Atheist Dishonesty of "Evidence"

Indeed.

But if you wrote information gathered from an interview with an eyewitness you’d be a detective or investigative journalist, right?

And if you saw it yourself and worked with a co-author, you’d be an eyewitness with a co-author.

And if you interviewed several people who saw it, you would be corroborating the original story.

And if you were really confident, you might even write that 500 others were witnesses to the event.

And if you provided all of that, I might be inclined to put aside my preconceived notions and consider whether the event was possible. It might at least make me approach it with an open mind to seek the truth, even if it sounds unbelievable. To ignore such a mountain of eyewitness testimony would be foolish or stubborn on my part…

“Most scholars agree that they are the work of unknown Christians and were composed c. 68-110 AD. The majority of New Testament scholars also agree that the Gospels do not contain eyewitness accounts; but that they present the theologies of their communities rather than the testimony of eyewitnesses.”

CITATION

"“All four of the canonical gospels were originally anonymous. "

CITATION

Cite even one example of a contemporary account. Then perhaps you can explain what evidence of non-existence look like exactly? As others have pointed out, the claim for an extant deity and supernatural events are yours, as is the burden of proof, no one has to disprove your claims.

1 Like

That you consider Acts “reliable and accurate” is not evidence. It’s just a piece of non-evidenced subjective claim (hearsay), not objective evidence. So I dismiss it without evidence.

You can set any chronology to the writings as per your liking, but it does not constitute any evidence whatsoever regarding their factual accuracy regarding claims about gods/a god and supernatural events.

2 Likes

No, that is not true at all. we have no idea as to the original content specifically in Acts. It is very problematic to claim “unchanging” content when there is no original and even the dates of authorship are in question.
There is a minimum 200 year gap in our textual evidence. Our scraps of manuscript date from a time when interpolations, editing and even wholesale forgery of texts was rife. 2 Peter, Titus, 2 Timothy are examples of this practice.

Your counter seems to be missing my specific point. We were talking about Acts not the entire New Testament. I can, if you wish take you down the path of evidence that shows that the Gospels were NOT eye witness accounts as has been accepted by every serious contemporary scholar.

As it is, even much later copies show marked differences in phrasing and content, all you have to do is look at the Codex Siniaticus texts versus the Codex Vaticanus.

If that can change so markedly in so few years then your claim that Acts is an unchanged historical document is just patently problematic.

As to your claim that “Paul” (whoever he was) spoke to witnesses of the physical resurrection can be more accurately put as: “An anonymous fan fiction writer, known to claim inspiration from his dreams, CLAIMS to have spoken with witnesses who CLAIM to have witnessed a man coming back from the dead. No evidence to back up these claims has been presented”

For those not familiar with the verse it is 15 Corinthians: Paul; admits he is inspired by a visit from a very dead jesus. He does not identify the 500 witnesses…or take eye witness testimony from any of the apostles. It is all hearsay and dream talk. " 15 Now I make known to you, brothers, the gospel which I proclaimed to you, which you have also received, in which you also stand, 2 by which you are also being saved, if you hold fast to the message I proclaimed to you, unless you believed to no purpose. 3 For I passed on to you as of first importance [a] what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, 4 and that he was buried, and that he was raised up on the third day according to the scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve, 6 then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at once, the majority of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all, as it were to one born at the wrong time, he appeared also to me. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me has not been in vain, but I labored even more than all of them, and not I, but the grace of God with me. 11 Therefore whether I or those, in this way we preached, and in this way you believed.

Hardly reliable, and certainly not something to rely on for your life.

4 Likes

Then why do you keep labelling the anonymous hearsay in the gospels as eyewitness claims?

Without any objective evidence to support the claim it is a bare appeal to numbers, an argumentum ad populum fallacy.

When you objectively evidence the existence of an eyewitness I will evaluate it. Anonymous hearsay dated decades after the fact is a woeful low bar for any claim, let alone for supernatural magic. Again one would have to believe the identical claims of many other religions and deities if one accepted this as a sufficient standard for credulity.

Since you only accept this standard as sufficient for claims made by your own religion, you are demonstrably not being open minded, and since I set the same standard without bias or favour for all claims, then I am striving to treat claims with an open mind.

Anonymous hearsay decades after the event is not eyewitness accounts, by definition. If not believing anonymous hearsay claims is foolish or stubborn why don’t you accept all such claims, instead of bias in favour of just the ones from your own religion?

3 Likes

Or someone could just lie and say that even if it wasn’t true. That is my problem with all this. If I have to choose between believing some magical event happens 2000 years ago, or someone lied; I’m going with the latter.

3 Likes

Obviously the latter is far more likely, since it is an objective fact that people can lie and be misled (lie to themselves), but there is no objective evidence that anything supernatural or magical is possible.

When you add in the facts that these claims originate from an epoch of extreme ignorance and superstition, you’d have to set a woefully low bar for credulity, that must inevitably involved dismissing identical claims from other religions, this kind of prejudice against and favour towards existing beliefs over new ideas that challenge them, is called closed minded. It’s ironic how theists like @christianapologist try to assert that those who open mindedly treat his beliefs the same as all others, without favour or prejudice, are the ones who are closed minded, yet they never fail to trot this accusation out, as he did to me above.

2 Likes

Indeed, the elementary concept that @christianapologist obviously never learned, is that blind assertions do not equal fact .

That’s all that your so-called “holy book” is - a mythology littered with blind assertions, several of which are known not merely to be wrong, but fatuous and absurd.

Pretty much every assertion about the natural world contained in your mythology, falls into the category of “fails to rise to the level of competence required to be worthy of a point of view”.

2 Likes

I should have called this one as a troll here, or at the very least a bare faced liar, pastor or not, and to demonstrate why look at what he’s quoted and his response above, and now look at the actual post he’s pretending to respond to verbatim:

Now does anyone think that response by @christianapologist is a genuine honest attempt at debate? Read the previous exchanges as well, and see how he ignores expansive responses, and simply repeats his previous claims, thoroughly dishonest. As was him trying to use vapid rhetoric to accuse me of bais, simply for not accepting the unevidenced hearsay of the gospel myths as sufficient to believe the claims for a deity made human, using supernatural magic.

I often think I ought to have more patience, and take more time with visiting apologists, and accept their excuses when they claim that can’t respond to everyone. However this is one of the reasons I always re-read these exchanges, to make sure I wasn’t being too strident, but also to see if they were seeking honest debate. Just take a look at how much goes completely ignored by @christianapologist , and how often he then goes on to repeat his claims and arguments that have been demonstrated either false, dubious or irrational.

For the record I offered citations to evidence the fact that th e gospels are anonymous, and explained why this meant to claims for eyewitnesses was untrue, so he was lying when said he was dismissing because those assertions were unevidenced.

1 Like

It may not have started out that way, but today there are many, many people who suck the blood (money) out of gullible, superstitious believers in order to support themselves. And in the U.S., it’s all tax-free to boot.

2 Likes

Another important legal concept is chain of evidence. If the prosecution cannot provide an unbroken chain of evidence, the evidence may be declared inadmissible. That’s what’s happening here: there are no originals, and what editing/changes/deletions, etc., between the original texts and what we have today is completely unknown.

2 Likes

Poor analogy. Bacteria can be seen with the eye, as in this picture of E. coli growing on agar in a petri dish:
image

Yes, those are colonies of millions of bacteria, but you can see individual bacteria with your eye through a microscope.

1 Like

Very true, and one should bear in mind here that the “evidence” even were there an unbroken chain to “eyewitnesses” would still be no more than unsubstantiated claims for inexplicable supernatural magic, from people who were woefully ignorant of the natural world, and extremely superstitious.

1 Like

How far along these lines do you go with respect to accuracy of the books of the bible? Do you consider Genesis to be reliable and accurate? Do you believe there was a world-wide flood that inundated the earth that only a single family of humans and pairs of animals survived by building a massive wooden boat?

3 Likes

Very pertinent questions, we could also ask @christianapologist why his subjective opinion about a biblical myth written in Rome almost a century after the events it purports to describe, should be regarded as remotely relevant to objectively evidencing any deity, or anything supernatural. Though I’m guessing he’s pastor answering our questions, and never really wanted to subject his apologetics to critical scrutiny.

1 Like

Been a minute since I stopped by. Here’s how your responses strike me…

I would like to question the consistency of your demands for evidence of original manuscripts of the New Testament texts.

According to the reasoning given by several of you, I’m wondering if it’s reasonable to believe accounts of any historical figure to be accurate in the era of the Greco-Roman world.

Has anyone found original manuscripts of any works of history from that time?
Do you reject the historicity of these other people and events too?
Or perhaps your other doubts color this topic (disbelief of supernatural/miracles/deity/etc)…

1 Like

Absolutely. We have massive evidence for the existence of Pontius Pilot. No evidence at all that he ever killed anyone special named Jesus. And, the biblical version of Pontius does not match the historical data.

We found a damn stone with his name and title on it. (No such evidence exists for your Jesus character) Although weathered by time, fragments of the inscription on the limestone may still be distinguished. From what archaeologists can read, it appears to be a dedication stone. It says:

To the Divine Augusti [this] Tiberieum … Pontius Pilate … prefect of Judea … has dedicated [this]

This is in addition to all the historians mentioning him, a right found with his name in it.

WE HAVE ACTUAL EVIDENCE
Pontius Pilate was a prefect of Rome and governor of Judea from about 26-36 AD. Despite being identified in the Bible and several other documents in ancient literature, his existence was not accepted by secular historians until 1961 when a limestone inscription was found bearing his name and relating him to the reign of Tiberius who was Caesar from 14-37 AD.

2 Likes

Ah, but no one is using accounts of historical figures from antiquity to push their version of morality on the rest of us like they do with the jesus story.

3 Likes

It’s certainly more reasonable to do so sans the supernatural assertions.

2 Likes

Irrelevant since no atheist here is claiming those evidence any deity, or anything supernatural, hence this is a false equivalence fallacy.

Historical accounts can be studied for accuracy, but we can only assess those methodologies in light of what we know to be possible, so unless someone can demonstrate sufficient objective evidence that any deity or anything supernatural is possible, then other historical accounts are irrelevant. If you want to debate the credibility of other historical claims, then might I suggest you go to a history debate forum, and not an atheist one.