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Thread: Atheist Incredulity

  1. #11
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
    Are atheists really interested in evidence?

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    Jesus mythicism is a fine example of this. The people who decry creationists for going against the reigning opinion of biologists and other scientists will happily embrace this fringe movement and base all their hope on Richard Carrier. If anything, when I see atheists argue like this, it really convinces me they donít know what theyíre talking about.

    In Christ,
    Nick Peters
    Off-topic, but is Christ myth theory supported by ANY serious historians and academics? I mean, even ONE?

  2. #12
    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seeker View Post
    Off-topic, but is Christ myth theory supported by ANY serious historians and academics? I mean, even ONE?
    I'm not aware of any. Even skeptics like Bart Ehrman are dismissive of the theory.
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. Ė St. John Chrysostom

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  3. #13
    tWebber ReformedApologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
    Are atheists really interested in evidence?

    Link

    -----

    Are many atheists really people of reason? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

    Normally if you encounter an atheist, the reigning battle cry is that of evidence. I’m not at all denouncing that request. That’s a fine request to make. What I am skeptical about is the fact that evidence is really wanted.

    My problem with this is that there is many times a double-standard. Consider some statements that you can see. Richard Dawkins was interviewed by Peter Boghossian and said he had become convinced that most anything that could be seen as done by God could also be done by aliens so when asked what would convince him God exists, the answer is now nothing.

    Boghossian doesn¬ít fare much better. In his book A Manual for Creating Atheists, he says that if he went outside and all the stars at night spelled out ¬ďI am God. Believe in me¬Ē, well, that might be suggestive. Of course, we could all be experiencing a mass delusion.

    Or consider this golden piece from Jerry Coyne.

    ¬ďThe following (and admittedly contorted) scenario would give me tentative evidence for Christianity. Suppose that a bright light appeared in the heavens, and, supported by winged angels, a being clad in a white robe and sandals descended onto my campus from the sky, accompanied by a pack of apostles bearing the names given in the Bible. Loud heavenly music, with the blaring of trumpets, is heard everywhere. The robed being, who identifies himself as Jesus, repairs to the nearby university hospital and instantly heals many severely afflicted people, including amputees. After a while Jesus and his minions, supported by angels ascend back into the sky with another chorus of music. The heavens swiftly darken, there are flashes of lightning and peals of thunder, and in an instant the sky is clear.

    If this were all witnessed by others and documented by video, and if the healings were unexplainable but supported by testimony from multiple doctors, and if all the apparitions and events conformed to Christian theology¬óthen I¬íd have to start thinking seriously about the truth of Christianity.¬Ē Faith vs. Fact p. 118-119

    Note that he says that this is contorted and tentative. This could just begin to suggest something. Note also that these requests are for an experience. That means that you can present all the objective evidence you want and it doesn’t matter. If you talked about your experience, it would be invalid, and yet experience is all that will convince them. Thus, unless you can command God, which you cannot, you will not convince them.

    Now let’s see how they handle other situations.

    Remember a few years ago when this manuscript was found claiming that Jesus had a wife? Did we know who wrote it? No. Did we know when? What we had was a few centuries after the event. Did we have any context? No. None of this stopped atheists everywhere from proclaiming that a cover-up had taken place and the truth was now out there.

    Now go to the Gospels and what do we get? ¬ďThey¬íre anonymous!¬Ē even though we have better sources on who wrote them than we did on this other finding. They¬íre decades later, even though that¬ís not much in the ancient world and it beats centuries later. We also have the entire works themselves. I haven¬ít even got to the positive evidence for the Gospels. At this point, there¬ís a double-standard going on.

    A few days ago I saw someone share in a group a story that was first published years ago. It was about Joseph Atwill and his book Caesar’s Messiah. For those who don’t know, this is the guy that even Richard Carrier calls a crank with his hypothesis that Christianity was invented by the Romans to control the poor and so Jesus never existed. This atheist who shared it was so happy a Bible scholar was finally showing the truth.

    Except that not even atheist Bible scholars took Atwill seriously. These are the same atheists that will commit ritual suicide before they dare read anything by a Christian scholar, but when someone they don’t even know agrees with them, he’s a scholar. For many atheists, it seems like the reasoning goes like this.

    Does the claim make Christianity look bad or argue that it is false?
    Then the claim is entirely true!
    Does the claim defend Christianity or leave it looking good or at least neutral?
    Then the claim is entirely false!

    No research is needed.

    Jesus mythicism is a fine example of this. The people who decry creationists for going against the reigning opinion of biologists and other scientists will happily embrace this fringe movement and base all their hope on Richard Carrier. If anything, when I see atheists argue like this, it really convinces me they don’t know what they’re talking about.

    Memes are one of the biggest culprits in this area. Atheists will often post memes meant to be one-liners or something close to show Christianity is nonsense. Normally, these are laden with hideously bad argumentation and a lack of understanding of the claims of Christianity. Memes can be fine illustrations if you have been establishing a point, but please don’t make them the centerpiece of your argument.

    Please note I am not saying we Christians can never be just as bad on our own end. What I am claiming is that the party of evidence drops the idea of evidence when it suits them. I know a number of atheists that are not like this, but there are too many that are and if atheists want to be taken seriously, they should try to silence those that are like this. I think of Tim O’Neill who runs the website, History for Atheists, who is doing great work in this regard as an atheist.

    And also, I don’t really try to persuade these people that Christianity is true. They’re not really listening. My debate is for the audience who is watching.

    In Christ,
    Nick Peters
    Interesting how Coyne claims that if such events occurred that would be evidence to him God and the supernatural exist. Problem is given his naturalism how do we know he will not try and seek out natural explanations for this event? Even Richard Richard Lewontin said Science has a commitment to Materialism which does not allow for any other alternative.

    Also I find it funny skeptics talk about problems with the dating of the gospels being too late as evidence, but yet they have no problem accepting the Gnostic Gospels as evidence for so called various forms of Christianity and works as Davinci Code and Atwell's fridge theories. Least the skeptic forgets that not even the world in which Christ lived, they didn't accept everything at face value, We see this in various examples such as the need to test prophets (Deuteronomy 18; 1st John 4:1), not to follow false gods and idols (Leviticus 19:4; 26:1 ; Deuteronomy 4:19; Leviticus 17:7).

    The atheist attempts to be neutral in their worldview, but the fact is all worldviews have presuppositions in which they interpret evidence and Atheism is not excluded. While Atheism is the idea that God does not exist, it has a philosophy built into it. This can be Naturalism, Marxism, Nihilism, Objectivism or any form of philosophical concepts and ideas. If Atheism is simply a lack of belief in God why do they write books and debate the issues? to me it would seem better if the Atheist pleaded ignorance and adopted Agnosticism.

  4. Amen NorrinRadd amen'd this post.
  5. #14
    Department Head Apologiaphoenix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seeker View Post
    Off-topic, but is Christ myth theory supported by ANY serious historians and academics? I mean, even ONE?
    Only main one is Richard Carrier, that is, the unemployed polyamorous prominent internet blogger Richard Carrier who's banned from Skepticon.

  6. #15
    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
    Only main one is Richard Carrier, that is, the unemployed polyamorous prominent internet blogger Richard Carrier who's banned from Skepticon.
    He said serious historians and academics.
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. Ė St. John Chrysostom

    Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio

    I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

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    Department Head Apologiaphoenix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    He said serious historians and academics.
    I realize that. I was trying to get as close as I could.

    There's also Robert Price, and while he has more character and such, he's still seen as an outsider.

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    tWebber ReformedApologist's Avatar
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    There was also the late Dorthy Mardock ie Acharya S. But even then her credentials were exposed as fraudulent. I would add John Loftus to the list of mythers but idk if he qualifies. There is also Earl Doherty and Greg Kane. The list seems pretty thin. I think Habermas said he could count the scholars on one hand from the published work he read from the 1970's to the present.
    Last edited by ReformedApologist; 07-02-2019 at 05:52 PM.

  9. #18
    tWebber carpedm9587's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
    Are atheists really interested in evidence?

    Link

    -----

    Are many atheists really people of reason? Letís plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

    Normally if you encounter an atheist, the reigning battle cry is that of evidence. Iím not at all denouncing that request. Thatís a fine request to make. What I am skeptical about is the fact that evidence is really wanted.

    My problem with this is that there is many times a double-standard. Consider some statements that you can see. Richard Dawkins was interviewed by Peter Boghossian and said he had become convinced that most anything that could be seen as done by God could also be done by aliens so when asked what would convince him God exists, the answer is now nothing.

    Boghossian doesnít fare much better. In his book A Manual for Creating Atheists, he says that if he went outside and all the stars at night spelled out ďI am God. Believe in meĒ, well, that might be suggestive. Of course, we could all be experiencing a mass delusion.

    Or consider this golden piece from Jerry Coyne.

    ďThe following (and admittedly contorted) scenario would give me tentative evidence for Christianity. Suppose that a bright light appeared in the heavens, and, supported by winged angels, a being clad in a white robe and sandals descended onto my campus from the sky, accompanied by a pack of apostles bearing the names given in the Bible. Loud heavenly music, with the blaring of trumpets, is heard everywhere. The robed being, who identifies himself as Jesus, repairs to the nearby university hospital and instantly heals many severely afflicted people, including amputees. After a while Jesus and his minions, supported by angels ascend back into the sky with another chorus of music. The heavens swiftly darken, there are flashes of lightning and peals of thunder, and in an instant the sky is clear.

    If this were all witnessed by others and documented by video, and if the healings were unexplainable but supported by testimony from multiple doctors, and if all the apparitions and events conformed to Christian theologyóthen Iíd have to start thinking seriously about the truth of Christianity.Ē Faith vs. Fact p. 118-119

    Note that he says that this is contorted and tentative. This could just begin to suggest something. Note also that these requests are for an experience. That means that you can present all the objective evidence you want and it doesnít matter. If you talked about your experience, it would be invalid, and yet experience is all that will convince them. Thus, unless you can command God, which you cannot, you will not convince them.

    Now letís see how they handle other situations.

    Remember a few years ago when this manuscript was found claiming that Jesus had a wife? Did we know who wrote it? No. Did we know when? What we had was a few centuries after the event. Did we have any context? No. None of this stopped atheists everywhere from proclaiming that a cover-up had taken place and the truth was now out there.

    Now go to the Gospels and what do we get? ďTheyíre anonymous!Ē even though we have better sources on who wrote them than we did on this other finding. Theyíre decades later, even though thatís not much in the ancient world and it beats centuries later. We also have the entire works themselves. I havenít even got to the positive evidence for the Gospels. At this point, thereís a double-standard going on.

    A few days ago I saw someone share in a group a story that was first published years ago. It was about Joseph Atwill and his book Caesarís Messiah. For those who donít know, this is the guy that even Richard Carrier calls a crank with his hypothesis that Christianity was invented by the Romans to control the poor and so Jesus never existed. This atheist who shared it was so happy a Bible scholar was finally showing the truth.

    Except that not even atheist Bible scholars took Atwill seriously. These are the same atheists that will commit ritual suicide before they dare read anything by a Christian scholar, but when someone they donít even know agrees with them, heís a scholar. For many atheists, it seems like the reasoning goes like this.

    Does the claim make Christianity look bad or argue that it is false?
    Then the claim is entirely true!
    Does the claim defend Christianity or leave it looking good or at least neutral?
    Then the claim is entirely false!

    No research is needed.

    Jesus mythicism is a fine example of this. The people who decry creationists for going against the reigning opinion of biologists and other scientists will happily embrace this fringe movement and base all their hope on Richard Carrier. If anything, when I see atheists argue like this, it really convinces me they donít know what theyíre talking about.

    Memes are one of the biggest culprits in this area. Atheists will often post memes meant to be one-liners or something close to show Christianity is nonsense. Normally, these are laden with hideously bad argumentation and a lack of understanding of the claims of Christianity. Memes can be fine illustrations if you have been establishing a point, but please donít make them the centerpiece of your argument.

    Please note I am not saying we Christians can never be just as bad on our own end. What I am claiming is that the party of evidence drops the idea of evidence when it suits them. I know a number of atheists that are not like this, but there are too many that are and if atheists want to be taken seriously, they should try to silence those that are like this. I think of Tim OíNeill who runs the website, History for Atheists, who is doing great work in this regard as an atheist.

    And also, I donít really try to persuade these people that Christianity is true. Theyíre not really listening. My debate is for the audience who is watching.

    In Christ,
    Nick Peters
    I have never listened to this podcast or accessed this feed. What strikes me about this particular post (and thanks for sharing it, APNick) is that I suspect it makes the same mistake that is commonly made by liberals and conservatives in the political sphere. I would agree that any ONE atheist holding these conflicting positions is not being consistent and is either not serious, not thinking through their positions, or just trolling. I have to wonder how many such individuals actually exist. I suspect (but it is only that - a suspicion), that the reality is that SOME atheists take one position (e.g., embracing the Jesus' wife theory) and others take the other position (e.g., rejecting the claim that the NT comprises accurate historical information). There is no inconsistency if these are not in the same person. But then these people are associated with the group "atheist" and the group is claimed to be "holding conflicting positions."

    It's hard to put anything meaningful behind "Atheists think..." beyond "...that there is no god."
    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King

    I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong. Frederick Douglas

  10. #19
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seeker View Post
    Off-topic, but is Christ myth theory supported by ANY serious historians and academics? I mean, even ONE?
    Ignoring Richard Carrier (who will always remind us of his PhD), there's Robert Price (IMO much closer to Bultmann than mythicism) and Thomas Brodie.

    Brodie is the only one I'd really consider "well-respected," as he did some good academic work before seemingly going off the deep end. Seriously, his mythicist theory is stranger than most.

  11. Amen Seeker amen'd this post.
  12. #20
    Department Head Apologiaphoenix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpedm9587 View Post
    I have never listened to this podcast or accessed this feed. What strikes me about this particular post (and thanks for sharing it, APNick) is that I suspect it makes the same mistake that is commonly made by liberals and conservatives in the political sphere. I would agree that any ONE atheist holding these conflicting positions is not being consistent and is either not serious, not thinking through their positions, or just trolling. I have to wonder how many such individuals actually exist. I suspect (but it is only that - a suspicion), that the reality is that SOME atheists take one position (e.g., embracing the Jesus' wife theory) and others take the other position (e.g., rejecting the claim that the NT comprises accurate historical information). There is no inconsistency if these are not in the same person. But then these people are associated with the group "atheist" and the group is claimed to be "holding conflicting positions."

    It's hard to put anything meaningful behind "Atheists think..." beyond "...that there is no god."
    I meet individuals like this everyday on Facebook. They are out there and they are the majority that I meet in the atheist community.

  13. Amen Sparko amen'd this post.

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