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Discussion in 'Religious Issues' started by Police Marksman, May 30, 2017.
No on the first. Define magic.
Allow me. Magic is based on illusion, the Gospel events were historical, attested to by many.
So how many attest to this "history"?
How so? If all known examples of a situation have the same result, wouldn't it require some other component to reach a different result?
Always fun. Magic: the power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces.
How many attest to Jesus walking on water?
The problem is sentences like "evidence that hasn't been shown to exist". It must exist in some way, or we wouldn't be talking about it.
When SN 185 appeared in the ancient skies, people observed it and wrote it down. It was unprecedented, noteworthy and didn't fit with the cosmology of the time. Fairly recently we observed the leftovers of that supernova and cosmologist and historians managed to put a "miracle" in history together with an astronomical observation.
Would those recorded observations in history be any less factual if there weren't leftovers to confirm the sightings? Or would they be "magic" - something best ignored until someone goes digging for them?
The Bible doesn't say how miracles are performed. It just records these unusual (but usually not totally impossible) events. You can't disprove that an event happened because it sounds unlikely. A star that shines during the day was also highly unlikely. The two are only different because we know the secret of one and not the other.
Do I think Jesus literally walked on water? No, but I wouldn't begin to pretend to know what did happen. And I wouldn't pretend to know what happened in 185 AD either if someone hadn't corroborated it separately.
I don't think people are crazy to believe that forces beyond our imagination exist. I strongly believe they exist - I just don't have any idea what form they take or what interest they might take in us. There is little difference between religious belief, conspiracy theories about aliens and Elon Musk's universe as a computer. It just comes down to whether you invest in any of their specifics. Christ has a lot of history, prophesy and deeds that make him a standout influential historical figure without ever inventing or invading anything. That's worth consideration.
We talk about Unicorns. Does that mean unicorns must exist?
It was noteworthy but not unprecedented and while we now believe the observation recorded by the Chinese was a supernovae, those conclusions are based on equating the recorded observation with RCW 85, which has been directly observed. By your arguments earlier, we can only conclude that a new star magically appeared, not reach any scientific answer about that star.
There would be more speculation about the cause of the described observation, but it wouldn't require we accept "supernova" and "sky dragon swimming in the cosmic river" as equally possible.
Stars shine all the time, they don't normally go out during the day. No one is claiming certainty that miracles don't happen, only that they have never been observed under any controlled conditions and that those described in the Bible are so highly unlikely that they can be dismissed in the absence of any objective evidence they occurred.
But it hasn't been corroborated with the level of certainty you seemed to be requiring earlier in the thread.
What history does Christ have? What prophesy that can be independently verified? What deeds that were reported by those who weren't His devout followers?
We are "talking about" eyewitness accounts of an event, and an eyewitness account is a type of evidence. If you know of an eyewitness account of a unicorn, post it up. But the sentence I quoted implies that something the "is" is not, which is a little strange.
Saying that a star that shines in daylight is "noteworthy but not unprecedented" is a value judgement. It was incredibly unprecedented at the time. And the conclusion you're making that the star "magically appeared" is specious since Biblical miracles also don't refer to magic. Their underlying operating principle is not made explicit. In neither case is the "noteworthy event" claimed to be a product of a particular chain of events, unlike Mercury towing the sun into the sky.
You are claiming that miracles "don't happen" by saying that any anomalous event should be discounted as fake unless it can be observed or duplicated by science. The people that saw SN 185 are not the people that transcribed it through history until a day 2000 years later when someone with a radio telescope came along. You are basically claiming that all those generations of people that passed the SN 185 story on were guilty of failing to be objective by not dismissing the event as fake. But it isn't objective to dismiss unexplained events - it's prejudicial.
I'm not sure what you're referring to earlier in the thread, but there is no expanding shell of radiation to detect that might corroborate the walking on water - that we know of right now. You can choose to ignore it as you might have chosen to ignore accounts of SN 185. But a lack of corroboration in no way disproves either.
Christ's impact on people in his region was enough to bring him to the attention of lots of people that weren't followers, as was the writings of his associates. I was not citing "evidence", I'm pointing out that this carpenter and itinerant Rabbi had a disproportionate effect on people just of his time and and immediately after, unlike a story about a unicorn. And the size of that effect just in the first century is enough to make Jesus's life and actions worth historical consideration. Given that, it would be imprudent to pick and choose between eyewitness events in his life and say that the miracles must be "uncorroborated fakery", but the ability to conceive and preach something like the Sermon on the Mount is an ordinary event. Whether seemingly violating physics or simply talking, the man we call Jesus had a very anomalous life overall, which makes even the oddest accounts no more disposable than the rest. In other words, Jesus's story, in full, has earned the consideration it gets. Unicorns and water sprites have not.
But there are no eyewitness accounts of Jesus walking on water, isn't that what started all this?
" In India there are wild assesnote as large as horses, or even larger. Their body is white, their head dark red, their eyes bluish, and they have a horn in their forehead about a cubit in length. The lower part of the horn, for about two palms distance from the forehead, is quite white, the middle is black, the upper part, which terminates in a point, is a very flaming red. " (Ctesias, Indika)
As much as I enjoy a semantic squabble, almost as much as parsing definitions, I'm afraid you've lost me.
No, it isn't, it's a statement of fact. The account in the Book of Later Han isn't the first such account, thus it is not unprecedented. It is however unusual and thus noteworthy, as shown by the fact it was so noted.
How can you know this?
You're correct, I should have said "suddenly appeared" not magically.
No, I'm not. I'm saying that invoking the supernatural to explain such events is not a supportable positions and that events claiming supernatural occurrences have invariably shown to be either inventions or to have far more mundane explanations.
No, I'm not. "There was a star that appeared suddenly (hat tip) and was visible for a few months then disappeared" is an objective observation, but explaining it by reference to the supernatural would not be.
But it also doesn't prove them and in the instance of an event we know to be contrary to the physical realities of the world, like walking on water, it's perfectly reasonable to dismiss it as a historical event without such corroboration.
Was it though, really? The impact didn't really start to gain traction until Paul's writings were available. The remainder of the NT and the other various works supposedly telling Christ's story didn't come about until after the original Pauline work was in circulation. It would be more correct to say that Paul had the impact, not Christ.
Again, we have no eyewitness accounts of Christ's life and even the gospel writers in many instances explicitly state that something happened so that prophecy would be fulfilled, giving the work the character of a religious apology not an objective history or biography.
How many do you need? I suspect always one more.
John and Matthew were eyewitnesses of that event, and later wrote of it in the Gospels bearing their names.
Not much point in arguing with someone who can't concede to even the simplest facts.
He isn't even sure Jesus existed, a truly fringe position.
They were the ones making the claim. But then again, they were also part of the crew apparently making a living off their Jesus tales.
LOL, what living? All they got was persecution and death. Perhaps you should explain to today's unemployed all they have to do is make up tall tales.
That's what fiction writers do.
Do you react to charges that scientist just say whatever to stay on the grant gravy train with equal conviction?
We saw that problem happen with the tobacco industry. It's sad to see how much money can buy. Yes, you should certainly examine whether grants come from an unbiased source or not.
Every scientist that stands by her conclusions is biased.
"Bias" is not evidence of fraud or collusion.