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Luke's Minute & Extraordinary Historical Accuracy
#26

Luke's Minute & Extraordinary Historical Accuracy
(12-31-2023, 10:05 PM)Dave Armstrong Wrote:
(12-31-2023, 09:08 PM)Deesse23 Wrote: The Bible still can be 99.9% nonsense

Progress! So you agree that it is 0.1% non-nonsense. That makes my day!
No i didnt.

Remember when i said "...for the sake of the argument"? Still, the bible is most probably true on some stuff. Like, Jerusalem exists. So does the sun. Duh. that does not mean that any of the CORE claims of the bible are true, or even possibly true.

Again, FOR THE SAKE OF THE ARGUMENT. If the bible was true to some extent, so what? Whats your point?
R.I.P. Hannes
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#27

Luke's Minute & Extraordinary Historical Accuracy
(01-01-2024, 08:37 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:
(12-31-2023, 10:05 PM)Dave Armstrong Wrote: Progress! So you agree that it is 0.1% non-nonsense. That makes my day!
No i didnt.

Remember when i said "...for the sake of the argument"? Still, the bible is most probably true on some stuff. Like, Jerusalem exists. So does the sun. Duh. that does not mean that any of the CORE claims of the bible are true, or even possibly true.

Again, FOR THE SAKE OF THE ARGUMENT. If the bible was true to some extent, so what? Whats your point?

It's elementary my dear Watson - if it is true in part then it is true in full. Or perhaps "spiritually" true. Or true when it is convenient for christian in question but allegorical when it's not.
There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.


Socrates.
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#28

Luke's Minute & Extraordinary Historical Accuracy
(01-01-2024, 08:37 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:
(12-31-2023, 10:05 PM)Dave Armstrong Wrote: Progress! So you agree that it is 0.1% non-nonsense. That makes my day!
No i didnt.

Remember when i said "...for the sake of the argument"? Still, the bible is most probably true on some stuff. Like, Jerusalem exists. So does the sun. Duh. that does not mean that any of the CORE claims of the bible are true, or even possibly true.

Again, FOR THE SAKE OF THE ARGUMENT. If the bible was true to some extent, so what? Whats your point?

I agree. There are some valid statements in the bible. Like, don't murder. But that was understood before the bible and did not require it being chiseled in stone. LOL! So much of the bible is just about the obvious ways for humans to live together in peace. It came from pre-bible days and remains true now. For a particular religion to claim credit for so many obvious rules of village/city life seems very presumptuous. Humans started to learn how to live together a LONG time ago. Way pre-bible.

Theists don't seem to understand that.
Never try to catch a dropped kitchen knife!
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#29

Luke's Minute & Extraordinary Historical Accuracy
(01-01-2024, 11:27 AM)Cavebear Wrote: There are some valid statements in the bible.  Like, don't murder.  But that was understood before the bible and did not require it being chiseled in stone.  LOL!  So much of the bible is just about the obvious ways for humans to live together in peace.  It came from pre-bible days and remains true now.  For a particular religion to claim credit for so many obvious rules of village/city life seems very presumptuous.  Humans started to learn how to live together a LONG time ago.  Way pre-bible.

Theists don't seem to understand that.
Yes this is a pretty important point. The religious are accustomed to imagining that they possess a separate moral code bestowed from on high without which society would devolve into chaos, when all morality is, is empathy-driven and practical agreements members of a society hammer out so that they can cooperate and coexist. Any religious group can bolt things onto that so long as it's not in conflict or society is at least willing to tolerate / overlook it / adopt it. And the religious group can claim some god commands and approves things that they simply appropriated (don't murder) or added on (don't eat shellfish).

Many Christians appear to think that non-Christian societies are inherently morally inferior, or just downright immoral (with a weird exception carved out for the Jewish state). And that to whatever extent their own societies embrace somewhat more liberal notions than their sect approves of, they are going down some terrible dark road.

Sometimes, Fundamentalist Christians dream of chucking English Common Law in favor of Mosaic Law so that they can create a quasi-theocratic state where they could more fully insert themselves into various aspects of people's personal lives in the wider society, especially things relating to sexuality and cohabitation and reproduction that they are particularly obsessed with (or in practice, to just create a fascist state that can inflict such things on a whim). But to do that, they have had to sully themselves with politics -- something that was frowned upon 50 or so years ago but now fundies and MAGA Republicans are all but one in the same.

When I left the faith, my moral compass didn't change at all. Or put another way, when I was in the faith, my moral compass worked in spite of that fact.
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#30

Luke's Minute & Extraordinary Historical Accuracy
(01-01-2024, 11:59 AM)mordant Wrote:
(01-01-2024, 11:27 AM)Cavebear Wrote: There are some valid statements in the bible.  Like, don't murder.  But that was understood before the bible and did not require it being chiseled in stone.  LOL!  So much of the bible is just about the obvious ways for humans to live together in peace.  It came from pre-bible days and remains true now.  For a particular religion to claim credit for so many obvious rules of village/city life seems very presumptuous.  Humans started to learn how to live together a LONG time ago.  Way pre-bible.

Theists don't seem to understand that.
Yes this is a pretty important point. The religious are accustomed to imagining that they possess a separate moral code bestowed from on high without which society would devolve into chaos, when all morality is, is empathy-driven and practical agreements members of a society hammer out so that they can cooperate and coexist. Any religious group can bolt things onto that so long as it's not in conflict or society is at least willing to tolerate / overlook it / adopt it. And the religious group can claim some god commands and approves things that they simply appropriated (don't murder) or added on (don't eat shellfish).

Many Christians appear to think that non-Christian societies are inherently morally inferior, or just downright immoral (with a weird exception carved out for the Jewish state). And that to whatever extent their own societies embrace somewhat more liberal notions than their sect approves of, they are going down some terrible dark road.

Sometimes, Fundamentalist Christians dream of chucking English Common Law in favor of Mosaic Law so that they can create a quasi-theocratic state where they could more fully insert themselves into various aspects of people's personal lives in the wider society, especially things relating to sexuality and cohabitation and reproduction that they are particularly obsessed with (or in practice, to just create a fascist state that can inflict such things on a whim). But to do that, they have had to sully themselves with politics -- something that was frowned upon 50 or so years ago but now fundies and MAGA Republicans are all but one in the same.

When I left the faith, my moral compass didn't change at all. Or put another way, when I was in the faith, my moral compass worked in spite of that fact.

Absolutely outstanding!
Never try to catch a dropped kitchen knife!
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#31

Luke's Minute & Extraordinary Historical Accuracy
(01-01-2024, 03:15 AM)Astreja Wrote:
(12-31-2023, 07:55 PM)Dave Armstrong Wrote: Then it would disprove "no one" 's claim, "All religious texts, are nonsense. Every. Single. One." A religious text that is verifiably historically accurate is not nonsense and not "mythology": just as a line in a history book that is verifiably accurate is not nonsense and not mythology.

Every single mundane historical detail in a scripture can be correct.  The moment something supernatural gets added, it doesn't invalidate any correct history but it casts serious doubts on the authors' intentions.  Silly things such as resurrections or the sun standing still in the sky are not validated by placing them in a "container" of valid history.

Yet atheists have no problem accepting the historical accounts of ancient Greek and Roman historians who also incorporate supernatural elements in their histories. Herodotus, for example, believed in omens:

Quote:While he was thinking these arrangements over, he was surprised by an unusual occurrence: snakes swarmed into the suburbs of the town, and on their appearance the horses in the meadows stopped grazing and came and ate them. Croesus, quite rightly, took this extraordinary sight as an omen, and at once sent to Telmessus where there were men who interpreted such things. (Histories, Book 1.78)

The argument was growing hot, when they suddenly saw seven pairs of hawks chasing two pair of vultures, which they tore at, as they flew, with both beak and claw. It was an omen: forthwith the plan of Darius was unanimously accepted, and with renewed confidence the seven men hurried on towards the palace. (Book 3.76)

After the whole army had reached the European shore and the forward march had begun, an extraordinary thing occurred – a mare gave birth to a hare. Xerxes paid no attention to this omen, though the significance of it was easy enough to understand. Clearly it meant that he was to lead an army against Greece with the greatest pomp and circumstance, and then to come running for his life back to the place he started from. There had previously been another strange and ominous occurrence in Sardis, when a mule dropped a foal with a double set of sexual organs, male and female – the former uppermost. Xerxes, however, ignored both omens and continued his march at the head of the army. (Book 7.57)

I don't see atheists dismissing his entire body of work because of this (if you know of anyone who did so, please direct me to it!), as they do, hypocritically, with the Bible, and particularly its historical accounts.

I found this tidbit, too:

Quote:Roman historian Tacitus (56 CE to 120 CE) in The Histories, Book IV, Section 81, and Suetonius (69 CE to 122 CE) in The Lives of the Twelve Caesars wrote of miracles Vespasian performed in the temple of Serapis in Alexandria Egypt. In one case he healed a blind man by anointing his eyes with his spit, and in another he healed a paralyzed man (withered hand or leg) by touching the hand or leg.
[F]anatical atheists . . . can’t hear the music of the spheres. (Einstein, 8-7-41)
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#32

Luke's Minute & Extraordinary Historical Accuracy
(01-01-2024, 08:37 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:
(12-31-2023, 10:05 PM)Dave Armstrong Wrote: Progress! So you agree that it is 0.1% non-nonsense. That makes my day!
No i didnt.

Remember when i said "...for the sake of the argument"? Still, the bible is most probably true on some stuff. Like, Jerusalem exists. So does the sun. Duh. that does not mean that any of the CORE claims of the bible are true, or even possibly true.

Again, FOR THE SAKE OF THE ARGUMENT. If the bible was true to some extent, so what? Whats your point?

My point was humor, but atheists seem to be almost devoid of that.
[F]anatical atheists . . . can’t hear the music of the spheres. (Einstein, 8-7-41)
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#33

Luke's Minute & Extraordinary Historical Accuracy
It being the new year, I'll take the opportunity to say that I appreciate Dave's contributions to our forum. He has his faults, but he's a damn sight better than the majority of apologists or evangelists who come to our shores.

Happy New Year, Dave.
Mountain-high though the difficulties appear, terrible and gloomy though all things seem, they are but Mâyâ.
Fear not — it is banished. Crush it, and it vanishes. Stamp upon it, and it dies.


Vivekananda
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#34

Luke's Minute & Extraordinary Historical Accuracy
(01-01-2024, 04:43 PM)Dānu Wrote: It being the new year, I'll take the opportunity to say that I appreciate Dave's contributions to our forum.  He has his faults, but he's a damn sight better than the majority of apologists or evangelists who come to our shores.

Happy New Year, Dave.
Yeah I'll go along with that, Danu. I think it helps that he's not a fundie ... and not merely because I came out of fundamentalism myself. So much is just simply not thinkable or discussable with a fundie, and they don't register or actually respond to as much as 99% of your actual points. Dave probably at least makes the attempt with around 50% or so.

Whatever the explanation, the volume of posts interesting enough to respond to is up, and I will give him credit for that.
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#35

Luke's Minute & Extraordinary Historical Accuracy
(01-01-2024, 04:43 PM)Dānu Wrote: It being the new year, I'll take the opportunity to say that I appreciate Dave's contributions to our forum.  He has his faults, but he's a damn sight better than the majority of apologists or evangelists who come to our shores.

Happy New Year, Dave.

That's kind of you. I have no opinion on the other Christians who come here, as I haven't read them (I never do in atheist forums; their arguments are their own). So I can't comment on my relative merits compared to anyone else's, and it would be inappropriate and arrogant, anyway, to do that. I would say, though, as a general observation, that Christians overall are very poorly educated in apologetics and how to best share the faith.

So atheists observe many of those folks and assume that that is all Christianity can offer. I have devoted my life to educating Christians as to what we believe and (especially) rational reasons for why we believe what we do, and how to best persuade others of what we believe. I've done this now full-time for over 22 years, and altogether since 1981, so I have a LOT of practice. It's definitely a learned art.

With that disclaimer, again, thank you for the nice greeting; I really appreciate it, and I heartily wish you and all here a very happy and prosperous new year.
[F]anatical atheists . . . can’t hear the music of the spheres. (Einstein, 8-7-41)
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#36

Luke's Minute & Extraordinary Historical Accuracy
(01-01-2024, 04:33 PM)Dave Armstrong Wrote:
(01-01-2024, 08:37 AM)Deesse23 Wrote: No i didnt.

Remember when i said "...for the sake of the argument"? Still, the bible is most probably true on some stuff. Like, Jerusalem exists. So does the sun. Duh. that does not mean that any of the CORE claims of the bible are true, or even possibly true.

Again, FOR THE SAKE OF THE ARGUMENT. If the bible was true to some extent, so what? Whats your point?

My point was humor, but atheists seem to be almost devoid of that.
Is that all you have, cheap insults? Is that what Jesus would have done?
You didnt come here to put your superior sense of humor on display, did you, Mr. Liar for Jesus?
R.I.P. Hannes
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#37

Luke's Minute & Extraordinary Historical Accuracy
(01-01-2024, 04:50 PM)mordant Wrote:
(01-01-2024, 04:43 PM)Dānu Wrote: It being the new year, I'll take the opportunity to say that I appreciate Dave's contributions to our forum.  He has his faults, but he's a damn sight better than the majority of apologists or evangelists who come to our shores.

Happy New Year, Dave.
Yeah I'll go along with that, Danu. I think it helps that he's not a fundie ... and not merely because I came out of fundamentalism myself. So much is just simply not thinkable or discussable with a fundie, and they don't register or actually respond to as much as 99% of your actual points. Dave probably at least makes the attempt with around 50% or so.

Whatever the explanation, the volume of posts interesting enough to respond to is up, and I will give him credit for that.

Thanks to you, too. Aw, shucks!
[F]anatical atheists . . . can’t hear the music of the spheres. (Einstein, 8-7-41)
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#38

Luke's Minute & Extraordinary Historical Accuracy
(01-01-2024, 04:57 PM)Deesse23 Wrote:
(01-01-2024, 04:33 PM)Dave Armstrong Wrote: My point was humor, but atheists seem to be almost devoid of that.
Is that all you have, cheap insults? Is that what Jesus would have done?
You didnt come here to put your superior sense of humor on display, did you, Mr. Liar for Jesus?

Bill Maher, himself an atheist, has been making the same point for a few years now: that humor is dying because of the so-called "woke" culture, dominated by secular types and atheists (and he would know; he's a comedian). We can't even have shows like All in the Family anymore, which was absolutely brilliant, and my favorite sitcom ever, because it's satirical, and people don't get that anymore. It's above them; too sophisticated.

Jesus absolutely used caustic, sarcastic humor, all the time. He called two of His own disciples, "the sons of thunder," because they wanted to rain judgment from heaven on someone. He called Herod a "fox." He called the Pharisees, "whitewashed tombs, full of dead men's bones" and a host of other things. He made a wisecrack about "take the wood plank out of your own eye before you talk about the speck in someone else's eye."

The Apostle Paul made a joke about wishing that some nemesis would castrate himself. Elijah mocked the belief in false gods on Mt. Carmel (who didn't show up during the big contest; I visited the spot in 2014), joking that they must be away taking a piss (the original language there is interesting).

The Bible's filled with humor, and Christian history is filled with it. We're always joking around and having a good time. Atheists are a lot less humorous: at least as we observe them. You spend a lot of time and energy mocking Xians and the Bible, and Xianity, but I don't consider that funny; just wrongheaded and desperate and indicative of a lack of reasons for one's own beliefs.
[F]anatical atheists . . . can’t hear the music of the spheres. (Einstein, 8-7-41)
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#39

Luke's Minute & Extraordinary Historical Accuracy
(01-01-2024, 05:22 PM)Dave Armstrong Wrote: [Atheists] spend a lot of time and energy mocking Xians and the Bible, and Xianity, but I don't consider that funny; just wrongheaded and desperate and indicative of a lack of reasons for one's own beliefs.
How is this different from saying, "shut up, I get to mock atheists, you don't get to mock Christians?"

I mean personally I'm less acerbic than many here, but many Christian beliefs are ridiculous to us and that which is ridiculous is potentially subject to ridicule and this should be no surprise to anyone.

I'm too old to be a hothead anymore and I'm not as given to anger as a response to the ways religion has harmed or misled me in the past, and I have some 3 decades of distance from it by now anyway. But even my relatively mild forthrightness produces incensed abreactions from some believers. And not just fundamentalists. I engaged once with a Unitarian/Universalist minister from Georgia (I mention that detail because being Southern might have contributed to his attitude) who was courteous to me until he found out I was an atheist; even to him it was an affront that I at least didn't consider theism to be a reasonable belief position, reasonable enough I suppose for me to at least be closeted in my true beliefs were I to be hypothetically part of his congregation. It was a bridge too far, even for a minister in a congregation that in theory at least accepts people of all faiths or no faith.

Over-identification with one's beliefs can cause one to confuse a simple observation that one doesn't agree, with an existential threat. It can also produce a sort of tit-for-tat that one feels is justified. And it does cut both ways, but in my experience, theists are more regularly guilty of it -- particularly fundamentalists.
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#40

Luke's Minute & Extraordinary Historical Accuracy
(01-01-2024, 04:31 PM)Dave Armstrong Wrote:
(01-01-2024, 03:15 AM)Astreja Wrote: Every single mundane historical detail in a scripture can be correct.  The moment something supernatural gets added, it doesn't invalidate any correct history but it casts serious doubts on the authors' intentions.  Silly things such as resurrections or the sun standing still in the sky are not validated by placing them in a "container" of valid history.

Yet atheists have no problem accepting the historical accounts of ancient Greek and Roman historians who also incorporate supernatural elements in their histories. Herodotus, for example, believed in omens:

Quote:While he was thinking these arrangements over, he was surprised by an unusual occurrence: snakes swarmed into the suburbs of the town, and on their appearance the horses in the meadows stopped grazing and came and ate them. Croesus, quite rightly, took this extraordinary sight as an omen, and at once sent to Telmessus where there were men who interpreted such things. (Histories, Book 1.78)

The argument was growing hot, when they suddenly saw seven pairs of hawks chasing two pair of vultures, which they tore at, as they flew, with both beak and claw. It was an omen: forthwith the plan of Darius was unanimously accepted, and with renewed confidence the seven men hurried on towards the palace. (Book 3.76)

After the whole army had reached the European shore and the forward march had begun, an extraordinary thing occurred – a mare gave birth to a hare. Xerxes paid no attention to this omen, though the significance of it was easy enough to understand. Clearly it meant that he was to lead an army against Greece with the greatest pomp and circumstance, and then to come running for his life back to the place he started from. There had previously been another strange and ominous occurrence in Sardis, when a mule dropped a foal with a double set of sexual organs, male and female – the former uppermost. Xerxes, however, ignored both omens and continued his march at the head of the army. (Book 7.57)

I don't see atheists dismissing his entire body of work because of this (if you know of anyone who did so, please direct me to it!), as they do, hypocritically, with the Bible, and particularly its historical accounts.

I found this tidbit, too:

Quote:Roman historian Tacitus (56 CE to 120 CE) in The Histories, Book IV, Section 81, and Suetonius (69 CE to 122 CE) in The Lives of the Twelve Caesars wrote of miracles Vespasian performed in the temple of Serapis in Alexandria Egypt. In one case he healed a blind man by anointing his eyes with his spit, and in another he healed a paralyzed man (withered hand or leg) by touching the hand or leg.

Historians don’t accept everything written in ancient histories…it’s their job to sort the myth from the facts…same as we do for the Bible.  Plus, we don’t worship Vespasian or Herodotus or Cesar or any other characters from history.  Perhaps the question should be, why do you believe the Bible but not Vespasian?   Why is it easy for you to disclaim Vespasian miracles but accept the Jesus ones?  Both have true facts about history beyond the myths.
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#41

Luke's Minute & Extraordinary Historical Accuracy
Dave, you're about as bright as a wet match in a dark room.
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#42

Luke's Minute & Extraordinary Historical Accuracy
replying to mordant:

How is this different from saying, "shut up, I get to mock atheists, you don't get to mock Christians?"

Noting the obvious and self-evident fact that online atheists constantly mock Xianity & Xians & the Bible is not mocking. It's simply a fact. Moreover, if I mock at all, I do rarely with regard to atheist beliefs, not the person of atheists. That's the difference. So, for example, Minimalist has been haranguing me and my religion constantly since I've been here. I simply note how he is being illogical and enlisting fallacies. Again, that's not mocking, because it's merely noting a demonstrable fact. There's no double standard here. I treat atheists personally with respect. With what I believe to be their false beliefs, I am merciless, because a belief is not a person. Today many people think the two are identical but they are not. My belief that the Beatles are the best rock band ever is not the same thing as me, Dave, a person. I hold the belief.

I mean personally I'm less acerbic than many here,

I noticed. Thanks for being so! The question is: why are so many so acerbic?

but many Christian beliefs are ridiculous to us and that which is ridiculous is potentially subject to ridicule and this should be no surprise to anyone.

many atheist beliefs are ridiculous to Christians and that which is ridiculous is potentially subject to ridicule and this should be no surprise to anyone.

BUT, again, here the mockery often extends to the person (the Christian) too. I've been called about 25 names and I've only been here a few days. The general drift is that all Christians are supposedly imbeciles, ignoramuses, anti-science, illogical, special pleaders, intellectually dishonest, gullible fools, etc. That is person-directed. You can believe that a person sincerely believes in ridiculous things and that they have their own reasons (usually poorly examined). That's how I view atheists: smart and sincere folks who have adopted many false premises for many and various inadequate reasons, leading them to false and tragic conclusions.

I'm too old to be a hothead anymore and I'm not as given to anger as a response to the ways religion has harmed or misled me in the past,

Good. Would that lots of atheists would get to that point! Practical atheism and a thoroughgoing secular education in Detroit public schools and an ultra-secular major in sociology and a minor in equally secular psychology at Wayne State University in Detroit harmed me quite a bit, too, but I haven't gone around for 41 years (since college) pissing and moaning about it. How I did benefit from the secularist propaganda was to learn how the secular, non-religious mind thinks: a knowledge I have used ever since in my work. So good came out of it. I developed my own worldview and am happy to share what I think about it with anyone who wants to know. I never force it on anyone. They come to me; just like people answer my threads or posts here and I answer back, if there is substance. There's no reason to reply to an insult. One of Minimalist's "answers" to me was one word: "Idiot!"

Over-identification with one's beliefs can cause one to confuse a simple observation that one doesn't agree, with an existential threat. It can also produce a sort of tit-for-tat that one feels is justified. And it does cut both ways, but in my experience, theists are more regularly guilty of it -- particularly fundamentalists.

Totally agree. Both sides do this, and do it a lot. I don't know which one does it more. I can see that it very well might be Christian fundamentalists, though. The more one thinks about one's own belief-system and reasons for it, the more they don't have to be obsessed with or angry about another view, and the more they can calmly discuss it with anyone, being open to truth wherever it may lead. I've had many conversions of belief in my life. Raised nominal Methodist, I became a practical atheist when my family stopped gong to church when I was nine (in 1967). I was doing secularism (blissfully watching cartoons on Sunday morning and not giving a thought to God except maybe for five minutes at Easter) a generation or two before it became cool and fashionable. Then I converted to evangelical Protestantism at age 18 and to Catholicism at age 32. I could change my mind and give reasons for doing so precisely because I was open-minded and open to being convinced of things. I may change again. No one knows the future.
[F]anatical atheists . . . can’t hear the music of the spheres. (Einstein, 8-7-41)
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#43

Luke's Minute & Extraordinary Historical Accuracy
(01-01-2024, 04:31 PM)Dave Armstrong Wrote:
(01-01-2024, 03:15 AM)Astreja Wrote: Every single mundane historical detail in a scripture can be correct.  The moment something supernatural gets added, it doesn't invalidate any correct history but it casts serious doubts on the authors' intentions.  Silly things such as resurrections or the sun standing still in the sky are not validated by placing them in a "container" of valid history.

Yet atheists have no problem accepting the historical accounts of ancient Greek and Roman historians who also incorporate supernatural elements in their histories. Herodotus, for example, believed in omens:

Quote:While he was thinking these arrangements over, he was surprised by an unusual occurrence: snakes swarmed into the suburbs of the town, and on their appearance the horses in the meadows stopped grazing and came and ate them. Croesus, quite rightly, took this extraordinary sight as an omen, and at once sent to Telmessus where there were men who interpreted such things. (Histories, Book 1.78)

The argument was growing hot, when they suddenly saw seven pairs of hawks chasing two pair of vultures, which they tore at, as they flew, with both beak and claw. It was an omen: forthwith the plan of Darius was unanimously accepted, and with renewed confidence the seven men hurried on towards the palace. (Book 3.76)

After the whole army had reached the European shore and the forward march had begun, an extraordinary thing occurred – a mare gave birth to a hare. Xerxes paid no attention to this omen, though the significance of it was easy enough to understand. Clearly it meant that he was to lead an army against Greece with the greatest pomp and circumstance, and then to come running for his life back to the place he started from. There had previously been another strange and ominous occurrence in Sardis, when a mule dropped a foal with a double set of sexual organs, male and female – the former uppermost. Xerxes, however, ignored both omens and continued his march at the head of the army. (Book 7.57)

I don't see atheists dismissing his entire body of work because of this (if you know of anyone who did so, please direct me to it!), as they do, hypocritically, with the Bible, and particularly its historical accounts.

I found this tidbit, too:

Quote:Roman historian Tacitus (56 CE to 120 CE) in The Histories, Book IV, Section 81, and Suetonius (69 CE to 122 CE) in The Lives of the Twelve Caesars wrote of miracles Vespasian performed in the temple of Serapis in Alexandria Egypt. In one case he healed a blind man by anointing his eyes with his spit, and in another he healed a paralyzed man (withered hand or leg) by touching the hand or leg.

Well, almost anything is "possible in theory", but the bible is so unlikely I wouldn't bet a dime on $1,000,000 return that it was accurate on the essential parts. I mean, sure, people walk around, beget, and eat bread, but the superstitious/miracle parts require a rather loose mind to accept them.

"Yet atheists have no problem accepting the historical accounts of ancient Greek and Roman historians who also incorporate supernatural elements in their histories. Herodotus, for example, believed in omens"

You actually think atheists believe such nonsense? That is rather disturbing. What kinds of fools do you take us for. We don't believe the superstitions of the ancient Greeks and Romans any more than we believe your superstitious bible. Both are the unsupported beliefs of unknowledgable fools.

I note that you carefully said "entire" when referring to Herodotus. Like most pre-science ancients, he had his weird ideas. But a few things he wrote of were probably correct. If I understand correctly, what he wrote by direct observation on his travels around his known world are reasonably accurate. But his thoughts of things he did not directly experience (like most ancient beliefs) was almost pure fantasy. His thoughts on omens and past history falls into the category of "and here there be dragons" as used by old map-makers to hide the places they had no information about.

Your understanding of atheists is somewhere between "laughable" and "hideously ignorant". Dog
Never try to catch a dropped kitchen knife!
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#44

Luke's Minute & Extraordinary Historical Accuracy
(01-01-2024, 05:54 PM)pattylt Wrote: Historians don’t accept everything written in ancient histories…it’s their job to sort the myth from the facts…same as we do for the Bible.  Plus, we don’t worship Vespasian or Herodotus or Cesar or any other characters from history.  Perhaps the question should be, why do you believe the Bible but not Vespasian?   Why is it easy for you to disclaim Vespasian miracles but accept the Jesus ones?  Both have true facts about history beyond the myths.

But you (atheists generally) don't do it with the Bible. If you did, someone would interact with the actual argument I made in the OP. But no one has. The discussion went right to miracles, which had nothing to do with my OP. All you have to do is disagree or agree with the proposition: "Luke was a minutely accurate historian." Yay or nay.

Since this discussion (I began it, and so "set the agenda") is not about miracles and why someone should believe this, that, or the other purported miracle, I won't be diverted to that huge topic.  

I don't worship Luke, either, so this is a non sequitur. I was testing whether he was an accurate historian. No one has proven that he was not. All they've said is that, because he believes in miracles, everything he writes can be dismissed, which is BS, and I why I brought up the analogy of Herodotus and Tacitus. They're religious, too, but because it's pagan religion (not the big bad wicked boogeymen of Jesus and Christianity), somehow they are kosher and Luke isn't. Luke is the religious fanatic that can be dismissed, no matter how much his accuracy is independently verified.

This impresses no one. Any sharp 13-year-old on a debate team would see right through this for what it is: an evasion and rabbit trail used to avoid the initial topic and challenge.
[F]anatical atheists . . . can’t hear the music of the spheres. (Einstein, 8-7-41)
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#45

Luke's Minute & Extraordinary Historical Accuracy
Your understanding of atheists is somewhere between "laughable" and "hideously ignorant". 

Then by all means ignore me. But in all likelihood you won't. We'll see!
[F]anatical atheists . . . can’t hear the music of the spheres. (Einstein, 8-7-41)
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#46

Luke's Minute & Extraordinary Historical Accuracy
(01-01-2024, 05:22 PM)Dave Armstrong Wrote:
(01-01-2024, 04:57 PM)Deesse23 Wrote: Is that all you have, cheap insults? Is that what Jesus would have done?
You didnt come here to put your superior sense of humor on display, did you, Mr. Liar for Jesus?

Bill Maher, himself an atheist, has been making the same point for a few years now: that humor is dying because of the so-called "woke" culture, dominated by secular types and atheists (and he would know; he's a comedian). We can't even have shows like All in the Family anymore, which was absolutely brilliant, and my favorite sitcom ever, because it's satirical, and people don't get that anymore. It's above them; too sophisticated.

Jesus absolutely used caustic, sarcastic humor, all the time. He called two of His own disciples, "the sons of thunder," because they wanted to rain judgment from heaven on someone. He called Herod a "fox." He called the Pharisees, "whitewashed tombs, full of dead men's bones" and a host of other things. He made a wisecrack about "take the wood plank out of your own eye before you talk about the speck in someone else's eye."

The Apostle Paul made a joke about wishing that some nemesis would castrate himself. Elijah mocked the belief in false gods on Mt. Carmel (who didn't show up during the big contest; I visited the spot in 2014), joking that they must be away taking a piss (the original language there is interesting).

The Bible's filled with humor, and Christian history is filled with it. We're always joking around and having a good time. Atheists are a lot less humorous: at least as we observe them. You spend a lot of time and energy mocking Xians and the Bible, and Xianity, but I don't consider that funny; just wrongheaded and desperate and indicative of a lack of reasons for one's own beliefs.
I don't care what Bill says. I don't care to talk to him, I want to talk to YOU.
You are not here because of humor. Why are you here?
To claim that lack of belief equals belief, amongst other absurd bullshit, that's why you are here. You are embarrassing yourself to no end here and you don't have the instrospection to get the slightest clue about it.

That's you in a nutshell
R.I.P. Hannes
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#47

Luke's Minute & Extraordinary Historical Accuracy
(01-01-2024, 06:48 PM)Dave Armstrong Wrote:
(01-01-2024, 05:54 PM)pattylt Wrote: Historians don’t accept everything written in ancient histories…it’s their job to sort the myth from the facts…same as we do for the Bible.  Plus, we don’t worship Vespasian or Herodotus or Cesar or any other characters from history.  Perhaps the question should be, why do you believe the Bible but not Vespasian?   Why is it easy for you to disclaim Vespasian miracles but accept the Jesus ones?  Both have true facts about history beyond the myths.

But you (atheists generally) don't do it with the Bible. If you did, someone would interact with the actual argument I made in the OP. But no one has. The discussion went right to miracles, which had nothing to do with my OP. All you have to do is disagree or agree with the proposition: "Luke was a minutely accurate historian." Yay or nay.

Since this discussion (I began it, and so "set the agenda") is not about miracles and why someone should believe this, that, or the other purported miracle, I won't be diverted to that huge topic.  

I don't worship Luke, either, so this is a non sequitur. I was testing whether he was an accurate historian. No one has proven that he was not. All they've said is that, because he believes in miracles, everything he writes can be dismissed, which is BS, and I why I brought up the analogy of Herodotus and Tacitus. They're religious, too, but because it's pagan religion (not the big bad wicked boogeymen of Jesus and Christianity), somehow they are kosher and Luke isn't. Luke is the religious fanatic that can be dismissed, no matter how much his accuracy is independently verified.

This impresses no one. Any sharp 13-year-old on a debate team would see right through this for what it is: an evasion and rabbit trail used to avoid the initial topic and challenge.

Well, let me make you feel better…I accept that Luke has some historical facts.  I’m not an historian so I can’t agree to him being completely accurate on his history portions but I accept that may all be true or may have some discrepancies…I just don’t know enough to say a simple yay or nay.

Some here may think everything in the Bible is horseshit but, usually, they mean the religious parts or the parts where we can’t falsify….like the In the Beginning blather.  Most atheists really don’t care if there’s some accuracies pertaining to history as it’s the other parts that we reject as improbable, impossible and/or myth.
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#48

Luke's Minute & Extraordinary Historical Accuracy
(01-01-2024, 06:48 PM)Dave Armstrong Wrote: "Luke was a minutely accurate historian." Yay or nay.
The only honest answer based on your argument is, "I don't know". Because you didn't present any proof that he was "minutely accurate" in his claimed historical account. You presented evidence that he correctly used one particular term with respect to a specific geographic region. This is only evidence of that one thing -- that he was aware of and correctly remembered the usage of one word. It isn't even evidence that he always correctly used similar terms elsewhere. Trying to transmute THAT into an up-or-down, yes-no question about the historicity of Luke generally (which now has to include his claims of the miraculous) is disingenuous. It is another example of you attempting to broaden something very limited into a false analogy in your quest to get people to believe that Luke wrote a historically accurate document in all respects, "yay or nay".
(01-01-2024, 06:48 PM)Dave Armstrong Wrote: I don't worship Luke, either, so this is a non sequitur.
No, you worship Jesus, of whom Luke testifies, including that he died and rose from the dead.

The more consequential and fanciful the claim, the higher the bar for proof.
(01-01-2024, 06:48 PM)Dave Armstrong Wrote: I was testing whether he was an accurate historian. No one has proven that he was not.
Nor is any sane person going to attempt to prove a negative, or assume he's an accurate historian unless there is conclusive evidence that he's not.

It is perfectly legitimate to look at Luke's total oeuvre and decide that since he admits into evidence dubious thing X, it tends to color everything else. That is not proof it's wrong, but this business of Luke using one term correctly applies to the whole thing is rather like saying that because Harry Potter books accurately mention London and accurately depict it as a setting, means there are also wizards and magic, or that 100% of the events that were written into the London setting must have happened, because London.
(01-01-2024, 06:48 PM)Dave Armstrong Wrote: All they've said is that, because he believes in miracles, everything he writes can be dismissed, which is BS, and I why I brought up the analogy of Herodotus and Tacitus. They're religious, too, but because it's pagan religion (not the big bad wicked boogeymen of Jesus and Christianity), somehow they are kosher and Luke isn't. Luke is the religious fanatic that can be dismissed, no matter how much his accuracy is independently verified.
Which is not very much. One term, remember?

Now ... if you want to present a bunch of other examples of Luke having accurate historical details verified from independent sources with no skin in the game, we can have that conversation; I might even agree that the historical PARTS of his account are instructive and accurate. And if you want to keep the implications of his portraying various miracles as historic fact separate, fine. But finish the job at hand then.
(01-01-2024, 06:48 PM)Dave Armstrong Wrote: This impresses no one. Any sharp 13-year-old on a debate team would see right through this for what it is: an evasion and rabbit trail used to avoid the initial topic and challenge.
I don't agree that you get to decide what's admissible and what's not just because you started the conversation. You can politely ask to confine this discussion to the historical veracity of the document and we might agree but then we would probably stipulate that if Luke can be shown to be meticulously accurate as to places and politicians and secular events, this is in no way an admission that he MUST be telling the truth about the miracles, so ... I am not sure what you would even be accomplishing.
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#49

Luke's Minute & Extraordinary Historical Accuracy
(01-01-2024, 03:15 AM)Astreja Wrote: Every single mundane historical detail in a scripture can be correct.  The moment something supernatural gets added, it doesn't invalidate any correct history but it casts serious doubts on the authors' intentions.  Silly things such as resurrections or the sun standing still in the sky are not validated by placing them in a "container" of valid history.

(01-01-2024, 04:31 PM)Dave Armstrong Wrote: Yet atheists have no problem accepting the historical accounts of ancient Greek and Roman historians who also incorporate supernatural elements in their histories. Herodotus, for example, believed in omens...

Dave, I'm a Classical Studies student in my sophomore year.  I don't accept the supernatural elements that are comingled with the historical ones.  I don't believe, for instance, that the Julio-Claudian dynasty was descended from the goddess Venus, or that any of the Roman emperors were divine.  Some of us (in fact, the vast majority of us) clearly have the ability to distinguish between history and silly supernatural assertions.
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#50

Luke's Minute & Extraordinary Historical Accuracy
(01-01-2024, 09:38 PM)Astreja Wrote: Some of us (in fact, the vast majority of us) clearly have the ability to distinguish between history and silly supernatural assertions.

But that wasn't MY point (just to clarify), which was: many atheists (many seen here) wish to entirely dismiss Luke [or the author of Acts, whomever it was] as a crackpot because he believes in miracles, including Jesus' resurrection and ascension and raising another person from the dead. But the same atheists don't have any problem respecting and citing Greek and Roman pagan historians who are just as religious and also believe in miracles.

This is a double standard which is so glaring that to me it suggests a strong emotional prejudice against Christianity that isn't extended to pre-Christian pagan Greek and Roman religion. It's not, as I see it, based on reason, but rather, angry or otherwise irrational emotionalism. The Greeks are so idealized among atheists (I love them, too: Socrates is a great hero of mine), so I think that's part of it, too. They overlook what they would see as "flaws" in Christians, when it comes to the same ones in Greek and Roman historians. Blind spots . . .
[F]anatical atheists . . . can’t hear the music of the spheres. (Einstein, 8-7-41)
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