Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Confutation of Atheism-12

How utterly senseless it would be toward his own evangelization purposes, IF he indeed stretched the truth to create more parallelsim than actually existed. I don't think Justin would be that stupid to step on his own toes.

Justin also grounds the parallels in the pre-Jesus activity of demons, who created the parallels retroactively through pagan poets, so when Jesus came along, he'd look no more special than any other god man. Such desperate excuse is quite appropriate for an apologist who cannot deny the parallels and must come up with some reason for why they exist.

In other words, you have no evidence of a supporting argument from Justin himself, so you invented it for him. You were asked to produce a supporting argument from Justin actually showing that the Christians borrowed their stories from those myths. All Justin offers is a theory of the origins of the Greek myths, but he also tells us exactly where the source of the Christian stories lays. You must set what Justin says in one place against what he says in another in order to assert your theory.

Common ground that includes specific parallels such as sons of gods being born in unique fashion, virgin births, resurrections and ascensions. Justin just isn't sufficiently stupid to create parallels where his Greek audience would know none exist. THIS is why you have to deal with the parallels he cites seriously, instead of just waving them off never thinking about how ridiculous Justin and his audience would be if in fact the parallels weren't as close as the ones he cited.

a. Justin states he is making them because Christians are being charged with atheism. Why would Justin cite these parallels as a defense against atheism if his audience had considered these parallels already and believed they were valid? Why would Justin have pointed out the parallels if he knew his audience was already making the connections? How does that make sense as an argument that Christians are not atheists?

b. Since Steve, Jason, and I, along with Metzger and Yamauchi are interacting with the content of those parallels and you have avoided doing so except to keep repeating Justin's statement, it is not we who have failed to take them seriously.

Also First, what do you mean by asking me whether I can find a statement of genealogical parallel between Jupiter and Christ in the New Testament? Did I ever say or imply that such COULD be found there? Did I not cite Justin as my sole source for these parallels so far?

What is the source of Justin's belief in the virgin birth? The New Testament and the Old Testament. His apology tells us this in detail. Thus you need to to find the genealogical parallel that Justin is supposedly alleging if you are going to allege a copycat theory which you claimed, adamantly, stands.

the similarlity requires some sort of genealogy (who borrowed from who), and
my proof that the Christians borrowed from the pagans is Justin's desperate
resort to retro-active demon activity to prime the world with tales of god men
like Jesus, before Jesus was born, the best example of which is (snip).
a. Justin is not arguing that Christians borrowed from these tales. That is an argument you are supplying for him. A statement that analogous parallels exist does not then translate into Christians borrowing from them.

b. The portion of the FA you cited goes on to say that those demons influenced those poets through their contact with Moses and the Old Testament. The theory being advanced, if we assume your naturalistic supposition and remove the references to demons, is that the common source for the pagan myths is the prophetic material in the OT. Justin's argument is that the pagan myths suffer from interpolation, but the NT does not, presumably because of spatial and cultural distance from the common source. The distance is longer between the pagan interpolation and the OT source; whereas the NT itself does not suffer from that distance. That is a common tenet of source criticism, so it isn't without warrant to employ it.

Why does Justin have to exegete scripture in order to justify his parallels-cites?
For the parallels and pertinent Scriptures respectively, what are the authors' background, audiences, narrative meaning, etc.? These all determine if the specific parallel cited fits the NT text and vice versa. A generic motif does not a genealogical parallel make.

Because the points of similarity are specific enough to require borrowing from one to the other, and hence are not outweighed by the differences. You can't just say it's mere coincidence that pre-Christian Greeks thought Perseus was born of a virgin. Do you agree that virgin-birth was nothing unique to Christianity, yes or no?
a. All you have is a gut feeling, no data. Your first statement is a description masquerading as explanation, an assertion with no evidence. In what ways are they similar enough to require borrowing? Where is your interaction with the contents of the myth of Danae?

b. You have cited no evidence pre-Christian Greeks believed Perseus was born of a virgin coming from Justin. Justin is pointing to this as a birth by divine means, not a virgin birth. He makes two allusions: first, that Perseus was born of a mortal, Danae, he does not say she was a virgin. He says that "Even if" we affirm He was born of a virgin, accept this in common with what you accept of Perseus." Where is there a record of them believing that Perseus was born of a virgin? This statement indicates that the point of disanalogy, not the point of analogy, by use of "Even if," is the virginal aspect of it. It fails genalogical parallel at the crtical point of comparision in Justin, much less the rest of the content. In other words, Justin is saying "From your generic idea of divinely accomplished births of heroes in your own religions, accept ours as a similar story, proving we are not teaching unheard of ideas, even though we affirm, unlike your heroes, that our Hero was born of a virgin." How does this select for a copycat theory?

c. We here do contend that the virgin-birth is unique to Christianity. Perseus was not born of a virgin, he was born of a woman impregnated by Zeus through having sex with her. The NT narrative specifically denies that God the Father had sex wiith Mary. The Holy Spirit overshadowed her and Jesus was conceived. One major parallel here is to the creation of Eve from Adam. In the birth narrative of Jesus, this is reversed, as Eve was made from Adam, yet still considered in the image of God, so the Second Adam (Jesus), with respect to his humanity, was made from Mary, with his divinity coming through the hypostatic union to the Son. There is no sexual union. This is a virgin birth as well as a divine birth.

Please read my posts again, I cited the place where I felt Justin cited the closest parallels. Decrying this with "they are just general statements" doesn't perform the service of apologetics, but instead the service of preaching.
Steve, Jason, and I are the ones interacting with the pagan parallels. Where is your examination of them? I see none.

The fact that Justin admits that there is no virgin-birth known in the race of Abraham is irrelevant to the cites of virgin-births coming from the race of the Greeks.
a. Justin cites them as evidence of divine-human interaction not unparalleled in the religions of his listeners who are saying that the Christians are teaching ideas never before heard.

b. Justin says the virgin-birth is unique, but they are not unheard of.

c. Justin does not cite them as virgin births. He cites them as generic parallels of divinely achieved births.

Irrelevant, the chances of two different savior gods being said to be born of virgins, by sheer chance and without any borrowing from one to the other, given Christianity's existence in the middle of such paganism, are almost zero. The parallels need explaining, where did the idea of virgin-birth come from? Hint, the tale of Perseus is older than the first century, as pointed out by Justin's desperate resort to retro-active word of demons in popularizing Christ-concepts before Jesus was born, to make him seem less great to the populace.

a. What savior gods were born of virgins?
b. What savior gods died by crucfifixion?
c. Was Perseus born of a virgin?
d. The antedating of the Perseus myth only shows its date, not that Christians borrowed from it. On the contrary, the NT narratives universe of discourse goes back to Isaiah and Moses, and what do we find in Justin's Apology, specific but a very lengthy and specific discourse to that effect.

What? Justin's sources for proving who Jesus was is irrelevant to the fact of
the parallels themselves, I dont' care if Justin gets Jesus out of the OT or out
of thin air, the Greeks believed Perseus was born of a virgin, this is then a
parallel to debate with you, why then are you bringing up Justin's choice of
sources on Christ? Who cares?
So on the one hand, you need Justin to for you copycat theory but deny what Justin says when he contradicts you.

Second, the whole idea of gods impregnating woman was known before Christianity, and therefore, whether God the Father became flesh and took away Mary's virginity so as to concieve Jesus, or some other way which left her viginity intact, god's impregnating woman were a common motif. Your attempts to water down the parallels to "general statements" doesn't work.
You said it yourself, it is a common motif. A common motif is not a genealogical parallel. A common motif does not self-select for a copy cat thesis. You need a supporting argument for that.

fallacious argument from silence. Also, remember Celsus? Apparantly people DID make these connections.
a. On the contrary, unless you can show a genealogical parallel, Dave, it is you who argue from silence.

b. It is not an argument from silence, since Justin tells us that that is why he is making the argument. He is defending against the charge of atheism, by stating that it isn't as if these ideas had not, in an inferior and distorted form, appeared previously. It does seem to me that he would not have needed to point that out if his hearers already understood that. It's one thing to be aware of your own pagan myths, quite another to make the connection to what Christians believed to what you already believed, quite another to move from that to rethinking your charge of atheism made against them. That's the whole point of the First Apology--to make those connections for the audience, for they had not made them.

if it is true, as apologists say, that the pagan stories mimicking Jesus only came AFTER Christianity.
No, they say the evidence argues that the borrowing came after Christianity and in the other direction, not that all the stories came after Christianity. They also point out that the hard evidence of the content of the texts of these myths postdates the Christian era.

I cited Justin who referred to myths predating the first-century (as seen from his appeal to demon activity in OT days to mimic Jesus before Jesus was born).
I asked for evidence of borrowing. That requires a geneological parallel and interaction with the content of a particular myth or myths as well as the pertinent NT texts.

The parallels are still pre-Christian in origin, telling us who borrowed from who.
a. Once again, you need a geneological parallel. If a comes before b, it does not immediately follow that b borrowed from a, particularly when the source you cite for the dating of a specifically denies that b borrowed from a, which Justin does. A pre-Christian origin of a text does not self-select for Christians having borrowed from it.

b. Parallels? Name them. You've cited one. I am aware of the myths Justin cites, but not of the argument he makes that the Christians borrowed from them for their own narratives.

c. Justin's theory is that the Greeks borrowed from Moses and the prophets, and these new constructions suffered from cultural and spatial distance and were distorted by the Greeks. His theory is exactly opposite to yours, so you cite Justin dogmatically when it suits you but deny what he says elsewhere because it doesn't fit your thesis.

Because Justin's Christian case that Jesus was predicted in the prophets, I find no evidence for, while his citation of parallels to Christ, in the context of his defense to the Greeks, would only make sense if his audience first accepted the parallels, so that they COULD view Jesus as at least equal with their other gods. if Justin was lying to them, they'd know his information was false, and he'd have to be supremely retarded to make his case by lying to those who would know the difference. I don't take Justin to be that stupid, do you? he would only cite information on pagan gods that he knew were already accepted by his Greek pagan audience, right?

a. You have provided no evidence against Justin's case on these issues. You're speculating on what the audience believed prior to the 2nd century and assuming they were aware of the parallel between the Christian stories and their own. It does not flow that what they accepted about the pagan gods in their day translated into recognition that the Christians employed similar motifs, nor does it follow that the presence of analogical motifs at the time of Justin or even before selects for a copycat theory in which the NT narratives borrowed from those motifs, viz. the specific myth(s) Justin or anybody else mentioned simply from Justin's statements.

b. His citation is made to defend against the charge of atheism on the basis that his audience had NOT accepted the parallels. If they had done so, they would not have charged the Christians with atheism. That's the point of this particular work.

I never said Justin ever talked about who came first. Quit putting words in my
mouth. I said he cited parallels period and then gave argument to show why he
meant that these greek stories with parallels to jesus existed before Jesus.
The very first thing I asked you to produce was a supporting argument from Justin that the Christians borrowed their stories from those myths. You pointed to Justin and you said that the parallels he cites are pre-Christian in origin and tell us who borrowed from who. Once again, we're on a sliding scale with your statements.

So? What then, was he just LYING when he mentioned parallels before?

This logic applies equally well to the rest of what Justin says that opposes your thesis.

After all the smoke, you now admit that the parallels to Jesus did indeed exist before the time of Jesus.
I never said the myths did or did not pre-exist Jesus. I said that Justin was not a authority on what people believed before that time, only what people believed at the time of his writing and that you need to find a geneological parallel that shows Christians borrowed from that myth if that is an argument you are going to make. Steve has outlined that process for you in his last response to you. I said that he offers his own theory of the origin of those parallels. If you can relegate his assertions about the OT origin of the NT narratives, based on your perception that there is no evidence, then, if pressed, I can say the same thing about the pre-existence of these myths. Based on the actual evidence, all we have here is an assertion that they existed, not what they necessarily believed about them, and where is the text containing those myths that predates Justin or the NT?

sure, that's Justin's view, but just because he uses the Christian concept of
Christ being predicted in the OT, doesn't mean Christ really was, and it is
actually just as ridiculous as his retro-active demon activity retort.Also,
Justin's speculation that the pre-Christian greeks borrowed ideas for their
pagan gods, is just that, pure speculation, and no history of greek mythology
will trace what they believe back to the OT writings.

Justin is merely trying to explain hard facts of parallels by resorting to dependence upon the
uniquely Christian belief that Jesus was indeed pre-figured in the OT.

The shadow was NOT made plain. The idea that Jesus fulfilled the OT is
nothing but unsupported assertion. They may as well insist Jesus wore a pink hat
every other Tuesday at 3 pm, as to insist that Jesus fulfilled the OT. Jesus
died on a cross. Whether that actually does institute a new covanent and make
the old one obsolete, is very far from being proved.
a. So now you agree that Justin is not arguing for borrowing between Christianity and paganism?

b. Where is your supporting argument for reading Justin in this manner and knowing his motives and that he was speculating on the origin. Why not simply divest his theory of the "mythological" aspect of demons and see a theory of literary dependency from the OT to the Greeks and another for the OT to the NT? That is in keeping with a naturalistic explanation too, isn't it? I'm only borrowing a page from your own rulebook. FYI, this is no more absurd than much of liberal source criticism, so it's not as if I'm not taking my cue without warrant.

c. If you really believe that, then I suggest you write a critique of the standard commentaries on Hebrews.

Jews wouldn't, Greeks would, go read the title of your text of Justin again.
The original question was about the text of the NT, not Justin. I asked about Matthew in particular. If Christians borrowed from Greek pagan writers, why would Matthew do such a thing. Why would his audience find it persuasive?

The title is The First Apology of Justin.

"And if we even affirm that He was born of a virgin, accept this in common with what you accept of Perseus." (Justin Martyr, First Apology) --- did Justin write that or not?
a. What did they believe about Perseus? Judging from what we know about the myth, it was that he was the son of Zeus, born by having sex with Danae, and thus not a virgin birth, but a birth by divine means.

b. What is said about Jesus? That he was the Son of God, born by a virginal conception, born of a virgin, Mary, a divine birth and a virgin birth.

c. Justin is merely appealing to the generic motif, not the specific parallel.

Celsus also says the virgin-birth of Christian stories they stole from the earlier legend about Danae:

"What an absurdity! Clearly the christians have used the myths of Danae and the Melanippe, or of the Auge and the Antiope in fabricating the story of Jesus' virgin birth." -- Celsus On the True Doctrine, translated by R. Joseph Hoffman, Oxford University Press, 1987, page 57.
a. And in the same document translated by the same individual, you also find Celsus discussing a competing theory from the Jews, so what we have here is Celsus attempting to refute the story with more than one theory.

Let us imagine what a Jew—let alone a philosopher—might put to Jesus:
“Is it not true, good sir, that you fabricated the story of your birth from a
virgin to quiet rumours about the true and unsavory circumstances of your
origins?…That she was pregnant by a Roman soldier named Panthera?…
Is it not so that you hired yourself out as a workman in Egypt,
learned magical

b. Antiope is impregnated by Zeus coming as a satyr, isn't she? If so, the birth is the product of bestiality, not a virgin birth.

c. Danae-Perseus is not born of a virgin.

d. Celsus is merely making an assertion without grounds for the assertion. If the bias of the NT writers influenced them to distort the truth about Mary and write the virgin birth, why accept that Celsus, writing against Christianity was not distorting the truth for similar reasons?

I said I could cite parallels, I never said i could do more than any biblical scholar and figure out which myths the Christians used and which they didn't.
They are analogical not geneological. Don't come here and throw up the copy cat thesis if you are unable to defend it from the standard literature.
He doesn't, I infered that by comparing "virgin-birth" with "virgin-birth", and reasoning that these two things are very close parallels. Let me know if you require further clarification.
a. Of course, you never actually compared "virgin-birth" with "virgin-birth" it was Steve, Jason, and I who did that for you.

b. When we did that, we found that the parallels fail at the critical point of comparison. At most, the parallel is generic, not specific.

c. In order to maintain a pagan copycat thesis, you need a specific, genealogical parallel between the NT narrative and a particular pagan myth. The one you offered fails that test. An analogical parallel does not qualify as anything more than that, especially when cited as an ad homineum argument by a secondary source using it for a specific purpose.

No, I gave reasons and argument for accepting as historical true, his cites of parallels,
Your argument cites Justin as inferring that the myth precedes the Christian narrative, therefore the Christian narrative borrowed from it. Merely accusing him of speculation without evidence begs the question of evidence. Fair enough. However, that doesn't stop you from leaping from his citation of the existence of a parallel to the assertion that the Christians borrowed their own stories from that parallel. That requires evidence as well, which you have not supplied.

Go read justin again, he cites many parallels to Jesus from pre-Christian pagan myths. I have no reason to think he is lying or stretching truth, given that the parallels he digs out of Greek myths would have been known to be accurate by his uniquely Greek audience the First Apology was addressed to. How stupid for him to establish common ground by drawing parallels to Christ from Greek myths, IF in fact no Greek myth had ever furnished such information.

a. Where is Justin's argument that any of these is geneological. They are merely motifs, generic statements. Nothing more.

b. Still you refuse to do the work and go and look at these parallels in detail yourself. You're the one making the assertion we should take them seriously and examine them. As we have already said, it is precisely because we have examined them that we reject the copycat thesis. Where is your supporting argument that any of these are valid parallels beyond establishing a generic motif?

Wrong, I'm asking you how you know Matthew and Luke's account of Mary's virgin-birth is true, and you simply trust the accounts without reason. Sorry, but if somebody says their wife is prenant by God, and not because of her infidelity, I'm gonna need a hell of lot more proof than a mere two letters from two of her friends who solemnly testify in favor of her version of events. How about you?

Fallacy of false dilema; there is a third option, namely, the burden of proof is on me to show that Matthew and Luke do not constitute "evidence". Do you believe it every time a woman claims her pregnancy is from god and not normal sexual relations? Why not? You trust Mary's two friends Matthew and Luke, so it appears you don't need more than the least bit of assertion on the point to convince you, right?
a. Showing that Matt. and Luke do not constitute evidence would require an argument the texts are spurious. The copycat thesis is one such argument employed for that very purpose. There is no false dilemma here.

b. Jason and Steve have offered reasons to affirm that the text is true at's boards. This is a group blog and we are willing to post Jason's responses if he chooses to respond, so only one of us need address you. I need construct no separate argument of my own when I agree with them already.

Well, that too, but for now, the problem with Matthew and Luke is that YOU don't accept other similar stories immediately, so you have no business accepting Matthew and Luke.
I don't accept Matt. and Luke immediately. You are assuming things about me about which you are in no position to know, since, strictly speaking you and I have not interacted on that particular issue.

Justin was writing his first apology to the Greeks not the Jews, genius.
a. Matthew was written by a Jew, genius. Luke was read by Greeks and Jews, genius. If you wish to allege a pagan copy cat theory, a theory you earlier asserted is valid, then that is where you need to address it, to the source material in the gospels. Why would a Jew writing to Jews find parallels from Greek mythology persuasive, and why would his readers find them persuasive? The Jews had a low view of Greek mythology, and Pharisaic Jews in particular were prone to becoming Christians.

b. Justin was writing is First Apology to the Romans, genius:

Emperor Titus Ælius Adrianus Antoninus Pius Augustus Cæsar, and to his son
Verissimus the Philosopher, and to Lucius the Philosopher, the natural son of
Cæsar, and the adopted son of Pius, a lover of learning, and to the sacred
Senate, with the whole People of the Romans,

on the contrary, I don't find that your general statements about the Jews having a low view of Greek mythology, suffices to establish the case.
This was said with respect to the NT itself, not Justin.

Is the Father and Holy Spirit ever separate from each other EVER? No. You don't appear to have a very clear grasp of trinitarian theology.
I am not a modalist. I have quite a clear grasp of Trinitarian theology. The Father and the Holy Spirit are of one essence, not one Person. The Father did not die for the sins of His people. The Son did that. The Father did not overshadow Mary and cause the conception. The Holy Spirit did that.

you are assuming the parallels have to be closer than they are, when in fact not even all god-men in the Greek myths were exactly the same, so I have the perfect right to based a copy-cat thesis on something less than mirror-image perfect copying.
a. No, Steve and I have offered Metzer and Yamauchi. There is a vast literature on comparative mythology in the NT to which you have been pointed. Do you ever bother to read it?

b. Once again, an analogical parallel is not a geneological parallel, so I have made no assumption at all. You need spatial and temporal information and you need the texts themselves. There's quite a lot you have to do before playing Pagan Day on the Aeropagus with Greek mythology and the NT myths. Of all the folks on this blog who are interacting with those myths, you are the one who has provided a sum total of zero interaction with them.

False, I proved that this principle of uniformity has no apparant flaws that would require one to be a naturalist before they would accept it, and I proved that even Christians like you accept it implicitly in your day-to-day life.
a. No you made an argument from assertion through facile question-begging.

b. All you "proved" about our use of the prinicple of uniformity is that we use it as a general descriptive principle, but you did not show we use it prescriptively at all. You are using it prescriptively and in a stipulative fashion. We include all the information, you use it to exclude testimony. You conclude essentially that a resurrection from the dead cannot happen, because it is a miracle and miracles are non-repeatible and untestable, therefore, you exclude that testimony or you find an alternative explanation for that testimony. That is stipulation. It uses a general principle to rule out particulars. Testimony of general regularity does not invalidate testimony to the contrary in a particular instance. You're the one claiming you'd discount 6000 people swearing about what they saw on a stack of Bibles."

miracle claims are not "liberty", they are "contrary to life experience", at least mine.
a. Not my experience, for me life itself is a miracle.

b. "Contingency" means we expect the unexpected. We do not use our life experience as a stipulative judge. If I never see x happen, it does not rule out that x happened.

c. Miracle claims fall under the principle of liberty under the rubric of personal causation, viz. providence, a distinction you continue to ignore.

Dave next tries to blunt the force of the claim that his rules of evidence have changed by parsing each statement. However, the point of the list was to show that he had changed his position over time.

Plausible, not possible. I would expect you, to know the difference.
I do, and that is exactly what an argument from probability infers.

Where does that quote of mine say that miracles are ruled out of history because they are low in probability? I was talking about refraining from rejecting them by citing other instances of concretely established cases, of which miracle-claimers never have any.
Which is a probability argument, and in this very thread, you go on to say, "False, the uniformity of history is what makes miracles of low probability, they then THEN fully flushed into the sewer by naturalistic explanations which account for the data. See how that works?" If you think a naturalistic explanation accounts for the Resurrection of Christ, then by all means construct an argument on your blog and let Steve, Jason, and I take a look at it.

I didn't here say that miracles are automatically excluded because they are low in probability. I merely said show me one definite case so I can stop seeing them as impossible. WHY I SEE THEM AS IMPOSSIBLE, is because of the evidential force of naturalistic explanations.
But above you said you view them as implausible, so now you say you view them as implausible because you view them as impossible? Or is it vice versa? You need to stake out a position and stick to it. You said, "If 6,000 people swore on a stack of bibles that they saw someone walking on water, I would rest upon the confirmed physical laws to laugh in their faces.”

Yes, the fact that something is improbable DOES influence me to first deny it until I can interview the claimers to have a better idea of the place the miracle-claim originated.

What if there is tremendous historical distance between you and those claimers?

Do you think the thousands of sworn witnesses who testify that Mary appeared in Fatima Portugal, interpreted the phenomena correctly? No. Why then do you dump all over my hesitation to accept eyewitness testimony to the miraculous when you don't even do it yourself? a.

a. All you're doing is parrotting yourself when others have addressed this with you already. This is getting repetitive, Dave. To begin with you are in no postion to say that I what I do or do not believe about Fatima, since you and I have not interacted on the subject, and I have not interacted with anyone else on it, so don't chastise me or others for arguments from silence while freely offering them yourself about what I do or do not affirm.

Jason has already addressed this: You need to get specific. Tell me what it is about the Fatima reports that convinces you that 1.) they're false and 2.) they're comparable to the accounts of Jesus' resurrection. Remember, as Steve has told you repeatedly, we as Christians have no need to dismiss all claims of the supernatural, and we need you to be specific when you cite alleged parallels to Christian miracle claims. Vague comments like the one quoted above won't do.

b. You only mentioned Fatima to change the subject away from denying multiple attestation to the Resurrection. Jason was objecting to this: That's exactly right. If 6,000 people swore on a stack of bibles that they saw someone walking on water, I would rest upon the confirmed physical laws to laugh in their faces.”

c. Christianity does not hinge on the veracity of miracles outside the NT, so appealing to Fatima is just a red herring. How would the validity or invalidity of Fatima help your case?

If somebody told you they taught a pig how to grow wings and fly like a
bird, would you just believe everything you hear, or would your tendancy
toward naturalist historiography rear it's ugly head?
Steve has already been over this with you, what 3, 4 times. One looses count. It won't help you to dredge it up with me. I have never argued we should believe in surd events. What would it take to show that pigs could grow wings and fly? A single documented case. I would not stipulate to the evidence before doing so. You, in contrast, have argued, "If 6,000 people swore on a stack of bibles that they saw someone walking on water, I would rest upon the confirmed physical laws to laugh in their faces.”

quit wasting my time with unsupported assertions. You only deny repeatability to the method of historiography because you know all your miracles in the bible will vaporize if you Do accept it. You will never quote any historian who doesn't subject history to repeatability tests, because they don't exist. Your single solitary reason for dumping all over repeatability and uniformity is because it would cause miracles to be most probably false, certainly not because you demonstrated that repeatability is somehow itself flawed as a tool of historical reconstruction
a. Au contrare, you have been pointed to a plethora of literature. There are any number of Christian historians and philosophers. It isn't up to me to do the work for you when no less than 3 of us have interacted with you on this already and all you keep doing is repeating the same assertions without advancing your argument. You're like a broken record, constantly hitting the same notes without advancing the album.

b. None of us ever said that historians don't use the priniciple of uniformity and repeatability nor have we denied its descriptive use, what we said is that there are historians who do not use it in a stipulative, prescriptive fashion, who place it under the principle of liberty and contingency.

1 comment:

  1. According to Dave's standard of evidence, the Resurrection is unbelievable because there are no parallel cases whereas the virgin birth is incredible because there are parallel cases.

    If there are no parallel cases, the NT writers must have made it up; but if there are parallel cases, the NT writers must have borrowed it.