The Good News

Discussion of the Best News in the World, the Gospel of Jesus, and related topics

An Atheist Christmas

Check this out:  Atheist Christmas Logic.

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The author discusses such items as:

Along with telling us that they are using “reason” to arrive at their dogmatic belief in the non-existence of God, atheists like to tell us another whopper: “You don’t need religion to be a good person.” In other words, atheists claim they are “good” people even without any help from a supposed God.

The author does state that atheists have the right to put up the signs but shows many of the common flaws in logic that outspoken atheists make.

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53 responses to “An Atheist Christmas

  1. clubschadenfreude 12/19/2015 at 3:02 pm

    so, what are these common flaws in logic that atheists supposedly make?

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    • papapound 12/23/2015 at 11:58 am

      OK, good morning for me, how are you?

      Do you know what a pink elephant is?

      Liked by 1 person

      • clubschadenfreude 12/23/2015 at 5:45 pm

        in the common vernacular, a figment of the imagination.

        again, what are these common flaws in logic that atheists supposedly make?

        Liked by 1 person

        • papapound 12/24/2015 at 3:12 pm

          No, that is not what a pink elephant is.

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            • papapound 12/24/2015 at 3:34 pm

              Tell me you read the article and you want to comment on it?

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              • clubschadenfreude 12/24/2015 at 8:13 pm

                again, I have commented on it here. Would you please answer?

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                • papapound 12/26/2015 at 9:45 am

                  I don’t see anything to comment on.

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                  • clubschadenfreude 12/26/2015 at 11:21 am

                    ah, so you can’t explain what a pink elephant is, nor can you see the link to comment on or this sentence “The author does state that atheists have the right to put up the signs but shows many of the common flaws in logic that outspoken atheists make.”

                    Most interesting. I guess if you can’t show these supposed “common flaws in logic” that atheist make, then there must not be any flaws and your comment was an intentional falsehood.

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                    • papapound 12/26/2015 at 1:53 pm

                      So you can’t agree with the premise…As a matter of sheer logic, you cannot make an absolute, dogmatic, assertion that no Pink Elephant exists in the universe. To do so, you would have to know everything. You would have to search every nook and cranny of the universe, and verify that the Pink Elephant is not hiding there. You would have to search every dimension, and verify that the Pink Elephant is not hiding there, either.

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                    • clubschadenfreude 12/26/2015 at 2:57 pm

                      So, that’s your argument. As a matter of logic, you are correct, I cannot be 100% sure that there are no pink elephants in the universe. Now, by pink elephants I assume you mean mammals who have trunks and are found on the African and Asian continents, who happen to be pink, the reflective color made by mixing red and white pigment, like flamingos or carnations, not just albino where the red in blood can be seen. I can be 99.9999999999…% sure that there are no pink elephants on earth and even more so that there are none in the universe because there is no evidence to support such a claim, and evidence that supports that these creatures can’t exist in vacuum, in a star, in a black hole, on a gas giant, etc. The probability of these entities existing is very very low. Now, if we are talking about the idea of pink elephants being delusions caused by drinking, I do know 100% that those do exist as thoughts the human brain has come up with because of exposure to an industrial poison. Now, let’s also consider that it is logically possible that I could drink a gallon of 100% alcohol and not die, but that is not the way to bet. I do not have to drink to know that the probability is essentially 100% that I will die, and I have plenty of evidence to support that conclusion. I do not have to look around the universe to find that this conclusion is the correct one.

                      Now, let’s compare this claim to the claim about your god existing. Your god, which appears to be the Christian one (of what sect, I’m not completely sure) has definite attributes given to it by believers and the bible. From being a Christian myself, I know that this god is claimed to be omnipotent and omniscient and most Christians claim it is omnibenevolent. Christians claim that certain events happened to show that this god exists; some of them are a creation with two people made of dirt plus magic garden and serpent; a magical flood that covered all of the mountains on earth, and a magical boat that carried two of every type of animal on it, plus 8 humans; a tower that threatened this god; an exodus that destroyed the entire army of a well-known ancient civilization, and hundreds of thousands of people wandered around an area half the size of Pennsylvania for 4 decades, battles were fought between armies of hundreds of thousands, fabulous palaces and temples were built using tons of precious metals and other valuables; a man met with a legions worth of men (plus even more women and children) at least twice outside of a occupied city that was having trouble with rebels and no one noticed; a major earthquake, the sky darkened in the afternoon for hours and the dead rose from their graves and hung out with the living in the same city mentioned above.

                      And no one, even Christians, can agree on when any of these things happened or show any evidence that anything this god did actually occured. There is no evidence of this god, not as a creator or as causing anything else to happen. The arguments used by many Christians, the teleological, the ontological, the cosmological, etc can be used for any god, not just the Christian one, and those arguments supposedly based on logic always fail since they require an a priori assumption that a god must exist and that hasn’t been shown to be the case, that one can define what “perfect” is, that this god must exist eternally but physical laws cannot etc.

                      I am more than happy to consider your god as nothing more than a newt under a rock on Ceti Alpha 5, or on a floating island in the Dark Dimension of Dormammu, desperately hiding from humans it fears, but that isn’t what you worship, is it? Your problem is showing that it exists as described, you’ve made the positive claims. I’ve said no gods exist and there is no evidence that I’m wrong and plenty of evidence that other things happened rather than the nonsense claimed by the bible.

                      Please do provide any thing that you consider evidence for your god.

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                    • papapound 12/29/2015 at 5:14 pm

                      I don’t respond specifically to blasts anymore. A real man lived and spoke and made claims. Much was recorded. Dr. Luke wrote one for skeptics. If you want to read his work and discuss, I am open to that.

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                    • clubschadenfreude 12/29/2015 at 5:25 pm

                      ah, so you don’t have any evidence or rebuttals to my points, and make more unsupported claims. There is no evidence except in a story that there was a Luke or he was a doctor, but nice appeal to authority anyway.

                      I have read the entire bible, at least twice and the gospels several times more. I welcome any discussion you wish about Luke. I will still be waiting for you to support your claims with evidence, such as the claim that your god exists.

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                    • papapound 12/30/2015 at 6:25 am

                      Dr Luke writes about a man. That man is the key to all other data which implies a creator. One must be open to understand this man, Jesus. I hope you are open some day.

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                    • clubschadenfreude 12/29/2015 at 5:32 pm

                      ah, so you don’t have any evidence and make more unsupported claims. There is no evidence except in a story that there was a Luke or he was a doctor, but nice appeal to authority anyway.

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                    • papapound 12/30/2015 at 6:27 am

                      Story is not a tale. The story is data and is corroborated.

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                    • clubschadenfreude 12/30/2015 at 6:37 am

                      Again, still waiting for evidence of this. Where is this “data” and where is the corroboration of the claims in the bible?

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                    • papapound 12/30/2015 at 1:11 pm

                      I read your story. Why do you dislike most humans? What causes that? What causes your hope for humanity if most humans are distasteful?

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                    • clubschadenfreude 12/30/2015 at 6:24 pm

                      Humans are often hypocrites, willfully ignorant and love to create claims of differences between humans.

                      Humans can learn so they have a lot of potential and thus my hope.

                      Still waiting for your evidence to support your claims.

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                    • papapound 12/30/2015 at 9:45 pm

                      Yes, all of us humans are hypocrites to some degree.

                      Back to your story, people act like that because there is sin and evil in them. As a child, I experienced the exact same thing-church community disintegration. Horrible! I still have bad memories. People inside church buildings aren’t saints–they are all sinners. I am a sinner.

                      I am not ignoring your need for evidence.

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                    • clubschadenfreude 12/31/2015 at 6:15 am

                      Again, no evidence for “sin” because there is no evidence of a god that is some objective moral source or exists at all, under a rock on Ceti Alpha 5 or anywhere at all.

                      Christians are no better or worse than any other human, and they do not agree on what sin is or what their god wants or what parts of the bible are literal and what parts are metaphor. There is no reason to believe Christian myths like original sin or the need for a god that has to require a murder by torture to “forgive” humans that did exactly what it supposedly made them to do and knew that they would do.

                      Still waiting for your evidence for your claims.

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                    • papapound 12/31/2015 at 10:51 am

                      I see sin in myself, others and the world out there. Don’t call it sin, but there is evil in the world, everywhere. What do you call the “things” you don’t like in most humans?

                      I agree, no Christian is better than any other person in the world. A Christian is no better than Baghdadi. You are not better than Baghdadi. To clarify, Many, esp. those in the public eye who are labeled “christian” are not real Jesus followers.

                      I don’t agree with, “supposedly made them to do” is not a characteristic of my God. If it is as I take the meaning, not based in any of the sacred writings. Now can someone contort some writing to mean that? Well, we know that answer to that.

                      I haven’t forgotten your request.

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                    • clubschadenfreude 12/31/2015 at 4:43 pm

                      Christians often see sin in themselves and assume they see it in others. That’s what the religion teaches, with no evidence to support such claims.

                      I call humans humans, and they can be benevolent and selfish. It’s what humans are. NO need for some fantasy of a magical good guy and magical bad guy.

                      It’s always fun to watch Christians claim that those Christians they don’t agree with aren’t “TrueChristians”. So, how do we tell, papa? Shall we have all sects get up at an altar and see who can get their god to light it? AS it stands, your claim to be the TrueChristian is just as baselss as every other Christian’s.

                      Your bible says that your god makes people do what it wants. YOu may have invented your own god by cherry picking, and that’s what all theists do All gods are in the image of the worshipper, not the other way around. I’d suggest reading Exodus and not trying to hope no one knows the book.

                      I’m sure you haven’t forgotten my request. Whether you’ll actually fulfill it is the question.

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                    • papapound 12/31/2015 at 6:02 pm

                      “‘It’s always fun to watch Christians claim that those Christians they don’t agree with aren’t “TrueChristians”. So, how do we tell, papa?'”

                      We don’t tell. We can’t tell. We are not a god nor God.

                      I interact with many Jesus followers(whom I believe are truly Jesus followers) who do not agree with me on cultural issues nor theology. There is a beautiful thing in the real community of Jesus followers: “we agree to disagree agreeably.” I’ve seen churches ripped apart. BTW, the guy who caused the rift in my childhood church pushed a knife into my father’s stomach. I have also seem love among people which could only be considered divine love. I am white and I interact with black and Hispanic Jesus followers all the time. I and conservative and many of those followers are liberal.

                      On Jesus followers I don’t make the call on who is authentic and neither do you.

                      So, do you have children? Did you ever desire them?

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                    • clubschadenfreude 01/01/2016 at 9:29 am

                      You claim now that you can’t tell who the true Christians are, but you’ve made the claim that some Christians aren’t true Christians. So either you are lying then or are lying now. Which is it: “There is a beautiful thing in the real community of Jesus followers”(again how do you know that they are “real”?) or “We don’t tell. We can’t tell. We are not a god nor God. “?

                      As I know full well, Christians do not agree to disagree agreeably. My own church showed hat to be true, and history has Christians again and again murdering each other over their “disagreements”.

                      What the fact that you interact with people who disagree with you has to do with what we are discussion I honestly have no idea. I interact with Christians and conservatives and liberals and Muslims and Jews and pagans, and have no problem too. So what?

                      Nope, no kids and no desire to have them. Why do you ask?

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                    • papapound 01/01/2016 at 10:14 am

                      “As I know full well, Christians do not agree to disagree agreeably.” Sorry, but that is not universal–I was/am applying that only to my specific situations. To your point, arguments rage all the time within the Christian world, with outsiders and among outsiders looking in.

                      I am not purposefully lying: there is no conflict at all between: there is a beautiful thing in the real community and me not being the ultimate judge of authenticity and what is in the human heart. J followers go through life never ever revealing things in their hearts to anyone. Atheists go through life never ever revealing things in their hearts to anyone.

                      On a personal note, I really am curious about my Q on children and you.

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                    • clubschadenfreude 01/04/2016 at 5:37 pm

                      You are indeed lying, purposefully or not. Christians do not agree to disagree agreeably. this can be seen by the fact that there are history books full or how Christians murder each other and other theists because they are sure that those people deserve to die because they aren’t ‘trueChristians’. Christians disagree so much that they have separate sects and hate each other that way. I can remember the anti-Catholicism from my youth and how protestants hated them, to the point that my aunt is now a 80 year old old maid thanks to her father preventing her from marrying a Catholic. I know that my great grandmother had my mother baptized Catholic because she didn’t want her baptized Protestant, and did this without telling my grandmother.

                      Again, you claim that you and only you and Christians who agree with you are the only “real” Christians. It’s great to see you try to claim you have no idea who the true Christians and then immediately turn around to claim that you do know.

                      I do wonder, how do you know atheists go through life never revealing things in their heart to anyone? I guess I have to again stomp your strawman and your intentional lies when I say that’s not true and I do indeed reveal what is in my heart to people.

                      I answered the one question I saw you ask about children. I don’t have any nor do I want any. Again, why do you ask? Is this to invent another strawman?

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • papapound 01/05/2016 at 5:24 pm

                      “You are indeed lying…”

                      Vel, this is your judgement and based on your experience not my life experience. Just because you have never seen people “agree to disagree agreeably” does not mean that it has not happened over and over. I have seen 100s of examples.

                      You believe you are 100% logical but you are not you see. I go back to the pink elephant example. Thank you for giving the pink elephant a 0.000001% chance of existence. Because there is that chance that means neither you nor I can be sure that there is not a pink elephant somewhere in the universe now. Nor can we say that there has never been a pink elephant in all of elephant historical existence in the universe.

                      I can say that I believe that a pink elephant exists now. Because you are not all-knowing, you can’t say with 100% certainty that they do not exist. That is logical.

                      We have the news and we see the horrible, horrible interactions of Muslims and Jesus followers(mostly Muslims killing JF lately), Muslims and Hindus and history with Jews and Jesus followers. You see Jews and Jesus followers clashing in the New Testament. There are examples of false teachers coming around the cities where Paul planted churches and teaching things to new JF contrary to what the apostle Paul taught. And, I’ve see the same kind of conflicts in my young experience as you saw in you childhood experiences. I still know the name of the one guy who caused the division my first church. When I say division, people parted as you described from your experience.

                      But, in college, I became part of a campus ministry. In an environment like that I interacted with JF from different backgrounds and had great fellowship with almost all of those folks. In training, I first heard the term “agree to disagree agreeable” from Walter Kaiser. He used it at the end of an explanation of different views on a passage of Scripture. There are passages with very different views from different camps of JF. I am not assuming all camps are 100% right but neither am I justified in thinking that those contrary to my view or interpretation are heretics.

                      I am Presbyterian and love the church and its teachings. I grew up independent Baptist. I been in Bible, Wesleyan, Methodist, Church of God and Southern Baptist churches. I found intimate fellowship in all those churches.

                      I currently interact with black brothers who are in other denominations than I, some charismatic. We all love each other and work together in harmony.

                      I am white. My former girlfriend is black. We are friends on Facebook (my wife approves). She loves President Obama and praises him on FB. I don’t love him nor praise him. But, I don’t hold that against her as a JF. I could say that he has done some things that are anti-Biblical, certainly against my values, but that doesn’t create a conflict between me and my former girlfriend. We disagree agreeably.

                      Oh yes, I met my molester in church. Did that taint my view of the church, church leaders, the Apostles in the NT, or Jesus? No! I can bifurcate. Even at 12 yoa, I attributed his gross indiscretions to him alone (maybe his upbringing). I have thought about why my parents let me go away with him at the time. But, his actions did not taint any of the values of the those I listed above nor my response to those values. It hardened my values towards child molesters, rapists, pornography and pornography promoters and perpetrators of sex slavery and prostitution however.

                      On evidence, I believe that Jesus’ authenticity stands or falls on the resurrection. I believe the resurrection happened. One simple reason is schemes were immediately contrived to go against the data presented by his followers. One man on my library list has researched and studied the resurrection possibly more than any other man or woman in history. Also, there is a small creed contained in I Corinthians 15 which the first JFs quoted to themselves every time they met. It shows us what they saw concerning the life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. That creed existed long before the Gospels & goes back to a period shortly after the “disappearance” of Jesus from the earth.

                      I am a student of the Bible. I’m in it everyday. But, I’ve also read those on the outside too. I’ve read that Thomas Payne document, Crossan, Ehrman, Sponge, a Jewish archeologist whose name I’ve misplaced and others.

                      I don’t want to go back and forth on the finer points. I presume it would be just like “agree to disagree agreeably.” I blogged long ago on Ehrman’s Jesus Interrupted. You can get some of my perspective by search terms “Jesus Interrupted” on this blog.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • papapound 01/16/2016 at 6:22 pm

                      I hope I did not say something to offend you. I have a question though: have you been molested? Are you a molester?

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                    • clubschadenfreude 01/17/2016 at 11:11 am

                      It does seem that you are trying to build a strawman or that lovely retreat of someone who has nothing else: the loaded question, with this prize comment: “I hope I did not say something to offend you. I have a question though: have you been molested? Are you a molester?”

                      I’m more than happy to play along watch you. Nope, never was a molester or molested. It is a horrible thing when someone abuses someone else.

                      Now, please do answer my questions, papa. I have been kind enough to answer yours.

                      how do you know atheists go through life never revealing things in their heart to anyone?

                      you can claim that there is a god that is a worm on Ceti Alpha 5 but that isn’t the god you worship is it?

                      It’s great to see you again claiming that you know who are true and false teachers, when again, you have claimed that you can’t possibly know and that only your god knows. Which is it, papa, are you lying now or lying before?

                      If there is such great fellowship, then why aren’t all of these folks in one church?

                      So, papa, what has President Obama done that is “anti-Biblical” aka against what you want to pretend your god and bible support?

                      I’m sorry you were molested. Now, why didn’t your god that supposedly loves the little children do anything to prevent that, papa? If you claim free will, I wonder how that jibes with your god supposely controlling minds and killing people for disobeying him?

                      Where is any evidence that anyone noticed Jesus? Where is anyone noticing that a major earthquake, the sky darkening for hours and the dead patriarchs were hanging out with Jews in Jerusalem?

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                    • papapound 01/27/2016 at 8:18 am

                      Hello again Vel. I hope you have a happy life. I wish you the best.

                      I could answer your questions but because our views are so far apart I don’t believe my answers would satisfy. I hope you understand that.

                      Always the best to you.

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                    • clubschadenfreude 01/27/2016 at 6:01 pm

                      I do not believe you can answer my questions at all. This why you offer an excuse accusing me of not be satisfied without even trying. I understand you very well and why you would try to avoid answering my questions.

                      … …

                      Where is any evidence that anyone noticed Jesus? …

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • papapound 02/05/2016 at 8:25 am

                      You are right, I can’t answer your questions. Not to your satisfaction. I have answers to many questions in my own life. I don’t have all the answers. I can’t answer your questions to your satisfaction–I know I can’t. Only you can!

                      You did speak of “evidence.” Even there, our definitions of evidence are probably different. Since Dr Ehrman is in your library, I would offer and exchange between he and the Infidel Guy on youtube. zdqJyk-dtLs is the ID if you care to review it.

                      I want for you to love, be fulfilled, at peace, to grow and develop. That I what I mean saying I want the best for you. I really do. Those things are more important to me at least than answers to even the hardest questions I have.

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                    • clubschadenfreude 02/05/2016 at 5:47 pm

                      No, PP, I didn’t say you couldn’t answer questions to my satisfaction. I said I do not believe you can answer my questions at all. This is why you refuse. You have no answer. There is no evidence …
                      I don’t bother watching videos. If there is something you feel important in it, tell me what it is. … Some folks think that there was a historical Jesus. … …

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                    • papapound 02/06/2016 at 12:17 pm

                      …and evidence is why I suggested the Infidel Guy and Dr. Ehrman (whom you revere–he is in your library). Evidence is the subject of their interaction.

                      If we can’t even agree on what evidence is in the case of Jesus, then there is no conversation to be had.

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                    • clubschadenfreude 02/06/2016 at 3:39 pm

                      Again, PP, you resort to lies again. I do not “revere” Ehrman in the least. If you’d read my post, I disagree with his claim of a historical Jesus.

                      Please tell me what you think “evidence” means and what it can consist of. I have told you what I know evidence to mean and what it consists of. I ask you to do the same.

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                    • papapound 02/06/2016 at 5:00 pm

                      Vel, you say, I lied because I “chose” the word revere without asking you what you view of Dr. Ehrman is. Maybe we need to start there. What is your view of Dr. Ehrman? What verb would you use for your view of him?

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                    • clubschadenfreude 02/06/2016 at 7:18 pm

                      No, PP, I say you ‘ve lied because you tried to falsely claim that I “revered” Dr. Ehrman, Please do show where I “revere” Dr. Ehrman. If you cannot, it appears that you have made a false claim in order to try to make believe I am contradicting someone I find important. As I have said, I find Dr. Ehrman’s conclusions incorrect. I find him an interesting scholar who has analyzed the bible and has pointed out that the claims of Christianity are false. He disagrees with other scholars regarding the idea that the character Jesus Christ was based on one man or a legend based on many.

                      Again, please do indicate how you think the term “evidence” should be defined and what evidence consists of. It seems that you are reluctant to do so. Why would that be, PP?

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                    • papapound 02/06/2016 at 9:02 pm

                      Then, about Dr. Ehrman…why is he in your library?

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                    • papapound 02/06/2016 at 9:07 pm

                      The video is key! Ehrman puts forth what I consider reasonable tenants regarding evidence that a person existed. Infidel Guy did not want to agree it appeared but he seemed to respect Ehrman though he disagreed.

                      Do you believe George Washington was a real person? Can you prove that he existed?

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                    • clubschadenfreude 02/07/2016 at 8:40 am

                      Again, PP, please define what you think evidence means and examples of this. Again, why are you so reluctant to do so?

                      I do not care what the “inifidel guy” said or does. He may respect Ehrman’s position. So what? You seem to be attempting an appeal to authority, which is pretty entertaining since both the IG and Ehrman argue that your claims are false. Why do you not agree with their conclusions, PP?

                      I can show strong evidence that George Washington existed. We have his writings, the writings of contemporary people, including hostile people, we have the battles and results of battles. We have no evidence of something else happening or another person in Washington’s place or other events happening other than the events that Washington was supposedly involved in. One can of course claim that the evidence that supports that GW existed is all a conspiracy, but then you need to show evidence of that claim.

                      To reiterate, please define what you think evidence is and examples of this evidence.

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                    • papapound 02/07/2016 at 2:40 pm

                      I am trusting you listened to the video of conversation between Dr Ehrman and Infidel Guy.

                      A couple of key statements were made at 5 minutes in by Ehrman: “We have more evidence for Jesus than we do for anyone who lived in his time period. I am saying this as a historian. You can’t just dismiss it (the evidence ) and say ‘we don’t know.’ You have to look at the evidence. There is hard evidence I think.”

                      Ehrman then goes into off-the-cuff comments by Paul. Disinterested comments. He says that Paul is very important because some of the points he makes about Jesus are just that comments–he is not making a point. That scenario is weightier for validation of a person’s historicity.

                      What is the evidence? writings , the same it is for Abe Lincoln or George Washington. Both friends of Jesus and disinterested people only interested in history.

                      Examples of Extra-biblical writings:
                      Flavius Josephus (AD 37?-101?, a Jewish historian)
                      Cornelius Tacitus (55-120 AD)
                      Gaius Suetonius Tranquillas, chief secretary of Emperor Hadrian (117-138 AD)
                      Thallus (Circa AD 52, eclipse of the sun)
                      Pliny the Younger
                      Emporer Hadrian (117-138 AD)
                      The Talmud
                      Lucian (circa 120-after 180)
                      Suetonius (c. A.D. 69 – c. A.D. 140)
                      Mara Bar-Serapion, of Syria, writing between 70 and 200 AD
                      Valentius, around 135-160 AD
                      Saturninus, around 120-130 AD
                      Phlegon, born about 80 AD

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                    • clubschadenfreude 02/08/2016 at 7:37 pm

                      You seem to be appealing to authority with no reason, PP. Yep, Ehrman does say that we have more evidence for Jesus than we have for anyone in his time period. That’s not true but he is saying it as a historian, which makes one wonder just what he thinks evidence is. We may have more evidence of a single itinerant rabbi who thought he was a messiah than of any other similar people in his time period, but that’s not saying much. We know that people existed in Palestine, and we have just as much detail on each one of them as we have for this possible itinerant rabbi who thought he was a messiah: none. We do have stories about a god/man who did magic, a man who gathered thousands of people outside a rebellious occupied city, we have a man claimed to be known to King Herod, thousands of people and to eventually meet the Roman representative himself. There is no evidence for any of these events or that character at all, and there should be. In both cases, we have no evidence that either version of Jesus Christ existed; the man may have existed because others like him did. The other did not exist at all since there is no evidence for anything that is special about him.

                      When one looks at the evidence we have for Julius Caesar, we have contemporary reports even from hostile sources, his own writings, the results of his wars and the results of his politics. We have evidence for Charlemagne, Saladin, Alexander the Great, George Washington, Gandhi, Elizabeth I, Pontius Pilate, and Herod, etc. What we don’t have is evidence for Jesus Christ, son of God. We have stories, nothing in his own words, and stories that have what this character said, supposedly with no one else around something the bible is fond of doing with characters that have no evidence they existed. How does that work, PP?

                      Ehrman does mention Paul, and his claims about “disinterested comments” don’t quite work. Let me lay this out for you. Ehrman claims that Paul makes these comments, that James was Jesus’ brother, casually, and with disinterest. He then claims that everyone already knew what Paul was telling them, which begs the question, if this was already known, then why bother saying it? If it was not interesting, why did Paul bother? Now, if one reads the letters and Acts, there is a very good reason for Paul to be mentioning this about Jesus, it supports his claim that he and he alone is JC’s successor. Paul hated anyone who was teaching another version of Christianity, and we know that was happening, so much that Paul damns them. Ehrman claims that it is not an embellishment that Paul supposedly met James. The problem is that Ehrman has no ability to know this one way or the other. He makes a baseless claim and has nothing to support it. We have nothing more than Paul’s claim, something that has good reason to be made, because it establishes Paul’s authority.

                      Ehrman is very disappointing in this video, with his use of “no truescotsman arguments” and his sad lies when he claims not to have ever heard of any scholars who disagree with him, Robert Price, and then once IG presses the point, finally admits that golly, he has corresponded with him. It’s also sad when Ehrman claims that Price isn’t a scholar and isn’t a teacher, when 5 minutes of googling shows this to be wrong. I certainly didn’t revere Ehrman before and now I’m just embarrassed for him.

                      Alas for you, no one cares what you want to redefine evidence as. Writings are indeed evidence, and funny how we have NONE from Jesus Christ at all. We have stories, which contradict each other, but nothing from JC himself. Please do show evidence that the bible was written by “friends of Jesus”. I’m sure bible scholars everywhere will be most interested since there is no evidence for this at all.
                      … …
                      Let’s take a look at the claim of extra-biblical writings. I’m guessing you’ve not actually looked at these very carefully, taking the word of your fellow Christians that these are just such great bits of evidence. Let’s see if they are.

                      Josephus was a Jewish historian. His writings are considered fairly good historically, supported by other evidence. I am going to guess that you’ve never actually read what he wrote and know that the one part that Christians cite are known to be a forgery Now, how do we know that Josephus existed? Why yes, by his writing and those who wrote about him and how this matches up with other evidence. Josephus mentions James as the brother of the Christ. Scholars are unsure if this is meaning a sibling or a man considered a brother as in a follower/believer. Josephus also mentions a Jesus who became high priest. So, here we have the recording of a death of a Christian, whose relationship to Jesus is unclear. It does tell us that Christians did exist, but if that’s all it does, then any reference to any believer of any god can be considered evidence that any god exists and is as real as your god. Are you okay with that? Josephus also writes about John the Baptist, good evidence that itinerant preachers existed and annoyed the powerful. Josephus gives details that contradict those in the bible. Which shall we believe?

                      There is also the problem that Josephus did not like Herod and he misses reporting about a big event in the bible, the massacre of the innocents. The most famous part, the testamonium flavium, supposedly has Josephus mentioning JC by name and calling him the Christ and not a man. The problem with this is that early Christians never mentioned Josephus saying this at all. It took 300 years for a Christian to suddenly claim that Josephus mentioned Christ and believed he was the son of God. The original text seems to be a notation of a teacher killed by the Romans. This is could be very true. The story that this man was magical, no evidence for that at all, even in Josephus who is relating the origin story of the Christians that he knew very well existed.

                      Tacitus is often mentioned by Christians in their need for evidence for their religion. Tacitus is repeating what Christians claim around 100 years later (based on Christians claims which can’t quite agree on when bible events happen), a very good historical record of that, but not of the supposed events themselves. …

                      Suetonius, Pliny, Lucian, Hadrian and his clerk, do the same as Tacitus,they mention Christians and what they believe, not the events of the bible. …

                      … …

                      The Talmud mentions a man who was murdered by the Jews by stoning or hanging for doing magic. No romans mentioned, no cruxifiction. This man was the bastard son of a soldier. Indeed, how are we to know this is the same story, PP? What evidence do you have? What you have given is a story that is about something else, but you try to wedge it into your myths because you need evidence so badly to believe. Are you good with also believing that JC was the by-blow of a Roman soldier and not the son or God? Btw, Jesus is greek for Joshua, so how many Jews do you think are named Joshua? There’s also the idea that “Yeshu” is an acrostic for removing the name of such a sorcerer from history.

                      Bar-Serapion mentions a wise king killed by the Jews. This contradicts your bible, PP. It has a dead man, no Christ at all, no resurrection. Again, we have a repetition of a story, no evidence that the events happened.

                      Valentius was a gnostic Christian and was born a century after any supposed events, so we have someone believing in something he was told with no evidence, and making claims he has secret knowledge passed from his master from Paul himself. …

                      As for Saturnius, no idea who you are talking about. …

                      To finish up, I’ll ask you simple questions, PP. What is your definition of evidence? Do you accept that the mention of any beliver in any god is evidence for that god and those gods are as real as yours? Do you accept that the claims of other religins are true as long as their stories are written down? Does this mean that any religion that has believers who accept its teachings many years after the supposed events is just as real and as true as your religion, PP? If you want to claim the instances you have given as evidence, then that same evidence must stand for any religion. If you wish to insist it doesn’t, that ends up as just special pleading, wanting things to apply to your nonsense but to no others.

                      Like

                    • papapound 02/12/2016 at 11:54 am

                      Vel wrote: “Ehrman does say that we have more evidence for Jesus than we have for anyone in his time period. That’s not true but he is saying it as a historian, which makes one wonder just what he thinks evidence is.”

                      You don’t believe Dr. Ehrman, an expert. Vel says he does not know what evidence is. Help me! He has studied THE data sources for years as a professional. Studied the texts and languages at a prestigious university. He writes well and is read widely. Yet, someone trained as he has been trained does not know what evidence is. All indicators is that he does know what evidence is for ancients and historical figures.

                      I agree with his analogy of ancient figure evidence vs more recent past figure evidence. How do we know Abe Lincoln existed? Writings! There is no one alive today who can speak into your ear and say, “I knew Abe, I saw him in action, I voted for him.” Same with ancients. All we have is verifiable records of their existence.

                      One experience that drastically affected my view of evidence of the ancients occurred when I was no more than 10 YOA. I heard a radio teacher who taught on secular theologians of that day proclaiming there never were Hittites nor a Hittite civilization. I remember pondering: Genesis records the activities of Hittites. We can’t prove they existed. Hmmm! What is the impact of that? Does it make Genesis unreliable/inaccurate? I couldn’t answer that question at the time. Does anyone question the existence of the Hittites today? Of course not! But, university professors of that day were proclaiming that they never existed.

                      I’ve been to the British Museum. I’ve seen the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III. It shows that there really was a man named Jehu who was the king of Israel, recorded in II Kings 9 he lived in the time period noted there. The name of Hazael, the king of Syria at that time — recorded in II Kings 9 — also appears on the Black Obelisk. There are other artifacts in the British Museum which confirm or validate other data in the Old Testament as well. Yes, that is relevant to me because Jesus’ ministry depends heavily on the data and teachings of the Old Testament.

                      In 1961, the Pilate stone was discovered. It reads in part: …]S TIBERIVM …PON]TIVS PILATVS …PRAEF]ECTVS IVDA[EA], translated “Pontius Pilate, prefect of Judaea”. Significant to me because it shows that a Pontius Pilate existed in the time that Jesus was tried because he was prefect under Tiberius. Other sources put Pilate as prefect at 26-36AD.

                      Back to Ehrman, for the existence of any ancient, he would view writings focused on the data value. What in an ancient text verifies existence of a place, a person or an event. He assumes there may be embellishment and his critical skill(s) allow extracting data from the text. To a textual critic, eye witness testimony has value, has meaning. More than extra-biblical testimony even.

                      I look to scholars because I am not a textual critic. I do not know the languages. I am not trained as he and others have been. Let’s face it, I am a flunky and you are a flunky by comparison unless, of course, you have been trained in ancient languages and as a textual critic.

                      Vel, data is available to you, but to me there seems to be something else you are digging for, which is below the intellect. What is it? Do you want to deal with that thing whatever it is? Data will never satisfy whatever is there. You can’t agree to disagree. Something won’t let you.

                      What I love is “love.” This love I have transforms, though not to perfection. In this world there is no perfection. So much is broken here!

                      Like

                    • clubschadenfreude 02/12/2016 at 6:23 pm

                      You are lying again, PP. I find that Ehrman is an expert in the NT. That doesn’t make him perfect or all his claims true. Yes, he has studied the bible for years and knows ancient languages, so have other people who disagree with him. Thus your little attempt to use the appeal to authority fallacy fails….again.

                      Ehrman presents no evidence that his nonmagical messiah existed. If you wish to disagree, tell me what evidence he presented in the video, PP. As I have pointed out, we do know what evidence is, and I’m*still* waiting for you to tell me what you think evidence is, PP. Why is it that you refuse to answer that question? Is it that you know that what you will claim as evidence will be the same as the religions you claim are wrong?

                      What appears to be happening with Ehrman is that he does indeed know what evidence is, but wishes it not to have to apply to his hypothesis that the Jesus myth was based on one man.

                      … …

                      There may indeed have been a Jehu, a king of Israel. Again, the points made above about your magic book mentioning real people and places would make the claims of all other religions just as real as yours. It would make the Spider-man comic books real. Funny how there is no evidence of David, Solomon, etc and their supposedly fabulous palaces. Why is that, PP? And no, there are no other artifacts in the British Museum that “validate other data in the Old Testament”. You’ve run them out with the claim of the obelisk. There are artifacts that support that there were kingdoms in the middle east, but nothing from the bible. Some Christians like to claim that the tel Amarna tablets say Hebrew but they don’t at all. They say “habiru” which is always rather silly, the desperate claim that “read” and “red” mean the same thing since they may sound alike. I found a lovely claim by Christians that somehow the Rosetta stone has magically become “evidence” for the bible. Just like so many of your claims, the evidence points to things we already know, like there certainly were Jews and Christians. Nothing support the events of the bible.

                      I do agree that the stories about JC do have him making claims about the OT, including that all of the laws of the OT are to be followed. Funny how that isn’t so important to you at all. It’s terribly inconvenient when you are commanded to murder people and those not of your religion frown on that. JC mentions the flood, but surprise there is no evidence for this, and even Christians don’t agree that it ever happened. Yep, the Pilate stone was discovered. Again, this does nothing to show that the events in the bible happened. IF you wish to claim that this is evidence for yoru bible being true, then again the mentioning of Greek myths about kings who existed means that the Greek gods also exist just like your god. Okay with this, PP? I do love that you show that Christians can’t agree on when any of their nonsense happened.

                      You lie again, PP. Ehrman claims that there is no embellishment and that is something he cannot know. He has shown no evidence nor have you. I’ve often heard the claims of “textual critic” and that is nothing more than someone trying to claim that their interpretation is better than someone else’s, again with no evidence that theirs is any better. There is no eyewitness testimony in the bible, PP. Chrsitians claim this but there is no evidence of it, and the bible is great in showing that the authors of the bible contradict each other’s supposed “eyewitness testimony” and write scenes that there was no witness to at all. You again fail.

                      I know you look to scholars since you are ignorant of many things, including your own bible, and want someone to agree with you. Scholars also show that your claims are false, and they are also textual critics and know the ancient languages. You may consider yourself a “flunky”. I do not consider myself one and I do not slavishly believe what it told to me. I do not try to hide behind arguments from authority that are not based on evidence.

                      … …

                      Again, I’ll ask you questions: What is your definition of evidence? Do you accept that the mention of any beliver in any god is evidence for that god and those gods are as real as yours? Do you accept that the claims of other religins are true as long as their stories are written down? Does this mean that any religion that has believers who accept its teachings many years after the supposed events is just as real and as true as your religion, PP? If you want to claim the instances you have given as evidence, then that same evidence must stand for any religion. If you wish to insist it doesn’t, that ends up as just special pleading, wanting things to apply to your nonsense but to no others.

                      Why won’t you answer my questions, PP?

                      Like

                    • papapound 02/13/2016 at 4:20 pm

                      Vel wrote (2 messages back): “Ehrman does say that we have more evidence for Jesus than we have for anyone in his time period. That’s NOT TRUE but he is saying it as a historian, which makes one wonder just what he thinks evidence is.”

                      Vel also wrote: “Ehrman presents no evidence that his nonmagical messiah existed. If you wish to disagree, tell me what evidence he presented in the video,”

                      A scholar who presented his conclusions, said that we have more evidence for Jesus than for anyone in his time period. Even though he is an expert in the NT, aka, existence of Jesus, and other “people” disagree with him, he, therefore, is not believable regarding his conclusions related to the existence of Jesus. A corollary, other “people” disagree with you, therefore, you are wrong, based on that logic. Other “people” disagree proves what? BTW, the very itinerant preacher is not Ehrman’s messiah. You are putting words in his mouth and he would disagree with you. He might say “was” but never “is my messiah.”

                      If you don’t accept evidence from an expert like Ehrman, why accept it from a flunky like me? It is a forgone conclusion that you would not accept and attempting to is pointless.

                      Vel said: “You are lying.” I lost count of how many times you addressed me with those words. I’m prejudged before I even counter. A counter is pointless.

                      Vel said: “who want this mysterious radio teacher?” It does not matter who the teacher was. He referred to then current anthropological and archeological research. Because no research had “discovered” Hittites, secular professors/scientists proclaimed Hittites did not exist. Hittites existed but profs were willing to proclaim they did not exist without the data to confirm. Later data proved their error. That was my main point.

                      Vel said: “There is nothing to show that you have any love at all” I say, “how could you presume you know that I love or do not love?” Again I am prejudged without evidence.

                      I believe in a very itinerant preacher who is the meekest, gentlest, kindest, most lovely person who may have lived, if the records are even half accurate. That bothers you! You cannot agree to disagree with me! There is something down there below the intellect that is troubling–causing the responses I see. But it is not visible thus may never be dealt with. That is not meant to be a judgement–just a perception I have. I’d love to be wrong.

                      Vel what is schadenfreude to you? Is it a negative, underhanded thinking/emotional response or a positive, cordial thinking/emotional response?

                      I will try to come up with a better “Merry Christmas” from atheists in 2016. Thanks.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • clubschadenfreude 02/14/2016 at 10:45 am

                      Vel(ClubSchadenfreude) said: Still no answers to my questions. Amazing.

                      Host: In my last comment that you read Vel, I said it is pointless to answer any question. Pointless to me means futile. It means a waste of energy. I am not sure you want evidence. You did not accept Dr Ehrman’s evidence, why would you accept my evidence. I have evidence for what I believe as do many people.

                      Vel: I have no problem in calling you a liar and showing you are a liar.

                      Host: Is this part of your core? I am not sure this is respectful. It is not in my view. Yet, it doesn’t seem to faze you Vel. Again a sign that something deep within is gnawing on you. As long as it is not dealt with, it will continue to be a factor.

                      Vel: It bothers me not at all that you claim to believe in “very itinerant preacher gentlest, kindest, most lovely person who may have lived, if the records are even half accurate”. There are no records of this person so belief is all you have (it’s not exactly meek to say that this character is bringing a sword either). You also don’t only believe in this figure, you also claim that this figure did magic, was somehow divine, etc. I have no reason to agree with your claims at all since those claims are baseless with no evidence to support them.

                      Host: These comments are way out front of any previous conversation. You didn’t explain the context for “a sword.” I have never mentioned or referred to magic.

                      Vel: Schadenfreude is the enjoyment of the misfortune that people suffer, in my case the suffering caused themselves by their own actions of willful ignorance and intentional lies.

                      Host: You’ve chosen to attach yourself to this concept so much so that it is your domain name. It is a German word or concept and there appears to be to me (I always have to say “appears to be to me” lest I be called a liar once more) no English equivalent. It appears also you assume schadenfreude of people you don’t even know. Why does a person experience joy in seeing other people suffer? I don’t understand the tie of schadenfreude to willful ignorance and intentional lies. Does that pertain to me? In my heart of hearts I do not intentionally lie nor have I lied to you in any response. Vel you are free to call anything that you perceive a lie. It seems you do that without considering context, background thoughts or motives. I am a liar to you. Dr. Ehrman is a liar. Perceiving others as lying when they disagree with you must be part of schadenfreude. Or, maybe schadenfreude is dominant here, ie, you find pleasure in calling another person a liar.

                      Host: Schadenfreude is foreign to me and I promise any readers who read this to distance myself from schadenfreude and other evils.

                      Like

                    • papapound 12/31/2015 at 11:16 am

                      From your story:”People were so nasty to each other.” Yes, they are nasty to each other. Some sink to the level of being nasty to themselves! The label does not make a Christ follower. Many today are labeled–few are authentic (still, authentic and label-only are broken badly).

                      From your story:”I believe they were Methodists but we were close enough that there should have been no problems.” (Idealism) Not that people in your church would have known the differences, but Methodism and Presbyterianism have contrasting interpretations of key theological points. I don’t believe that was root cause however, ‘people are nasty’ (ego, pride, arrogance, being right, lack of love) hints at root cause of the division.

                      Like

                    • clubschadenfreude 12/29/2015 at 5:32 pm

                      perhaps I can ask a direct question: do you believe your god is hiding under a rock somewhere in the universe or do you believe in the god described in the bible?

                      Like

                    • papapound 12/30/2015 at 6:20 am

                      Did you read Dr. Luke? Are you interested in the historical record?

                      Like

                    • clubschadenfreude 12/30/2015 at 5:52 pm

                      Nice way to try to ignore my posts. I have said I have and the entire bible too. Now, your evidence for your claims please.

                      Like

                    • papapound 01/04/2016 at 2:13 pm

                      I noticed your “Library.” Have you ever considered balancing this list with authors like: William Lane Craig,
                      Norman Geisler, Gary Habermas, Josh McDowell, Alvin Plantinga, Hugh Ross, Francis Schaeffer and Cornelius Van Til? These are just some that I know and like.

                      Like

  2. papapound 01/12/2016 at 11:19 am

    I realize that some links to other information put on this blog may be helpful here.

    The Bart Ehrman approach to scholarship: https://goodnewsnow.wordpress.com/2011/02/17/the-misquoted-jesus-is-now-a-forged-jesus/ The Bart Ehrman weakness in writing Jesus Interrupted https://goodnewsnow.wordpress.com/2009/11/05/477/

    Many resources are available for those wanting reviews of and counterattacks to people in the marketplace coming against Jesus, His followers and His Word, the Bible.

    Like

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