tell the ex-leper to not tell anybody, like in Mark, when there was multitude of witnesses.

          In Mark 3:19, Jesus had gone home and, in Mark 3:31, his family was standing outside. In Matthew 12:15, Jesus had left a synagogue and conversed with multitudes, including some Pharisees. While surrounded by a multitude in Matthew 12:46-47, he was told that his mother and brothers were standing outside, looking for him. Matthew went back to Mark’s text without editing the setting of the story. He has Jesus leaving a house he never entered in Matthew 13:1 to follow Mark 4:1 to the beach.

          Mark 10:35-41 is the Ambition of the Zebedees story where James and John ask to sit at either hand in glory. Matthew 20:20-24 follows the story but instead of James and John asking for the favor, their mother asks for them. However, Jesus responds to the brothers and they respond to him just as they did in Mark. The other ten disciples become indignant at the brothers in both stories but not at their mother. Matthew seems to have forgotten his beginning.

          Luke Using Mark

          In The Parable of the Sower in Mark 4:5-6, seed fell on rocky ground with little soil and immediately sprang up with no depth of soil but was scorched by the sun and withered for having no root. Luke 8:6 says the seed fell on rock and withered as soon as it grew for having no moisture. In The Interpretation of the Parable of the Sower in Mark 4:16-17, people have no root in themselves so they stumble in the face of persecution and oppression. Luke 8:13 has the lack of root in the interpretation, as in Mark, but didn’t have it in the parable. The persecution and oppression in Mark is represented by the sun in the parable but Luke has no metaphor for the temptation. Luke failed to maintain his alteration. He has Jesus explaining things that were not in his version of the parable.

          In the story of Healing the Paralytic, Jesus was in the house and so many people gathered that there was no more room in Mark 2:1-12. In Luke 5:17-26, there is no mention of a house, only that there were many people from all over Galilee. When a paralyzed man was brought there, they had to go in through the roof, as in Mark. Also in Mark, the scribes were reasoning in their hearts but, in Luke, the scribes and Pharisees were reasoning out loud, but in both Mark and Luke, Jesus asks them why they are reasoning those things in their hearts.

          In the Feeding of the 5000 in Mark 6:30-44, Jesus and the disciples go to a deserted place. In Luke 9:10-17, they are in the city of Bethsaida. Mark 6:35b-36, the disciples wanted to send the crowd out to the surrounding country and villages to get their dinners. Luke 9:12 also has the twelve advising to send the crowd into the surrounding villages and countryside to get their supper. Was Luke’s crowd supposed to go to the suburbs of Bethsaida for food when they were already in a city?

          In Mark 14:53-63, Jesus is taken before the chief priests, elders, and scribes. Witnesses are brought in. They give false and contradicting testimony. The high priest asked Jesus if he was the Christ, the son of the Blessed. Jesus said that he was so the high priest tore his robe and said there was no need for witnesses. In Luke 22:66-71, Jesus is taken before the chief priests, elders, and scribes. They asked if he was the Christ, and he gave an evasive answer about the Son of Man seated next to God. So they saked if he was the son of God and he said that he was. Then they said they didn’t need any more witnesses. But they hadn’t had any witnesses. Luke simply borrowed the line from Mark.

          Matthew and Luke make alterations to Mark that don’t hold all the way through. These issues are easily explained if they were using Mark as a source.

          Luke Using Matthew

          In Matthew 13:16-17 and Luke 10:23-24, Jesus describes the Blessedness of the Disciples, as they have seen and heard what prophets and kings have not. Luke omits the part about the ears and hearing in the first verse but not in the second. Matthew seems to draw on Mark 4:12, a quote from Isaiah 6:9-10 LXX. Luke had used that verse for Luke 8:10.

          Of course, Luke could have been having editorial fatigue copying Q and not Matthew in this example.

          Luke Using Matthew When Matthew Was Using Mark

          When Jesus gives instructions when he sends out the Twelve, Matthew 10:11-14 adds “city or village” to Mark’s instructions. But Luke 9:4-5 has instruction for leaving the house, as in Mark 6:10-11 but mentions the city like Matthew 19:14.

          Luke 17:1-2, talks about having a millstone around the neck of a person cast into the sea for offending “these little ones” (“μικρῶν τούτων”), but he never mentions which little ones. Matthew 18:6-9 has Jesus with little ones (“μικρῶν τούτων”) before he makes that pronouncment. Mark 9:42 is similar but only uses “μικρός” for “little ones”. Luke’s phrasing is more similar to Matthew than to Mark.

          We have examples of Matthew using Mark with editorial fatigue, we have examples of Luke using Mark with editorial fatigue, we have examples of Luke having editorial fatigue using Matthew using Mark, and we have an example of Luke having editorial fatigue on material in common with Matthew. If Matthew and Luke were using a common source, we might expect to see editorial fatigue from Matthew using the common source but no examples of that has been found.

          The editorial fatigue argument indicates that Matthew used Mark and Luke used Mark and Matthew.

        • Triggerman1976

          –You seem to not understand the concept of allusions.

          You seem to not understand the need to connect present experience with past experience.

          –Have you never considered editorial fatigue?
          Have you ever considered “common experience”?

          –Matthew Using Mark
          Uses circular reasoning. I reject Markan priority because it assumes what its trying to prove. I could easily turn the argument around and argue that Mark is using Matthew, cutting out what he considered to be extraneous.

          –Luke Using Mark
          –Luke Using Matthew
          –Luke Using Matthew When Matthew Was Using Mark
          Aside from the circular argumentation– DUH, Luke admits that he was using sources.
          Please, tell me something that is new.

          I’ve written on and taught classes and seminars using parallels of the gospels for years, you’re not impressing me.

        • Greg G.

          You seem to not understand the need to connect present experience with past experience.

          I do. Even the Psalmist in Psalm 77 laments that miracles don’t happen like they did in the old stories. They were fairy tales then and they are fairy tales now.

          –Have you never considered editorial fatigue?
          Have you ever considered “common experience”?

          Yes, I considered it but rejected it because of verbatim stories and the evidence of editorial fatigue that points to the order that they were copied.

          –Matthew Using Mark
          Uses circular reasoning. I reject Markan priority because it assumes what its trying to prove. I could easily turn the argument around and argue that Mark is using Matthew, cutting out what he considered to be extraneous.

          I provided the evidence that Mark was copied by Matthew and Luke and Matthew was copied by Luke. It is not circular. There are no cases of editorial fatigue that would indicate Mark copied any other gospel.

          I forgot to add the Parable of the Pounds. Mark 13:33-37 is a brief account. Matthew expands it, giving details about the amounts given to three servants and how much they earned. Luke likes ten to one ratios so he changes it to ten servants getting on mina each, but only three are left by the end.

          I’ve written on and taught classes and seminars using parallels of the gospels for years, you’re not impressing me.

          I hope your students weren’t paying for that. Was it for Trump University.

        • Pofarmer

          Hell, it’s a good bet that the Gospel of Mark wasn’t written anywhere near Jerusalem. All indications was that it was probably written in Rome, by someone who really wasn’t all that familiar with Palestine. But you know that, I just didn’t want to reply to numbnuts here.

        • Greg G.

          But you know that, I just didn’t want to reply to numbnuts here.

          You are wiser than I.

        • Ignorant Amos

          In that particular respect, you and I both, for sure.

        • Pofarmer

          You know, quite honestly, when people saw what all the good christians were doing, it might not be all that surprising there were more atheists in Germany 6 years after the Reich started.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Even if there actually were more atheists…that could be one reason for sure.

        • Are we talking about the gospels? Show us that they’re not anonymous. Take Mark, for example. Tell us who wrote it and justify that conclusion with evidence.

          (Do I need to dance for you before I get the answer to this question as well?)

        • Grimlock

          How about this. I’ll grant, for the sake of the argument, that the authors of the gospels are the ones of the traditional attributions. What next?

        • Triggerman1976

          If the authorship question is resolved, then all that remains is the information that they report.

        • Grimlock

          I assume you mean that we need to assess the reliability of what they write about?

          It’s not like we always take people at face value. For instance, I don’t take the eyewitness reports of witches at Salem, the alien abduction folks, or Tacitus’ claim of a phoenix in Egypt at face value.

        • Triggerman1976

          But there’s some that we should, right?

        • Grimlock

          Sort of, yes. But how do you distinguish between when somebody’s say-so provides enough epistemic justification to believe something, and when does it not?

        • Grimlock

          I was hoping you would follow up my comment below with a suggestion for how to identify situations in which somebody’s say-so provides sufficient epistemic justification.

          Any chance my previous comment just slipped your mind? It happens to me rather frequently.

        • Triggerman1976

          Well, that’s the question isn’t it? What provides the necessary preconditions of intelligibility that are needed in order to provide such a justification?

        • Grimlock

          Right. I get the distinct impression that you don’t want to try to outline when we’re justified in taking eyewitness accounts at face value. This is not surprising, as it seems implausible that you can do so “successfully”, i.e. make it so that we ought to believe the Gospel accounts, and not believe all sorts of other nonsense.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The same evidence for the veracity for most other religions…and a lot less than for some…Mormonism for example.

          Evidence that is totally unconvincing is the same as no evidence at all.

          Got evidence?

        • Triggerman1976

          It’s not the job of the evidence to convince.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Nonsense….Well I realise that’s the way it may work for you…but for me, it is what it takes to convince me to adjust my position on any given concept.

          But sure, tell us what is the job of evidence is in your mind?

        • Triggerman1976

          Evidence exists to be interpreted. And interpretations have to be both consistent and logical, and it’s the interpretation that convinces, not the evidence.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Is there a special school you go to in order to be so asinine.

          I don’t care much for your silly semantics.

          Interpret is what ya do with the evidence, convince, or not, is the result.

          No evidence, nothing to interpret.

          Google “unconvincing evidence” or “unconvincing” and “evidence” if the former is too difficult for ya, ya numbnuts.

        • Triggerman1976

          Interpretation requires a coherent justification that satisfies the necessary preconditions of intelligibility.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Google “unconvincing evidence” or “unconvincing” and “evidence” if the former is too difficult for ya, ya numbnuts.

        • DogGone

          For people who believe that sort of thing, that is the sort of thing they believe.

        • Triggerman1976

          Well, I believe the evidence.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Say what ya like, it never happened, so pah!

        • Triggerman1976

          That’s a claim, and you bear the burden of proof for that claim.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Nah…that’s the null hypothesis…the same as Mo never rode a flying horse…or Joe Smith never got lead by the hand to find golden plates inscribed with glyphs of the Book of Mormon…or Moses didn’t get two sets of commandments…or Noah never built a big boat…anybody claiming I’m wrong has the burden of proof…am I wrong?

        • Triggerman1976

          You clearly don’t understand how the null hypothesis works. You didn’t offer two competing hypotheses or statistical models, you made a claim.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ya see if ya look up the thread a wee bit, you’ll see where you came here and made a claim. Your claim was…

          Except for that whole Jesus rising from the dead thing.

          That is the alternative hypothesis…I didn’t figure I’d have to remind you, but then how stupid was that of I?

          If the data are consistent with the null hypothesis, then the null hypothesis is not rejected. The data we have for people rising for the dead is that they don’t. I don’t have the burden of proof to demonstrate that fact. I have reasonable expectation based on prior probability.

          If the person being claimed to have risen from the dead cannot be demonstrated to be nothing more than a character in a book, then my position is further strengthened.

          You are the one that came here making fanciful extraordinary claims that cannot be demonstrated with any veracity…own it ya rhubarb.

        • Triggerman1976

          Depending on what you mean by “demonstrate” there is no way to “demonstrate” singular historical events outside of their recording as such. (Applying the null hypothesis to a singular historical fact, such as the resurrection, commits a category error.)

          For example, you cannot demonstrate that you were born, as a singular historical fact. Apply your logic to that, ya rhubarb, and you weren”t born. You don’t exist. There is no prior probability for YOUR existence.

          All that the data says is that dead people don’t NORMALLY come back to life. If they did, the historical fact of the resurrection would be a shrugger. However, given the fact that dead people don’t NORMALLY do that, that one man was raised should cause pause because the only means by which this could occur is by the God you know exists and who has the power to give life.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Depending on what you mean by “demonstrate” there is no way to “demonstrate” singular historical events outside of their recording as such.

          Well first of all, they have to be historical events. Supernatural occurrences ain’t historical events, even if someone writes about them. To allow them to be such, you have to allow them all, that sorta fucks the special claims bit.

          Take the Resurrection for example…early Christians realized the problem…

          “when we say … Jesus Christ, our teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propose nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you consider sons of Zeus.” ~ Justin Martyr (1 Apol. 21).

          (Applying the null hypothesis to a singular historical fact, such as the resurrection, commits a category error.)

          Try learning what a category error is Einstein.

          For someone who claims to be so brainy, you’re really quite stupid.
          It isn’t a singular historical fact, that hasn’t been established. It is your unsupported claim that a particular person resurrected because someone wrote it in a book vis a vis the proposition that resurrection from the dead is a thing, because it is written in a book. It isn’t, and I don’t need to demonstrate my counter claim that it isn’t in the face of your claim that it is, wise up.

          For example, you cannot demonstrate that you were born, as a singular historical fact. Apply your logic to that, ya rhubarb, and you weren”t born. You don’t exist. There is no prior probability for YOUR existence.

          Holy fuck, you really are this fucking stupid. The comparison of your analogy wouldn’t be me being born, it would be do people be born. I have reasonable expectation that a person was born based on the fact that billions of people have been born…that’s a fact. Talk about Christians and idiotic analogies, that’s among the most idiotic I’ve seen. Now, the evidence for me existing is mountainous, so I can demonstrate I exist, that really is an historical fact…unless you really aren’t interacting with me and I’m a brain in a jar…or a computer program…that’s solipsism and that doesn’t help ya, ya “highly intellectual” moron.

          All that the data says is that dead people don’t NORMALLY come back to life.

          Am sure ya think by putting normally in all caps gives it extra impetus…it doesn’t.

          All that the data says is that dead people don’t come back to life…period.

          If they did, the historical fact of the resurrection would be a shrugger.

          They do, it isn’t, and it is. The resurrection isn’t an historical fact, you and bunch of other eejits believing it is because someone wrote a story in a book, won’t make it so, no matter how many times you repeat your nonsense.

          However, given the fact that dead people don’t NORMALLY do that, that one man was raised should cause pause because the only means by which this could occur is by the God you know exists and who has the power to give life.

          This is special pleading. One man wasn’t raised from the dead. But even if he was, God is not the only way that it could’ve happened. If we are making shite up, there are a plethora of hypothesized reasons for it. Science could be the reason. I read in a book that a Dr. Frankenstein did it, must be true. Maybe it was aliens. You just don’t get to claim one nonsense and then by extension some other nonsense. Show your work. The Bible doesn’t cut it. Other holy books make equally as fanciful claims…when you work out why you don’t accept the nonsense in those texts as “historical facts”, then the penny will drop as to why I don’t accept the nonsense you are pushing as “historical facts”.

          And I no more know your god exists than I know that Quetzalcoatl, Zeus, Ra, Shiva, blah, blah, blah, exists. Your comment makes as much sense as me claiming you know that Universe Creating Space Ponies exist and are the only thing with the power of resurrection…it is fucking stupid, and coming from someone who claims to have such rigorous intellectual credentials, it’s fucking idiotic…ya idiot.

        • Triggerman1976

          –Supernatural occurrences ain’t historical events

          Except they are, because they occurred as events IN HISTORY.

          –Justin Martyr (1 Apol. 21).
          Got nothing to do with the resurrection or the crucifixion, ya dope. It’s a fraudulent quotation. First lesson you learn when doing research, look up the source: JM’s 1st Apology chapter 21 is about the virgin birth. http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0126.htm Go read it yourself.
          And if you don’t believe the folks over at New Advent, here’s a PDF of a paper book
          http://www.philipharland.com/Courses/Readings/5025/Justin%20Martyr,%20First%20Apology%20and%20Second%20Apology.pdf
          Amateurs…

          –It is your unsupported claim
          Wrong. A claim supported by multiple independent sources.

          –The comparison of your analogy
          Wrong again. All yer cussin and name callin does is demonstrate the power of the analogy in application to the question.

          –All that the data says is that dead people don’t come back to life…period.
          NORMALLY. you keep forgetting that the null hypothesis ONLY applies to probabilities.

          –The resurrection isn’t an historical fact
          Now you’re the one making ACTUAL unsupported claims.

          –One man wasn’t raised from the dead.
          Yes he was. And it’s not “special pleading” when I say it because I say it as a multiply attested historical fact that has theological and philosophical implications.
          And again with the category errors? What type of literature does Frankenstein fall under? Fiction. Mary Shelley never claimed that what she was writing actually occurred as a matter of history or of fact. This “I read in a book”-type argument is a bogus and childish argument that shows the level of desperation the unbeliever has to stoop to in order to suppress the truth.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Except they are, because they occurred as events IN HISTORY.

          Nope ya dope. They are “claimed” to have happened in history. Can’t you tell the difference? If you allow one historical claim for the supernatural, you have to allow them all. That defeats your special pleading for Jesus, ya dolt.

          Got nothing to do with the resurrection or the crucifixion, ya dope. It’s a fraudulent quotation. First lesson you learn when doing research, look up the source: JM’s 1st Apology chapter 21 is about the virgin birth. http://www.newadvent.org/fa… Go read it yourself.

          In the first place, I never mentioned the apology had anything to do with the crucifixion, so straw man there, but thanks for adding the bonus virgin birth nonsense…and it does mention being crucified, so way ta go for shooting yerself in the foot.

          Did you even read your own sources for comprehension ffs?

          And when we say also that the Word, who is the first-birth of God, was produced without sexual union, and that He, Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter. [Zeus] For you know how many sons your esteemed writers ascribed to Jupiter: Mercury, the interpreting word and teacher of all; Æsculapius, who, though he was a great physician, was struck by a thunderbolt, and so ascended to heaven; and Bacchus too, after he had been torn limb from limb; and Hercules, when he had committed himself to the flames to escape his toils; and the sons of Leda, and Dioscuri; and Perseus, son of Danae; and Bellerophon, who, though sprung from mortals, rose to heaven on the horse Pegasus. For what shall I say of Ariadne, and those who, like her, have been declared to be set among the stars? And what of the emperors who die among yourselves, whom you deem worthy of deification, and in whose behalf you produce some one who swears he has seen the burning Cæsar rise to heaven from the funeral pyre? And what kind of deeds are recorded of each of these reputed sons of Jupiter, it is needless to tell to those who already know. This only shall be said, that they are written for the advantage and encouragement of youthful scholars; for all reckon it an honourable thing to imitate the gods. But far be such a thought concerning the gods from every well-conditioned soul, as to believe that Jupiter himself, the governor and creator of all things, was both a parricide and the son of a parricide, and that being overcome by the love of base and shameful pleasures, he came in to Ganymede and those many women whom he had violated and that his sons did like actions. But, as we said above, wicked devils perpetrated these things. And we have learned that those only are deified who have lived near to God in holiness and virtue; and we believe that those who live wickedly and do not repent are punished in everlasting fire.

          The whole passage is comparing pagan beliefs that their gods rose into the heavens and then claiming that it was devils that did it ahead of time in order to besmirch the Jesus claim ffs.

          Amateurs…

          Yes you are…something well on display here…high brow intellectual, my arse.

          Wrong. A claim supported by multiple independent sources.

          Dumb as fuck. It isn’t a claim supported by multiple independent sources.

          Actual honest Christian historians are not on board with your fuckwittery on the supernatural claims.

          https://jamestabor.com/do-historians-exclude-the-supernatural/

          Deal with it.

          Wrong again. All yer cussin and name callin does is demonstrate the power of the analogy in application to the question.

          Tone trolling…your position is still nonsense.

          NORMALLY. you keep forgetting that the null hypothesis ONLY applies to probabilities.

          Normally is what sensible people work with. The probability of someone coming back from the dead is exactly zero to date. No one has done it. That is the prior probability that I base my position. When it can be demonstrated with evidence that it can happen the way it is described in your dopey book, that’ll be a start. Until then, it’s just a story and special pleading.

          Now you’re the one making ACTUAL unsupported claims.

          No I’m not. I’m countering your claim, which has no support other than being a story in a book. There is no evidence for any resurrection other than made up yarns by people. Did Dionysus resurrect? Is it just Jesus resurrection or are you fine with the resurrection claims of other religious fuckwits? Special pleading again is it?

          Unbiased historians don’t do actual resurrection stories as realities, they only deal with what people believed happened…you need to be able to separate the issue.

          Yes he was. And it’s not “special pleading” when I say it because I say it as a multiply attested historical fact…

          I realise that in your feeble mind you’ve bought into this garbage. It isn’t multiply attested to historical fact. Over 70,000 people “claimed” the Sun danced around the sky during the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima in 1917, but whatever happened, it wasn’t that.

          https://www.livescience.com/29290-fatima-miracle.html

          Gullible people believe they see things they don’t, many others believe the stories about other people seeing things they don’t. That’s how urban myths get started.

          …that has theological and philosophical implications.

          Only for fuckwit gullible Christians who have bought into the yarn, everyone else couldn’t give a shit. At not anymore than you buy into the theological and philosophical implications of all other religions.

          And again with the category errors?

          Only because you believe that the nonsense in you stupid book is fact. It isn’t. It isn’t anymore fact that the fictional stuff in all other holy texts that you don’t believe in. How hard is this for you to comprehend? Just because you believe it is fact, doesn’t make it so, even if someone claims it was.

          What type of literature does Frankenstein fall under? Fiction.

          Hmmmmm…was Plutarch writing fact or fiction when writing about the mythical founders of Rome? History is littered with literature that folk believe to be fact, that doesn’t make it so.

          Sensible folk are coming to terms with the Bible being fiction…or myth if ya like..

          https://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffrey-small/mythology-and-the-bible_b_898253.html

          Mary Shelley never claimed that what she was writing actually occurred as a matter of history or of fact.

          Did the authors of the NT?

          But regardless.

          Way ta go and miss the point. Ya dolt.

          https://inews.co.uk/news/science/science-behind-frankenstein/

          This “I read in a book”-type argument is a bogus and childish argument that shows the level of desperation the unbeliever has to stoop to in order to suppress the truth.

          Spoooiiiing! Irony meters going off all over the place.

          Fer feck sake…that’s all you’ve got ya moron…a book you’ve read…not read very well by the looks of things. The desperation isn’t with me.

          And again, you’ve no problem at all dismissing the books that all those other religious folk believe are fact. Tell me again why you are not a Mormon or Muslim? When you realise why, then you’ll know why your favourite book is nonsense of a similar vein.

        • Triggerman1976

          –If you allow one historical claim for the supernatural, you have to allow them all.
          Actually, I don’t. But let’s say that I do, just for the sake of the argument: that’s not a problem for me because I don’t have any A PRIORI bias against the supernatural. I accept the reality that there are non-human, unseen realities, that have power. Every claim–regardless of the type– has to be judged on its own standards.

          –The whole passage is comparing pagan beliefs that their gods rose into the heavens
          Yeah. It’s comparing and contrasting those beliefs. Justin’s being very facetious, because in the VERY NEXT CHAPTER, he writes, “For their sufferings at death are recorded to have been not all alike, but diverse; so that not even by the peculiarity of His sufferings does He seem to be inferior to them; but, on the contrary, as we promised in the preceding part of this discourse, we will now prove Him superior — or rather have already proved Him to be so — for the superior is revealed by His actions.” The most important contrast being that NONE of those “sons of god” came back to life. Living up to your name here because you’re incredibly ignorant of the religious worldview of the ancient world.

          — There is no evidence for any resurrection
          Except for all the evidence that you just wave away because of your biases.

          –Unbiased historians don’t do actual resurrection stories as realities, they only deal with what people believed happened.
          No such thing as an “unbiased historian”. I believe that it happened, as do lots of historians, and they do so based on the evidence. And James Tabor, like all unbelieving scholars, likes to engage in suspender-popping arguments from authority and guilty-until-proven-innocent assumptions.

          –The probability of someone coming back from the dead is exactly zero to date
          If you exclude all the people who have been raised from the dead in the past.

          –I realise that in your feeble mind you’ve bought into this garbage.
          I’m not the one bringing in red herrings that have nothing to do with the conversation, which is a sign of a person with a feeble mind and cannot stay on topic.

          –Only for fuckwit gullible Christians who have bought into the yarn
          Prove it. That’s a claim. You’ve made it several times now prove it.

          –Only because you believe that the nonsense in you stupid book is fact.
          I’ve yet to see you produce anything other than the bold assertion. I believe what I believe because it’s true. You believe what you believe because you want it to be true. But if what you want to believe was really true, you would have no way of knowing it. I know what I know because it’s true, because only true things can be known.

        • Otto

          >>>”Actually, I don’t. But let’s say that I do, just for the sake of the argument: that’s not a problem for me because I don’t have any A PRIORI bias against the supernatural.”

          Name one non-Christian supernatural claim you accept as being true…?

        • Triggerman1976

          that something stopped Mohammed from killing himself

        • Ignorant Amos

          Why?

        • Otto

          I have no idea what the hell that is even supposed to mean…are you just being sarcastic or what?

        • Triggerman1976

          I do tend to be sarcastic, but only when it comes to answering questions no one really wants an answer to.

        • Otto

          Sarcasm is my second favorite asm.

          I actually did want an answer to that because you say you don’t have a supernatural bias and I don’t believe you for a second.

          So I am going to fix what you said…

          I do tend to be sarcastic, but only when it comes to answering questions no one really wants an answer to I don’t want to answer because I realize doing so would require me to insert my foot in my craw.

        • Triggerman1976

          –I actually did want an answer to that because you say you don’t have a supernatural bias and I don’t believe you for a second.
          I never said that I didn’t have a supernatural bias. Which proves that you have absolutely no business even attempting to “correct” anything that I might say because all that you end up doing is setting up a straw man.

        • Otto

          Here is your quote from above…after which I asked you the question.

          that’s not a problem for me because I don’t have any A PRIORI bias against the supernatural.

          Would you like to explain that because NOW you say…

          I never said that I didn’t have a supernatural bias.

          It can’t be both. Or maybe I am misunderstanding you, here is your chance to explain your bias, or lack of bias, regarding the supernatural.

        • Triggerman1976

          The only thing clear here is that you can’t read.

        • Otto

          The only thing clear is that your are avoiding the question at all costs.

        • Susan

          you are avoiding the question at all costs.

          I think he is suggesting that he has a supernatural bias and that we have an anti-supernatural bias and that that evens things out.

          He is claiming a supernatural bias and accusing us of having an anti-supernatural bias.

          He is admitting the first but has shown no basis for the second.

        • Otto

          Which would be fine because I admitted I may not be understanding him correctly, I then opened the door for him to further explain or clarify his position on all things supernatural…and his response was to insult.

          But he did say “that’s not a problem for me because I don’t have any A PRIORI bias against the supernatural”…

          And I don’t believe that even a little bit…even if he accepts Christian supernatural stuff but rejects all other supernatural stuff that is still an ‘A PRIORI bias against the supernatural’.

        • Susan

          even if he accepts Christian supernatural stuff but rejects all other supernatural stuff that is still an ‘A PRIORI bias against the supernatural’.

          True.

          Well, not against the supernatural per se.

          More specifically, he has an A PRIORI bias against all the supernatural except that which is included in his special pleading.

        • Otto

          True…it is not an ‘A PRIORI bias against ANYTHING supernatural’…it is an ‘A PRIORI bias against anything Non-Christian that is supernatural’.
          But I don’t see how that is any less of a problem for someone trying to throw that bullshit about holding an A PRIORI position on supernatural subjects.

        • Susan

          I don’t see how that is any less of a problem for someone trying to throw that bullshit about

          It’s not.

        • Susan

          I don’t have any A PRIORI bias against the supernatural.

          Neither do I. There’s just the problem that the term “supernatural” is incoherent and all the claims about it are badly supported.

          I accept the reality that there are non-human, unseen realities that have power.

          Who doesn’t? That doesn’t make them supernatural. Depending on what you mean by “power”

          .Except for all the evidence that you just wave away because of your biases.

          Then, provide the evidence that there was a resurrection and that people who don’t believe it happened are just handwaving it away because of their biases.

          I believe that it happened, as do lots of historians, and they do so based on the evidence.

          Based on what evidence? Certainly not evidence that’s acceptable in the historical method.

        • epeeist

          Neither do I.

          I just don’t like bloating my ontology with things for which there is no justification.

        • Ignorant Amos

          For some reason that comment of Triggerman’s is in moderation and blocking me from reply.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yeah. It’s comparing and contrasting those beliefs. Justin’s being very facetious, because in the VERY NEXT CHAPTER, he writes, “For their sufferings at death are recorded to have been not all alike, but diverse; so that not even by the peculiarity of His sufferings does He seem to be inferior to them; but, on the contrary, as we promised in the preceding part of this discourse, we will now prove Him superior — or rather have already proved Him to be so — for the superior is revealed by His actions.” The most important contrast being that NONE of those “sons of god” came back to life. Living up to your name here because you’re incredibly ignorant of the religious worldview of the ancient world.

          Hmmmmmmm….

          Justin argued that the pagan myths had been inspired by demons who were aware of prophecies in the Old Testament that pointed to Christ and the things he would do. Hence, Justin’s argument is often referred to as “diabolical mimicry”; in essence the argument that Satan attempted to imitate Christ in advance, through a (slight misreading) of Old Testament prophecy. Christian apologists have been quick to attempt to counter this argument, claiming that critics are quote-mining Justin and taking his words completely out of context. A number of critics have claimed that Justin literarily admitted that the things Christian’s said about Jesus were “no different” to things that pagans said about their gods. Christian apologists have been quick to point out that in fact, Justin was actually arguing that Jesus was completely different from pagan gods, as he was arguing that Jesus was actually God and had really done the things said about him, and that the pagan gods were demonic spirits, and the things said about them were mere myths.

          In this article I have pointed out that whilst Justin’s 1st apology (in which he made the diabolical mimicry argument) took the form of a letter written to the Emperor to plead for an end to persecution of Christians, the work was clearly circulated in Christian circles as well. Therefore, it is legitimate to conclude that even if it was an authentic letter that was literarily sent to the Emperor, it was still written as an apologetic work intended for circulation in Christian communities, to be used to in dialogues and debates with pagans. Furthermore, the assertion by modern apologists that Justin was actually inventing parallels where there was none and where pagans did not see any themselves is completely false.

          https://jameshiscoxblogs.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/the-whole-truth-on-justin-martyrs-diabolical-mimicry-argument/

          Or you might want to read this paper….with your intellectual university eyeball….

          http://researchbank.acu.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1235&context=theses

        • Greg G.

          I have an argument about the belief that Satan was the serpent in Eden. God punished serpents but if Satan did it, God owes serpents an apology. I think I will add “diabolical mimicry” to it. What if Satan uses diabolical mimicry to imitate the Christian blaspheming the Holy Ghost to fool God, who will then think the person cannot be forgiven. What would Satan have to lose? Getting condemned to hell twice?

        • Should be available now.

        • Triggerman1976

          –There’s just the problem that the term “supernatural” is incoherent and all the claims about it are badly supported.

          That indicates an anti-supernatural bias, even though you claim not to have one.

          –That doesn’t make them supernatural.
          Depends on how one defines the term “supernatural” in that instance. Those non-human entities that I accept have no connection to the world that we inhabit and that would, by definition, make them supernatural. It can also be used to refer to location, that is that they exist externally to what is normally observable by us.

          –Then, provide the evidence
          Matthew 28:1-10
          Mark 16:1-8
          Luke 24:1-35
          John 20:1-10

        • Susan

          That indicates an anti-supernatural bias.

          Does it? Define “supernatural” and support its existence. If you do both, I will accept your claim.

          No one’s done so yet.

        • That indicates an anti-supernatural bias

          And you don’t have one? Is “a ghost did it” as plausible as a natural explanation in your book?

          I was wondering how that ding got in my car. I hadn’t thought of ghosts as a possible cause, but maybe that’s my supernatural bias showing.

        • Triggerman1976

          The difference here, Bob, and I mean this with all sincerity as a reader of your blog for some time, I don’t attempt to hide my bias and I don’t pretend to be fair.

        • OK, that sounds right.

        • I accept the reality that there are non-human, unseen realities that have power.

          Like black holes? This will surprise you, but many atheists are comfortable with the idea of black holes.

        • Triggerman1976

          Close, but no.

        • Tommy

          First you say:

          Except for that whole Jesus rising from the dead thing. That’s a pretty good reason. Just saying.

          And then you say:

          That’s a claim, and you bear the burden of proof for that claim.

          And then I LOL’d.

        • Ignorant Amos

          But, but, but, Triggerman is a university level “high heed yin”. He’s a researcher, marker of papers, scholarly writer, exam assessor, etc.,…at the highest level of course. Surely such a schoolboy error is not feasible.

        • Triggerman1976

          If you knew the difference between those two statements, you’d delete your comment.

        • Greg G.

          The only difference is that you apply one side to others and exempt yourself. But that is only because you cannot bear the burden of proof, nor even the burden of evidence.

        • Tommy

          Why?

    • Susan

      Atheists have no grounds to appeal to anything having any kind of value or moral obligation in any true sense.

      Don’t know what you mean by “true sense”. Apparently, you’re suggesting that belief in god(s) magically provides these grounds.

      For instance, belief in Roman gods, belief in Aztec gods, belief in Allah, and belief in Shinto gods is some sort of grounds for value or moral obligation in some kind of “true sense”.

      But not having this belief is insufficient.

      Sure.

      Maybe you can explain why believing in god(s) does provide grounds to appeal to value or moral obligation.

      I don’t see the connection.

    • Grimlock

      Hey,

      First, let me just note that I don’t think that atheism consistutes a worldview. I wrote about it in another comment: https://disqus.com/home/discussion/crossexamined/why_the_atheist_worldview_beats_the_christian_worldview/#comment-4016104681

      I wonder why you quote an atheist philosopher, when there are other atheist philosophers who don’t share his view? It seems like that provides a sufficient undercutter for your claim.

      At the end you also seem to assert that a worldview can’t be “better”, but I wonder which standards you’re using for measuring which worldview is better than another?

      • Triggerman1976

        I look for people who are at least attempting to be philosophically consistent with their presuppositions and not those who want merely want Christianity-sans-God.

        • Grimlock

          Right. But that in and off itself doesn’t really explain why you only quoted Rosenberg. Why not quote someone like Erik Wielenberg?

        • Triggerman1976

          I could, but he reasons in a circle. Good writer though.

  • Liz

    This is blowing my m