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Showing posts from March, 2018

Resurrection, Historical Or History Making?

Tomorrow I will do a regular post, For now I want call attention to my post on Metacrock;s blog where I have finally done an obligatory Easter resurrection post.

http://metacrock.blogspot.com/2018/03/resurrection-historical-or-history.html

Fiction and Forgery

I first wrote this in 2009, but since fundy atheists never retire arguments no matter how stale they get, it's still relevant today.

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In my recent radio debate with Ken Humphreys of "jesusneverexisted.com", one of his repeated assertions was that Christians were guilty throughout the ages of "forgery" of documents. Humphreys used this accusation as a way to imply, via guilt of association, that Christians forged other things as well, such as the reference to Jesus by Tacitus. 

The fallacy of the "associational" argument is manifest, but it also reminded me of something, which I made a point of in reply to Humphreys: How do we know that the authors of these "forged" documents intended for them to be taken as genuine?

The point is an important one. Long ago I noted that it is hardly the fault of someone like, e.g., Marjorie Holmes if someone picks up Two from Galilee and thinks it is non-fiction. It is not marketed as such, and only i…

Two God Arguments illustrate Mind as the Basis of Reality

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On Metacrock's blog right now I'm discussing physicalism and answering the attack upon belief  in God that is based upon the attack upon spirit as a viable concept. God has to be spirit not only because the Bible says so but because God created the physical world. That means God is not a product of the physical world, which is contingent upon his creative action, Thus God must be fundamentally different from the physical world. I have no direct way to prove spirit exists but we can link it to mind. There is a link between spirit and mind at a couple of points. First because German philosophers assume so (hey you can;t go wrong) [1] and because while we are focusing on breath as the meaning of pnuma ("spirit" in Greek) we often forget "mind" is also part of that  meaning. (see caveat)[2]  

Thus I am presenting different kinds of arguments liking God with mind. Of course I can't prove God is mind, we have to make logical arguments on that but we can make…

Withiering Wikipedia

This post was first published in 2012, but with the advent of "fake news" and influence buying on places like Facebook, the crisis I discussed back then is still topical. And it's only gotten worse.

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I've made no secret of my disdain for Wikipedia, especially as an "anyone can edit" source. Now, no surprise: Wikipedia's got problems -- and it is thinking of solutions to make the problems worse.

A reader noted some articles with some rather telling and disturbing information indicating the following:

Wikipedia is short on writers -- and keeps losing them. Well, why is this a surprise? Even the most ardent volunteer will eventually wonder why they put up with having to edit and check the work of 13 year olds named Jason who clearly don't have any idea what the heck they're talking about. Or why they put up with vandalism. And why they ought to do it essentially anonymously.

That's an ever expanding cycle, too, because as more editors qui…

Mind and Emergent property

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An emergent property is one that stems from factors lower down in the evolutionary process that do not involve the emergent property. The emergent properties emerge from amid a set of properties none of which herald the emergent one. It just springs forth, life from non-life, consciousness from non-conscious, por soir from en soir.

...[E]mergent entities (properties or substances) ‘arise’ out of more fundamental entities and yet are ‘novel’ or ‘irreducible’ with respect to them. (For example, it is sometimes said that consciousness is an emergent property of the brain.) Each of the quoted terms is slippery in its own right, and their specifications yield the varied notions of emergence that we discuss below. There has been renewed interest in emergence within discussions of the behavior of complex systems and debates over the reconcilability of mental causation, intentionality, or consciousness with physicalism.[1]
According to O'connor and Wang emergent properties can't be red…

Bart Ehrman's "Triumph of Christianity" Conclusion

If T. S. Eliot were writing about Ehrman's The Triumph of Christianity, he would probably say it this way:

This is the way the book ends
This is the way the book ends
This is the way the  book ends
Not with a bang but a thud.

No, Ehrman never really explained "WHY" Christianity triumphed, beyond pedantic obvious-isms like, "People told other people about it, and they believed it." The closest he ever came to giving a "WHY" was when he suggested miracles might have something to do with it. And although he stayed non-committal about whether there were any real miracles happening, he cut off any attempt to make that a distinguishing factor by admitting that people of that time worshiped gods because of the benefits they provided [140]. He also admits that other gods were believed to have superhuman powers to provide things. What that means in the end is that either a) they were all just as able to do miracles, thus cutting off any reason to believe Christiani…