Sunday, October 31, 2010

Vote Domocrat: Don't put the murders of the poor back in power

Photobucket Andy Griffith campaigning for the health care reform

Say you don't think I sound just a tad partisan do you?

That back stabbing Idiot John Stewart mocked and ridiculed THE PRESIDENT to his face, while was a guest on his show. The President certainly went there feeling at easy since the back stabber has been his ally in th past. But the traitor showed his true colors just becuase...why? maybe he's angry taht he chose the losing side? Maybe he's such an opportunist he can't stand that his hunch didn't pay off.

 If we get out and vote we can win. The election stuff is a hype. The polls are lies. It's not true that the dem are going to be so far behind:

Phone gap

Like the Trueman/Dewy race, the pollsters chose Dewy because they didn't realize there was a huge body of poor who didn't have telephones. They voted for Harry Truman who the polls had been showing would be stomped.

There's a phone gap in this race, and no one talks about it becasue the Republican media doesn't want you to know. The major polls the media uses largely ignore cell phones. They are all based upon ground lines and ground lines tend to be conservatives. Liberals tend to use cell phones. So the Obama base has been underestimated by as much as 20%.

Political Cortex

The latest rage - or outrage - on the right is this Newsweek Poll. You know, the Newsweek poll - the one that said that Obama has a 54% approval rating and that 48% of registered voters prefer to vote for a Democrat, while only 42% lean Republican. That Newsweek Poll.
Seems the Repuglinuts don't like that poll because it doesn't fit their teabag revolution narrative. They slant their brows in angry scowls, slam their hammy fists and declare the poll an outlier, unfit for human consumption!!!
"Look at Real Clear Politics," they insist. "Their totally and completely non-partisan analysis of polling numbers shows that the Newsweek poll is a fake, a lie, a CONSPIRACY - all designed by the VLWC to raise the specter of Republican failure only days before the greatest and most important election of forever."
Oh, what a world!
So what about that Newsweek poll? Was it an outlier? Was it in any way valid? Are we desperate for a sprig of hope? Are we totally delusional?
After all, that Newsweek poll totally disagrees with all those other, much, MUCH more  legitimate polls that show Obama with a -0.0% likey-likey rating and a generic ballot that suggests a pickup for the Republicans somewhere between 1.2 million and infinity seats in the House.
The Reality is that these pollsters sometimes have a difficult time adjusting to a thing we all refer to as "Progress". Say it with me Pro-gress.

cell phone only households are 20%
The Tech Choronicals.

Political cortex
The Newsweek poll includes these cell-phone-only households. ALL of the others do not!
That is VERY significant. The other polling outfits ignore 20% of all Americans in their polling - that's 1 in every 5 people. They effectively don't exist - or at least don't matter to the Gallups, USA Todays, and stinkers like Rasmussen.
the Huffintong Post!

And given recent insights into polling data and cell phone users, it's entirely possible that the only thing between a decisive Obama lead coming into October and more election-as-nail-biter boilerplate is the vast leftwing wireless network.
The Pew Research Center's recent report on the issue asserted that polling by landline telephone may undercount Barack Obama voters by perhaps 3 percent. It's one of the first pieces of conclusive evidence on the issue. But this is a young science, in a rapidly changing communications landscape where mobile-only households are multiplying. So who knows if that's undercounting the undercounting?
Statistically, Obama voters are more likely to be part of the younger, cell-only set. Cell users under 30 go left in a big way: 62 percent Democrat to 28 Republican. And cell-only voters of all ages go for Obama over McCain by 19 percent, 55 to 36 percent, according to Pew's most recent survey.
However, the Pew report points out that previous weighting techniques by pollsters assume that cell and landline users are the same politically. So many landline polls this year may have relied on faulty math.
A few poll organizations, such as Gallup and Pew itself, have been including cell phones in their surveys all year. Others, like NBC/Wall Street Journal and ABC/Washington Post, just started recently, according to Nate Silver at
Since the issue of a cell phone/landline gap first surfaced in the 2004 campaign, the problem of properly measuring opinion in a mobile age has been debated among pollsters and media wonks. The John Kerry campaign claimed its voters were being undercounted because some of them were cell-only, and exit polls confirmed that. But cell-only voters then represented a meager 7 percent.

the Bottom line is get out and vote!

The Republicans have a solid chorus blaming Obama for everytying form the Bakning Bail out (as though it wasn't Bush's program) to  the oil spill. The lie they tell constantly is that the stemulus package  didn't create any jobs.

We can win. Don't hold back! this is the time when we need everyone to vote.

It actually 2 million jobs

Congressional Budget office says Stimulus created 2 million jobs.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reports that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, better known as the stimulus bill, has created millions of jobs and in fact has had an even bigger economic impact than expected.
According to the report:
“CBO estimates that in the first quarter of calendar year 2010, ARRA’s policies:
  • Raised the level of real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) by between 1.7 percent and 4.2 percent,
  • Lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.7 percentage points and 1.5 percentage points.
  • – Increased the number of people employed by between 1.2 million and 2.8 million, and

  • – Increased the number of full-time-equivalent jobs by 1.8 million to 4.1 million compared with what those amounts would have been otherwise.

  • In March 2009, the CBO predicted that as a result of the stimulus, employment today might be as much as 2.3 million than it would have been without the law. The updated report puts that number as high as 2.8 million.
    In other words, the stimulus that according to some hasn’t created one single job has been and continues to be an important success. Times are still hard, but without ARRA, millions of Americans working today to support their families would instead be on the unemployment line, collecting UI benefits.

    Health Care Law is Economic Stemless.

    The health care law that was passed is criticized as a means of undercutting Obama suckles, as though it's nothing. But a tv commercial which has been ruining for months shows the true importance of the law. An aged withered stroke ridden Andy Griffith, his comic face still beaming with that early 60s infectious smile, sings the praises of the new law.I'm afraid people wont connected it, but he's first celebrity I've seen who is not afraid to stand up and say "Obama did good in health care."

    "It' great for those of us dependent upon Medicare: free cancer screening, free check ups, 50% reduction on meds." These are extremely important advantages for the elderly.

    Tea Party candidates want to abolish Social Security

    Huffington post
    A Tea Party leader acknowledged she supports abolishing Social Security in an appearance this week on "Larry King Live."
    St. Louis Tea Party co-founder Dana Loesch said she would "absolutely" eliminate the program, which has existed since 1935.
    Talk show host and Libertarian leader, Wayne Allyn Root agreed: "At best I'd do away with it, because I can find a better way to spend and save my own $15,000."

    Loesch: For the first time ever in American history, just to exist in this country, you have to purchase a product now. You have to purchase insurance. And they can try and make it go through the IRS --
    King: No, no. Wait a minute. We had to pay Social Security. That's a socialist concept. Republicans voted against it --
    Loesch: -- Oh I agree. It's bankrupt.
    King: Would anyone turn away Social Security now? Would you do away with it?
    Loesch: I would, yeah. Absolutely.

    King: Would you do away with it, Wayne? Would you do away with Social Security?
    Root: Well, I'd certainly like to. At best, I'd do away with it because I can find a better way to spend and save my own $15,000.
    Do you have any idea how many people are going to die when they do away with social security? The Republicans are the murders of the poor. Three independent studies showed that 2 million children starved to death in the south in the Reagan years. The more extreme the Republican the deeper they hate the poor.  Turn the congress back tot he republicans this is what you get.

    Friday, October 29, 2010

    Atheists Hide in the Gap 3 (final)

     the Bridge to the gap in the leap of faith

     What we have seen so far is that there is a move I call "hiding in the gap" where the atheist says "O there's a gap, since there's a gap God can't be proven, therefore, I cannot be forced by logic to believe in God because you can't provide evidence that is so overwhelming I can't doubt it. As long as there is a gap in knowledge I will refuse to leap it. this is couched in terms of "if I do this it will be irrational because only absolute proof is rational." Most of them backpedal when it's put this way and even then they demand "absolute" proof. Yet is it the abstention of the absolute aspect of Christian evidence  they always rest upon; which is basically what hiding the gap is.

    Here are some more examples form that thread:

    Originally Posted by Darwin's Duchshund View Post
    Meta long time no see & all that (metaphorically, of course) It's great to see that you're still starting your posts with unsupported premises;
    Good to "see" you too. No I'm basing them on previously documented premises.One must repeat oneself so often in these threads it's just too much.


    Maybe in your field this happens, but if you were at all familiar with scientific writing, you'd understand that they are tediously boring due to the authors being specific about what they don't know, and then making sure that their conclusions don't extend beyond what is supported by evidence. 
    I am very familiar with scientific writing. I studied science in history of ideas. history and Philosophy of scinece. We had to read science. The problem is there's a huge difference in atheist gibbering and using scinece as a shill for their ideology, and real science. Real scinece is not atheism (did you know that?).


    No. Not really. If you know there is a gap in your knowledge, it is to be quantified and worked around. 

    NO, no no no, that is modernist bull! That's assuming, as you are, that science is the only form of knowledge. Science is not the only form of knowledge. I know many things you don't know because I study other forms of knowledge. You don't know them but I do. So I use them.

    It's foolish to suggest that all gaps can be quantified. Epistemological gaps clearly cannot be quantified if they could be they would not be epistemic gaps. You are using a ploy that scietism uses all the time to create the illusion that science is the only way. you set up requirement that fits what you do and anything that does it that requirement is just ignored as though it doesn't exist. then you go around saying 'this doesn't exist because it doesn't fit my little understanding." But that's because your understanding is too little.

    Take gravity. What we know about gravity can be quantified. What we don't know about gravity can be identified. 
    Actually you are not saying anything. that is nonsense sentence. Why? Because I can say that about God. I can quantify all the things about God that can be quantified. What can't be quantified I can define. so that' s not really saying anything to brag about is it?

    Things that can be quantified about God:

    how much of all things did God create? 100%

    what percentage of God can we pin down to empriical proof? 0%

    That pretty much defines everything. (why do we need more than that?)

    These guys don't seem to have a proportions. They want to know the quantification of everything because they can only think  in terms of surface existence of things in the world, that's why they want to exclude God from reality, becasue they can't control him because they can't quantify him. There's really no reason to want to quantify things about God. The only reason to quantify is to control, either though manipulating or through understanding. We can't understand God, God is beyond us and will always be beyond us. We can't even understand being let alone our own conscoiusness. We can't understand our own desires. We can't quantify the meaning of life. What would that do for us anyway? The idea that knowledge = control, their desire to scientize all knowledge is to control is so totally new to them they can't even think about it. It just rolls off their minds like water off a duck's back.

    You are also constructing metaphysics. Under the guise of scinece you are actually doing metaphysics. Science is the understanding of the working of the physical world only, nothing else! you are preprocessed to understand all reality though your lens of reductionism. That's easy when you just saw off all that you don't know. Hey I don't nothing so there's nothing out there. that was easy.
    You can be guaranteed that when you step onto an aircraft designed by an engineer, there is no "faith" involved in the physics that are used to make the aircraft overcome gravity. 

    That's a red herring. it's not epistemic question, not a metaphysical question, not an ontological and it's within the domain of the workings of the physical world. As a theologian i don't need to understand aircraft. But through your aircraft (my father was an air craft engineer so I do understand them pretty well) you pretend to prove something about the larger reality but you are not.
    None. No guessing, no "gaps". We can be 100% certain that gravity will always act the same way with respect to the aircraft. 
     They are always trying to make a competition between God and sometihng they can quantify. Like in this he thinks we can quantify air craft and we know what we are doing, therefore, this is solid but God isn't." It's not a matter of if I believe in air craft then I can't believe in God. I can believe in both. Air craft is not in the same magisteria as is God.

    That's fine because you are dealing an empirical topic. Notice also it's not very sophisticated. It's rather boring and its' about the concrete. It has nothing to do with the kinds of issues that God talk gets us up to. Moreover, there are gaps. Those gaps are epistemological gaps. as a scientist you are not qualified to deal with epistemology. You can only do that as a philosopher. So you have step outside of scinece just to learn what the gaps in science are. The most banal use of scinece doesn't have too many gaps they are trivial.

    For example we don't know what gravity is. You assert that because we can quantify it (inverse square law ala the delusional mixed up Christian idiot Issac Newton) but we still don't know what it is. Most atheists don't realize Newton said it was an occult (hidden) property. there are still several theories about it including that it doesn't exist at all. Newton's private answer as that gravity is the mind of God. The universe is God's sensorium and God works action at a distance by thinking about it.

    That old Newton he held back society by belief in God.

    There is uncertainty about whether gravity always acts in the same way and what causes it (those pesky little issues that Einstein bleated on about..), but none with respect to the aircraft.

    This is exactly what I predicted you would do. you minimize the importance of a gap when it's a gap in your ideological landscape. You maximize the importance of a gap in religious landscape. You are hiding in the gap. You are making as though the gap of no importance when it's about your world view, it's all important when it's about my world view. What you are actually saying is, because there' a gap we can't dare to make a leap of faith. That's hiding in the gap.
    When they restart the LHC next year, and start sending 7TeV particles smashing into one another, you'll be glad to know that they used physical facts rather than faith to design the machine, otherwise we all might not be here to have these engaging discussions.
    LHC does not compete with God for my belief.

    that's a red herring again. You guys sure love to argue by red herring. It is nether here nor there that there aspects of certainty. They are no in the right places. We need the certainty in the gap, so it wont be a gap, but the certainty is not in the gap because if it was it wouldn't be a gap would it? The problem is you are not honest about where the gaps are in your world view. You seem to use this bait and switch tactic. You think if you can switch a gap for a certainty then you somehow divert attention from the fact that your view has gaps.

    Maybe that's hiding in the gap in terms of God belief, the God gap, it's hypocritical use of atheist gaps becuase you try to pretend they aren't there or they aren't important. The fact of it is, the gaps don't prevent leap of faith form paying off. Leap of faith pays off in religious terms it pays off epistemological.
    What I mean is the 200 studies prove religious experience is transformative. You will never have that transformation power by sitting around quibbling with every aspect of religion and refusing to consider it in a positive light. When you make the leap of faith you can have it. It works. The leap of faith is rewarded with the positive effects of faith.

    Another poster:

    Originally Posted by Whatsisface View Post
    Meta, I have asked you for evidence and you have given me anecdote. How do you know the doctors were right, or, that your fathers recovery was not due to some natural phenomenom?

    That's a silly question. You want to assert the all knowing nature of scinece, at least the certainty involved in scinece, absolute minimal gap right? Then when scinece says "this is the fact" you say "how do you know?" how do I know the medical wherewithal of a large metropolitan hospital was smart enough to recognize an abnormal come back by an 89 year old man was dead fo 11 minutes.

    think bout it. if I can't trust this hospital to tell me that coming back form dead after 11 minutes and coming back stronger than a man of his age and mistrial should, is abnormal and amazing what am I paying them thousands of dollars for?

    A reference to my father's experience on Christmas eve 1998 when he died for 11 minuets then came back to life. Contrary to atheist belief people do die and come back a lot. That in itself is not a big deal although they are usually dead only under two minutes. Eleven minutes is pretty long. Even that is not the real miracle. The doctor said "I have never used the term miracle of my practice before but this is a miracle." The eleven minute gap was part of it but what really astounded him was an 89 year old man with extreme heart arrhythmia coming back with a strong rhythmic heart beat that was holding up around going strong the next day. In this words, "people in his condition at his age just don't do that."

    If your father was in that condition would you set him on the curb on the grounds maybe maybe the doctor is wrong and he's not really sic, .O that's real reason. you aer so good at this reason thing.

    then to claim that I'm giving you an anecdote. yea. and 200 empirical studies in academic journals. you conveniently ignore those and complain about the anecdote.

    I also gave you Charles Ann's lungs, which are proved xrays. one of them there x-ray anecdotes. The Lourdes committee is a huge medical establishment with top experts from all over Europe and the best medical diagnostic evidence that is not anecdotal.

    Originally Posted by crocoduck View Post
    Why do you think that it takes evidence to believe in something?
    I don't. It takes evidence to prove your belief.

    If that were true, then every belief system and every religion is valid. People can obviously have unjustified faith, don’t you agree? 
    Every religious tradition is valid, or almost every one. You are doing the scientism bit again. Science doesn't cancel personal belief. Personal bleief is existential it's more basic than scinece and has to do with self worth and identity and a bunch of issues that scinece can't even touch. You atheists want to use scinece as metaphysics, religion, psychology, you want it to replace all forms of life.

    Existential: rooted in the meaning of existence. A first person understanding of the meaning of one's own existence as validated by one's response to life. They can't cope with the existential because it defies their control. They do not reduce all knowledge to scinece because they think that is freedom, they do it because they want to control reality. They want to define an control reality by being the gate keepers of knowledge. They must control what people understand as knowledge first. They construct a priesthood of knowledge which one can only join by their method and their reduction of everything to what they know. These are not the ravings of some conspiratorial lunatic, this is the work of C Wright Mills, one of the major sociologists of the 20th century. (see The Sociological Imagination). (online version of chapter one) (on Amazon)


    Do you need a science study to prove your mother loves you?


    People have faith because they have hope. It comforts them. How many people have faith that they will win the lottery, and so spend all their spare money on lottery tickets? Do they have a reason to believe this? How many people have faith that praying will cure their kids cancer, only to find out it didn’t. Have you ever watched American Idol, and wondered how come so many terrible singers have faith that they will be the next American Idol? People can convince themselves of anything.

    that is not a valid argument. you say first of all faith must be wrong because it can be misplaced. Don't misplace it. that' the real answer not don't have it. you also speak of hope but to you hope is bad thing its something that doesn't come through that's anti-human. You can't be a humanist and not believe in hope.Hope os one of the unique things that makes us human. Animals don't hope. We do. it's human. Hope need not be misplaced you can hope in the right thing. Lottery tickets are not a good replacement for God.


    It’s usually evidence of self-delusion. 
     Notice how many non religious examples he gave!

    I have 200 studies that prove it's not. When the evidence against you is scientific and empirical suddenly scinece is not good anymore. Where's all your guilt by association now?
    That's all just hiding in the gaps anyway because all he's saying is "there's a gap, I have an excuse not to try because it's a gap."

    Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Your claims about the inner state of MY mind are wrong. There is no need for me to elaborate, since you have no means of obtaining the knowledge you claim to possess. As such, your claims are necessarily unfounded assertions.

    As for the rest, I have no reason to believe that my "heart" can provide me with reliable information regarding external reality. Even if it could, there is NOTHING in my mind- the rational part, or the "heart"- which is suggesting to me that any God exists.

    why would it be otherwise when the thing we are talking about is renovation of the heart? God wants you to seek him in the heart. When God accesses your guilt of sin he look at your heart. When he forgives you its' based upon your change in heart. why would the proof be anywhere else?

    And the gap in my mind between the reasons for belief (be it empirical evidence, subjective "heart" impressions, logic, or otherwise) and rational warrant is at least as wide for God as it is for Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, fairies, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. And you are in no position to claim otherwise.

    ok so show me the scientific data that proves how the universe came to be?
    show the scientific that proves you exist.

    show me the data that proves that the data is not an illusion and you are not being fooled?

    why are you willing to make a hundred leaps of faith on everything else epistemological and metaphysical and even scientific, but not this?

    anotehr poster, our old buddy
    paradoxical says:

    Meta, I'm interested in this "heart" thing that you mention. Everyone has a physical one, so what other type heart are you referring to? I could flippantly say that my "heart" tells me there is no bible God, and I'd be correct. What really irks me about Christians is that you think you have found something that only a Christian can know, and you use stupid euphemisms like "heart", which means absolutely nothing. It's just a way of copping out and admitting you have absolutely NO proof of what you say, and non believers don't see it because you have higher perceptions than they do, and you found it in your "heart". This is just mindless blabber spewed out by someone over educated in religion. 
     Should have ask him if he's ever heard of Valatine's day. He talks like he's never heard of the heart. Then part of the time he seems to imply that the problem is Christians think the heart is exclusively there's. His rejection of the concept as though it's some kind of mindless BS is just indicative of the illiterate and unthoughtful nature of atheism and scinetism in general. This is what comes of reducing everything to scinece, and to aspects of science they know and can control, they have lost touch with the basic aspects of being human.

     Far from thinking that the heart is the exclusive domain of Christianity, I think it's universality among humans, its reflection in all world literature, all poetry, Valentine's day, the profusion of metaphors about it (I quoted in the thread a long list of  definitions--websters--that show the concept of heart being used in a wide verity of things, but it mainly is presence in all world literatuer and all faiths, these things confirm the meaningful nature of the metaphor.

    Websters on line
    : the emotional or moral as distinguished from the intellectual nature: as a : generous disposition : compassion heart> b : love, affection heart> c : courage, ardor heart>
    : one's innermost character, feelings, or inclinations heart> heart>
    a : the central or innermost part : center b : the essential or most vital part of something c : the younger central compact part of a leafy rosette (as a head of lettuce)
    at heart
    : in essence : basically, essentially
    by heart
    : by rote or from memory
    to heart
    : with deep concern

    Paradoxical says:
    You are over educated and over consumed with making your God true, meta. Because he's true in your head, you think others just don't get what you do, and everyone else is wrong, and you're the only one who can be right. I think someone can reach a point where he knows everything there is about world religions, and reaches a point where he thinks he knows it all, but really knows very little about basic common sense and SIMPLE logic.
     This is typical. One minute they are telling me I lied about going to graduate school and someone who spells like I do can't be educated then they say I'm over educated. But his also a  contradiction becasue he rejects the concept of the heart because ti's too tender minded, he want's hard minded rationality, but then the also rejects argument that beat him on the tough minded basis becuase it' over educated.


    You live too much in your head, Meta, where your personal God resides. Your God is different than everyone elses, but you think you found the right one. If it works for you, fine. But, I assure you that yo9u, and you alone, do NOT hold the keys to ultimate wisdom.
    Notice how anti-intellectual they start to become when you show the hollow nature of their position. Before they are saying the heart is stupid you should be in your head, the right people are the who are rational, anything not about rationality is meaningless. Now he says I think too much, too much in my head. Well where else is there if not the heart?

    Without a doubt, you are well versed in religion. Probably more so than most others, and I dare say, even Matt Slick. What does that mean? it means you have a lot of education about religion, and that's it. I don't want to offend anyone, but since you contended that the atheists here aren't that well educated, I have to tell you that tgheir posts are far more enlightening and reasoned than yours, or ANY other Christian poster here.

    That's as imbecilic as you can get. My major as an undergraduate was in sociology. My language was classical (not New Testament--classical) Greek. My Ph.D. work was at a State university (Texas) and in scenically program (history of ideas) I told him i studied science in history of ideas. This is a guy who knows nothing about art, literature, philosophy, politics, social scineces, I have very well grounded knowledge of all of those things. He has the audacity to say that I don't know anything but religion. What does he say is so enlightening? the scientism guys!

    In other words he can only stand to hear his own ideology. That's pretty much the definition of an ideologue.


    People like Big Thinker, Timmy, SOMS, Secularone, and many others who I apologize for ommitting. Every single one of the non believers regularly run circles around you, and every other believer on this site. While you talk in could be's and things like "heart' and prayer belief, the non believers talk about reason and probability and give specifics of why your beliefs and other believers don't pass muster.

    That's so stupid! that "Big thinker" the only argument he can make is "I refuse to believe, therefore it can't be true" he has actually put that way and said that.  All of the people he named there are idiots. I am constantly kicked the crap out out of all them in argument. Timmy guy is reasonable because he asked questions but we have direct clash he comes back and argues. SOMS posts on my board and is my friend says I'm brilliant, he does not treat me like I'm some stupid shit like the others do.

    I am continually surprised that people such as you don't understand common logic, and have such wishful, fanciful thinking such as people rising from the dead, angels, miracles, God answering prayers and other such nonsense.

    I have often found that  people who make such bold statements about me not knowing logic really mean by logic "I don't like that." When I ask them things like "define circular reasoning" they start blathering about You believe in ESP (which I don't). They think that's circular reasoning, belief in stuff they don't like. These are the geniuses who are telling they are too rational to think about the heart, and that I don't know logic. The same geniuses Think that appeal to authority means anytime you quote an expert, even a study, you are appealing to authority and that's bad.

    In short I find that people who say that my logic is so bad usually know anything about logic.

    Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    If this is what God wants, perhaps He should have provided us with a means to determine whether a "heart-proposition" is true or false. Otherwise, by what criteria do you determine who's heart is correct- yours (which tells you that God exists) or mine (which tells me that the God concept is downright absurd)?
     Begging the question. He did, you reject it. The means he provided is the religious experience that's why it has such  great effects. You don't accept it because it means leap of faith. So you are just carping becasue you have to make a decision and it's the making of the decision they can't cope with.

    Of course we have such a means and I've spelled it out. We use it already. If our perceptions enable navigation in the world we assume they are true. So if our perceptions enable navigation in life, that is they are effective in enabling us to cope with life emotionally and logically then we can assume they are true.

    that's the way we do it anyway.

    I hold no beliefs regarding how, or even IF, the universe "came to be." I have bridged no gap.
    that's not exactly a job recommendation. I do do that. My world view enables me to do that and yours does not. You can't accept that because it catch you out cold and so try to turn it into a fault--saying "God did it." it's not a valid it's explanatory power.

    My ability to accept or reject any proposition requires my existence. As such, it is incoherent that I should have knowledge while not existing. No gap must be bridged, since I must exist in order to ponder my own existence.

    that's a conclusion not in evidence. Perhaps we could accept that we exist, if (and only if) we have some way to know that the I that says "I think" is the same I that say "I am." WE don't really know that. However, I'm willing to assume that much. That doesn't' get us past the front door. We still don't know anything else. you might know that you exist you don't know that other minds exist.

    Uniformity of my experience of the data points to this conclusion. There is a gap to cross, of course. The definition of "rational," however, only applies once one has crossed it.
     this came on about page 7 he's the first one in the whole thread to even challenge the concept of take disagreement that he was hiding in the gap.

    that's just confirming my argument. Same argument. you are making a epistemic judgmental based upon the criteria regular, consistent, shared and navigation. I only add to it that the studies show RE can taken to fit that criteria too.


    I am willing to "leap over" cracks in the sidewalk. I am willing to leap greater distances, if there are alligators and lions bearing down on me from one side (a metaphor for the impossibility of action necessitated by solipsism). I am unwilling to leap from the edge of the grand canyon from atheism to theism, until a bridge has been built.

    I made that leap it was no grand canyon. All you need is to be open to God. Or the possibility of God. not just the intellectual possibility but the idea that god could be experienced. Although I actually didn't know that.

    you are obviously making a leap of faith that if you exist than your perceptions of the world are true. The criteria you accept is not proof. it's a judgment. you making judgment call then and passing it of as proof. you haven o proof. you are accepting a judgment. that's a leap of faith.
    I'm strongly considering that a new fallacy be added to the list- the "argument from solipsism." It essentially goes, "you can't prove X with absolute certainty. Y also can't be proved. Therefore, acceptance of X warrants acceptance of Y."
    I'm considering a new fallacy called "the fallacy of assuming I can take out what beat me in an argument so I don't lose to it again.' I just beat you because I proved our argument can only support mine. To deal with that you call it a fallacy.

    perfect example of the controlling nature of the atheist view. He can't win the argument so he wants to make a new fallacy based upon disagreement with his view. The fallacy of disagreeing with Donald.

    you can't call it that because your argument is based on it too.

    these are old long accepted stock issues in epistemology. they were the basis of Cartesian analysis. So if you try to take that way you disrupt the basis upon which Desecrates did all his philosophy. Some of that is important to mathematics. There's no justification ripping Desecrates just because you lose the augment. even if we don't need that for the math, that doesn't make it fallacy.

    what's the fallacy called" the fallacy of beating you in an argument?

    Wednesday, October 27, 2010

    Atheists Hide in the Gaps 2


     The epistemic gap that will always exist in miracle hunting is the same gap that will always exist in any sort of causation. As Hume says we do not see the causes. We don't see the causation at work. All we see is one billiard ball stop and the other start up. We infer cause and effects from the correlation. That's exactly what is being done, we are inferring cause form a correlation. Of cousre we can't always infer cause form correlation, it has to be a really tight correlation and there has to be a mechanism to explain it. Even a mechanism is established through correlation. In miracle hunting the gap is always going to be that we can't see God at work.  We must have a reason to infer a miracle. Because this gap always exists the atheist is always going to claim the miracle can't be proved, there's always a gap to hid in. The best we can do is to eliminate all other possibilities and have a really good reason for inferring that God is involved. At Lourdes the rules are set up to do this.

    They don't take Lukemia cases for ten years. Lukeimia has a high rate of remission. In ten years it's most likely a remission will have reversed itself and the patient will be sick again. Another way the rules are set up to achieve is is that the patent can't have taken a drug and the only factor different from the ordinary situation is the prayer. That way the only possible alternate cause is the prayer, that we know of. It's never going to be fool proof but few things are and it's probably as good as most things we pretend to understand that we really don't understand, like the origin of the universe.

    Miracles are not the only issue involved in this point of hiding in the gaps. Here are some more things atheists have said in the thread:

    A New version of Sherlock Holmes in the Twenty First Century on PBS "Mystery," the Watson character says "no one has arch enemies in real life." Watson has never been on an apologetics message board. On message boards we do have them. This one is mine, HRG on CARM.

    Originally Posted by HRG View Post
    Not at all. It is a fact that some people think that miracles at Lourdes have been confirmed statistically. It is also a fact that their method (not counting the "failures" at Lourdes, and not counting the "successes" elsewhere) is invalid.
     It doesn't matter what people think. The fact is Lourdes miracle are not judged by statistics.

    that is entirely ludicrous. how it possibly be invalid? it's the only valid method there is you saying that just proves to me you don't know anything about any of this. nothing could be more valid than before x-ray shows broken leg, after x-ray shows no trace of broken leg, and one day apart. what could be better proof? No Lourdes is not statistical. Statistical method would not prove crap about healing.

    statical assumes God is like a drug and must work automatically. it does not allow for will. God is not a drug he's not an automatic process. So your study design is totally invalid..That's because you don't care about truth you are not trying to understand belief, you want to show your great ego and how brilliant you are.
    I have never supported liberal politics because I thought it was true; that would be like thinking that Schubert's Trout Quintet (which gave me a few transcendental seconds this morning ) is "true". I support liberal politics because of my secular humanism. 

    right, you don't have the sense or the honesty to see that that is ideological. nothing more than sheer ideology! But if you don't think humanism is true what do you do you think? It flatters your ego. your only truth is your ego. total selfishness then you are too deaf to hear God saying "hey that's not right, that's going to land you in trouble." you don't listen.
    Stunning admission that he doesn't believe liberal politics are "true," but I do. Calling  political stands "true" or "false" is a bit problematic, but I do think my political views are based upon what I feel I feel is true. He grounds his politics in what he feels is true, although he doesn't believe in truth, so this is just more obfuscation on his part, for which he is famous.

    But your God cannot be proven beyond a substantial doubt either. And when I believe something for which there is no proof beyond any rational doubt, I'm aware that the proof is not 100% - and that I may be wrong (this is not even a humbling thought). 
     Look at how nuanced his answer, so that for his burden the requirement is not 100%, even though he claims to be humble about it, but for my belief the burden is 100% in his view. Why can't mine be less than that too since my argument only claims Rational Warrant and not proof!??

    My answer in the thread:
    That's not the point! you are hiding in the gap. that's so funny you do exactly what i predict you will do then you act like it's big triumphal gesture.

    you are basically admitting to the whole concept. you can't furnish 100% for your world view either, but with that you don't care. you use that as a deceptive device to foster disconnect with bleief but you don't care how hypocritical your argument is.
    Just like you may be wrong about the existence of your God.

    that's what hiding in the gap is. you are hiding. I say "I have to make a leap of faith." like any leap it could go wrong. But I have ot make want to pretend you don't have leap to make and yous ay "O any kind of leap is no good, we can't ever leap" but you are just living a pretense because you have to make one for your own views.


    BTW, I firmly believe in the truth that there are infinitely many primes, and that the Earth is not flat.
    That's just another guilt by association fallacy. I don't believe the world is flat either and you know that. but you try to evoke the pretense of all knowing scinece verses backward superstition. when the reality is you work by bait and switch, bad fallacious arguments, egotism and hiding in the gap.
    He accepts mathematical truth but can't apply it to anything else. While accepting mathematical truth proves my argument about hte transcendental signifier so his view is still supporting a God argument but he doesn't understand that. Perhaps because he didn't think of it.

    Originally Posted by Penguin_Factory View Post
    The problem here is that the answer you're proposing doesn't work,

    Yes sure does. that's what the 200 studies document.
    there's a brilliant argument, "it doesn't work." why didn't I think of that?

    nor does it fit any criteria by which we judge reality.

    yup does that too:


    those are the criteria why which we judge reality, I can demonstrate every one.
    Assuming some basic facts about the nature of reality- eg that it exists in a state separate from our subjective impressions and operates according to a set of rules that can be uncovered and which do not vary - is necessary not only to understand the Universe, but to interact with it in any sane way. 

    How do we know when we have that? When it fits the criteria. Most of my criteria are in the things you just named: "Assuming some basic facts about the nature of reality-" That is epistemic judgment. that's my basic assumption about the criteria, that it can't prove reality, we have to use it instead of proof because you can't get proof. so we use that criteria that enable epistemic judgment. What said confirms my point.

    PF's criteria:
    operates according to a set of rules that can be uncovered and which do not vary -

    My answer
    you mean like "regular" and "consistent?" that's why I said. that''s my criteria!

    but to interact with it in any sane way

    in other words. to make an epistemic judgment. that's why I call my argument "argument form epsitemic Judgment."

    I just showed that all the criteria he uses fit the criteria I lay out in my argument. All he's done is prove my argument.

    A deity, on the other hand, is a different assumption completely. When you add an undetectable supernatural aspect to the universe you are simply piling on complexity with no additional explanatory power. 

    We are not doing that. It's not undetectable. that's what the studies prove. we can tell the presence of God by our experience of the divine (mystical experience) and we know it works due to the M scale so we can detect it. We cant' control it, which is what scinece really wants to do. but we don't have to control we can prove we can trust it. That's what faith is. Faith is not believing things without evidence, it's confidence in trust. We can prove we can trust God, because the experiences have postiive effects and do so time and time again (200 studies).
    Because we can detect it by it's effects using the M scale, it's not undetectable. We can sort out phony from true mystical experience, and by effect it can be demonstrated. Super natural is the experience. That's what term the originally meant. The experience of God's presence, the sense of the numinous and mystical experience

    Assuming that reality is as it appears to be acts as a springboard to further understanding, while assuming the existence of God either achieves nothing or (as most often seems to be the case) retards understanding by attempting to posit God as the ultimate explanation for everything. 

    that's nothing more than ideological slogaism. it's been disproved by the empirical studies. let's break it down:
    Assuming that reality is as it appears to be acts as a springboard to further understanding,


    200 studies show that reality appears to be divine, that's the basis of mystical experience, it's all one thing,undifferentiated unity. You have 0 studies on the other hand none at all that disprove god or show there's no God.
    Notice how selective he's being about what it means to say "assuming reality is as it appears." Reality appears to be divine to the mystic. He's assuming that's not true appearance so he's actually not wiling to willing to assume reality is as it appears when it doesn't appear as we wants it to!

    while assuming the existence of God either achieves nothing

    since the 200 studies demonstrate that God makes your life better that disprove what you said. That also disproves the earlier statement by paradoxical that just having your life made better isn't proof. If we are supposed to hide in the gap by assuming belief doesn't do anything for us, and yet that's disproved empirically, then obviously it does matter if it makes your life better. Your idea of a negative argument contradicts that dictum anyway because you are truth upon how it affects your life.
    "or (as most often seems to be the case) retards understanding by attempting to posit God as the ultimate explanation for everything..."
    Right like Newton was held back from his theories about the universe because he believed in God or like the whole Royal society who were all Christians, every single one of the, didn't contribute to modern scinece because their religious belief got in the way, learn some history of scinece! what you are saying is obviously empirically disproved by history. Belief in God has spurred scinece, invention, exploration, higher thinking all the way through human history.
    My commentary upon PF's over all approach:
    this what I said before, a selective self serving mythology based upon slogans and ideology. That's atheism.
    That is exactly hiding in the gap!

    By way of an analogy, let's say come across a red cube and decide to study it. It could be that my perception is completely jacked up and the cube really has 10 sides instead of 6, or it's actually blue and not red. However, in the absence of any compelling reason to think either of those things assuming that the red cube is in fact a red cube is a fairly rational thing to believe. 

     But of cousre when the mystic's red cube is found, in the form of the sense of the Holy or the sesne of the numinous it's exactly the same. The world appears to be based upon the divine to me because that's' the way ti strikes me in my experience of God's presence. The content of the experience is the sense of the divine just as the content of the experience of finding a red cube is seeing a red cube. With the cube that he likes it's rational to assume the world is as it appears. When the cube is not the cube he wants its' irrational to proceed with appearances.

    What's not rational is assuming that the cube possesses some sort of extra quality which cannot be detected or interacted with in any way but which is, for some reason, vital to understanding and interacting with it. 
     If that's the way it appears why is that any less rational than yours?

    Analogies are not proof. The proper use of analogy is to clarify concepts. Your analogy obscures concepts because it's based upon begging the question by assuming your ideologically driven prejudices about religion. The evidence disproves those prejudices.

    At every hand's turn they basically confirm what I'm saying. They see hiding in the gap as a virtue. Atheists world view is based upon the idea of talking only the surface of being, thins exist as one dimensional things on the surface, what appears is all there is and even that has to be selected for the appearance we like. It's a shallow and hypocritical view. If one says "there's more to reality that that" they say, that's just philosophy and philosophy is stupid." Why is philosophy stupid? Primarily because it doesn't give them the appearance they want. Philosophy is the antithesis of hiding in the gap. Philosophy says "dig deeper." The Atheism says "give me an appearance I like and I'll stick with it because anything else requires traversing the gap in knowledge," they don't want to traverse the gap.

    see third and final segment on friday

    Monday, October 25, 2010

    Atheists Hide In The Gaps


    I started this thread on CARM. (remember CARM therads are backwards so go to the last page to see the beginning). The atheist responses have been predictable if not furious and angry, but the  funny thing is not a one of them has actually addressed the issue. The concept is simple, there's always a gap in knowledge, there's always a need for a leap of faith. The only question is how wide is the gap, can we narrow it with conventional forms of knowledge (logic, science, reason, yada yada yada)? The punch line is the atheists assume as long as there is a gap there's a reason not to believe. Yet, there is always a gap, so they are hiding in the gap because they not only have o intention of bridging it, but they actually against the attempt.

    I always use the concept of a diving board for the leap of faith. Its' an amusing metaphor based upon real life childhood experiences of going up the high dive ladder with good intentions and brave heart, and coming back down the high dive ladder having decided that more manly aspect of leaping is not leaping. This always came after a long period of deliberation about the nature of faith and the lack of necessity of leaping, conducted at the end of the high dive board, shivering and shaking from fear with a long line of agitated older kids behind me going "come on and jump!" That's when I became an existentialist, that moment. I decided it was much more important to understand and deal with the angst of being a kid stuck on a high dive than to jump! I use this metaphor to represent my arguments. No argument will eliminate the need to make the leap but perhaps come can get us out there further on so we narrow the gap.

    There's always a gap where one must make a leap of faith. You can reduce the gap or it can grow wide, but there is always a gap. Even in what atheists take to be rock solid proved scientific facts there is a gap. If you look in the right place, usually do some epistemology, every source of knowledge and every rock solid fact has a gap where we don't know and we have we must bridge the gap with a leap of faith.

    We solve most gaps with a make-piece system of accepting what works and moving on. That's part of Heidegger notion of "ready to hand" in the discussion of the nature of being. What that means is bridging the gap with what works and making the leap of faith are so much a part of what we take for granted about life we don't even know we do it.

    Atheists use the gap as an excuse to shun belief in God. We see this being done now in the thread about certainty. The atheist wont to pretend his world view is based upon "fact" and faith is some stupid thing only fools resort to. When we use answers that work, which fit the common criteria by which we judge reality, the atheist balks and demands absolute proof a standard even scinece doesn't pretend to.

    you are hiding in the gap. you are using the fact of a gap to pretend that faith is somehow sub standard and that doubt is some kind of answer to truth.

    The early responses just asserted the all sufficiency of scientific outlook to tell us what's what, really this amounts to gap denial.  From "Big Thinker" (contrasting his name to that of my friend Tiny Thinker, Tiny is one of the most Brilliant people I know, and their names are the inverse of their abilities).

    Typically, the atheist's position is based on fact, its based on what is known. This contrasts with the believer's position that is founded on faith. The believer's position is based on possibility and speculation. The believer's gap is HUGE, their conclusion are unfounded and (ironically) unwavering. The atheist who's position is based on known facts is not emotionally committed to any particular idea but rather to an honest and critical assessment of the existing facts.

    This is the same guy who said my 200 studies can't be any good because no academic would ever make a study showing that religious experience was good for you because it clearly isn't. when I pointed out that these were published in academic journals and done by real academics, not theologians and not religious publications he asserted that none of them were double blind. When I put down a link to a textbook written by the major researcher, Ralph Hood Jr. Of University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, the definitive article on the "M" scale which is the control mechanism for knowing if religious experience is valid, this stalwart defender of scinece refused to read the article, he would not click on a link and asserted that it wasn't scientific. He has no knowledge of the body of work, he has not read one word about what the field says of Hood or his M scale (I've talked to enough shrinks of religion to know that they regard him highly). When push comes to shove this guy has no regard for scinece, and no faith in scinece at all, no understanding what is and what is not scinece. All he's doing is working on prejudices and stereotypes.

    In fact what he's doing is a perfect example of hiding in the gap. Almost all atheist arguments are argument from incredulity "I refuse to ever believe no matter what the evidence, therefore, it can't be true because if it was true I would believe." It's a form of circular reasoning.  In asserting this sort of sceitnism he's actually illustrating hiding in the gaps.  He's really saying "if there's a gap it's an excuse not to make the leap becuase there's a gap and I'm opposed to leaps of faith of any kind." Of course, his alternative is a selective pretense that only regards that which backs his view as "real scinece."

    Super Genyus says (see link above):

    There's no such thing as a "rock solid proved scientific fact." All scientific knowledge is tentative and conditional. Why you would need faith to say, "There is strong and copious amounts of evidence to suggest X being an accurate representation of reality," is beyond me.

    Of cousre there's not "rock solid proof" that's my whole point. There is always a gap and always a leap of faith no matter what the issue. Even scientific hypothesis requires some leap of faith, however small it may be. Why we need faith to say something is reality is precisely because of what he said, all hypothesis are tenuous. What he's doing is to say first there is no such thing as solid proof, secondly, we can take evidence as solid proof if it's strong enough. That's fine, but what's strong evidence. It's apparently evidence that supports their view and not mine. If it supports mine it's not scientific and suddenly bad evidence. Look at the hypocrisy of this answer in relation to the next two issues that come up. The issue is no rock solid proof in scinece but we can accept strong evidence in place of proof (which is exactly what I say in m rational warrant argument--God is not proved but belief in God is rationally warranted).

    the very next statement he makes:

    This is generally not the case. We, generally speaking in terms of your most common arguments, just don't see how an explanation "working" to improve one's well-being relates to "working" as an explanation of reality. They are two separate criteria.

    He's talking about 200 empirical studies that all basically say religious experience is real good for you and will transform you life (change dramatically for the better).  Not only do they not have one study but they refused to look at the text book chapter explaining all about the studies. In two years of putting that link up time after after time (well over a hundred) one of them has actually claimed to look at at it and I'm certain he did not read the whole chapter because he still doesn't know what the M scale is. He asserts just being good for you isn't evidence but why wouldn't it be? The claim is that God wants to save you, to renovate your life and make your life better. We find that experiencing God's presence actually does that. That seems pretty much like validation for the number one claim religion makes to be true, so why would that not be a rational warrant for belief? Strong evidence is warrant when ti backs atheism. Not when it backs God belief?

    Is 200 studies strong evdience? Air Bags were deemed proven by four studies. Naturally the quality of the studies matter but 200 is a heck of a lot of studies, and none of them have managed in two years to dig up a valid methodological problem. This is proof of what I say that the atheist admiration for science is totally selective and ideologically driven. Also note the contradiction, one says the atheist position is "fact" (even though they can't find a single "fact" that disproves the existence of God) the other one says there are no rock solid proofs in scinece, it's all tentative. Yet, despite this contradiction they both take the very same position with regard to counter evidence that challenges their world view. They are both hiding in the gap. When the gap is in terms of their view it's trivial and can be traversed easily or it's just not there at all, when it's in terms of belief in God then it's a huge chasm that can never be bridged.

    The poster Crockoduck (that's his screen name) get's into it:

    So miracles actually remove the need for faith. True? In the Bible, God went around demonstrating his power all the time even when it wasn't necessary. Like when God took pot shots at the defeated and fleeing Amorite army:
    Joshua 10:10 The LORD threw them into confusion before Israel, who defeated them in a great victory at Gibeon. Israel pursued them along the road going up to Beth Horon and cut them down all the way to Azekah and Makkedah. 11 As they fled before Israel on the road down from Beth Horon to Azekah, the LORD hurled large hailstones down on them from the sky, and more of them died from the hailstones than were killed by the swords of the Israelites. [emphasis his]
    So why can't he do some miracles today?

    I'm not sure what this is supposed to prove. It's begging the question on miracles, assuming there are none without consulting the evidence. It looks more like a gratuitous opportunity to throw rocks at the Bible. A lot of atheists have been conditioned by fundamentalism to think that if there's anything wrong with the Bible then God id disproved. I think most atheists see through that but not all. Still it introduced the issue of miracles into the thread which became a huge argument and joke. Joke because the poster "Paradoxical" (that's his screen name, I guess "Metacrock"Is not one to make fun of screen names) continued to assert the same untruths against the shrine at Lourdes as though extraneous issues disprove miracles. I talk about Lourdes, that it has strict rules and doctors on the committee. Paradoxical talks about people spend their life savings to go to Lourdes, how cruel of God to lure people to that one place, take their life savings, then not heal but a tiny handful. I document with sources such as the Marion Newsletter that this is simply not the case. No one has ever claimed that God will only heal at Lourdes, that is not the deal. If one can't make it to Lourdes the water can be brought to them.

    Then of course he cuts lose on the committee. They are all lackeys who work for the Vatican. The RCC has taken lots of measures to assure the autonomy of the committee. They are not paid, that is not their job. It's true that many of them loyal Catholics but they also use skeptics on the committee. He continually asserts these things over and over again as though I said nothing, and I'm quoting sources. Of course he also asserts other prayer studies have proved inconclusive so in his mind that is a complete disproof of God or miracles. That is an incredibly illogical conclusion. All that can really prove is that the study itself was inconclusive or that the double blind type of study is bad for prayer because outside prayer can't be controlled for. For example no one was healed in the experimental group above natural cure rate (even with the control group). Does that mean there's no God, or that God didn't want to heal anyone that time? How do we know no one outside the study prayed and that's why they weren't healed. So that's still an issue of control group. We can't control for outside prayer. I used to argue for those studies there 14 of them which are good and show results, but this one was suppossed to be the best.

    Yet the Lourdes evidence is quite different. That is empirical evidence. the Xray shows the lung grew back over night. That is not remission, nothing grows back over night, lungs never grow back. Lungs that far gone (in the case of Charles Ann was not really a  Lourde's case but a saint making miracle) do not remit. That statistically never happens. That it did happen make it automatically a candidate for miraclehood. That's totally different than the controlled double blind study which just relays upon statistical averages. Yet Pradoxical seems to think these externalizes issues about how the shrine is run and allegiance of the doctors are germane to the evidence, and he doesn't even consider the xrays. Such concern with scientific fact!

    What's really going on is he's hiding in the gaps too in a way. They are all saying "there's some kind of  gap in knowledge of the God element and as long as there is belief is totally unreliable. Yet their view, which they contrast as "factual" also has gaps but those gaps they write off as trivial, based upon selective evidence that just excludes anything that disproves their views. That's what I call "hiding in the gap!"

    There's also an interesting epistemological problem with miracle hunting but I'll consider that net time.

    Friday, October 22, 2010

    Empty Tomb Dated Mid First Century, Article by Joe Hinman in J.P. Holding's New Anthology


    Holding's new book. Defending the Resurrection.   It's an excellent compilation of articles from different independent scholars and laymen, in answer to the Secular Web's Anthology The Empty Tomb. See the Article "Story of Empty Tomb Dated Mid First Century," by Joe Hinman.

    J.P. Holding (Tekton Apologetics) is disposed by atheists. They hate him, they go out of their way to heap abuse on him. They say that he is an arche fundamentalist. Since 90% of the atheists have no idea what a fundamentalist is and don't know the difference and liberal, since atheists slandered me constantly and many have called me a fundie, I figured Holding might night be such a bad guy. Actually I began contacting him and exchanging views year ago, way back in the 90s when I first discovered intent apologetic. I still don't know him very well, but he accepted my article. I was kind of hurt the he didn't ask me to contribute to his anthology on the Jesus Myth since I have so many article about that on Doxa. I voiced my disgruntlement to him one day and he told me about his Resurrection project, so I sent an article and he put it in. Now the book is out. True to form it's being slandered by atheists on Amazon.

    What I see happening on Amazon is exactly what's going to happen to my book. My book has already been slandered and libeled and treated like a pile of shit on CARM by ignorant cretins who refuse to even click on a link and read a page from a text book, they complain because I don't make the evidence available to them. These are the geniuses who think it's a methodological attack on a study to attack a study because it turns up in a bibliography with other sources of which they disapprove. I know my book will be panned by people who have never read it. The comments on Amazon about this book are all from atheists haven't read it and they are all about why Holding is a bad buy on a message board. One in particular from a certani G. Palazzo is by a guy who posts on Tweb called "Little Monkey." Monkey man is a coward, refuses to argue. When one disproves the things he says he asserts victory without even bothering to deal with any kind of issue or demonstrate any support for his opinions.


    Holding is nothing but a balls-to-the-walls, obnoxious egocentric who  thinks the world of himself and exalts his views to the level of the  bible which he tries to defend. The heavy sarcasm, the open derision,  the sophomoric recourse to insult, the sneering tone: these are readily  recognizable as the all-too-common reaction of those whose cherished  beliefs are being threatened or even questioned. Holding systematically  mischaracterizes the views and arguments of his "opponents", and his  argumentation is characterized by strings of ad hominems, non-sequiturs  and other sorts of fallacious reasoning.

     Everything in this review is about Holding as a man and not the book, which is an anthology and not all by Holding. Everything that guy says about Holding I can easily say about him, Little Monkey, G. Palazzo. The things he is saying about Holding are lies. Holding is a fine researcher, his views are not fundamentalist. I've been discussing things with him he's fairly open minded. He can be harsh and he will drives you nuts with puns but he's a fine   researcher, has a Steele trap mind, and can be extremely penetrating in his insights. We really need people to read this book and  rate it highly, it deserves to be so rated!

    More importantly this book is great because my article is in it. This books deserves to be rated highly. My article argues that the story of the empty tomb was circulating in writing by around AD50. That in itself is extremely invaluable becuase it puts into place all the McDowell arguments about the guards on the tomb. It's pins down the event to something circulated during the life time of eye witnesses.

    Here is an excerpt form my article: "The Story of the Empty Tomb Dated Mid First Century"

    Skeptical machinations are endless, anytime the tide turns toward the apologist the skeptic will take a further step back and seek to change the ground rules in a fundamental way. So it is with the perennial resurrection debate since the tide was shifted by McDowell and then by Craig, years ago. One of the major tactics used by skeptics to change the ground rules has been to uproot all points of the compass so the apologist can’t get his/her bearings as to what events are actually historical and thus defensible. To accomplish this, the skeptic has partly pulled off a resurrection of his own, by resurrecting old ninetieth century clap trap that was dismissed ages ago. One of the major examples is the historical nature of the empty tomb. McDowell then Craig both did fine jobs of demonstrating that if the facts about the tomb are in place the debate goes to the apologist. But then the atheists used the Jesus myth idea, long disproved and discarded, to set up a new round of doubt about the historicity of the tomb. For skeptics today the four Gospels are not even factors, they are totally ignored as though they offer no evidence at all, and all that they proclaim is regarded as pure fiction. It is of paramount importance, therefore, to establish some historical facts about the case and to nail down some of the points of reference. In this department of points of reference pertaining to the narrative there can be no more important point of reference than the issue of when the story of the empty tomb began to circulate. This is a crucial issue for several reasons: (1) it’s the lynch pin upon which is hung all the empty tomb logic arguments of the major apolitical moves of the last fifty years. That means two things: (a) it would mean the writing is too early for the events to allow for development of elaborate myth; (b) it would mean that a large number of eye witnesses were still around, depending of course on how close to the events the writing could be placed. (2) The earlier the date the more it would undermine the Earl Doherty’s Jesus myth theories by distorting their time table. Thus in this article I will be focusing upon the one issue: when did the empty tomb story begin to circulate in writing?

             There are a few assumptions that must be discussed up front. Why focus on writing if we can assume it was told orally first? Obviously whatever point at which the writing started, we can assume the material was orally transmitted before that point. Writing gives us a concrete means of pinning down a time frame. There’s no way to trace oral tradition as to when it began except in the most general of terms. But dating a text, however, we can be much more precise as to when the circulation began. The other major assumption that must be understood is that no one single individual wrote the Gospels. There were redactors and they came out of the communities and the communities are regarded as the authors now, not merely individuals. These communities of which I speak are those into which the earliest follows of Jesus began to group after the events which ultimately come to be represented in the Gospels. Each of the Gospels is taken by scholars today as representative of its own community.[1] So there was a Matthew community, a Mark community, a John community, and perhaps a Luke community, although I tend to attribute Luke to the Pauline circle as a whole and to the individual Luke himself. The problem this sets up for the Evangelical apologist is that it may open some other areas of conflict depending upon how deeply committed one is to an inerrant view of the Gospels. I have encountered atheists who just assert that redaction itself is proof enough that “it was all made up.” No serious scholar believes this and it’s simply a matter of understanding the more adult and sophisticated view to dismiss that bit of amateurish thinking. Yet accepting the liberal assumptions may create more problems for apologetics than it solves, this is a major issue that must be solved, and it must be solved it in the most decisive way. I will suggest solutions to the problems that are more evangelical friendly, and I assert these positions for the sake of argument, to show that even granting the assumptions of liberal scholarship the resurrection still enjoys the support of the evidence. Be that as it may my one overriding concern in this article is in proving that the resurrection circulated, in writing, by mid first century period. Therefore, I will be using the assumptions of liberal scholarship and the evidence of liberal scholars. My reason for doing this is to demonstrate that the case can be made not merely with materials from writers skeptics expect to take the conservative side, but with fairly liberal scholars who skeptics would expect to be skeptical.

             In order to understand what we need to answer we must first understand the skeptical claim. The major point undermining the historicity of the empty tomb is the argument form silence; the tomb is never mentioned as such in any of the epistles or any other early Christian literature until the middle of the second century. Dale Allison remarks: "Paul did not know about Jesus' grave, and if he did not know about it, then surely no one else before him did either. The story of the empty tomb must, it follows, have originated after Paul."[2] For certain kinds of skeptics that seems like a crushing indictment. It’s actually not as powerful as it seems since it’s only an argument form silence, and argument from silence doesn’t prove anything. The apologist is apt to answer that some of the passages in the Pauline corpus imply the empty tomb, even though they don’t actually speak of it directly. While these are good points, we can do better. There’s some pretty strong evidence that the story of the empty tomb was circulating, in writing, as part of the end to the Passion narrative as early as middle of first century. The great scholar Helmutt Koester argues for a conclusion of textual criticism that can be demonstrated by scholarly methods. The point he’s making is that all four canonical Gospels and the non canonical Gospel of Peter all share mutual connection to an earlier text that included the passion narrative and that ended with the empty tomb. He says:

    "Studies of the passion narrative have shown that all gospels were dependent upon one and the same basic account of the suffering, crucifixion, death and burial of Jesus. But this account ended with the discovery of the empty tomb.[3] 

    [and again]

    "John Dominic Crosson has gone further [than Denker]...he argues that this activity results in the composition of a literary document at a very early date i.e. in the middle of the First century CE" (Ibid). Said another way, the interpretation of Scripture as the formation of the passion narrative became an independent document, a ur-Gospel, as early as the middle of the first century![4]

    He is talking in both cases about the original passion Narrative of “Ur Gospel” that he sees standing behind these five works. Here he tells us that this original work, this “Ur gospel” was circulating at the mid century point and that it contained the story of the empty tomb. Thus, the empty Tomb was part of the Gospel narrative as early as mid century. If we take the conventional accepted dates it was within 20 years after the original events. How does he prove this?

             The argument Koester is making comes from another scholar named Jurgen Denker, a textual critic. The basic proof of the argument is the result of textual criticism. Textual criticism is a science. Though many on both sides of the fence, skeptics and apologists find textual criticism assailable, they both assume and use it when it suits them. The atheists who argue for Q as a proof that “it’s all made up” have to accept the validity of textual criticism in order to support the idea of Q. Evangelicals, who quote Josh McDowell talking about how the NT text is 98% reliable, are actually accepted whole sale the validity of textual criticism, because that is how such a figure is arrived at.  The evidence of an Ur Gospel in the passion narrative comes from readings in several manuscripts which seem to date from periods much latter than the canonical Gospels. This is deceptive, however, because even though the texts are latter than the canonical gospels, the readings in the texts are much earlier. That sounds contradictory but it is not because the manuscripts (MS) are copied from earlier readings. The earlier readings leave traces of their original sources in the way they read. In other words if we had a book written in 1950 it would probably read like a 1950’s book. The speech, the form of the language, the slang would all be like the 50s. But suppose parts of that book were copied from a book written in Shakespeare’s time. In addition to the fifties slang you would have some parts that would read like Elizabethan English. Those parts would be easy to pick out and we would know that the author was either copying something old or trying to sound old. The situation with these MS is similar. For example one of them called “The Diatessaron” is an attempt by Tatian at making a harmony of the four Gospels. This attempt dates to about 170 AD. But some readings in the Diatessaron seem to from a much earlier time. So we know by this that they are copied form very early copies that were written in a more Jewish style.

             There are a couple of other aspects of this copying phenomenon that need to be understood. First of all, one often hears conservatives saying things like “there is no textual evidence for Q.” The reason for that is that when Q was incorporated into the synoptic people stopped copying it and eventually stopped using it, because it was incorporated into a text that seemed more complete. Overtime the copies of Q rotted away and on one bothered to copy it further. Secondly, as to the assumption that redaction (which simply means “editing”) in and of itself is proof that “It was all made up,” this is manifestly wrong. The assumption is based upon the fallacy that no one could purposely combine two holy books without believing that they were not “inspired.” But the reason this is a fallacy in relation to the New Testament is because at the time the process of redaction on the Gospels started the redactors did not imagine that they were editing “the New Testament!” They were not regarded as holy books. While some might think that’s a green light to make things up, its’ also reason why they would not make things up, because while they did not have a concept that they were writing the Bible (thus no need to conjure up the fabricated essence of a new religion) it does not prove in any way that they had no respect for the truth. They were neither making up the Bible nor creating the rudiments of a new religion; they had no idea of either of those things. They were merely producing a sermonic document for the edification of the community. They intended these works to be read by people they were living with and perhaps to spread into a larger circle of those who worshipped with them. But they did not think of themselves as writing “the Bible.” The process is more analogous to a modern preacher writing a sermon for Sunday; he doesn’t want to fabricates thing that aren’t true, but he’s free to change certain aspects of the order, combine different portions of other “sermons” and place ideas in different contexts and create a document that will hold the audience’s attention and teach them things, but in so doing communicate truth and a story they already knew. No intention of “make things up” need be read into it.

             This is not to say that the redactors did not have great reverence for the sources they used. They saw the prior sources as testimonies of holy men signifying holy truth, even if they did not see them as scripture. As we move up in time to the post apostolic age they have an ever greater reverence for anything that tells them about the origins of the faith and the words of Christ. Yet that doesn’t mean they thought of themselves as writing the Bible. They were free to quote and blend the quotes in with other quotes from other valuable sources, but not free to “make thing up,” not free to lie or fabricate. Thus we have the creation of the works we know as the canonical Gospels as “patch works” put together out of prior sources. They didn’t see themselves as producing the canonical Gospels, they saw themselves as accurately reflecting truth for the edification of their flocks, and pulling together the great sources of truth left to the church into their own little humble sermonic contributions. In so doing they left traces of early versions and as their products were copied some of those traces hung on and they continue to testify to us of the earliest roots of the faith. Several traces of these early documents, these lost “Ur gospels” show up in the latter works of non canonical gospels, some of which are tainted with Gnosticism. The famous Nag Hammadi find The Gospel of Thomas is such a work. While it is clearly set within a heavily Gnostic framework of the third century, some of the passages prove to be an early core some of which are thought to be authentically spoken by Jesus, some of which have been theorized as making up the Q source. While Thomas is Cleary Gnostic some very anti-Gnostic traces are left. The same process of redaction we see at work in the canonicals is also at work in the non canonical gospels. So we find traces of an earlier age. Of more direct bearing on the resurrection story is the non canonical Gospel of Peter.

    Gospel of Peter and the Empty Tomb

             The Gospel of Peter (aka “GPet”) was discovered in the ninetieth century at Oxryranchus, Egypt. It was probably written around 200 AD and contains some Gnostic elements, but is basically Orthodox. There are certain basic differences between Gospel of Peter (GPet) and the canonical story, but mainly the two are in agreement. Gpet follows the OT as a means of describing the passion narrative, rather than following Matthew. Jurgen Denker uses this observation to argue that GPet is independent and is based upon an independent source. In addition to Denker, Koester, Raymond Brown, and John Dominick Crossan also agree.[5] It is upon this basis that Crossan constructs his "cross Gospel" which he dates in the middle of the first century, meaning, an independent source upon which all the canonical and GPet draw. But the independence of GPet from all of these sources is also guaranteed by its failure to follow any one of them. Raymond Brown, who built his early reputation on study of GPet, follows the sequence of narrative in GPet and compares it in very close reading with that of the canonical Gospels. He finds that GPet is not dependent upon the canonical, although it is closer in the order of events to Matt/Mark rather than to Luke and John. Many Christian apologists think it’s their duty to show that GPet is dependent upon the canonical gospels, but it is basically a proved fact that it’s not. Such apologists are misguided in understanding the true apologetic gold mine in this fact. The fact that GPet is not dependent enables it to prove common ancestry with the canonicals and that establishes the early date of the circulation of the empty tomb as a part of the Jesus narrative. As documented on the Jesus Puzzle II page, and on Res part I. GPet is neither a copy of the canonical, nor are they a copy of GPet, but both use a common source in the Passion narrative which dates to AD 50 according to Crosson and Koester. Brown follows the flow of the narrative closely and presents a 23 point list in a huge table that illustrates the point just made above. I cannot reproduce the entire table, but just to give a few examples:

     Sorry, you have to buy the book to see the rest of it. It's fascinating, I go on to prove my point with a close reading and textual analysis of the various sources. It's got everything in it, answer to arguments that Jesus didn't raise bodily, Paul's lack of mention of the empty tomb, the assertion that Jesus was buried in a mass unmarked grave and much more. This is really fine compilation of good apologetic defending the resurrection.

    BTW Look for my article under the name Joe Hinman.

    [1]Stephen Neil, The Interpritation of the New Testament 1861-1961. London,  NY: Oxford University press, 1964, 239.

    [2]Dale C. Allison, Resurrecting Jesus: “The Earliest Christian Tradition and It’s Interpreters,” Journal for the Sutdy of Pseudepigrapha: supplement. T & T Cllark Publishers (September 30, 2005) 305-6.

    [3]Helmutt Koester, Ancient Christian Gospels, Their History and Development. Philadelphia: Trinity Press International, 1990, 208.

    [4] Ibid. 220