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bruce culver

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« Reply #60 on: June 27, 2011, 12:05:28 pm »
Most of this thread is old and there are too many posts, but I must say as a skeptic that it is most amusing and conducive to further skepticism to watch two true believers debate. That both sides have very legitimate arguments that the other side dismisses by employing outrageous double standards is very obvious to the skeptic and hilarious to watch.

   

   For example the persecution of the early church is often cited as strong evidence for the truth of it's claims because surely people wouldn't invent stories and then die for them. However Joseph Smith died without recanting his claims, and there is no solid evidence of any of the other witnesses recanting even though many left the church and had no reason not to recant, and many other Mormons died and were persecuted for their faith.

   

   The historical evidence for Mormonism then is every bit is good and a good bit better than the historical evidence for Christianity for we have the first hand testimony of witnesses in original manuscripts that are less than 200 years old, plus people who died and faced persecution for their claims and/ or faith in the claims.

   

   What believers in these revealed faiths seem to be missing IMO is just how unreliable human testimony is, how much people like to make up and invent stories, how people are much more likely to pay attention to and repeat stories that are fantastic over those that are mundane, etc.

   

   Take a look at something that happened as recently as 9/11/2001, and see all the fantastic stories and theories that have risen up around the events even though they happened less than a decade ago and are documented in ways that were unimaginable two hundred, let a lone two thousand years ago. Is there any doubt that if there were no sound and video recording or the means to record and distribute eyewitness accounts around the world in seconds and if people

   were as prone to superstition and magical thinking as they were in the past that there would be even far more fantastic stories and rumors circulating about the

   events.

   

   I think there can be no doubt about that, just as I think there can be no doubt that no magical events or divine intervention is needed to explain the origins of the gospel stories or the willingness of people to die for them if truly believed. Certainly, there is no more reason to believe them than to believe the testimony of those who testified to the origins of the Book of Mormon.
"The world is my country and my religion is to do good."

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Robert Harris

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« Reply #61 on: June 27, 2011, 01:01:56 pm »
tompaine wrote: Most of this thread is old and there are too many posts, but I must say as a skeptic that it is most amusing and conducive to further skepticism to watch two true believers debate. That both sides have very legitimate arguments that the other side dismisses by employing outrageous double standards is very obvious to the skeptic and hilarious to watch.


If both sides have such legitimate arguments then why are you still on the sidelines?


For example the persecution of the early church is often cited as strong evidence for the truth of it's claims because surely people wouldn't invent stories and then die for them. However Joseph Smith died without recanting his claims, and there is no solid evidence of any of the other witnesses recanting even though many left the church and had no reason not to recant, and many other Mormons died and were persecuted for their faith.


You are incorrectly stating what the evidence supports. AFAIK Christians don't say it proves the truth of Christianity but that the earliest believers very sincerely believed what they were saying, so much so they were willing to die for it. (People don't die for a lie sort of thing.) Joseph Smith didn't die as a martyr, he died in a gun fight after wounding people. There is very solid evidence that several of the first LDS apostles recanted and left the LDS church.


The historical evidence for Mormonism then is every bit is good and a good bit better than the historical evidence for Christianity for we have the first hand testimony of witnesses in original manuscripts that are less than 200 years old, plus people who died and faced persecution for their claims and/ or faith in the claims.

What believers in these revealed faiths seem to be missing IMO is just how unreliable human testimony is, how much people like to make up and invent stories, how people are much more likely to pay attention to and repeat stories that are fantastic over those that are mundane, etc.


This hasn't contributed anything and sounds more like a conclusion based on assertion.


Take a look at something that happened as recently as 9/11/2001, and see all the fantastic stories and theories that have risen up around the events even though they happened less than a decade ago and are documented in ways that were unimaginable two hundred, let a lone two thousand years ago. Is there any doubt that if there were no sound and video recording or the means to record and distribute eyewitness accounts around the world in seconds and if people
were as prone to superstition and magical thinking as they were in the past that there would be even far more fantastic stories and rumors circulating about the
events.


If you believe the official 9/11 story... Why would you believe the official government story when it is just the human testimony OF THE MOST UNRELIABLE PEOPLE ON THE PLANET, EVER. A little consistency please.


I think there can be no doubt about that, just as I think there can be no doubt that no magical events or divine intervention is needed to explain the origins of the gospel stories or the willingness of people to die for them if truly believed. Certainly, there is no more reason to believe them than to believe the testimony of those who testified to the origins of the Book of Mormon.


Well you can think whatever you want but please deal with all the lines of evidence out there instead of making bare assertions and appealing to naturalism as if it were some de-facto starter position (which is what you seem to be doing in the last quoted block.)
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Arthur42

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« Reply #62 on: June 27, 2011, 01:21:03 pm »
Joseph Smith didn't die as a martyr, he died in a gun fight after wounding people.


Joseph Smith was in a room full of his friends and his brother, and they were all surrounded, being shot at, and obviously in danger.  I wouldn't say that the fact that he emptied the only weapon available to him makes him not a martyr.

There is very solid evidence that several of the first LDS apostles recanted and left the LDS church.


What did they recant?  Their belief in Joseph?  That's not really the issue.  The issue is whether the witnesses to supposedly supernatural events ever recanted.  In the case of the witnesses to the Book of Mormon and angelic visions, etc., you had better back up your claim that some of those people recanted.

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Robert Harris

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« Reply #63 on: June 27, 2011, 06:11:01 pm »
Joseph Smith was in a room full of his friends and his brother, and they were all surrounded, being shot at, and obviously in danger.  I wouldn't say that the fact that he emptied the only weapon available to him makes him not a martyr.


He died in a wild west style gunfight in the complete opposite fashion that historical Christian martyrs and their example, Jesus, died.
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Arthur42

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« Reply #64 on: June 27, 2011, 09:32:50 pm »
He was locked up in a prison and a mob surrounded it and was storming up the stairs, shooting everyone they could. All Joseph had was a small pepper-box that was incapable of killing anyone - and it didn't.  Hardly a wild west gunfight at all.  I am willing to accept Peter, for instance, would go to his death peacefully.  But when one of his friends was in danger, he attacked and smote off a man's ear.  Your objection is inane.

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bruce culver

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« Reply #65 on: June 28, 2011, 12:53:57 am »
See Arthur and Robert you both raise legitimate objections to the others beliefs, but you simply dismiss each other instead of coming to the conclusion anyone without an iron in the fire would come to; i.e., both are false.

   

   I'm skeptical but not immune to evidence.
"The world is my country and my religion is to do good."

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Arthur42

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« Reply #66 on: June 28, 2011, 11:07:33 am »
It's not a dispute over truth, it's a dispute over interpretation of an event we're both familiar with.  I'm not even a literal believer in Joseph's claims.

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Robert Harris

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« Reply #67 on: July 03, 2011, 02:48:06 pm »
Arthur42 wrote: He was locked up in a prison and a mob surrounded it and was storming up the stairs, shooting everyone they could. All Joseph had was a small pepper-box that was incapable of killing anyone - and it didn't.  Hardly a wild west gunfight at all.  I am willing to accept Peter, for instance, would go to his death peacefully.  But when one of his friends was in danger, he attacked and smote off a man's ear.  Your objection is inane.


That he killed people or just wounded is irrelevant. He violently fought back; this is no martyrs death.

You are attempting to compare Peter while he was still 'in training' so to speak to a PROPHET that had received many divine revelations and claimed to do even greater acts than Jesus!! YOUR objection is inane.
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Arthur42

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« Reply #68 on: July 03, 2011, 08:02:36 pm »
Joseph had been falsely imprisoned without a trial (not the first time either).  It was a tiny, cramped room (I know, I've been there twice) and Joseph's beloved brother Hyrum was standing next to him, and his friends were also in the room.  Joseph's brother was shot in the face through the door, and his other friend John Taylor was shot several times while trying to deflect the guns of the mob with his walking stick.

You think it would have been more moral for Joseph to allow his friends and brother to get shot without doing everything in his power to defend them?  You think it would have made Joseph a better martyr if he had told his friend John Taylor (who received at least three bullets in his body from the experience), "Hey man, I've got a gun here, but I want to go down as a martyr.  Sorry, good luck, hope you make it out of here alive."  Then you and I will just have to agree to disagree, since we're obviously operating from different definitions of morality.

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Arthur42

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« Reply #69 on: July 03, 2011, 08:09:17 pm »
Oh, and as soon as he had exhausted his weapon, Joseph ran to the tiny window and forced himself out of it, thereby drawing the fire of the men out of the room and saving his friends from the hail of bullets.  I know this because I have seen the tiny window (that would obviously take quite a bit of effort for a grown man to climb up and out of), and I've seen the place where he landed.  The mob savagely continued shooting him after he had fallen out the second story window onto the ground outside.  If Joseph had stayed in the room, the mob would have continued shooting in and certainly may have killed his two friends.

And in all these discussions nobody ever talks about the supposedly Christian mob - comprised of more than one clergy member - who had painted their faces black, and colluded with the prison guards to lay down their arms and allow them to storm the prison.  Honestly, to view this as anything but a complete travesty and injustice - and to view Joseph and Hyrum as anything but martyrs - really requires a biased reading of the history.

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Robert Harris

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« Reply #70 on: July 04, 2011, 08:10:25 am »
I do not have a defunct definition or understanding of morality. It is you that has a defunct definition of what a martyr is.

My understanding of morality comes from Jesus who laid down his life like lamb and when physical violence was committed he healed the person even though that person was an enemy. He taught me about love and the meaning of it. Everything he said was true and he didn't lie to people about being able to know a language that did not exist nor did he falsely take money from people to buy an Egyptian scroll and lie about God in some completely made up way.

You are the one with the biased reading of history. Joe Smith did not die as a martyr and you cannot say otherwise without being biased. He died in a gunfight. A much greater injustice was done to Jesus but he went along. Not Joe Smith, though, who fought violently back and tried to run away through tiny window that was so tiny it would have been a labor for a grown man to get out of apparently.

Who needs cable when you can watch Dr. Craig all day long on YouTube?
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