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Why do you think so many scientists are atheists?


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Exactly swansont, that is why the Vatican employs some of the most stringent methods of studying Miracles and it took them many years to accept Even Fatima as a miracle. The Vatican even sends Atheist doctors and scientists to check a lot of these miracles out.

Like the Mother Theresa's Miracle of the New Kodak Film that a Photographer Hadn't Tried in the Dark But Really Worked Well to His Suprise? -_- A symptom of them specifically getting rid of the role of Devil's Advocate, which they used in the past to more critically examine miracles and limit saintings. When they dropped the role, sainting's skyrocketed.

 

The miracle of Fatima isn't comparable to some of these other miracles like seeing an image of a saint on a piece of cheese because many people were there and the things that happened (drying and cleaning of clothes, prediction by the kids etc etc) cant be explained by scientists. This was the most documented miracle of our time.
Dont know anything about clothes drying on their own (wow!) but the actual sun phenomenon itself is easily explained. Again, combine dynamic cloud-cover with idiots staring at the sun for hours. It distorts vision, and many people saw DIFFERENT things, things you'd expect, with the irregularity you'd expect, if they'd simply abused their eyes for a while. Those kids could have predicted the "miracle" on any given day at a whim, and if the masses went out to see it on any given day so long as the sun was out, they'd have seen it. I suggest to you again, take out a large mass of people yourself when the weather is similar, and you will be able to duplicate the event, but this time with cameras around to prove that what the people are seeing isn't what's going on.
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I don't think you understand what most "scientists" or "atheists" are like honestly, so I think the confusion is arising from that. First of all, even if any given miracle could be proven, it wouldn't be evidence of God, just some phenomena occurred as a result of processes not currently understood. That's not an atheist viewpoint, but a scientific one. Secondarily, scientists study phenomena with a level of rigor and discipline that allows for the reliable sharing of information. This is the only reason we've managed to advance as much technologically as we have - we didn't just get "smart enough to build rockets" on day... we built up a collection of knowledge that spanned countless people over multiple generations - which is impossible without collaboration. Collaboration is impossible if the data being shared is unreliable. This means that many observations that may be true, cannot be deemed reliable without better observations that can build reliable evidence of the phenomena. We utilized Galen's medical research for about a thousand years with great benefits to the advancement of medicine, but that wasn't especially scientifically rigorous, and a lot of false presumptions in his work actually held back aspects of medicine for a time. The time-frame in which we refined and improved scientific rigors coincides quite well with our advancements in understanding the world and the technology we are able to produce.

 

It's no accident that the standards in place are as high as they are.

 

 

When it comes to the latter, it seems you feel like atheists reject the idea of God due to some personal bias, despite the evidence supporting it. This is also a misconception, and atheists tend to be in my experience far more interested in philosophy and religion than most religious people - they are just less likely to take claims raised by either on faith alone. Philosophy and religion are part of our shared human culture, and understanding them better means understanding the world better. The only thing that gets rejected is data or claims that are unreliable, and that's only due to hard earned experience with attempting to "keep an open mind" and finding "facts" collide horribly when conflicting claims are taken as fact in an interest to be open minded. It's worth considering just how hazardous it is to make decisions based on misinformation - if you work with high voltage wires for instance, you learn very quickly how important it is to have reliable accurate information.

 

It really isn't about any sort of bias - it's just what works. As for the collation between scientists and atheists - I think others have addressed that specific phenomenon well enough already in this thread.

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Scientists are trained to be experts in their fields. This means they know a lot about those things under the umbrella of their chosen field. However, they know far less, by comparison, with respect to all the other fields of expertise. Religion may not be their strong suit of expertise, and therefore their opinion is more like that of a layman.

 

If a physicist commented on evolution, this is not the same as an evolutionary expert. The layman has more freedom to speculate, since he is less aware of all the data, which restricts the opinions of the evolutionary expert.

 

One trick to make the layman look like he is the real expert, is to use prestige. The singer with a number 1 hit, may appear to other layman, like he is an expert on global warming, since one assumes he is important, skilled, held up and well paid, so we need to listen. But due to the nature of expertise, he is really an expert song writer, and not an expert meteorologists. We really should consult the experts in the field if the goal is higher understanding. If we wish to be told what we want to hear, so we run with the herd, chose a charismatic layman.

 

What would happen if I said, one does not have to be an expert in science, to define important ideas of science? That is irrational, but it would still be a good tactic if my goal was to push my own layman agenda for whatever reason.

 

The agnostic scientists are probably the only ones who think and not just parrot the atheist party booklet. They leave the option open since they understand their own limits and don't pretend to be an expert in an area where they lack proper credentials.

 

And what 'expertise' does the theologian have that allows him to speculate on the existence of god any more than the scientist? Scientists study for years the data, theories, and experiments that have led to the current state of their field today in order to possess the understanding above and beyond that of a layman needed to further advance it. A theologian may be an expert on ancient languages and texts, or on the various world religions, but this has nothing to do with whether or not the supernatural actually exists; only the particular expression of certain groups of their belief that the supernatural exists. With regard to empirical proof of God's existence, the scientist is far more qualified to address it, and with regard to the various logic-based "proofs" put forth, well, every one put forth that stood a fighting chance throughout history (not surprisingly, they are few) is available for viewing on a 5 minute trip 'round the internet complete with a thorough debunking explaining where and why they are logically bankrupt.

 

Any theologian who purports to know more about what is inherently unknowable than any layman is a fraud. There are legitimate fields of study (mostly involving the historical and societal aspects of religion) for a theologian but the nature and existence of god is not one of them.

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Can't be explained is a bit of a dodge. Scientists can't go back and get data, because it was a one-time event, so in that sense they can't explain it. Can they give alternate, plausible, non-miracle explanations? Sure.

AS for natural explanations, sure as I mentioned before there were some natural explanations given on some aspects of the miracle but if a scientist were to attack it from every aspect of the event, natural explanations come up short.

 

As I said before, when I apprached atheists about the clothing drying up almost instantaneously, they dodge the issue by saying all there is are eye witness accounts. Now why would eyewitness account of an event seen by many people is believable. By the same account if those 70,000 people said they saw nothing, atheists or scientists would say " there you have it" These people saw nothing and that is proof that nothing happened, and as warpspeedpete eloquently pointed out many times empiricism isnt the only way at determining truth.

 

How would you know if your parents are really your parents?

The answer is you cant for sure. Oh yea you can go back and do a dna test, but even those could be faked, cant they?

 

Ill give you a story of my friend's grandfather being saved from death by a miracle. Hi grandfather was in egypt a long time ago (probably early 50's or even before) and he was the manager of a store in alexandria for his relative. He was so honest and truthfull that he prevented the workers there from stealing like they used to do in the past.

 

So about 7 of his coworkers decided they were going to get rid of him once and for all. They befriended him (my friend's dad was honest and truthful but very caring and naive), and invited him to the beach with them. They took him to the most remote part of the beach and told him to help them dig a hole in the ground. Once everyone finished digging the hole they grabbed my friend's grandfather and were about to throw him into the hole, and wanted to bury him alive. At that point an old bearded man was at the top of the hill and descended upon the 7 coworkers with superhuman speed. His eyes were glowing white.

 

The 7 men dropped their hats and shovels and ran for their lives. My friend's grandfather was so nice that he tried to give one of the coworkers his hat back that he dropped, but the coworker didn't care about the hat at that point. He just wanted to get the heck out of there. My grandfather turned around to try to thank the old man for saving him but he wasn't there. He simply vanished. He asked his dad if granddad was really telling the truth. My friend's dad told my friend that if anyone else told him this story he would have laughed, but because he knew my grandfather and how honest , down to earth and practical of a person he was , that he wouldn't have lied about something like this. 2 days before this happened , my friend's aunt called him up from over seas and told him that she had a dream that saint Joseph was going to save him from death but he laughed and didn't believe it. He certainly believed it after. Even if this could be investigated , there were only 8 people there, but at Fatima there werte things that happened that many people saw. They weren't just ignorant village people, but people from all walks of life and professions.

 

Now as a strict scientist who is very narrow minded and only believes in something that can be tested in a lab every time he would never believe it, but why would anyone not take the word of believers as well as non believers alike when there were so many at that event in Fatima?

 

This isn't something like a picture of Jesus created by the fog on some window. This was an event that caused some things that might be able to be explained naturally (the spectacular colors, sun dancing etc), but the drying of the peoples clothing cant be explained naturally. Why do you think that in ever Fatima hoax site almost all skeptics dodge the drying of the peoples clothing (and the ground) and instead focus on the stuff they can explain. Just because they believe in only empricism doesn't mean that things can happen outside the realm of empiricism. The fact that they decide to dodge this issue shows how biased they are against seeking TRUTH.

 

I hope this helps to answer your question

 

---------

 

Miracles happen.

 

http://www.themiracleofthepacocha.com/

 

Why do atheists and some agnostics deny it?

Edited by needimprovement
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Just a thought Needimprovement.

Re "Even if this could be investigated , there were only 8 people there, "

Do you really think that the people present would give an honest account?

Personally I can't see them saying "oh, yes, we planned to kill him but..."

Apart from anything else, if they stuck to that story they would be tried and convicted of attempted murder (or conspiracy to commit murder or some such).

 

The Mystery man with the beard couldn't be found a few seconds later; what hope is there of finding him now?

 

Even if you could find these people, and they were now suddenly honest, you would still have to deal with the gorilla in the basketball court problem.

People make lousy witnesses.

(this problem)

http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=490946

 

I really don't think you thought that through.

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Well, maybe you can compare the odds of the old man being "St Joseph" or an agent wondering why a bunch of people were digging a grave in a remote location? Also, why should we trust an account from a retard?*

 

*Seriously, offering their hat to someone who tried to kill you and is running away?

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needimprovement, do you watch the video in post #12?

 

*That I personally cannot explain something does not mean that it can't be explained.

*That something that cannot be explained does not mean your explanation is correct - in fact that's a contradiction.

*The "something to be explained" is not the phenomenon described, but the fact that it is described. The question you should be asking is not, how did their clothes dry instantly, but rather, why did some of the witnesses later claim that their clothes dried instantly. (I can't explain that either, but it's not my responsibility to. I can speculate, though.)

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Just a thought Needimprovement.

Re "Even if this could be investigated , there were only 8 people there, "

Do you really think that the people present would give an honest account?

Personally I can't see them saying "oh, yes, we planned to kill him but..."

Apart from anything else, if they stuck to that story they would be tried and convicted of attempted murder (or conspiracy to commit murder or some such).

 

The Mystery man with the beard couldn't be found a few seconds later; what hope is there of finding him now?

 

Even if you could find these people, and they were now suddenly honest, you would still have to deal with the gorilla in the basketball court problem.

People make lousy witnesses.

(this problem)

http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=490946

 

I really don't think you thought that through.

John Cuthber, I think if all these people were actually looking for something to happen then maybe that could be so, but if you studied Fatima you would know that there were many secular witnesses and secular newspapers there getting ready to redicule the believers. John Cuthber you know as well as I do that hostile witnesses who agreed with you make the best witnesses of all and there were plenty of those on that day.

 

Plus on top of that your asking me to compare a man dressed like a gorilla in a basketball game to the miracle of Fatima? I'm sorry John Cuthber but that doesn't fit at all because there were very few things that could distract the crowd of 70,000 people on that day away from a miracle of that magnitude. Most of the people were scared out of their mind because they thought that they were going to die.

 

Maybe you're an atheist that's why you said that people make lousy eyewitnesses. In the Bible, the New Testament is made up of eyewitnesses.

 

Some of your posts really confuse me John Cuthber.

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"Maybe you're an atheist that's why you said that people make lousy eyewitnesses"

No, that's not why I said it.

 

All the experiments done to see if eyewitnesses are reliable show that they are not. (the gorilla is just one experiment among many)

As you say, the bible is based on eyewitnesses.

You are right, I'm an atheist.

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Even if you could find these people, and they were now suddenly honest, you would still have to deal with the gorilla in the basketball court problem.

 

That's probably not so much a problem, since it is mostly about people not noticing things rather than noticing things that aren't there. I guess it could mean some people miss an obvious cause for something. More interestingly, experiments show that you can modify people's memory of an event by describing it to them. For example, people change their speed estimates in a collision if you ask how fast the cars were moving when they bumped vs smashed into each other. You can also make them more likely to remember seeing broken glass.

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Maybe you're an atheist that's why you said that people make lousy eyewitnesses. In the Bible, the New Testament is made up of eyewitnesses.

Being an Athiest or not has no relevence to whether someone thinks people make a lousy eyewitness or not. As such, this is just an Ad-Hominin attack and only weakens your argument when you use such things.

 

But on the subject of eyewitnesses, it has been scientifically proven that people make lousy eyewitnesses, and this is a problem facing the court systems now as eyewitness testimony is becoming weaker and weaker as evidence in court cases.

 

The gorrila suit in the basketball game is just one piece of the mounting evidence that eyewitnesses can't be relied upon. It shows that people are not able to correctly witness everything that goes on, that they can miss important details.

 

Also, there have been studdies done concerning something called "Change Blindness" where people don't notice things that change. In several examples I have seen people are asked directions by someone, and then when that person is momentarily distracted, or somehting blocks the line of sight, the person who asked the question is swapped for another person and they never noticed that they were differnt. This has been done even when the person who was swapped was swapped with someone of a different gender and complete apperance. :eek:

 

Another is that our memories are changeable. In one experiment I hear about (they didn't tell the person the experiment was about changing their memories until after the experiment was finished), they managed to change the momories of people who had never been to Disney Land to then going to Disney Land and hugging Buggs Bunny there. Now, as they had never been to Disney Land, and Buggs Bunny is from a rival company, this situation was completely impossible, but they managed to do this anyway.

 

Yes, a completly impossible situation was created in the memories of these people with very little difficulty.

 

The reason is that every time we remember something we recreate the memory, and if a little change is introduced, then we remember that little change as if it was part of the orriginal memory. Our memories are not like computer memories in that respect.

 

SO, just from these, we know that people forget things, can add in things that wern't there, can miss things that were there and can miss things that change. All that, adds up to very unreliable eyewitnesses.

 

Science has known for a long time that people can't be relied upon for accurate memories of events and so has not used them as strong evidence (if at all). Science relies on independent sensing devices to record and measure events because they are more reliable than people (but eventhese devices are not infalable and science recognises that too).

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There are extensive written records confirming that 10,000 people in the Roman Colesseum saw the Emperor fly over the stadium one day. This has been investigated by historians of science who have offered various accounts of how this trick could have been staged. Since there were sailors manning an extensive system of ropes to extend or retract the awnings over the edges of the Colesseum, most historians believe that this rope network was used as the basis of the trick of making the Emperor seem to fly. But no one ever cites this extremely well-confirmed, well-recorded, and extensively witnessed event as a 'miracle,' simply because it does not play into any one of the surviving belief systems from Antiquity, even though most Roman Emperors at that time were regarded as divinities, especially in the Eastern part of the Empire.

 

The whole idea that miracles associated with a religious doctrine could somehow repair all the internal flaws in an irrational, self-contradictory, phantasmogoric religious myth and make it true seems bizarre. It is as though someone were to come before an audience, deliver a self-contradictory lecture espousing an absurd system of ethics and cosmology, and then claim he could prove it was all true because he could pull a rabbit out of his hat, and his ability to perform this stage trick demonstrated that everything he said was right.

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"Maybe you're an atheist that's why you said that people make lousy eyewitnesses"

No, that's not why I said it.

 

All the experiments done to see if eyewitnesses are reliable show that they are not. (the gorilla is just one experiment among many)

As you say, the bible is based on eyewitnesses.

You are right, I'm an atheist.

Have you ever thought that maybe these experiments are a little biased for a reason? Plus I have shown you why the gorilla experiment is wrong. Plus if you have hostile eyewitnesses that is an even better indicator of the event happening as it was. Who was more hostile then Paul (Saul of tarsus)?.

 

You cant really compare a gorilla in some sports game to the resurrection of the miracle of Fatima. I will give you an example. Say the editor and chief of O-seculo ( the communist -atheist newspaper of Portugal) is there to redicule this event. He is there to basically nail these silly believers and he would be totally focused on this event. He will not for a second lose focus at all. Yet he reported to see very close to what the others saw. He was also a very respected intellectual in his country so the chances of him losing his cool are slim to none. He was ready to nail the believers, but he didn't did he?

 

 

When you have hostile eyewitnesses speaking the truth even against their enemy that is a strong validation that this event did happen as both sides saw it.

 

Another example is the Jewish pharisees witnessing the miracles of Jesus even though they didn't believe in him. They saw the miracles and admitted to them but because of their stubbornness attested the miracles to Jesus being in league with Satan.

 

If eyewitness tests were done in this fashion my guess is that they would be dramatically more accurate then the 50% rate that we are seeing in these experiments. This is what atheists don't want to see.

 

This is another beautiful example of what I mean. Hope this helps. :)

 

http://www.comereason.org/cmp_rlgn/cmp051.asp

 

Most of the time when specialists refer to eyewitness testimony, they are speaking of those who have witnessed a crime. At the time people witness a crime, most are involved in other activities. When they recount what they remember, their recollection can be impeded by things such as concentrating on their own tasks, having a poor vantage point, the speed at which the events take place, not paying close attention, and lack of familiarity with the perpetrators or principals involved in the incident.

 

However, the events surrounding the resurrection don't fit into this category. The disciples had lived with Jesus for three years. They were well aware that those in power wanted to harm Jesus (Jn. 11:8). The events surrounding His death and resurrection followed methodical practices. (Indeed, the protocol for both His trial before the Sanhedrin and His appearance before Pilate were laid out as law and had been standard practice for quite some time.)

 

Finally, Jesus' death would have been the most cataclysmic event in the lives of the disciples, consuming their attention and making it very difficult to forget the circumstances surrounding it. Cataclysmic events have a way of etching themselves clearly into our memory. For example, I think most Americans who are old enough can tell you just where they were and what they were doing when they heard President Kennedy was assassinated. Similarly, the events of September 11 are engraved in all our memories, even more so for those who were in Manhattan.

 

I hope this has helped show some differences in the eyewitness testimony offered by the disciples versus much of the testimony offered in our courtrooms today. Let me know if you would like further clarification on anything I've written and I pray that you will seek the truth in all things. :)

 

Read more: http://www.comereason.org/cmp_rlgn/cmp051.asp#ixzz0xJCs2maY

 

Being an Athiest or not has no relevence to whether someone thinks people make a lousy eyewitness or not. As such, this is just an Ad-Hominin attack and only weakens your argument when you use such things.

No. Follow this link and refer to post #18.

 

(Assuming that Atheists Assume that anything in the Bible is not True)

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You cant really compare a gorilla in some sports game to the resurrection of the miracle of Fatima. I will give you an example. Say the editor and chief of O-seculo ( the communist -atheist newspaper of Portugal) is there to redicule this event. He is there to basically nail these silly believers and he would be totally focused on this event. He will not for a second lose focus at all. Yet he reported to see very close to what the others saw. He was also a very respected intellectual in his country so the chances of him losing his cool are slim to none. He was ready to nail the believers, but he didn't did he?

 

I don't know anything about O Seculo's editorial stance or why they were there that day, but I found the article in question, and the relevant description:

 

From the road where the vehicles were parked and where hundreds of people who had not dared to brave the mud were congregated, one could see the immense throng turn towards the sun, which appeared free from clouds and in its zenith. It looked like a plaque of dull silver, and it was possible to look at it without the least discomfort. It neither burned nor blinded the eyes . . . At that moment, a great shout went up and one could hear the spectators nearest at hand shouting: 'A miracle! A miracle!'

 

"Before the astonished eyes of the crowd, whose aspect was biblical as they stood bareheaded, pale with fright, eagerly searching the sky, the sun trembled, made sudden incredible movements outside all cosmic laws - the sun 'danced' according to the typical expression of the people.

 

[...]

 

People then began to ask each other what they had seen. The great majority admitted to having seen the trembling and the dancing of the sun. Others affirmed that they saw the face of the Blessed Virgin, while others swore that the sun whirled on itself like a giant wheel and that it lowered itself to the earth as if to burn it with its rays. Some said they saw it change colours successively.

 

So a crowd of people is standing around looking directly at the sun, probably behind some cloud cover (a dull silver disk that you can look directly at without intense pain). People are crying out that they see a miracle, and a state of religious ecstasy is prevalent. "The great majority" see the image shimmer and "dance," as you would expect from staring at a bright light source. Others, "asking each other what they had seen" (which, especially combined with the religious fervor, is a great way to corrupt eyewitness accounts beyond recognition), report all sorts of other things. There is nothing about clothes drying instantly (it seems that was something people only thought they remembered after the fact).

 

Now, let me be clear. I don't pretend to know what happened there. I'm just not at all impressed with the idea that it was a miracle. Jumping to that conclusion, especially when other, frankly much more plausible, hypotheses suggest themselves, seems extremely close-minded.

 

As for examples from the Bible, I have to ask: why are you not a Muslim? Why are you not a Mormon? Those holy books also contain accounts of miraculous events. If the fact that it says so in one book is good enough, why not others? Those are "eyewitness accounts" also, of obvious great importance to the thousands who are said to have witnessed them. Surely that makes the accounts more reliable, no?

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So you consider the authors of the Bible to be eyewitnesses hostile to Jesus? Do you even realize that these things aren't even firsthand accounts, that in fact most of them can't be? And also don't forget that everything in the Bible had to be approved by the Church in the 4th Century.

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No. Follow this link and refer to post #18.

 

(Assuming that Atheists Assume that anything in the Bible is not True)

Remember what I have been saying about evidence and proof. The purpose of these is to distinguish between two or more claims. If what someone presents does not full fill this basic property it can not be considdered as evidence.

 

This is ALL that is asked from people that claim that a religion (any religion for that matter) is true: To provide evidence that distinguishes that their position (that their religion is true) from the position that their religion is not true and in favour of their religion being true.

 

It is an extremely simple thing to do, but it has never been done for any religious supernatural claim.

 

Every piece of science that we have, from germ theory to the mechanical and electrical properties underlying the operation of your computer to black holes and quantum mechnics has had to do this as a first step (there are a lot more steps that come after, but this is the first that is needed).

 

So, if religion has nothing that it can calim that distinguishes the existance of God from the non existance of God, then as a rational persons, how can they claim that God exists. To claim you have proof of the existance of God and then that is shown not to actually be proof is a very weak argument.

 

What if I came out with 100 people (thatbelieve in the existance of God) that say they never saw God. Does this prove that God doesn't exist? They are eyewitnesses of the non existance of God, they are hostile witnesses, so even if you accept eyewitnesses as proof, then does this count as proof that God doesn't exist?

 

No for this exact reason: It doesn't distinguish between the claims of the existance or non-existance of God.

 

So even you would recognise the need for evidence to distinguish between the various claims. Now, for one to claim that they are willing to put this acceptance asside if doing so is advantagious for your position is an act of hypocracy.

 

So lest look at the positon on that of Eyewitnesses. First you are saying that you accept that these eyewitnesses are evidence that distinguishes the claims of the existance or non-existance of God. Yet when it comes to the evidence that distinguishes between the claims whether eyewitnesses are or are not reliable, you are willing to put asside the necesity of the evidecne to accept a claim and just go with "eyewitnesses are reliable" because it is in your advantage to do so.

 

Well, as I said, this is an act of hypocracy.

 

Either you are willing to accept the evidecne that does distinguish between claims or you will not accept it at all. The overwhealing evidence is that people are faliable (even the bible states this! :eek: ). So if you are willing to accept that people are falable (evn just based on the evidence in the bible), then you can not calim that eyewitnesses are reliable (because these eyewitnesses are human and if you accept humans as faliable, then these eyewitenesses are also faliable).

 

Of course, I am willing to accept that these testimonies are ture, but, because I accept that people are faliable, I can not rely on them as the be all and end all of the evidence. Thus, extra corroborating evidence is therefore needed (even in court they don't just rely on eyewitnesses testimony, because even these institutions know that eyewitnesses are not reliable).

 

Also with this the number of individuals does not make much difference, there are definite psychological effects (memory changing is just one example) that even a large group can end up being fooled. I am an amature magician, and what I do relies on the falability of people, even in large groups. It is often easier to fool a large group than a small one because people tend to accept what those near them (either physically or in terms of social connections) say, or if something is repeated often enough.

 

There are studies done where tey have a large number of people witness an event, and then have the group completly change the details of what they saw because a "report" (done as part of the study) said something different (it in fact changed several times). The key aspect of these reports that caused the change was getting people to "remember" what they saw as part of an interview. As these "witnesses" (in some cases these witnesses were just actors and were never there and other time they were planted people who were there) repeated the experience they added subtle changes to the story, slight exagerations or added/removed things from the event.

 

In fact there ahve been several studies now that clearly show that people's memories of an event can easily be changed.(it can occur in as short a time as it take to try and remember an event and can occur moments after the event occurs) just by the act of remembeing it.

 

So even when someone who was there witnessing the event asks you: "Did you see that?" they (and you) are changing your memory of the event.

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The Old Testament shows us a very jealous God, who insists that no one shall worship any other gods than Him. But what most believers today fail to appreciate is that to believe in the Bible's stories they have to become idolaters, in that they worship historiography by giving it magical powers which it cannot have and then setting it up as the source of their religious beliefs.

 

The idolatry comes from the fact that historiography as a science recognizes that at this historical distance, it is simply impossible for us to determine the fine grain of historical reality in a period 2000 years ago, when written record keeping was poor, when many records were lost, and when truth was freely intermixed with fantasy even in the most serious reporting of events. For these reasons, no modern historian would seriously assert that we can today know for certain exactly when the rock in front of Christ's tomb was moved so that we can know for sure whether the resurrection really happened. To be able to assert that we can believe that, we have to become idolaters of historiography, falling down on our knees to worship an imaginary capacity to know distant historical events in a way that is perfectly omnipotent and miraculous. Now surely the jealous God who despises idolatry in the Old Testament would not suddenly turn around in the New Testament and require us to become historiographic idolaters in order to have a chance of salvation by believing in Christ as the son of God, so the entire doctrinal system collapses in a mass of contradictions.

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Needimprovement,

You seem to have quoted the bit where I said "All the experiments done to see if eyewitnesses are reliable show that they are not. (the gorilla is just one experiment among many)", but not understood it.

 

Also, re you assertion " Plus I have shown you why the gorilla experiment is wrong.".

Er, no, you have not.

The experiment is still right. It's repeatable; people really do fail to see the gorilla.

 

"You cant really compare a gorilla in some sports game to the resurrection of the miracle of Fatima. "

I didn't. I didn't mention Fatima.

 

 

The point I made was that when you said "Even if this could be investigated , there were only 8 people there, " you were totally and utterly wrong; did you not notice that?

 

The other point I made was that the bible is based on eyewitness accounts (albeit often those accounts rewritten in about 325AD) and that eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable.

 

While we are at it, in answer to your question "Who was more hostile then Paul (Saul of tarsus)?." Well, me for a start. The evidence for this being that I wasn't converted and didn't change my name because of it. ( "Tarsus" is a proper noun and takes a capital letter btw.)

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If you are going to take a purely scientific view of everything in life, then you are never going to accept anything as a "miracle". This is just a matter of definition. A "miracle" is by definition unexplainable by science, so accepting that it is a miracle is to accept that it cannot, in principle, be explained by science.

 

If you take the view that everything can be explained by science, then even if you don't have an explanation, you believe an explanation exists and therefore it isn't a miracle.

 

In other words, you guys are never going to agree because your starting axioms are different (and in my opinion this underlined the stupidity of having a religion forum on a science site).

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A "miracle" is by definition unexplainable by science, so accepting that it is a miracle is to accept that it cannot, in principle, be explained by science.

 

If you take the view that everything can be explained by science, then even if you don't have an explanation, you believe an explanation exists and therefore it isn't a miracle.

Indeed. Assuming something is a miracle is a load of horseshit.

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I am also bothered by the juvenile nature of the entire proof of God supposedly offered to us by God. He tells us a fantastic story which is rather incoherent and makes little sense, and then, in anticipation of our objections to his tale, like a vaudeville stage magician, he says we have to believe it because he can pull a rabbit out of a hat -- i.e., Christ is resurrected after his death. It seems more consistent with the idea of God that He would be able to tell us such a brilliantly enlightened story about the meaning of human life, the universe, and our place in it, that the intelligence of the story itself would convince us of its divine origin, rather than trying to prove its validity externally by resorting to the irrational device of performing a circus trick.

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Indeed. Assuming something is a miracle is a load of horseshit.

You're a usually very eloquent person, I would assume you could find another way of putting the above sentence that wouldn't sound so obtuse, let alone when you're finally agreeing.

 

~moo

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Needimprovement,

You seem to have quoted the bit where I said "All the experiments done to see if eyewitnesses are reliable show that they are not. (the gorilla is just one experiment among many)", but not understood it.

 

Also, re you assertion " Plus I have shown you why the gorilla experiment is wrong.".

Er, no, you have not.

The experiment is still right. It's repeatable; people really do fail to see the gorilla.

 

"You cant really compare a gorilla in some sports game to the resurrection of the miracle of Fatima. "

I didn't. I didn't mention Fatima.

 

 

The point I made was that when you said "Even if this could be investigated , there were only 8 people there, " you were totally and utterly wrong; did you not notice that?

 

The other point I made was that the bible is based on eyewitness accounts (albeit often those accounts rewritten in about 325AD) and that eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable.

 

While we are at it, in answer to your question "Who was more hostile then Paul (Saul of tarsus)?." Well, me for a start. The evidence for this being that I wasn't converted and didn't change my name because of it. ( "Tarsus" is a proper noun and takes a capital letter btw.)

All of these experiment were done on people that weren't hostile eyewitnesses and weren't looking for anything spectacular to happen. This is why in the event of Jesus resurrection and Fatima alot of the eyewitnesses were reliable. for example the head of the secular newspaper O Seculo who was rediculing the kids a week ago and now reported a Miracle.

 

As far as Pauls conversion, it wasn't only written about in pauls own letters but I believe that Luke attested to it also. As far as historicity and historically accurate reporting, Luke was a top notch historian, even more accurate then secular accounts of that time.

 

I'll say it again, hostile eyewitnesses reporting in your favor even though they are against you make the best eyewitnesses possible. No comparison between the resurrection accounts, fatima and other supernatural events.

 

You will be in my prayers my friend.

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Wheras; an atheist does not have the same flexibility. I would doubt an atheist would study theology; and if the atheist were credulous he would also not study philosophy (as there are no credible philosophers who are atheist) - so what choice in studying the world does the atheist have but through science?

As Sun Tzu wrote, know thine enemy Allegorically, I've known plenty of atheistic types who knew more about the religion of the religious people who argued them than they did themselves. It would be interesting to find out how many actual theologians are atheists.[...]

David Hume? Nietzsche? Rand? Bertrand Russell? Victor Stenger is one who's currently alive. I'm sure there are others, and once this generation of philosophers is dead, a number of the posthumously famous ones will likely be atheistic too. I'd guess in higher numbers than in previous eras.

I've taken a few philosophy classes at uni, none of the lecturers were theistic and I wasn't aware of any theistic classmates (even out of those who were studying theology). And even in high school - the entire religious studies department was staffed by atheists.

Can't be explained is a bit of a dodge. Scientists can't go back and get data, because it was a one-time event, so in that sense they can't explain it. Can they give alternate, plausible, non-miracle explanations? Sure.

On that note, I'd strongly recommend to all: This talk on the nature of good explanations by David Deutsch. Also maybe Chapter 13 of Peter Godfrey Smith's Theory and Reality. And (with a grain of salt) the paper Two Basic Types of Scientific Explanation by Carl Hempel. Edited by the tree
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