Author Topic: Craig and Williams vs. Ahmed and Copson: "This House Believes that God is not a Delusion"  (Read 60718 times)

blank

  • Posts: 1330
    • View Profile
lapwing wrote:

"What I'm saying is that their conversion isn't solely as a result of the evidence in the New Testament"

I agree: it's what I said earlier.



And it is what I said earlier too. My point is that whatever the reason may be behind their conversion doesn't somehow make the New Testament stories true. So I wonder why they aren't skeptical of the NT stories.


lapwing wrote:

A baptismal testimony is a convert's answer to why they became a Christian. Mysticism may be described as religious practices aimed at achieving a greater sense of divinity. Christianity is a religion so is bound to share certain characteristics with other religions e.g. belief in God. I'm asking you to compare testimonies between different religions. What do the differences tell you?


The differences simply tell me that the various religions have different roots though the largest similarity is that one's religious inclination seems to depend largely on the religions they're exposed to.


lapwing wrote:

"equally valid reasons for their beliefs."

Trouble is there are practical reasons why not to believe in UFOs: primarily the vast distances in space and the lack of more widespread detection. Aliens are going to be physical beings like us - to them, if they exist, we are the aliens.


What if these aliens have technology advanced enough that enables them perform these actions? And aren't there practical reasons for not believing that someone turned to salt or levitated into the sky?


lapwing wrote:

do you think God has cells?

By denying the incarnation of Jesus you are putting a limitation on God that you cannot know is valid.


No, I'm showing that one cannot both be a God and a human.

lapwing wrote:

"Been there done that."

I don't know what this means.




What I mean is this.

lapwing

  • Posts: 7281
    • View Profile
    • Not my website but explains my choice of name and avatar

the reason behind their conversion doesn't somehow make the New Testament stories true

I agree.

I wonder why they aren't skeptical of the NT stories

I prefer to let people speak for themselves rather than putting my own opinions in their mouths. I've already shown that the gospels describe the followers of Jesus as sceptical about the resurrection until they met the risen Lord Jesus. Your point also seems to assume that everybody should necessarily come to the same conclusion about the historicity of the resurrection. History isn't like that - one cannot repeat the experiment in history, unlike much of science. There are other controversial events in history (e.g. the Princes in the Tower) over which objective historians hold different views.

Aliens like us will be subject to the laws of physics i.e. nothing travels faster than light. God can defy the laws of physics since He created the universe. This is not true of aliens.

I'm showing that one cannot both be a God and a human.

All your doing is asserting an opinion.

"Been there done that."

What I meant to ask is what is your experience of "being there" and "doing that" in relation to the kingdom of God.

For by one sacrifice Jesus has made perfect forever those who are being sanctified.

"Those who are still afraid of men have no fear of God, and those who have fear of God have ceased to be afraid of men"
"If the world refuses justice, the Christian will pursue mercy"
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

blank

  • Posts: 1330
    • View Profile
lapwing wrote:

the reason behind their conversion doesn't somehow make the New Testament stories true

I agree.



I know you agree. That is why I was asking for the justification of the Christian dogma after whatever experience it was that they had.


lapwing wrote:

I wonder why they aren't skeptical of the NT stories

I prefer to let people speak for themselves rather than putting my own opinions in their mouths. I've already shown that the gospels describe the followers of Jesus as sceptical about the resurrection until they met the risen Lord Jesus. Your point also seems to assume that everybody should necessarily come to the same conclusion about the historicity of the resurrection. History isn't like that - one cannot repeat the experiment in history, unlike much of science. There are other controversial events in history (e.g. the Princes in the Tower) over which objective historians hold different views.


And I think it is clear that the gospel accounts are very problematic when it comes to these issues of miracles and similar phenomena that are easily found in other religions with miraculous claims.

I don't think historians accept claims of miracles when it comes to other fields why make an exception for Christianity alone? How historically credible on miracles should one consider the gospel accounts to be when they contain deeply problematic verses like the dead walking the streets, earthquakes etc during Jesus' death?

While historians hold different views on the Princes in the Tower, they do not conclude that someone walked through a wall or ascended into the sky.


lapwing wrote:

Aliens like us will be subject to the laws of physics i.e. nothing travels faster than light. God can defy the laws of physics since He created the universe. This is not true of aliens.


In a 4 dimensional universe, maybe one wouldn't need to travel faster than light to get here. For some reason, God no longer defies these laws of physics in these modern times. He left the truly spectacular incidents to the bronze age and to mostly illiterate people.


lapwing wrote:

I'm showing that one cannot both be a God and a human.

All your doing is asserting an opinion.


Is it just my opinion that God isn't made of cells?


lapwing wrote:

"Been there done that."

What I meant to ask is what is your experience of "being there" and "doing that" in relation to the kingdom of God.



My experience is one of gullibility and religious faith which gave way when I learned how to think critically and evaluate information.

lapwing

  • Posts: 7281
    • View Profile
    • Not my website but explains my choice of name and avatar

the justification of the Christian dogma after whatever experience it was that they had.

Christian dogma or belief does not depend on personal experience.

I think it is clear that the gospel accounts are very problematic

Other people disagree e.g. R Bauckham, N Wright

historians hold different views on the Princes in the Tower

That was my point. Historians disagree about the historicity of many events. You cannot establish with certainty using objective historical methods that many events (miraculous or not) actually happened or not. So you cannot say that historian X has proved that the Resurrection did not happen neither can you say that historian Y has proved that it did happen. Do you agree?

historians always prefer the most likely event

This seemed to be Ehrman's thesis in http://www.reasonablefaith.org/media/craig-vs-ehrman-college-of-the-holy-cross

Now I don't think that either Ehrman or Craig are particularly good at statistics. Craig's probability terms would have been better using words rather than symbols to explain the terms. Ehrman was wrong to say that Craig was trying to mathematically prove God's existence. This "most likely" argument is flawed statistically. Many natural phenomena (e.g. adult heights) follow the familiar normal or Gaussian bell curve distribution.

So though it is true that any one sample is most likely to have the mean value it is not true that all the samples are most likely to have this one mean value. In fact this is most unlikely. Ehrman does not account for outliers and also seems to fall foul of Black Swan theory. Jesus' life is only one case in the many human lives that have been lived.



For by one sacrifice Jesus has made perfect forever those who are being sanctified.

"Those who are still afraid of men have no fear of God, and those who have fear of God have ceased to be afraid of men"
"If the world refuses justice, the Christian will pursue mercy"
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

blank

  • Posts: 1330
    • View Profile
lapwing wrote:

the justification of the Christian dogma after whatever experience it was that they had.

Christian dogma or belief does not depend on personal experience.


I'm not saying it does. I'm simply wondering what the justification for also accepting the Christian dogma may be after one has had some sort of experience.


lapwing wrote:

I think it is clear that the gospel accounts are very problematic

Other people disagree e.g. R Bauckham, N Wright

 


So these people think that the miraculous claims in the Bible actually occurred? What do they say about other religions and the events such as the dead roaming the city?


lapwing wrote:

historians hold different views on the Princes in the Tower

That was my point. Historians disagree about the historicity of many events. You cannot establish with certainty using objective historical methods that many events (miraculous or not) actually happened or not. So you cannot say that historian X has proved that the Resurrection did not happen neither can you say that historian Y has proved that it did happen. Do you agree?

 


I think proof is reserved for fields like mathematics and logic but in history, I think that given certain concepts about the universe, some explanations are more credible than others. e.g which explanation would you consider as being more credible for the building of the Easter Island statues, ancient aliens or labourers?

If one is going to grant an exception for Christianity, why not grant similar exceptions to other religions and ideas?


lapwing wrote:

historians always prefer the most likely event

This seemed to be Ehrman's thesis in http://www.reasonablefaith.org/media/craig-vs-ehrman-college-of-the-holy-cross

Now I don't think that either Ehrman or Craig are particularly good at statistics. Craig's probability terms would have been better using words rather than symbols to explain the terms. Ehrman was wrong to say that Craig was trying to mathematically prove God's existence. This "most likely" argument is flawed statistically. Many natural phenomena (e.g. adult heights) follow the familiar normal or Gaussian bell curve distribution.

So though it is true that any one sample is most likely to have the mean value it is not true that all the samples are most likely to have this one mean value. In fact this is most unlikely. Ehrman does not account for outliers and also seems to fall foul of Black Swan theory. Jesus' life is only one case in the many human lives that have been lived.





I didn't say historians always prefer the most likely event but what I would say is that if one rigorously follows the appropriate historical methodology, one still wouldn't be justified in believing that someone rose from the dead, walked through walls, levitated into the sky or that certain events were associated with his death.

lapwing

  • Posts: 7281
    • View Profile
    • Not my website but explains my choice of name and avatar

Hello blank,

This is becoming too repetitive.

I'm making a closing statement. I imagine you will reply to give yourself the satisfaction of having the last word.

"if one rigorously follows the appropriate historical methodology, one still wouldn't be justified in believing that someone rose from the dead"

I've already given examples of where professional historians do this and reach different conclusions. Do you agree or do you think that for any historical event one can determine what actually happened without any room for reasonable disagreement?

"given certain concepts about the universe"

This seems to be code for believing that God does not exist. An assumption since it has not been proved.

"ancient aliens or labourers?"

An example of repetition. I've  already responded about aliens. Remember we're aliens in the sense of travelling to distant planets. Aliens would have to travel to earth.

an exception for Christianity

By denying this possibility you are trying to dictate to God how he should or should not act. Why shouldn't God choose to communicate to humankind through Jesus? Why should God act in a way that you think is more appropriate. Other human beings have views that differ from yours so why should you think that you can determine how God should act. The message is for all mankind.

"the dead roaming the city?"

"The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people." Mt 27:52,53 NIV

Now these verses are difficult, not because God is incapable of doing such a miracle, but because of a lack of information. However, one shouldn't think in terms of some kind of zombie movie. Rather one should think more like the raising of Lazarus in Jn ch 11. You have mentioned this example many many times but it is not the key event at the end of the gospels. Jesus' resurrection is the key event. That doesn't mean that I don't believe this could or did happen: but it's much more important to think about Jesus' resurrection. I've tried to make this point before and you have never taken this obvious point on board preferring to divert down side issues.

For by one sacrifice Jesus has made perfect forever those who are being sanctified.

"Those who are still afraid of men have no fear of God, and those who have fear of God have ceased to be afraid of men"
"If the world refuses justice, the Christian will pursue mercy"
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

blank

  • Posts: 1330
    • View Profile
lapwing wrote:

Hello blank,

This is becoming too repetitive.

I'm making a closing statement. I imagine you will reply to give yourself the satisfaction of having the last word.


It may appear repetitive because you keep presenting the same points.

My response isn't for satisfaction of having the last word, but simply to show you your inconsistencies.


lapwing wrote:

"if one rigorously follows the appropriate historical methodology, one still wouldn't be justified in believing that someone rose from the dead"

I've already given examples of where professional historians do this and reach different conclusions. Do you agree or do you think that for any historical event one can determine what actually happened without any room for reasonable disagreement?

 


And I responded by pointing out that historians don't conclude by saying "here, a miracle happened."


lapwing wrote:

"given certain concepts about the universe"

This seems to be code for believing that God does not exist. An assumption since it has not been proved.


No, it is a code about certain basic assumptions that we all make. The difference being that believers add on some unjustified claims. Those claims are the things being disputed or expected to be demonstrated.

lapwing wrote:

"ancient aliens or labourers?"

An example of repetition. I've  already responded about aliens. Remember we're aliens in the sense of travelling to distant planets. Aliens would have to travel to earth.

 


Please note the context of this particular example. The point is that historians using their methodology, wouldn't conclude that the structures were built by aliens.


lapwing wrote:

an exception for Christianity

By denying this possibility you are trying to dictate to God how he should or should not act. Why shouldn't God choose to communicate to humankind through Jesus? Why should God act in a way that you think is more appropriate. Other human beings have views that differ from yours so why should you think that you can determine how God should act. The message is for all mankind.

 


If you wish to introduce your God as a possibility, then I think you would need to do some work showing us what is expected of him otherwise he will simply be an arbitrary entity introduced by religious faith.


lapwing wrote:

"the dead roaming the city?"

"The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people." Mt 27:52,53 NIV

Now these verses are difficult, not because God is incapable of doing such a miracle, but because of a lack of information. However, one shouldn't think in terms of some kind of zombie movie. Rather one should think more like the raising of Lazarus in Jn ch 11. You have mentioned this example many many times but it is not the key event at the end of the gospels. Jesus' resurrection is the key event. That doesn't mean that I don't believe this could or did happen: but it's much more important to think about Jesus' resurrection. I've tried to make this point before and you have never taken this obvious point on board preferring to divert down side issues.



In what sense are the verses difficult? Do you also find them difficult to believe? How can the signs surrounding Jesus' death not be significant? If such stories could be made up about his death, why not his resurrection?

Basically, all I've shown is that there are unjustified leaps from the mystical beliefs of people to accepting Christian dogma. Also, that how much one believes the Christian dogma for some reason depends on how they accept science.

Anthony

  • Posts: 64
    • View Profile
The atheist side totally cheated. When they found out that Dr. Craig was going to speak second, they changed their order, so that Ahmed would go last and have the last word so that he would have the lasting impression on the audience. Andrew Copson gave an atrocious opening speech that was almost completely committing the Genetic Fallacy.  That was kind of stupid if you ask me. Craig and Williams had no chance to respond to Ahmed's poor response to the theist arguments. That was very disappointing, and not to mention, the audience was extremely bias toward the atheist debaters. Maybe Dr. Craig will come back to Cambridge and debate the subject again. Or he could come to the other Cambridge and debate Steven Pinker at Harvard.
My account name, 'Copleston' is named after the famous Jesuit Philosopher, Frederick Copleston, who famously debated atheist philosopher, Bertrand Russell on BBC Radio in 1948.

 

anything