Where's the birth certificate

Free and Strong America

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

This explains much...

I was previously aware of a Baylor University study (in conjunction with Gallup) concerning atheism and the increased belief in such things as the ability of dreams to predict the future, the existance of Atlantis, haunted houses, the ability to communicate with the dead, and the existance of such creatures as Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster. A new study from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life indicates that Democrats have similar beliefs as atheists.

"The results show that Democrats are far more likely to believe in supernatural phenomena than Republicans.....Conservatives and Republicans report fewer experiences than liberals or Democrats communicating with the dead, seeing ghosts and consulting fortune-tellers or psychics," Pew reported...31 percent of Democrats say they believe in astrology, compared with 14 percent of Republicans.."

Isnt it interesting to note that those who lack God belief and those on the liberal end of the political spectrum share such common beliefs? As someone once said, 'If you don't believe in something, you'll fall for anything'. I think that applies in this case.

33 comments:

Ginx said...

I'm an atheist, and I don't believe in aliens, abductions, ghosts, the Loch Ness monster, Atlantis, dream oracles, fortune telling...

I don't even believe in L. Ron Hubbard. I think people made him up to scare Tom Cruise's kids.

GCT said...

I reject this study's findings considering that the vast majority of Republicans are religious, meaning that the 14% is way too low.

Ginx said...

GCT: You would be surprised how many Republicans/conservatives are atheist. What's weird is they don't bat an eye about voting for religious nuts, as long as they believe they won't raise taxes on their six figure income (remember, most atheists are affluent).

JD Curtis said...

But why the fascination with necromancers? I think it has to do with impatience on the part of the atheist/liberal to have answers now. Sometimes Christians struggle with impatience for prayers to be answered but they don't conduct seances.

JD Curtis said...

The website of the pro-life atheists that I linked to earlier is administered by a guy who considers his personal views to be conservative.

Neither one of you addressed the more common practice of astrology.

GCT said...

"I think it has to do with impatience on the part of the atheist/liberal to have answers now."

That's rich coming from someone who thinks "goddidit" is a good answer for stuff.

"Sometimes Christians struggle with impatience for prayers to be answered but they don't conduct seances."

As if one kooky ritual, like eating your god, is less kooky than a seance? They're all irrational.

"The website of the pro-life atheists that I linked to earlier is administered by a guy who considers his personal views to be conservative."

Yes, some atheists are conservative, yet the majority in this country are religious. That means that the 14% figure is grossly inaccurate. It's because the people doing the study left out Xianity.

"Neither one of you addressed the more common practice of astrology."

Because I don't give a damn about astrology. Yes, some of the new agey stuff is much more likely to be done by people who are of a liberal bent. But, for someone who believes the crazy things that Xianity teaches to look down upon them is rank hypocrisy.

JD Curtis said...

That's rich coming from someone who thinks "goddidit" is a good answer for stuff

I'm much more interested in teleological arguments than just saying, "Wow, God musta dunnit" and walking away.

As if one kooky ritual, like eating your god, is less kooky than a seance? They're all irrational.

Lumping all religions in together. Bzzzzzt Epic Fail. Notice that I take you at your word when you say you don't beleve in ghosts, etc. which is unlike many of the practicioners of your non-theistic religion. I would no sooner lump all religions in together than than all atheists.

Yes, some atheists are conservative, yet the majority in this country are religious. That means that the 14% figure is grossly inaccurate.

If you have time to disprove the study's findings by finding a credible study, post the link here.

SmartLX said...

A better start would be to point out that the results cited do not concern atheists specifically, but merely people who "never worship", i.e. don't go to a church or synagogue or whatever. That makes it the issue of the relatively vast demographic of "nones", which as you know is quite short on actual atheists. It also encompasses many who would self-identify as Christians, Jews, etc. despite not worshipping regularly.

The "new atheist" campaign, inasmuch as there is one given that the name was imposed from outside, incorporates a pushback against belief in pseudoscience and paranormal phenomena of all kinds. This was the focus of Richard Dawkins' next-to-last documentary, The Enemies of Reason. Michael Shermer, regular debater for our side, founded the Skeptics Society.

Therefore, unless there's some data to suggest that the small, specific proportion of real atheists in the gigantic, diverse, default group of non-churchgoers is actually a party to the larger group's tendency to go all X-Files on you, I highly doubt that we are.

feeno said...

JD

Interesting indeed.

Ginx said "I don't even believe in L. Ron Hubbard, I think people made him up to scare Tom Cruises kids". Yeah, it would take a lot to "shake" my faith. But if Tom becomes a Christian, that could certainly get me wondering?

Great quote btw, feeno

Tracy said...

Thanks for sharing that link JD, it really is an interesting article.

I'll give SmartLX that the group who are being lumped into the non religious category may not be a fair representation of the New Atheist beliefs. I'm guessing that SmartLX has a good grasp of how that group thinks.

None the less, the main point of the article was simply to point out that those who are actively engaged in traditional religion are significantly less likely to become aligned with such activities as astrology, communication with the dead, dreams predicting the future, and other paranormal belief systems. I appreciate this being demonstrated in light of the fact that people like Bill Maher make fun of Christians and talk as if we are a bunch of idiots who couldn't possibly contribute in meaningful ways to society. I don't have a problem with people who have different views than mine, I recognize that throughout history contributions have been made by people of all kinds of beliefs.

SmartLX said...

Hi Tracy. I agree with you and with the study in one sense: Christians do tend to be less accepting of explicitly non-Christian pseudoscience. The reasons why are the important bit, though.

Stephen F Roberts is often quoted by atheists thus: "When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours." I think this is wrong, because the two reasons are quite different: atheists dismiss each god for lack of evidence, but believers in a specific god reject all the others principally because they are incompatible with the one they accept.

For example, if there's an Allah, there isn't a Vishnu. If there's a Yahweh, there isn't a Gaia (Mother Earth). This is perfectly good reasoning based on the premise that one's own god exists. (It is of course that premise with which I would take issue.)

Therefore the fact that Christians reject more pseudoscience than the "nones" does not necessarily mean that they are more critical thinkers, because they have a reason to reject most of it a priori as contrary to their own doctrine. Following on, their acceptance of Christianity is not shown to be any more considered a conclusion.

GCT said...

JD,
"I'm much more interested in teleological arguments than just saying, "Wow, God musta dunnit" and walking away."

Wow...you might want to think about that statement...

"Lumping all religions in together. Bzzzzzt Epic Fail."

How so. Please demonstrate how your unevidenced and unverifiable beliefs are more correct than the unverified and unevidenced beliefs of someone who practices new agey crap.

"Notice that I take you at your word when you say you don't beleve in ghosts, etc. which is unlike many of the practicioners of your non-theistic religion."

A) Atheism is not a religion. Once again, do you think that not collecting stamps is a hobby? C'mon. Rejecting your religion does not make a religion in itself.
B) Atheists (for the most part) reject everything supernatural for lack of evidence. As SmartLX points out, you're trying to lump in atheists with those who don't go to church or are not part of one of your religions.

"I would no sooner lump all religions in together than than all atheists."

In some terms it would be wrong. In this one, it's not.

"If you have time to disprove the study's findings by finding a credible study, post the link here."

I take, at issue, the first sentence because it is not supported by the rest of what was quoted. Many republicans are Xians, and hence believe in supernatural phenomena. Are you really prepared to argue that there are more atheist Republicans than atheist Democrats (since atheists are the only group that would deny any belief in the supernatural)?

Reynold said...

Maybe it's time for some perspective on this.

Now here's the punchline: The very next paragraph is a link to a book about the Bible and such things:


The Bible has plenty to say about communicating with the dead and dabbling with mediums, psychics, fortune-tellers, witchcraft, astrology and characters such as the devil and his wicked demons. Find out specifics in this autographed, No. 1 best-seller that champions the truth of God!


As if believing in God was not believing in the supernatural? There are a couple of fairly obvious differences between talking to psychics and talking to God. First, psychics actually exist even if their claims of supernatural powers are nonsense. Second, I don't know of any Democrat who pushes policy positions based on the "word of Sylvia Browne" (no, that was Nancy Reagan's problem).

Basically, it's like one group of hard-core drug users (coke-heads) criticizing heroin users for being strung out on drugs.

Reynold said...

Meh. Nancy Reagan talked to astrologers, I believe? But the principle is the same.

JD Curtis said...

Please demonstrate how your unevidenced and unverifiable beliefs are more correct than the unverified and unevidenced beliefs of someone who practices new agey crap

Once again we see the atheist asking for "evidence" using a definition of "evidence" that cannot be found in any dictionary.

From bing.com, (evidence as it pertains to the existance of God in bold)

1. sign or proof: something that gives a sign or proof of the existence or truth of something, or that helps somebody to come to a particular conclusion
"There is no evidence that the disease is related to diet."
2. proof of guilt: the objects or information used to prove or suggest the guilt of somebody accused of a crime
"The police have no evidence."
3. statements of witnesses: the oral or written statements of witnesses and other people involved in a trial or official inquiryrom M

Atheism is not a religion

I should be paid for being your English teacher.

From Merriam-Webster, religion: a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith. This describes your non-theistic religion perfectly. Under certain definitions, atheism doesnt qualify as a religion but it certainly does under this one. Besdies, the courts in this country (US) have already ruled that it in fact is a religion. Please educate yourself concerning Torcaso v. Watkins in the case of Secular Humanism and this little tidbit from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
"A federal court of appeals ruled yesterday Wisconsin prison officials violated an inmate's rights because they did not treat atheism as a religion. "Atheism is [the inmate's] religion, and the group that he wanted to start was religious in nature even though it expressly rejects a belief in a supreme being," the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals said." Link

Atheists (for the most part) reject everything supernatural for lack of evidence. As SmartLX points out, you're trying to lump in atheists with those who don't go to church or are not part of one of your religions.

Atheists would appear to be more willing to entertain the thought than Christians. It doesnt mean that the MAJORITY do.

JD Curtis said...

The Bible has plenty to say about communicating with the dead and dabbling with mediums, psychics, fortune-tellers, witchcraft, astrology

You've hit the nail on the head Reynold. It says to stay away from such things whereas the uninitiated members of your club have no such admonishments, hence less hesitation to try such things.

Reynold said...

:
You've hit the nail on the head Reynold. It says to stay away from such things whereas the uninitiated members of your club have no such admonishments, hence less hesitation to try such things.

You just hit your thumb with a hammer.


Where do you get that we have "less hesitation" in trying such things?

Besides, the point that the guy was making in that article I linked to was that it's all supernaturalistic bs, with no evidence for it.

Read my crack about the drug users again to let the point sink in.

One group of superstitious people is criticizing another group for their superstitious beliefs.

Only thing: All of your group has supernaturalist thinking, while NOT all of "my club" does. Your group demands it, in fact.

Either way, it's all superstitious foggery. Except your group of superstitious believers is trying to influence public education and policy based on your superstitious beliefs.

You also don't mention the reason that your club has those admonishments against other superstitious practices. It isn't because they're told that that stuff is fake and doesn't work...it's because of evil spirits or someshuch shit.

Sorry, no matter how you look at it, you can NOT pretend to be free from superstition. Your religion is built on it. Invisible spirits (angels, demons), talking animals (serpent, that donkey in that OT story with with Balaam)?

Any of that ring a bell?

Whereas those of "my club" are free to examine and disregard any superstitious idea they find. In fact, there are magazines like Skeptic, groups like James Randi's group, and Committee for Skeptical Inquiry which specifically test supernatural claims.

What do you people do? Attribute anything you can't explain to demons?


Now, to that atheism is a religion bull

Even in the link you cited, Fahling disagrees with the court's ruling there, saying "Up is down, and atheism, the antithesis of religion, is religion," said Fahling.

The wingnut daily people mention the Torcaso vs. Watkins decision. not really a good move.

See their point 3:

In the 1961 Torcaso v. Watkins decision, Justice Hugo Black commented in a footnote, "Among religions in this country which do not teach what would generally be considered a belief in the existence of God are Buddhism, Taoism, Ethical Culture, Secular Humanism, and others." Such footnotes, known as "dicta," are written to provide factual background to the legal principles in a decision. These dicta never have the force of law. They are merely comments.

The claim that secular humanism can be considered a religion for legal purposes was finally considered by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Peloza v. Capistrano School District. In this 1994 case, a science teacher argued that, by requiring him to teach evolution, his school district was forcing him to teach the "religion" of secular humanism. The Court responded, "We reject this claim because neither the Supreme Court, nor this circuit, has ever held that evolutionism or secular humanism are `religions' for Establishment Clause purposes." The Supreme Court refused to review the case; they refused to reverse a ruling that secular humanism is not a religion.


Incidentally, I love how you people selectively use court cases...I don't hear the ID people shutting up after the Kitzmiller case...

GCT said...

"I should be paid for being your English teacher."

I wouldn't be getting my money's worth. BTW, why do creationists tend to be so smug and condescending the more wrong they are?

"1. sign or proof: something that gives a sign or proof of the existence or truth of something, or that helps somebody to come to a particular conclusion"

And this means there's evidence for god how? Oh wait, it doesn't.

"3. statements of witnesses: the oral or written statements of witnesses and other people involved in a trial or official inquiry"

And, this helps you how? Oh wait, it doesn't. Ouch, epic fail.

"From Merriam-Webster, religion: a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith."

Another epic fail. Since atheism is not a faith position, this definition fails.

And, BTW, secular humanism is not the same as atheism. Now, as for legal protections, yes, my lack of religion should be protected, and I'm OK with the courts protecting it. Why wouldn't I be?

JD Curtis said...

All of your group has supernaturalist thinking, while NOT all of "my club" does. Your group demands it, in fact.

Either way, it's all superstitious foggery


Not all beliefs are equal. Without getting too much into it Reynold, several years ago I had to interview with a state-licensed psychologist for a job application (I passed BTW, :-) )

When he and I were talking on an overcast, drizzly Saturday aternoon, he pointedly asked me if had any sort of profoundly held beliefs. I began to list my Biblical beliefs for him and he waved them off, interrupting me by stating that "these are commonly held beliefs" and he began to inquire if I had some rather bizarre beliefs in other areas.

Now, how do you think I would have fared in my interview if I began spouting off about the abilities of necromancers to communicate with the dead or I had a fear of black cats and the number 13?

JD Curtis said...

""3. statements of witnesses: the oral or written statements of witnesses and other people involved in a trial or official inquiry"

And, this helps you how? Oh wait, it doesn't. Ouch, epic fail.'

Please help me understand how this definition differs from the Bible. How does this "fail" in your opinion?

""From Merriam-Webster, religion: a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith."

Another epic fail. Since atheism is not a faith position, this definition fails."

Mere word play. I could just as easily say that theism is the belief in a certain presence. Atheism is the belief that the presence is not there.

Reynold said...

JD Curtis
When he and I were talking on an overcast, drizzly Saturday aternoon, he pointedly asked me if had any sort of profoundly held beliefs. I began to list my Biblical beliefs for him and he waved them off, interrupting me by stating that "these are commonly held beliefs" and he began to inquire if I had some rather bizarre beliefs in other areas.
 
As opposed to the bizarre beliefs you hold in this area? Think for a minute. The fact that a bunch of supernaturalist beliefs is widely held does not mean a THING as far as their validity goes.

When xianity first started out, it was probably looked down on as much as Scientology is now. The only difference between a cult and a religion is how popular it is.

Our culture has been taught that your set of supernaturalist beliefs is OK, just as in the ME, it's the Islamic set of bullshit that's taught to be OK. That doesn't mean that it's true. It just means that when a person subscribes to that particular set of idiotic beliefs that few will question him/her unless he goes really over the edge.

All those other beliefs don't have the force of society behind them, so people are free to question just why the hell people believe them.

Now, how do you think I would have fared in my interview if I began spouting off about the abilities of necromancers to communicate with the dead or I had a fear of black cats and the number 13?
 
What all did you tell him about your beliefs anyway?

Go to the Rapture Ready forums and just see how batshit they can be. How many of those christian beliefs mesh with your own? How many of those beliefs would have made your interviewer look twice at you?

Did you tell him of the christian belief in demon possession (It IS in the bible, after all), the rapture, that god made animals talk in the OT, or that "miracles" happen in modern times?

Did you tell him of the (various religious conservative views) that the "liberals" are out to destroy xianity/families/the country/etc or any of the other conspiracy theories you people seem to go for?

What would he say now to your Obama's "certifigate" obsession?

JD Curtis said...

The fact that a bunch of supernaturalist beliefs is widely held does not mean a THING as far as their validity goes.

I wasnt arguing for validity here. Simply pointing out that the psychologist couldnt care less that I held such beliefs when trying to obtain sort of a barometer for my mental health.

The only difference between a cult and a religion is how popular it is.

Thus saith Reynold. Educate yourself when you get the chance.

or that "miracles" happen in modern times?

I think that they happen. If holding a strictly materialistic view makes you sleep better at night, the have at it.

What would he say now to your Obama's "certifigate" obsession?

Question. In 1961 Hawaii, how long did a parent have to file (via US Mail) for a "Delayed Certificate" after a child's birth?

A. 6 weeks
B. 6 months
C. One year

A free cookie for the correct answer.

Reynold said...

JD Curtis said...quoting me:

The fact that a bunch of supernaturalist beliefs is widely held does not mean a THING as far as their validity goes.


I wasnt arguing for validity here.
 
Good thing

Simply pointing out that the psychologist couldnt care less that I held such beliefs when trying to obtain sort of a barometer for my mental health.
 
Again, you never got into detail into just what you told the man of your beliefs. Was it the weird shit that the Rapture Ready crowd goes into (talking animals, the rapture itself, demon possession, etc?)

I believe I said before that your set of supernaturalistic beliefs is socially accepted here, so it's no big surprise that many people would accept at least some of that stuff regardless of their mental state.

It's what this society allows, if not actually teaches! With any other set of crazy beliefs, there's no social pressure or acceptance of them, so one would have to wonder about the people who would accept the other beliefs.

The only difference between a cult and a religion is how popular it is.
Thus saith Reynold. Educate yourself when you get the chance.
 
Read something like that years ago. Really, It doesn't affect my statement at all. That site just looks at how the cults operate, not the major ones that have gotten socially accepted as religions have, which was my sodding point in the first place! Besides, look at their section on How do I tell if a group is a cult? How do most "religions" get started anyway?

For some perspective, would you consider Islam a "cult"? Would it fit the profile from that site?

As far as I'm concerned, they're both bs.

or that "miracles" happen in modern times?
I think that they happen. If holding a strictly materialistic view makes you sleep better at night, the have at it.
 
Is that what you'd have told the interviewer if he asked you about it? Would you be able to present evidence for it?

You never did say just what you were telling the man about your beliefs...

Do you believe then that people can raise others from the dead, or turn water into wine? I know that there's a bible verse that says that "believers" should be able to do miracles like that.

What would he say now to your Obama's "certifigate" obsession?
Question. In 1961 Hawaii, how long did a parent have to file (via US Mail) for a "Delayed Certificate" after a child's birth?

A. 6 weeks
B. 6 months
C. One year

A free cookie for the correct answer.

 

We've been through this before. The certificate that was presented to the media was legal tender. So of course when I googled "Delayed Certificate" "Hawaii" "obama", the very first site was from wingnut daily...

GCT said...

JD,
"Please help me understand how this definition differs from the Bible."

The Bible was written well after the events that it supposedly describes by people who were not witnesses.

"Mere word play. I could just as easily say that theism is the belief in a certain presence. Atheism is the belief that the presence is not there."

Sorry but you are simply wrong here. Rejecting of your beliefs does not necessitate that I'm putting forth positive beliefs of my own. IOW, you contend that there is a god, I contend that your assertion is unproven, unevidenced, and not supported. Does this mean that I've put forth a faith position that there is no god or does it simply mean that I've rejected your faith position? It's obviously the latter. Hence, atheism is not a position based on faith.

Reynold,
"When xianity first started out, it was probably looked down on as much as Scientology is now."

Yes, that is correct. Celsus especially wrote about how cultish Xianity was and how they preyed upon the ignorant and unknowledgeable in their quests to convert people to Xianity, especially since they could not validate their claims. The writings of the pagans criticizing Xianity spurred the apologists writings that we have today, which are the only surviving writings since when Xianity came to power they went on significant book burnings to get rid of competing views.

JD Curtis said...

"The fact that a bunch of supernaturalist beliefs is widely held does not mean a THING as far as their validity goes

Good thing"

I wouldnt argue that anymore than someone should argue that such fairy-tales for adults such as Anthropogenic Global Warming, errr, I mean, climate change or Neo Darwinism are correct for the same reasons. Wait a minute....

JD Curtis said...

What did I tell the psychologist? I began by affirming my belief in the existances of Heaven and Hell. He quickly changed the topic to other types of belief though, that were not related to my professed Christianity.

Read something like that years ago. Really, It doesn't affect my statement at all. That site just looks at how the cults operate, not the major ones that have gotten socially accepted as religions have, which was my sodding point in the first place! Besides, look at their section on How do I tell if a group is a cult? How do most "religions" get started anyway?

Merely making up your own set of definitions Reynold. "It is what I say it is IMHO". Reynold, psychologists commonly agree on methods to deprogram former cult members. If all such beliefs are of equal weight in your mind, then I'm sure you'll have no problem citing examples of professional Episcopalian, United Methodist and Presbyterian "deprogramming". (Insert the sound of Reynold typing the words [Methodist deprogramming] into his preferred search engine here )

JD Curtis said...

Oh, the "Islam" question. I believe that it's sort of a Christian apostasy with an unhealthy emphasis on Mohammed.

Question. In 1961 Hawaii, how long did a parent have to file (via US Mail) for a "Delayed Certificate" after a child's birth?

A. 6 weeks
B. 6 months
C. One year

A free cookie for the correct answer


I note that there was no answer in your above reply.

The Bible was written well after the events that it supposedly describes by people who were not witnesses

I think I've pointed out to you before that this is not the case. Regarding the Gospel of Mark for example, "The consensus among scholars is that the book of Mark was written between 50 and 60 A.D" which is well within the lifetime of the writer of the occurance of the claimed events.

I contend that your assertion is unproven, unevidenced, and not supported

I've already provided a simple definition of the word "evidence". From where are you getting your's G?

Reynold said...

JD Curtis
Merely making up your own set of definitions Reynold. "It is what I say it is IMHO". Reynold, psychologists commonly agree on methods to deprogram former cult members. If all such beliefs are of equal weight in your mind, then I'm sure you'll have no problem citing examples of professional Episcopalian, United Methodist and Presbyterian "deprogramming". (Insert the sound of Reynold typing the words [Methodist deprogramming] into his preferred search engine here )
 
You're STILL not getting it, are you? I've said over and over again that your set of supernaturalist beliefs are socially accepted. That's why you won't find methodist deprogramming centers and stuff like that.

The problem is that while it's all bullshit in my mind, and in the mind of any atheist, it's NOT all the same level of bullshit in the mind of the superstitious american public.

I noted that at it's beginning, xianity was seen as a cult by the other people of the time, and GCT backed me up by pointing out what Celsus had said.

So with the psychologist you never got the chance to go into some of the weird shit that your beliefs entail, other than the most well-known and general ones. Too bad.

Question. In 1961 Hawaii, how long did a parent have to file (via US Mail) for a "Delayed Certificate" after a child's birth?

A. 6 weeks
B. 6 months
C. One year

A free cookie for the correct answer

I note that there was no answer in your above reply.

 
Don't need one. As I said, we've been through that shit before. The certificate that was presented was a legally accepted one.

So what?

"The fact that a bunch of supernaturalist beliefs is widely held does not mean a THING as far as their validity goes

Good thing"


I wouldnt argue that anymore than someone should argue that such fairy-tales for adults such as Anthropogenic Global Warming, errr, I mean, climate change or Neo Darwinism are correct for the same reasons. Wait a minute....
 
Yes, wait a minute, you moron. Unlike your supernaturalist beliefs, those are VERIFIED natural (or man-influenced occurances), with shit loads of actual physical evidence for each.

Sometimes, believe it or not, there is actual evidence that backs the "belief" up, and that's why a bunch of people accept it. With religious superstitions, there ain't.


By the way, what is it with you religous types anyway? You can be generally counted on to deny the same damn things. Deny evolution, deny AGW...it's like there's a script you people have to follow.

A lot of the time you deniers also say that it's a conspiracy among the "liberal" "atheistic" scientists who are pushing evolution because they don't like the idea of "God", and that the "liberal scientists" are pushing the "agenda" for climate change as part of some "globalist" conspiracy.

GCT said...

"I think I've pointed out to you before that this is not the case. Regarding the Gospel of Mark for example, "The consensus among scholars is that the book of Mark was written between 50 and 60 A.D" which is well within the lifetime of the writer of the occurance of the claimed events."

Actually, most scholars date it closer to 70, or even after, citing some of the passages as alluding to the Roman sacking of Jerusalem in 70. Also, the manuscript is simply attributed to Mark, but is written anonymously, and most scholars agree it was not written by an actual witness. Nevertheless, I suppose you are going to claim that Islam is well evidenced since we have better information about those authors and the knowledge that they were witnesses?

"I've already provided a simple definition of the word "evidence". From where are you getting your's G?"

And, you're missing the point...but I'll come back to that.

Sorry, but you have no evidence for god. You have nothing that would logically tie events to your god, as anything you observe you could conclude is "evidence" for your god. If everything is "evidence" then really nothing is. I'm sorry that you don't understand that, but you don't need to get all defensive and huffy.

Secondly, the point you are missing is that rejection of your beliefs does not entail a positive belief of its own. Otherwise, not believing in unicorns is a religion, not believing in leprechauns is a religion, etc. I doubt that you would consider yourself to be part of so many religions.

JD Curtis said...

Actually, most scholars date it closer to 70, or even after, citing some of the passages as alluding to the Roman sacking of Jerusalem in 70

The reason that the date is moved back is because later scholars refused to believe the high accuracy of the sacking of Jerusalem and thought it MUST have been written after the sacking.

It's still within the lifetime of someone who was an eyewitness to the claimed events.

JD Curtis said...

Sorry, but you have no evidence for god.

And what definition of the word "evidence" are you using?

JD Curtis said...

BTW, it just so happens that I came across this article today....

"The early date of the Gospels and the eyewitnesses to the events of Jesus are both key to validating the birth narrative, (editor of Bibles and reference books for the B&H Publishing Group of LifeWay Christian Resources and Ph.D. graduate from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Jeremy)Howard said.

"We know that the Book of Mark was written 20 years after the ascension of Christ, and Luke might have followed about 10 years later," Howard said. "So 30 years from the time Christ was crucified, resurrected and ascended to heaven we have at least two of the Gospels written and starting to circulate. That puts the disciples at about 60 years of age, assuming they were contemporary with Jesus."

Living and intact memory, Howard explained, confirms the validity of the birth account.

"Intact memory means that from the time Jesus ascended into heaven, guys such as Matthew, Mark, Luke and Peter devoted themselves to spreading the message of Christ," Howard said. "They did not have the opportunity to forget what happened. They told the stories day in and day out."

Living memory refers to the eyewitnesses of the events of Christ.

"If the Gospel writers tried to fabricate the stories of Christ, there would have been many eyewitnesses who would have called them into account," Howard said. "The fact that the Gospels were penned and helped spread Christianity so quickly is proof that the writers were telling the truth."

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GCT said...

"The reason that the date is moved back is because later scholars refused to believe the high accuracy of the sacking of Jerusalem and thought it MUST have been written after the sacking."

No, it's because previous scholars (who were Xians and had a stake in the dates) simply assumed early authorship and based their ideas off of it. More modern scholarship, using better methodology leads us to later dates. It's as simple as that. We also know that some gospel writers cribbed off of others.

"It's still within the lifetime of someone who was an eyewitness to the claimed events."

Yet, they weren't eye witnesses, which is why accounts differ, don't match the historical record, etc. Paul is the first to write about Jesus, a man he admits he never met. Later accounts are supposedly eye witness accounts? Plus, eye witness testimony is inherently fallible, especially years and years after the fact. How many stories do you have about yourself that you've mythologized, even though they seem perfectly clear to you?

And, I'll note that you are ignoring the fact that Islam has eye witness testimony. I'll add to that the fact that no contemporary historian seems to have recorded the events that these supposed eye witnesses saw and recorded years and years later. One would think that one of the historians living in the area at that time would record the earthquake that led to zombies getting up and wandering around Jerusalem.

"And what definition of the word "evidence" are you using?"

The standard one that fits the context of the conversation.

"If the Gospel writers tried to fabricate the stories of Christ, there would have been many eyewitnesses who would have called them into account," Howard said. "The fact that the Gospels were penned and helped spread Christianity so quickly is proof that the writers were telling the truth."

Because that's so true of the Cargo Cults, right? And, we know that there were detractors, yet that most of their writings were burned by later Xians (who apparently couldn't handle the criticism).

The problems with this assetion are legion. Preaching to believers isn't going to elicit criticism, and since it was an underground cult, most were probably unaware of the teachings. The writings also sprang up in written word in a venue where most people could not read or write. They also arose in non-local locales where people couldn't dispute them, and even if they could, all disputes have long since been destroyed in a 1984-like fit of silencing dissent. Lastly, try it in real life and see if non-historically recorded events (and some recorded ones too) don't simply go over with people that you tell. For instance, find a gullible family member and tell them some fantastic story about some obscure civil war battle (make it up) and see if they believe you or not.