Friday, May 28, 2010

Two skeptics, one testable prediction

David said:
"My position is that God wrote the Bible in conjunction with these ancient tribesmen."
As you would say, prove it.
David,
I love it.  As *I'd* say?  Notice how I'm the one demanding evidence in this thread.  Me, the Christian fundy Bible-thumper.  And the skeptics, the "freethinkers" are whining about my always demanding evidence.  There's some irony, some poetic justice in that.  Can't put my finger on it...

Anyway, I do so by the impossibility of the contrary.
Here
Here
Here
Here

OTOH, since we're discussing which worldview accts for morality and rape and all that, it's unnecessary for me to adduce proof for my position. We're comparing which worldview can best acct for whether rape is evil.
Besides, I've repeatedly asked you to prove empiricism, and you, um, haven't even tried.


Walter said:

The Qur'an also purports to be the word of God; what methodology do you use in determining that the Qur'an is simply a human book while the bible is a not?

I test its internal consistency first, and if it does have internal consistency on the major points of it, I'd move on to other tests. But I don't have to move on, for it very obviously lacks internal consistency.


unless I can positively refute your fantastical claims, then they must be true.

Don't be so dense. You made a negative statement. I asked you to prove it, knowing you can't. Now you're whining b/c someone called you on making an indefensible statement.
I'm saying you should change your statement if you can't substantiate it. Something like "I've seen no evidence that God exists".
At which point I'd ask you how you could be so sure you hadn't seen it but just missed it or refused to accept it.
At which point you'd backtrack again and say that you can't think of any evidence for God's existence that you accept as compelling.
At which point I'd snicker b/c you'll have so far made 2 indefensible statements, and then go on to ask you if you can think of any evidence for evidence's existence that you accept as compelling. You'd then no doubt retreat yet further to a blind faith position - "but, but, but...if we can't use evidence, we're lost!!!!1" And I'd respond with "Exactly, now please tell me why I should accept your argument from undesirable consequences". At which point you'd change the subject.
I've made a testable prediction. Prove it wrong.

5 comments:

David said...

I'm on vacation now, and don't really want to waste my down time with argument. But I will say that I looked at all of the links that were supposed to prove that the Creator of the Universe had conversations with Bronze Age tribesmen...and I didn't see any proof that this happened. If you don't accept the evidence that the OT condones forced sex, then I don't see why I should believe you with respect to stone tablets from God. There's no more evidence for the stone tablets than there is for forced sex in the Bible. If you don't think that there's enough evidence to conclude that the OT condones forced sex, then you ought to similarly conclude that there isn't enough evidence to conclude that the Creator of the Universe hung out with ANE Hebrews.

Most of these links seemed to be about logic and God, but there wasn't much about God giving rules from burning bushes, etc. Maybe the tribesmen believed that they were making rules that made some god happy, but I don't see proof that the rules actually came from God.

Would love to get into the whole infallibility of the Bible thing, but if I do this on vacation, my wife will kill me. So see ya.

bossmanham said...

If you don't accept the evidence that the OT condones forced sex, then I don't see why I should believe you with respect to stone tablets from God

Wait, you mean you've show this to be true? Where?

David said...

I'll indulge in one last comment, then I'm off to do more productive things, like climb a few mountains.

What you all have quite ably and cleverly demonstrated in the long and drawn out discussion of rape in the OT (that has a occurred at a couple of sites) is that one can interpret ancient texts as one wishes. What you have proven is that when the documents in question are thousands of years old, one can conclude that they say whatever one needs them to say. Ken Pulliam is doing a nice job of demonstrating this with his series on slavery. And consider the Calvinists and the Arminians; after centuries of fighting, they are no closer to an answer or resolution then they were 500 years ago.

There are an almost infinite number of ways to interpret the ancient words, and if one knows how one wants things to come out, the proper interpretation can always be found. When confronted with reality, if extreme skepticism is required to save the day, then one will be an extreme skeptic. If extreme credulity is required, then one will believe whatever is necessary. If an independent test with physical evidence shows that the words are clearly flawed, then the words will be re-interpreted as needed and/or the outside evidence will be dismissed. One doesn’t need a degree in theology to see that it’s all a matter of what one chooses to believe at the start of the exercise.

I used to do as you do. I went to church every Sunday for over twenty years, and I learned most of the apologetics answers and the various kludges and workarounds for the various contradictions and other problems, starting with Genesis 1 and 2. Despite your repeated attacks on my intelligence, I’m not an idiot, and I learned my lessons well. Problem was, the list of excuses and rationalizations kept getting longer and longer and longer. It wasn’t that any one rationalization didn’t work, it was more the cumulative impact of the constant need to patch and fill and re-interpret. There’s an old clich√© about how if you’re working this hard, you’re doing it wrong. Yes, it’s possible to keep patching and filling and denying, but what if one dares to consider that there might be something fundamentally wrong here?

Some years back, I started thinking and wondering and looking at all of this as an outsider might look at it. How did all of this Bible stuff fit into the grand scheme of anthropology and human history, culture, psychology, biology, etc? How does fit into the whole human experience over tens of thousands of years and across a population that fills an entire planet? What did it mean that so many excuses and kludges were required to keep the whole thing from reaching critical mass? And one day, it occurred to me that this was all mostly bollocks. Think about it enough, dare to consider the possibility that you might be wrong, and it all falls apart.

Here’s a funny thing. Once you’re seen the man behind the curtain, you can’t get that image out of your head. I’m sure that you’re all happier not looking behind the curtain. Enjoy your wizards, I’m off to enjoy reality.

NAL said...

Rho:

Anyway, I do so by the impossibility of the contrary.

If you really believed that the contrary was impossible, there'd be no need for Presuppositional Apologetics.

Rhology said...

David,


What you all have quite ably and cleverly demonstrated in the long and drawn out discussion of rape in the OT (that has a occurred at a couple of sites) is that one can interpret ancient texts as one wishes.

1) What the Intelligent Design vs evolution debate has quite ably and cleverly demonstrated in the long and drawn out discussion of evolution vs ID (that has a occurred at many sites) is that one can interpret ancient facts as one wishes.
What the white supremacist vs non-white supremacist debate has quite ably and cleverly demonstrated in the long and drawn out discussion of racial facts (that has a occurred at many sites and over the course of, you know, a couple of wars) is that one can interpret ancient facts as one wishes.
2) There's nothing distinctive about the difficulty of interpretation of these ancient texts over and against, say, your own comment here. I guess if I were simply to "interpret" your comment to mean that Jell-O has furtherly bones and the bluer they fly the much, and if I were to stubbornly continue to "interpret" it that way, you'd conclude that what we'd have quite ably and cleverly demonstrated in the long and drawn out discussion of whether your comment was totally nonsensical is that one can interpret modern texts and your comments as one wishes.
IOW, this is an utterly useless throwaway comment, devoid of meaning. Thanks for wasting everyone's time with such inanity.
Look, if you don't want me making low estimation of your intelligence, give me a reason. This is not a good start.


One doesn’t need a degree in theology to see that it’s all a matter of what one chooses to believe at the start of the exercise.

One could say this about ANYTHING. Again, totally useless.


I learned most of the apologetics answers and the various kludges and workarounds for the various contradictions

1) I doubt that. Not just b/c I haven't seen the fruit of that in your own discussions with me, but also b/c most American evanjellyfish don't actually learn all that much about how really to give Jesus all the glory He deserves.
2) Presumably, you've learned why those answers to "contradictions" don't work. I'd like to invite you to give me your 5 best contradictions, and we'll see if they stick.


Think about it enough, dare to consider the possibility that you might be wrong, and it all falls apart.

Think about it enough, dare to consider the possibility that evolution/atheism/skepticism/whatever-your-position-is might be wrong, and it all falls apart. Thanks for another throwaway comment.
Anyway, enjoy your vacation.