Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Answer to Loren on Arugment from Incredulity

Photobucket




Regular atheist comment maker Loren tells me she doesn't believe the resurrection. She dresses up her incredulity in what she calls "a thought experiment."


:04 AM
Loren said...

I propose this thought experiement.

Imagine that you have a time machine and a video camera, and that you could go back in time and try to watch Jesus Christ rise from the dead. What would you see? And what would your camera record?

Metacrock, according to what you are claiming, you could not only watch JC rise from the dead, but also take some video of him doing so. Is that correct?

However, I've seen one theologian, John Haught, who claims that such a camera would record nothing. Agree or disagree? Why?

My own opinion is that that event never happened, that it was as fictional as the Greek Gods getting involved in the Trojan War or the prophet Mohammed riding a winged horse to Heaven.

I believe that because miracles have a remarkable shyness effect, just like psi phenomena. The better one's observation techniques and the closer one is to the alleged events, the weaker the claimed effects become. Why aren't large numbers of people with video cameras recording big, spectacular miracles on the scale of the parting of the Red Sea?

And I also believe this because of the human capacity for will to believe, and also for fraudulence, including pious fraudulence. Metacrock, do you think that all those medieval relics are genuine?


The problem is this is not a thought experiment, it's merely a statement of incredulity ("I don't believe this"). a thought experiment is not just a way to play out your unbelief in some proposition, there has to be some possibility of actually learning something you didn't know before. There's no way to learn anything about the resurrection in this way so it's not really an experiment. Even though doing this does not teach us anything, the fact that she did it does teach us soemthing. We learn from this that atheists think of history as experiments. They don't understand about evidence or the indications of past events based upon the artifacts left behind. No attempt was made in this regurgitation to actually deal with any of the material prestented in the original Easter booster peice that I did to which she responded.


Metacrock, according to what you are claiming, you could not only watch JC rise from the dead, but also take some video of him doing so. Is that correct?

However, I've seen one theologian, John Haught, who claims that such a camera would record nothing. Agree or disagree? Why?

My own opinion is that that event never happened, that it was as fictional as the Greek Gods getting involved in the Trojan War or the prophet Mohammed riding a winged horse to Heaven.


Why would anyone think that saying this proves something? It proves only that you don't believe so you don't expect the event to pan out. But what exactly does it prove that you don't beileve it? Nothing as far as I can see. My article argued that it is proven that the story of the empty tomb was part of the original Christian message from the very beginning. But you saying nothing about that. Why doesn't that mean anything to you?

I believe that because miracles have a remarkable shyness effect, just like psi phenomena. The better one's observation techniques and the closer one is to the alleged events, the weaker the claimed effects become. Why aren't large numbers of people with video cameras recording big, spectacular miracles on the scale of the parting of the Red Sea?



Now is this really the case? Of course it is the case that most people don't take video cameras around with them all the time. When my father was dying and we called EM guys and then we had the miracle in the living room that caused the Emergency guys to freak out because they weren't suppossed to seem him get healed on their equipment, recording the event was the last thing in the world that I cared about. I had been caring for him at home for three years. I was a nervous worn out wreck I said to myself that day 'I know someday I am going to wish I had gotten those guys names..." but that was so far from anything I cared about, I can't even repeat what I said to myself in response to that idea. Bland that Blank. Get it? That's the real reality of it, people's lives are really on the line and people live their lives for real. They don't live their lives to be test cases for apologetics, get it?

But there is good evdience for miracles. good scientific evidence. The only reason atheists don't acknowledge that is because they are dishonest.

Richard H. Casdroph collected medical evidence, x-rays, aerograms, and other data from 10 cases associated with the Kathryn Kulhman ministry. Now it will of course strike skeptics as laughable to document miracles of a faith healer. Ordinarily I myself tend to be highly skeptical of any televangelists. I am still skeptical of Kulhman because of her highly theatrical manner. But I always had the impression that there was actual documentation of her miracles, and I guess that impression was created by the Casdorph book.


The Casdroph book goes into great detail on every case. Since these were not the acutal patients of Casdroph himself, there are 3 tiers of medical data and opinion; Casdroph himself and his evaluation of the data, several doctors with whom he consulted on every case, and they very from case to case, and the original doctors of the patents themselves. The patients gave their permission and were happy to provide the medical data on their healing since they were all people who had written to the Kulhman ministry with words of their healing. Not all of them were healed immediately in the meeting. Some were healed latter when they got hom.Naturally no one had a x-ray machine standing by at the faith meeting to crank out results like a x-rox copy, so all of them took some period of time to see the results. Not all of them were totally healed immediately. But all the cases were either terminal or incurable and all of them, within a year, returned to full health and pain free existences.

Dr. Richard Steiner, of the American Board of Pathology, head of department of Pathology Long Beach Community Hosptial reviwed several of the slides. William Olson, American Board of Internal Medicine and head of Isatope Department at Long Beach Community Hospital, and several radiologists form that Hospital also consulted on the rest of the cases.


1)Reticulum cell Sarcoma, right pelvic bone.
2)Chronic Rheumatoid Arthritis with Severe Disability
3)Malignat Brain Tumor (Glioma) of the left Temoperal lobe
4)Multiple Sclorosis
5)Arterioscloratic Heart Disease
6)Carcinoma of the Kidney (Hypernephroma)
7) Mixted Rhumatoid Arthritis with Osteoarthritis
8)Probable Brain Tumor vs Infarction of the Brain
9)Massive GI Hemorrhage with GI shock (instantly healed)
10)Ostioprosis of the Etire Spine

All of these people were totally healed of incurrable or terminal states. The one commonality they all have is that they were at some point prayed for by the same person, Kulhman. Let's look at a few examples:

1)Lisa Larios: Cell Sarcoma of the right Pevic bone.

Larios didn't know she had cancer. She had developed a great deal of pain in her pevis and was confined to a wheel chair, but the doctors had not found the evidence of the tumor at the time her mother took her to hear Kulhman. Yet, when Miss Kulhman said "someone over here is being healed of cancer, pelase stand up" she stood up wihtout knowing why. She had already started feeling a strange heat in that area and had ceased to feel pain. She went up onto the stage and walked around without pain. She was than "slain in the spirit" which is that odd thing when the healer palces his/her hand on the forehead and the person falls over in a faint. It took some time to recieve the next set of xrays becasue she only learned after the meeting some days latter that she had cancer. Than the next set of xrays showed vast and daramtic improvement. It would still be some time,almost a year, before her pelivis was completely resorted. But she did return to full health. The Catholics wouldn't except this miracle because it could be confussed with a normal remission. The power of suggestion can be ruled out because the heat started before she was called to the stage, and because she didn't even know she had cancer, but responded to a call for healing of cancer. The first dramatic improvement which was immeidate within a few days, and walking on the stage is not characteristic of remission. Casdroph has the medical evidence from several hospitals to which she had been taken.


And of cousre the ever loving Lourdes miracles. It is as hard to get film of a miracle in progress as it is to get film of a bigfoot, probably not for the same reason. With bigfoot there is a good chance it doesn't exist. But with miracles, they happen on the run while life is being lived and to people who are not research scientists or medical researchers.


Loren says:

And I also believe this because of the human capacity for will to believe, and also for fraudulence, including pious fraudulence. Metacrock, do you think that all those medieval relics are genuine?


Why would she compare medieval reliquary with the formidable historical evidence of textual criticism that I brought out? Because, like many atheists, she doesn't care bout facts or truth, in fact her statement applies as well to her and other atheists as to theists.

17 comments:

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

"Why would she compare medieval reliquary with the formidable historical evidence of textual criticism that I brought out?"

Well, you do list Eucharistic miracles, and some of them do date back that far.

"...like many atheists, she doesn't care bout facts or truth..."

I've read your miracles pages and while I found them interesting, I didn't find them convincing for me personally. Do you think I don't care about facts or truth?

Loren said...

Metacrock, all you've done is dance around the thought-experiment question. Wouldn't you find it interesting to think about what you would see if you had been there?

There's at least one kind of place where lots of people would have video cameras: a sports event. So why doesn't the Virgin Mary ever appear at a World Cup or Super Bowl game instead of in out-of-the-way places? Why is she hiding all the time?

As to those alleged medical miracles -- yawn. Why not make everybody in a hospital jump out of bed in full health? Or regrow lots and lots of amputated limbs?

J.L. Hinman said...

Blogger Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

"Why would she compare medieval reliquary with the formidable historical evidence of textual criticism that I brought out?"

Well, you do list Eucharistic miracles, and some of them do date back that far.


Weeeeeeellllll I don't know. I mean I don't present any evidence that old, and that's a small part of my evidence, I never argue for those kind of things. "...like many atheists, she doesn't care bout facts or truth..."

I've read your miracles pages and while I found them interesting, I didn't find them convincing for me personally. Do you think I don't care about facts or truth?


Not you--I said some. I didn't that because she doesn't find the miracle page convincing, I said it because she didn't respond to the original material I presented on the res.

J.L. Hinman said...

Blogger Loren said...

Metacrock, all you've done is dance around the thought-experiment question. Wouldn't you find it interesting to think about what you would see if you had been there?


I argued that it's not a thought experiment. A thought experiment is not just saying "do I believe this? no I don't." That's basically all you did. You are not being responsive, you are not defending it as an experiment. There's at least one kind of place where lots of people would have video cameras: a sports event. So why doesn't the Virgin Mary ever appear at a World Cup or Super Bowl game instead of in out-of-the-way places? Why is she hiding all the time?

But we have xrays of miracles, the Casdrough evidence is real compelling. It has before and after xrays. Why is that not compelling to you? why would seeing it on video make a difference but seeing on xrays doesn't? As to those alleged medical miracles -- yawn. Why not make everybody in a hospital jump out of bed in full health? Or regrow lots and lots of amputated limbs?

that would cheat the process of the chruch. I say first thing right off on the miracle page that there's a zone you have to be in before you get haled. It's that way because of God's soeteriolgoical ends (the search to make us internalitze the values of the good).
so try to pay attention next time.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

" didn't that because she doesn't find the miracle page convincing, I said it because she didn't respond to the original material I presented on the res."

Ok. Got it.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

"that would cheat the process of the chruch."


So God doesn't perform mass miracles, I don't mean mass as in the Catholic mass, just large, widespread, because it would cheat the process of the church. Ya gotta be in the zone. This reminds me of the argument that God's hiddeness is necessary because if he revealed himself we wouldn't be able to resist worshiping him thus violating our free will.

True or not, both sound rather convenient don't they?

J.L. Hinman said...

So God doesn't perform mass miracles, I don't mean mass as in the Catholic mass, just large, widespread, because it would cheat the process of the church. Ya gotta be in the zone. This reminds me of the argument that God's hiddeness is necessary because if he revealed himself we wouldn't be able to resist worshiping him thus violating our free will.

True or not, both sound rather convenient don't they?


An argument of which you are reminded is no better than argument from analogy. It's not the argument I'm making.

(1) I never say "God does not do X" i'ave said many times I think it's foolish to try and pin God down to what he does and does not do. So Obviously I'm speaking terms of tendencies, but here more speicifically in terms of why the set up is the way it is.

(2) it' all theory. how the hell should I know? but this is what seems logical and possible to me.

(3) God is hidden so we wont worship him is stupid. God is hidden because he's off scale and is beyond our understand is not so stupid.

Neither of these are what I said. Take it to its logcial absurdity, why doesn't hold a press conference and come clean on the whole deal?

It' a searcch. obviously God wans us to search. why? because then we will internalize the things we are suppossed to learn in the process of searching. That makes perfect sense. Some will finds things more quickley than others. some will grow more quickly then others. God is not keeping it all from you, he's not just not making it explicit because you have to seek.

(4) Clearly there is some kind of zone. There are pre conditions before God dos stuff, or so it seems. The bible as much as says it. and faith is one of the major pre conditions.

A Hermit said...

" There are pre conditions before God dos stuff, or so it seems. The bible as much as says it. and faith is one of the major pre conditions."This is one of the cruelest elements of theism, in my opinion; this idea that people are allowed to suffer because of their spiritual inadequacy. Have you any idea how many people pray faithfully for relief and continue to suffer in spite of their faith? And you want them to think it's their fault for not believing "right"?

Sorry Joe, but this is the kind of thing that really turned me against the whole idea of faith.

J.L. Hinman said...

This is one of the cruelest elements of theism, in my opinion; this idea that people are allowed to suffer because of their spiritual inadequacy.

where did I say that? I said nothing of the kind. you are reading that in. Have you any idea how many people pray faithfully for relief and continue to suffer in spite of their faith? And you want them to think it's their fault for not believing "right"?

that's not at all what I said and you know it. Sorry Joe, but this is the kind of thing that really turned me against the whole idea of faith.


becasue you don't want truth. you dont' want God and you are not willing to listen to the answers. my soteriological drama idea explians this perfectly. perfectly. you don't' want to think about it so you don't listen.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Joe, I agree with A Hermit 100%.

Yes, you didn't say those things. Yes, that's not what you meant.

A Hermit said: "Have you any idea how many people pray faithfully for relief and continue to suffer in spite of their faith?"

Exactly. I've seen some extremely faithful suffer horribly and die and I've seen some get better. It's a total crap shoot, and yet theists keep counting the wins and ignoring the misses. I swear if someone else tells me God helped them find their lost keys I'm going to scream.

Joe, I've read some of your arguments and I will admit that they are beyond my current level of understanding, and I have no desire to go to great lengths to understand them, my fascination with theology only goes so far.

You realize Jesus' own disciples wouldn't have a freakin' clue what you are talking about with your theology, right? Nor, would the majority of believers in the world, and I doubt they have any desire to.

J.L. Hinman said...

I still didn't say waht you think I did. I agree with Hermit too, I don't like people who resort to stupid ass explains like that, those that blame the suffering on the sufferers.

I didn't say one mother fucking thing that can be construed as saying that in any mother fucking sense.

If you want to understand the context try reading what I've said in the past.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

I know you didn't say that and didn't mean it. Where did I say I thought you said those things? I said "Yes, you didn't say those things." not sure if you missed the contraction, but without it, it reads "Yes, you DID NOT say those things."

J.L. Hinman said...

sorry Mike. Your message came at a bad time. I just saw one on atheist watch, the typical hate mail "you can't spell and your grammar's no good (which is a lie--people who don't know what grammar is are mostly the one's who say that).

so what was going no in my head when I saw your message was a re play of the Fantanstic Four Cartoon where Ben (the "Thing") says "It's clobber'n time!"

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

If it would help, I could ridicule you frequently about your grammar and spelling to desensitize you. ;-)

J.L. Hinman said...

If that would work I would have been desensitized a long time ago.



Its good to have funny friends. It gives us people to laugh at...I mean it gives us joy to laugh. ;-)

Kristen said...

To answer Loren's question:

If I were there, I would see Jesus coming out of the tomb.

Thought experiment concluded.

The reason I find it so easy to say that, and the reason Loren concludes the opposite, has everything to do with the presuppositions we are starting from, and nothing to do with the impossibility of Jesus rising from the dead.

Loren said...

Thanx for participating, Kristen, and for not dancing around that question.

For my part, I believe that I would have watched him stay dead -- if there was a historical Jesus Christ.