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Craig vs Atkins

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Damoksta

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Critique of Atkins v Craig debate
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2012, 07:03:01 pm »
Well, if I'm being redundant, you're being circular. You're saying that the only being who could have created the universe is God because any being that created the universe would be considered God.

Well... Where in that is there room for the possibility that the universe was created, but not by God?

Why should we consider that possibility?

 If any being has the capability to create the universe out of nothing, that being, by default, is a supernatural ("beyond nature") being which is not constrained by time, space and matter, by default is a a maximally great being and is therefore God.

You don't really have a lot of room to maneuver, not less you want to entertain the notion of the universe creating itself into existence.
The personal patron saint of the apologist should be Balaam's ass. Because he's 2 Peter 2:16... and with a few wise words stop unbelief in its track. The ass which is most thoroughly ridiculous in most people's eyes, to God humble and most completely serviceable. -Os Guinness

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mr.t

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Re: Critique of Atkins v Craig debate
« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2012, 12:54:50 pm »
I can explain these "facts":
"And even if you were to skip this particular fact, there is simply no explanation aside from the resurrection that can sufficiently explain the following
1) Empty tomb
2) Radical change of belief of former Davidic Messiah-ship follower of Jesus and Jewish skeptics
3) The martyrdom of nearly all the apostles (only John died of old age) and early disciples never wavered in their conviction despite them knowing for a fact whether Jesus either lived again or truly died. (c.f. Eusebius)
4) The starting of the Church movement in Jerusalem - the precise place Jesus was crucified, within 5 years of his death."

1.) There were lots of empty tombs. The empty tomb story could have been the result of much oral embellishment. Scholars are pretty much unanimous in the fact that the mathew or mark or Luke or Johndidn't author the gospels...no one knows who did. So, it's reasonable to conclude that the gospels were the result of grains of historical truth, mixed in with much oral embellishment as the story was passed on for years. Could there have been an empty tomb? Sure. But it could have been because the body had decomposed...it could have been a number of things.
2.) The messiah was supposed to be a warrior king, agreed. Now, this is why it probably changed: The disciples were so convinced that Jesus had risen from the dead, that they believed he was the actual messiah. So, they started to look at the Hebrew Bible for passages to support this claim.
3.) Islam has martyrs....does that make it true? Just because people die for a belief does not validate the belief.
4.) The movement started in Jerusalem because the disciples were Jews who occupied Jerusalem. Of course they would preach in Jerusalem!

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jules

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Re: Critique of Atkins v Craig debate
« Reply #17 on: April 22, 2013, 05:20:22 pm »
wonderful debate.

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ixthus116

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Re: Critique of Atkins v Craig debate
« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2013, 05:08:27 pm »
In case there is anyone still reading this thread and confused about mr.t's post:

1.) There were lots of empty tombs. The empty tomb story could have been the result of much oral embellishment...  it could have been because the body had decomposed...it could have been a number of things.

The point is threefold. 1 what would you do if you were a Jewish or Roman authority challenged by the uprising of a new Christian movement? You'd seek to undermine the credibility of the movement- and what better way than to produce the corpse of the person they claimed had been bodily resurrected? If the site of the burial was known at the time, which is likely given a) that Joseph of Arimathea is unlikely to be a Christian invention b) Deuteronomy 21:22-23 meant that the Jewish authorities had to bury him c) the jewish polemic in Matthew 28 presupposes the existence of the empty tomb. Craig gives quite a few more arguments regularly for the authenticity of the empty tomb.

Scholars are pretty much unanimous in the fact that the mathew or mark or Luke or Johndidn't author the gospels...no one knows who did. 

This is just a false assertion. There is significant debate over who authorthered the letter to the Hebrews and the pastorals (and even Ephesians and Colossians) and which John out of two Johns wrote John, but the sources of any of the information claimed on this website are well known. To say 'we doubt these people wrote them' and instead assert 'we don't know who did' is a basic violation of how we do history- we assume people are reporting the truth until we have evidence to suggest that they aren't. Either way, their authourship is irrelevant to how reliable they are as sources- in fact, if they weren't written by the disciples (as Luke wasn't) that gives even more objectivity to them!

So, it's reasonable to conclude that the gospels were the result of grains of historical truth, mixed in with much oral embellishment as the story was passed on for years.

This is a standard argument that has been destroyed by any good study of oral societies. Oral societies trained to make sure that histories that were past around were accurate. In any case, the empty tomb lacks any embellishment beyond a plain angel- compare the gospel of peter where a talking cross comes out! If we can identify beliefs about the empty tomb which go back to very early sources, as we can with the per-Markan passion tradition (pre-AD 37) and the 1 Cor 15 chant (Paul's visit to Jer in AD38) then we have good evidence to suggest that had the tomb been full then people would have known about it and falsified those claims.

2.) The messiah was supposed to be a warrior king, agreed. Now, this is why it probably changed: The disciples were so convinced that Jesus had risen from the dead, that they believed he was the actual messiah. So, they started to look at the Hebrew Bible for passages to support this claim.

I completely agree! This is laughable if you're trying to disagree with the argument- it is precisely this that Craig argues. His actual resurrection was what caused them to change their view of the messiah and then they found support for it in the Hebrew bible- exactly. If you don't think Jesus was resurrected, why were the disciples so convinced he had?

3.) Islam has martyrs....does that make it true? Just because people die for a belief does not validate the belief.

Crucial difference- the disciples knew whether they actually had had appearance of the risen Jesus or not- they were in a unique position to know whether the resurrection was true or not. In constrast, Islamic martyrs were not in a position to know whether Gabriel really appeared to Muhammed or not- they just believed what they were told. If someone dies for a belief they have been told, it's nothing to be suprised about (eg why the Christian martyrs of the 60s and right up to today never feature in debates) but if the sources of the belief die for the belief then we can be very certain they didn't make it up.

4.) The movement started in Jerusalem because the disciples were Jews who occupied Jerusalem. Of course they would preach in Jerusalem!

Here you just missed the point, with respect. The point is if it happened miles away no one would be present to allow for the possibility of claims to be falsified. If it didn't happen and people started claiming in Jerusalem that it did then people would be there who were around at the time and able to say 'you're making it up' and the movement would have never got off the ground. Indeed, had they been making it up for some financial or political motive, they would have been far more likely to flee Jerusalem and preach were no one could disagree with them. The fact that they didn't shows they weren't afraid of witnesses with the opposing view (..because there were none!)