Off Topic

KF On False, Even Shameful, Comparisions

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In the thread to a prior post  I wrote:

The documents constituting the New Testament are vouchsafed with the blood of the martyrs. Nothing else comes remotely close.

Orloog scoffs and mocks:

The willingness of an Islamic terrorist to become a martyr of his course isn’t a testament for the existence of 72 virgins waiting for him in the afterlife, it is just shows how severe his belief in their existence is!

Many religions have their martyrs. Doesn’t make them all true.

And again, tell me about the dozens of eye-witnesses of the resurrection who were put to death!

And in a response that deserves its own OP — if not a full page ad in the New York Times, KF responded. All that follows is his:

Orloog

I think your comparison at 103 is so outrageous that it demands application of the mirror-projection principle. In short, would you like to be read in the way you are projecting there? (Which, is at least one motivation for the principle of charitable reading rather than suspicious reading.)

Let me highlight a basic fact: martyr is the Greek word for witness.

It is the Apostles, other early martyrs and confessors who — by peacefully insisting on testifying to what they knew to be true in the face of dungeon, fire, sword and worse, thus literally sealing their testimony with their blood shed by judicial murder or at the hands of vigilantism — rewrote the proper meaning.

In short, solemnly aware that they faced the eternal judgement of God, they refused to recant the eternally freighted truth they knew as eyewitnesses in the first instance.

It is an inexcusable insult to their memory, peaceful sacrifice in witness to truth, and common decency to instantly, invidiously compare such to murderous fanatics who may well be deluded but were in no position to personally directly know the truth of the foundation of Islam.

The two cases are simply not comparable, and you know it or should have easily known it to the point where a reasonable, civil person would not have written as you did.

But, without hesitation, compunction or pause, you projected as above.

You have therefore told us much about yourself, that you care nothing to check credible facts, record and scholarship before dismissing what does not suit your convenience. You have shown utter want of judicious temperament. You have shown utter disregard for truth, reasonable warrant and a suspicious sign of willingness to project false accounts and accusations to your perceived advantage. You have shown a depth of hostility to God and those who served him by peacefully standing up in witness at horrific cost. You have shown the sort of potential for exactly the sort of fanatical violence lurking within by your willingness to project utterly unwarranted invidious associations of peaceful martyrs with murderous fanatics as you did. Indeed, you inadvertently reveal a bigotry tantamount to that of racism or the like in the implied stereotyping, scapegoating, unjustified accusation and demonisation in your remarks.

In short, you have shown precisely the signs and trends that our civilisation had better wake up to and walk away from before it becomes too late.

Bloodily too late.

Eternally too late.

That same injudiciousness showed itself in your implied demand for arbitrarily high “proof” demanded of C1 events by comparison with C21 ones, in 101 – 102 and 104 above.

What is the reasonable context of understanding “best documented” or the like?

Ans: in light of the classical times context, bearing in mind the ravages of time and events.

In that context to have four eyewitness lifetime record biographies, references in over a dozen other similarly early documents, the foundation of a rapidly spreading unstoppable movement (with 500 core witnesses, not one of whom could be turned by the threats or inducements of state agents determined to uproot what they saw as a potential source of uprisings), and more for the life of a village carpenter cum itinerant preacher from a backwaters hamlet of no account is indeed utterly astonishing. (Though it should be noted that such obscurity was actually sought in the first instance to save the life of one targetted by malevolent authorities from birth, as the account notes.)

Further to this, your ignorance about the ability of a community with hundreds of witnesses to an event to control oral tradition for generations, preserving the core accuracy of narratives of key events is on display.

An ignorance backed up by the failure to reckon with the record we have from hostile or at least uninvolved witnesses. Where, at least one of such, having been murderously kicking against the pricks, became the leading missionary of the witness he once harried to the death.

So much so that his tombstone in Rome reads, Paulo Apostolo Mart.

There is a reason why our sons are Paul and our dogs Nero.

The verdict of history is in. In the case of Athens, it is no accident that at the foot of Mars Hill a bronze plaque stands with the speech of Acts 17 on it, the speech once dismissively sneered out of court. And the street running by, passing near Hill, Agora, and Parthenon alike, is named after that Apostle, and then picks up with the name of that city’s patron saint, Dionysius the Areopagits. Yes, the same who had the courage to stand for the truth when he heard it from the mouth of the Apostle.

It is this same Apostle and former arch-persecutor [itself a powerful testimony to the veracity of the message he once made havoc of in the literal sense] who in 55 AD put on record the summary of the common witness of the 500 that we may read in 1 Cor 15:1 – 11. A core testimony that circumstances date to 35 – 38 AD, in the city where events happened, which also happened to be the headquarters for the first circle of official opposition by authorities threatened by the new movement.

Such a record is unprecedented, and nonpareil.

It is not on trial, we are.

I have not bothered to detail the millions whose lives have been transformed for the good by living encounter with God in the face of the living, risen Christ. I will but note that some have played distinguished positively transforming roles in history, and that such are readily to hand all across the world today, if you are but inclined to seriously listen instead of project, demonise and dismiss.

In answer to your selective hyperskepticism, I pose the Morison challenge, by the Barrister of that name in his Who Moved the Stone?:

[N]ow the peculiar thing . . . is that not only did [belief in Jesus’ resurrection as in part testified to by the empty tomb] spread to every member of the Party of Jesus of whom we have any trace, but they brought it to Jerusalem and carried it with inconceivable audacity into the most keenly intellectual centre of Judaea . . . and in the face of every impediment which a brilliant and highly organised camarilla could devise. And they won. Within twenty years the claim of these Galilean peasants had disrupted the Jewish Church and impressed itself upon every town on the Eastern littoral of the Mediterranean from Caesarea to Troas. In less than fifty years it had began to threaten the peace of the Roman Empire . . . . Why did it win? . . . . We have to account not only for the enthusiasm of its friends, but for the paralysis of its enemies and for the ever growing stream of new converts . . . When we remember what certain highly placed personages would almost certainly have given to have strangled this movement at its birth but could not – how one desperate expedient after another was adopted to silence the apostles, until that veritable bow of Ulysses, the Great Persecution, was tried and broke in pieces in their hands [the chief persecutor became the leading C1 Missionary/Apostle!] – we begin to realise that behind all these subterfuges and makeshifts there must have been a silent, unanswerable fact. [Who Moved the Stone, (Faber, 1971; nb. orig. pub. 1930), pp. 114 – 115.]

In short, your selective hyperskepticism and projections speak inadvertent volumes, and not in your favour.

Indeed, so extreme is your behaviour, and so extreme in import is the implicit enabling by failure to police among your ilk, that we must take this as a grim warning of what we are up against.

In short, your behaviour and what we have a right to infer on what it reflects, is a sobering warning.

I would suggest to you and your ilk, that it is time to think seriously again about where you are taking our civilisation.

KF

In a follow up post KF writes:

Onlookers, it is worth pausing to note why it is worth the while to address this seemingly off-topic matter. We are seeing the mindset of the skeptics of design theory. This is an ilk that is resistant to self evident truth and first principles of reason. The weight of primary source historical documents does not budge them, nor the weight of expert scholarship when it does not go where they want. So, when we see the very same objectors dismissive of the significance of functionally specific complex organisation and associated information, that should give us context. KF

PS: Those wanting to understand the sort of irrational hyperskepticism so tellingly on display in this thread will find here on a useful discussion:

http://www.angelfire.com/pro/kairosfocus/resources/Selective_Hyperskepticism.htm#intro

PPS: Let me again note as above the 101 survey (which includes a discussion of the minimal facts consensus and also a video) here:

http://nicenesystheol.blogspot.com/2010/11/unit-1-biblical-foundations-of-and-core.html#u1_grnds

and the remarks by Habermas here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0lNXgdbmAkeUWEtNVEyZ0tONmlkdUsxNC15V1Jrc2

[A final note from BKA: the emphasis is mine; Orloog should be ashamed of himself for the comparison; I doubt that he is, because one thing I have learned about such as he — they are damned near shameless.]

33 Replies to “KF On False, Even Shameful, Comparisions

  1. 1
    Florabama says:

    Hear, hear! Bravo! Very well done and well said.

  2. 2
    Mung says:

    Just where are these atheist utopias?

  3. 3
    Popperian says:

    The relevant points of comparison are…

    – People died for their beliefs
    – Their beliefs were based on religious doctrine
    – Some of those people died for beliefs that were wrong because the beliefs in question are mutually exclusive.

    The last point is particularly important criticism based on the fact that specific religious beliefs are not the same! If we assumed their approach was the same, we’re leaving a key criticism on the table.

    So, apparently, you’ve dedicated an entire post to pointing out how you do not understand the argument being made.

  4. 4
    Dionisio says:

    For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

    For it is written,

    “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

    Where is the one who is wise?
    Where is the scribe?
    Where is the debater of this age?
    Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
    For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.
    For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
    For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

    1 Corinthians 1:18-25 (ESV)

    Commentary taken from Reformation Study Bible provided by Ligonier Ministries:

    1:18 perishing . . . being saved.
    According to the Bible there will be two types of response to the gospel arising from God’s elective purpose (Is. 6:9, 10; Luke 2:34; Rom. 9:10–12; 2 Cor. 2:15, 16).
    This truth does not make God responsible for the perishing of unbelievers; they perish because of their own sin and stubborn impenitence.
    Those who believe and are saved, on the other hand, are “those who are called” (v. 24; Rom. 9:16).

    1:20 wise . . . scribe . . . debater.
    It is not clear whether Paul intends a sharp distinction between these three categories.
    Possibly the first is general in character, while the other two are specifically Jewish scribes and Greek teachers.

    this age . . . the world.
    Much of Paul’s theology is built on the basic opposition between “the present evil age” (Gal. 1:4), or world, which is characterized by “the flesh,” and the coming age, which has already dawned for those who have received the Spirit (10:11; Gal. 5:16, 17; Eph. 1:13, 14; 2:6; Phil. 3:20).

    1:21 the folly of what we preach.
    This passage is filled with intense irony.
    Those who are wise according to the standards of the world think the gospel is foolish.
    But even the most “foolish” thing about God is wiser than human wisdom (vv. 25, 27).
    God can use the simplicity of the gospel to demonstrate that real foolishness belongs to those who oppose Him (v. 27).
    The arrogance of human wisdom blinds unbelievers to the truth. Jesus thanked the Father for His good pleasure in hiding these things from the wise and learned but revealing them to little children (Matt. 11:25, 26).

    1:23 we preach Christ crucified.
    Paul identifies precisely what the world finds offensive about the gospel (cf. v. 17; 2:2).
    Possibly these words also reflect the reason for Paul’s opposition to the gospel before his conversion.
    The thought that the Messiah (God’s anointed) had been hanged on a tree and had come under the divine curse (Gal. 3:13; Deut. 21:23) was intolerable to many Jews.

    1:24 Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
    God’s wisdom and power are not abstract forces but personal qualities that manifest themselves fully in the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (v. 30; Rom. 1:4, 16; Col. 2:3).

  5. 5
    kairosfocus says:

    Popperian, you prove yourself to be of the same spirit. KF

  6. 6
    Barry Arrington says:

    1. Peaceful, innocent eye witnesses are slain by representatives of a repressive government rather than recant the truth they actually observed.

    2. Deluded fanatics who witnessed nothing but believed a lie kill innocent victims as they commit suicide.

    Popperian at comment 3 says 1 and 2 are just the same. Do you have no shame Popperian? At long last sir, do you have no shame?

    You are useful to us though. You put on display the viciously corrosive mendacity inherent in the atheist-materialist anti-Christian bigot worldview.

  7. 7
    Blue_Savannah says:

    Excellent and informative reply KF…it was poetic. Kudos, my friend.

  8. 8
    Seversky says:

    People have always been willing to die for a belief, whether it be a religion or a political ideology or a country, if it is held strongly enough, if it is of utmost importance to them.

    People have given their lives for Christianity or Islam or Communism or Nazism or Mother Russia or the Fatherland.

    The willingness to die for a belief tells us nothing about whether the belief is good or bad.

    If Christianity is held to be better than all other beliefs it must be for reasons other than that it’s followers are prepared to die in it’s name, otherwise it has no claim to superiority.

  9. 9
    anthropic says:

    S 8 “People have always been willing to die for a belief…”

    Not if they know the belief is false, which the disciples certainly would have known if the Resurrection did not really happen.

  10. 10
    Dionisio says:

    anthropic @9

    Not if they know the belief is false, which the disciples certainly would have known if the Resurrection did not really happen.

    Exactly.

    If someone in the 6th century claimed to have received divine revelations, one might believe it or not, but there’s not much one could do to prove the veracity of such claim.

    However, the 1st century claim of an empty tomb was easy to put to test and render it false at the time such claim was made.
    The ones proclaiming such an incredible event went from hiding hopelessly afraid and confused, to openly proclaiming their beliefs even at the risk of being persecuted and even killed.
    They knew it was true, because they had seen it themselves. Otherwise they would have remained secluded, totally discouraged, depressed, disappointed, in that upper room much longer.
    Something supernaturally powerful catapulted them out of that hopeless isolation.
    The incomparable power of the validated truth moved that initial group of disciples to proclaim it out loud regardless of the consequences.
    Nothing has more convincing power than truth in the ears of sincere truth seekers.
    Let them who want to listen hear it.

    “For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” 2 Peter 1:16 (ESV)

    1:16 we. Peter links his message with that of the other apostles to affirm that they all preach the same message.

    myths. This word is always used in the New Testament in a negative sense and in contrast to the truth of the gospel (1 Tim. 1:4; 2 Tim. 4:4).

    the power and coming of . . . Christ. The Greek word translated “coming” is parousia, the usual New Testament term for Christ’s Second Coming in glory (3:4, 12; Matt. 24:27; 1 Thess. 3:13). “Power” is elsewhere associated with Christ’s coming (Matt. 24:30).

    eyewitnesses of his majesty. Peter was present at Christ’s transfiguration (Matt. 17:1–8 and parallels). The eyewitness testimony of the apostles to the Transfiguration establishes the truth of Peter’s message in general, and in particular provides the historical basis for the apostolic expectation of the Second Coming. The Transfiguration was understood by the apostles to have been a brief anticipation of the divine glory with which Christ will return to earth (Matt. 16:27–17:8).

    Reformation Study Bible by Ligonier Ministries

    “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.” 1 John 1:1-3 (ESV)

    The central event of history is the appearance of eternal life in Jesus Christ. John is one of the chosen witnesses who saw, heard, and touched One who had existed from the beginning—the Son of God, whose eternal fellowship with the Father is now extended to others. This extension takes place through the apostolic proclamation, including the writing of 1 John itself.

    Reformation Study Bible by Ligonier Ministries

  11. 11
    Andre says:

    I’ll say it again….

    People are prepared to die for a false truth but NOBODY is willing to lay down their life for a known lie…. NOBODY.

  12. 12
    Mung says:

    except atheists

  13. 13
    Mung says:

    that’s why we think atheists are insane

  14. 14
    Dionisio says:

    #10 addendum

    Please, note that Peter and John (the authors of the referred Bible passages) were, according to the NT Gospel scriptures, among the first eyewitnesses of the empty tomb and of the appearance of the resurrected Christ.
    Shockingly, however, the very first eyewitnesses of the empty tomb were women, who back then did not have much (if any) eyewitness credibility in a court hearing.
    Why would a writer proclaiming anything to be true refer to women as first eyewitnesses, unless that’s how it happened, and facts are facts. Probably many men would have preferred that story to be different, but we can’t change it. That’s it. Done. Take your complaints directly to the Author of that incredible event. 🙂

  15. 15
    Dionisio says:

    Andre @11

    People are prepared to die for a false truth but NOBODY is willing to lay down their life for a known lie…. NOBODY.

    That’s it. No additional comments required.
    Thanks.

  16. 16
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky & Popperian:

    Do you realise what you are revealing by your projection of false equivalency between

    (a) 500 peaceful eyewitnesses refusing to deny what they personally knew per eyeball mark I was truth even at threat of horrific death, and

    (b) 19 deluded, murderous fanatics 1400 years after the fact willing to die in order to kill people they had to know were innocents?

    First, that you are blinded by a hostility verging on hate for God and those who stand up in testimony to the reality of God.

    Second, that you are willing to lie to yourselves and others to slander, taint and dismiss direct eyewitness testimony — even testimony bought at the sacrifice of life at the hands of hostile and judicially murderous officialdom in order to simply speak the unwelcome truth.

    Third, refusal to acknowledge record that is fair on the face and comes from reasonable chain of custody and/or repository that does not fit your preconceptions and agendas. (And yes, I just stated the Ancient Documents Rule of municipal law.)

    Fourth, that this further underscores the message projected by your resistance to self-evident first truths (e.g. error exists) and first principles of right reason (e.g. the import of distinct identity, LOI, LNC, LEM).

    The underlying fallacy of the closed, hostile, ideologised mind clearly demonstrates going beyond the pale of reasonable disagreement.

    Do you really want us to read back through the mirror/projection principle that out of the abundance and overflow of the heart the mouth speaks and the hand moves?

    What is crystal clear for when we return to main focus for this blog, is that the objections to the design inference and refusal to acknowledge the inductive reasoning behind it are driven by ideology, hostility and closed mindedness.

    No wonder we have for years routinely seen a hostile insistence on contrasting natural vs supernatural (i.e. God), rather than acknowledgement of the contrast put on the table by Plato in The Laws Bk X 2350 years ago: the natural vs the ART-ificial, with the latter indicated by tested, empirically reliable, readily observable signs.

    What you have plainly brought to the table is is civilisational kulturkampf backed by hostility to God, not reasonable questions and inquiry.

    So, going forward, we will have to more and more treat the matter in that light.

    Inadvertently, you have revealed much.

    KF

  17. 17
    Dionisio says:

    The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

    Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.
    1 Timothy 1:5-7 (ESV)

    I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

    For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

    As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
    2 Timothy 4:1-5 (ESV)

  18. 18
    Bob O'H says:

    Mung –

    Just where are these atheist utopias?

    We’re not saying. The last time we let that information out, someone turned up and trued to set fire to our herrings. Very embarrassing it was, especially as they used cocoa oil.

  19. 19
    Axel says:

    ‘Just where are these atheist utopias?’ – Mung

    Esteemed Mung, what atheists and agnostics, including those of the highest integrity, do not, cannot, understand, is that the purest idealism and the most intensive commitment thereto, in terms of human affairs and the right ordering of society, are doomed to come to nought in short order, unless underpinned and fuelled by prayer and sacrifice, which invoke God’s blessing. It is why Pope Francis warns against the futility of ideologies.

    Because they do not believe in the Fall or understand its effects, they cannot conceive that they, too, are part of the problem – rather like disaffected, sheltered, school-children, adolescents, who are embittered to discover that adults are sometimes guilty of hypocrisy; until they become adults and discover the world isn’t too helpful to them when it comes to always adopting ideal behaviour, following plans, etc.

    Christians understand that such sublime ideals as our faith counsels, can only be furthered by personal sacrifice and prayer to God for his grace, his blessing, so we tend to argue at cross-purposes in this area with ‘l’homme moyen sensuel’ – for whom it’s just a matter of, ‘Say the word, guvner, and no sooner said than done.’

  20. 20
    Axel says:

    Note to self: ‘Must avoid random flippancy.’ Aldous Huxley was fond of that expression, ‘l’homme moyen sensuel’ (much more swish than ‘averagely sensual’), but almost immediately preceding the bit of Cockney nonsense, it sounds grotesquely pretentious.

    The point I sought to make, in case it was unclear, was that the concept of grace building upon nature is hardly part of the atheist’s canon of defining precepts, since grace, itself, isn’t.

    It is interesting that Socialist Governments thrive far more strongly and for far longer, when leavened by a residual Christian input. As was the case during the first 30 years after WWII in the UK, and, I believe, prevails in much of Scandinavia – certainly Sweden, which I had thought the most atheistic. It was still a far more thriving One Nation Government under the Conservative PM, Harold McMillan, than under Blair or Brown. What a surprise!

  21. 21
    Orloog says:

    Where to start? Perhaps here:

    That same injudiciousness showed itself in your implied demand for arbitrarily high “proof” demanded of C1 events by comparison with C21 ones, in 101 – 102 and 104 above.

    What is the reasonable context of understanding “best documented” or the like?

    Ans: in light of the classical times context, bearing in mind the ravages of time and events.

    This seems to be quite different from Barry Arrington’s revised statement:

    Thus, Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection was, by far, the most well documented event in the first, 4,900 years of the 5,000 years of recorded history. That in the age of mass media it is common to have better documented events does not change that fact.

  22. 22
    kairosfocus says:

    Orloog, you tried to compare C1 events with a videotaped sporting event. That speaks volumes. KF

  23. 23
    Mung says:

    Bob O’H,

    🙂

  24. 24
    Ken Helicostomella says:

    The comparison, although crass and emotional, I think is a valid one. The only difference is perspective. From our perspective, the 911 terrorists were evil. From their perspective, they were dying for a valid cause. From the apostles perspective, they were dying for a valid cause. From the perspective of an atheist, or another religions, their willingness to die for their cause must have appeared stupid.

  25. 25
    Barry Arrington says:

    Ken

    The comparison is . . . valid.

    If you think the comparison is valid then you should demonstrate it rather than merely assert it. In comment 6 I summarize several key differences. For your assertion to be valid those differences must be irrelevant. Asserting it easy Ken. Demonstrating is hard work. Take each difference I identify and demonstrate why it is irrelevant.

    You will not be able to. When you figure that out, I expect you to come back and apologize for your shameful assertion of equivalence.

  26. 26
    Orloog says:

    Orloog, you tried to compare C1 events with a videotaped sporting event. That speaks volumes. KF

    KF, not only did I try to compare the documentation of such different events, I actually compared it. The result: there is quite a different degree of documentation between such events! That comparison resulted in BA`s revised statement.

  27. 27
    kairosfocus says:

    Orloog,

    It has not escaped notice that you are way off on a tangent that evades dealing with the patent adequacy of the C1 evidence and its import.

    As in red herrings let off to strawmen laces with suitable rhetorical fire accelerants.

    Let us assume BA erred and overstated the degree of evidence for that C1 Carpenter and itinerant preacher from Nazareth by using words that can be exploited to put on the table oh say the 9/11 events were on video tape or the like.

    Does that then entail that the evidence and record from C1 has been set to zero and can be dismissed?

    Patently not, save as a foolish selectively hyperskeptical move.

    The fact remains, we have four eyewitness lifespan biographies, one of which is volume 1 of the earliest history of the Christian movement, credibly initially complete c 62 AD. a two-volume work that has been abundantly vindicated as to habitual, detailed accuracy and capturing nuances of setting in ways not plausible for people projecting back from later times. This consciously historical work uses a second biography as a major source, reinforcing the conclusion that it is the known to be reliable record of the chief eyewitness, Peter, put down on papyrus by his assistant John Mark of a prominent C1 family in the early Christian movement who is also an eyewitness. In turn, by the mid 60’s Paul credibly cites Luke, who was one of his Missionary company. Paul of course is on record as early as AD 50 – 52, and 1 Cor 15 records the summary testimony of the 500, with the same Peter as well as James, John, the other surviving apostles (one was judicially murdered in the 40’s), Jesus’ family, and the women of the company of the disciples who had provided logistical support for Jesus’ ministry and were wired in to the highest circles. Then, we have the likelihood that Matthew had notes in hand from the earliest days, which are the most plausible explanation for Q. Matt writes, expanding on the Peter-Mark source. In later decades John rounds out the picture, filling in complementary details. And by c 125, a CODEX copy is in Egypt. The C1 provenance of the NT is beyond reasonable doubt and there is no good reason to dismiss the view that the bulk of the record is 50 – 65 or so. With 1 Cor 15 recording an official summary of the unbreakable witnesses c 35 – 38 AD.

    To all this nonpareil evidence, in respect of a rural Carpenter and preacher, you are unresponsive. In a context where you are enabling people trying to ignore or sweep away evidence and pretend there is no good reason to acknowledge the historicity of the Carpenter from Nazareth next to Sepphoris.

    That speaks volumes.

    Volumes on the same theme of unreasonable resistance to credible facts and cogent reasoning.

    I will add here a remark by Greenleaf in his Treatise on Evidence:

    Evidence, in legal acceptation, includes all the means by which any alleged matter of fact, the truth of which is submitted to investigation, is established or disproved . . . None but mathematical truth is susceptible of that high degree of evidence, called demonstration, which excludes all possibility of error [–> Greenleaf wrote almost 100 years before Godel], and which, therefore, may reasonably be required in support of every mathematical deduction.

    Matters of fact are proved by moral evidence alone; by which is meant, not only that kind of evidence which is employed on subjects connected with moral conduct, but all the evidence which is not obtained either from intuition, or from demonstration. In the ordinary affairs of life, we do not require demonstrative evidence, because it is not consistent with the nature of the subject, and to insist upon it would be unreasonable and absurd.

    The most that can be affirmed of such things, is, that there is no reasonable doubt concerning them.

    The true question, therefore, in trials of fact, is not whether it is possible that the testimony may be false, but, whether there is sufficient probability of its truth; that is, whether the facts are shown by competent and satisfactory evidence. Things established by competent and satisfactory evidence are said to be proved.

    By competent evidence, is meant that which the very-nature of the thing to be proved requires, as the fit and appropriate proof in the particular case, such as the production of a writing, where its contents are the subject of inquiry. By satisfactory evidence, which is sometimes called sufficient evidence, is intended that amount of proof, which ordinarily satisfies an unprejudiced mind, beyond reasonable doubt.

    The circumstances which will amount to this degree of proof can never be previously defined; the only legal test of which they are susceptible, is their sufficiency to satisfy the mind and conscience of a common man; and so to convince him, that he would venture to act upon that conviction, in matters of the highest concern and importance to his own interest. [A Treatise on Evidence, Vol I, 11th edn. (Boston: Little, Brown, 1888) ch 1., sections 1 and 2. Shorter paragraphs added. (NB: Greenleaf was a founder of the modern Harvard Law School and is regarded as a founding father of the modern Anglophone school of thought on evidence, in large part on the strength of this classic work.)]

    And again, in his Testimony of th3 Evangelists:

    [26] . . . It should be observed that the subject of inquiry [i.e. evidence relating to the credibility of the New Testament accounts] is a matter of fact, and not of abstract mathematical proof. The latter alone is susceptible of that high degree of proof, usually termed demonstration, which excludes the possibility of error . . . In the ordinary affairs of life we do not require nor expect demonstrative evidence, because it is inconsistent with the nature of matters of fact, and to insist on its production would be unreasonable and absurd . . . The error of the skeptic consists in pretending or supposing that there is a difference in the nature of things to be proved; and in demanding demonstrative evidence concerning things which are not susceptible of any other than moral evidence alone, and of which the utmost that can be said is, that there is no reasonable doubt about their truth . . . .

    [27] . . . . In proceeding to weigh the evidence of any proposition of fact, the previous question to be determined is, when may it be said to be proved? The answer to this question is furnished by another rule of municipal law, which may be thus stated:

    A proposition of fact is proved, when its truth is established by competent and satisfactory evidence.

    By competent evidence, is meant such as the nature of the thing to be proved requires; and by satisfactory evidence, is meant that amount of proof, which ordinarily satisfies an unprejudiced mind, beyond any reasonable doubt. . . . . If, therefore, the subject is a problem in mathematics, its truth is to be shown by the certainty of demonstrative evidence. But if it is a question of fact in human affairs, nothing more than moral evidence can be required, for this is the best evidence which, from the nature of the case, is attainable. Now as the facts, stated in Scripture History, are not of the former kind, but are cognizable by the senses, they may be said to be proved when they are established by that kind and degree of evidence which, as we have just observed, would, in the affairs of human life, satisfy the mind and conscience of a common man. [Testimony, Sections 26, 27, emphases added.]

    I trust you will begin to reconsider the underlying attitudes to fact and logic being increasingly demonstrated by the ilk you are enabling.

    KF

    PS: I will have to note the remarks I found in Wiki some years ago, on the essential nature of lying: to speak in disregard for truth, in hopes that what is said or suggested would be taken as true.

  28. 28
    kairosfocus says:

    KH, there is and can be no reasonable parallel between peacefully refusing to recant known truth as one is eyewitness even in the face of dungeon, fire, sword and worse, and willfully, fanatically murdering thousands of innocents in a context where one was simply not an eyewitness. The very act of trying to compare the two is an indictment. KF

  29. 29
    Orloog says:

    KF:

    Does that then entail that the evidence and record from C1 has been set to zero and can be dismissed?

    Patently not, save as a foolish selectively hyperskeptical move.

    Did I dismiss the record and set it to zero? No! So, why do you answer this – your own question – to rebut me – while insulting me at the same time ? Is there a name for such a technic? Oh, yes, I remember, it is

    a strawman soaked in the oil of ad hominem

  30. 30
    kairosfocus says:

    Orloog, we all know the hyperskeptical context at work. I simply point to the twelve minimal facts generally acknowledged by scholarship over the past generation for cause. Do you acknowledge that the summarised facts are indeed widely acknowledged, and do you acknowledge that all or some are so, and where you reject one or more on what reasonable grounds? KF

  31. 31
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: For convenience, I again clip:

    The minimal facts method only uses sources which are multiply attested, and agreed to by a majority of scholars (ranging from atheist to conservative). This requires that they have one or more of the following criteria which are relevant to textual criticism:

    Multiple sources – If two or more sources attest to the same fact, it is more likely authentic
    Enemy attestation – If the writers enemies corroborate a given fact, it is more likely authentic
    Principle of embarrassment – If the text embarrasses the writer, it is more likely authentic
    Eyewitness testimony – First hand accounts are to be preferred
    Early testimony – an early account is more likely accurate than a later one

    Having first established the well attested facts, the approach then argues that the best explanation of these agreed to facts is the resurrection of Jesus Christ . . . . [Source: “Minimal facts” From Apologetics Wiki. Full article: here. (Courtesy, Wayback Machine.)]

    Why is that so?

    The easiest answer is to simply list the facts that meet the above criteria and are accepted by a majority to an overwhelming majority of recent and current scholarship after centuries of intense debate:

    1. Jesus died by crucifixion [–> which implies his historicity!].

    2. He was buried.

    3. His death caused the disciples to despair and lose hope.

    4. The tomb was empty (the most contested).

    5. The disciples had experiences which they believed were literal appearances of the risen Jesus (the most important proof).

    6. The disciples were transformed from doubters to bold proclaimers.

    7. The resurrection was the central message.

    8. They preached the message of Jesus’ resurrection in Jerusalem.

    9. The Church was born and grew.

    10. Orthodox Jews who believed in Christ made Sunday their primary day of worship.

    11. James was converted to the faith when he saw the resurrected Jesus (James was a family skeptic).

    12. Paul was converted to the faith (Paul was an outsider skeptic).

    Cf Habermas: http://www.garyhabermas.com/ar.....ctives.htm

  32. 32
    kairosfocus says:

    Orloog,

    the twelve minimal facts and the context of the scholarly consensus that generally accepts these are on the table, approaching a day now.

    This where, in reply to your trying to contrast the C1 events and records to a C21 videotaped event to undermine BA’s earlier remarks I posted at 27 above:

    Let us assume BA erred and overstated the degree of evidence for that C1 Carpenter and itinerant preacher from Nazareth by using words that can be exploited to put on the table oh say the 9/11 events were on video tape or the like. [–> notice, for argument, BA is deemed in error and the sort of comparison you put on the table is addressed]

    Does that then entail that the evidence and record from C1 has been set to zero and can be dismissed? [–> pointed rhetorical question bearing in mind that the context is, dismissal of bare historicity of Jesus.]

    Patently not, save as a foolish selectively hyperskeptical move.

    [–> those inclined to dismiss Jesus’ historicity — the underlying context — are addressed]

    The fact remains [–> the evidence is put on the table], we have four eyewitness lifespan biographies, one of which is volume 1 of the earliest history of the Christian movement, credibly initially complete c 62 AD. a two-volume work that has been abundantly vindicated as to habitual, detailed accuracy and capturing nuances of setting in ways not plausible for people projecting back from later times. This consciously historical work uses a second biography as a major source, reinforcing the conclusion that it is the known to be reliable record of the chief eyewitness, Peter, put down on papyrus by his assistant John Mark of a prominent C1 family in the early Christian movement who is also an eyewitness. In turn, by the mid 60’s Paul credibly cites Luke, who was one of his Missionary company. Paul of course is on record as early as AD 50 – 52, and 1 Cor 15 records the summary testimony of the 500, with the same Peter as well as James, John, the other surviving apostles (one was judicially murdered in the 40’s), Jesus’ family, and the women of the company of the disciples who had provided logistical support for Jesus’ ministry and were wired in to the highest circles. Then, we have the likelihood that Matthew had notes in hand from the earliest days, which are the most plausible explanation for Q. Matt writes, expanding on the Peter-Mark source. In later decades John rounds out the picture, filling in complementary details. And by c 125, a CODEX copy is in Egypt. The C1 provenance of the NT is beyond reasonable doubt and there is no good reason to dismiss the view that the bulk of the record is 50 – 65 or so. With 1 Cor 15 recording an official summary of the unbreakable witnesses c 35 – 38 AD.

    To all this nonpareil evidence, in respect of a rural Carpenter and preacher, you are unresponsive. [–> this is where you are addressed and you remain unresponsive] In a context where you are enabling [–> note the actual issue raised relative to you] people trying to ignore or sweep away evidence and pretend there is no good reason to acknowledge the historicity of the Carpenter from Nazareth next to Sepphoris. [–> again, underlying context]

    In reply you suggested that I was dragging a red herring off to a strawman. Which is patently false as I have distinguished your arguments whilst addressing underlying context. It seems likely that your rhetorical intent was to buttress the objectors to historicity of Jesus by making BA seem ill-informed. Had you intended otherwise it would be a reasonable expectation to see some reasonable evaluation of the C1 evidence. Which is the issue I have called to your attention.

    As it was noticeable that you have not actually addressed the adequacy for purpose of the C1 evidence, I for argument said, let us take BA off the table and actually address the merits of the substantial case.

    In a context where — again — many seek to dismiss the bare historicity of a C1 carpenter and itinerant preacher from Nazareth.

    Your response to the record from 1900 years before video equipment and live broadcast satellite TV were invented is: ___________ ?

    Failing an adequate response, we are entitled to conclude that the apparent rhetorical intent of buttressing is the actual one.

    KF

  33. 33
    kairosfocus says:

    Orloog et al, still waiting. KF

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