gleaner63 wrote: The "unbelief" of the average atheist is not really about evidence at all, it's really about a built in bias, one that they want to protect at all costs. I have had these conversations with atheists all to many times to believe that the verification of the historical events of the OT would make *any* difference at all. If you don't believe me, just go to any atheist blog and pose the question. The Red Sea may have parted, but surely it wasn't GOd that did it. That would be a typical aresponse.
Show a skeptic a flight log by a military pilot that he visually spotted and chased a UFO. The invariable first query will always be "...did they pick the UFO up on radar...?". If you respond no, they will retort, "...see, if it was a solid, mechanical object, they would have picked it up on their radar...". Now, when you point out a similar case, of a pilot who made a vivual ID and painted the target on radar, the response then becomes "...radar is unreliable...". Tell them the UFO was "painted" by *five* seperate radar systems, including gound and air. The response now becomes "...so what...". But do you see what is happening here?
I asked an atheist on another blog what proof he required for the ressurection and he said "...a time machine...". Another said he would "...have to see it with his own eyes...". Another said "...when God comes down from heaven and introduces himself to me then I will believe he exists...". No proof will be enough for the hardcore atheist....and *they* know this, they just refuse to admit it.
ReasonableJeff wrote: Soooo... You ask a question about what can be inferred from certain evidence, and when you don't like the answer you just assume it's because of the other person's bias?
a large boat (say, 300-ish cubits long, constructed of gopher wood...) dating back around 4000 years was discovered on the side of a mountain, what would that mean in your professional historical opinion?
If "God exists" is your answer, then you may want to re-examine your own personal biases.
The fact is, we found a boat. Maybe if "Noah wuz here" was carved into a beam... no, it wouldn't mean nothing, but it wouldn't mean more than what the evidence presents.
If we could prove that Moses really did, with God's assistance, part the Red Sea (actually the reed sea), I think it would certainly prove God's existence. But I don't see any way one could prove it.
If your statements above are true, I believe that pilots believe they saw something flying and interacting with them that either was or was not picked up by radar. The conclusion that there were alien life forms at the helm is a conclusion that just isn't supported.
I've certainly never concluded there were aliens aboard those craft, so I don't know where you're getting that from.
It seems like there is proof that would be enough- traveling back in time and witnessing it themselves (although it still could be mass hallucinations...), and the personal introduction to God (which surely is within His powers to make happen). I happily admit that there could be proof of God's existence- I just think it's highly improbable that it exists.
The point is that everyone is requiring a different level of proof. Do you not see a problem with that scenario? What if, in a court of law, no one could degree on what constituted proof? Do you not see an obvious problem with people who demand levels of proof (a time machine) that can't be met?
ReasonableJeff wrote: It seems like there is proof that would be enough- traveling back in time and witnessing it themselves (although it still could be mass hallucinations...), and the personal introduction to God (which surely is within His powers to make happen). I happily admit that there could be proof of God's existence- I just think it's highly improbable that it exists.
The underpinning of what you are saying, Jeff, is that all proof must come through *you*; you've made yourself the final word in what burden of proof must be met. No one can go back in a time machine, I'm sure even Professor Krauss would agree with me there. Also, even if God came down and introduced himself to you, *NONE* of your atheist buddies would believe you .
EGreg wrote: As I said, my problems are not those of a skeptic. It's not about you "proving" to me that the flood happened and I would say, "that's not enough proof." Rather, scientists are the ones proving to you that the flood didn't happen, that the earth was NOT created several thousand years ago, and so forth.
The question I have for you is ... what if someone would prove to you that there couldn't have been any flood that wiped out all animals and humans outside the ark? What if they used 10 independent lines of reasoning from history, geology, biology, etc.
Would you that be enough to overcome YOUR bias? What would you say if you found out there is no way the global flood could have occurred? Why are entire chapters in Genesis devoted to it? Why are genealogies of people we trust a great deal, such as Luke, containing Noah -- who if the flood didn't happen would have been a fictional character?
EGreg wrote: I am of course biased as well. Although I would like to think that I am weighing the evidence based on its actual strength. I invite Christians to take a look with me at the evidence that there doesn't seem to have been any global flood.
I think the reason lots of people (skeptics, atheists) say "so what" is because they are convinced that these stories didn't happen...
just like you are convinced that stories in Greek Mythology didn't happen.
After all if you think there never was any titan Prometheus who gave fire to humans, how would finding a boat make you think that the greek stories are true?
That having been said, I want to point out something important. Sometimes science denies something is possible very strongly, and then we find out it is possible. It happened in the past, like 18th and 19th centuries.
Today, many people are pretty sure that we have a good enough grasp of what happened in the last few thousand years to be able to say confidently that the flood and exodus didn't happen as described. And therefore, the "so what" reaction when you find one tiny piece of evidence SUGGESTING it MAY have happened -- while ignoring all the glaring reasons why it couldn't have happened.
For example: finding seashells on a mountain, while ignoring the fact that the amazon rain forest is a finely tuned ecosystem with predators and prey perfectly suited for each other, which could hardly have started with 2 predators and 2 prey of each kind (one or the other would go extinct in such a simplistic ecosystem, rather than develop into a full blown and intricate one with incredible genetic diversity in a mere 4 thousand years).
Many Christians deny evolution because it is viewed as a blind watchmaker, but on the other hand how do you explain the species in the amazon rain forest appearing in the last 4 thousand years?
I am saying, every person needs to view ALL the evidence and use consistent standards for the theory.
There will always be biases but you should consider arguments like that seriously. I think that subconsciously, most people don't see miracles today, AND they see lots of myths about magical stuff in the past which no one believes today, and they suspect that all supernatural accounts from the distant past are mistaken, no matter what culture they arose in or how much attention they were given. Couple this with actual evidence that this stuff probably never happened, and you have a strong presuppositional position. Is that bias?
Yes, but it is grounded in evidence and reasoning. Had we been seeing miracles or had the flood story not have serious problems with its plausibility, things might have been different. But that's the way the world looks.
gleaner63 wrote: Quote from: ReasonableJeffSoooo... You ask a question about what can be inferred from certain evidence, and when you don't like the answer you just assume it's because of the other person's bias? It's certainly has *something* to do with their bias. I'm biased and have no problem to admitting it, do you?
Soooo... You ask a question about what can be inferred from certain evidence, and when you don't like the answer you just assume it's because of the other person's bias?
Quote a large boat (say, 300-ish cubits long, constructed of gopher wood...) dating back around 4000 years was discovered on the side of a mountain, what would that mean in your professional historical opinion? I would say, first of all, the find is certainly deserving of further investigation. After the initial report was made, that's all I would say, nothing more. If "God exists" is your answer, then you may want to re-examine your own personal biases. That wouldn't be my response at all, and as I've already admitted, I'm biased. The fact is, we found a boat. Maybe if "Noah wuz here" was carved into a beam... no, it wouldn't mean nothing, but it wouldn't mean more than what the evidence presents.I agree.If we could prove that Moses really did, with God's assistance, part the Red Sea (actually the reed sea), I think it would certainly prove God's existence. But I don't see any way one could prove it. I don't see how we could prove it either. I do believe there is much more evidence of and credible reports of UFOs- but the problem is we're relying on testimony and interpretations of others, for phenomena that defies normal experience for most of use. And it's not something that can be reproduced and tested scientifically.
I guess we don't disagree as much as it seemed like we would, which is a bit surprising considering the tone of your post. I'm actually a bit confused now, but I've been there before...
I don't see a problem with someone, tongue-in-cheek, giving you the only level of proof for a certain historical event that would be acceptable to them (time machine)- meaning, there is no "evidence" that would convince them. I don't see a problem with that- what evidence for Jesus' resurrection could there be? Different claims require different levels of proof, depending on the claim.
I think I may have misunderstood what you were trying to get at though- can you explain a little more what average atheists disagree with that they should agree with if they were open-minded and willing to accept evidence?
gleaner63 wrote: A question for you Jeff: If you were a lawyer, trying to convince a juror that the accused actually murdered his client, and that juror actually said, "...the only way I would believe that, or could be convinced of that, would be for me to travel back in a time machine and see it with my own eyes...". What would you say about that person's bias? Would it be the normal run-of-the-mill bias? Or would it be something far different?