Monday, September 30, 2019

Belief is a world view

Atheists have a new trick--which is actually their original trick but dusted off. They seem to be on a tangent of arguing that "there's no proof for your God." Of course, they have never really stopped saying that. But perhaps a new generation is coming up. I find more of them more often arguing that there is not "one single piece of scientific evidence..." When I put out several posts on the CARM atheist board similar to the previous post here, Kuhn, science is a social construct, they just went ape. One of them was saying "you are making such a fool of yourself to say these things..." Of course it takes real ignorance no to know that no so long ago (mid 90's perhaps) Kuhn was hot stuff. He was a major force, considered a major thinker in the world for about four decades. But I'm making a fool of myself! When I told them we should not expect to find scientific of evdience of God because God is not a scientific question they just sort of blinked their eyes (in writing so to speak) and said "that's why you shouldn't believe in him." Before it was all said and done one of them had made several pronouncements to the effect that "science tells us everything that is worth knowing and if something isn't given in science it's not worth knowing." Moreover, "the only meaningful questions are scientific questions because that's what makes them meaningful." I bet that guy is magic in a relationship.

What can one say? Everyone likes a booster. When confronted with the challenge to prove that science is the only valid form of knowledge--with scientific data only--of course they responded with philosophical arguments and logic. Naturally they never tried to offer one single piece of evidence from science, and when I put up the post defending religious experience with 300 studies they just poo pooed and said it wasn't science. So science is the only valid knowledge, but you can't prove that with science, and when it supports religion it's not science. Of course the real problem is its impossible to really tell people why we believe in God. No one actually comes to believe because of some fact or argument. It's so ultra foolish to expect scientific proof because belief is a world view, it's not based upon any one fact, but upon thousands of fact, upon the way we look at ourselves and the world. It's important to make God arguments, not to prove the existence of God, but because you can't say "I have reasons, they are supported by lots of things and deal and junk and stuff." God arguments help us to focus on detailed reasons that support belief, but they are not meant to prove anything.

The real problem is, on the one hand, the believer really doesn't have a single cogent provable reason for belief, on the other hand, the atheist doesn't understand the nature of world views. Atheists don't understand their own unbelief. They can't get it that they are touting an ideology. They think all the have to do is say "it's the absence of a belief" and that's suppose to make it real simple and clear it of any ideological connotations. But its' not that simple. Belief is a world view.It's foundational, that is is serves as the basis for everything else you think and the ways you view the world. You can't just take out the centerpiece of a world view and not replace it with something. Its' absurd to say "atheism is just the absence of a belief" there is no such thing. The absence of a belief is the presence of unbelief and that is an ideology. This is what Derrida teaches us: absence is presence and presence is absence. It's easy to be a skeptic all you have to do is just keep doubting things and demeaning that no evidence is of any value until it lines up with the ideology. But they have a very clear ideology to fill in the blank left by God and it is based upon reductionism. Nothing short of absolute scientific proof will do becasue the absence of the foudnation requires the presence of a replacement foundation.

atheists can only see the primitive misunderstanding, they can't see the sense of transcendence behind it.

Maslow talks about the psychological necessity of being able to maintain a tranformative symbology. He is not merely saying that we should do this, but that we do it, it is universal and through many different technqiues and psychological schools of thought he shows that this has been gleaned over and over again. What Jung called the Archetypes are universal symbols of transfomration which we understand in the uncoscious, and we must be able to hold them in proper relation to the mundane (the Sacred and the Profane) in order to enjoy healthy growth, or we stagnate and become pathological. It is crucial to human psychology to maintain this balance. Far from merely being stupid and not understanding science, striving to expalin a pre-Newtonian world, the primatives understood this balance and held it better than we do. Religious beleif is crucial to our psychological well being, and this fact far more than social order or the need for examplianation exaplians the origins of religion.


"For practically all primitives, these matters that I have spoken about are seen in a more pious, sacred way, as Eliade has stressed, i.e., as rituals, ceremonies, and mysteries. The ceremony of puberty, which we make nothing of, is extremely important for most primitive cultures. When the girl menstruates for the first time and becomes a woman, it is truly a great event and a great ceremony; and it is truly, in the profound and naturalistic and human sense, a great religious moment in the life not only of the girl herself but also of the whole tribe. She steps into the realm of those who can carry on life and those who can produce life; so also for the boy's puberty; so also for the ceremonies of death, of old age, of marriage, of the mysteries of women, the mysteries of men. I think that an examination of primitive or preliterate cultures would show that they often manage the unitive life better than we do, at least as far as relations between the sexes are concerned and also as between adults and children. They combine better than we do the B and the D, as Eliade has pointed out. He defined primitive cultures as different from industrial cultures because they have kept their sense of the sacred about the basic biological things of life.

"We must remember, after all, that all these happenings are in truth mysteries. Even though they happen a million times, they are still mysteries. If we lose our sense of the mysterious, or the numinous, if we lose our sense of awe, of humility, of being struck dumb, if we lose our sense of good fortune, then we have lost a very real and basic human capacity and are diminished thereby."

"Now that may be taken as a frank admission of a naturalistic psychological origin, except that it invovles a universal symbology which is not explicable through merely naturalistic means. How is it that all humans come to hold these same archetypical symbols? (For more on archetypes see Jesus Chrsit and Mythology page II) The "prematives" viewed and understood a sense of transformation which gave them an integration into the universe. This is crucial for human development. They sensed a power in the numenous, that is the origin of religion."

He is saying that the reductionist can only see a flimsy superstition in such primitive doings, but the real knight of faith sees in it the sense of the numinous the way religion really affects people on in daily life. In the words of Thomas Indinopulos:

I think this is a healthy development. When emphasis shifts away from what a Christian believes or does not believe, we can begin to understand the power and meaning of Christianity in a given culture, at a certain time. In other words, I should say that a better way to ascertain Christian belief is to focus on how Christians actually live their lives. I say this on the basis of years spent with Greek villagers who, when asked what they believe, can hardly answer in any precise way. But ask them how they would identify themselves as Greek Orthodox and you will hear a recital of ritual observances and traditional acts of faith that leave no doubt that their faith is not a matter of what is believed or thought about, but rather what is done or felt or imagined. For such villagers the daily life of faith is not reducible to or equatable with a set of formal beliefs. The academic or pedagogical implications here are enormous. When professors teach Christianity as a matter of beliefs, ideas, and institutions, they may be teaching something that is not at all equivalent to the religion practiced by the people who claim the Christian religion as their own. But if they were to teach Christianity as practiced, they would have to pay attention to that which is not so easily categorized as doctrine -- the unspoken, often emotional undertones of faith on the part of ordinary believers.

My point being that real belief is faith, not words on paper. The reasons people relay believe in God have to do with the way they sense their presence in the world and the relation to that sense of God which they also intuit in the world. A good example of this came out in a message board discussion I had on CARM recently:

I don't remember who the other party in the discussion was, I'll just call him "friendly atheist."

Originally Posted by Metacrock View Post
the studies show believers are less depressed. you should encourage her faith even if you dont' believe in it. I'm not saying it's your fault but obviously it's very damaging to someone who fervently believes to have that crushed. Please don't think I'm accusing you.

FA:Many of us who are no longer believers have dealt with the transition. I'm not sure that 'damaging' is the correct word. Sometimes growth is hard. Sometimes realizing that what you believed for a long time is false can be hard to deal with. It requires a commitment to intellectual honesty and a desire to know rather than to believe.

Meta: a lot will depend upon why the loss of faith. If one outgrows the Provencal nature of one's faith context, then it's not damaging it's actually a form of growth. Unfortunately due to the fundies and other religious people a lot of people never find the more progressive style of faith so they don't go on with it. But to lose faith due to personal tragedy or just being worn down and not having a chance to cultivate it is deadly. it's killing.

FA:My wife and I don't argue about it. I'm not 'anti' about it.

Meta: that's good. what do you hope for? The best you can do is momentary happiness and not really that if you have hard times.

FA:Even in hard times there are things that can be hoped for. I hope for ease, happiness, love, the same as anyone

Meta:Yes but I have someone to trust in hard times. I know from personal experince I can trust God to me through anything. I'm not the least bit worried about the backing collapse. I expect to die in the gutter but I'm looking froward to a lot of republicans learning something!

more than just beyond life. It's the hope that some force of love cares about you.

FA:I prefer to be loved by someone rather than think that I am loved by a 'force'. Perhaps being loved by a force is sufficient for many people but 'love' to me is an active thing.

Meta:I understand why it would be hard for you to think of god as real, but It's not all hard for me. In fact the opposite. it's nearly impossible for the to deny God's reality, becasue the experinces I've had cannot be denied.

even in times when I thought God abandoned me I was still not wiling to give up the concept, I was willing to think of God as impersonal before I was willing to say there wasn't one. Then he came through and I knew I just needed to trust.

I know it's hard for you think of that as a reality since you have not experienced it. but I have and i know it's real. I know it as well as I know I exist myself.

Meta:It's not the hope of getting money because you pray for it anything like that. But meaning in life gives hope.

FA:I agree. I would rather have real meaning than imaginary meaning. But either way, whether one believes that God has a purpose or if one gives credit to something else for their purpose, ultimately it all comes from the self. WE determine our purpose, our meaning.

Meta:meaning that I get from God is a priroi. IT is real and it doesn't depend upon the existence of a God with a mind who knows who I am. Just the attitude to being that undersatnd from studying theology gives me a rock solid meaning that can't be deneied. It is real and I prove it's real (the meaning that is not the being named God who thinks and knows who I am).

Now I believe God is mind and knows who I am but even at a default of an impersonal ;God who si just being itself and nothing ore the meaning that comes from that is undeniable.

but the experinces I've had lead me to have a major hope because I know God is real and is more than just being.

Atheists can only have localized small letter meaning, meaning that is related to the immediate context. Believers in God can have big capital letter meaning.

FA:Atheists and believers are no different here, the 'meaning' in our lives comes from the same place, ourselves. Some just have the need to put the cause on something else.

Meta:I disagree. I've been both. I was a Sartean atheist so the idea of making youkr own meaning was crucial to my thinking. it was total revolution when I got saved. It was day from night.

repentance is not just saying words. It means "turn from sin" so you are changing your thinking and your behavior. if one really repents one does not want to do the same things again.

FA:Did the thief on the cross do more than just say the words?

Meta:Yes, he sure as hell did. His words were not empty they were backed by the attitude of the heart, which is true repentance. He did more than say words, he repented, he turned his heart toward God!

Monday, September 23, 2019

Is Science one Gene away From Defeating Religion?

 photo genetics-at-work2_zps99d2db59.jpg

Colin Blakemore (Neuroscience, Oxford) argues that Science is just one gene away from defeating religion.[1] Despite his great advancement in that scientific field he demonstrates a very callow understanding of religion. Thus we must once again assume that is just another case of the golden ghetto. Or perhaps the ivory ghetto. A very advanced person in a scientific field is not necessarily qualified to apply scinece to religion. This post modern age reveals more and more the tower similarities between culture and the tower of Babel story.

Blakemore reveals in his opening paragraph that he says the relationship bewteen religion and science as "a ches match." It's adversarial, it's a combat. Thus advances in science are automatically viewed as detraction for religion. He intimates this when he says that the discoveries of Watson and Crick were a defeat for religion because previously life was a mystery that implied spiritual magic. So this guy is not on bard with understanding religion in modern terms. He wants to see it as some long ago thing that scinece is beating up on. This is obviously ideological. Just the frame in which he views the topic is an ideological framework.

 What really strikes me as amaturish in Blakemore's thinking is his assertion that Darwin destoryed the reason to believe in God:

Charles Darwin's theory of evolution was certainly a vital move in that chess game - if not checkmate. In an interview for God and the Scientists, to be broadcast tonight in Channel 4's series on Christianity, Richard Dawkins declares: "Darwin removed the main argument for God's existence."[2]
 Of course it's Dawkins that prompted him to think this way. He admits that wasn't Darwin's intention. He's probably thinking religion means fundamentalism, inerrancy, conservative views.

 Science has rampaged over the landscape of divine explanation, provoking denial or surrender from the church. Christian leaders, even the Catholic church, have reluctantly accommodated the discoveries of scientists, with the odd burning at the stake and excommunication along the way.[3]
 He defines anything that is a scientific advancement as a victory over religion weather it disproves anything or not. He barely hides his utter contempt for relgion:

The process of Christian accommodation is a bit like the fate of fieldmice confronted by a combine harvester, continuously retreating into the shrinking patch of uncut wheat.
Ten days ago, on Darwin's birthday, Richard Dawkins, Archbishop of Atheism, and Richard Harries, former Bishop of Oxford, conducted a public conversation in the Oxford University Museum, where Bishop Sam Wilberforce and Darwin's champion, Thomas Henry Huxley, had debated Darwin's ideas in 1860. The two Richards were more civilised. But inevitably, Richard H claimed for religion a territory that science can never invade, a totally safe sanctuary for Christian fieldmice. Science is brilliant at questions that start "how", but religion is the only approach to questions that start "why". Throughout history, human beings have asked those difficult "why" questions.[4]
I am sure the Christian filed mice are snug in their pretend sanctuary where they refuse to worship scinece as he does. Does he ever actually get down to business about the genetic thing? His segway is that he tires to connect the universality of religion to the universality of language. Language is genetic and universe. so therefore the universal nature of religion must also be due to genetics.[5] That does not follow logically, it's a argument from sign. It doesn't follow scientifically either but we will check in on that in a minute. The problem with the argument he's setting up is that it's a straight assumption that God can't work through genetics. Any religion gene is a disproof of God becuase it removes the only reasons to believe in God, which according to him seems to be unexplained naturalistic phenomena. The only kind of God he can figure out people believe in is the God of the gaps. In other words he's never read a major theologian and he has no sophistication in dealing with religion.

Now he recognizes the obvious answer as being that God can use genes. Yet he has an answer for this. We are social animals. We feel that we are in charge of our actions but more and more those who study the brain are coming to believe that we are not. Which in fact is a Non sequitur because it doesn't answer the issue of genes as a disproof of God or arguemnt from sign. But Blakemore's reticense is incapsulated in the final paragraph of his article:
I'm dubious about those "why" questions: why are we here? Why do we have a sense of right and wrong? Either they make no sense or they can be recast as the kind of "how" questions that science answers so well.
When we understand how our brains generate religious ideas, and what the Darwinian adaptive value of such brain processes is, what will be left for religion?[6]
So He's admitted that he doesn't' understand the basis for religious thinking but we are still supposed to assume he's right about it being disproved by these things that he can't prove are disproofs? The basic argument appears to be that if there's a gene for religion then our religious ideas are coming from genes, we have choice in thinking of them, that's supposed to disprove God. Actually I think it proves a Calvinistic God pretty well. With Calvin we are predestined. That would fit the bit about we don't think up our own ideas. Again the atheist/scientism agenda fails to offer real disproof. All if offers is another stab at deflating the fundamentalist view of God.

Science reporter Nicholas Wade offers insight into the real arguments for genetically based religion. The basic argument is the evolutionary nature of religion. Religion begins in the preparative states of humanity and grows up with the species become more sophisticated and various junctures from simple agricultural dances and decoration sophisticated astronomical observations.[7] So the advocates of the gentic basis for religion are making ideological assumptions about the nature of social evolution. They are assuming that all behavior is genetic and anything that becomes more complex with man must be the result of genes. That's still arguemnt from sign. No real proof exists for that view it's only tenable if you are a determinist. Moreover it's not really a disproof of God in any way.

Isn't there some science magic that you work in a laboratory wearing a white coat and you look into a test tube and it turns blue and you "yes it's evil reilgion gene alright." No that is not. It's far too complex to do that. It's all about theorizing and the theories for religious gene are largely concocted by people who want to destroy religion, such evolutionary psychology adherents.Dean Hamer tries to make an argument for God gene identifying a specific gene, VMAT2;[8]  There has been stiff scientific criticism of this claim even from people who one would think would support it. Atheist guru P.Z. Myers (who is a big named biologist) rejects it on the grounds that VMAT2 is just  "...a pump. A teeny-tiny pump responsible for packaging a neurotransmitter for export during brain activity. Yes, it's important, and it may even be active and necessary during higher order processing, like religious thought. But one thing it isn't is a 'god gene.[9]

There are two basic counter arguments that take care of this assumption about a religion gene:

1: no basis for religious gene

Blakmore himself tells us that our brains "light up" (respond by beginning to work more) when we hear God talk. That's really the basic idea, along with the universality issue, of proving a God gene. But that is not proof of a gene.

There are plenty of scientists who do not think that religion is an adaptation. The adaptations it view is one school, it is not a done deal. The counter argument among evolutionary theorists is that religion is a “spandrel” or a side effect of genetic structure but not produced by a gene for that behavior. There are plenty of scientists who disagree with the data on the “God pod” and don’t believe that there is a “God module” or that religious behavior is inherited through a specific gene or a part of the brain. Lee A Kirkpatrick, director of graduate studies in psychology at William and Mary, tells us:

In sum, the moderate habitability of religion, like the identification of a particular brain region, associated with religious experience, tells us virtually nothing about weather religion is the result of an adaptive evolved mechanism designed to produce it. In particular neither should be construed as evidence for an adaptive religion mechanism or system.[10]

According to Kirkpatrick it's way too early to claim there's a God Gene. There's no way to sort out that it's a real gene or just a combination of other genetic traits. Even if there is such a gene that is not a defeat for religion.
One of the main problems with arguing for a God gene is that the kinds of explanations often used to justify it are piecemeal and don't work in terms of genetic theory. For example a common one is cooperation. Religion makes people  more cooperative. So people cooperate and that is why they adapt becuase it's an advantage. Or gives hope it gets them through the winter.
 Considerable debate has surrounded the question of the origins and evolution of religion. One proposal views religion as an adaptation for cooperation, whereas an alternative proposal views religion as a by-product of evolved, non-religious, cognitive functions. We critically evaluate each approach, explore the link between religion and morality in particular, and argue that recent empirical work in moral psychology provides stronger support for the by-product approach. Specifically, despite differences in religious background, individuals show no difference in the pattern of their moral judgments for unfamiliar moral scenarios. These findings suggest that religion evolved from pre-existing cognitive functions, but that it may then have been subject to selection, creating an adaptively designed system for solving the problem of cooperation.[11]
 That sort of makes one think of genes as little guys holding committee meetings in your head and planning strategy. If it's that cut and dried why not just make a gene for cooperation and cut out the religious mumbo jumo? If it's just an alteration of existing function, then individual conscious decisions may be involved after all. Or, were we provided those functions that we might discover God? The kinds of explainations that require a purpose are counter to the nature of adaptation anyway. As Kirkpatrick explains: "Natural selection is blind to purely psychological effects because being happy in itself does not cause more copies of happiness causing genes to dominate subsequent generations."[12] They can't show adaptability because they can't show it enhances gene frequency. After all some aspects of religion counter to gene frequency such as celibacy?

 2: Religious Gene is good argument for God

Nicholas Wade tells us neither side is threatened by a God gene:

But the evolutionary perspective on religion does not necessarily threaten the central position of either side. That religious behavior was favored by natural selection neither proves nor disproves the existence of gods. For believers, if one accepts that evolution has shaped the human body, why not the mind too? What evolution has done is to endow people with a genetic predisposition to learn the religion of their community, just as they are predisposed to learn its language. With both religion and language, it is culture, not genetics, that then supplies the content of what is learned.[13]
So the explainations fall apart, the big coincidence is looming: the thing the atheists and evolutionary psychologists hate the most and seek to destroy with their worship of science is the one best answer to why there would be a gene for God: God put it there. It's counter to the nature of adaptation. Genes can't contrive to plan how to make us more cooperative or give us warm fuzzies to get us through the winter. The nature of adaptation is not a committee of homunculi that seeks to make human life happier and more efficient. Nor can genes understand concepts. We are not born with innate knowledge, that has been considered a primitive and false concept since the seventeenth century. We are born with instincts but that is not the same as innate knowledge. Evolution cannot plant ideas in our minds. So our brains reacting to God talk as they do is totally unexplained and constitutes a good reason to take as a hint the basic idea of a God designed aspect of human nature.

 Andrew Newberg, one of the pioneers in researching neural activity of religious experience and God talk tells us that none of the research disproves God, in fact it can't.

…Tracing spiritual experience to neurological behavior does not disprove its realness. If God does exist, for example, and if He appeared to you in some incarnation, you would have no way of experiencing His presence, except as part of a neurologically generated rendition of reality. You would need auditory processing to hear his voice, visual processing to see His face, and cognitive processing to make sense of his message. Even if he spoke to you mystically, without words, you would need cognitive functions to comprehend his meaning, and input form the brain’s emotional centers to fill you with rapture and awe. Neurology makes it clear: there is no other way for God to get into your head except through the brain’s neural pathways. Correspondingly, God cannot exist as a concept or as reality anyplace else but in your mind. In this sense, both spiritual experiences and experiences of a more ordinary material nature are made real to the mind in the very same way—through the processing powers of the brain and the cognitive functions of the mind. Whatever the ultimate nature of spiritual experience might be—weather it is in fact an actual perception of spiritual reality—or merely an interpretation of sheer neurological function—all that is meaningful in human spirituality happens in the mind. In other words, the mind is mystical by default.[14]

This article is a good indication of how ideologically laden the internet is with ideological babble from a social movement that seeks to destroy all forms of knowledge that it does not control. There is no basis for the assertion that neuroscience is destroying religion and yet scientism proclaims itself victorious over all religion merely becuase it exists. At the same time sound reasons exists in the same material assumed to destroy religion which supports beilef in God yet that possibility is totally ignored.


 [1] Colin Blackemore, "Science is Just One Gene Away from Defeating Religion." The Guardian.  Originally from the Observer. 21st of Febuary, 2009. On Line: 
accessed 10/29/13.
 Colin Blakemore is Professor of Neuroscience at the Universities of Oxford and Warwick. He is a member of the UK Drugs Policy Commission, but the views expressed here are his own.

[2] Ibid

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Nicholas Wade, "The Evolution of the God Gene," New York Times: Week in Review. Nov 14 (2009). On line
accessed 10/29/13
Nicholas Wade is a science reporter who writes about genetics.

[8] Dean Hamer, The God Gene: How Faith is Hardwired into Our Genes. New York:Anchor Books Edition, 2004, 56-119.

[9] P.Z. Myers,  "No god, and no 'god gene', either". Pharyngula.(2005-02-13) Retrieved 2012-01-29.

[10]Lee A Kirckpatrick, “Religion is Not An Adaptation,” in Where God and Science Meet: How Brain and Evolutionary Studies Alter Our Understanding of Religion Vol I: Evolution, Genes, and Religious Brainm .Patrick McNamara (ed). London, Westport Connecticut: Praeger. 2006. 159-180, 164.
Kirckpatrick is associate professor of psychology at William and Mary.

[11] Ilkka Pyysiäinen and Marc Hauser, "The Origins of  Religion: Evolved Adaption or by Product." Science Direct: Trends in Cognitive Science, Volume 14, Issue 3, (March 2010), 104-109.

[12]Kirckpatric Op cit, 167.

[13] Wade, Op Cit.

[14] Andrew NewbergWhy God Won’t God AwayBrain Science and the Biology of Belief. (New York, Ballentine Books), 2001, 37,


JBsptfn said...
Good entry, and it reminds me of a comment that one person made on this blog entry about PSI:

Someone said that having a healthy dose of skepticism is okay, not because of an "Everything else is BS" mindset, but because "Science hasn't explained everything-yet".

I said that it was a good comment, except for the science part, and that science doesn't prove but disproves.
Metacrock said...
Thanks JB. I've been following that God gene issue for a long time. It's on my God argument list.
Metacrock said...
here is your link

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Bowen's10 things

These are Bowen's "10 things"that supposedly demonstrate that John cannot be taken seriously as a historical source. Thus we can't accept the clear liquid as post mortem evidence on Jesus' death. Even though he calls these "detailed" they are not This is not the way textual criticism works. Thus I will only give thumb nails answers, I will do a full blog piece on this soon,.

POINT #1: The 4th Gospel was probably NOT written by an eyewitness of the life, ministry, or crucifixion of Jesus.

Answer: The point of Bauckham's entire book Jesus and the eye witnesses, us to show that the work is full of eyewitness testimony he points to and proves a huge number. Showing a specific page is irrelevant because it's all over the book. There is oneset of page in particular ,however, as they show his argument for the main authorship of the books is the eye witness "Edler John" named by Papias, 420-425

POINT #2: The 4th Gospel is the least historically reliable of the four Gospels.

That is taken out by Bauckham and the three sources Zarely names (see the main article) as evidence if scholarship supporting John's reliability. Bowen's understanding of Biblical scholarship is false. Just having some mistake in John does not invalidate all of John. This answer and the one above actually do take out all 10 points.

Paul Andersen, 
Felix Just, 
and Tom Thatcher, 
Bauckham names John Aston, 
J.Louis Martyn

POINT #3:The account of the trial and crucifixion in the 4th Gospel conflicts with the trial and crucifixion accounts in other Gospels.

Answer: 2 problems,

(1) he gives no details there's a good possibility what he calls "conflict" can be harmonized.He has to present the conflicts. It's meaningless otherwise,

(2) He commits the inerrant fallacy, the idea that one mistake in a given biblical document means that we can't trust anything in the document,

POINT #4: Internal conflicts in this passage cast doubt on the historicity and reliability of this passage.

Answer: I have answers. Sorry not enough, he claimed he had a detailed list, this is not detail. It's totally general. this is no better than me simply saying I have answers.
Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...
POINT #5: This passage is reasonably viewed as “prophecy historicized’, thus there is a good chance that Kreeft’s two key historical claims are FICTIONAL.

Answer: (1)Since he doesn't say what they are he can't prove I make the same clam. Nor can he prove that historicized prophecy doesn't use real history.

(2)no OT prophesy invokes water flowing from Messiah's side

POINT #6: Other gospels provide no corroboration of the two key historical claims that Kreeft derives from this passage in the 4th gospel.

Answer: The Source has credibility as I document in the main arithmetic. Simce

POINT #7: Other gospels provide no corroboration of Jewish leaders asking Pilate to remove bodies from crosses before the Sabbath day began.

Answer:totally unnecessary we we know they did it they had to.Hebrew Law. we know it from history.

POINT #8: Other gospels provide no corroboration of a wound in Jesus’ side.

Answer: no reason to make it up they had no it;s importance. We know from history the Roans did do that.

POINT #9: Other gospels provide no corroboration of the beloved disciple at the foot of the cross.

Answer: Bauckham argues for Elder john as author (making him the BD) which means he is attested as historical by Papias. The witness at the cross did not have to be the same guy who wrote the gospel He just had to report it to the author,

POINT #10: Other gospels provide no corroboration of stories about the beloved disciple.

Answer: Papias proves Elder john existed, Backham proves he was the BD.

"Bowen-Hinman debate: Papias" no date listed

The problem for Bradley's view is that while Bauckham does think that there were two Johns it's far from saying that Papias did not have direct access to an eye witness to Jesus. His book is called Jesus and the Eyewitnesses and he believes that EJ is one of the eyewitnesses. Not only that but Baukham believes that Elder John wrote the Gospel of John.[pp 420-425]

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Is Evolution Indicative of No God?

Image result for God and evolution are compatible

My friend Jeff Lowder at the Secular outpost has written a paper supporting  Paul Draper's argument. I doubt that Draper has bothered to consider the brand of God belief he  messes with. The problem I see with this argument is that it makes the unnecessary assumption that a world created by God would be less inclined to include evolution as a creative mechanism. I see no reason to make that assumption.To say it another way the argument is predicated upon naturalism v theism, which is to divide reality into ideological doctrines. That kind of thinking might work in a world created by the God of Pat Robertson but not one where God is being itself such a the view of Paul Tillich. There is just no reason to juxtapose evolution to God. The attempt to assess probabilities for God vs evolution is just a matter of which God one seeks to reject.

Lowder's argument:

The idea that evolution is somehow a threat to “religion” is nothing new. Ever since the publication of Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species, there have been allegations of a “war” between “science” and “religion,” with evolution arguably constituting one of the war’s front lines. For most of this “war’s” history, the philosophical “fighting” has focused on questions of logical compatibility, such as whether evolution is compatible with Christian theism (specifically, with a literal interpretation of the Biblical book of Genesis) or, more broadly, whether it is even compatible with “mere” or “generic” theism; no one had bothered to make a serious effort to consider, apart from questions of logical compatibility, whether the truth of evolution might constitute evidence against theism even if it is consistent with it. This changed in 1997. Philosopher of religion Paul Draper, well-known for writing what is widely considered one of the best versions of the argument from evil (1996), developed what may be called the “evidential argument from evolution.” It takes the following form:(1) Evolution is antecedently much more probable on the assumption that naturalism is true than on the assumption that theism is true.(2) The statement that pain and pleasure systematically connected to reproductive success is antecedently much more probable on the assumption that evolutionary naturalism is true than on the assumption that evolutionary theism is true.(3) Therefore, evolution conjoined with this statement about pain and pleasure is antecedently very much more probable on the assumption that naturalism is true than on the assumption that theism is true. (From 1 and 2)(4) Naturalism is at least as plausible as theism.(5) Therefore, other evidence held equal, naturalism is very much more probable than theism. (From 3 and 4)(6) Naturalism entails that theism is false.(7) Therefore, other evidence held equal, it is highly probable that theism is false. (From 5 and 6) (Draper 1997)[1]
Lowder is an expert in probability and I am not. Still I think these mistakes are prior to any consideration of probability. The entire argent is predicated upon dividing reality into ideological camps, naturalism vs theism. The camp you belong to will determine the assumptions you make.But why should reality conform to philosophical camps? Let's just examine each premise.

(1) Evolution is antecedently much more probable on the assumption that naturalism is true than on the assumption that theism is true.

My Answer: It is more likely that an evolutionary view will be  predicated upon a naturalistic outlook but that is not the same as saying evolution is more  likely to be had in a Godless world. God is not less likley than nature to use evolution. Those who might think this is the case are merely assuming  God is a magnification of humanity. It is a historical accident that humans have tended to consider evolution  more in a climate of unbelief than in a  climate of belief in God. 

(2) The statement that pain and pleasure systematically connected to reproductive success is antecedently much more probable on the assumption that evolutionary naturalism is true than on the assumption that evolutionary theism is true.

My Answer: What? He seems to be shaping God in a puritanical image. Does he assume God would not make reproduction pleasurable? That is merely absurd.

(3) Therefore, evolution conjoined with this statement about pain and pleasure is antecedently very much more probable on the assumption that naturalism is true than on the assumption that theism is true. (From 1 and 2)

Answer: Why? Only if we assume God might work without using evolution.We have no reason to assume that, it's not as though the writers of the Bible compared systems.

(4) Naturalism is at least as plausible as theism.

My Answer:

I am not so sure about that. The obvious point at which  one might have difficulty is that of origins. The skeptic is often heard to  equate the notion of eternal God with timeless nature. I once wrote a tie breaker for this question:

To break the tie we just need to distinguish between the two kinds of un-caused nature. The argument is going to turn-on the concept of a BF. The nature of God's un-caused state is not the same as the nature of BF. To be a BF a thing must have no connection to a higher purpose. God can't have a purpose higher than himself but he can have a purpose higher than mere brute facticity. Semantically the two are different, Brute facts have NO higher purpose, God has aseity not brute facticity. That it is part of the definition of what God is that he is eternal and necessary. It's not part of the definition of the universe that it exists. That's existence as a predicate. On that basis Bertrand Russell ruled out the ontological argument. Existence is not a quality to be defined as part of the object, "I have one of those brick houses it;s the kind that exists." That goes beyond the semantic aspect and it can be understood in terms of the nature of being.
God is being itself or the ground of being.[2] The universe is not the ground of being. Even if it has no cause and has always existed the universe cannot be called the ground of being without attaching to it some higher sense of special nature such that we can think of it as "holy being." But before we go deifying the universe there is no reason to assume that the universe is eternal or uncased. If it was, if we could call it God there would be a God and atheists would be wrong , even if Christians were wrong too. We can eliminate that possibility.  We know the universe is not eternal [3] and It did not pop out of nothing.[4] The real contest is between a meaningless accident that somehow came to be for no reason with no higher purpose ,which we call "the universe" vs.  the ground of being or holy being which is eternal, necessary (could not have failed to exist) and eternal cohere's within the infinite folds of a core purpose upon which the all existence coheres. That is not  purpose higher than itself but is it;'s own purpose (that the universe doesn't have). [read the entire essay see fn [2]

(5) Therefore, other evidence held equal, naturalism is very much more probable than theism. (From 3 and 4)

My Answer: 3 an 4 were wrong. see above.

(6) Naturalism entails that theism is false.

(7) Therefore, other evidence held equal, it is highly probable that theism is false. (From 5 and 6) (Draper 1997) 

My Answer: Naturally these are wrong if 1-4 are wrong.

The problem I see with this argument is that makes the unnecessary assumption that a world created by God would be less inclined to include volition as a creative mechanism. I see no reason to make that assumption,To say it another way the argument is predicated upon naturalism v theism, which is to divide reality into ideological doctrines. That kind of thinking might work in a world created by the God of Pat Robertson but not one where God is being itself such a the view of Paul Tillich. There is just no reason to juxtapose evolutionist to God. The attempt to assess probabilities for God vs evolution is just a matter of which God one seeks to reject.

Ryan M's answer to my argument "There is just no reason to juxtapose evolution to God. The attempt to assess probabilities for God vs evolution is just a matter of which God one seeks to reject."

Your last point is fine enough, but you need to make the point that Draper's argument is only successful against a proper subclass of theism. That is, Draper's argument is successful against some interpretations of theism but not others. That would be fine, but in a way irrelevant. What is at issue is whether Draper's argument is successful with respect to the interpretations of theism he is tackling AND whether Craig is successful in rebutting Draper's argument against the interpretations of theism Draper takes issue with.[3]
That's ok for those who play SOP's little game of "get Craig" but those who seek truth might notice Draper's argument does not rule out God.  


[1] Jefery Jay Lowder,"Draft: William Lane Craig on the evidential argument from Evolution.." Secular Outpost (sept 7,2019)

[2] Joseph Hinman, "Tie Breaker: God Cannot Be a Brute Fact," Metacrock's blog (Nov 7,2017)

foot notes in this quote are:

[2] Ground of being is a concept made famous by Paul Tillich and other theologians, I've written about it vociferously. It basically amounts to saying God is the basis of reality. My A"Introduction to Paul Tillich's Existential Ontology" Metacrock's Blog
[3] Quentin Smith, “The Uncased Beginning of the Universe.” The British Journal of the Philosophy of Science, (1988, Vol., 55, no. 1), 39-57.
[4] Joseph Hinman, "Quantum Particles Do not prove universe from Nothing," The religious a priori, website URL: 7/23/16

[3] Ryan M,   Comment Section,   Jefery Jay Lowder,"Draft: William Lane Craig on the evidential argument from Evolution.." Secular Outpost (sept 7,2019)

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Metacrock makes good

Got this in email today

My name is Anuj Agarwal, I'm the Founder of Feedspot.Thanks for submitting your blog Metacrock's Blog on Feedspot.
I would like to personally congratulate you as your blog Metacrock's Blog has been selected by our panelist as one of the Top 15 Christian Philosophy Blogs on the web.


Sunday, September 08, 2019

My Answer to Bradley Bowen on Blood and Water

Image result for taking Jesus body down from the cross

Bradley Bowen wrote a post on Secular Outpost blog responding to my criticisms of his defense of the "swoon theory." He gives it the mature adult title: "Hinman's Pathetic Defense of his Sad Little Argument..[1]    I feel like I'm back on the Carm board. Oddly enough he did not read and makes no reference to my post"Blood and Water from Jesus Side,"[9/1/19] [2] which should have known about because I put  the link in the comment section of SOP. So attacks upon my argument are out moded and ignore  my major work. His whole first section assumes the wrong idea.   

In response to my criticism of Peter Kreeft’s weak and patheticobjections against the Survival Theory, Joe Hinman wrote the following in one of his blog posts: [note the link is to "Bread and Butter Apologetics Aug 12, 2019--note the dates this one and blood and water] now quoting me:
The second issue Bowen argues the book of John Implies the Romans were confused about Jesus’ death, quotes passages John 19: 31-33 to prove the Romans may have thought he was alive. The reasoning is one soldier pierced Jesus’ side the only reason to do that was to see if he was dead. Therefore they didn’t really think he was dead. So apparently if they were confused he was alive? Of course they ignore the fact that the sticking would have proven he was dead because water coming out separate from blood proves heart is not working.[emphasis his] 

 Even so it’s that literalism that says it can’t be that they thought he was probably dead and just wanted to confirm it. …  [emphasisadded]
Bowen: The argument that Hinman puts forward here against the Survival Theory follows the miserable example of intellectual sloth by Peter Kreeft, being stated in a single unclear and sloppy sentence:The sticking would have proven he was dead because water coming  out operate from blood proves the heart is not working:   
At this point it is important to observe that this is the argument in outmoded form. He thinks I'm saying the liquid has to be water and that proves the heart quite working. I never said the liquid has to be water for my argument to proceed. In the latter article which he does not address,I said it was probably not water per se. It is a medical fact that a clear liquid bled out the wound means hes dead that is empirical   does not have to be more than one line it NOT a matter of deduction. It is  evidenced,

1. Bowen's major argument against me at this point is that the clear liquid may not have been water

2. Bowen bases his argument on the wrong article by me

3. Had read the right article (which is "blood and water") he would see that I assume the clear liquid was not water

4. clear liquid pouring from a wound separate from blood is indicative o many condition  them all of
them are indicative of death. (I baked this with 3 sources  he has none)

5.therefore Bowen's attack on my argument so far is irrelevant and doesn't apply because I don't assume the premise he thinks I do.

Now he suggests my argumemt:
1. Water coming out separate from blood proves [the] heart is not working
True in so far as it goes but that is not to say that other clear liquids of the body don't prove the same thing.

 Bowen: First, even eyewitness testimony by a trustworthy person at the Crucifixion of Jesus cannot Establish that water came out of any part of Jesus body. This is because many different liquids LOOK LIKE water, and nobody did a chemical analysis of the liquid, or even tasted or smelled the liquid in order to verify that it was just water. So, no ancient historical document can establish that “water” came out of some part of Jesus’ body.
Here he is still assuming I am committed to  water (again with the water) as the liquid that came out with blood I am not, I accept it could have been another bodily fluid  they are all indicative of death,l

Bowen: Second, most of the Christian apologists and medical investigators who have suggested theories about the medical cause of Jesus’ death DO NOT BELIEVE that the transparent (or translucent) substance that (allegedly) came from Jesus’ wound was WATER. Instead, they believe it was pleural or pericardial fluids, or urine, or…? NOBODY thinks that it was “water” that came out of Jesus’ wound!
Now here he's creating a straw man argument. He wants to make the reader think that I'm committed to it being water, he totally ignores the fact that being another liquid does not change the reality that it indicates the man was dead. The other liquids are also indicative of death! (Treloar [3] Maslen [4] )
Bowen: Let me try to improve and clarify the first premise of Hinman’s sad little argument:
 In other words he is going to re-write my argument to make me say what he can answer. But don't forget he is still working on the wrong article,

1A. Fluid that LOOKED LIKE water came out of the spear wound in Jesus’ side and fluid that LOOKED LIKE blood also came out of that wound while Jesus was on the cross, and those two fluids came out of the wound separately.
1B. IF fluid that LOOKED LIKE water came out of the spear wound in Jesus’ side and fluid that LOOKED LIKE blood also came out of that wound while Jesus was on the cross, and those two fluids came out of the wound separately, THEN Jesus’ heart stopped working while he was on the cross
2. Jesus’ heart stopped working while he was on the cross.
3. If Jesus’ heart stopped working while he was on the cross, then it is virtually certain that Jesus was dead when he was removed from the cross.
4. It is virtually certain that Jesus was dead when he was removed from the cross.

B0wen; "...Those Premises (1 and 2) are controversial and questionable so they must be supported  with evidence and reasoning to get eh argument off the ground. 
Arguments are clear and reasoned weather they have Numbers by them or not. The only controversy is if the liquid was water or not but it doesn't matter either way he was dead so my argument stands;  not controversial It;s a medical fact,yes I do document:

"So a spear to the heart will bring forth blood and water which is diagnostic of death."  (Adrian Treloar see above ft 3) "there was an escape of water fluid from the sac surrounding the heart, giving postmortem evidence that Our Lord died not the usual crucifixion death by suffocation, but of heart failure (a broken heart) due to shock and constriction of the heart by fluid in the pericardium" (Davis) [5]

what is so controversial? He wants us to think it;s the liquid being indicative of death but it's not.He has no source that denies it. It's because there are many theories of the exact cause of death. That does not work against my argument he knows it. Because  they all end in death. None of them support survival. No medical authority that Bowen presents(he didn't present any) denies that the clear liquid is indicative of death,it;s just that it could be caused by different things,

1. if there is a discharge from a wound with clear liquid separate from blood it is indicative of being dead.

2. apparently Jesus had such a discharge

3. Therefore Jesus was probably dead.

4. I support my view with medical evidence 

5. Bowen has no documented medical evidence to refute this position

6. therefore my argument is supported by expert testimony and his is not

Concerning premise (1A), I have already provided ten reasons for doubting the accuracy, reliability, and historicity of the passage from the 4th Gospel that is used to support this premise. This historical claim is VERY DUBIOUS. This problem is sufficient by itself to sink this argument as being probably UNSOUND.
His famous 10 things which I answer in the comment section of this post,

Up to this point those were not part of the debate but I will deal with those in the comments

Bowen;Concerning premise (1B), Joe is NOT a medical doctor. His educational background is in theology, so he is NOT qualified to make medical claims like this. NOBODY should believe (1B) just because Joe says so.

Brad is not a medical doctor. either. He has to quote them but I don't see him even doing that, I have quoted doctors, He has no expertise. He only has background in philosophy which means all he can do is ask questions and number his sentences. Of course he ignores the fact that my Ph,D, was history of ideas and my BS is in sociology and debate. the essence of 1B is 1B. IF fluid that LOOKED LIKE water came out ... Jesus’ heart stopped working while he was on the cross.

I have documented that with three different sources in this debate and in the blood and water article.

He OBVIOUSLY needs to provide evidence to support this claim. But Joe apparently doesn’t see this obvious point, because he simply asserts (1B), without providing any evidence for it.

He just ignores the three I;ve quoted above which were quoted in the paper he did read, actually I provided evidence in the artifice the one he links to "bread and Butter" so he;s just lying.
HINMAN’S PATHETIC ATTEMPT TO REPLY TO MY OBJECTIONS TO (1A)I have pointed out and explained in detail TEN problems with the historicity and historical reliability of the relevant passage from the 4th Gospel. Here is Hinman’s pathetic reply to those TEN detailed objections against premise (1A):

ME: "Sorry your understanding is out of date. Since Bauckham’s book Jesus and the Eye Witnesses it is form criticism that is now considered dubious and John has a new credibility. Remember our first 1×1 debate? You used Bauckham as your own source to argue against me."
Bowen: My understanding of the 4th Gospel is “out of date”.  That is Hinman’s brilliant reply to my ten detailed objections against premise (1A).
It's my field not his, I have Masters in theology from Perikns at SMU..   
  Bowen: I’m a bit skeptical that Bauckham’s book has in fact turned 150 years of NT scholarship on its head, and converted hundreds of NT scholars to believers in the historical reliability of the 4th Gospel.  That seems more like a fantasy that Hinman wishes were the case.  However, even if Bauckham’s book has actually pulled off this minor miracle, and turned NT scholarship around, that still DOES NOT ANSWER my ten detailed objections to premise (1A).
He knows nothing about biblical scholarship I've already said it was not that one book alone,

Is my fantasy how is it that Ben Wotherington III said it?

"There are books that are interesting, there are books that are important and then there are seminal studies that serve as road markers for the field, pointing the way forward. Richard Bauckham’s Jesus and the Eyewitnesses is in the latter category, to be sure. It thus deserves a thorough review, but a little background is in order."[6]

This is not only because of that one book, it's a trend involving many scholars:

\"But during the 1990s, the “Jesus, John, and History” section of the preeminent Society of Biblical Literature had a solid focus on this question of whether or not the Fourth Gospel is historically trustworthy. And they were moving toward the conclusion that it does, thus in opposition to most of the academy. Members of the panel of this section, such as Paul Andersen, Felix Just, and Tom Thatcher, have now produced three volumes on this subject as editors, with contributing chapters being mostly from section members. Their conclusion is that the Fourth Gospel is historically reliable." [7]

see also another book by Bauckham, Testimony of the BD: "there are signs that this dominant approach is now undermined or at least considerably modified by very recent trends in Johanine scholarship,,," fn p9 he says "a major transition in Johanine  scholarship  is widely acknowledged" He also cites scholars Ray  Brown, John Aston, J.Louis Martyn [8] the dominant view being undermined is the older view Bowen knows where John is seen as not historically reliable.
Hinman is again displaying his extreme intellectual SLOTH. If Bauckham’s book doesn’t answer my ten objections, then his book is basically IRRELEVANT to those objections. On the other hand, if Bauckham’s book really does make a strong case for the reliability of the 4th Gospel, then it should directly answer all (or nearly all) of my ten objections. But in that case, all that Hinman had to do was to POINT US TO THE PAGES in Bauckham’s book where my objections are answered.

His assertion that Bauckham must couter all ten things is wrong. All that book has to do is change attitudes about John because that is all I claimed for it. I did not advance Bauckham as answer to his 10 things but  as answer to the notion that John has no corroboration in the wound in the side (he does answer several of  the 10). And that's not my only source on that point, but since the first 2 of the 10 things are about the historicity of John's account this does answer some of them.
Hinman wouldn’t have to generate a single argument (unless Bauckham failed to cover one of my objections). But that would be far too much effort for Mr. Hinman. He would have to pick up Bauckham’s book and scan through it (or read it for the first time) to locate the pages where my objections are answered by Bauckham. That would take at least an hour of intellectual effort and might completely exhaust Mr. Hinman’s mind to the point he would be unable to ever write another comment on my posts. (Not that I would complain about that.)

It is his burden of proof to include the 10- things in this argument he can't refer to them from the past and expect me to know about them that is not debate. If he can do that I can say I beat them on message boards 20 years ago.

When Mr. Hinman decides to push past his extreme intellectual SLOTH, and put out just a tiny bit of intellectual effort,
I put forth my tiny bit of effort when I got my masters degree in theology from a major liberal seminary, That means I am qualified to understand the Biblical scholarship he's trying to use and he's not.

he can easily provide us all with the various page numbers in Bauckham’s book, where my ten objections are answered.
I have actually done that. see comments
 Since I already have a copy of Jesus and the Eye Witnesses, Hinman doesn’t even have to write out the quotes for me. I suspect that this, however, is too big of a request for Mr. Hinman, and that no such page numbers will be forthcoming, and that Mr. Hinman will continue to simply ignore my ten detailed objections against the reliability and historicity of the 4th Gospel and of the passage from the 4th Gospel that is used to support premise (1A).

He has thrown up an irrelevancy as a road block and then harped on it enough to where it becomes the point. Again he did not include the 10 things in the posts that I am dealing with so they are outside the jurisdiction of this discussion. But see the comment section for thumbnail answers to them.

Premise (1B) asserts a questionable and controversial medical claim:
He asserts that clear liquid as indicative of death is controversial it is not in the least, he present no medical evidence to support his assertion i presented three sources,

1B. IF fluid that LOOKED LIKE water came out of the spear wound in Jesus’ side and fluid that LOOKED LIKE blood also came out of that wound while Jesus was on the cross, and those two fluids came out of the wound separately, THEN Jesus’ heart stopped working while he was on the cross.

I just answered that above

Here is Hinman’s pathetic attempt to reply to my objection to his sad little argument:

Joe: I already did that [i.e. presented evidence supporting premise (1B)] your majesty. In three different posts above.I am not a doctor but I quote several of them in the internet,

my source Adrian Treloar FRCP, “Blood and Water,” Catholic Medical Quarterly Volume 63(1) (February 2013)…

“To confirm that a victim was dead, the Romans inflicted a spear wound through the right side of the heart. The medical significance of the blood and water has been a matter of debate. One theory (Bergsma) states that Jesus died of a massive myocardial infarction, in which the heart ruptured [a]which may have resulted from His falling while carrying the cross [b]. Davis suggested that Jesus’ heart was surrounded by fluid in the pericardium, which caused pericardial tamponade [c]. Another theory that I have often heard is that in a sick man (Our Lord was badly beaten) after death the blood will separate into clot and serum. We do know that death of the cross occurs from exhaustion and inability to support the weight of the body and to breathe.”

There are so many problems with Hinman’s pathetic attempt to reply to my objection to his sad little argument that it is difficult to know where to begin.FIRST, the author of the article quoted by Hinman is a medical doctor, but his expertise is in an irrelevant area:Old Age Psychiatry (!)

This guy is really something he has no medical training at all, that is supposed to count against me but not agaisnt Bowen??Bergsma, Davis, Treloar, that's three doctors man!  Bowen doesn't  accept the medical credentials of  Adrian Treloar because he works on old people. What sense does that make? Old people have hearts, Old people die, knowing how to tell one is dead would seem to fit that job description.
Hinman does NOT claim that Jesus died of old age. Hinman does NOT claim that Jesus died as the result of Alzheimer’s or of some other mental illness. So, the expertise of the author of the quoted article does not apply to the medical issues concerning the alleged cause of death in cases of crucifixion and in the case of Jesus’ crucifixion in particular, since he was a relatively young man at the time of the crucifixion, and was not showing signs of dementia.

He thinks the only problems faced by the elderly are Alzheimer’s and the like what that shows a stunning lack of understanding! Old people have circulatory systems and physiology and their doctors must know all of that.

SECOND, the title of the publication where this article appeared is VERY MISLEADING:Catholic Medical Quarterly

This title, especially in the context of this debate, suggests that this is a MEDICAL JOURNAL, which it is NOT. This publication is clearly a Catholic propaganda publication, and most of the articles in the publication are NOT peer reviewed, not reviewed by medical professionals, at least most are NOT required to have such a peer review by the policy of the publication:
First does he expect me to change the title of the publication? I chose it because of the article not because it sounds like a medical journal. Moreover, he is hiding from the National Institute of health article (fn4) he can't even imply that it;s not scholarly. Not being peer reviewed does not change the fact that the source is qualified and Bowen has no competing sources.

I have refuted every point he made. I have sources which outweigh anything he offered, He offers no medical sources. Bowen's entire enterprise is refuted by the one simple point that bleeding clear liquid is a sign of being dead. Since his whole point is that Jesus did not die on the cross, then Jesus' bleeding clear liquid or the liquid cumming out with blood is indicative of being dead thus Jesus must have been dead. That means Bowen's entire argument is disproved. He offers nothing to counter this, all of his arguments against me have been based upon the wrong article.He's ignored the documentation *I clearly gave so his arguments fail.

1. if there is a discharge from a wound with clear liquid separate from blood it is indicative of being dead.

2. apparently a discharge had such a discharge

3. Therefore Jesus was probably dead.

4. I support my view with medical evidence (3 sources)

5. Bowen has no documented medical evidence to refute this position

6. therefore my argument is supported by expert testimony and his is not.
There is one other major point I ask the reader to keep in mind. Despite his proclivity to put his arguments in deductive form it is not a matter of deductive reasoning, Both of us are making arguments of probability with empirical means of checking the truth claims. He gives us no reason to assume Jesus did not die. I argue that there were three groups of "checkers" that saw Jesus' body (the Romans who took him off the cross, the men who transported him to the grave, the woman who prepared his body). The odds are one of these would have noticed if he was still alive.

1, both arguments his and mine, are arguments of probability

2. Bowen gives us no real reason to think Jesus was still alive.

3, If Jesus had been alive there were three chances for someone to see that in addition to the possible post mortum evidence of the liquids.

4, We are given no reason to think he was still alive.

5, Therefore we are more justified in our assumption that Jesus was dead


[1] Bradley Bowen,
"Hinman's Pathetic Defense of his Sad Little Argument.The Secular Outpost blog,  (Sept. 2, 2019 )  (accessed  sep 3, 2019)
[2] Joseph Hinman, "Blood and Water from Jesus Side," CADRE Comments (spt2.2-2019)

 [3] Adrian Treloar FRCP, "Blood and Water," Catholic Medical Quarterly Volume 63(1) (February  2013)

[5] Dr. C. Truman Davis "A Physician's Analyzes The Crucifixion."
From New Wine Magazine, April 1982.Originally published in Arizona Medicine, March 1965 Arizona Medical Association.Davis is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. He is a practicing ophthalmologist, 

[6]  Ben Witherington III, nook review: "Jesus and The Eyewitnesses," Bible History Daily, published by the Biblical Archaeological society. (December 31, 2011)

[7]  "the Historical Reliability of the Gospel of John" Kermit Zarley blog (Oct 8, 2018)

[8]Richard Bauckham,"Introduction,"  The Testimony of the Beloved  Disciple: Narrative, History, and Theology in the Gospel of John. Grand Rapids Mi: Backer Academic, 9