Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sir Isaac Newton was only masquerading as a scientist

Richard Dawkins wrote:
I am starting to think that the onus is on those who espouse 'serious theologians' to nominate at least ONE who is serious enough to be worth bothering to engage. It cannot be John Haught (see here). Nor can it be William Craig, whose idea of a moral theological argument is that infanticide is just fine because you are doing the children a favour by sending them straight to heaven. Nor can it be John Lennox, who masquerades as a scientist while believing Jesus turned water into wine. And now we see that it cannot even be the Archbishop of York. Where are we to turn for a theologian worth arguing with? Who, indeed, are these 'serious theologians' about which we hear so much. And what is this 'serious theology', ignorance of which is held to be so reprehensible?

If believing that Jesus turned water into wine is sufficient to be not taken seriously by Dawkins, then he is requiring that people water Christianity down in order to be taken seriously. 

But C. S. Lewis wrote: 

Do not attempt to water Christianity down. There must be no pretence that you can have it with the Supernatural left out. So far as I can see Christianity is precisely the one religion from which the miraculous cannot be separated. You must frankly argue for supernaturalism from the very outset. . . .
The Christian story is precisely the story of one grand miracle, the Christian assertion being that what is beyond all space and time, what is uncreated, eternal, came into nature, into human nature, descended into His own universe, and rose again, bringing nature up with Him. It is precisely one great miracle. If you take that away there is nothing specifically Christian left.

C.S. Lewis, "Christian Apologetics" (1945) included in God in the Dock (Eerdmans, 1970) 99..

The obvious question, though, is why someone can't be a scientist who believes that Jesus turned water into wine. Science attempts, or so we are told to map the activities of nature, (though I wouldn't dismiss at least the possibility that science might not discover laws of supernature as well, if it pushed on far enough), while a miracle involves the activity of someone who is outside of nature. So, we all know water doesn't turn into wine naturally. An omnipotent being surely would have the power to turn water into wine, and that is the agency through which Jesus presumably did this. I take it that Sir Isaac Newton believed that Jesus turned water into wine. Is Dawkins going to claim that Newton was only masquerading as a scientist since he holds that this is sufficient grounds to say that Lennox is only masquerading as a scientist? 

103 comments:

Albert Ip said...

Of course, we can turn water into wine today, just take a few more ingredients. That's call wine-making. Newton is an alchemist too. He was trying to change lead into gold.

The argument that John Lennox is not worth arguing with has to take into account of what we know today. A miracle that is worth considering must be a violation of some known well established laws of nature, for example, water is turned into wine without any additional ingredients, i.e. some atoms appear spontaneously by the execution of a magic spell.

So far we don't have any evidence any such violation of physical laws ever happened. There are reports or hearsay. But that is all we have. Do we really want to take any theologian seriously?

Doug Benscoter said...

How about Victor Reppert? You seem to be a liberal Christian (not at all an insult). Would Dawkins be willing to debate you? Moreover, would Dawkins be willing to debate a deist, who has no belief whatsoever in Biblical theology?

Hal said...

I have no problem with a scientist believing in a God.

I could care less. Just as I could care less what Dawkins has to say on the matter.

Why spend so much time debunking someone whose philosophizing is not even held in high esteem by many atheists and agnostics?

Dan Gillson said...

I'd like to ask a question I asked earlier in another thread: why does questioning another's beliefs entail that we question another's possession of the world? I.e., why would Richard Dawkins think that scientist who believed that Jesus turned water into wine is unfit to do science, and why would a fundagelical like Ilion deny that an atheist can be logical, even though said atheist might have arrived at his conclusions through logical reasoning? I don't understand it: I think that, for instance, Bob Prokop is perfectly logical, and when it comes to the question of God, we end up on different sides of the aisle. I don't deny him his rationality nor his credentials because the data he gets from his experience is different than mine.

Dan Gillson said...

To continue on: I don't understand Albert's perspective on the world, but that might be because I take everyone seriously. For instance, I take my right-wing libertarian, conspiracy theorist, ba'hai boss seriously, i.e., I listen interestedly to him when he starts talking about anything, and I value his perspective on the world, even though it doesn't even come close to matching up with mine. So my question is: why not take the perspective of a theologian seriously? Why not risk listening interestedly for once in your life?

im-skeptical said...

"So my question is: why not take the perspective of a theologian seriously?"

That's a fair question. However, Victor never takes seriously any argument that Dawkins has ever made, either. It's a two-way street.

David B Marshall said...

Why does anyone take that pompous jackass Richard Dawkins seriously? His history of publication is pathetic compared to Craig's. His most "important ideas" are really just poetic metaphors, not rigorous scientific hypothesis at all: the "selfish gene" and the "meme." (His dissertation was on how chicks feed, as I recall.) And he constantly yammers on about topics on which he has published nothing, read little, and "knows" what is demonstrably untrue. (As I show in The Truth Behind the New Atheism.)

Dawkins' one real talent, I am tempted to say (his books do read well), lies in a kind of popular poetry.

Richard Dawkins is the Mark Studdock of modern science, add a few grey hairs.

B. Prokop said...

"Richard Dawkins is the Mark Studdock of modern science."

Absolutely perfect characterization! Let's just hope/pray RD's personal story ends as well as MS's (without the intervening horrors).

WMF said...

Does my uncle Angus count?

B. Prokop said...

Dawkins is just showing his desperation, because he can't deal with the fact that the overwhelming majority of truly great scientists throughout history have also been, if not Christians then at the least, theists. The only pathetic examples Dawkins can point to on "his side" are scientific wannabees like himself. Here's one case where even Papalinton can't punt to Wikipedia to help him out, lest he come across the "list of Catholic scientists" or the "list of Christian thinkers in science".

Game, set, match. There is no "conflict between religion and science" and no "God of the gaps". Time to move along...

Dan Gillson said...

Dawkins has just been bulverized!

B. Prokop said...

And 'bout time!

Papalinton said...

"Game, set, match. There is no "conflict between religion and science" and no "God of the gaps". Time to move along.."

Then you will love THIS video, Bob.

B. Prokop said...

Try again. I never click on video links (too many viruses).

B. Prokop said...

I'm so bummed... Just heard that Richie Havens died. They didn't make 'em any better than him! The world is now a smaller and a poorer place.

Freedom!

Victor Reppert said...

Well, there is a conflict between some people's religion and science. Of course, these people aren't going to say that science is false, they will just say that evolutionists get science wrong.

Papalinton said...

Victor
"Is Dawkins going to claim that Newton was only masquerading as a scientist since he holds that this is sufficient grounds to say that Lennox is only masquerading as a scientist?"

Of course not. Dawkins as do I accept that Newton probably believed Jesus turned water into wine. Two reasons for that: (1) The society and culture that Newton lived in was be-soaked with Christian malarkey. Christianity was the only metaphysical game in town. Scientists in his time did not have the knowledge, understanding or the sophistication of positing a different metaphysic. Most scientists of the time always sought to reconcile science with religion in the first instance. The man was fully enculturated into the Christian mythos. He could do no other than believe Jesus turned water into wine. (2) While a brilliant scientist Newton was also an alchemist; so to him the idea of turning water into wine would not have seemed so strange to him. Alchemy attempted all sorts of weird and wonderful experiments, probably using the mystical and mysterious hidden numbers, and formulas and incantations supposedly peppered throughout the Bible. Every other person living in his society believed Jesus actually and factually turned water into wine. It was the conventional wisdom of the day.

Three hundred years on we know so much more of the natural world, both inside and outside the brain. John Lennox has no reasonable excuse to think Jesus turned water into wine today. Lennox is definitely masquerading as a scientist. Well, he is not a scientist, he is a mathematician. Lennox can see and foretell the teleological message in the numbers just as any 'good' numerologist can. With his penchant for religious woo I warrant Lennox is right in there with his prodigious knowledge of the occultic significance of numbers.
Lennox's mathematical equation for belief in supernatural superstition is bound up in this equation:

2 + 2 + Jesus = 5

Give me a break. [Now Bob, this is quality bulverism]

B. Prokop said...

No, Papalinton. What it is, is classic you. You have not advanced an inch in your understanding of anything since the first posting of yours that I read here many months (years?) ago. Christ's turning of the water into wine at the wedding in Cana was not some sort of alchemist's trick. It was not some unknown property of physical laws that we now know to be untrue. It was a miracle. The gospel writer John knew damn well that the act was a violation of all known natural processes. He even emphasized this fact. The witnesses to the event recognized this. The first readers of the Gospel recognized this, as have every generation of readers since.

That's precisely why John calls this action a sign. I'm past expecting you to ever learn anything new, or to rescue your mind from its self-made prison, but I write this so that others reading this blog can see how foolish you look. You write, "Three hundred years on we know so much more of the natural world, both inside and outside the brain. John Lennox has no reasonable excuse to think Jesus turned water into wine today," as though it wasn't recognized as a miraculous event even in the First Century A.D.

What you've never done, Papalinton, is to offer the slightest reason to believe that miracles are impossible. All you ever do is to define them out of existence, as though that solved anything. Until you face up to this gaping hole in your self-styled "logic" (although it is anything but logic), you will continue to spin your wheels in place, and never get anywhere.

May our glorious improvement in mankind's understanding of natural processes within creation continue for years to come! I'm all for it. I applaud it. But no conceivable advance on that front will change the fact that a miracle is not supposed to be in accordance with physical laws. If it was, it wouldn't be a miracle. There are no "gaps" for science to fill, no unexplained events to clarify. By its very nature, science can neither explain nor refute the miraculous - it doesn't have anything to say on the subject.

Why can't you get that through your head?

Victor Reppert said...

Papalinton: What by Lennox have you read, since you know so much about him?

Victor Reppert said...

Why assume that a Christian mathematician is a numerologist.

Holy Toledo.

Papalinton said...

Victor
"Papalinton: What by Lennox have you read, since you know so much about him?"

How many would I need to read to get a gist of his philosophy?

Papalinton said...

"Why assume that a Christian mathematician is a numerologist."

Who said I assumed? It is a reasonable proposition that some one who believes in superstitious woo and netherworld entities and supernaturalism AND fiddles with numbers, trumpeting their great order, regularity, organization, method, system; symmetry, and uniformity [pick a few synonyms] as the product of a God-mind or pneumatic spectral numen is surely a numerologist by definition alone, no?

How else could one describe a mathematical Christian?

B. Prokop said...

"How else could one describe a mathematical Christian?"

For starters, how about calling him a mathematician who is also a Christian? My auto mechanic is a Christian. Can I not call him an auto mechanic who is also a Christian? Why should being one disqualify a person from being the other?

grodrigues said...

@Papalinton:

"It is a reasonable proposition that some one who believes in superstitious woo and netherworld entities and supernaturalism AND fiddles with numbers, trumpeting their great order, regularity, organization, method, system; symmetry, and uniformity [pick a few synonyms] as the product of a God-mind or pneumatic spectral numen is surely a numerologist by definition alone, no?"

John Lennox does not "fiddle with numbers" because his expertise is not in Number theory, but in Group theory, e.g. see his books Subnormal subgroups of groups or The Theory of Infinite Soluble Groups.

Second, numerologist has a definite meaning which you know full well, since in a previous post you said and I quote "Lennox can see and foretell the teleological message in the numbers just as any 'good' numerologist can. With his penchant for religious woo I warrant Lennox is right in there with his prodigious knowledge of the occultic significance of numbers" from which it follows that you were lying in the first post, because Lennox is not a numerologist, and you are lying now, when you backpedal and define numerologist at your convenience as a "Christian mathematician". I gauge everyone here already knows you as an ignorant and an idiot. But a a sleazy scumbag of a liar? Are you proud of yourself? Are you happy at the kind of person you have become?

B. Prokop said...

"But a a sleazy scumbag of a liar?"

That, and a pathetic defender of the despicable tactics of the so-called Westboro Baptist Church. He has yet to repudiate his defense, nay his enthusiastic approbation, of those who would disrupt religious services for personal political purposes.

C'mon, Papalinton. You know that you're better than your bankrupt professed worldview, and I hope you're better than these true scumbags whom you so stubbornly and inexplicably defend.

Papalinton said...

grodrigues
You don't even know what a numerologist is, do you?

grodrigues said...

@Papalinton:

"You don't even know what a numerologist is, do you?"

More intellectual dishonesty from you?

Oh I know pretty well what it the word "numerologist" means. It is you who is engaging in deliberate obfuscation and intellectual dishonesty.

I also know what a soluble group or a normal subgroup is, and I also know quantum mechanics, and have read Sade (an imoral monster who cannot write his way out of a paper bag) and Beckett (a committed atheist and a writer of true genius) and a whole host of other things. But I also know that Christians are admonished to not lay their pearls before swine, so excuse me if I follow the sage advice of our Lord.

Papalinton said...

Victor
Put grodrigues out of his misery. Tell him what numerology is all about. And while you're at it instruct him in the use of irony, satire, sarcasm and ridicule.


Papalinton said...

grodrigues
What is intellectually dishonest in highlighting the primitive supernatural superstitious woo that you subscribe to? What is intellectually dishonest about dismissing unsubstantiated fable?

Intellectual dishonesty comes from those who not recognize that their exclusive claim to religious sovereignty is a crock of pretentious tripe. Do you acknowledge the religious truth of Hinduism? Around a billion people do. Do you accept that God also chose Mohammed to write down his sacred words of Islam, an updated version penned some 600 years later following his initial trial run with Christianity? A billion people steadfastly believe so today. Do you think Scientologists are loony? Is it not intellectually dishonest to accord Scientology the grace it deserves when it is recognised in the US as a bona fide religion and has been granted 'religion status' exactly the same value and status that Christianity enjoys? AND you probably believe Mormons have got the wrong end of the stick withe their Book of Mormon. What makes you so arrogant and superior in declaring Christianity as the one true and only real superstitious woo when the reality paints of a very diametrical picture?

Beg my pardon if I don't follow you on a fool's errand into the labyrinthine mire of religious superstitious nonsense replete with netherworld filled with the eternal undead. To do so would be the greatest of intellectual dishonesty.

Papalinton said...

Bob
That priest was going to spew bile and offensive ideas about gay people. Your defending that form of homophobic behaviour is an outrage. And in the sanctity of a church no less. This is the kind of intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the catholic church that has now turned around and bitten bitten itself on the arse.

So which is the greater moral good? The homophobic tirade that was to be unleashed on a compliant and ignorant captive congregation or the filming of the church's unwarranted and egregious attack on a sector of law-abiding and committed citizens of good character? It must be remembered that all priests were instructed to propagandize the homophobic message to its 80,000 parishioners.

Bob, your morality is not of this earth. There is no grounded decency in your defense of religious homosexual bigotry.

Papalinton said...

corrigendum

"Is it not intellectually dishonest to accord Scientology the grace it deserves when it is recognised in the US as a bona fide religion and has been granted 'religion status' exactly the same value and status that Christianity enjoys? "

should read

Is it not intellectually dishonest not to accord Scientology the grace it deserves when it is recognised in the US as a bona fide religion and has been granted 'religion status' exactly the same value and status that Christianity enjoys?

B. Prokop said...

So let it be known to all that, by his own admission no less, there is not a nanometer's bit of difference between Papalinton and the Westboro Baptist "Church". They both espouse the identical tactics, but I guess Papalinton will defend himself on the grounds that his aims are somehow "higher". So, the ends justify the means, right?

Just keep that in mind when Papalinton starts berating others for their morality. He has surrendered all credibility on that front.

Samwell Barnes said...

Why should we take Dawkins seriously when he states that a religious upbringing is tantamount, if not worse, than child abuse?

im-skeptical said...

Samwell,

Why should we take you seriously when you (as well as most of the people here) make no effort to understand what Dawkins has said or represent it fairly?

Hal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hal said...

Zach,

"Dawkins is such an intellectual midget why are people wasting their time with this BS?"

Good question.

It is a shame it is so hard to find online discussions equivalent to the quality of this one over at Victor's other site: Dangerous Idea 2

Papalinton said...

Bob
Think before you lash out wildly and indistiminately against those who for legitimate reasons do not abide the Shamanism you subscribe to.

The person who sought to film that part of the service as a proper record of the event IIRC, was himself gay, a parishioner and a member of that church.

Your pious outrage is unwarranted and not deserving of consideration.

Those that sympathize let alone agree with your sentiments on this matter would equally be closeted bigots masquerading under the pretentious nature of Christian morality and ethics.

I'm sorry but I can't be clearer than that on defending the rights of individuals against institutionally-derived discrimination towards honest and decent members of the community.

B. Prokop said...

One of the weakest "defenses" I've ever heard, Papalinton - hardly deserving of the name. Let's let others on this site decide. Who's in favor of people disrupting an ongoing worship service to advance one's personal political agenda? And if you are, how is such behavior any different from that of the infamous "League of the Godless", who broke up Orthodox services in Russia on the grounds they were holding back the Revolution? Or to stick to current events, the vile acts of the Westboro Baptist Church (sic) who routinely break in on funerals, etc., to provide a platform for their own views?

C'mon, I wanna hear from you. Who out there thinks this is a good idea?

Papalinton said...

Zach
" Dawkins is such an intellectual midget why are people wasting their time with this BS?"

Just saying it, as if in wishful prayer, doesn't make it so. It seems pretty much a matter of record that Dawkins has seriously rattled the religious cage. Not only is he a prominent scientist, he is an inducted member of the Royal Society [for his tremendous contribution to science] but also an inducted member of the Royal Society for Literature.

But then again the big achievements of one is underachievement to woo-meisters.

Papalinton said...

Bob
Even the Communists knew the league of the godless was not a good idea. It was a Communist response that operated for about a dozen years. From memory it ran during the mid-twenties to the mid-thirties and then was disbanded. You make it sound as though the league of the godless operated for the whole duration of the Communist period in the USSR and misleadingly conflate it to a central long-standing doctrine. And you know that that is not true, so I fail to see why you would propse it so. Nothing could be further from the truth.

One will understand why Bod imagines filming a segment of a service as a violation against God when one understands the history of the church's hegemonic domination over the conduct of ritualized practice.

One need not go further than Harry Cox Jr, former leading American theologian, professor of divinity, Harvard Divinity School, who astutely noted:

"Sermons remain one of the last forms of public discourse where it is culturally forbidden to talk back."

B. Prokop said...

"You make it sound as though the league of the godless operated for the whole duration of the Communist period in the USSR and misleadingly conflate it to a central long-standing doctrine."

How in the world did I do that? You pulled that one out of thin air. I never made the least reference to duration. I mentioned them as a type of activity, i.e., one similar to the person's that you so highly praise and condone.

Samwell Barnes said...

im-"skeptical,"

An article posted just yesterday:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2312813/Richard-Dawkins-Forcing-religion-children-child-abuse-claims-atheist-professor.html#ixzz2RBxydgaV

"What a child should never be taught is that you are a Catholic or Muslim child, therefore that is what you believe. That's child abuse."

"There are shades of being abused by a priest, and I quoted an example of a woman in America who wrote to me saying that when she was seven years old she was sexually abused by a priest in his car. At the same time a friend of hers, also seven, who was of a Protestant family, died, and she was told that because her friend was Protestant she had gone to Hell and will be roasting in Hell forever. She told me of those two abuses, she got over the physical abuse; it was yucky but she got over it. But the mental abuse of being told about Hell, she took years to get over."

Is Dawkins misrepresenting himself?

As to why intelligent theists and nontheists alike don't generally take Dawkins seriously, the reason is simple: The man is a dumb, dogmatic toad of a person who doesn't engage religious thought in an honest manner.



In The God Delusion, he managed to misrepresent every single one of Thomas Aquinas' Five Ways. This indicates a complete lack of integrity and seriousness. He also made a series of non-responses to other arguments for God's existence, which indicates precisely the same thing. Philosophers of all stripes have been pointing out these elementary errors ever since publication.

The "Central Argument" of his book is not only structurally invalid, but hopelessly unsound as well. It is an embarrassing performance. The premises are completely confused; he understands nothing about the metaphysical presuppositions that underwrite them, nor does he care to or see any need to. Philosophers of many stripes have been pointing out these errors for years.

But, to this day, not only has he not availed himself of the responses of his critics, but he also refuses correction on every philosophical and theological point, and remains hopelessly dishonest. What's worse, he labels his critics "fleas," and insists that no good replies have been given.


That's reason enough to write him off as a clown. However, the man makes it easier due to his social antics. Take his transparently bad reasons for avoiding a debate with Craig, and of course the piffle about a religious upbringing being - in principle - an instance of child abuse.

What's interesting about his "religion=child abuse" position is that he has nothing even remotely approaching sufficient evidence for it. Therefore, he takes it on something he has made a career of hating: "Faith."

This takes on a hilarious overtone when combined with the following quotes:

"A delusion is something that people believe in despite a total lack of evidence." – Richard Dawkins

"Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence." – Richard Dawkins

"The meme for blind faith secures its own perpetuation by the simple unconscious expedient of discouraging rational inquiry." – Richard Dawkins




Anyone who is serious about Truth can only ever see Dawkins as an irrational bigot.

Papalinton said...

Samwell barnes
"A delusion is something that people believe in despite a total lack of evidence." – Richard Dawkins

"Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence." – Richard Dawkins

"The meme for blind faith secures its own perpetuation by the simple unconscious expedient of discouraging rational inquiry." – Richard Dawkins"


What's wrong with these? They are all sound observations as far as any reasonable person can determine. It's the theological definition of what ought to constitute 'evidence' that is problematic. Hearsay, and the anonymous writers and unknown origins of every NT text [apart from the seven genuine one's of Paul who never met or knew of an earthly Jesus at all], all written some several centuries after the supposed event, simply don't meet the minimum criterion for determining prima facie evidence. It only constitutes as 'evidence' in the biblical sense, not in an historical investigatory sense.

For someone who is supposed to have a monumental program for saving the whole universe, Jesus seems to have been either an illiterate nong , or dyslexic shmuck, equally attended by 12 like-minded illiterates that simply disappear off the face of the earth not long after Jesus's body was ditched in the local dump.

B. Prokop said...

Papalinton's latest comment clearly demonstrates why no one should ever take a single word of his seriously.

He refers to Jesus as "illiterate", despite the fact that we see Him reading in Luke, Chapter 4, and writing in John, Chapter 8. Silly me, and here I thought that was the very definition of "literate".

He uses the same adjective to describe the Apostles, despite the fact that one of them, Matthew, was a tax collector, who surely must have been literate in order to keep the required records for such a position. And John is the author of what must be one of the greatest works in world literature. (Even the most diehard atheist would have to acknowledge the literary value of his Gospel.)

He goes on to characterize the Apostles as "like minded" despite their enormous differences, discernible even from the New Testament alone. For an excellent discussion of their diversity, read Pope Emeritus Benedict's excellent (and quite thin, so it's a quick read) book The Apostles.

Disappear off the face of the Earth? Boy, now he's really downing the atheist kool-aid.

But one of the biggest howlers is Papalinton's assertion that the New Testament books were "all written some several centuries after the supposed event". Sorry, but I can't help myself here: Ha, ha, ha, ha!!! Is he unaware that Saint Ignatius of Antioch, verifiably writing around the end of the First Century A.D., references the New Testament scriptures as already in existence? (And who also, by the way, writes of meeting the Apostles, who according to Papalinton have "disappeared off the face of the Earth".) Even the most skeptical of Biblical scholars place the books all within the first 70 years after the Resurrection, and several make a respectable case for at least two of the Gospels dating back to no more than 20 years after the events described. Not to mention that it's a pretty good trick for Paul to write all of those epistles centuries after his own death. How's that supposed to work?

As you can see, when Papalinton isn't either plagiarizing or lifting from Wikipedia, he just makes his stuff up!

Papalinton said...

Bob
You have been imbibing too much Apologetical wine.

"But onto my point. Even though there may well have been eyewitnesses alive some 35-40 years after Jesus’ death, there is no guarantee – or, I would argue, no reason to think – that any of them were consulted by the authors of the Gospels when writing their accounts. The eyewitnesses would have been Aramaic speaking peasants almost entirely from rural Galilee. Mark was a highly educated, Greek speaking Christian living in an urban area outside of Palestine (Rome?), who never traveled, probably, to Galilee. So the existence of eyewitnesses would not have much if any effect on his Gospel.

The same is true, even more so, with the later Gospels. Luke begins his Gospel by saying that eyewitnesses started passing along the oral traditions he had heard (Luke 1:1-4), but he never indicates that he had ever talked to one. He has simply heard stories that had been around from the days of the eyewitnesses. And if the standard dating of his Gospel – and Matthew’s – is correct, they were writing about 50 years or more after Jesus’ death. John’s Gospel was even later."


You can read the rest of Professor Erhman's reply on the question of eyewitnesses and the Gospel writers HERE.

Bob you will also be interested in the latest dating of the scraps of papyri, the earliest of the NT texts written HERE. It is a chart of all the scraps found and dated. Even the earliest P52 and P47 are from the second century, which puts them some 80 -180 years after Jesus's supposed death. By far the bulk are papyri from the 3-5th century CE. This is the Hanson classification.

So wherever you have been gleaning your information from is clearly bunkum about the dates of the earliest texts.

"Even the most skeptical of Biblical scholars place the books all within the first 70 years after the Resurrection"
These are fudging apologists making the biggest of wishful guesses.

Papalinton said...

"These are fudging apologists making the biggest of wishful guesses."

In follow-up, any timing of the writing of the gospels before the dated papyri manuscripts set down in the Hanson list, as is the case with the Apologetical wishlisting of all gospels being written [by, as it must be pointed out, unknown authors and of unknown origins] before the end of the 1stC CE, is pure speculation.

B. Prokop said...

Hmmm... In Papalinton's dictionary, next to "apologetical" must be the definition "something I disagree with".

His absurd statement that any dating of the New Testament prior to the 3rd Century A.D. is "pure speculation" and "wishful guesses" completely ignores the incontrovertible fact that Saint Polycarp Of Smyrna, in a letter verifiably dated to between A.D. 120 and 140, is absolutely soaked in references to New Testament writing, to include a direct quotation from First Peter, which everyone agrees is one of the very last NT books to be written. So the entire NT must have been extant prior to this letter.

Also, the vast majority of the the writings of Saint Ignatius of Antioch cannot be explained (unless you believe in time travel) without the NT preceding them. And he was martyred during the reign of the Emperor Trajan (A.D. 98-117). So we have a "latest of all possible dates" for the New Testament to have been written in its entirety as approximately A.D. 100.

Paplinton, get out of the atheist echo chamber and read some real apologetics.. er, I mean scholarship.

B. Prokop said...

The important thing for anyone other than the incapable-of-learning-anything-new Papalinton to get out of this exchange is that the atheist account of the Early Church and the origin of the New Testament requires them to be oblivious to actual evidence (conveniently labeling anything they don't like as "apologetics").

They cannot compromise on this, because once they admit that the Gospels really are eyewitness accounts, and that the general narrative of Acts and the epistles is reflective of actual events, they will be forced to admit that there just might be "something to all this" - that they might actually be wrong. This they above all cannot stand.

So they airily wave their hands over all real evidence, and unskeptically embrace the most improbable, even fantastical alternatives to what actually occurred (all the while labeling themselves "skeptics" without the least hint of irony). Thus we have laughable explanations for the Resurrection: the women went to the wrong tomb, the Apostles stole the body, Jesus didn't actually die, but dragged his wounded self out of the tomb and showed up at the Apostles' door, mass hallucination, pure invention, etc., ad nauseum.

It would be funny, were it not so pathetic. It's hard to laugh at someone whom you pity so much.

im-skeptical said...

Samwell,

"An article posted just yesterday:"

A right-wing diatribe from an biased, unreliable source. There is nothing new in that article. Read his book, understand the points he is making, and put his statements in context.

"Is Dawkins misrepresenting himself?"

No, but you are.

"The man is a dumb, dogmatic toad of a person who doesn't engage religious thought in an honest manner."

So would you like to go up against him in a one-on-one test of intelligence? He's not a philosopher, and he makes no bones about it. You think he's dumb for that reason, but you haven't bothered to read his material for yourself to understand what he's saying. Instead you get your 'information' fellow Dawkins haters. But the truth is you don't really know what you're talking about.

BenYachov said...

>That's a fair question. However, Victor never takes seriously any argument that Dawkins has ever made, either. It's a two-way street.

Dawkins has never put forth any serious argument against Theism. At best he has likely put forth good arguments against the unscientific polemics anti-Evolutionist Young Earth Creationists. But that is it. That is his sole skill set. Thus Old earth Creationists and Theistic Evolutionists yawn at him.

There is no point to him or his brain dead followers.

Papalinton said...

" ... to include a direct quotation from First Peter, ...."


"Most scholars today conclude that Peter was not the author of the two epistles that are attributed to him and that they were written by two different authors.[1][2][3]"
"Pseudepigraphy written around 70-90
If the epistle [1 Peter] is taken to be pseudepigraphal, the majority scholarly view, according to Raymond E. Brown[4] is that it should be dated to 70-90, an opinion shared by scholars such as Eric Eve (Oxford Bible Commentary, p. 1263) and John H. Elliott (The Anchor Bible Dictionary, art. "First Epistle of Peter"),[5] and by Bart D. Ehrman.[6] Stephen L. Harris, on the other hand, holds that most scholars argue for an even later date, such as during the persecution of Domitian (c 95) or of Trajan (c 112).[7]
[edit]"


"The great majority of scholarship agrees that Peter could not have written this letter.[18] For example, textual critic Daniel Wallace (who maintains that Peter was the author) writes that, for most experts, "the issue of authorship is already settled, at least negatively: the apostle Peter did not write this letter" and that "the vast bulk of NT scholars adopts this perspective without much discussion"[19] Werner K├╝mmel exemplifies this position, stating, "It is certain, therefore, that 2 Pet does not originate with Peter, and this is today widely acknowledged",[20] as does Stephen L Harris, who states that "[v]irtually no authorities defend the Petrine authorship of 2 Peter."[21] Evangelical scholars D. A. Carson and Douglas J. Moo wrote that "most modern scholars do not think that the apostle Peter wrote this letter. Indeed, for no other letter [2 Peter] in the New Testament is there a greater consensus that the person who is named as the author could not, in fact, be the author."[22] Despite this broad denial by the majority of modern scholars, other scholars view the arguments of the majority of scholarship to be largely inconclusive.[23] Likewise, Stanley Porter points to the fact that 2 Peter's acceptance to the canon by early Christians presumes that they were sure that Peter wrote it.[24] In the end, Carson and Moo point to the controversy reflective of this issue, stating, "We are therefore left with the choice of accepting the letter's prima facie claim to have been written by the apostle Peter or viewing it as a forgery hardly deserving of canonical status."[25]
[edit]"
[See HERE.]

So quoting a letter from an unknown source written by an unknown author now counts as 'evidence'. Riiight.
Tell me again, Bob, did Saint Polycarp Of Smyrna know for a fact that 1 Peter was written by Peter himself? Or did he make an apologetical a priori assumption about its provenance?

POW!
Shot down in flames.

Samwell Barnes said...

im-"skeptical,"

>>"A right-wing diatribe from an biased, unreliable source. There is nothing new in that article. Read his book, understand the points he is making, and put his statements in context."


Hrmm...okay, then let us let Dawkins speak for himself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xT3d5RFNATA

Key quote: "I'm trying to say, 'When you hear a child labeled as a 'Christian' child simply because his parents are Christian, that is child abuse.'"

Tissue for that egg on your face? I ask again: Is Dawkins misrepresenting himself?


(By the way, I've read every section of his book in which he discusses the scientific/philosophical argumentation for and against God's existence. That constitutes the core of his book, and it's where this discussion over God begins and ends. I have precisely zero interest in reading about how much he dislikes religion. Hitchens and Harris were enough for me on that point.)



>>>"So would you like to go up against him in a one-on-one test of intelligence?"

Depends on what you mean by "intelligence." Biological knowledge? No. Philosophical acumen? Yes. Mathematical, logical, and spatial aptitude? Yes. My twelve-year-old nephew would likely trounce him in that department.


"He's not a philosopher, and he makes no bones about it"

You do realize that the only possible way to argue soundly against God's existence is to engage in philosophy, and that the core argument of The God Delusion - the Ultimate Boeing 747 argument, upon which the whole integrity of his book rests - is a philosophical one, right?


Dawkins continually plunges his hands into philosophy, and the result is invariably pathetic. I don't care that he probably doesn't know what "philosophy" as a discipline even is. He should know better.


>>>"You think he's dumb for that reason"

I think he's dumb because, like the New Atheist movement in general, he publicly runs his mouth on topics on which he is transparently out of his depth, refuses correction by trained professionals, and pathologically thinks he's smarter than he actually is.


>>>"But the truth is you don't really know what you're talking about."


No, the truth is, you've just demonstrated once again that you are nothing but a "polite" version of Papalinton - an incorrigible ignoramus - and as such are an utter waste of time. The Ilion approach is the correct approach with you.

B. Prokop said...

In your dreams. Both First and Second Peter were indeed authored by the Apostle himself, as is the testimony of the Early Church. To quote Bart Ehrman in their company is almost a category confusion. Besides, I have a strong suspicion you had no idea who Saint Polycarp was until I brought him up, right? Go on, you can admit it. It took you nearly a full day of frantic internet searching before you could come up with your damp squib of a reply. Shot down? Hardly.

You'll need to do a lot better than cutting and pasting from online articles you don't understand. But then, that's been your modus operandi all along, hasn't it?

Papalinton said...

Bob
A couple of things:

"It took you nearly a full day of frantic internet searching before you could come up with your damp squib of a reply. Shot down? Hardly."

Be reminded that I am about 12-15 hours ahead of you in any one day blogging as I do about 30 Km [or about 20 miles as you would say] south from the city centre of Canberra, Australia, as the crow flies. Bob, you gorget I was a card carrying Christian for many years. there is little of a general nature about Christianity I don't know, not even Polycarp, my friend.

"Both First and Second Peter were indeed authored by the Apostle himself, as is the testimony of the Early Church. "

Not even close. I think the issue here is more likely that you have restricted your reading regime around theologians who masquerade as Biblical historians. That is understandable when one looks at the totality of the study of Bible scripture. The focus for some 1700 years of Biblical scholarship was principally driven by the great desire to rationalize, harmonise and syncretize an anthological compendium of various traditional but separate tales, to massage into some semblance of seamless historicity of a number [the few canonized stories selected from hundreds, perhaps thousands] of diverse, disparate, and often contentious and inconsistent folkloric accounts. The corollary to this focus equally was to ameliorate the glaring fatal and irreconcilable inconsistent accounts as best believers could manage. Much of this Apologetic has now been unravelling since the rise of German biblical and textual criticism become a tour de force. That process continues to this day. It has some time to run yet before theologians recapitulate and affirm that the anthology of the Bible is indeed based on allegory and metaphor, with a tincture of historical relevance embedded in its backdrop.

When one compares the corpus of books, manuscripts and legends of the Greek or Roman gods, or the legend of Wotan, or Osiris and Isis and Horus, Ganesha and Shiva, one begins to get a great appreciation and understanding of the right and proper place of the Bible and its cultural contribution setting down in posterity the great struggle of humanity with the vicissitudes of the human condition.

Bob did you know that of the 27 books in the NT, twenty of them are the writings of unknown authors and of unknown origins. Only seven of the supposed epistles have been positively identified to have been written by Paul. And yet Paul neither knew of nor met an earthly Jesus. In fact Paul makes absolutely no reference to the gospels or anything about Jesus or his life at all. As far as Paul tells us his Jesus lived and died in the spiritual world and never physically set foot on earth that he knows or speaks of. So with Paul's writings out the way, not one of the pseudepigraphic writers can be trusted as 'evidential' sources. Not one.

No evidence here, I'm afraid. Not even the names of the writers or where 1 Peter and 2 Peter was written.

Here endeth the lesson.

BenYachov said...

> POW!
Shot down in flames.

Paps you originally claimed QUOTE" Even the earliest P52 and P47 are from the second century, which puts them some 80 -180 years after Jesus's supposed death. By far the bulk are papyri from the 3-5th century CE. This is the Hanson classification. "END QUOTE

But Bart puts the letter to Peter around 70 to 90 A.D. which puts it about 40 years after the Death of Jesus?

So which is it? Raymond Brown dates most of the NT after 70 AD but still puts most of it in the First Century.

Then there is this:
http://kbonikowsky.wordpress.com/2011/01/15/factioid-oldest-piece-of-the-new-testament/

Rylands Library Papyrus P52 is the oldest fragment of the Gospel of John(which scholars liberal or conservative) all believe was the latest. It's been dated between 117AD to 125AD and was found in Egypt.

Which is interesting since the providence of this Gospel was Asia Minor. That means this has to be a copy.

John was attested to by Didascalia Apostolorum a primitive Jewish Christian writing and Papias.

Even Fr. Raymond Brown gives John a first century date.

Wow Paps you will print just any old shit won't you?

I leave you to Bob. Your an idiot.

BenYachov said...

>The focus for some 1700 years of Biblical scholarship was principally driven by the great desire to rationalize, harmonise and syncretize an anthological compendium of various traditional but separate tales....

That is an odd statement coming from you? Are you suggesting Bible scholarship began in 300AD?




BenYachov said...

Oh one more thing?

>Despite this broad denial by the majority of modern scholars, other scholars view the arguments of the majority of scholarship to be largely inconclusive.[23] Likewise, Stanley Porter points to the fact that 2 Peter's acceptance to the canon by early Christians presumes that they were sure that Peter wrote it.[24]

So even Bart admits the Early Church accepted it as scripture? How does this not back Bob's claims about the testimony?

Weird Paps is quoting Bart? Don't I recall when I first encountered you over at biologos you seemed to be a JESUS MYTHER?


@Bob I softened him up for you if you want to step in.

BenYachov said...

I can't help myself all of this is so fascinating!

>http://www.dts.edu/read/wallace-new-testament-manscript-first-century/

"On 1 February 2012, I debated Bart Ehrman at UNC Chapel Hill on whether we have the wording of the original New Testament today. This was our third such debate, and it was before a crowd of more than 1000 people. I mentioned that seven New Testament papyri had recently been discovered—six of them probably from the second century and one of them probably from the first. These fragments will be published in about a year."-Dan Wallace.

Good stuff!

Papalinton said...

The following is the kind of skullduggery shenanigans from woo-meisters aided and abetted by conservative Apologists like Wallace that compromises genuine scholarship into biblical research. The actions of Apologists are desperate and fraught with anxiety as their tenuous grip on biblical historicity slips from their grasp.

1. "But Bart puts the letter to Peter around 70 to 90 A.D. which puts it about 40 years after the Death of Jesus?"[Yachov]

No, Erhman does put the letter of Peter around 70-90AD. Put in its rightful context, Erhman says:

'The same is true, even more so, with the later Gospels. Luke begins his Gospel by saying that eyewitnesses started passing along the oral traditions he had heard (Luke 1:1-4), but he never indicates that he had ever talked to one. He has simply heard stories that had been around from the days of the eyewitnesses. And IF the standard dating of his Gospel – and Matthew’s – is correct, they were writing about 50 years or more after Jesus’ death. John’s Gospel was even later. [My italics and bolding]

Erhamn doesn't concede the early dating for one moment. If, if, if is the substantive qualification. IF one accepts 'the standard dating' [which is highly problematical and questionable to Erhman and the genuine bona fide Biblical historians and not just Apologists peddling their idiological agenda] then the earliest would be about 50 years [and inferring more reasonably that this date is dubious at best.]

2. ">Despite this broad denial by the majority of modern scholars, other scholars view the arguments of the majority of scholarship to be largely inconclusive.[23] Likewise, Stanley Porter points to the fact that 2 Peter's acceptance to the canon by early Christians presumes that they were sure that Peter wrote it.[24]"
So even Bart admits the Early Church accepted it as scripture?
[Yachov]


In the first instance this quote has absolutely nothing to do with Erhman in either personal involvement in or relationship to it. Secondly, whether Porter believed in this comment or not is not the point. The point highlights how Apologists have been duped into thinking the two Petrine letters were genuine purely on the false and utterly mistaken basis they ASSUMED Peter wrote them. The fact of the matter is that we all know that was a false and jejune presumption to make, fully in keeping with Apologetical wishlisting.

CONT.

Papalinton said...

CONT.
3. ""I mentioned that seven New Testament papyri had recently been discovered—six of them probably from the second century and one of them probably from the first. These fragments will be published in about a year."-Dan Wallace." [Yachov]

This is scurrilous nonsense in the extreme. Erhman has a very detailed recount of the shenanigans by Wallace about this supposed 'first century papayri scrap of Mark'. In part Erhman writes:

"In effect what he [Wallace] was saying was that contrary to my claim, there was in fact a copy of Mark from near the time of original, that he had evidence that would counteract my views. But, in effect what he is saying is: “I won’t tell you anything about this evidence! Trust me on this one!”
I really don’t think a public debate is the place to raise evidence that you are not willing to talk about, and that if you aren’t willing to state what exactly the evidence is, then you shouldn’t bring it up (I have evidence, but I won’t tell you about it).
Moreover, I don’t understand why there is so much secrecy about this “manuscript.” Why NOT tell us where it was found, who found it, how extensive it is, who has examined it, what his grounds for dating it were, whether his views have been independently corroborated? Is it so more people will buy the book when it comes out? Is this secrecy driven by a profit motive? If not, why the secrecy?

Dan has been repeatedly asked for more information, and he will not give it. I don’t know if he owns the manuscript, if he has seen the manuscript, if it is his book that will contain information about the manuscript, or anything else. The one piece of information that I have been able to gather is that we are not talking about a large manuscript with lots of text on it (say, several chapters, let alone all of the Gospel of Mark). It appears to be a scrap of papyrus with parts of a few verses on it.
The other thing I will say about this entire business is that publishing such a scrap as a book rather than in an academic journal where claims can be evaluated and reassessed by real scholars in the field is a very poor way to promote scholarship."


Wallace's actions characterizes the behaviour of Apologists who persistently compromise their academic status looking for the 'miracle' knock-out punch in support of their flailing and loosening grasp on reality. For Wallace its not about the pursuit of truth. It is the folly of one-up-man-ship stupidity.

Papalinton said...

Corrigendum
No, Erhman does put the letter of Peter around 70-90AD. Put in its rightful context, Erhman says:

should read

No, Erhman does notput the letter of Peter around 70-90AD. Put in its rightful context, Erhman says:

Papalinton said...

One can read Erhman's full response of Wallace's shenanigans HERE.

B. Prokop said...

Has anyone besides me ever noticed that you have to measure Papalinton's "contributions" to this site by the foot? In this case, he's taken about one and a half feet to basically expand on his true point, which was contained in this one phrase: "conservative Apologists like Wallace that compromises genuine scholarship".

Note the false dichotomy he's made between apologetics and "genuine scholarship". That says it all - no need to read the rest, because he's poisoned the well from the start.

And I think that's what he's done in his own mind - "poisoned the well" for any source outside of his rabidly atheist echo chamber, lest any stray thought from the outside world get through.

Ben, don't get angry at this guy. Pray for him. At this point, I'm beginning to seriously think that what he needs is not more argument, but an exorcist. (I really am serious.)

HyperEntity111 said...

Personally, I now think Paps is a troll. It's really not possible for a normal person to be that stupid. I suggest people go back to ignoring him.

B. Prokop said...

I think you're right, Hyper. Every now and then I take up the "Paps Challenge" for a month or two, but then he writes something so egregiously stupid that it's almost impossible to resist responding. I'll admit that's not a good thing. As I've said before, it's like the drunk who searches for his lost car keys under the lamppost despite knowing he dropped them elsewhere, because "the light's better here". It's just so easy to blow Papalinton out of the water. Guys like Walter are a much tougher (and ultimately more satisfying) opponent. (Not that I consider you to be an "opponent" in a negative sense, Walter. Please don't get that impression.)

Papalinton said...

Bob
Now that you have exhausted every Apologetical argument you have been brought up on, you now resort to the traditional tactics of woo-meisters since Jesus was only a twinkle in Mary's eye, attack the messenger, smear his character.

Following innumerable intellectual maulings, Hypersensitivity111, the veritable opportunist he is, imagines he now sees an opening to 'even the score' with me for finding him not only bereft but shortchanged of any intellectual or scholastic value whatsoever. He simply cannot abide the fact of being so badly roasted on previous occasions. This is clearly indicated by his inane potshot right in my back, not having the strength of character to debate front-on-front:

"Personally, I now think Paps is a troll. It's really not possible for a normal person to be that stupid. I suggest people go back to ignoring him."

A sniveling pathetic excuse for a man(?), A coward, really. Not much to write home about. Just religious fodder of the lowest quality.

But you Bob, I find it out of character that you side with such non-entities. It seems that stress coupled with having bumped up against the very outer limits of one's own educational and scholastic experience and understanding [being as it is, fully prescribed within Apologetically-restrained boundaries] on the broader subject of religion, does indeed lower the usual barriers between naturally strange bedfellows as you and Hypersensitivity.

But then when they have nothing left in the tank, odd bedfellows do seek personal comfort from one another by collectively resorting to personal smear and character assassination against a third. It is a common tag-team strategy on this site when the argument is lost.

Bob, you know full well that Biblical scholarship is irrevocable and dramatically changing. No longer is traditional Apologetical scholarship taken seriously in genuine faculties of Religious and Biblical Studies at higher institutions. There will be a few pockets of theologians at Biola, Notre Dame or Liberty or Moody Bible College that will continue to peddle crass jesus studies. But then the scholars in those institutes are obliged to sign a faith statement confirming the inerrancy of the Bible as a condition of their employment.

Doesn't inspire much confidence in the absolute truth of the Bible, does it now? But then we are talking of a mythos.
Attempting to cut down the messenger won't bring back the comfort of self-delusion.




Papalinton said...

"Ben, don't get angry at this guy. Pray for him."

Yes Ben. Do something useless. Pray for me to your impersonal classical being itself, itself being itself.

Papalinton said...

"At this point, I'm beginning to seriously think that what he needs is not more argument, but an exorcist. (I really am serious.)"

You heard it on this channel, folks.
The words from a genuine stick-in-the-mud ghost believer in black-magic shamanic spirit-filled supernatural superstition, his life driven by superstitious occultic fears and just as irrationally powerful in the 21st C CE as that which invaded the reasoning and logic circuits of his ancient forebears.
Apparently it seems I have been 'possessed of the devil'.

(And he is really really serious.)

All this ghost shape-shifting stuff is not very far under the surface of believers in woo, is it? In fact just under the surface. Shake a woo-meister and the occult drops out.

Dan Gillson said...

I get the feeling that Papalinton argues so vociferously here to sustain his tenuous atheism, as though the security of his unbelief depends upon convincing himself that he is winning arguments. He clearly has deluded himself into thinking that his arguments, if we can call them that, are the stuff of winners. I think I've also moved from feeling irritated with Linton to feeling pity for him. But I'm not the praying type, so I'll just continue to cast askance glances at his comments.

im-skeptical said...

Samwell Barnes,

Tossing out an out-of-context quote does not show me that you understand the point Dawkins is trying to make. "Tissue for that egg on your face?" The egg is on your face.

"I've read every section of his book in which he discusses the scientific/philosophical argumentation for and against God's existence."

Clearly you didn't comprehend what you were reading. You show zero evidence of understanding his arguments. You only use sound bites that mischaracterize his arguments.

"I think he's dumb because, like the New Atheist movement in general, he publicly runs his mouth on topics on which he is transparently out of his depth, refuses correction by trained professionals, and pathologically thinks he's smarter than he actually is."

In other words, he's dumb because he doesn't share your religious superstition and its philosophical underpinnings.

BenYachov said...

Hey Paps if you want to play dueling scholars go for it.

http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2012/02/wallace-vs-erhman-round-three/

http://danielbwallace.com/2012/05/01/the-bart-ehrman-blog-and-the-reliability-of-the-new-testament-text/

>Bob writes:

Of course both Wallace and Bart are Protestants so their Sola Scriptura mentality hampers their scholarship.

Note the false dichotomy he's made between apologetics and "genuine scholarship". That says it all - no need to read the rest, because he's poisoned the well from the start.

>Dan writes:
I get the feeling that Papalinton argues so vociferously here to sustain his tenuous atheism, as though the security of his unbelief depends upon convincing himself that he is winning arguments. He clearly has deluded himself into thinking that his arguments, if we can call them that, are the stuff of winners.

Paps is an Atheist but at the end of the day he is a fundamentalist too & it is not likely he will ever change.

BenYachov said...

An Anglican reviews the debate.

http://yucekabakci.wordpress.com/2011/10/03/my-take-on-the-debate-between-bart-ehrman-and-daniel-wallace/

B. Prokop said...

Hey, Ben.

You got me saying something I didn't! What gives?

BenYachov said...

@Bob

Oh SNAP! My wife rushed me out the door so fast I quoted you wrong.

This:
>Of course both Wallace and Bart are Protestants so their Sola Scriptura mentality hampers their scholarship.

(Should have come before your name. Followed by)

Bob said: etc..

My bad!

Sorry.

HyperEntity111 said...

Paps posted: ''Following innumerable intellectual maulings, Hypersensitivity111, the veritable opportunist he is, imagines he now sees an opening to 'even the score' with me for finding him not only bereft but shortchanged of any intellectual or scholastic value whatsoever. He simply cannot abide the fact of being so badly
roasted on previous occasions.''

........

Are you insane? Your belief that you can 'roast' anyone intellectually indicates that you are. Let me assure you that you have never done anything of the sort-there is simply no possible world in which such a thing occurs. It's simply not possible.

If you've ever said something stupid to which I've never bothered to reply it's because unlike you I don't live on the internet. And as for not wanting to debate you here...do you imagine you've said anything here that's worth debating? Do you want me to debate whether Christian mathematicians or 'mathematical christians' are numerologists? Whether Nobel prize winning Christian scientists are 'real' scientists? Are you high?




B. Prokop said...

Hyper,

Had Paps ever read Truscott's Command Missions (a fine book, by the way), he would have come across the following:

"We had allowed our wishes to father our thoughts, a dangerous practice in war." (Lt. General L.K. Truscott, Jr., Command Missions, A Personal Story, 1954, Page 117).

'Nuff said!

B. Prokop said...

Here it comes...

Papalinton said...

Ben
You put up this SITE of Wallace's as part of your tit-for-tat. Yes, it was one of the first sites I read. I pretty much go for original sources in the first instance, so your reference to his site is old news for me.

Re-read it and then follow the commentary section. Boy, do the commenters give Wallace a real grilling about the secrecy nonsense of this apparently new Markan papyri scrap that is going to 'blow away all skepticism about scripture'.
Bit of a joke really.

Ben, I read your second reference [http://danielbwallace.com/2012/05/01/the-bart-ehrman-blog-and-the-reliability-of-the-new-testament-text/]. Quite amusing, really. But the quality of the reporting is at about the same level as the blog writer's last paragraph. Indeed the last paragraph characterizes the rest of his observation, notebook notwithstanding:

'P.S : And another thing I noticed. Does Bart Ehrman have an Einstein’s wardrobe syndrome? In all of his pictures, debates and interviews he has the exact same outfit… Does he have 20 pairs of the exact same thing that he wears over and over again just like Einstein? Now that would have been an awesome question to ask during the debate. Only had I thought of it before…"

So in all, a comedy performance from the Apologist.

Ben, Papalinton is an atheist following 30 years as a Bible waving Christian. You are correct; he ain't gonna change back to filling his life with ghosts, superstition, and exorcisms. I don't want to be 'born again'. I don't want to revert back into being a child again.

B. Prokop said...

... and there's more!

Papalinton said...

""We had allowed our wishes to father our thoughts, a dangerous practice in war." (Lt. General L.K. Truscott, Jr., Command Missions, A Personal Story, 1954, Page 117)."

Lt. General L.K. Truscott, Jr was a christian. He was speaking from his religious worldview, which I might add embraces war a religiously justified.

This atheist, PapaL eschews war of any kind as a means of resolving issues, even as a last resort. So Bob should think considerately and prudently about the relevance of quoting a military aficionado before implying a causal link to someone. That is called impugning someone's character for the sake of smear alone.

B. Prokop said...

"So Bob should think considerately and prudently about the relevance of quoting a military aficionado"

What is this guy smoking? does he not know that I am a US Army veteran? That I worked as a civilian in the Defense Department for 34 years?

And by the way, there was zero smearing of anyone's character, Paps. I was pointing out that your comments about having bested others in argument are nothing more than wishful thinking. Read the quote again.

And another by the way, Lucian Truscott was ten times the man that you and I would make up together - at least. I'm not worthy to shine his boot, and I doubt you would be either.

Papalinton said...

So, what's the relevance or meaning of the Trustcott quote in regard to me?

Your years in the military and DD is of no relevance to and has no bearing on my comment that you quote.

I am very sorry to read your last paragraph. To write such a low opinion of yourself is indeed a sad indictment. No person merits such idolatrous kowtowing, whoever they may be, even the Queen Elizabeth, Australia's head of state.

For my part I think you are a tremendously decent and good person, even despite all the differences we have about how we see the world.

Papalinton said...

Hyperentity comes onto the scene and what is his first cooment?

" Personally, I now think Paps is a troll. It's really not possible for a normal person to be that stupid. I suggest people go back to ignoring him."

This is tantamount to a drive-by shooting. Drive-by shootings are not accepted behaviour in society. And their blogsite analogue should also not be tolerated, Victor.

B. Prokop said...

"So, what's the relevance or meaning of the Trustcott quote in regard to me?"

The relevance should be screamingly obvious to you. If it is truly not, then I would be forced to agree with Hyper's opinion of you. But I'll explain in detail:

1. You write, "[Hyper] simply cannot abide the fact of being so badly roasted on previous occasions."

2. You also write, "Apologists are desperate and fraught with anxiety as their tenuous grip on biblical historicity slips from their grasp."

3. And there is this, "POW! Shot down in flames."

(And many, many, many more...)

4. All of the above are examples of what Truscott was referring to. You are allowing your wishes (i.e., your desire to actually win an argument) to father your thoughts (i.e., your mistaken belief that you have ever actually done so).

And as a bonus, here's 5. Your idea that you, or I, or anyone our age (or younger) today can even conceive of themselves as being on the same level as those who endured the Blitz, liberated the camps, and expunged the world of the greatest evil it has ever seen, is ludicrous. To label any such a person as a "military aficionado" is at worst offensive, and at best spectacularly naive.

Papalinton said...

Bob

Thanks.
I get the drift now.

But it's no more wishful thinking, and a deal more in touch with reality than the silly superstitious notion of spirits, nephilim, seraphim, angels, devils, gods, satans and other things that go bump in the night, is it?

Australia has its war heroes too, the greatest number of soldiers per capita having won the Victoria Cross of any country that awards this medal, the highest bravery award one can earn on the battle field. I respect them tremendously and they have my undying gratitude. But that respect is not idolatrous redolent of wiping or licking one's boots. That is simply demeaning.

BenYachov said...

@Paps
>Ben, Papalinton is an atheist following 30 years as a Bible waving Christian. You are correct; he ain't gonna change back to filling his life with ghosts, superstition, and exorcisms. I don't want to be 'born again'. I don't want to revert back into being a child again.

I reply: I wouldn't know anything about that since I have always been a Catholic a member of the Church Jesus founded so I have always viewed such an inferior fundamentalist Christianity as you once believed as false anyway.
Even if I believed some individual fundamentalist Protestant Christians where good Godly people.

OTOH your Atheism is in quality no different then your former Christianity. It is inferior and fundamentalistic. Where as you once held Sola Scriptura and Perspicuity unexamined & threw mindless fideism you have replaced it with a Positivist anti-philosophy fundamentalism you also hold mindlessly, unexamined & threw fideism.

Where is the improvement? I see none?

>Re-read it and then follow the commentary section. Boy, do the commenters give Wallace a real grilling about the secrecy nonsense of this apparently new Markan papyri scrap that is going to 'blow away all skepticism about scripture'.
Bit of a joke really.

I did read it before posting it. So what? Even if we grant for argument's finding a fragment of the Gospel of Mark that is from the first century has no significance if you had bothered to read the Anglican I cited who reviewed the debate.

see hear:
http://yucekabakci.wordpress.com/2011/10/03/my-take-on-the-debate-between-bart-ehrman-and-daniel-wallace/

You would have gotten a more objective analysis since he is clearly not a fundamentalist or Evangelical & being an Anglican can show the weaknesses of Wallace because of his lack of Catholicity while at the same time testifying Bart didn't bring his A Game and Wallace was more scholarly.

But then again being a man with a Fundamentalist mentality it doesn't surprise me you only read the links by Wallace and not the Anglican.

Sad. To quote Yoda "That is why you fail".

Paps there is no point to you & if you are right you waste your time debating Christian & or Theists of any stripe since this life is all you get and you can't reclaim any second lost reading my response to you.

OTOH if you are right then when you die you won't remember anything you said or did since there will be no "you" to remember and it will practically be no different if you had never been born at all.

Have fun with that.

PS all this and you can't read any philosophy? Geez duller is challenging me over at Feser's blog on the Trinity. His objections are way more informed and sophisticated then any of the shit either IM or you have inflicted on me.
What is wrong with you.

Papalinton said...

Ben
"OTOH if you are right then when you die you won't remember anything you said or did since there will be no "you" to remember and it will practically be no different if you had never been born at all."

Now you are beginning to understand the reality of life. You get one shot at it, this life, right now. Don't waste one moment of it imagining an afterlife. You get one at life. Live well, do good for goodness sake alone.

Cheers

BenYachov said...

>Now you are beginning to understand the reality of life. You get one shot at it, this life, right now. Don't waste one moment of it imagining an afterlife. You get one at life. Live well, do good for goodness sake alone.

Goodness for goodness sake alone?

Fuck'em grab all the swag you can especially from braindead weak minded throwbacks like yourself who still hold to the superstition of morality.

Some people shouldn't be Atheists. I am definitely one of them.;-)

I mean I'm a dick now but imagine......I'd make Paps look like Mother Theresa and I would not waste my time here I'b be out fleecing people.

Especially Gnus and Fundies since they are so weak minded.

im-skeptical said...

"Goodness for goodness sake alone?"

Bravo, Ben. You win the prize for best logical argument of the day from a theist.

BenYachov said...

>Bravo, Ben. You win the prize for best logical argument of the day from a theist.

This too you is an "argument"? Also this so called "argument" is too you "logical"?

Well that explains a lot.

B. Prokop said...

Actually, Ben is just restating (albeit rather inelegantly) no less than Dostoevsky, or at the least his character Ivan in The Brothers Karamazov, who says, "Without immortality, everything is permissible."

BenYachov said...

Actually Bob I was thinking about C.S. Lewis being asked what practical good is Christianity?

He was told about a women the questioner knew who was a right sour puss and unpleasant character & a Christian and an Atheist acquaintance who was a very pleasant likable chap.

Lewis responded God ofter works within our own dispositions and by Grace reduces our character flaws over time if we really believe and attend to Him. He also magnifies our existing virtues.

So then that Christian woman is a jerk? Imagine how much more of a jerk she would be if she had not the Grace she now has?

Your Atheist friend is a lovely pleasant friendly chap? Imagine how much more pleasant and friendly he would be with a direct infusion of Grace?

I am a realist who knows I am not a nice person and I would likely be a monster without the Grace I have.

At least I think that I don't wish to test it.

Hal said...

Bob,
""Without immortality, everything is permissible.""

I think Homer was wiser than Dostoevsky: immortality leads to frivolity.

Papalinton said...

"Lewis responded God ofter works within our own dispositions and by Grace reduces our character flaws over time if we really believe and attend to Him. He also magnifies our existing virtues.
So then that Christian woman is a jerk? Imagine how much more of a jerk she would be if she had not the Grace she now has?"


Fred Phelps?

BenYachov said...

I hate to admit it but that is a good question for once Paps.

Well thank Heaven for small miracles!

Phelps? Well they are heretics & idolators they hold a vile belief that the individual members of their cult have the power to send people to Hell. Claiming for yourself powers that are reserved only to God is the sin of idolatry.

Even the Church claims no such power even if she excommunicates people.

God alone can save or damn not Phelps who is IMHOa godless man.

I

B. Prokop said...

I'm assuming that Papalinton has brought up the name of Fred Phelps in an approving manner, seeing as he is in complete agreement with his "church" (sic) as to the appropriateness of certain tactics.

BenYachov said...

>I think Homer was wiser than Dostoevsky: immortality leads to frivolity.

His so called "gods" where just human beings with preternatural meta-powers who lived forever & had nothing too do and thus bored easily.

Heaven in the strict sense is the Beatific Vision. The Soul beholding Goodness Itself, Love Itself, Being Itself, having a direct Vision of God & as such would have their final end for the reason they where created. Thus it would never be boring & it would be rest beyond rest.

Your thinking of some low ball pagan Heaven that is nothing more than a giant Cosmic block party.

Hal said...

Ben,
"His so called "gods" where just human beings with preternatural meta-powers who lived forever & had nothing too do and thus bored easily."
???
Never said anything about boredom.

"Your thinking of some low ball pagan Heaven that is nothing more than a giant Cosmic block party."

I think Homer was wiser than you and Dostoevsky put together.:-)

BenYachov said...

>I think Homer was wiser than you and Dostoevsky put together.

I think Aquinas was wiser then all four of us.;-)

So there you have it.

B. Prokop said...

I agree with Hal that Homer was likely wiser than both Dostoevsky and me put together, but... Dostoevsky nevertheless had the advantage of being a Christian. Being a pagan, after all, only gets one as far as the First Circle. (see: The Divine Comedy)

Hal said...

Bob,
I guess that would make Dante the wisest of all. :-)

B. Prokop said...

No argument there.

I've often defended (at times even successfully) the statement that The divine Comedy is the greatest artistic achievement in the history of the world ever attributable to a single person.

(Runners-up would include Wagner's Ring Operas, Rublev's Troitsa, and the Venus of Campo Lemini (sculpture) in the British Museum.)

Zach said...
This comment has been removed by the author.