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How does God do anything?

Swammerdami

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I reviewed some of the evidence for an historic Jesus, and have swung back to my previous position. (I also came across mention of a letter regarding Josephus' book in which Jesus WAS mentioned but the "Messiah" interpolation was apparently NOT yet present. Unfortunately the mention didn't come with a date or a cite.)

Recently I watched a video by Richard Carrier discussing his book On the Historicity of Jesus. ... two hypotheses worth considering are
(a) There was a real Jesus, presumably of Nazareth, who inspired the new religion(s) but he performed no miracles and was not resurrected.
(b) There was no such Jesus at all; the whole story is an invention.

I agree those are the choices, but Occam's Razor leads me to (a). Carrier, on the other hand, feels that (b) is much more probable. ... I'm sure Carrier knows much more* on the topic than I do, so I will be less adamant about Jesus' historicity going forward.

The consensus, IIUC, is that Josephus DID write about Jesus, but some brief phrases ("He was the Messiah") were later interpolations. This makes sense to me. Adding a sentence is easier than a paragraph when interpolating, and if Christians DID inject the entire paragraphs about Jesus, surely they would not have been as lukewarm as Josephus' mention (sans "Messiah")....

Tacitus writing about 116 AD discusses the famous fire during the reign of Emperor Nero:
But all human efforts, all the lavish gifts of the emperor, and the propitiations of the gods, did not banish the sinister belief that the conflagration was the result of an order. Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition ...
Tacitus wrote this about fifty years after the fire but there are many histories from that time treated as the best available evidence despite delays even longer than 50 years. And the scholarly consensus is that the copy of Tacitus' work is authentic. Anyway, does this affect Jesus' historicity? That there were Christians in Rome by Nero's time is NOT in dispute — or so I thought — just whether the "Christ" they worshiped was a real Jesus, or a myth presumably invented 20 years or so before.

 Suetonius on Christians also mentions (in 121 AD) the connection between Nero's fire and Christians. In the same book Suetonius mentions "Chresto" and an associated expulsion under the earlier Emperor Claudius, probably the same expulsion mentioned in Acts 18:2.

St. Paul was writing by the 50's AD. Source "Q" is dated to about that time. The Christian church would have had to be strong by the 50's to be a threat in Rome to Emperors Claudius and Nero. These dates are about 20 years after the alleged crucifixion: The older Christians might have been well aware that Jesus was a made-up character, if that's what he was. It's not enough to say "By 'good' luck none of them said anything" — the religion's inventors would not have dared to run such a risk. Ergo: Jesus WAS historic.

What does Carrier think of this? I Googled "Richard Carrier Tacitus" and found he wrote a paper on Tacitus readable on-line for $39.95. The abstract, however, is free
Some scholars have argued that Tacitus’ reference to Christ in connection with the burning of Rome under Nero is a 4th century (or later) interpolation. It is here argued that their arguments can be met with no strong rebuttal, and therefore the key sentence in Tacitus referring to Christ should be considered suspect.
I've decided to treat Richard Carrier as suspect. :)
 

bilby

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Recently I watched a video by Richard Carrier discussing his book On the Historicity of Jesus[/URL]. Carrier has a PhD in History of Philosophy and has written other books on this topic. As an atheist, he makes clear that the only two hypotheses worth considering are
(a) There was a real Jesus, presumably of Nazareth, who inspired the new religion(s) but he performed no miracles and was not resurrected.
(b) There was no such Jesus at all; the whole story is an invention.
Wait, what?

Those hypotheses aren't worth considering.

a) There's no possible way to test either, so we can never be sure which is true; and

b) It wouldn't make one iota of difference to anything even if we could be 100% certain of the truth of the matter.

Once we understand that Superman is entirely fictional, and that nobody is faster than a speeding bullet or more powerful than a locomotive, that's the end of the interest that character holds. If I were to prove, beyond the slightest doubt, that somewhere in the USA in the 1930s there lived a reporter called Clark Kent, who worked at a newspaper with coworkers called Lois and Jimmy, and that Mr Kent was the adopted foundling child of a mid western farming couple, what possible difference would that discovery make to anything?

We might conclude that the people who wrote the Superman stories had heard of Mr Kent, and used him as a template on which to build their fiction. But how would this alter anything for anybody? It's a completely pointless exercise to debate the historicity of Clark Kent. Nobody cares whether he was a real person - other than in the context of his alleged superpowers.

Perhaps there was an historical person (or persons) who were the basis of the tales of Jesus of Nazareth, messiah and miracle worker. Perhaps there wasn't. But the real mystery here is 'Why does anyone care?'.
 

atrib

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I'm not a religionist (didn't know there were such things). I don't promote or defend any religious beliefs. I'm a theist I believe our existence and the universe was intentionally caused. Not because of what we don't know and can't observe but based on what we do know and observe.
Except that you can't observe the great intender. You can't observe it, measure it, smell it, quantify it, predict what it will do, experiment with it, hear it, feel it, see it, you can't do anything with it. Unless of course you and the great intender are one and the same.

You can't observe, taste, feel, touch or explain the alleged natural forces that caused nature to exist but that doesn't stop you from believing they caused the universe and life to exist...true?
Yes you can. That is why the EU spent 11 billion euros to build the Large Hadron Collider, which successfully detected the Higgs Boson. A Nobel Prize was awarded to the scientists key to this discovery in 2013. Were you not aware of this? Some cosmological models postulate the existence of scalar fields similar to the Higgs Field that gives massive particles their mass, so in theory we do have the capacity to observe the interactions of such fields/forces.
 

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I think the understanding is: the people who wrote the bible, would still be within their life expectancies, living during when Jesus was alive, and after His death when the Gospels are understood to have been written.
You don’t know that. You have no idea who they were
Existed Rhea. The majority (if not all) agree Jesus existed.
Not the same Jesus you believe. You believe in a divine being who did specific things. Secular scholars (soe of them, anyway) believe in the existence of some person who bears a slight resemblance to the non-magical things in a few of the stories, and many scholars posit an amalgam of several people. That is NOT, at all, believing that your Jesus existed.

Well yes of course... my Jesus,we didn't get to that. We can discuss that too....

I forgot you would need a transcript from the previous vid I posted of Bart Erhman. He says ALL the scholars and historians of the NT agrees with Jesus's existence.
No, he doesn't. Richard Carrier, PhD in History from Columbia, for one, doesn't believe Jesus was a real historical person, and he has written books about it. And there is no way Erhman could know what every single historian believes.

You really need to stop making up shit.

A post in haste and my error but note the bold red above to Rhea. I see now, that was not quite representing or doing justice to what Bart Ehman said.

You (plural) must have skipped over the vid .. because what usually happens I find is : you would usually correct me and say " No Bart Erhman didn't say every historian, because we saw the vid (the link in post# 284)."

I'll remedy the error. I should have posted a transcript of what I wanted to highlight (and for Rhea, who I believe doesn''t have broadband coverage over there).

Bart Erhman said:

"There is no scholar in any college or any university, in the Western world, who teaches classics, ancient history, new testament, early Christianity; any related field, who doubts Jesus's existence....

..Now that is not evidence... that is not evidence. Just because everybody thinks so, doesn't make it evidence. But.. if you want to know the theory of evolution, versus the theory of creationism, and every scholar in every reputable institution in the world, that thinks; [or] believes in evolution, - it may not be evidence, but if you've got a different opinion, you'd better have a pretty good piece of evidence yourself!

There are... the reason for thinking why Jesus existed, is because He is abundantly attested in early sources ... that's why...."

He further mentions the details are in his book of course (you got to earn a living as does Dawkins). AND interestingly in the scholarly community, Bart Erhman alludes to the acceptance of both existences of Paul who knew Jesus's brother.


"..but if you've got a different opinion, you'd better have a pretty good piece of evidence yourself!" What say you?
 
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T.G.G. Moogly

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"..but if you've got a different opinion, you'd better have a pretty good piece of evidence yourself!" What say you?
I'm curious your take on my previous post about the good shepherd ring. Is this a christian ring?

The Good Shepherd is a Roman motif yet someone discovers a ring, sees a good shepherd symbol and says it's proof of Jesus. Fact is it isn't, just like all the allusions Erhman uses, all of which can be debunked.

But maybe you think that Dickens' Ebenezer Scrooge is a historical person as well. If you do, again, you have no evidence, even if all the people writing about Scrooge think he's real.

And remember, we're talking about the literary character, not what inspires literary characters. Just because horses are real does not mean there is an historical Pegasus.
 

atrib

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I think the understanding is: the people who wrote the bible, would still be within their life expectancies, living during when Jesus was alive, and after His death when the Gospels are understood to have been written.
You don’t know that. You have no idea who they were
Existed Rhea. The majority (if not all) agree Jesus existed.
Not the same Jesus you believe. You believe in a divine being who did specific things. Secular scholars (soe of them, anyway) believe in the existence of some person who bears a slight resemblance to the non-magical things in a few of the stories, and many scholars posit an amalgam of several people. That is NOT, at all, believing that your Jesus existed.

Well yes of course... my Jesus,we didn't get to that. We can discuss that too....

I forgot you would need a transcript from the previous vid I posted of Bart Erhman. He says ALL the scholars and historians of the NT agrees with Jesus's existence.
No, he doesn't. Richard Carrier, PhD in History from Columbia, for one, doesn't believe Jesus was a real historical person, and he has written books about it. And there is no way Erhman could know what every single historian believes.

You really need to stop making up shit.

A post in haste and my error but note the bold red above to Rhea. I see now, that was not quite representing or doing justice to what Bart Ehman said.

You (plural) must have skipped over the vid .. because what usually happens I find is : you would usually correct me and say " No Bart Erhman didn't say every historian, because we saw the vid (the link in post# 284)."

I'll remedy the error. I should have posted a transcript of what I wanted to highlight (and for Rhea, who I believe doesn''t have broadband coverage over there).

Bart Erhman said:

"There is no scholar in any college or any university, in the Western world, who teaches classics, ancient history, new testament, early Christianity; any related field, who doubts Jesus's existence....

..Now that is not evidence... that is not evidence. Just because everybody thinks so, doesn't make it evidence. But.. if you want to know the theory of evolution, versus the theory of creationism, and every scholar in every reputable institution in the world, that thinks; [or] believes in evolution, - it may not be evidence, but if you've got a different opinion, you'd better have a pretty good piece of evidence yourself!

There are... the reason for thinking why Jesus existed, is because He is abundantly attested in early sources ... that's why...."

He further mentions the details are in his book of course (you got to earn a living as does Dawkins). AND interestingly in the scholarly community, Bart Erhman alludes to the acceptance of both existences of Paul who knew Jesus's brother.


"..but if you've got a different opinion, you'd better have a pretty good piece of evidence yourself!" What say you?

Great post. I appreciate you making the effort to transcribe Ehrman's words for those of us who are too lazy, or don't have the time to watch the entire video. And making a coherent, logical argument for your case.

I don't have a strong opinion in the matter. I have very little knowledge of the historicity of Jesus other than reading a small handful of books. But even if the stories are based on a real flesh and blood preacher who lived around the time the stories reference, that doesn't add any credibility to the claim that Jesus was the clone of god, or that he performed miracles. Many thousands of people have claimed to be prophets and made tall claims, and all of them, including Jesus if he existed, have one thing in common - there is zero evidence to support the proposition that they were speaking for a god.
 

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I am glad to say that the choice of text colour for Ehrman's words makes them completely illegible with my choice of theme.

So you guys in Oz not only walk upside-down, you use upside-down colors? :)

But it's a good point to know. I'll try to remember to avoid coloring text in future.
 

Angra Mainyu

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I am glad to say that the choice of text colour for Ehrman's words makes them completely illegible with my choice of theme.

So you guys in Oz not only walk upside-down, you use upside-down colors? :)

But it's a good point to know. I'll try to remember to avoid coloring text in future.
Yeah, it looks like a southern hemisphere thing, as they're illegible for me as well. :D (nah. I just made my screen super bright, and now I can read it).
 

Swammerdami

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I reviewed some of the evidence for an historic Jesus, and have swung back to my previous position.
...
St. Paul was writing by the 50's AD. Source "Q" is dated to about that time. The Christian church would have had to be strong by the 50's to be a threat in Rome to Emperors Claudius and Nero. These dates are about 20 years after the alleged crucifixion: The older Christians might have been well aware that Jesus was a made-up character, if that's what he was. It's not enough to say "By 'good' luck none of them said anything" — the religion's inventors would not have dared to run such a risk.
For Paul, only the Resurrection was important; but Mark barely mentions it. (Is this even sensical in an anti-historical position?) The other three Gospels go into great details to "refute" obstacles to belief in the Resurrection, but the most obvious possible objection — that the Nazarene never existed at all — is apparently never raised.

Therefore (on today of all days) we have tidings (possibly of great joy):

Resolved: that
This Board believes that a certain Jesus of Nazareth did exist, and that during the reign of the Emperor Tiberius he was sentenced by Pontius Pilate to be crucified..

Moreover.
Resolved: that
This Board believes that Richard Carrier PhD does not assess this historicity fairly or accurately.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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The only reason for the constant debate is because it involves religion. If it didn't involve religion it would be like Atlantis, Paul Bunyan or Flat Earthism.
 

Swammerdami

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I disagree. I certainly do NOT think Jesus walked on water, raised Lazarus from the dead, or appeared to his disciples after his death. But (as you should know, Moogly) historical mysteries intrigue me. What did Jesus do that made him so famous? Heal? Preach? Instigate insurrection? Or (to quote the Humphrey Bogart character in Casablanca) was it a combination of all three? Many Jews were crucified by Pontius Pilate, some of them probably named "Jesus." But did any of those Jesuses even come from Nazareth at all?

These are questions of history, independent of any religious significance. Many (atheist) scholars have speculated on these matters and come to different conclusions. I think it's interesting to read about the controversy and try to form my own conclusions.
 

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This Board believes that a certain Jesus of Nazareth did exist, and that during the reign of the Emperor Tiberius he was sentenced by Pontius Pilate to be crucified..
I posit this board believes nothing, other than that certain information has passed through a wire that connects in some way to it's internal workings, and specifically only that information which is "paged memory" and "allocated disk contents" and core context. Further, it believes a number of session IDs are of an "authenticated" class of some type of another.

This is what the board believes.

It has no capacity for any other form of belief on its own, unless RayJ has been tinkering with some AI garbage on the board software and not telling us.

As to the members, I do not believe that. I believe it is just as likely that someone came up with and spread a Jewish flavored cult classic that people believed was true, on account of the fact that Josephus et al. at best supports the existence of people who believed in, not actual existence of, a Christ figure. Then, I could give a shit less what historians assume is good evidence of a thing actually happening.

I look at the evidence, all of that same evidence, and there are a lot of immediately observable instances in contemporary times of alternative courses of events that yield similar outcomes.
 

Swammerdami

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Resolved: that
This Board believes that a certain Jesus of Nazareth did exist, and that during the reign of the Emperor Tiberius he was sentenced by Pontius Pilate to be crucified..
I posit this board believes nothing, other than that certain information has passed through a wire that connects in some way to it's internal workings, and specifically only that information which is "paged memory" and "allocated disk contents" and core context. Further, it believes a number of session IDs are of an "authenticated" class of some type of another.

Surely you were aware that I was trying to mimic the style of some debating societies when they introduce a motion for debate?

More generally: Some of you — I'm thinking especially of someone other than Jarhyn — reply with great earnestness and sobriety to posts by me which — I thought — were hilariously tongue-in-cheek. I'm afraid I may need to dial back my whimsy-generation circuity several dozen notches. :(
 

Jarhyn

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Resolved: that
This Board believes that a certain Jesus of Nazareth did exist, and that during the reign of the Emperor Tiberius he was sentenced by Pontius Pilate to be crucified..
I posit this board believes nothing, other than that certain information has passed through a wire that connects in some way to it's internal workings, and specifically only that information which is "paged memory" and "allocated disk contents" and core context. Further, it believes a number of session IDs are of an "authenticated" class of some type of another.

Surely you were aware that I was trying to mimic the style of some debating houses when they introduce a motion for debate?

More generally: Some of you — I'm thinking especially of someone other than Jarhyn — reply with great earnestness and sobriety to posts by me which — I thought — were hilariously tongue-in-cheek. I'm afraid I'm going to have dial back my whimsy-generation sircuity several dozen notches. :(
Heh...

Sorry. I was aware at the attempt at humor, however I have a compulsion in that I am a serial joke killer. I see a joke and I just have to strangle it to death.
 

Swammerdami

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Heh...

Sorry. I was aware at the attempt at humor, however I have a compulsion in that I am a serial joke killer. I see a joke and I just have to strangle it to death.
No problem. I'm sure I'm a bigger offender than you anyway. And my joke, if that's what was, was completely un-funny. :(

And I'd not have responded at all, if you'd left the (clarifying?) "Resolved: that" in view in your excerpt. :)
 

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Back on topic though, when I "do something" with respect to actually leveraging godlike powers, generally "the doing" does not actually happen directly 'there'. There are some calculations of the deed that are assessed in the environment but when I am in the process of "doing" as a god does, time stops in that universe, and nothing happens except in the next moment things are different: what in the universe was "1101" now reads "0010" or whatever.

Nothing happened in the universe to make that happen, I just shoved numbers in a place.

Sometimes numbers end up in the same place in an entity where, if that entity were "a normal denizen", those numbers would be populated by their behavioral system. The behavioral system of my avatar, however, gets suppressed. It does not even execute normally (which is also kind of gnarly), except their "needs", and only because I have not shut that off, too. But those numbers end up in the place they must just... Out of nowhere, from the perspective of the universe itself.

Essentially, when gods are being godlike, the biggest tell-tale is that the things they want to happen just... happen... without reliable causation.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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I disagree. I certainly do NOT think Jesus walked on water, raised Lazarus from the dead, or appeared to his disciples after his death. But (as you should know, Moogly) historical mysteries intrigue me. What did Jesus do that made him so famous? Heal? Preach? Instigate insurrection? Or (to quote the Humphrey Bogart character in Casablanca) was it a combination of all three? Many Jews were crucified by Pontius Pilate, some of them probably named "Jesus." But did any of those Jesuses even come from Nazareth at all?

These are questions of history, independent of any religious significance. Many (atheist) scholars have speculated on these matters and come to different conclusions. I think it's interesting to read about the controversy and try to form my own conclusions.
We'd all like to know exactly what happened. It can only be fiction that got historicized but who wrote the original story, where was he from, who was his audience? When did Paul come in? When did Marcion come in? Was the original story gnostic? Lots of questions and fodder for cottage industrialists. And I always wince when I hear "historical Jesus."
 

Rhea

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Surely you were aware that I was trying to mimic the style of some debating societies when they introduce a motion for debate?
I was not aware hat it was sarcasm. I was confused.
 

Jarhyn

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I disagree. I certainly do NOT think Jesus walked on water, raised Lazarus from the dead, or appeared to his disciples after his death. But (as you should know, Moogly) historical mysteries intrigue me. What did Jesus do that made him so famous? Heal? Preach? Instigate insurrection? Or (to quote the Humphrey Bogart character in Casablanca) was it a combination of all three? Many Jews were crucified by Pontius Pilate, some of them probably named "Jesus." But did any of those Jesuses even come from Nazareth at all?

These are questions of history, independent of any religious significance. Many (atheist) scholars have speculated on these matters and come to different conclusions. I think it's interesting to read about the controversy and try to form my own conclusions.
We'd all like to know exactly what happened. It can only be fiction that got historicized but who wrote the original story, where was he from, who was his audience? When did Paul come in? When did Marcion come in? Was the original story gnostic? Lots of questions and fodder for cottage industrialists. And I always wince when I hear "historical Jesus."
I guess where I stand on the issue is that the suspicion alone of it being false is sufficient reason to discount it as anything more than, well "suspect".

I have read and even appreciate the original story, though. When viewed from certain angles that religious people are, sadly, quite likely to miss it contains a stunning amount of good philosophical product, though shows so little of it's work as to be unhelpful.

Elsewhere, someone brought up the idea, in response to my discussions of real, extant "gods of universes", of which I am one, not of this universe (I hope, not anyway ._. ), that there are in the gnostic tradition ideas of "god the greater" and "god the lesser", that things like me create universes (badly), but that there is also a concept of an overarching truth of social metaphysics as well, and that this hope for a better future in being good to one another, the fact that it makes "good" a tangible reality, is worthy of consideration.

Interestingly, to just hold that shining truth inside you makes you that entity entire, not a knower of all truth but absolutely a holder of what is quite possibly the most important truth for things like us. And thus gives truth to "I Am".

Of course, none of this gives any real lev rage to Christianity as it stands in modern or even ancient times. If the author had a good message, it has been run hard by facile understandings of it and taken even further out into the weeds of bad faith, still: an idea that may be supported in part or whole by the intelligent is then wielded by the evil against the ignorant to attach whatever they please for selfish, short term goals.

I can say for certain, that if ever I create a heaven in which things like us may live, it will be as difficult for a wealthy person to attain as it is for a person in poverty; moreso because the wealth implies, all on its own, an allegiance to Mammon rather than this social truth.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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I have read and even appreciate the original story, though. When viewed from certain angles that religious people are, sadly, quite likely to miss it contains a stunning amount of good philosophical product, though shows so little of it's work as to be unhelpful.
It's a superhero story and the superhero's message was a heck of a lot simpler to the masses so why wouldn't they throw in? Sure, an author had to invent the story, that's not original.

I posted a link in another thread about a recently discovered "Good Shepherd" ring. It isn't at all christian if you look at it, but it is now, 2000 years later. That's how christianity started, exactly the same way.
 

Jarhyn

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I have read and even appreciate the original story, though. When viewed from certain angles that religious people are, sadly, quite likely to miss it contains a stunning amount of good philosophical product, though shows so little of it's work as to be unhelpful.
It's a superhero story and the superhero's message was a heck of a lot simpler to the masses so why wouldn't they throw in? Sure, an author had to invent the story, that's not original.

I posted a link in another thread about a recently discovered "Good Shepherd" ring. It isn't at all christian if you look at it, but it is now, 2000 years later. That's how christianity started, exactly the same way.
So the biggest problem for me has always been the issue that people tune out when you show your work. It's really hard to have your cake and eat it too, to have a good philosophy and also sell it to others as something that they want in their lives.

And even if someone were to back the superhero story with an in-depth essay on the basis for the ethics and such, it would be ignored, or even lopped off entirely, likely for the specific purpose of manipulating the message.
 

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For me the idea that a god could create natural laws and bend them at will was too much.
 

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What is the actual mechanism by which God can affect the natural world? How did he create the universe? Does he just think stuff and then it happens? How can he read the minds of seven billion people at once? I’ve never heard a good answer to the question. “Because he’s god“ doesn’t count.

If your argument is since nobody can explain how an immaterial being can interact with material being, then that must mean God doesn't exist, then it isn't a good one. You'd have to show how the idea of an immaterial being interacting with a material world is logically incoherent. Immateriality != nonbeing or not anything.

Let me flip the question back to you. How does nonbeing or not anything produce material being? Because that's what some atheists believe.
 
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bilby

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What is the actual mechanism by which God can affect the natural world? How did he create the universe? Does he just think stuff and then it happens? How can he read the minds of seven billion people at once? I’ve never heard a good answer to the question. “Because he’s god“ doesn’t count.

If your argument is since nobody can explain how an immaterial being can interact with material being, then that must mean God doesn't exist, then it isn't a good one. You'd have to show how the idea of an immaterial being interacting with a material world is logically incoherent. Immateriality != nonbeing or not anything.
The idea of an immaterial being interacting with a material world needn't be logically incoherent to be false.

Perpetual motion machines are logically coherent, as are rocks that fall upwards.

The reason we rule these things out as possible is that our very well tested and highly successful physical theories would have to be wrong, if these things were to be possible.

The same applies to interactions with material objects.

Einstein tells us that energy and matter are interchangeable. This has been repeatedly tested in myriad ways.

Quantum field theory tells us that every force has a corresponding particle, and that the properties of both forces and their carrier particles fall into a collection of entities called the Standard Model.

If we accept these observations about how reality behaves, we can deduce certain things about those parts of reality that are not yet known. Then we can test those deductions. The Higgs particle (aka Higgs boson) is an excellent example of this.

When enough energy is crammed into a small enough volume, EVERY particle with a mass equivalent to or less than the available energy is always produced. So to detect the Higgs field, you can just put higher and higher energies in one place, until the Higgs particle appears.

This applies to all interactions between matter and anything else. You can detect photons (the carriers of electromagnetic force); W particles that carry the weak nuclear interaction; Gluons that carry the strong nuclear interaction, and so on.

Notably, the graviton hasn't been found. That's because it's too heavy (and therefore requires too much energy to create); And this goes hand in hand with its incrediby weak abilities. Gravity is so pathetically weak that the force exerted by the entire planet Earth can be overwhelmed by the electromagnetic force in a tiny fridge magnet.

Weak forces cannot be applied only in a small localised area; Their area of influence is always large. So the Earth's gravity cannot affect me, but not also affect the person standing next to me, or even a person several miles away. Everyone gets the same effects from weak forces.

There may be unknown forces; But their range of possible energies, given that we haven't yet detected their carrier particles, implies that they cannot interact meaningfully with any object as small as or smaller than a solar system (much less an individual human), without doing so with sufficient energy that a single particle would annihilate any human with whom it interacted.

So when we consider potentially unknown forces, affecting humans, we can say with certainty that either:

a) Those forces are weak, like gravity; They cannot influence one human without influencing them all in exactly the same way; or

b) Those forces must have given rise to carrier particles in our particle accelerators, (and yet they did not); or

c) The Standard Model of particle physics is not just wrong, but massively wrong in ways that would be obvious to physicists (it's not; We checked).

There are no other possibilities. Either we must reject interactions between our (hypothetical) souls and our material bodies; Or we must reject the Standard Model.

One of these things is purely speculative and is hypothesised as an attempt to rescue traditional thinking originating with pre-scientific minds; The other is the most accurate way of describing reality ever tested by science.

You don't HAVE to reject the idea that the immaterial could interact with material reality on human scales; But if you do not, you MUST reject all of modern physics. Or, as most people prefer, simply remain ignorant of it.

Note that the Standard Model need not be completely correct or correctly complete for this argument to stand. It's just got to be not wildly wrong at human scales. Just as Newton's gravity isn't completely accurate as a description of how massive bodies interact, but it's good enough for us to be sure that Einstein's revisions of it (and any future revisions of Einstein) will not produce rocks that sometimes fall upwards.
 

Ephesians

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The idea of an immaterial being interacting with a material world needn't be logically incoherent to be false.
I’m responding to the implications made by the thread starter. “How does God, an immaterial being, interact with the material world! That doesn’t make sense!”
How does it not make sense? That’s never explained. It’s just assumed.
Perpetual motion machines are logically coherent
You’re missing the point. How else would somebody argue that an immaterial being can’t interact with a material being? All we have is conceptual analysis. The best a person could do is show that this idea is logically incoherent.
The reason we rule these things out as possible is that our very well tested and highly successful physical theories would have to be wrong
You’re not off to a very good start. In no way does it follow that if an immaterial being can interact with a material being that therefore all physical theories are wrong. A non-sequitur. Please try again.

What’s ironic about you bringing up Quantum Mechanics and Einstein is that Max Planck, the father of Quantum Mechanics, believed that there was a matterless, energyless, and intelligent mind who was behind all matter and energy and who upheld all matter and energy. Do you have a better understanding of matter and energy than Max Planck?

I'm with Planck on this. I don't see the logical incoherence in the immaterial interacting with the material.
 

bilby

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The idea of an immaterial being interacting with a material world needn't be logically incoherent to be false.
I’m responding to the implications made by the thread starter. “How does God, an immaterial being, interact with the material world! That doesn’t make sense!”
How does it not make sense? That’s never explained. It’s just assumed.
Perpetual motion machines are logically coherent
You’re missing the point. How else would somebody argue that an immaterial being can’t interact with a material being? All we have is conceptual analysis. The best a person could do is show that this idea is logically incoherent.
The reason we rule these things out as possible is that our very well tested and highly successful physical theories would have to be wrong
You’re not off to a very good start. In no way does it follow that if an immaterial being can interact with a material being that therefore all physical theories are wrong. A non-sequitur. Please try again.

What’s ironic about you bringing up Quantum Mechanics and Einstein is that Max Planck, the father of Quantum Mechanics, believed that there was a matterless, energyless, and intelligent mind who was behind all matter and energy and who upheld all matter and energy. Do you have a better understanding of matter and energy than Max Planck?

I'm with Planck on this. I don't see the logical incoherence in the immaterial interacting with the material.
All the information was in my post.

I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

You don't get it? Too bad, so sad.
 

Ephesians

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All the information was in my post.

You poorly regurgitated a popular-level of Quantum Mechanics, but none of it reinforced your original contention that the existence of an immaterial being being who is able to interact with material being would render all physical laws null.

I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

You never wrote anything complicated. The problem is none of what you wrote actually addressed your original contention.

Since you don't seem to understand that what you wrote is a non-sequitur, then why don't you listen to Max Planck? Surely, Max Planck understood matter and energy? I mean, he was the father of Quantum Mechanics... You know, the thing you were just pretending to understand. Planck himself thought there was an immaterial mind behind and upholding matter and energy. Do you know something that he didn't? Lol. You're hilarious, kid. *tips fedora*
 

Rhea

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Ephesians, you are sounding rather pugnacious and smug here. I recommend that instead you read what Bilby wrote and reflect on it. He did answer the question on point to the OP.

You’ve arrived at a forum with a long history. To avoid embarassing yourself before your god for unearned pride, I recommend that you pause, and engage.

This forum is a place for discussion of ideas.

Bilby did not, indeed, write anything complicated. He laid it out very easy to digest. You should read it in good faith and think about what it means.

Welcome to the forum - but please don’t walk into the parlor like you’re walking onto a yacht. It is unbecoming.
 

Ephesians

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Ephesians, you are sounding rather pugnacious and smug here. I recommend that instead you read what Bilby wrote and reflect on it. He did answer the question on point to the OP.

You’ve arrived at a forum with a long history. To avoid embarassing yourself before your god for unearned pride, I recommend that you pause, and engage.

This forum is a place for discussion of ideas.

Bilby did not, indeed, write anything complicated. He laid it out very easy to digest. You should read it in good faith and think about what it means.

Welcome to the forum - but please don’t walk into the parlor like you’re walking onto a yacht. It is unbecoming.

I did read what he wrote, but he never explained why the existence of an immaterial being who can interact with material being would make physical laws null. And Max Planck didn't see the issue either, which is why he had no problem thinking that all of matter and energy was created and upheld by an immaterial mind.

And you should learn how to spell embarrassing before you start... embarrassing yourself. *tips fidora*

I recommend that you pause, and engage.

Gonna cry?

 
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Rhea

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My dear boy, he did indeed explain that. You don’t see it?
Moreover, Max Planck died in, what, the 1940s? Do you honestly think nothing has been learned (or taught) since then?

I know how to spell, and I have zero embarrassment about my typing skills.

Gonna cry?
I am curious - if you spoke to your pastor and told them that this is the impression you are creating about chistians, do you suppose he would tell you to keep at it? If you prayed to your Jesus and said, “how’s this for a witness, kid? ~tips fedora~” would you feel good? Merely curious.
 

Jarhyn

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So, now it looks like the fundiegelical endgame: do all the things that are not really conducive to rational discussion to such an extent that you can go chest beating back to whatever hole was crawled out of with an "I went to the atheist place and they showed me the door because they are closed minded" Brown Star of courage.

Good job, you are successfully executing "shit on the floor". Flawless Victory.
 

Ephesians

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So, now it looks like the fundiegelical endgame: do all the things that are not really conducive to rational discussion to such an extent that you can go chest beating back to whatever hole was crawled out of with an "I went to the atheist place and they showed me the door because they are closed minded" Brown Star of courage.

Good job, you are successfully executing "shit on the floor". Flawless Victory.
[violation of TOU removed]
 

blastula

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Any point in replying to the new guy or is he banned?
 

Jarhyn

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Any point in replying to the new guy or is he banned?
Joined Monday, last seen Tuesday. They didn't last 24 hours of posting and I can't get his profile up.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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Any point in replying to the new guy or is he banned?
I think humor is the best response when that much attitude is in the way. But kudos to Rhea. It became immediately obvious to me that we had a poster that wasn't into discussion so I took the humor route but hedged it with the same secular childish claims that we all once believed as truth. There isn't a difference between fantastic religious claims and fantastic non-religious claims so that was my strategy.
 

Rhea

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Any point in replying to the new guy or is he banned?
He is banned. When you see a user name that has a strikeout line through it, then that user is banned. There is a thread in “Staf and Administrative Announcements” that notes bannings.
 

blastula

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Any point in replying to the new guy or is he banned?
He is banned. When you see a user name that has a strikeout line through it, then that user is banned. There is a thread in “Staf and Administrative Announcements” that notes bannings.

There's no strikeout through his name. What usually happens is that "banned" shows up under the name, but he doesn't have even have that. His profile page is gone though. Does that always mean banned?
 
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