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Letter to a Christian Nation: Counter Point by RC Metcalf
Posted: 20 April 2007 03:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]  
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[quote author=“MDBeach”]I would gander that even the most realistic theists still believe the actual miracle portion has to be taken literally, although I disagree.  I would even be so bold as to say that they will freely admit the purpose of the miracle is up for interpretation.

But that’s my own experience, not academia.

Agreed.  Any evidence has to be miracle-free, or any putative miracles have to be explained in natural terms.  At the very least, the theist must state why their miracles are possible, but all others are not.

As far as I’m concerned, every god is on equal footing.  I’m looking for anything; a scrap of physical evidence, independent of miracles, that raises the probability of any particular god literally existing.  If you’re going to make statements about the physical world (e.g. resurrection is physically possible), then you’ll need some physical evidence to back that up.

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Posted: 20 April 2007 04:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]  
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[quote author=“Mia”]I’m not personally acquainted with anyone who isn’t morally and ethically superior to God.

Here’s the crux of the problem, Mia. You are already arrogantly unmitigated in your view of God. Rather than approaching the concept of God with healthy skepticism, you’ve already made up your mind. For that matter, you had your mind made up that I wouldn’t respond before you even posted your comments!

[quote author=“Mia”]I’ll take your lack of response as a concession that you’re guilty of complicity in this disgusting history if slavery.

I’ve seen others in Sam’s forums rale at the idea of God “hardening Pharaoh’s heart.” Yet God doesn’t have to do anything at all for hearts to harden against him. Salt Creek seems to be “over the top” as well.

H.Finn asks questions that are mocking in their tone and thereby don’t warrant my time and attention. Sorry, but it is limited. Some of his questions may have some merit, but when he asks them that way (and that many at once), they have to be bypassed.

So, this time I’ll address KFD on one of his questions:

[quote author=“KFD”]Archaelogy: If Archeology were to support your claims, then we should have found, maybe, som pottery belonging to God. But that’s not really happened, has it? Belongings to Jews and early Christians do not support claims related to the supernatural, even if they give support to some basic suggestions. A dry piece of wood is not necessarily the cross of Jesus. If you think of it, traces of the Berlin Wall would not be sufficient evidence of John F. Kennedy ever visiting Berlin. We would have to get the proof of Kennedy’s visit from somewhere else.

In November of 1990, archaeologists recovered the bones of Caiaphas , high priest from 18-37 AD, from an ossuary in Jerusalem. The front of the ossuary was beautifully adorned and an inscription on two sides bore the name Yusef bar Caifa in Hebrew. Soldiers took Jesus to Caiaphas the high priest upon his arrest. We find the account of this incident in Matthew 26.

The pool of Siloam, originally thought to have been discovered in the early 1900s, received new interest in late 2004. A sewer crew uncovered stone steps about 200 yards from the original pool that piqued the interest of archaeologists.  The pool had historic significance as a public bath to allow washing before entrance into the Temple, but for years, people have wondered how the original small and narrow pool might have served this purpose. The newly found pool measures 225 ft. along one side, forming a rectangle with tiered steps leading into it. Biblically, the pool served as the site where Jesus’ healed a man blind since birth.

The beginnings of David’s Palace have been found in Jerusalem. (2 Chronicles 8:11) While digging in Gath, the home of the Philistine warrior Goliath, archaeologists have uncovered a shard of pottery inscribed with two Proto-Semitic renderings of the name “Goliath.”  (1 Samuel 17:4) This at least provides evidence that the name “Goliath” was in use at the time and location indicated in the OT accounts. In Megiddo, in Northern Israel, while extending an Israeli prison, workers uncovered a beautiful mosaic floor bearing the inscription “built in honor of Jesus Christ the God.”  Discoveries such as these provide support for the accuracy of the biblical texts as historical narratives and also attest to the existence of Jesus and the prevailing view of his divinity among early Christians.

Several of the above paragraphs I pulled right out of my book. That being the case, I furnished citations, as any of you will find throughout my book, if you care to look. Here are a few of them that pertain to the information posted above:

http://www.bib-arch.org/bswbOOossuary_Lemaire.pdf

http://www.bib-arch.org/siloam.pdf

http://www.archaeologynews.org/link.asp?ID=73262&Title=Eilat Mazar: Uncovering King David’s Palace

http://www.imra.org.il/story.php3?id=27455

http://www.archaeology.org.il/newsticker.asp?id=24

You’ll note that I’ve only mentioned recent evidences (things that have been discovered within the past twenty years). There is much more, if one cares to look further back.

Now edge100, I don’t want you to think I’m ignoring you. You asked a very good question, too, but my time is limited now. I’ll address the following next time I’m online.

[quote author=“edge100”]Jews and Muslims share your god, and believe as passionately as you do in the literal truth of their stories. Muslims, while believing that Jesus was a prophet of god, also believe that those who do not become Muslims (i.e. follow the teachings of Muhammed) are destined for hell. What is the evidence that Muslims are incorrect?

And I heartily applaud your comment:

[quote author=“edge100”]As far as I’m concerned, every god is on equal footing. I’m looking for anything; a scrap of physical evidence, independent of miracles, that raises the probability of any particular god literally existing. If you’re going to make statements about the physical world (e.g. resurrection is physically possible), then you’ll need some physical evidence to back that up.

This is why it actually is important to offer physical evidence that can support the physical Resurrection. The Bible does make claims about the physical world. The resurrected Jesus was clearly a physical being, not some ethereal vision. But, again, this topic will have to wait until later.

All the best,
RC Metcalf

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Posted: 20 April 2007 04:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]  
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PS - Jefe was posting while I was, so I didn’t have a chance to respond. Nevertheless, that was a great question, so I will get back to it!

All the best,
RC

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Posted: 20 April 2007 04:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]  
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[quote author=“RC Metcalf”]So, this time I’ll address KFD on one of his questions:<snip>

I’ll leave it to KFD to address the specific parts of your evidence (I am not an archeologist, but a molecular biologist, by training); I will have to accept that the information you state is factual. 

I would simply point out, however, that establishing the historicity of the Bible is not evidence of the existence of god, except when the existence of god is presupposed.  I have no doubt that classical Greeks genuniely believed in Helios’ chariot.  By extension of your argument, we can state that the demonstrable existence of the Sun is evidence of the existence of Helios. 

Even if it could be proved beyond all doubt that Jesus actually existed, claimed to be divine, and that his divinity was accepted by his followers, that would not be evidence of his divinity unless we presupposed that he was divine.  By contrast, independent evidence of miracles performed by Jesus, which could not rationally be explained by any natural means, would.  Circular reasoning is never evidence

[quote author=“RC Metcalf”]Now edge100, I don’t want you to think I’m ignoring you. You asked a very good question, too, but my time is limited now. I’ll address the following next time I’m online.

[quote author=“edge100”]Jews and Muslims share your god, and believe as passionately as you do in the literal truth of their stories. Muslims, while believing that Jesus was a prophet of god, also believe that those who do not become Muslims (i.e. follow the teachings of Muhammed) are destined for hell. What is the evidence that Muslims are incorrect?

And I heartily applaud your comment:

[quote author=“edge100”]As far as I’m concerned, every god is on equal footing. I’m looking for anything; a scrap of physical evidence, independent of miracles, that raises the probability of any particular god literally existing. If you’re going to make statements about the physical world (e.g. resurrection is physically possible), then you’ll need some physical evidence to back that up.

This is why it actually is important to offer physical evidence that can support the physical Resurrection. The Bible does make claims about the physical world. The resurrected Jesus was clearly a physical being, not some ethereal vision. But, again, this topic will have to wait until later.

All the best,
RC Metcalf

I await the evidence.

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Posted: 20 April 2007 06:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]  
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[quote author=“RC Metcalf”]
Slavery existed in several forms during the Old Testament period. In ancient Egypt, under the pharaohs, slaves lived in harsh conditions.

Would you agree that the very essence of slavery is the notion that one person can be the property of another person?  Would you further agree that such a notion is morally reprehensible and deserves the strongest condemnation?

Would you also agree that Yahweh never condemns this notion in the pages of the Bible and in fact endorses it?

The purpose of the slavery-related verses in Chapter 21 was to set down laws that assured fair and just treatment of slaves.

Wouldn’t a wholly good being do all that He could to make sure everyone understands that slavery is morally repugnant?

Exodus 21:20 describes a situation in which the master has clearly overstepped his bounds by murdering his slave. The punishment was just recited in verse 12. Verse 21 spares the life of the master, because it is assumed that, since the slave lived, the master did not beat his servant with murderous intent.

A couple of problems here:

First, verse 21:20 does NOT indicate what punishment is to ensue upon the death of the slave.  Your extrapolation that the punishment is death is just that, extrapolation with no real objective justification.

Second, this is a very poor conclusion for God to reach.  The fact that a person does not die after a severe beating does not indicate that death was not the intent.  I am sure one of the many lawyers on this site would back me up on this.

Furthermore, the verse tells us that, so long as the slave does not die immediately, the slaveholder is NOT to be punished.  PERIOD.  But surely, a good God would recognize that in beating the slave, the slaveholder has done something wrong and is thus deserving of some type of punishment (both for the beating and for having a slave to being with).

A wholly good being would do all that he could to ensure that humans understand that slavery is a deplorable institution.  But the God of the Bible does not do this but instead indicates his approval of the notion that a person can belong, as property, to another person.  This God further indicates that it is permissible to beat slaves severely.  Such a God is not worth worshiping.

Look at verses 18 and 19… a comparable situation occurs, regardless whether one is a slave or not. The same outcome ensues. The bottom line here is that God recognizes that humanity is capable of cruelty, and slaves are considered every bit as human as the next person, hence the punishments are identical.

Again, this claim is pure unjustified extrapolation.  Verses 18 and 19 insist that a person must pay for damages that ensue because of a beating.  Verses 20-21 ensure that the slaveholder is NOT TO BE PUNISHED.  Verse 22 descries punishment that follows from injuring a pregnant woman.  But again, verse 21 is VERY CLEAR:  The slaveholder is NOT TO BE PUNISHED.  Why?  Because the slave is HIS PROPERTY.  This is absolutely disgusting. And the God who inspired this passage (if such exists) is NOT WORTH WORSHIPING.

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What do I care for a hell for oppressors? What good can hell do, since those children have already been tortured? And what becomes of harmony, if there is hell? I want to forgive. I want to embrace. I don’t want more suffering. And if the sufferings of children go to swell the sum of sufferings which was necessary to pay for truth, then I protest that the truth is not worth such a price.
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Posted: 20 April 2007 07:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]  
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[quote author=“RC Metcalf”]In Megiddo, in Northern Israel, while extending an Israeli prison, workers uncovered a beautiful mosaic floor bearing the inscription “built in honor of Jesus Christ the God.”

It’s evidence of nothing more than that somebody emblazoned a floor with tiles that celebrated a myth. Michaelangelo painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, but you’re not citing that, are you? You think because of historical proximity, the celebration of myth becomes the celebration of fact? So far you’re not saying sh!t about the date on that floor. If you are really lucky, it will fall sometime in the CE. Anyway, cargo cults can develop in a matter of months!

Taken at face value, even if true, this only means that the builders of that floor operated under the same terrible delusion that you do, RC. There is no reason to conclude that people who lay tile on floors have any more evidence for what they believe than nutcases like you who pollute internet forums with this same craziness.

If you claim that the evidence for the divinity and material existence of Jesus has degraded over time, I do hope you will explain how that has come about. No doubt it is from the depredations of the infidels that this divine figure had no power to oppose. Some divinity! Otherwise, bring some fricking evidence. A bone. A hank of hair. We all know a leper cannot change his spots.

The resurrected Jesus was clearly a physical being, not some ethereal vision. But, again, this topic will have to wait until later.

Oh, do tell. Of course, RC, of course. Later. For now, a bald assertion will serve to fog the minds of the unbelievers. There’s never enough time when you’re working.

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Posted: 20 April 2007 08:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]  
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Equally disgusting is RC Metcalf’s wilful omission of verse Exodus 21:4, so as to give the appearance that permanent slavery was something devoutly wished for by the servant.
Here it is:
“4 If his master give him a wife, and she bear him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out by himself. 
ה  וְאִם-אָמֹר יֹאמַר, הָעֶבֶד, אָהַבְתִּי אֶת-אֲדֹנִי, אֶת-אִשְׁתִּי וְאֶת-בָּנָי; לֹא אֵצֵא, חָפְשִׁי.  5 But if the servant shall plainly say: I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free; 
ו  וְהִגִּישׁוֹ אֲדֹנָיו, אֶל-הָאֱלֹהִים, וְהִגִּישׁוֹ אֶל-הַדֶּלֶת, אוֹ אֶל-הַמְּזוּזָה; וְרָצַע אֲדֹנָיו אֶת-אָזְנוֹ בַּמַּרְצֵעַ, וַעֲבָדוֹ לְעֹלָם.  {ס}  6 then his master shall bring him unto God, and shall bring him to the door, or unto the door-post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him for ever. “


That is, men were EMOTIONALLY BLACKMAILED to become permanent slaves so as not to be separated from their wife and children.

By conveniently omitting 4, RC makes slavery into a nice, cozy affair.
Here’s how Mr Metcalf represented this episode:

At the beginning of Chapter 21, a pattern for proper treatment of slaves was set down. Notice verses 5 and 6… “But if the servant plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ then his master shall bring him to the judges. He shall also bring him to the door, or to the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him forever.”

Proper treatment indeed..

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Posted: 20 April 2007 08:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]  
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[quote author=“RC Metcalf”]So, this time I’ll address KFD on one of his questions:

[quote author=“KFD”]Archaelogy: If Archeology were to support your claims, then we should have found, maybe, som pottery belonging to God. But that’s not really happened, has it? Belongings to Jews and early Christians do not support claims related to the supernatural, even if they give support to some basic suggestions. A dry piece of wood is not necessarily the cross of Jesus. If you think of it, traces of the Berlin Wall would not be sufficient evidence of John F. Kennedy ever visiting Berlin. We would have to get the proof of Kennedy’s visit from somewhere else.

In November of 1990, archaeologists recovered the bones of Caiaphas , high priest from 18-37 AD, from an ossuary in Jerusalem. The front of the ossuary was beautifully adorned and an inscription on two sides bore the name Yusef bar Caifa in Hebrew. Soldiers took Jesus to Caiaphas the high priest upon his arrest. We find the account of this incident in Matthew 26.

The pool of Siloam, originally thought to have been discovered in the early 1900s, received new interest in late 2004. A sewer crew uncovered stone steps about 200 yards from the original pool that piqued the interest of archaeologists.  The pool had historic significance as a public bath to allow washing before entrance into the Temple, but for years, people have wondered how the original small and narrow pool might have served this purpose. The newly found pool measures 225 ft. along one side, forming a rectangle with tiered steps leading into it. Biblically, the pool served as the site where Jesus’ healed a man blind since birth.

The beginnings of David’s Palace have been found in Jerusalem. (2 Chronicles 8:11) While digging in Gath, the home of the Philistine warrior Goliath, archaeologists have uncovered a shard of pottery inscribed with two Proto-Semitic renderings of the name “Goliath.”  (1 Samuel 17:4) This at least provides evidence that the name “Goliath” was in use at the time and location indicated in the OT accounts. In Megiddo, in Northern Israel, while extending an Israeli prison, workers uncovered a beautiful mosaic floor bearing the inscription “built in honor of Jesus Christ the God.”  Discoveries such as these provide support for the accuracy of the biblical texts as historical narratives and also attest to the existence of Jesus and the prevailing view of his divinity among early Christians.

Several of the above paragraphs I pulled right out of my book. That being the case, I furnished citations, as any of you will find throughout my book, if you care to look. Here are a few of them that pertain to the information posted above:

http://www.bib-arch.org/bswbOOossuary_Lemaire.pdf

http://www.bib-arch.org/siloam.pdf

http://www.archaeologynews.org/link.asp?ID=73262&Title=Eilat Mazar: Uncovering King David’s Palace

http://www.imra.org.il/story.php3?id=27455

http://www.archaeology.org.il/newsticker.asp?id=24

You’ll note that I’ve only mentioned recent evidences (things that have been discovered within the past twenty years). There is much more, if one cares to look further back.

But did you notce that this is all “Berlin wall” and no JFK?

Very few Atheists believe that every single sentence in the bible is a lie. Without getting into details, most will accept the validity of a lot of the background information of the more recent texts. It’s just the fantastic stuff we object to, and there’s simply no proof of that in your examples.

If I want to write a fantastic story, I’ll most likely set the scene to Oslo where I live, and I’ll go into detail with locations… But that’s a far cry from the story being true.

EDIT: Do take a look at this article too:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-horton/religious-labels_b_46311.html

[ Edited: 22 April 2007 02:04 PM by ]
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Posted: 20 April 2007 01:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]  
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[quote author=“RC Metcalf”]

If God exists… in reality… and he created space, time, matter and energy… then the events we consider remarkable, such as the Resurrection, can be explained in light of the fundamental components of his creation, even if only in theory. I don’t intend to prove that the Resurrection definitely occurred… rather, I intend to provide evidence that increases the statistical plausiblity of its occurrence.

One can claim that I am guilty of “misplaced concreteness,” but that designation is of human origin and is applied by fallible humans. What I would suggest is “misplaced” would be your contention that Christianity is a “spiritual state encoded in the symbolism of my religion.” Concretely, what does that even mean?

All the best (and good night),
RC Metcalf

Misplaced concreteness is the designation for a fallacy of reasoning so, since I suppose that you consider yourself a fallible human, it certainly applies and I think that it is what you are falling into.

As to your second question: to be more precise, the symbolism of Christianity encodes spiritual states and the purpose of the religion is to provide vehicles for the attainment of these states.  A very good example is Dante’s Divine Comedy, read empathetically so that one actually experiences the states described.  E.g., actually recognizing at a deep inner level the state described in the verse (in the Sayers translation)

“As my sight by seeing learned to see
the more unchanging substance seemed to change
with every change in me.” 

There are other aspects of the symbolism as well.  In an esoteric interpretation, the Christ is the prototype for the manifestation of pure consciousness in a human being.  The Greek cross is a symbol of the four directions (going back to the Hellenistic world) so one reading of the symbolism of the cross is that pure consciousness is crucified on the world of material existence.  This points to a state of consciousness in which this particular interpretation is actually realized.  Other religions and mystical traditions give indicators to the same state, but sometimes in terms of other symbols.

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Posted: 20 April 2007 04:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]  
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This is neither a response to any particular poster, nor a question for anyone, merely a necessary rant (necessary for me that is) on a Friday night at what I hope is the end of a real tough week.

I am often surprised (although I don’t know why after all this time here) by the arrogance and just plain ignorance I see displayed over and over by the defenders of the faith that choose to come here and try to baffle us with bullshit as they have nothing original to talk about.

Turning my head towards my office wall, I see bookcases overflowing with well-read volumes of writings by the foremost christian apologists in history, from Martyr to Stroble.  Lee, of course, is probably the worst apologist in history, but he seems to be the most popular right now.

Anyhow, if I don’t find Aquines, Lewis or any of the rest compelling, why in the world would I buy your book when it has absolutely nothing new to offer?

You have no new arguments or information that I haven’t seen or heard of, have you?  All you have seemed to offer in your posts are simply the same old chestnuts roasted in a slightly different manner.  I know the faithful are impressed with any seemingly new bullshit that the current crop of apologists offers, but that doesn’t mean that any of the rest of us do.

The debates that result from these rehashes of details seem to turn into pissing contests over sources, and never seem to move either party one way or the other.

Apologists always seem to ignore the big elephant in the room:  The fact that there is absolutely NO direct evidence for the life of jesus christ outside of the gospels themselves!  Instead of addressing (or trying to address) archaeological evidence (or lack thereof) for biblical events, why not address head on the lack of any evidence for your supposed savior?

You don’t even have any real evidence in the gospels.  First off, they disagree on major points concerning the birth and death of mister imaginary.  When they do agree, or when something is mentioned in one that is not in others, it describes events that are historically impossible, like the “census” for instance, or the “slaughter of the innocents.”

My favorite, though, is definitely the description of the “saints” coming back to life and wandering around Jerusalem.  I have read every word that has come down to us from Philo and other historians writing in the area at the time, and you know what, I can’t find a single word about it.  Imagine, dead folks coming back to life and wandering around!  That’s a certain “10” on the bullshit meter.

Bottom line, guys, is that you have nothing new except what you manufacture from whole cloth, so why do you come here and insist we will drop to our collective knees five minutes after reading your pandering diatribes.

Is it that you are under the impression that Sam Harris is some sort of atheist savior who has converted us to the dark side, and you must come riding in to save our nonexistent souls?

Don’t waste your time!  I am 61 years old, and have had no use for a god delusion since about the age of twelve.  God, santa and the easter bunny all died that year.  It was the year I began to think for myself.

Speaking only for myself, of course, “End of Faith” served as a wake-up call to me, and forced me to think about the consequences of continuing to allow the slow (and sometimes fast) march to a theocracy that the right wingnuts have engineered over the past twelve years, with the complicity of the “mainstream” christian denominations.  He showed me that I ignore this threat, and it certainly is a threat to everything I love about this country, at my peril.

For quite a time, on this forum, I lent my support to various debates with the xtians who came here, but one can only derive satisfaction from shooting fish in a barrel for so long.  Like yours, none of the arguments are ever new.

By the way, as scientific evidence mounts, god seems to retreat more and more back into the dark corners of men’s minds from whence he sprung in the first place.  Fear and ignorance spawned gods and religions in the beginning, and still sustains them today.  It gets harder and harder, doesn’t it?  To sustain the delusion, I mean.  I can almost smell the cognitive dissonance every time another fossil is uncovered, or gnome is decoded.

If you want to answer something, answer Epicurus, as David Hume pointed out, he has never been answered.

Oh, by the way, there is this teapot…..

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Posted: 20 April 2007 04:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]  
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[quote author=“RC Metcalf”]Yet God doesn’t have to do anything at all for hearts to harden against him. Salt Creek seems to be “over the top” as well.

God cannot do anything to harden my heart, RC, because there is no evidence of god’s existence that could affect me. There are many explanations for the hardening and softening of people’s hearts, but no independent evidence for god. Something for which there is no evidence can have no effect on me. As far as I (and anyone) know, it is just you talking. I do not believe you. I do not respect the authority of the Bible, even as a historical document, and we have seen the attempts to dredge up evidence of historical veracity before. It doesn’t matter. The Bible makes references to historical figures as much fiction tends to do.

This is one of a dozen stratagems that Christians employ. How can RC Metcalf imagine that telling us about Caiaphas will suddenly rend the veil and make us see that the Bible is a historical document, historically accurate in every respect?

If I came down from being over the top for just a moment, I could ask, what is it that compels you to regard the Bible much more as history than as fiction? I know you don’t have time, so I am not going to wait around for an answer, but instead return to mocking you mercilessly.

As for the rest of my fellow atheists: I remind you yet again even as I do the dance with you. The process is repeating itself in a manner indistinguishable from any other as far as I can tell. Some atheists want the opportunity to wear down the theist’s arguments until the emptiness of them is exposed. Whatever you do, he will still go back to his Bible Study Group and report that yet another covey of atheists did not give Scripture a fair hearing.

I only hope that being aware of the grim repetition compulsion on both sides of the argument may help someday to break the cycle. RC claims to have written a book. Does he deserve a hearing simply on that basis? He brings nothing new to the table but the same gimmicks of historicity and perhaps a shiny new “physical” theory that will turn out to be anything but, else he would have published it in Physics Today instead of paying a vanity publisher to get his manuscript onto the shelves.

As for his dismissal of Mia, of course we have made up our minds about the Bible. That act allows us to keep open minds about everything else that the universe may hold in store for us. We choose to let ourselves think. Mia used to be a believer just like you, RC, but one day the fog of nonsense just got to be too much; apparently she has something you just do not possess. We would be happy if you saw the fog as well, but there seems little reason to hold out much hope for you.

Unlike you, RC, I do not wish to feel as if I have all the answers. And when I do come up with an answer, I want there to be evidence for it, and I want it to connect with the other things I have found out about the world, and I want it to lead to more questions and more answers that are yet unknown. You want to live inside the mausoleum represented by a single, solitary holy text that cites itself as its own authority. You poor, pitiful, deluded arrogant fool.

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Posted: 20 April 2007 11:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]  
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The historicity of Caiaphas has NEVER, EVER, been in doubt!
Why?
Because we have solid Jewish and Roman sources for his existence!

What IS true though, is that we still haven’t cleared up the mess concerning the internal power games about 30AD where Caiaphas and Ananias were the prominent figures.
The sources are contradictory, as would be expected.

The tomb of Caiaphas is, of course, an immensely important ARCHEOLOGICAL find that has no bearing with respect to the veracity of the Bible.

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Posted: 24 April 2007 03:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]  
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[quote author=“Jefe”][quote author=“RC Metcalf”]PS - Jefe was posting while I was, so I didn’t have a chance to respond. Nevertheless, that was a great question, so I will get back to it!

All the best,
RC

Still looking forward to it.  Hoping you haven’t forgotten to get back to us.

Me too!  I was hoping today would be the day we’d finally get the evidence we’ve been waiting for.  Oh well…back to work, then.

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“If there is nothing that can convince you that you are wrong, then you don’t need anything to convince you that you are right.” - waltercat

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Posted: 24 April 2007 10:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]  
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[quote author=“RC Metcalf”]

H.Finn asks questions that are mocking in their tone and thereby don’t warrant my time and attention. Sorry, but it is limited. Some of his questions may have some merit, but when he asks them that way (and that many at once), they have to be bypassed.


RC Metcalf

I thought his questions were great. Satirical, absurd and pleasingly effective at underlining the idiocy of Christianity and its apologists.
Your refusal to engage doesn’t surprise me though - religious types are typically as uncomfortable with humour as they are with reason.

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All Christians should be sent to heaven immediately.

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Posted: 24 April 2007 08:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]  
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RC Metcalf wrote:

Remember, too, that it is impossible to completely disprove the existence of any god. I would, therefore, prefer to focus on the weight of evidence in support of the Judeo-Christian God.

First of all, it is a SIMPLE matter to disprove the existence of ALL Gods.
Disproving the Judeo-Christian God is easier than most.

There is no STANDARD for determining if an entity is a God. It might just be some alien life form.

The Judeo-Christian God is disproven by the Bible. We know that Superman does not exist because we have Superman Comic books, which provide the SOURCE of the Superman story. Likewise, we know that the Judeo-Christian God does not exist because we have the Bible, which is the SOURCE of his story.

There is no mention of the existence of Superman, outside of Superman comics. Likewise, there is no mention of the existence of Jehovah outside the Bible.

In all human history, no society ever mentioned the existence of Superman unless it had been exposed to Superman comics. Likewise, no society had ever mentioned Jehovah unless it had been exposed to the Bible.

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