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truthpusher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-05 10:55 PM
Original message
NYT: Shroud of Turin: Old as Jesus?
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/27/science/27shroud.html

Shroud of Turin: Old as Jesus?

By THE NEW YORK TIMES

Published: January 27, 2005

The Shroud of Turin is much older than the medieval date that modern science has affixed to it and could be old enough to have been the burial wrapping of Jesus, a new analysis concludes.

Since 1988, most scientists have confidently concluded that it was the work of a medieval artist, because carbon dating had placed the production of the fabric between 1260 and 1390.

In an article this month in the journal Thermochimica Acta, Dr. Raymond N. Rogers, a chemist retired from Los Alamos National Laboratory, said the carbon dating test was valid but that the piece tested was about the size of a postage stamp and came from a portion that had been patched.

more:
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/27/science/27shroud.html
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-05 10:56 PM
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-05 11:01 PM
Response to Original message
2. From other tests that were NOT carbon dating?
That's so adorable and deliberately fallacious.
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cliss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-05 11:04 PM
Response to Original message
4. I read a book on this a while back,
which dealt with the holy shroud which is in Turin, Italy. The author wrote that they have discovered that there was conclusive proof that the hand-woven linen dated back to the time of Jesus.

I think it had something to do with certain weeds or flowers that only grew back in those days, and fragements of the flower were discovered in the fabric.

(Jesus body was supposedly wrapped in a long piece of linen after his death. It allegedly picked up traces of blood and for some reason a "holographic" image of his body and face).

I can't remember exactly, but it was thrilling to think that maybe there was a relic from him.
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Lithos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-05 11:04 PM
Response to Original message
5. I think someone showed fairly conclusively
Edited on Wed Jan-26-05 11:09 PM by Lithos
That the image does not follow the necessary output an image would have made if wrapped around a body (the distortions caused through following the body contours), but does work if it were the output of three separate camera obscura exposures.

There is also some history from the middle ages to support this latter notion as well.

L-
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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-05 11:32 PM
Response to Reply #5
16. Very true.
The shroud is not the burial shroud of Jesus, but is a fascinating and strange relic anyway. The date of it is somewhat inconsequential; whatever the image on the shroud is, is represents an amazing degree of artistic/technological achievement for a pre-modern society.
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Toby109 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-05 11:06 PM
Response to Original message
6. Fundies using science to validate
their beliefs. That's rich.
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rooboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-05 11:06 PM
Response to Original message
7. The likeness is more of Brent Bozell than Jesus. n/t
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-05 11:15 PM
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jakpalmer Donating Member (100 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 04:37 AM
Response to Reply #12
32. LOL !
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opiate69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-05 11:08 PM
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8. How many times does this horse-shit need to be debunked?
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-05 11:10 PM
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Charlie Brown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-05 11:16 PM
Response to Original message
13. Here's a very thorough debunking of the shroud, if anyone's interested
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DemBones DemBones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 08:21 AM
Response to Reply #13
64. You're offering a page at angelfire? Made by some anonymous person?

I'll reserve my opinion of the article by Dr. Rogers until I read it -- although I think the Shroud is probably a forgery-- but we do know who Rogers is and something about his education and experience.

I looked at your anonymous source and saw a lot of logical fallacies in his arguments. No doubt he thinks he's thoroughly debunked the Shroud, but I disagree. I'm glad I don't have to grade that paper and attempt to explain to the author where he has gone wrong. It's a "research paper" that seeks to prove a belief the author began with and that's always a dangerous undertaking. I'm sure there are papers on the web "proving" the Shroud is genuine that are just as badly done. There's too much emotion on both sides of this, for reasons I don't quite understand.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-05 11:21 PM
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Thor_MN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-05 11:56 PM
Response to Reply #14
21. What Would Scooby Do?
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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 07:31 AM
Response to Reply #38
46. The Person Making The Affirmative Claim Has The Burden Of Proof
It's not up to atheists to prove that deities don't exist... it's up to the people who claim deities exist to provide evidence that supports their fantastic claims.
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Bunny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 07:38 AM
Response to Reply #46
47. How about the person who confidently asserts that this is the only
life we get, i.e., when we die we cease to exist? Why isn't the burden of proof on him to prove it?
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 07:58 AM
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 08:51 AM
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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 08:57 AM
Response to Reply #71
73. Bunny... Here Is My Reply.
Edited on Thu Jan-27-05 09:03 AM by arwalden
Thanks for sharing how you feel about ME. But... since I'm not the topic here, so your opinions of me are irrelevant.

Did you have anything else to add to the discussion?

Were there any questions about why someone making a claim that something IS true has the burden of proof?

-- Allen

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Bunny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 09:24 AM
Response to Reply #73
74. I was only sharing my feelings about you because you shared yours
about me. Being patronized is sure a bitch, isn't it?
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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 09:28 AM
Response to Reply #74
76. Last Time I Checked, Sarcasm Wasn't Prohibited...
... but personal attacks and name-calling are.

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Bunny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 09:43 AM
Response to Reply #76
78. Never mind. This is an obvious waste of time.
Edited on Thu Jan-27-05 09:43 AM by Bunny
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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 09:51 AM
Response to Reply #78
79. yes it is
Personal attacks are always a waste of time. Try actually debating.
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Bunny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 09:58 AM
Response to Reply #79
81. Thanks for that advice.
Maybe you should observe it as well.
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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #81
83. Actually, Bunny...
It's been my experience that Lazarus is a role-model that we should all try to emulate when it comes to his skill at sticking to the facts and issues, and when it comes to arguing the against message and not against the messenger.
Lazarus said:

>> Personal attacks are always a waste of time. Try actually debating. <<

Bunny replied:

>> "Thanks for that advice." Maybe you should observe it as well. <<

There! That's a perfect example that illustrates the difference. Those two sentences, attack Lazarus with the unmistakable assertion that he's "not" observing his advice to you about substituting personal attacks in place of actually debating.
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 12:44 PM
Response to Reply #76
100. sarcasm is often mere masked name-calling and personal attack.
Not always, though.

For example:

Person A makes an argument in advocacy of a certain point of view

Person B says "uuuuuuhh mmmkay - wow, that's a brilliant analysis there /sarcasm" and makes no other response to a persons argument

Well in this case not only is that sarcasm, it is effectively name calling - the force and effect of which is to basically say "you're dumb." Note no rational rebuttal has been offered - just masked insult under the guise of sarcasm.
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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 02:14 PM
Response to Reply #100
119. That's Certainly An... Interesting... Take On Things.
Edited on Thu Jan-27-05 02:14 PM by arwalden
So what you're suggesting is that moderators need to be mind-readers? And that any sarcastic responses that lack "rational rebuttals" are to be suspect and scrutinized for being personal attacks.

Ahh... got it! Whew! Thanks for explaining that to me and setting me straight.

It's a good thing I'm not a moderator! All this time, I thought moderators were just charged with enforcing the rules.

Wow.
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 03:09 PM
Response to Reply #119
121. No I'm not suggesting that the moderators do anything -- I'm suggesting
that indiviuals govern their own behavior and act like responsible, mature adults capable of civil discourse with others.
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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #121
124. Is *That* What You Were Suggesting?? Really?!
Wow. :eyes: Where's my shovel?

Help me out here! What part of your previous message was actually making that "suggestion"? Show me please... I must have overlooked it. :silly:

Frankly, it looked like you were trying to demonstrate your mind-reading abilities. It also looked like you were honing your skills at redefining words and coming up with a new meaning for "sarcasm".

I also detected a lecture on what you think constitutes "name-calling", namely, the "lack of a rational rebuttal" + "sarcasm" = "masked insult". --- I did not know that. Golly, you're so smart!

Yeah... it makes perfect sense. Gottit! (You know... I can't begin to tell you how lucky I feel to have you here to explain these things to me!)


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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 03:37 PM
Response to Reply #124
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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 04:10 PM
Response to Reply #125
130. I Figured A Direct Answer Would Be Too Much To Ask For...
Edited on Thu Jan-27-05 04:29 PM by arwalden
... I'm not at all surprised to see you avoid answering my question. Oh well.

>> Conversely, what part of my previous message was actually suggesting that moderators should do anything? None at all. <<

Ahhh... then there must have been some OTHER logical reason for pointing out rule violations like "name calling" and "masked insults" and insinuating "you're dumb". :shrug:

You certainly seem to be able to derive more meaning from sarcastic posts than most ordinary people can... so if that wasn't meant to share with us how you believe the moderators ought to interpret these flagrant violation of rules... then what exactly was the purpose, Sel?

>> Since however you were confused as to my meaning, I decided to help you out. <<

I'm not sure if you're referring to what you just said (above) or if that sentence is a reference to something you're about to say.

>> No, I'm suggesting that people read their own minds and govern their own responses. <<

If that's really what you meant, then why didn't you just say that in the first place? :shrug:

>> That is not to deny however a certain degree of common-sense obviousness when - in certain situations - most people might be able to come to reasonable collective agreement that a person is being ridiculously insulting instead of respectful and gracious in a specific context. <<

Wow. Look at that! Isn't that impressive? (...and confusing!) I've never seen a run-on sentence use so many words just to say "you-are-sarcastic".

Yes... and? So, what's your point, Sel?

>> I can give a concrete example of that would help. <<

Oh goody!

>> Your response to me. <<

I don't think so.

>> I think reasonable people would likely agree that you are acting like an ass, rather than showing even the smallest modicum of general civility. <<

Again, I disagree with you, Sel.

But you know what, Sel? One think I *do* know is how to tell the difference between attacking the message and attacking the messenger.

>> Hope that helps. Sel <<

No... not really. Not at all.


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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #130
133. I didn't mean to avoid anything - allow me to take another shot at it:
I had said:
"I'm suggesting that individuals govern their own behavior and act like responsible, mature adults capable of civil discourse with others."

To which you replied:
Help me out here! What part of your previous message was actually making that "suggestion"? Show me please... I must have overlooked it.

The point I was trying to make is that, nothing in any of my statements gave you what you needed to make the leap to the conclusion that I was advocating moderator intervention. HOWEVER, I also concede that nothing in my statement gives you a clue that I'm making a call for personal self governance either. I concede that. Which is why I tried to clarify and tell you exactly what I was suggesting when I wrote: I'm suggesting that individuals govern their own behavior and act like responsible, mature adults capable of civil discourse with others."

I hope that you will agree this is a direct response to your question. I do not deliberately dodge questions. Ever.

>> No, I'm suggesting that people read their own minds and govern their own responses. <<

If that's really what you meant, then why didn't you just say that in the first place?


Because I'm not perfect, not can I always foresee what others will read into my statements. I has assumed what I said in the first place obviously implied what I stated explicitly in follow-up. Clearly that was a mistake on my part. So now I have made it explicit for you.


>> That is not to deny however a certain degree of common-sense obviousness when - in certain situations - most people might be able to come to reasonable collective agreement that a person is being ridiculously insulting instead of respectful and gracious in a specific context. <<

Wow. Look at that! Isn't that impressive? (...and confusing!) I've never seen a run-on sentence use so many words just to say "you-are-sarcastic".


This by the way, is a good example of attacking the person instead of the argument. Compositional style (or lack thereof) is completely irrelevant to the argument at hand. Incidentally that sentence, while cumbersome and possibly ugly prose, is not run-on.


>> I can give a concrete example of that would help. <<
Oh goody!
>> Your response to me. <<
I don't think so.


I'm not surprised. Perhaps we should poll the audience? :)


But you know what, Sel? One think I *do* know is the difference between attacking the message and attacking the messenger.


No, it is clear to me that you really don't, seeing has how you are guilty of attacking the messenger and not the message one more than one occasion, and I teach this stuff for a living.

Ad homenim fallacies are not as simple as saying "I reject your argument on the grounds that you are far and stupid" though that makes me chuckle just to type that. :) Attacking the form of an argument instead of the substance of an argument is a form of logical fallacy. Attaching the motives of the person making the argument instead of the argument is a kind of logical fallacy. Masking personal insult in the guise of irony, sarcasm and the like is an additional cheap argumentation tactic and form of logical fallacy.

Your consistent total unwillingness to have a basic, decent respectful conversation utterly eludes my comprehension. I just have no idea why someone would even want to do that. I mean, even when I personally dislike somone, I still wouldn't desire to have a conversation in the tone and attitude that you are displaying here. In fact the times when I have been brought to that level, I always end up feeling bad and want to apologize. Mostly, I would just walk away. I don't understand your mindset...


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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #133
151. Hi Sel... Here's Your Reply
>> I hope that you will agree this is a direct response to your question. <<

I'd be more inclined to call it a tortured response. But yes... thank you for FINALLY giving me a direct response. It was like pulling teeth... and almost as painful.

>> I do not deliberately dodge questions. Ever. <<

Oh that's funny! Really! :silly:

>> Because I'm not perfect, not can I always foresee what others will read into my statements. <<

Yet, amazingly, you're able to put words into other people's mouths and read insults and name-calling into other people's statements. Wow.

>> I has assumed what I said in the first place obviously implied what I stated explicitly in follow-up. Clearly that was a mistake on my part. <<

Indeed. Perhaps it was "ugly prose" (to use your words).

>> So now I have made it explicit for you. <<

Yes you have. Way to go! Nice going! Whoo hoo! :bounce:

>> This by the way, is a good example of attacking the person instead of the argument. <<

Really? How? Oh dear! --- Perhaps you had better click alert and let a moderator deal with it. Frankly I think that's a bit hypersensitive and a thin-skinned attitude.

>> Compositional style (or lack thereof) is completely irrelevant to the argument at hand. <<

I disagree. Particularly when such obvious devices are used to come off as being haughty and a know-it-all. I think they are distracting and they interfere with whatever message you're trying to convey. It's typing for the sake of typing... talking for the sake of hearing one's self talk... I've also heard it referred to as 'verbal diarrhea'. Completely unnecessary.

But hey... if that's what ya like to do, then knock yerself out.

>> Incidentally that sentence, while cumbersome and possibly ugly prose, is not run-on. <<

If you say so. These minor details are so important.

>> I'm not surprised. Perhaps we should poll the audience? :) <<

I wish you would. Really! Do.

>> No, it is clear to me that you really don't, seeing has how you are guilty of attacking the messenger and not the message one more than one occasion, <<

That's a fallacy. One thing does not automatically mean that the other is true.

>> and I teach this stuff for a living. <<

Am I supposed to be impressed? What other reason would you have for sharing that bit of irrelevant information? :eyes:

>> Ad homenim (sic) fallacies are not as simple as saying "I reject your argument on the grounds that you are far and stupid" though that makes me chuckle just to type that. :) <<

What are you talking about? Did you cut-and-paste the wrong talking points into this reply?

>> Attacking the form of an argument instead of the substance of an argument is a form of logical fallacy. Attaching the motives of the person making the argument instead of the argument is a kind of logical fallacy. Masking personal insult in the guise of irony, sarcasm and the like is an additional cheap argumentation tactic and form of logical fallacy. <<

Zzzzz. More cut and paste? :shrug:

>> Your consistent total unwillingness to have a basic, decent respectful conversation utterly eludes my comprehension. <<

I'm sorry, I'm in no position to asses your inability to comprehend these things. I do not exist to please you or live up to your personal expectations.

>> I just have no idea why someone would even want to do that. <<

You'll just have to learn to be disappointed in me.

>> I mean, even when I personally dislike somone (sic), I still wouldn't desire to have a conversation in the tone and attitude that you are displaying here. <<

Gee... if only everyone could be just like you, and as nice as you, the world would be a better place, huh? :eyes:

>> In fact the times when I have been brought to that level, I always end up feeling bad and want to apologize. <<

Okay... go ahead. Get it over with. Apologize already. :crazy:

>> Mostly, I would just walk away. <<

Missed opportunities haunt us all. But it's still not too late if you want to do that anyway. :hi:

>> I don't understand your mindset... <<

Don't worry about it. I'm a very complex person.
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 01:52 AM
Response to Reply #151
163. I don't know what to say
Edited on Fri Jan-28-05 02:22 AM by Selwynn
For one thing, I honestly don't know how to communicate with you. I think you assume that whatever I say or how I say it is deliberate and comes with masked intentions when it doesn't. I don't know if you just personally dislike me, or if you just have a complete lack of concern about how what your posts makes others feel. It could just all be little more than basic amusement to be rude and condescending.

Or maybe you feel I am rude or condescending or other things. I think you called me arrogant up there somewhere, so perhaps that's it. But you know what? The fact remains that at no point, in all our conversations before today or today, have you ever demonstrated the willingness to give me even the smallest benefit of the doubt, nor even the slightest willingness to try and come together - even a little bit - at any point.

I think you've made an awful lot of assumptions about me that aren't true. I write the way I write, because it is the person that I am, for better or worse - its the way I think. I write too much because I think too much and say too much. I think about concepts and argue semantics because I'm analytical both for a living and by nature. I'm rarely trying to do much more than analyze the merits of a logical thought progression and raise questions.

I never intended for you to take my original comment personally - to me it was just a statement of a truism that would just as good for me to remember as anyone else -- half the reason I wrote it was as a self-reminder. I have to confess, I actually did not expect your response to be anything other that agreement with what seemed to me to be an obvious truism. I am naive like that.

I dont know what it is that causes your every response to me to be deliberately insulting and disingenuous -- I mean you really work at it, hard. Dissecting every phrase to make sure you can get the maximum number of insulting and disparaging responses squeezed in. I don't think there is any statement I could ever make, no matter what it was, that would meet with your satisfaction.

Even now you've created this thing in me where I think, "he'll probably mock me for being self-pitying or say that I'm arrogant for writing so much." I can't go around trying to meet your standards of perfect delivery in order to communicate with you in an adult fashion. You can do whatever you want with this, or take it however you like, but I am in fact sincerely sorry for whatever I did to create such blatant disdain and hostility on your part to whatever I say.

I don't feel like our communication is ever fair - it is basically little more than you taking the opportunity to beat me around with rude and snide comments, for apparently little other reason than you just don't like me very much. Therefore, it seems clear to me however that we are not capable of having a positive discussion on anything. Maybe that fault is mine. But even if it is some failing on my part that I don't fully understand, the fact remains that our conversations are nothing but opportunities for you to be rude and patronizing no matter what I could possibly say. So I guess I wont continue talking with you.

Sorry to leave it this way, but I hope you have a good night and a happy tomorrow.
Sel
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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 08:57 AM
Response to Reply #163
175. My response...
Edited on Fri Jan-28-05 09:22 AM by arwalden
For one thing, I honestly don't know how to communicate with you. I think you assume that whatever I say or how I say it is deliberate and comes with masked intentions when it doesn't.

Surely that must be the fault of the reader and not the writer, eh?

I don't know if you just personally dislike me, or if you just have a complete lack of concern about how what your posts makes others feel. It could just all be little more than basic amusement to be rude and condescending.

I'm unaware of any personal feelings I may have towards you, one way or the other.

Or maybe you feel I am rude or condescending or other things. I think you called me arrogant up there somewhere, so perhaps that's it.

I did not call anyone arrogant. Please do not put words into my mouth (I've seen this happen before to another skeptic in this very thread). What I said was that the meandering hyperbole comes off as haughty and being a know-it-all. (I did find it slightly amusing that the opportunity was not missed to correct my description and let me know that technically speaking, it was not a "run-on-sentence".)

But you know what? The fact remains that at no point, in all our conversations before today or today, have you ever demonstrated the willingness to give me even the smallest benefit of the doubt, nor even the slightest willingness to try and come together - even a little bit - at any point.

Frankly, I don't see that as being any sort of personal flaw. You obviously want me to "concede" that it's not the responsibility of the positive claimant to provide evidence that supports their claim. That is not, has not been, and NEVER WILL BE the case.

I think you've made an awful lot of assumptions about me that aren't true.

Like what? Maybe... your mind reading skills?

I write the way I write, because it is the person that I am, for better or worse - its the way I think.

And it's an astonishing insight into how your mind works. Thanks for the explanation.

I write too much because I think too much and say too much. I think about concepts and argue semantics because I'm analytical both for a living and by nature.

Well now that you mention it that is not by any means intended to deny or refute that if one thinks about it and ponders the possibility that the distinct possibility exists for some but not to grasp the meaning when read or viewed with ordinary common-sense that sometimes isn't so common and that the obviousness of the words in certain situations might be if not ought to be but not necessarily would have to be taken in context of the whole discussion that had come before but not after we have all examined the distinct possibility if not certainty or absoluteness that most if not all reasonable and rational people or human beings with would realize or recognize that what had come before but not after could use their cognitive abilities if properly honed and could imagine someone not unlike yourself using thirty or fifty or more redundant words arguing some mundane and irrelevant point about what the possible definition or meaning of what the word "assert" or "believe" is and how playing such distracting word games that over-analyze to the point of absurdity and that attempt to determine the impact the different varying interpretations and definitions and what other possible effects any alternate viewpoints however unlikely or unreasonable might have on how some independent and heretofore uninterested reader's perception of the events that had previously taken place or ocurred and that might possibly conceivably under some circumstances cause such person or persons to interpret or misinterpret the meaning of the original writer that ordinary rational people have no difficulty in comprehending or understanding in your realm such mundane words take on a whole new meaning.

Oh sure! THAT's productive.

I suppose some folks flatter themselves by thinking of themselves as being "philosophical" when in reality it's merely nit-picking.

I'm rarely trying to do much more than analyze the merits of a logical thought progression and raise questions.

Uh-huh... everything EXCEPT sticking to the actual subject at hand. And look where it's gotten you.

I never intended for you to take my original comment personally - to me it was just a statement of a truism that would just as good for me to remember as anyone else -- half the reason I wrote it was as a self-reminder.

Try post-its!

I have to confess, I actually did not expect your response to be anything other that agreement with what seemed to me to be an obvious truism. I am naive like that.

Hmmm. No comment.

I dont know what it is that causes your every response to me to be deliberately insulting and disingenuous -- I mean you really work at it, hard.

No harder than one might do to write haughty sounding words.

Dissecting every phrase to make sure you can get the maximum number of insulting and disparaging responses squeezed in. I don't think there is any statement I could ever make, no matter what it was, that would meet with your satisfaction.

That's completely untrue. Now you're just feeling sorry for yourself.

Even now you've created this thing in me where I think, "he'll probably mock me for being self-pitying or say that I'm arrogant for writing so much."

I never said you were "arrogant".

I can't go around trying to meet your standards of perfect delivery in order to communicate with you in an adult fashion.

Whatever standards I have are my own. Not yours.

You can do whatever you want with this, or take it however you like, but I am in fact sincerely sorry for whatever I did to create such blatant disdain and hostility on your part to whatever I say.

Thank you.

I don't feel like our communication is ever fair - it is basically little more than you taking the opportunity to beat me around with rude and snide comments, for apparently little other reason than you just don't like me very much.

I am unaware of any personal feelings I may have towards you, one way or the other.

Therefore, it seems clear to me however that we are not capable of having a positive discussion on anything. Maybe that fault is mine. But even if it is some failing on my part that I don't fully understand, the fact remains that our conversations are nothing but opportunities for you to be rude and patronizing no matter what I could possibly say. So I guess I wont continue talking with you.

Whatever. That's not my decision to make.

Sorry to leave it this way, but I hope you have a good night and a happy tomorrow.

Okay, no need to be sorry about that. Goodbye.

-- Allen

P.S. Those making the affirmative claim that something exists *always* have the burden of proof. It's not up to atheists to prove that deities or an afterlife doesn't exist... it's up to the people who claim these things do exist to provide evidence that supports their claims.





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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 10:14 AM
Response to Reply #175
178. The bottom line is simple
All you have to do is look at the rest of my discussions in this thread to see that I was able to have positive discussions, conrtibute a few things, learn a few things, and end on basically good terms with everyone - except you. Maybe it isn't so much me as it is just you.

By the way, you are wrong. If someone says "God does not exist" they have exactly equal obligation to defent their affirmation with evidence as a person who says "God exists."

However a person who says "I believe the complete lack of anything I would consider evidence for the existence of God to be sufficient justification for not believing in him" does not need to offer any proof.

I'm sorry you can't grasp the difference. But after asking over and over for you to show me even the most basic courtesy and a decent attitude you categorically refuse. So I have no choice but to ignore all future posting. There are plenty of people willing to have adult conversations with me, even right here on this thread. I learned a lot from them yesterday. I learned nothing from you except how rude and disingenuous some people are capable of being. Not going to waste me time with that any more.
Sel
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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:40 AM
Response to Reply #178
182. Simple Indeed
Edited on Fri Jan-28-05 11:42 AM by arwalden
"The bottom line is simple" All you have to do is look at the rest of my discussions in this thread to see that I was able to have positive discussions, conrtibute a few things, learn a few things,

I guess the old adage "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" has some truth to it. People often see what they want to see in both themselves and in others... independent of reality. You're no different.

and end on basically good terms with everyone - except you. Maybe it isn't so much me as it is just you.

I guess some folks are more patient and more forgiving than I am.

By the way, you are wrong. If someone says "God does not exist" they have exactly equal obligation to defent their affirmation with evidence as a person who says "God exists."

Yes, yes... you keep saying this. Black is white and up is down. The sky is green and leaves are blue. Repeating them doesn't make them true. It just looks like someone who's being contrary for its own sake. Your stubborn insistence on this matter scores no points.

However a person who says "I believe the complete lack of anything I would consider evidence for the existence of God to be sufficient justification for not believing in him" does not need to offer any proof.

Oh brother! Other than lawyers and haughty self-important "philosophers"... WHO actually talks like that in real life? Do you even bother to re-read, or proof-read, or read out loud the things you write? Try it!

Do you realize how silly those things sound when you insist that a simple 4-word phrase such as "gods do not exist" be translated into a 25-word contractual clause "I believe the complete lack of anything I would consider evidence for the existence of God to be sufficient justification for not believing in him" --- Geeze! Gimme a fucking break!

That's astounding! Why would I need to "justify" my disbelief? You do not dictate to me. No matter how desirous of it you may be, I will not defer to your insistence that I use passive language and passive phrases like those one would expect an agnostic to use.

I'm sorry you can't grasp the difference.

Oh I "grasp" the difference all right. However, grasping the difference and agreeing with you are two different things. What you're really "sorry" about is that I don't agree with you... and that I won't use passive language. You're "sorry" that I refuse to couch my statements by using diplomatic phrases, or by conceding a degree of self-doubt simply to flatter the ego of my opponent.

Naturally, the only logical answer for someone not agreeing with you, and for someone who refuses to speak the words you dictate, is that they can't "grasp the difference", eh?

Yeah... keep telling yourself that.

But after asking over and over for you to show me even the most basic courtesy and a decent attitude you categorically refuse.

You did? -- I did?

So I have no choice but to ignore all future posting.

Other than to acknowledge what a time-saver for me that would be... when it comes to what you actually decide to do, I have no intense feeling about it one way or the other. I think you should do what you think is best for you. Do what makes you happy, Sel.

There are plenty of people willing to have adult conversations with me, even right here on this thread. I learned a lot from them yesterday.

Yeah... it's real "adult" to continue to stubbornly insist that it's the skeptic's responsibility to prove that something doesn't exist.

I learned nothing from you except how rude and disingenuous some people are capable of being.

Pity you feel that way about "some people". I guess you wish now that you hadn't started in on me, huh?

Not going to waste me time with that any more.

The question of whose time it is that's being wasted is certainly up for debate. But, you know... I got the impression that your *previous* message was going to be your "last" message. Imagine my surprise when I saw your response! --- So now I'm wondering... will *this* message be your last message? Or will your *next* message be your "last" message?

-- Allen

P. S. There are no werewolves either.

Edit: typo
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Montanan Donating Member (78 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 08:12 AM
Response to Reply #47
59. Actually, that's easy enough to prove...
There once was a time when you weren't alive, right? Is there a reason to think that when we are once again not alive, that it will be different than the nothingness of before?
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 08:37 AM
Response to Reply #59
68. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #59
70. You Make An Excellent Point...
... that's difficult to refute with logic.
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #59
88. That isn't proof.
God people - do we need to have a logic class or two?

Two words to study as your lesson for this week:
1. INFERENCE
2. DEDUCTION

You do not have any way of proving what existence (or lack thereof) was like prior to your earliest memories and that in no way, even remotely, provides any evidence for or against any kinds of experiences prior to your earliest memories. It is an unknown.
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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 09:27 AM
Response to Reply #47
75. Here's Why...
Let me see if I can make this clear. :eyes:

>> "How about the person who confidently asserts that this is the only" life we get, i.e., when we die we cease to exist? <<

First of all, I take issue with your use of the word "assert". The word "assert" means "to state or declare positively..." and when someone denies the existence of an afterlife, they are NOT making the positive statement.

When you use language like that... it implies that the existence of an afterlife is a "commonly known fact" and that there is abundant evidence of its existence. This simply isn't true.

>> Why isn't the burden of proof on him to prove it? <<

Because the burden of proof (or simply providing evidence that merely *supports* the positive claim) is always on the person who claims that something IS true.

My own personal level of confidence in the truth of my statements does not shift the burden to me. It's *still* the burden of the person who is making the claim that something DOES EXIST in the first place.

Unless it's an intentional effort to avoid responsibility, I find it difficult to believe that an intelligent person cannot grasp this simple concept.
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 10:39 AM
Response to Reply #75
86. You are incorrect.
"First of all, I take issue with your use of the word "assert". The word "assert" means "to state or declare positively..." and when someone denies the existence of an afterlife, they are NOT making the positive statement."

This is simply not a truth of english language. Unfortunately for you, in english language someone denying the existence of an afterlife is saying "there is no afterlife." Period. It is a postive declaration of which any reasonable person is justified in demaning an explanation, i.e proof.

That is why agnosticism is the only purely logically justifiable position. I don't know if there is or is not an afterlife, and neither do you, and in fact there is no actual way to know one way or the other with any degree of certainty, becuase it is outside the realm of things for which we can make ratioanl affirmations or have empirical evidence.

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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 10:59 AM
Response to Reply #86
90. So is denying the existence of werewolves a positive claim, too?
By your logic, apparently it would be.
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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 11:23 AM
Response to Reply #90
93. True! My Inability To DISPROVE The Existence Of Werewolves
... only adds more weight to the possibility that they DO EXIST! :eyes: I see how that works now!

-- Allen :scared:


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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 11:42 AM
Response to Reply #93
95. You can mock all you want. I remain correct, as I explain below.
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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #95
116. Some Things Are Easy To Mock...
... the absurdity of demanding that someone prove a negative is something that I will always mock. Get used to it.
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #90
94. It's not by "my" logic. It's by logic, period.
You can't prove a negative.

If you want to say I find no evidence to support a believe in werewovles, that's fine. You can even say, therefore based on lack of evidence, I choose not to believe in the existence of werewolves. That is fine to. But saying "I choose not to believe in werewolves due to lack of concrete evidence" is not the same thing as denying that werewolves might in fact exist. You just haven't seen any evidence for them. That is in fact what you should be saying.

The moment you say "werwolves do not exist" you've created a proof burden for yourself that you cannot support.
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #94
101. All you're doing
is finding a way to semantically parse a positive claim into a negative one, and vice-versa, depending on which claim *you* prefer.

Naturally no one can logically say "there are no werewolves" until one has explored every possible nook and cranny of the universe to verify the claim, which is why we accept the "default" position of there being no werewolves. Because its inverse proposition would be quite easy to prove - just find a werewolf.

Same with an afterlife. Or fairies. Or leprechauns. Or gods. Until some sort of evidence is given for any of these, the default position is that no such creation exists.
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #101
104. You are right about semantics.
However, semantics matter.

No one can ever actually logically say "there are no werewolves" for the simple fact that it is not possible to prove a negative.

However, where this discussion should naturally lead - if anyone is willing to go there with me, is into a discussion on what should be the basis for a justifiable, i.e. reasonable belief.

I am not a subjective relativist, nor a dogmatic absolutist. I recognize the limits of what can be stated as logical truism. But at the same time, all beliefs should be brought in the the scrutiny of reasoned judgement.

So for example, which belief is more justifable? To believe without tangible evidence that unicorns exist, or to believe based on continuing lack of even the tiniest shred of evidence that it is unlikely that unicorns exists. Or put even more fairly, to say that based on the continuing lack of evidence of unicorns I chose not to affirm their existence (though the passively implied follow-up is that I acknolwedge that no one can conclusively deny their possible existence with absolute certainty; there is just no compelling our justifiable reason to organize my life around such a belief that has no grounded support."

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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #104
112. You seem to be arguing for atheism, then.
Let me alter a portion of your post:

So for example, which belief is more justifable? To believe without tangible evidence that God exists, or to believe based on continuing lack of even the tiniest shred of evidence that it is unlikely that God exists.

One situation in which you CAN make a positive claim about the non-existence of something is when the definition of that something is self-contradictory. In that regard, I am a positive (strong) atheist. No definition of god that I have ever seen or heard is logically consistent, in my view.
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #112
114. I'm extremely happy that you brought that up. :)
Edited on Thu Jan-27-05 01:26 PM by Selwynn
I was hoping someone would.

This to me cuts right to the heart of the only discussions between atheists and non-atheists that I am really interested in.

The single key to this entire discussion is what constitutes evidence.

A theist for example may reject your claim that no evidence of God exists. However, he/she may suggest evidence that comes from personal experience, intuition, even feeling. An atheist might argue in rejection of those conditions as legitimate evidence. And I think that would be an excellent discussion. I have deep reservations on both sides. On the one hand, I think that non-concrete realities such as experiences, and feelings are real parts of our lives and legitimate modes of understanding and articulating certain realities. However I also think they are extremely dangerous, very easy to misinterpret, prone to projectionism and wishful thinking, which is why many people what to reject experience wholesale as a legitimate source of evidence about anything.

It is an awesome discussion that I want to get into, but don't have the time right now :( (I'm on my way to work)

On the other hand, there is another kind of theist who would basically reject most of atheists assumptions about theism as "belief" in the first place. He (or she) would want to start a discussion on the reality of religion as language - metaphor and symbolism used to articulate shared human experiences. He would deny the "literal" concrete truth of most if not all Christian dogma for instance, but would say that some things provide a certain kind of language to describe what various experiences "feel like." He would take religion out of the domain of an actual belief structure trying to affirm something concrete, and place it instead in the realm of language and analogical expression.

To discuss "evidence" with this person, one would first have to clarify many terms, starting with the most basic one "God." God is likely to not be an objective "thing" or "person" or entity to this person, but rather a set of symbols and analogy which attempts to describe certain non-concrete experience in life.

Like I said... it all warrants a much, much longer discussion. Perhaps you could post a new thread that I could come to after work?

I would like to ask you a question before I go: could you give me a handful of definitions you have heard for "God" and demonstrate for me the ways in which they are logically inconsistent? That's a pretty bold claim, and I've decided to challenge it.

Sel
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #114
118. In that case, theistic "evidence"...
Edited on Thu Jan-27-05 02:14 PM by trotsky
is indistinguishable from the evidence for emotions, ideas, etc. All are quite "real" in that they are constructs, or products, of a functioning mind. But of course the downside to that is we do not assert that "love" can exist without a mind that feels it. The theist, in likening evidence for his god to evidence for emotions, effectively neuters his god and makes it a construct of his mind, no more.

On edit: Rather than me presenting a bunch of definitions that you'll just rattle off saying "Nope, that's not my god" why don't you give me one and I'll find the inconsistency?
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #118
122. Well I'm listening in on a teleconference meeting, so ---
I can't really concentrate enough to "give you one." Plus, I'm not the one making the claim - you are.

If I promise not to say "nope, that's not my god," will you answer my question? :)

What I'm not interested in critiquing various definitions of God that you have heard, I'm insterested in you ellaborating on the ways the definitions of God you are familiar with are logically inconcsistent.

I'm not even saying they aren't.

I'm just asking for some ellaboration so I can valuate the logic.
Sel
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #122
126. Alright, if you insist on playing a game rather than...
offering up your own definition, we can do that.

God: A big old man with long white hair who lives in the clouds and wears long flowing white robes and who throws thunderbolts at disbelieving villagers.

Logically inconsistent because: We know that no one can live in clouds because they're just water vapor. Also, we know that lightning arises from the charge differential between thunderclouds & the ground. When the charge exceeds the capacitance of the air between the two, lightning arcs between the molecules of air to transfer electrons between the ground and the clouds.

-----

God: A chariot driver who pulls the sun across the sky.

Logically inconsistent because: The sun only appears to move across the sky - in reality, the earth rotates on its axis, giving us day and night.

-----

God: An omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, perfect intelligence that created the universe for human beings so it could be worshipped by them.

Logically inconsistent because: Any omni* and "perfect" being would, by definition, not need to be worshipped, would not need companionship, would not need anything, because then it would not be omni* or perfect, but flawed.
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #126
131. I'm not meaning to play a game, just trying to understand.
Edited on Thu Jan-27-05 04:18 PM by Selwynn
For the record, I agree that #1 and #2 seem logically incoherent, and I believe #3 is logically incoherent as well - but for different reasons than you.

The reason I said I couldn't give you a different alternative definition while I was in my meeting is because there is no short way to do it, which gives you enough of a reasonable context to legitmately make some logical challenges.

But if you are interested, I can give you the Tillician Definition of God, which is not encapsulated in any of the above definitions.

I will try to give you a short summary, but I strongly encourage you to read the additional information directly from Tillich if you really desire to argue that there is a logical inconsistency or contradiction. Also, a probably uneeded reminded -- a person can disagree with something for other reasons besides claiming it is logically inconsistent. You may for example believe an alternative theory to system of explaination is more valuable.

In short, Tillich rejects the notion of god as any kind of "being" as though somehow God is a kind of being in an order or other beings - like a big super-human in the sky. Instead Tillich argues FIRST that our word "God" is a symbol and a language reference - and that what we call "God" is more appropriately described not as a being, but as Being-Itself, or the source and ground of all being, or the power in and of and through everything that "bes" that allows being to overcome non-being and "exist" and "persist." Tillich even goes as far as to acknolwedge that this notion may be different than what is frequently commonly understand by the term "God" and suggests that some people may actually need to do away with the word all together, at least for a time. But he maintains that it is an appropiate descriptor and that his approach to ontological and existential understanding is appropriate.

From this basis, Tillich goes on to (re)define religion. He says, "being religious means passionatley asking the questions of the meaning of existence (i.e. our being and being-itself) and being willing to recieve genuine answers, even when those answers hurt." He acknowledges that this definition of religion in its "innermost sense" is distinctly different from an institutional definition of religion. But he believe it is the most accurate and applicable definition. He goes on to say that understanding this definition religion makes the religious experience univerally human, because it is the state of being ultimately concerned (i.e. having as your highest priority or grounding motivation) with one's own being and with Being (i.e. existnece, or life) universally.

Were Tillich gets particulary scandalous is when he further claims that it is impossible to seriously be an atheist. He says, "if you could truly say I am not at all concerned about and do not take seriously my own being and being univerally, you would rightfully be called and atheist." But otherwise you are not.

Before expression your outright rejection of this definition of "God" please take the time to read at least this small section of tillichs own writing on the matter:


God as Being and as Living

In a sermon, after acknowledging that the word "God" might not have much meaning for his hearers, Tillich suggested to them: "translate it and speak of the depth of your life and the source of your ultimate concern and of what you take seriously without reservation" (Tillich, The Shaking of the Foundations, p. 57). In ones ultimate concern God is the name of this infinite and inexhaustible depth and ground of all being". The following selections from the Systematic Theology (1, pp. 235-49 passim) show how Tillich correlates the term God with his previously delineated ontological structure and elements, i.e. with the depths of personal and communal life. Here God is rendered as being-itself; grounding and unifying the elemental polarities in the divine life and so preserving being in the face of non being, thereby nurturing human courage in the face of anxiety.

1. God As Being

a. God as being and finite being

The being of God is being-itself. The being of God cannot be understood as the existence of a being alongside others or above others. If God is a being, he is subject to the categories of finitude, especially to space and substance. Even if he is called the highest being" in the sense of the "most perfect" and the "most powerful" being this situation is not changed. When applied to God, superlatives become diminutives. They place him on the level of other beings while elevating him above all of them. Many theologians who have used the term "highest being" have known better. Actually they have described the highest as the absolute, as that which is on a level qualitatively different from the level of any being -- even the highest being. Whenever infinite or unconditional power and meaning are attributed to the highest being, it has ceased to be a being and has become being-itself. Many confusions in the doctrine of God and many apologetic weaknesses could be avoided if God were understood first of all as being-itself or as the ground of being. The power of being is another way of expressing the same thing in a circumscribing phrase. Ever since the time of Plato it has been known -- although it often has been disregarded, especially by the nominalists and their modern followers -- that the concept of being as being, or being-itself, points to the power inherent in everything, the power of resisting nonbeing. Therefore, instead of saying that God is first of all being-itself, it is possible to say that he is the power of being in every-thing and above everything, the infinite power of being. A theology which does not dare to identify God and the power of being as the first step toward a doctrine of God relapses into monarchic monotheism, for if God is not being-itself, he is subordinate to it, just as Zeus is subordinate to fate in Greek religion. The structure of being-itself is his fate, as it is the fate of all other beings. But God is his own fate; he is "by himself"; he possesses "aseity". This can be said of him only if he is the power of being, if he is being-itself.

As being-itself God is beyond the contrast of essential and existential being. We have spoken of the transition of being into existence, which involves the possibility that being will contradict and lose itself. This transition is excluded from being-itself (except in terms of christological paradox), for being-itself does not participate in nonbeing. In this it stands in contrast to every being. As classical theology has emphasized, God is beyond essence and existence. Logically, being-itself is "before", "prior to", the split which characterizes finite being. . . . God is being-itself, not a being. On this basis a first step can be taken toward the solution of the problem which usually is discussed as the immanence and the transcendence of God. As the power of being, God transcends every being and also the totality of beings -- the world. Being-itself is beyond finitude and infinity; otherwise it would be conditioned by something other than itself, and the real power of being would lie beyond both it and that which conditioned it. Being -- itself infinitely transcends every finite being. There is no proportion or gradation between the finite and the infinite. There is an absolute break, as infinite "jump". On the other hand, everything finite participates in being itself and in its infinity. Otherwise it would not have the power of being. It would be swallowed by nonbeing, or it never would have emerged out of nonbeing. This double relation of all beings to being-itself gives being-itself a double characteristic. In calling it creative, we point to the fact that everything participates in the infinite power of being. In calling it abysmal, we point to the fact that everything participates in the power of being in a finite way, that all beings are infinitely transcended by their creative ground.

Man is bound to the categories of finitude. He uses the two categories of relation -- causality and substance -- to express the relation of being-itself to finite beings. The "ground" can be interpreted in both ways, as the cause of finite beings and as their substance. The former has been elaborated by Leibniz in the line of the Thomistic tradition, and the latter has been elaborated by Spinoza in the line of the mystical tradition. Both ways are impossible. Spinoza establishes a naturalistic pantheism, in contrast to the idealistic type which identifies God with the universal essence of being, which denies finite freedom and in so doing denies the freedom of God. By necessity God is merged into the finite beings, and their being is his being. Here again it must be emphasized that pantheism does not say that God is everything. It says that God is the substance of everything and that there is no substantial independence and freedom in anything finite.

Therefore, Christianity, which asserts finite freedom in man and spontaneity in the nonhuman realm, has rejected the category of substance in favor of the category of causality in attempting to express the relation of the power of being to the beings who participate in it. Causality seems to make the world dependent on God, and, at the same time, to separate God from the world in the way a cause is separated from its effect. But the category of causality cannot "fill the bill", for cause and effect are not separate; they include each other and form a series which is endless in both directions. What is cause at one point in this series is effect at another point and conversely. God as cause is drawn into this series, which drives even him beyond himself. In order to disengage the divine cause from the series of causes and effects, it is called the first cause, the absolute beginning. What this means is that the category of causality is being denied while it is being used. In other words, causality is being used not as a category but as a symbol. And if this is done and is understood, the difference between substance and causality disappears, for if God is the cause of the entire series of causes and effects, he is the substance underlying the whole process of becoming. But this "underlying" does not have the character of a substance which underlies its accidents and which is completely expressed by them. It is an underlying in which substance and accidents preserve their freedom. In other words, it is substance not as a category but as a symbol. And, if taken symbolically, there is no difference between prima causa and ultima substantia. Both mean, what can be called a more directly symbolic term, "the creative and abysmal ground of being". In this term both naturalistic pantheism, based on the category of substance, and rationalistic theism, based on the category of causality, are overcome.

Since God is the ground of being, he is the ground of the structure of being. He is not subject to this structure; the structure is grounded in him. He is this structure, and it is impossible to speak about him except in terms of this structure. God must be approached cognitively through the structural elements of being-itself. These elements make him a living God, a God who can be mans concrete concern. They enable us to use symbols which we are certain point to the ground of reality.

b. God as being and the knowledge of God

The statement that God is being-itself is a non-symbolic statement. It does not point beyond itself. It means what it says directly and properly; if we speak of the actuality of God, we first assert that he is not God if he is not being-itself Other assertions about God can be made theologically only on this basis. Of course, religious assertions do not require such a foundation for what they say about God; the foundation is implicit in every religious thought concerning God. Theologians must make explicit what is implicit in religious thought and expression; and, in order to do this, they must begin with the most abstract and completely unsymbolic statement which is possible, namely, that God is being-itself or the absolute.

However, after this has been said, nothing else can be said about God as God which is not symbolic. As we already have seen, God as being-itself is the ground of the ontological structure of being without being subject to this structure himself. He is the structure; that is, he has the power of determining the structure of everything that has being. Therefore, if anything beyond this bare assertion is said about God, it no longer is a direct and proper statement, no longer a concept. It is indirect, and it points to something beyond itself In a word, it is symbolic.

The general character of the symbol has been described. Special emphasis must be laid on the insight that symbol and sign are different; that, while the sign bears no necessary relation to that to which it points, and symbol participates in the reality of that for which it stands. The sign can be changed arbitrarily according to the demands of expediency, but the symbol grows and dies according to the correlation between that which is symbolized and the persons who receive it as a symbol. Therefore, the religious symbol, the symbol which points to the divine, can be a true symbol only if it participates in the power of the divine to which it points.

There can be no doubt that any concrete assertion about God must be symbolic, for a concrete assertion is one which uses a segment of finite experience in order to say something about him. It transcends the content of this segment, although it also includes it. The segment of finite reality which becomes the vehicle of a concrete assertion about God is affirmed and negated at the same time. It becomes a symbol, for a symbolic expression is one whose proper meaning is negated by that to which it points. And yet it also is affirmed by it, and this affirmation gives the symbolic expression an adequate basis for pointing beyond itself.

The crucial question must now be faced. Can a segment of finite reality become the basis for an assertion about that which is infinite? The answer is that it can, because that which is infinite is being-itself and because everything participates in being-itself. The analogia entis is not the property of a questionable natural theology which attempts to gain knowledge of God by drawing conclusions about the infinite from the finite. The analogia entis gives us our only justification of speaking at all about God. It is based on the fact that God must be understood as being-itself.

The truth of a religious symbol has nothing to do with the truth of the empirical assertions involved in it, be they physical, psychological, or historical. A religious symbol possesses some truth if it adequately expresses the correlation of revelation in which some person stands. A religious symbol is true if it adequately expresses the correlation of some person with final revelation A religious symbol can die only if the correlation of which it is an adequate expression dies. This occurs whenever the revelatory situation changes and former symbols become obsolete. The history of religion, right up to our own time, is full of dead symbols which have been killed not by a scientific criticism of assumed superstitions but by a religious criticism of religion. The judgment that a religious symbol is true is identical with the judgment that the revelation of which it is the adequate expression is true. This double meaning of the truth of a symbol must be kept in mind. A symbol has truth: it is adequate to the revelation it expresses A symbol is true: it is the expression of a true revelation.

Theology as such has neither the duty nor the power to confirm or to negate religious symbols. Its task is to interpret them according to theological principles and methods. In the process of interpretation, however, two things may happen: theology may discover contradictions between symbols within the theological circle and theology may speak not only as theology but also as religion. In the first case, theology can point out the religious dangers and the theological errors which follow from the use of certain symbols; in the second case, theology can become prophecy, and in this role it may contribute to a change in the revelatory situation.

Religious symbols are double-edged. They are directed toward the infinite which they symbolize and toward the finite through which they symbolize it. They force the infinite down to finitude and the finite up to infinity. They open the divine for the human and the human for the divine. For instance, if God is symbolized as "Father", he is brought down to the human relationship of father and child. But at the same time this human relationship is consecrated into a pattern of the divine-human relationship. If "Father" is employed as a symbol for God, fatherhood is seen in its theonomous, sacramental depth. One cannot arbitrarily "make" a religious symbol out of a segment of secular reality Not even the collective unconscious, the great symbol-creating source, can do this. If a segment of reality is used as a symbol for God, the realm of reality from which it is taken is, so to speak, elevated into the realm of the holy. It no longer is secular. It is theonomous. If God is called the "king", something is said not only about God but also about the holy character of kinghood. If Gods work is called "making whole" or "healing", this not only says something about God but also emphasizes the theonomous character of all healing. If Gods self-manifestation is called "the word" , this not only symbolizes Gods relation to man but also emphasizes the holiness of all words as an expression of the spirit. The list could be continued. Therefore, it is not surprising that in a secular culture both the symbols for God and the theonomous character of the material for which the symbols are taken disappear.

A final word of warning must be added in view of the fact that for many people the very term "symbolic" carries the connotation of non-real. This is partially the result of confusion between sign and symbol and partially due to the identification of reality with empirical reality, with the entire realm of objective things and events. Both reasons have been undercut explicitly and implicitly in the foregoing chapters. But one reason remains, namely, the fact that some theological movements, such as Protestant Hegelianism and Catholic modernism, have interpreted religious language symbolically in order to dissolve its realistic meaning and to weaken its seriousness, its power, and its spiritual impact. This was not the purpose of the classical essays on the "divine names", in which the symbolic character of all affirmations about God was strongly emphasized and explained in religious terms, nor was it a consequence of these essays. Their intention and their result was to give to God and to all his relations to man more reality and power than a non-symbolic and therefore easily superstitious interpretation could give them. In this sense symbolic interpretation is proper and necessary; it enhances rather than diminishes the reality and power of religious language, and in so doing it performs an important function.



Now, there is one glaring objection to this approach to God, and one glaring objection to his concept of "symbol." Know what they are? :)
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #131
132. I'll have to read that tome of a post later tonight.
But my first reaction is, Tillich is performing the equivalent of plucking a cabbage out of a garden and saying, "THIS is god." In other words, no real definition at all, nothing that adds meaning or allows us to learn more. I have read critiques of Tillich though, the name is very familiar, so I might have more to say after snooping around a bit.
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 04:39 PM
Response to Reply #132
135. I know I know - SORRY! :) I don't know how to do it a "short" way.
I would encourage you to look a little deeper at Tillich. NOT - not to be persuaded or convinced. I have not interest in that. But Tillich was a brilliant mind, arguably the most significant theologian of the 20th century. His work, being extremely philosophical in nature, is also places him as one of the more important philosophers of the same time.

He wrote exhaustively and systematically his entire argument, piece by piece, step by step, and almost grueling detail. His three volume Systematic Theology clocks in at well over 1000 pages and is one of the most pain the butt, complicated and exhaustively detailed things I've ever read. In other words - Tillich was quite a thinker and many volumes have been written about him, and its honestly hard to criticize his whole system on many points...


....except two. ;)

?? ???? ???? ?? ??? ??? ? ?? ? hehe :silly:
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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 04:45 PM
Response to Reply #131
136. interesting
Just a mish-mash of the ontological argument (ripped to shreds already, I believe by Kant?) and the transcendental argument. Not much new there.

I'm not a fan of existentialism, anyway. :hi:
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 05:01 PM
Response to Reply #136
140. Actually it is (was) very "new" (at the time)
Edited on Thu Jan-27-05 05:01 PM by Selwynn
And not particularly related to the ontological or trancendental argument. In fact the first part of systematic theology vol 1. is basically Tillich trashing those arguments. In fact its one of my favorite parts. Tillich devotes entire sections to each traditional argument for God and, in my opinion, crushes them. I don't think many tillician scholars - both the religion and the secular (becuase he was respected across the boundaries of religon, science and the secular - he was often refere to as a "secular theologian") - would agree that Tillichs system reprsents "nothing new." :)

The reason it is not appropriately conflated to an ontological argument... ok there are many reasons, not one reason... but one reason is precisely because of Tillichs understanding of the role of symbol in the system. It takes a lot of reading to get "up" on that though...

...I'm not trying to use that as a cop-out. I know it sounds cheap, like I could respond to anything you say with "you haven't read enough tillich." It is not my intention to do that. But its hard because Tillichs thought is so dense, it is pretty difficult to read two pages and then dismiss his entire position with a sentence or two. For one thing, two pages cannot possibly give an appropritae overview of his systematic approach, nor address his many answers to common objections.

So wher does that leave us? I don't just want to dimiss any criticism someone might have with the cheesey "you need to read more" arguement? I guess it's necesary for me to try to give examples of tillich's repsonses to various objections when they are raise - but doing that means breaking out my library of tillich books and going through them... while I never want to cower a way from a challenge, I freely confess I'm not sure I'm up to doing that in my very limited spare time.

We'll see I guess.
Sel
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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #140
155. I'm just basing it on what I read
Not on Tillich's entire body of work. What I read, the excerpt you provided, was just ontological and transcendent mixed together. If you want to take this into a discussion of Tillich, we'll need a new thread.

So I'm not dismissing his entire approach based on this excerpt. I'm dismissing what he says in this excerpt. I do dismiss his approach, simply because I feel he cheated; he found a position he liked, then found a way to argue to it. That's fine, I've done it myself on occasion. But I have yet to read anything that makes theism even remotely acceptable to me.

Redefining god certainly isn't going to accomplish it.
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 09:47 PM
Response to Reply #131
159. Objections to Tillich's approach.
These are just my guesses from scrounging around a bit, not having studied Tillich extensively in a philosophy or religion class as I suspect you have done, otherwise you wouldn't put a cute smiley at the end of your question. Or did you figure out the two objections all on your own in your spare time?

1) God cannot simultaneously be the "ground of being" and "a supreme being". Logically, this is sort of like saying a set cannot be a member of itself.

2) Symbols: Tillich essentially claims that symbols are representing the "holy," but they only an approximation, not an actual expression of the holy. They help identify the mysteries of God but do not actually make them any less mysterious. Or in other words, they can act as a substitute for a concept but don't really explain the concept.

The trap I see advanced apologists like Tillich falling into is, why should the concept of god be so complicated as to require such philosophical exercises to even begin to grasp? If a god existed, and wanted its creation to be intimately aware of its existence, why not somehow "imprint" upon every intelligent mind the automatic knowledge of the god? Surely this is within the realm of possibility for an all-powerful being, is it not? Why are we born with no knowledge of any gods, wholly dependent upon our parents and culture to learn about them, no matter how accurate their views are?
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 11:16 PM
Response to Reply #159
160. I give you partial credit. ;)
Edited on Thu Jan-27-05 11:21 PM by Selwynn
I'm only kidding, I'm not actually patronizing you.

1) I don't believe Tillich refers to God at any point as a "supreme being" because he denies that god is a "being" of any kind. So that's not it.

2) I think, if you were to read (though I'm not suggesting you do) all of Tillich's massive system, you'd have to concede that he really does explain the concept and that it is in fact logically coherent within the system So I'm not sure that's true. But as I joked, I give partial credit because the second of the two huge challenges to Tillich does have to do with symbols.

The first big challenge to Tillich is that in an attempt to rescue theology from literalism and correlate it to science and philosophy he makes it fundamentally abstracted beyond the realm of any possible significance. A statement like "being religious is the state of being ultimately concerned about being and Being universally" so so far removed from the realm of any concrete practicality that one might argue it is abstracted into total insignificance.

I mean I don't - but someone might! :D

The second big challenge - and this is the much more awesome one in my opinion - is with Tillich definition of a symbol. Tillich says that a symbol is to be differentiated from a sign. A sign merely points to the signified thing. A symbol participates in the reality of the thing it symbolizes.

The objection here is that the logical coherence of Tillich's entire system hinges in his use of the concept of Symbol. Yet what Tillich means by "participate" is totally ambiguous. It is undefined, and therefore unclear, therefore stains the entire systematic philosophical approach to theology.

Now having said that, I disagree, and argue that Tillich does define "participate" -- but this is a much debated and fascinating discussion about the work of a man who, regardless of whether or not we agree with him, was freakin brilliant.

Thanks for reading -- you rock!

PS - regarding my statement that Tillich's model is coherent within the system. What I mean is that it is valid, but perhaps debateably not sound. Remember that logically valid means if all the premises are true, then the conclusions must be true. With Tillich's massive and exhaustive work, basically if you accept the premises, then you're stuck with a string of necessarily conclusions that are true if the premises are true. It is in that sense, a tight system.

HOWEVER - it is a matter of discussion and debate if in fact is is a logically sound system. Logically sound meaning, all the premises are in fact actually true. :)

Can you tell that I love this crap? I'm like a kid with toys. Hopefully you can also notice that I'm more interested in the discussion that asserting a particular point of view here. I find much of Tillich's work to be informative and valuable, but I don't believe he is above criticism or objection.

PPS -- the spell checker has Tillich's name. Nice! :silly:

Sel
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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 12:41 AM
Response to Reply #160
161. You said it perfectly
"Remember that logically valid means if all the premises are true, then the conclusions must be true. With Tillich's massive and exhaustive work, basically if you accept the premises, then you're stuck with a string of necessarily conclusions that are true if the premises are true."

That's why we need to remember that logic is only a tool. Garbage in, garbage out.
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 01:22 AM
Response to Reply #161
162. While I wouldn't go as far as to call it garbage, I agree.
Good night to you :)
Sel
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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 02:14 AM
Response to Reply #162
166. You don't remember GIGO?
That's an old computer programmer phrase from long ago. Not a comment on any specific statement in the thread.

Nighters.
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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 11:20 AM
Response to Reply #86
92. Oh Brother!
Edited on Thu Jan-27-05 11:27 AM by arwalden
>> This is simply not a truth of english language. <<

If you go here you'll see that my definition was correct.

>> Unfortunately for you, <<

Unfortunately for me? :eyes: The only thing that's "unfortunate" is your lack of understanding of what it means to make a positive statement.

>> in english language someone denying the existence of an afterlife is saying "there is no afterlife." Period. <<

Uhh. Oka-a-ay.

>> It is a postive declaration of which any reasonable person is justified in demaning an explanation, i.e proof. <<

That is not correct. The person who claims that something IS true is the one who is making the "positive" statement. The person who claims that something DOES exist is the one who is making the "positive" statement. --- It is always that person's responsiblity to provide evidence to support those positive claims.

The person who argues that something does NOT exist is the one who is making the "negative" statement. He hasn't asserted anything, he's simply saying that in the absence of any supportive evidence, the claims made by others simply aren't true.

>> That is why agnosticism is the only purely logically justifiable position. <<

That statement itself is illogical. What you're suggesting is that because something can't be disproved, then that is somehow to be interpreted as "evidence" that the positive claim may indeed be true. That is a falacy!

>> I don't know if there is or is not an afterlife, and neither do you, <<

I know that I have seen no evidence suggesting that such a thing exists, so why whould I have any belief that it does? In the absence of any evidence that supports these claims, why is it "illogical" for me to continue to disbelieve?

>> and in fact there is no actual way to know one way or the other with any degree of certainty, becuase it is outside the realm of things for which we can make ratioanl affirmations or have empirical evidence. <<

And that's the thing... it's up to those folks who claim that it's true to produce evidence ("one way") but it's never up to the the folks who deny the claims ("the other").

Simply because "the other" cannot be disproved, you seem to think that this itself is quasi-proof of the existence of an afterlife. That's just a clever attempt to try and shift the burden of proof.

(edit: clarity, deleted an orphaned sentence fragment)

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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #92
96. The problem is not with your use of the word "assert"
Edited on Thu Jan-27-05 12:07 PM by Selwynn
...but rather with your denial that an "assertive" claim is being made.


>> Unfortunately for you, <<
Unfortunately for me? :eyes: The only thing that's "unfortunate" is your lack of understanding of what it means to make a positive statement.
>> in English language someone denying the existence of an afterlife is saying "there is no afterlife." Period. <<
Uhh. Oka-a-ay.


All of this needs no further response since it is totally irrelevant to the issue at hand.


That is not correct. The person who claims that something IS true is the one who is making the "positive" statement. The person who claims that something DOES exist is the one who is making the "positive" statement. --- It is always that person's responsibility to provide evidence to support those positive claims.


Actually, you are incorrect. Understand you claim that something IS true. You are claiming that It IS true that no afterlife exists. You are making an assertion that it is a matter of act that there IS no afterlife. And it is your burden to defend that assertion, by your own admission above.


The person who argues that something does NOT exist is the one who is making the "negative" statement. He hasn't asserted anything, he's simply saying that in the absence of any supportive evidence, the claims made by others simply aren't true.


You are confusion sentence structure with rules of logical argumentation. In logic, whether you are saying "I assert A" or I "asset NOT A" you are still making what is called a "positive declaration" -- positive is the word that is confusing here. It doesn't mean only affirmation, never negation. It simply means an assertive declaration. In this case you are asserting the declaration that NOT A (where A is an afterlife).

This is still a statement that requires proof to be considered justified. Since no proof is possible, it is an unjustifiable assertion.

The only logically justifiable assertion is one that would say, "I have seen no positive evidence for the existence of an afterlife, therefore I see no compelling reason to believe that one exists. That is not to say that one might exist, but I have seen no evidence of it to date. Therefore I choose not to believe without evidence in the existence of an afterlife." Not that this is different than denying the possibility that one might actually exist.


I know that I have seen no evidence suggesting that such a thing exists, so why would I have any belief that it does? In the absence of any evidence that supports these claims, why is it "illogical" for me to continue to disbelieve?


It is not illogical to make a statement like the one I made in the paragraph immediately above. However, the moment you cross to saying "I deny the existence of an afterlife" as an objective assertion, you've left the realm of what is logically justifiable. Logic demands intellectual honesty. Intellectual honesty demands we acknowledge the reality that no evidence for is not the same as evidence against. We must accept the reality that "it is possible" - this is just a basic rule of logic. You can't prove a negative.

HOWEVER - it is perfectly reasonable to say "As a matter of personal course, I choose not to believe things for which I can see no evidence.


Simply because "the other" cannot be disproved, you seem to think that this itself is quasi-proof of the existence of an afterlife. That's just a clever attempt to try and shift the burden of proof.


I think no such thing, nor can anything I've said logically lead you to that conclusion. Only your assumptions about what I "must" be thinking because I disagree with you have lead you to that conclusion. In point of fact, I have no opinion whatsoever on the subject of an afterlife. Seeing no concrete evidence of its existence, I find no compelling reason for me to affirm that one certainly exists. At the same time lack of conclusive disproving evidence forces me - as all honest folk must do - to concede that its always possible that one does exist.

This is really actually not that complicated. The question is, is there any possible chance you are a big enough person to take correction or will you just make the entire discussion personal and combative?

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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #96
115. Holy Cow... What A Mess!
>> All of this needs no further response since it is totally irrelevant to the issue at hand. <<

Yes... what you said earlier *was* irrelevant. That's why I responded to it they way I did. I didn't understand why bothered writing it in the first place. But I'm REALLY curious why you felt it necessary to re-quoting it here? :shrug: If, as you say, it was "totally irrelevant".

>> Actually, you are incorrect. Understand you claim that something IS true. <<

You keep repeating this, so clearly you just don't understand what I'm talking about. I regret that I may not have been a clear or thorough as I could have been.

>> You are claiming that It IS true that no afterlife exists. <<

Let me try again: Syntactically speaking, both sides claim that something IS true. Both sides believe that their statement IS true... but "truth" itself is not the issue. This has nothing to do with who bears the burden of producing evidence to support their claims.

The issue as to who bears the burden of proof is not dependent on whether one side or the other believes in the truth of their statements.

One side claims something DOES exist (an afterlife). That is the POSITIVE statement. It's THEIR burden to provide evidence that supports their claim.

The other side claims that something DOES NOT exist (no afterlife). That is the NEGATIVE statement. It is NOT their burden to prove a negative.

>> You are making an assertion that it is a matter of (f)act that there IS no afterlife. And it is your burden to defend that assertion, by your own admission above. <<

At issue is NOT how it is stated... NOR is the issue how "assertive" someone is in making the claim or in refuting it. The issue is the CLAIM itself. (See above. We've covered this already.)

The claim is about an afterlife. I state that there is "NO" afterlife. Again, that is the negative statement. A negative cannot be proved, nor is it my responsibility to prove a negative. (You keep repeating yourself, so I guess I'll have to keep repeating myself.)

If I happen to regard my statement as factual is of no consequence. I have not made the positive claim, I have made the negative claim that something does NOT exist.

>> You are confusion sentence structure with rules of logical argumentation. <<

I am? Talk about confusion sentence! LOL! I honestly have no idea what you were trying to say.

>> In logic, whether you are saying "I assert A" or I "asset NOT A" you are still making what is called a "positive declaration" -- positive is the word that is confusing here. It doesn't mean only affirmation, never negation. It simply means an assertive declaration. In this case you are asserting the declaration that NOT A (where A is an afterlife). <<

What? :crazy:

You're free to try and muddy the issue by playing with words and redefining what the real issue is... but that won't change reality.

My own personal confidence about the truth of my statements or "declarations" cannot be used to REDEFINE what constitutes an affirmative statement. The fact remains that I deny the positive claim that an afterlife exists. (You keep repeating yourself, so I guess I'll have to keep repeating myself.)

The claim that an afterlife exists is the positive statement. Refuting its existence is the negative statement. There are just no two ways about it. That's the way it is. Cope!

>> This is still a statement that requires proof to be considered justified. Since no proof is possible, it is an unjustifiable assertion. <<

Did you proof-read your post? That makes no sense.

The ones who making the original claim (that an afterlife exists) will ALWAYS bear the burden to provide evidence in support of such a claim.

>> The only logically justifiable assertion is one that would say, "I have seen no positive evidence for the existence of an afterlife, therefore I see no compelling reason to believe that one exists. That is not to say that one might exist, but I have seen no evidence of it to date. Therefore I choose not to believe without evidence in the existence of an afterlife." Not that this is different than denying the possibility that one might actually exist. <<

No, that's not logical or justifiable at all. That's what I call a pussy-footing cop-out.

What's your point?

>> It is not illogical to make a statement like the one I made in the paragraph immediately above. However, the moment you cross to saying "I deny the existence of an afterlife" as an objective assertion, you've left the realm of what is logically justifiable. <<

Still more of the same... :eyes: you're trying to shift the burden of proof to the person who makes the negative statement. That's not how it works. I know you wish it weren't true... but that's just how it is.

>> Logic demands intellectual honesty. Intellectual honesty demands we acknowledge the reality that no evidence for is not the same as evidence against. <<

Whose rule is that? Are you saying that I'm not being "intellectually honest"? --- It sure sounds like it.

Or perhaps it's latest version of the little "absence-of-proof-is-not-proof-of-absence" mantra?

>> We must accept the reality that "it is possible" - this is just a basic rule of logic. <<

We must? Really? :eyes: Wow!

>> You can't prove a negative. <<

Did you type that accidentally? If not, then it's the ONE thing you've typed that we can agree on.

>> HOWEVER - it is perfectly reasonable to say "As a matter of personal course, I choose not to believe things for which I can see no evidence. <<

So it's not enough to tell me *WHAT* to think, but also *HOW* I should say it?

>> I think no such thing, nor can anything I've said logically lead you to that conclusion. <<

Denial is a river in Egypt. Your words and logic speak for themselves.

>> Only your assumptions about what I "must" be thinking because I disagree with you have lead you to that conclusion. <<

Ah yes... I must have forgotten your well-known reputation as being a skeptic. :hi:

>> In point of fact, I have no opinion whatsoever on the subject of an afterlife. <<

No opinion whatsoever, eh? Astounding! (Who are you trying to convince?)

>> Seeing no concrete evidence of its existence, I find no compelling reason for me to affirm that one certainly exists. <<

Yet you continue to shift the burden of proof to me. Pretty odd behavior for someone who finds "no compelling reason" to believe in an afterlife. :eyes:

>> At the same time lack of conclusive disproving evidence forces me - as all honest folk must do - to concede that its always possible that one does exist. <<

(Wait a minute! Just a moment ago, you said you had no opinion. Now you have an opinion? Which is it?)

Ah-ha! So I was right AFTER ALL! --- Once again, you're telling me that because something can't be disproved, then that is somehow to be interpreted as "evidence" that the positive claim may indeed be true.

Let's examine your words: Does the "lack of conclusive disproving evidence" about werewolves "force you" and "all honest folks" to "concede that it's always possible" that werewolves exist?

>> This is really actually not that complicated. The question is, is there any possible chance you are a big enough person to take correction or will you just make the entire discussion personal and combative? <<

LMAO! Am I "a big enough person"?? :eyes: Really actually you're the one who makes it "personal" with statements like "are you a big enough person".

Really actually, where in the rules is being combative prohibited?




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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 10:33 AM
Response to Reply #47
85. IT IS. That's why Agnosticism is the only reasonable non-faith position
Edited on Thu Jan-27-05 10:34 AM by Selwynn
Agnosticism: I don't know and you don't know either, so shutup. :D

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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 10:58 AM
Response to Reply #85
89. It is? Really? -- How So? When Did The Rules Change?
The burden of proof is ALWAYS on the person who makes the affirmative claim. When someone is claiming the existence of an afterlife then they are making an affirmative claim. Therefore, it is up to that person to provide evidence that supports their claim. (No matter how much the believers wish that this weren't true, it still is.)

If someone claims something is true, then they must be in possession of something that convinces them of it. Surely these intelligent people don't form opinions based on NO EVIDENCE... therefore I want to see that evidence. Show me what it is that supports the claims. This isn't an unreasonable request.

>> That's why Agnosticism is the only reasonable non-faith position <<

Fascinating. So, let's follow that logic. --- Assume I make the claim that invisible unicorns lived in my attic. I've got a whole herd of them! --- According to your statement, simply because someone couldn't *disprove* my claims of invisible unicorns in my attic... the only "reasonable" response would be to concede it's "unknowable" (the same as that of the agnostic).

Frankly, that doesn't seem to be a very reasonable response.










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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 12:03 PM
Response to Reply #89
97. You don't understand what an affirmative claim is.
And your outrage is hilarious, considering how categorically wrong you happen to be in this instance.

The following two statement are BOTH assertions that REQUIRE justification:

"I affirm A."
"I affirm NOT A."

In logic, affirmation simply means acknowledging that you consider the following claim to be true. You "affirm" your believe that it is correct. ALL declarative premises are logical affirmations.

Regardless of whether or not you like the word "affirm" the FACT remains that both statements

"A"
"NOT A"

are both declarative premises that require justification to be considered logically valid.

In the case of the afterlife, there is no possible justification available for either declarative premise. So the only logically consistent thing we can say is, having no evidence for A I find no reason to believe A, though I don't confuse my lack of belief in A with an assertion that it is not possible that A is."


Fascinating. So, let's follow that logic. --- Assume I make the claim that invisible unicorns lived in my attic. I've got a whole herd of them! --- According to your statement, simply because someone couldn't *disprove* my claims of invisible unicorns in my attic... the only "reasonable" response would be to concede it's "unknowable" (the same as that of the agnostic).


You need to study a little epistemology.
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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 12:41 PM
Response to Reply #97
99. Then demonstrate for us
A comletely negative statement about the existence of something. Totally non-affirmative. You can use god, since that's the forum we're in.

What is a statement one could make about god's existence or lack thereof that is not affirmative?
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #99
102. Logically? None. This comes closest:
I affirm that the existence or non-existence of God cannot be logically proven.

You are still making a claim. You are still saying "I affirm/assert A" (where A is the existence or non-exisetence of God cannot be logically proven.)

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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 12:58 PM
Response to Reply #102
106. Which means
That the entire concept of "can't prove a negative argument" is meaningless, since apparently one can't make a negative argument.

So where does that leave us? Are all claims equally valid now? Do people who disagree with a claim automatically have the burden of proof, or should the original claimant still have it?
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 01:09 PM
Response to Reply #106
111. No, not quite. Look:
Remember the statements:

"I affirm A."
"I affirm NOT A"

The "you cant prove a negative" has to do with the antecendant (I think that's right) part of the second statement - NOT A. You can't prove NOT A alone. That is not in any way logically connected to the additional truth that all declarative statements affirm a permise of some kind reguardless of whether that premise is A or NOT A.

Now - don't confuse this with disproving a positive claim. In other words, you can arrive at a NOT A conclusion, like this:

IF A, then B. (All collies are dogs.)
NOT B. (Spot is not a dog)
Therefore NOT A. (therefore, Spot cannot be a collie)

However note that the orginal affirmation was not a negative, but a postive. If postive A, then positive B.

Also, don't confuse this with a logical fallacy which would go:

If A, then B. (all collies are dogs)
NOT A (spot is not a collie) <--- am I spelling that right?
Therefore NOT B. (Therefore, Spot is not a dog)

That is not logicaly supportable. B may still be true by other means, even if A is not true. Spot could be a Terrier, still a dog but not a collie.

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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #111
117. ROFLMAO! Wheee!
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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #111
134. But then
we're still at an impasse.

For every set X, we have a set ~X. We can positively affirm either set.

It's actually easy to prove a negative, depending on the negative. The statement "there are no clowns in my living room" is easy to disprove, given the understood nature of clowns and my living room. I just look.

Logically or mathematically disproving something is altogether different, however.

I still hold that the person making the original assertion has the burden of proof.

I believe that monkeys can fly.

vs

I do not believe that monkeys can fly.

The person asserting that monkeys can fly would have the burden of proof.

If the second statement was, instead, "I believe monkeys cannot fly", the original would still bear the burden, in the context of the argument.
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #134
142. Part of the trouble here is the word "believe"
A person saying:

Monkeys can not fly

Has every bit as much responsibility to justifiy that claim as a person saying:

Monkeys can fly

Who is also responsible to justify the claim.

Unfortunately, from a purely epistemic point of view the analogy of clowns in the room doesn't work. You cannot in fact prove that your senses are not in fact decieving you. It is possible there are clowns in the living room and you think there are no clowns in the living room.

I know I know - sounds ridiculous. That's why people hate philosophers. But it actually is an important obersvation, because there are in fact times where someone professes certainty of a claim who has in fact had his or her senses deceived in some way.
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 06:23 PM
Response to Reply #142
146. Follow-up: Please see #145, I've re-thought this a bit
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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 08:50 PM
Response to Reply #142
156. I understand epistemology fine
That's why I framed the statement: "The statement "there are no clowns in my living room" is easy to disprove, given the understood nature of clowns and my living room."

But if someone says Monkeys can fly and I respond that they don't, which of us has the burden of proof? All the original claimant has to do is produce one monkey that can fly. I would have to either produce every monkey in the universe, and demonstrate their lack of flight, or get into very involved biology and physics and demonstrate that they can't, which probably wouldn't work, given the mindset I'm used to debating. :P
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 02:01 AM
Response to Reply #156
164. Whether you do or don't you are missing (or ignoring) the point.
The point is not that the claim is easy to disprove given the understood nature of clowns in your living room.

That doesn't change the fact that you cannot in fact say with certainty that you "know" clowns are not in your living room, regardless of the understood nature of your living room. The reason for this is the simple reality that your senses could be deceiving you and there is no objective way to verify that they are not.

This is essentially the BIV argument from epistemology.

I concede in the specific context of the larger discussion we were having, this point is parenthetical at best and largely insignificant to the direct issues at hand. I've already mentioned that I've rethought my stance in proving a negative a little bit in light of your good critique, and I don't want you to mistake this as a recant of that.
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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 02:15 AM
Response to Reply #164
168. That's why I included my senses, as well
Otherwise, epistemologically one could never make an assertion about anything, since the whole world could be an illusion.

But, again, this whole subthread has strayed wildly. And I read your post further downthread, and think we're fairly close to an agreement. :hi:
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qazplm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 07:02 AM
Response to Reply #89
192. Well you are confusing logic with reason
or reasonable. Logic doesnt always mean reason, that is one of the criticisms of going with pure logic.

But logically speaking, seems to me that it IS true that you can't prove a negative, i.e. the claim that something doesnt exist. Heck right now scientists arent even 100% sure that the physical laws of the universe that are present here are necessarily present through the entire universe.

Now is it reasonable to make the claim that unicorns dont exist? yes. Is it logical? Not as logical as saying I have seen no evidence that unicorns exist therefore I do not believe that they exist. I think that is more logical.

But I find the unicorn argument somewhat specious because at the end of the day it COULD be proven that unicorns exist or don't. It would require being able to look in every corner of the universe (a pretty big undertaking) but in a practical sense technically possible.

The difference with "God" is that "God" if it exists would very likely exist outside the universe, and thus outside our understanding. Since it is very unlikely that we would be able to assess something that transcends the universe itself potentially, I think it an order of magnitude different than unicorns.

I myself am agnostic, I think it highly unlikely that God exists but that really is not logic but simply my own guesswork based on the fact that the universe can function without a God from what I can tell therefore I tend to think if something can function without something more complex being involved than that complex thing is likely not involved.

But see, i dont know for sure, and anyone who claims they do, is, well not being logical from my point of view.
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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #192
242. So, do you believe in god, then?
Because if you don't, you're an atheist. An agnostic atheist, but an atheist. Only two types of people: theists and atheists. It's binary.
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qazplm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #242
253. i dont know what to believe
so therefore, it is not binary.

but by all means, keep telling me what i think and how i think it.

it's amusing.
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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 04:31 PM
Response to Reply #253
255. I'm not telling what you think
But if you don't know if you believe in something, you really shouldn't be in a discussion about belief.

Belief is different from knowledge.
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qazplm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 03:22 AM
Response to Reply #255
261. what?
so then at any rate, you do agree that you CAN not know if you believe in something, which was my whole point.

Thanks.
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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-03-05 02:24 AM
Response to Reply #261
267. Not at all
That's absolutely opposite of what I said.

You're pulling things out of context in a vain attempt to get me to agree with you. It isn't working.
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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #85
98. But agnosticism
isn't a position, it's a descriptor of a position.

Atheism/theism are simply a yes/no question: Do you believe in a deity? Yes or no?

Agnosticism/gnosticism moves into knowledge: Can we know if there is a god? Yes or no?

So one can be an agnostic atheist, or an agnostic theist, or a gnostic theist, or a gnostic atheist. But saying one is "gnostic" or "agnostic" isn't taking a position, it's copping out.

Atheism, at its core, is simply a lack of belief in any gods. If most atheists choose to move on and get into knowledge, that's a different thing altogether.
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #98
103. Excellent summary, laz.
Perfectly put. A lot of people are confused about what "agnosticism" really means.
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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 01:03 PM
Response to Reply #103
108. Thanks
The words we use are critical, and getting the terms of the debate defined up front is crucial if we're to make any progress with understanding each other.

Atheists seem to be the only people who can't define their own position. We're told repeatedly (not by those here, by the extremists outside DU) that we're Satanists, that we're afraid of god, that we hate god. Few can accept that we just don't believe.

I'm willing to give the theists here the benefit of the doubt, that they are not in line with the fundamentalists and Dominionists who want to take over the country and set up a theocracy. I wish we could all work together to build a nation that truly has freedom to worship or not worship as we see fit.

The fact is, right now any group you pick has more chance to win the Presidency than an atheist. Gay, black, Muslim, woman, all of them have a much better chance than an atheist. I don't think we even have any atheist Congresscritters, do we?

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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #108
109. Hmm, none that I've heard of.
Closest we came to a national political figure was Jesse Ventura with his "religion is a crutch" comment in the Playboy interview. I didn't care much for him as governor, but he STRONGLY supported the wall of separation. He refused to sign any religious-oriented proclamations while he was gov. That and his steadfast support of abortion rights were very nice to be able to rely on.
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #98
107. That's interesting - I'm not sure I can agree. Look at this:
I'm not sure why it is any less justifiable to say that Agnosticism is "position."

Q. Do you believe in a deity?
A. I neither believe nor disbelieve in a deity.

Simply because the answer is not "yes" or "no" does not seem to negate its place as a "position."

What do you think?

I do find your point interesting and worth thinking about - just not sure if I agree or not.

For one thing Atheism, at its core as you say, is defined about fifty different ways depending on who you ask. The dictionary has: 1. Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods. 2. The doctrine that there is no God or gods.

Now, I got yelled at the other day for daring to bring up the dictionary definition, but we have to find some kind of core agreement in how terms are defined somewhere otherwise no communication is possible. However I don't see "lack of believe in any gods" to be any different in content than either 1. or 2. definition of atheism. However both 1. and 2. are unsupportable by evidence - they are, in point of fact - beliefs.

The only position I can see that does not rest on belief is the position of agnosticism which acknowledges the demonstrable fact that the existence or nonexistence of God simply cannot be known with certainty. That statement is in fact demonstrable.
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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #107
110. okay
Note that one part of the dictionary definition does indeed work with my statements: "The dictionary has: 1. Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods. 2. The doctrine that there is no God or gods."

Keep in mind that atheists don't have a lot of pull in dictionary-writing. :D

But I do believe that my yes/no concept can work. Saying one doesn't believe in god doesn't mean one is closed to the possibility. I don't believe in a lot of things, but I'm willing to change my position if enough evidence comes along.

As for my gnostic/agnostic position, it depends on how cranky I am that day. I know stating outright that there are no gods is as unprovable as affirming that there are gods. But I think I could build a reasonable case for the claim.

Finally, I just see too many people retreating to "agnosticism" as a way of avoiding the perceived radicalism of atheism. I did the same thing until a philosophy professor cleared up the definitions for me, then I leapt into atheism without hesitation.
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #110
113. That's a really good point:

aying one doesn't believe in god doesn't mean one is closed to the possibility.


Yes! Definitely true. However, we sometimes get into confusing arguments (not "we" meaning you and I) because it isn't always clear if an individual means to say "I find no evidence to support a personal belief in God" or means to say "I deny any God exists."

You can look at all kinds of books out there on "proving God doesn't exist" to illustrate the fact that some poor souls still think that a negative can somehow be proven.

By the way, I should say that George Smiths "Atheism: The Case Against God" is a tour de force of a book. It isn't so much a case against the possible existence of any kind of God (which can't be proven) as it is a scathing critique against the particular articulation of god in traditional Christan theism. His section on religious sanctions is scathing and oh, so write.

Just wanted to point out that I don't hate atheists. :D
Sel
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #113
120. I cannot resist the urge to correct "write" to "right"
but my editing time has expired... :D
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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #113
137. Yeah, I like that one
I simply come down to this: Any god or deity is, by definition, going to be supernatural. And that's not something that science can deal with. I question whether a supernatural being would even have the power to interact with our universe, or how one would exist, or what that would entail.

So I don't bother. It's a waste of time, IMO, because the religious experience is ineffable. I remember having them, and then not having them after I changed. So I know (or strongly suspect) that they were generated within my own psyche. Since what I experience is all I can really go on, I have to extrapolate that all ineffable experience is internally generated. Just as I have to assume that what I perceive as green is what you perceive as green.
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immoderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 04:59 PM
Response to Reply #113
139. Proving a negative.
Edited on Thu Jan-27-05 05:02 PM by IMModerate
I think the notion that you can't prove a negative could stand some scrutiny.

First, it is a negative statement in itself, and presents a paradox: if it's true, then it can't be proven to be true.

Surely, you can prove a negative indirectly, by a reductio ad absurdem method. That is, assume the opposite is true, and see if that leads to contradictions. Take the Loch Ness monster (please). If you assume it exists, then you have to alter some of the things we already know about physics, genetics, ecology, psychology, sociology, logic, etc. You can't prove it's "not there" but if it was there, the loch would be different, and it's not.

The problem with the god thing is the dynamic definition of: "anything you want it to be." Once you nail it down, and you try to discern the properties of god, you wind up getting into the "mysterious ways" argument or the "unfathomable" quality of him or her, because you've come to a logical impasse.

The problem is this: You're trying to use logic and reason respecting a question of theology. It's inappropriate. Like taking a screw driver to dish Jell-o.

--IMM
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 06:05 PM
Response to Reply #139
143. As I said in my post involved re: proving a negative
Edited on Thu Jan-27-05 06:10 PM by Selwynn
Lazarus gave the example that a person can prove "there are no clowns in my living room" by simply observing the living room.

Unfortunately, from a purely epistemic point of view the analogy of clowns in the room doesn't work. You cannot prove that your senses are not in fact decieving you. It is possible there are clowns in the living room and you think there are no clowns in the living room.

I know I know - sounds ridiculous. That's why people hate philosophers. But it actually is an important obersvation, because there are in fact times where someone professes certainty of a claim who has in fact had his or her senses deceived in some way.

Further: there is never any condition, topic or situation in which logical argumentation, and rational discourse do not apply.

And by the way, the subject actually at hand is not theological. It's atheism, if you go back to the top of this particulary thread chain.
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 06:22 PM
Response to Reply #143
145. Follow up: rethinking proving a negative
As I keep reading both you and Lazarus' arguments, I must say I am persuaded.

While it is true that for the purposes of an epistemic discussion one must acknowledge that it is difficult to say much of anything with absolute certainty for the very fact that all of our senses can - and sometimes are deceived. However - we weren't having a discussion about the meticulous points of epistemology.

As I ponder your points, I conclude that you are right - it is not most accurate or valid to simply brandish around the statement "you cant prove a negative" in response to any argument that denies the presence of some "thing" in some "place."

However, returning to the issue at hand, which was - a loooong time ago - actually the issue of the presence or absence of an afterlife, I do believe that the statement you cannot prove a negative here applies perfectly.

Perhaps it should be said, "you cannot prove this negative" or "you cannot prove ontological/existence negatives." But it seems pretty understandable to say it is not possible to prove an afterlife exists because you cannot look into "after death" and observe anything - you cannot die, check it out, and come back and report on it. You cannot "look around to see if there are any clowns in the living room so to speak."

However, this gets to my broader initial point. If a theist ever tells you "you cant prove a negative when it comes to the afterlife" you can respond to him/her, "you cant prove a positive when it comes to the afterlife either - there are NO KNOWLEDGE CLAIMS POSSIBLE on what is outsides the bounds of our finitude and existence.

Thank you for causing me to critically reflect on my too-casual use of the "can't prove a negative" statement.
Sel
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immoderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #145
149. So the next question is...
If there is an afterlife, what questions does that raise?

Here are some of the questions I ask:
  1. Is there consciousness in life after death? (Not much fun if there isn't because that means no beer, either.)
  2. Is consciousness a result of evolution, a survival strategy? (If it is, it's not much good in the afterlife.)
  3. Does consciousness rely on physical existence? (Or are those brain cells, neuro transmitters, synapses, etc. all there for show?)
  4. If you don't have a physical existence, then you don't need to eat, and you can't fuck, and what could you possibly do that would make you want to be there? Keep in mind we're not talking about thousands or even millions of years, but e t e r n i t y ! (Apologies to Mark Twain.)
  5. Things that we know about, and have served us well, (is there better proof?) like relativity, thermodynamics, evolution, and conservation of energy, are seriously challenged, and would have to be altered, if there is an afterlife.

As to the existence of the unknowable. As you say, you cannot observe "after death." This doesn't preclude taking a stand based on what we do know. We use probabilities to make decisions and model the world all the time. If you can resolve those issues, then there's a 50-50 chance there's an afterlife. But if there's no description of an afterlife that makes any sense, then its probability of actually existing goes way down. I put afterlife about on a par with the rapture in terms of reality.

As to indirect knowledge, it's valid. Suppose I go to the "All Clowns Registry" and systematically establish that all clowns have an alibi, including the undetectable ones. Haven't I proven the negative?

--IMM
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 02:11 AM
Response to Reply #149
165. If you're asking for my response about the afterlife, you have to know:
Edited on Fri Jan-28-05 02:12 AM by Selwynn
I have no opinion on the matter.

I neither believe, nor disbelieve in the afterlife. Frankly I don't care about the issue. I'm certainly nowhere near willing to apply probability analysis in any serious way to things that our completely outside the limits of reasoned knowledge. "Unlikely" Doesn't matter at all to me. In the end, not only do we not "know" we will never know nor can we know. Which is why I don't particularly care. :)

"then why spend all this time posting about it?"

Because I do care about logically consistent arguments - consistency in both my own and in the arguments of others. And if you think that seems ridiculous, consider the fact that I learned a lot through positive discussions with you and Lazarus, and through not so positive discussions elsewhere. I conceded points at least a couple times, and stood corrected at least once. I call that a good day. :)

So I don't consider it ridiculous at all. Plus, I got a chance to talk about Tillich. :D

But now I'm going to bed!
Sel
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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 08:52 PM
Response to Reply #145
157. So we can all be agnostic about the afterlife!
:D

I find myself using the phrase way too often myself. We're all guilty here. :hi:
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immoderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 06:44 PM
Response to Reply #143
147. We have different meanings for logic.
Edited on Thu Jan-27-05 06:44 PM by IMModerate
In my experience with logic, it deals with the values true and false. By knowing whether initial conditions are true or false you can derive the truth value of other conditions, provided the rules are rigorously applied. If you can't determine the truth of the initial conditions, the resultant logic is meaningless no matter how diligently or cleverly applied.

As far as reason goes, sure, it's always appropriate, and I've seen brilliant discourses on the number of fairies that can dance on the head of a pin, or the thermodynamics of hell, but what is resolved.

On the existence of clowns. I'm not sure what you consider a clown, but being invisible and undetectable would surely make him less than competitive in the world of show business. If he's made of matter, he's detectable. If he's not made of matter, what does "in" the room mean?

You want to use logic and reason starting with premises that are illogical and unreasonable (i.e. undetectable clowns) and my experience of logic does no encompass that.

I'm waiting for the proof that you can not prove a negative.

--IMM
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #147
148. Logic has to do with "soundness" and "validity" in premis and conclusion
Deductive arguments are one kind of logical argument. Inductive and Modal arguments are other kinds of logical arguments. All fall under the ruberic of logical argumentation.

An agrument can be said to be valid if, assuming the premises are true, the conclusion necessarily follows and cannot be otherwise.

An argument can be said to be sound only if it is not only valid, but the premises happen to actually be true.

There is often much disagreement as to what conditions or criteria must be met in order to say a certain premise is actually true. There is often disagreement as to what "true" actually means in context. Literally true? Conceptually true? Symbolically or representationally true? Some or all?

There is also often much discussion about what kinds of evidence can be introduced in support of a given premise. These are where much discussion occurs. In these discussions, there is certainly still a need to have cohernent argumenation. Irrelevant to the nature of the subeject, it is still possible to make arguments that are logically fallacious.


On the existence of clowns. I'm not sure what you consider a clown, but being invisible and undetectable would surely make him less than competitive in the world of show business. If he's made of matter, he's detectable. If he's not made of matter, what does "in" the room mean?


You are missing the point. It is not that the clowns themselves are invisible and undetectable. It is that your senses are not behaving correctly and you incorrectly believe there are no clowns when in fact there are indeed clowns. The issue is not clowns "not made of matter" - the issue is the fallability and trick-ability of your senses. This is the challenge in epistemology and how the question arises, "can we be said to know anything at all? if "know" implies certainty?" We may consider it likely that our senses are functioning correctly, but we can't say with absolute certainty we are not being tricked. We cannot rule out for example what philosophers call the BIV example: brain in a vat. We cannot rule out that in fact, we are brains in a vat that are fooled into believing that our experiences are "real" when in fact they are not. I am not actually sitting at a desk typing - I am a brain in a vat. I like to call this the matrix scenario.

Many philosophers argue that if we are to get technical, humans actually know nothing, but we do hold beliefs that we conclude are justifiable, and the most interesting debates come over which beliefs are justifiable and which are not.

This is all irrelevant to the actual issue at hand, which is about proving a negative, becuase I've come to concede some of your points about that, if you'll look at my post below.

Sel
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immoderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #148
150. Agree we're not here to argue brain in a vat.
I think there's no point in going there.

Back to logic. Agreed that it may be difficult to ascertain the truth value of the original premise. But that's the beauty of logic. Like algebra you can manipulate unknowns. And you can determine the result of an implication. Then you can substitute the truth value of the hypothesis. Then you can compare the results with things which are accepted to be true. If there are inconsistencies, you can reject the hypothesis.

(Sorry to beat the "prove a negative" thing to death, but you got me going. The first few times I heard it, it sounded reasonable. Then I noticed it's self contradictory. It reminded me of the saying, 'Avoid cliches like the plague.' The (prove a negative) saying has become part of the dogma. People accept it without questioning.)

--IMM
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 02:14 AM
Response to Reply #150
167. Me too! It sounded reasonable to me as a universal ---
-- now I have people come to show me that it is only a conditional.

:)

Learning is awesome.
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qazplm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 08:05 AM
Response to Reply #110
194. the problem is that
agnostics are considered worse than atheists by nearly everyone...if its a way to avoid radicalism, it doesnt exactly provide an attractive alternative so to speak.

I dont retreat to agnosticism because of the perceived radicalism of atheism, because I tell you, theists have as much disdain for agnostics as atheists, and less respect ("at least atheists take a stand" is something agnostics hear all the time).

I embrace agnosticism because I find it logically the best position. I do not believe there is any proof for theism, and I do not find there is any proof for atheism. I can easily envision God not existing but also can fairly easily imagine God existing.

The latter I am almost 100% sure would be in a form not even remotely close to anything man has imagined in organized religion thus far. But the idea of an "entity" responsible for bringing the universe into being? I dont know. could be, could not be, until we can see before the Big Bang, there is no way of knowing what the cause was, or even if a cause was required in a scenario where time does not exist (pre-Big Bang).
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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #194
244. I can imagine unicorns existing
Edited on Mon Jan-31-05 01:09 PM by lazarus
and prancing about my living room. But I don't believe in them. See my post #243 (below) for more about your misconception regarding atheism vs agnosticism.
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qazplm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 07:58 AM
Response to Reply #98
193. what?
No, its a yes/no/I Dont Know question.

It is not "copping out", and it is rather annoying to see that bit of nonlogic thrown out there as often as it is.

Do you believe? Yes, No, I Don't Know.

Each is a position. They also by the way move into knowledge.

Theists and Atheists say: yes we can know if there is a God
Agnostics say: no we cant know if there is a God
(and some agnostics say: I dont know if we can know if there is a God)

I find agnosticism to be the most logical of the three because it basically asks for proof and admits that the concept of God itself makes it difficult for man to begin to understand not just whether God exists but what God is or is not.
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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #193
243. You don't know if you believe?
You misunderstand the question.

"Do you believe in a god?" is binary. You can't answer "I don't know" anymore than you can make that response to a question like, "Are you awake?" You either are or you aren't. Do or don't.

"Is there a god?" is trinary, with an agnostic option.

Unless you don't know your own mind.

Again, you can be an agnostic atheist, or an agnostic theist, or a gnostic theist, or a gnostic atheist.
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qazplm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 03:40 AM
Response to Reply #243
250. binary?
Says who?

Are you awake IS a binary question becausee it is a fact not a belief.

Beliefs and feelings can most definitely be answered I dont know.

You can continue making up definitions all you like, but that doesnt make them logical or rational.

Do you believe in God is a yes, no or I dont know question. If you dont know if there IS a God then how can you say you do or do not believe in a God?

It has nothing to do with "knowing your own mind" it has to do with knowing that you dont know, and cant know and therefore not attempting to answer the question in a binary fashion simply because people like you "demand" it.
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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #250
256. Again
You are (intentionally?) misunderstanding the concepts here.

Knowledge is trinary, belief is binary. "I don't know" doesn't answer the existence of god, it answers the question of your belief. I find it difficult to believe that you don't know if you believe in something.

"Do you know if you believe in God?" is a radically different question from "Do you believe in God?".

And I'm not "demanding" anything.

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qazplm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 03:23 AM
Response to Reply #256
262. the fact that you find it difficult to believe
is irrelevant to whether it is true or not.
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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-03-05 02:30 AM
Response to Reply #262
269. So go ahead
and ignore the rest of the post, because you've scored some sort of point of some kind. Huzzah.

If you can honestly state that you don't know if you believe something, go right ahead.

I'm done with this, because you're being intentionally obtuse.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #193
246. Definitions
The word theist means a person that believes in a god or gods.

The prefix 'a' means without.

The word atheist is derived from the word theist and preceded by the prefix 'a' meaning without. Thus an atheist is a person without a belief in god or gods.

If you do not actively believe there is a god then you are an atheist as you are without a belief in god.

The words gnostic and agnostic address matters different than belief. They address knowledge. Gnostic meaning someone that has direct knowledge of a subject. This is to say they know the absolute nature of something. Conversely an agnostic is simply someone without absolute knowledg of a subject.

Thus a person can lack a belief in god but not be sure one way or another and lack any specific knowledge and they will be an agnostic atheist.

A person can belief in god but not have a direct knowledge of his/her/it's existance. This makes them an agnostic theist.

Agnostic on its own only tells us that you do not have absolute knowledge of a subject (or rather you do not think you do). We cannot tell from this alone whether you currently have a belief (if even an incling) that there is a god out there.

Note your condition as atheist or theist can change on a regular basis. As your mind sorts through the ever increasing experiences of your life you continuously reasses your beliefs. If you are particularly uncertain about the subject you can oscilate quite frequently. But at a given moment you either do or do not have a belief that there is a god out there.
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qazplm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 03:37 AM
Response to Reply #246
249. baloney
I love how people can tell you how YOU think and what YOU believe.

a. I dont not know if God exists or not
b. I dont not think it knowable if God exists or not
c. I do not know if I believe in God or not, because it is asinine to simply "choose" when you dont have any knowledge on which to base that choice.

So sorry to ruin your belief that this is a binary choice, but it isnt.
At any given moment I think exactly the same, I have absolutely no clue and as I learn more about the world, I see that my clue about this area is less and less.

I am simply agnostic and I also am neither a theist nor an athiest, you can keep attempting to tell me that I really have picked one side or the other all you want, but I find that rather rude and presumptuous for one, and find your attempts to constrain someone thought process by legalistic definitions unwise.

If you wish to create a third category agnostic agnosticism or whatever, feel free, but I have no desire to be tied up in your classifications.

and I thank you for the rather condescending tone as well.
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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #249
258. Heh
It is indeed a binary choice, you just don't appear to want to accept that.

Question: Do you believe in god?

"a. I dont not know if God exists or not"

Great. Not an answer to the question, but fine.

"b. I dont not think it knowable if God exists or not"

Again, not an answer to the question. Both these answers would be suitable for the question "Does god exist," however.

"c. I do not know if I believe in God or not, because it is asinine to simply "choose" when you dont have any knowledge on which to base that choice."

So you don't know if you believe in Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, or Invisible Pink Unicorns, either?

The default position is atheism. It's how you were born. We were all born without a belief in god. That belief was taught to us. You either have it, or you don't.

Why you believe or don't believe is a whole different question. The existence of that belief is what the original question addresses. To not know if you believe in something is akin to saying you don't know if you are standing or sitting.

The key that you keep missing through all of this is that the question of god's existence doesn't enter this at all.
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qazplm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 03:36 AM
Response to Reply #258
264. huh/
I DO feel I have enough information to count out all of the asinine other choices you listed, so yes I DO know if I believe in all of those other things.

I have evidence of whether I am standing or sitting OR more importantly it is possible to GET evidence about whether I am standing or sitting.

I have SOMETHING upon which to form a belief on all of the things you listed there.

I dont know if i believe in aliens or not. never seen one. they could easily exist, they could easily not exist. I wasnt born with a belief in aliens either. I wasnt born with ANY beliefs. I came to them just as you did by thinking about them. So from your way of thinking I MUST either believe in aliens or not. Thats asinine. I dont have to do any such thing. I dont have a belief or disbelief on who is going to win the world curling championships either, but according to you, i really must have one because after all knowledge is irrelevant, so i must have a belief on the subject even though I dont know a single team or player.

I am sure at times I MAY have slipped one way or the other as a younger man, but as i grew the more and more I decided there is no way to go one way or the other and therefore I choose not to even ask the question at this point, because if the answer is unknowable, it makes little sense to decide on a "belief". My knowledge of God's existence or nonexistence is about as extensive as my knowledge of who is going to win the world curling championships and even worse, at least with the latter I can research and quickly at least come to a belief, with God from my POV I cant even begin to do that.

So like the curling championships, I have no belief or disbelief because I realize that I dont know the first thing about EITHER.

And if you are going to make arguments, please come with something less simple minded than santa claus.

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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 06:10 AM
Response to Reply #264
265. A simple question
Do you believe there is a god or gods? Yes or No. Claiming you don't know would indicate that you are without a belief in god or gods. As if you did believe there were a god or gods you would answer yes.

This has nothing to do with whether you can posit an accesptible reason for what you believe. This is the gut. This is what you think is going on out there. This is an emotional question not a reasoned one.
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qazplm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-03-05 08:42 AM
Response to Reply #265
272. no
claiming I dont know would indicate I dont know.

I dont have a "gut" feeling for what is going on out there, I am clueless because I dont go off of "gut" feelings anyways, and even if I did, I recognize that in this case my "gut" doesnt know jack.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-03-05 09:16 AM
Response to Reply #272
273. Do you understand why I am using the term?
Edited on Thu Feb-03-05 09:24 AM by Az
We are trying to get past the rationalizations. The terms atheism and theism do not refer to a rationalized conjectured position. They refer to matters of belief. If you do believe there are gods in the universe then you are a theist. That is if you suspect, think, suppose, or lean towards the notion that there are powers or gods that created this universe or watch it or sit back and laugh at it you are a theist.

If however you do not currently suppose there are gods running around out there then you are an atheist. This is not a case of defying the cosmos. Its merely a question of whether you lack a belief in god or gods. If you do not believe in gods then by definition you do not believe in gods. That is the binary nature of this situation. Lets express it in binary notation.

0 = No particular belief in gods

1 = A belief in god or gods.

1 <> 0

Lets look at it in set theory.

Theists (A) are the set of all people that have a belief in god or gods.

All those not belonging to the set theist are considered to be of the set atheist (B). Theist and Atheist do not share any members.

A B = ∅

Simply put atheism is defined and noted only due to the presense of theists. Atheism is simply the lack of conditions necissary to be considered a theist. It doesn't get any simpler.



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qazplm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-04-05 08:45 AM
Response to Reply #273
277. that is the problem
you are being simple.

Apparently you have deemed that theists believe in gods and atheists is the catchall term for everyone else.

Meanwhile, some of us believe that atheist is as specific of a term as theist and describes an ACTIVE belief or an ACTIVE disbelief while agnostic is someone who has NEITHER.

You can keep trying to define the terms in the very narrow fashion you are trying all you want to, but it is not a binary thought process, except to the two or three of you that can't wrap your heads around the idea that it could be anything but.
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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-03-05 02:27 AM
Response to Reply #264
268. Okay, forget Santa Claus
How about Ahura-Mazda, the god of Zoroastrianism? Do you believe in him, or not?

Again, this is about belief, NOT KNOWLEDGE. I'm not asking if Ahura-Mazda exists, I'm asking if you believe he exists.

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qazplm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-03-05 08:40 AM
Response to Reply #268
271. do i believe a SPECIFIC God exists?
nope, because since I do not think that any finite entity could truly know or understand an infinite entity well enough to "get it right" (or at all really), then no I do not believe in any of the particularized "Gods" that man has come up with.

that is a SEPARATE question from the concept of any "God" at all.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 06:16 PM
Response to Reply #249
259. Condescending?
Any attitude to this part of the thread is being brought by you. I merely provdied a series of definitions to try to clear a semantic issue. Semantic issues are often an unnecissary turmoil in an already difficult discussion. Clearing them up is always a good idea. So check yourself on the attitude category.

You also seem to be missing the distinction that is being made between knowing a thing and believing a thing. Knowing comes from direct experience. It is about certainty. Belief comes from a constant struggle that goes on within our minds. It is the culmination of our various beliefs struggling for emotional dominance within our brains.

Now as to the terms atheism and theism. You can be open to the possibility of god existing and still not actively believe in god at the moment. But you cannot simultaneously believe and not believe in god. Its simply exclusionary. You can entertain notions of god but if they do not overcome your current balance of beliefs it will not establish itself as your current belief.

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qazplm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 03:29 AM
Response to Reply #259
263. baloney
and the attitude comes from your continual insistence on a flawed argument.

It is no different from saying "Do you believe in aliens?"

yes, I do.
No, I dont.
I dont know, could be, could not I have no clue.

If you concede that aliens could exist or could not exist with equal likelihood then saying you dont know if you believe they exist because you have no knowledge on which to base that belief is clearly valid and no different than substituting the word God for aliens.

actively believing is a state but SO is actively disbelieving.
You make the logically flawed argument that if you dont actively do one you must do the other.

plain fact of the matter is you are wrong. I am not missing any distinction between believing or knowing, I am seeing the distinction you are missing that it is not about simultaneously believing and not believing, it is about saying you dont know what you believe because you have zero evidence to believe one way or the other.

Unlike you, i have decided not to arbitrarily believe one way or the other until if/when I come across enough information to give me a reason to believe. I simply say its a question that at this point I find pointless to even try to answer or worry about.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-03-05 02:59 AM
Response to Reply #263
270. And you are missing the point we are making
The word theist means specifically someone that believes in god or gods. Do we agree on that point?

The prefix 'a' means without. Do we agree on that point?

Put them together and you have the word atheist, meaning someone without a belief in god or gods.

This in no way implies you actively disbelieve in god. It only means you are currently without (prefix 'a') a belief in god (theist).

We are not trying to imply that you have to join American Atheists or any such nonsense. We are merely trying to point out that atheism at it's simplest level is a lack of belief in god or gods. Thats it. Anything more and you are going to have to be more descriptive about the individual. Its a very basic core level label.

An atheist can range from someone that has never heard the concept of god expressed and thus has never formed an opinion on the matter to someone that was raised in a monestary and rejected the teachings and became an apostate.

If you are very open to the idea of there being a god but currently don't actively believe in one (or more) then the descriptor would be weak atheist. Just as someone that sort of believes there is a god but is not entirely convinced would be a weak theist.

I do not sit around working to convince myself that there is no god. I do not have to try to convince myself of this. I am not actively disbelieving in god. I simply lack a belief in god.

Lets look at the word disbelieve. Dis is a prefix that means remove. To disbelieve a thing you have to be working to remove your belief on it. To disrobe is to take off your clothes. If you have no active inclination to believe in god then there is no need to disbelieve.

To reiterate. I have no belief in god. I am not trying to not believe in god. I simply see nothing convincing indicating that there may be a god. If one should appear before me and manage to convince me I would believe it. I am an open minded agnostic atheist. For I do not claim to know there is no god and am willing to change should I be convinced there is one.
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qazplm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-04-05 08:48 AM
Response to Reply #270
278. no we dont agree on that point
the VERY common definition of atheist is someone who has an ACTIVE disbelief in God. Now you can play silly games and go back to semantics if you want to, but as you no doubt clearly know, words do NOT always capture ideas and beliefs perfectly and exacting definitions often change from the time a word is first "used".

Today there are three beliefs, an active belief (theist) an active disbelief (atheist) and neither (agnostics).

I have not run across ANYONE except you two guys on here who do not concede that trinary understanding.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-04-05 09:09 AM
Response to Reply #278
279. Keep in mind
That definition is the one applied to us by those that do believe in gods. This is actually a growing trend in the atheist community. Its a returning to the roots of the word kind of thing. But lets put the semantics aside for a moment.

Forget the specific labels. Do you agree that a person that does not currently believe there is a god is lacking a belief in god?

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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-04-05 09:17 AM
Response to Reply #278
280. Make that three guys on here.
Belief being "active" has nothing to do with it. Your "very common" definition is a creation by theists to marginalize atheists.
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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 08:46 AM
Response to Reply #98
252. This Makes Perfect Sense.
That's a gem of a post in this hodgepodge of confusing sub-threads.

-- Allen

PS: I agree with you about how the "agnostic" label is used as a cop-out and to avoid making a declaration one way or another.
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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 04:37 PM
Response to Reply #252
257. Thanks, Allen
Shame some people can't figure out the basics, isn't it?
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WoodrowFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:07 AM
Response to Reply #46
179. don't worry about it dude
Edited on Fri Jan-28-05 11:09 AM by WoodrowFan
I believe and I'll put in a good word for you and Az when I see him.

:)
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hilster Donating Member (135 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-05 11:38 PM
Response to Original message
17. here's the main site
for anyone who's interested:

http://www.shroud.com/latebrak.htm#rogers
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Domitan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 07:02 AM
Response to Reply #17
42. Providing that this new study is valid
I can see two kneejerk camps: one of the religious who keep on insisting that this is Jesus Christ...instead of it possibly being another person or an artistic representation of a person. The other is the "skeptic" camp which holds onto the old debunking articles as THE truth.

Now if this new study is seriously flawed, then the "skeptics" have the stronger point.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-05 11:44 PM
Response to Original message
19. Deleted message
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MrPrax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-05 11:54 PM
Response to Original message
20. Oh good grief...
Edited on Wed Jan-26-05 11:56 PM by MrPrax
This thing has been proven as a fake, every way over Sunday

Just like for those that missed this during the Christmas season...

Fake Out!
How forgers made grime seem ancient.

The Israel Antiquities Authority has advised museums worldwide that their Bible-era relics may be fakes produced by a team of forgers now under indictment. These forgers are charged with concocting the so-called James ossuary, which purportedly held the bones of Jesus' brother. According to the AP's account, they were skilled at creating "ancient grime" that fooled many scientists into authenticating their wares. How might a forger go about making grime that seems ancient?
<snip>
Strategies for crafting a convincing artificial patina can, of course, vary. Another alleged work of the indicted men was the so-called Jehoash (or Yoash) tablet, inscribed with what appeared to be proof that it had come from the 3,000-year-old Temple of Solomon.
<snip>
http://slate.msn.com/id/2111607 /

from the AP story:

"Scholars said the forgers exploited the deep emotional need of Jews and Christians to find physical evidence for their beliefs."

The indictment lists 124 witnesses including antiquities collectors, archaeologists, Sotheby's officials, and British and Brooklyn Museum experts.

Mr Dorfman said the fraud appeared to go far beyond what had been uncovered so far.

"We discovered only the tip of the iceberg. This spans the globe. It generated millions of dollars," he said.

http://www.heraldsun.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,54...

Religious relics are always suspect; I remember reading that some wiseguy added up all the bits of the wood caliming to be the Cross being held by Churches and he calculated you could build four complete crosses...

Is there still two heads of Jean the Bapist still?

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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 07:43 AM
Response to Reply #20
49. Deleted message
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lovuian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 12:00 AM
Response to Original message
22. Well the fact that the Shroud is dated back to Christs time
is an interesting fact!!!

and the picture on it is awesome!!!

So I am in awe thats for sure
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hilster Donating Member (135 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 12:07 AM
Response to Reply #22
23. ditto
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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 12:12 AM
Response to Reply #22
24. except it isn't
try reading some of the other posts in the thread, this has been long debunked.
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 06:52 AM
Response to Reply #22
41. It would be interesting IF IT WERE TRUE
Even pope John Paul II says it's fake.

And as we all know, according to The Doctrine of the Infallibility of the Pope, he must be correct.

If even His Hole-i-ness the Poop says it's a fake...
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cosmicaug Donating Member (676 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 12:25 AM
Response to Original message
25. Actual journal article.
http://tinyurl.com/47gfr

Very, very quick scan of article. The dating method he uses is rate of loss of vanillin from lignin matrix (vanillin is apparently undetectable outside the patched material). It appears that his controls are the Dead Sea scrolls (don't show vanillin) and some of the patching material (does show vanillin).

I'd like to see more samples known to be contemporary with the C-14 obtained date to accept this particular dating method.
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Boosterman Donating Member (515 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 04:59 AM
Response to Reply #25
34. Ah someone with skepticism and knowledge
Edited on Thu Jan-27-05 05:52 AM by Boosterman
Actually a rare combination around here at times.
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moobu2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 12:48 AM
Response to Original message
26. There were a lot of Jesus shrouds around during the middle ages
This was just the one the Pope picked to recognized most likely for political reasons because the family that owned it was very wealthy and powerful.

It's a fake like most holy relics are. during the middle ages manufacturing relics was a thriving business. Churches used the fake relics to gain power from the ignorant masses.
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manly Donating Member (278 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 01:02 AM
Response to Reply #26
27. holy sheet
"Churches used the fake relics to gain power from the ignorant masses." And there are still plenty of ignorant masses still around.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 01:35 AM
Response to Reply #27
28. Deleted message
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PittPoliSci Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 01:50 AM
Response to Original message
29. when you lay a cloth over your face...
the wrinkles on it do not look like your face.

sigh... :eyes:
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 02:08 AM
Response to Original message
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illuminaughty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 02:28 AM
Response to Original message
31. WTF? Are things so bad the
New York Times is gettin' fundie money from this admin.? This story has been debunked so many times after so much massive carbon testing, the shroud's almost nothing but a G-string now.

Are they just rolling out the publicity wagon early for the Olympics in Turin next year? OOH, gotta see Jesus' blanky! Sorry, I'm going to hell, yes, I know.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 06:29 AM
Response to Reply #31
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 06:27 AM
Response to Original message
35. Oh, come on. Even the Pope says it's a fake!
It's the most thoroughly debunked artifact in the world.

Paint.

It's made from PAINT!
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 06:41 AM
Response to Original message
37. The Shroud: As thoroughly debunked as debunked can be
Edited on Thu Jan-27-05 06:47 AM by IanDB1
Below is a FAKE SHROUD created by investigator Joe Nickel:


Shroud of Turin Exhibition Renews False Claims of Authenticity
Amherst, N.Y.
For immediate release
Contact Matt Nisbet 716-636-1425

April 5, 1998
Shroud of Turin
Beginning April 18, for the first time in twenty years, the Shroud of Turin will be on display to the public in Turin, Italy. Despite well-documented forensic and historical evidence to the contrary, the announced viewing has produced renewed claims that the Shroud of Turin is the authentic burial cloth of Jesus.

The following is a summary of the shroud debate by Joe Nickell, Senior Research Fellow with the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP.) Nickell is the author of sixteen books on investigation and the paranormal including Inquest on the Shroud of Turin. During the 1980's, Nickell served on a team of scholarly and scientific experts that evaluated the shroud claims and found them to be false.
http://www.csicop.org/q/book/087975396X



The Shroud of Turin Controversy
Joe Nickell

For the first time in 20 years, the controversial Shroud of Turin will be placed on exhibit at its home in northern Italy. Not only are pilgrims expected to flock to the site, the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin, but many claims are expected to be made for the cloth by its defenders. Some facts are therefore in order.

Historically, the Shroud of Turin is one of some forty reputed burial cloths of Jesus, although it is the only one to bear the apparent imprints and bloodstains of a crucified man. Religious critics have long noted that the Turin shroud is incompatible with the bible, which describes multiple burial wrappings, including a separate napkin that covered Jesus face (John 20:57).

The Turin cloth first appeared in north-central France in the mid-fourteenth century. At that time the local bishop uncovered an artist who confessed he had cunningly painted the image. Subsequently, in 1389, Pope Clement VII officially declared the shroud to be only a painted representation.

Years later, this finding was conveniently forgotten by the granddaughter of the original owner. She sold it to the House of Savoy, which later became the Italian monarchy. Eventually the cloth was transferred to Turin. In 1983 Italys exiled king died, bequeathing the shroud to the Vatican.

The shrouds modern history has confirmed the assessment of the skeptical bishop and Pope Clement. Forensic tests of the blood which has remained suspiciously bright red were consistently negative, and in 1980 renowned microanalyst Walter C. McCrone determined that the image was composed of red ocher and vermilion tempera paint.

Finally in 1988 the cloth was radiocarbon dated by three independent labs using accelerator mass spectrometry. The resulting age span of circa 12601390 was given added credibility by correct dates obtained from a variety of control swatches, including Cleopatras mummy wrapping.

These findings are mutually supportive. The tempera paint indicates the image is the work of an artist, which in turn is supported by the bishops claim that an artist confessed, as well as by the prior lack of historical record. The radiocarbon date is consistent with the time of the reported artists confession. And so on.

The approach of impartial scientists has therefore been to let the evidence lead to a conclusion. In contrast, self-styled sindonologists (sindon being Greek for shroud) typically begin with the desired answer and work backward to the evidence challenging anything that would seem incompatible with authenticity.

For example, they claim to have discovered microbial contamination on shroud samples that may have altered the radiocarbon dating. Yet for there to be sufficient contamination to raise the date thirteen centuries there would have to be twice as much debris, by weight, as the entire shroud itself! Moreover, the Vatican and the Archbishop of Turin have challenged the samples authenticity, and Walter McCrone insists that the fibers shown in photomicrographs of the piece of cloth did not come from the Shroud of Turin.

For some, belief will always take precedence over historical and scientific evidence. For others, however, the realization that the shroud never held a body should come as no surprise.


Beginning April 18, for the first time in twenty years, the Shroud of Turin will be on display to the public in Turin, Italy. Despite well-documented forensic and historical evidence to the contrary, the announced viewing has produced renewed claims that the Shroud of Turin is the authentic burial cloth of Jesus.

The Council for Media Integrity is a network of prominent scientists, academics and members of the media concerned with the balanced portrayal of science in the media. It was launched at the 1996 First World Skeptics Congress and is sponsored by the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP, www.csicop.org ).

For more information, contact Matt Nisbet at 716-636-1425 or SINISBET@aol.com .

Related Information

Inquest on the Shroud of Turin
http://www.csicop.org/cgi-bin/q/book/087975396X

THE SHROUD OF TURIN
RESEARCH AT McCRONE RESEARCH INSTITUTE
http://www.mcri.org/Shroud.html

Bible verse: John 20:57
http://www.gospelcom.net/cgi-bin/bible?language=English...

The Skeptic's Dictionary: shroud of Turin
http://wheel.dcn.davis.ca.us/~btcarrol/skeptic/shroud.h...

The Skeptical Shroud of Turin Website
http://humanist.net/shroud /

Time Magazine: Science and the Shroud (April 1998)
http://www.pathfinder.com/time/magazine/1998/dom/980420...

CNN: Exhibit for disputed Shroud of Turin starts Sunday (4/18/98)
http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/europe/9804/18/shroud.reut /


New "Shroud" Claims Challenged as Spurious
Amherst, N.Y.
June 1996
http://www.csicop.org/articles/shroud/index.html



Other articles on The Shroud of Turin
http://www.csicop.org/cgi-bin/search/search.cgi?q=shrou...

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FuzzyDicePHL Donating Member (698 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 07:40 AM
Response to Reply #37
48. Arrrgh
For some, belief will always take precedence over historical and scientific evidence.

And that is precisely why fundamentalists are called fundamentalists: The refusal to consider reason when it conflicts with their brainwashing.

:puke:
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ElsewheresDaughter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 06:50 AM
Response to Original message
40. saw on National Geographic last night a research ship looking for Noah's
ark in the Black Sea....it seems that these fundies are plowing full steam ahead
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Wright Patman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 07:26 AM
Response to Reply #40
44. The neocons in the White House
are looking for a world war in the Middle East that would confirm the Book of Revelation.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 07:28 AM
Response to Reply #40
45. Deleted message
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johnaries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 08:35 AM
Response to Reply #40
67. There are hundreds of Great Flood stories. Here's one listing:
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Stuckinthebush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 07:20 AM
Response to Original message
43. Oh, good lord!
The planet is going in the crapper, Mr. Bush is threatening the Middle East, the dollar continues to slip slide away, China will explore ways to peg the Euro or another currency to the yuan, global warming is about to reach a no return point, and Sponge Bob is being viciously attacked. Why in the name of all that is good does anyone waste valuable time on researching and worrying about the freakin' Shroud of Turin?

Color me frustrated.

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Montanan Donating Member (78 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 07:45 AM
Response to Original message
50. Fundie Squelch
Next time a fundie gets in your face, ear, or head - ask them if they really believe that George Washington chopped down the cherry tree, or tossed a dollar across the Potomac River.

They don't really believe it, of course, because we all know that those legends about Washington were created by one Parson Weems in the 19th Century.

Pose the question: If heroic fables about a politician, who was alive just 200 years ago, can be created from whole cloth and widely believed for generations, how can Christians possibly think that the 2000-year-old story of Jesus must be true?

Now, you probably won't change a fundie's mind by making them think along those lines, but it might bother them enough to at least condemn and rebuke you, which I have always found very satisfying.
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DemBones DemBones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 07:48 AM
Response to Original message
51. I knew that if this was posted in LBN, there'd be kneejerk denial and

mockery aplenty. Why assume Dr. Rogers is wrong without reading his article? He apparently has pretty good credentials, so perhaps he's actually turned up something interesting. If not, the Shroud is still an interesting object.

I don't know why so many here are so eager to "debunk the Shroud." If the Shroud were conclusively proven to be a forgery, it wouldn't turn Christians away from Jesus, anyway.


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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 07:53 AM
Response to Reply #51
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Stuckinthebush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 08:06 AM
Response to Reply #54
57. Fear of God?
Interesting assessment.

I contend that it is not a fear of God that causes many DUers to ridicule stories such as the Shroud of Turin, but rather a fear of the illogic of certain sects of Christianity. Any story that bolsters these groups in their certainty of the divinity of Jesus and the rightness of their positions is something to be fearful of.

The Shroud of Turin has been debunked time and again. Frankly, there will never be any proof solid enough for the true believers to accept that the chances of such a shroud belonging to a single person are astronomical, so it is foolish to continue to try to "prove" that the image on the shroud is that of the historical Jesus. In fact, it can never be concluded that a single person was wrapped in the shroud without DNA fingerprints which we will never have. Therefore, the continued use of resources in this manner is seen as irresponsible by many here and around the world.
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 08:13 AM
Response to Reply #57
60. what has been debunked? - there was never a claim by the church to
debunk

and this is just dating -

sorry - but I smell the fear of God!
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Stuckinthebush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 08:20 AM
Response to Reply #60
63. What does God have to do with the shroud?
Why would DUers fear of the illogic of many American Christians be seen as a "fear of God"?
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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 08:53 AM
Response to Reply #63
72. nothing
but it's fun to attribute feelings one is having to one's opposition. In this case, I sense a fear of not-God.

I have no fear of God. I've done all sorts of blasphemous things for fun and on dares. Cursed him in a church on Sunday, that sort of thing. No Fear. I promise. :D
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 09:35 AM
Response to Reply #63
77. It's many- or all?- illogic or faith?- and a strong response is motivated
Edited on Thu Jan-27-05 09:37 AM by papau
by

fear of GOD

Fear of those that have faith

or just a fear of illogic - since the assertion that the speaker has no fear of God is to be taken as truth.

Heck I accept you have no fear of God and just want to respond to illogic.

I suspect others on this thread are not so motivated.

But to get back to the lack of logic - Just what the heck is the dating report missing as to logic?
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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #77
80. strawman alert
You brought up logic, and now want to move the argument there.

Logic is a tool, like a computer. Garbage in, garbage out. I can construct elegant logical arguments proving ANYTHING, if you'll just accept the original premise and statements as fact.

As for fear of god, I notice that's a big thing in the Christian faith, being afraid of the loving and merciful god. For atheists? Not so much. All this talk of fear is projection.

The only thing I'm afraid of is the possibility that fundamentalism will continue to increase in power, because then I'll end up in a camp somewhere.
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #80
82. Ah, but the assertion that atheists do not fear God is just an assertion!
But I'll accept it on faith!

:-)

And thank you for noticing that I am playing with the concept of projection -

I suspect much about what we scream about and fear is based on projection.
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moobu2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 11:08 AM
Response to Reply #60
91. Your reaction would seem to be more out of fear......
A group of scientists and priests had a news conference a while back showing all the results of testing that proved the piece of cloth is a fake. The Church was involved, so your claim is false.

As far as you claiming that it wouldn't change anything even if it were a fake...then why worry about the fake Shroud so much?

It's fake, it's been proven and this guy comes along claiming new test results (he claims) proves it could fit into the time period that Jesus lived....so what? How do you know he didn't set out believing it was real? how do you know his tests were accurate? Has his results been reviewed by his fellow scientists? you have no idea.

You want to believe it so you do. I could care less even if it was that old, it wouldn't make me believe it had magical powers, I wouldn't join a Christian cult or anything.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 07:54 AM
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FuzzyDicePHL Donating Member (698 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 08:06 AM
Response to Reply #56
58. YES
Well said.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 08:15 AM
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 10:31 AM
Response to Original message
84. Jesus Christ people - HALF the messages are DELETED -- GROW UP
Children, do you all need mother to give you a time out?

Allow me to give you an example of civil discourse.

I have not yet had the chance to read the full times article. But let me tell you a couple of questions that immediately come to mind. First, I would really need to know more about Dr. Raymond N. Rogers. For example, is he working for the church, has he been published or in any way distinguish his professional career through the advocacy if religious ideas or arguments? If so, nothing wrong with that. However it raises a "red flag" for me when it comes to the accuracy of his assertions.

Second, I realize I would have to get much more familiar with the history of the dating of the Shroud in order to speak more intelligently on the subject. Third, as I go to read the NTY article I'll be looking for detailed information on the specific science here. For example, is it possible to prove that one piece was from a latter "patched" part and another was much older? Do we have conclusive evidence that at least some of this thing seems to date back further, or is this evidence speculative only and open to interpretation?

Finally I have to ask a personal question - why in this hell is this so big of a deal that there are like 30 deleted message posts on this thread? Who the hell cares that much and cares so much that they have to act like 2 year old children needing a nap instead of sophisticated adults?
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Boosterman Donating Member (515 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 10:40 AM
Response to Reply #84
87. LOL
I manage to survive the purge. Excellent points on your part sir or maam.
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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 12:56 PM
Response to Reply #84
105. A response
"Dr. Raymond N. Rogers" doesn't appear in Google.

Dr Raymond N. Rogers" doesn't appear either.

"Dr. Raymond Rogers" does appear, 31 times.

Most of these appearances are of other men. I found one very, very interesting quote from him, though:

"I am convinced the burden of proof is now on the skeptic." (Dr. Raymond Rogers, Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory)

This quote appears on the page to purchase the book When Millions Saw the Shroud from the Holy Face Association. This group apparently does nothing but sell pro-Shroud merchandise, medals, things like that. The book was published in 1979. It was written by a Father Rinaldi, who ran the Corpus Christi Chapel in New York as a major Shroud shrine (say "shroud shrine", it sounds funny!) and sells lots of pro-Shroud stuff.


And I have no idea why so many people are being so inconsiderate on this thread. Both sides of the theism/atheism debate are feeling very attacked right now; Atheists because of what's happening in the country, and theists because, I dunno, atheists are around? :shrug:
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #105
123. I think you should take another look--
If you can't put yourself in a theists shoes - especially the kind of theist who would frequent a progressive liberal discussion forum - and see how and why they might feel defensive and/or threatened, may I suggest you tried to understand the other side just a little bit better.

I certainly, clearly, understand why Atheists feel threatened and deeply upset about what they see all around them.

As to the other thing, my skepticms as to the legitimacy of this Dr. Rogers continues to grow....

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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #123
127. Many theists on here have stated quite clearly that...
they feel the non-believers are "scaring" Christians away from the Democratic party.

This allows them to ignore the flaws in their own religion that make it inherently malleable to conform with virtually any political philosophy. It means they don't have to ask why people can so easily read "tough love" into the message of Christ, and justify the elimination of welfare or the invasion of a sovereign nation that had no capacity to attack us.

No, it's much easier to blame the atheists and their "hate speech."
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #127
128. I don't think that is entirely fair.
Just because some feel that hostile attitudes towards religion "scare away" more open-minded religious folk from the Democratic party does not necessarily mean that they therefore ignore the flaws of their own religion.

For example I am extremely aware of the flaw of all religions, as I am aware of the flaws of institutions in general, beyond simply religious institutions. That doesn't change the facts that attitudes of sweeping hostility - if actually present - are indeed unfortunate and may drive away those who would otherwise be very at home in the community.

So one does not seem logically necessariy connected to the other. I tend to try and avoid polarized thinking. It seems to me far more likely that there are some "atheists" doing some lame things that they shouldn't do and there are some "religious" people doing some lame things that they shouldn't do when it comes to our community. I think trying to paint it any other way is ludicrous.
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 04:08 PM
Response to Reply #128
129. But I didn't say it *necessarily* follows.
Perhaps you should avoid putting words in my mouth while you are avoiding polarized thinking.
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 05:03 PM
Response to Reply #129
141. You're right. I stand corrected.
I did unfairly characterize your statement without realizing it.

Many <> All.
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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 08:55 PM
Response to Reply #123
158. I do
But I see here with many of the theists here a microcosm of the "Christians are under assault!" screams we hear in the outside world.

And I do agree with you about skepticism regarding Dr Rogers. The paucity of his publishing anything not pertaining to the Shroud is very suspicious.
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 02:16 AM
Response to Reply #158
169. I don't think liberal/progressive theists have much of anything in common-
-with those screaming "Christians are under assult" in the outside world.

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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 02:20 AM
Response to Reply #169
170. I agree
but there are some of the screamers here, masquerading, I think.

And preconceptions come into play, as well. We all have a filter through which we view the world. When someone almost fits a category about which we have a preconception, and then does something that almost fits the behaviour of people in that category, the brain automatically files the person and action in the wrong place.

I had a similar issue with my ex-wife, for example. She came from an abusive relationship. So I had to be extra careful, because I would occasionally do something (completely innocent and harmless) that reminded her of the prelude to an abusive incident, and she'd freak out.

Took a while for both of us to learn to modify our behaviour (and perceptions of behaviour).

I hope that's clear. I'm taking codeine for a bad toothache, and I think it's finally kicking in....
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 02:23 AM
Response to Reply #170
171. Yeah, ok - you're probably right.
About there being some screamers here.. <grumbles>
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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 03:03 AM
Response to Reply #171
172. I thought you were going to bed?
I thought I was going to bed. Oy. Stupid medicines.
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T_i_B Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 06:48 AM
Response to Reply #84
174. This is DU Selwynn
Most people here are too blinded by hate to ever "grow up" and treat other people with respect.
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On the Road Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 04:49 PM
Response to Original message
138. Oh, Man, I Missed the Whole Argument!
I love the shroud of Turin controversy.

And after much study:

(1) I can show pretty conclusively why it has to be a fake, and
(2) How the image was created.

Neither of which I've seen in the material. But I'll be offline until tomorrow. Maybe I'll start a thread then.
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 06:09 PM
Response to Reply #138
144. I missed it, too! Looks like there must've been a serious Christian Whiner
A Very Serious Christian Whiner wanking around in here today, and likely some bad words exchanged from all sides.

I'm curious, though, whether it WAS one of the DU Christian whiners, or an outside Jesus Crispy fundy disrupter Christian.

I wish there were an archive or something to which we could go and read deleted messages.

I hate coming to a party late.
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Boosterman Donating Member (515 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 05:59 AM
Response to Reply #144
173. Actually you would be almost completely wrong
Go back and look at the time stamp on my first post in this thread. There was maybe 1 other post defending Christianity at that point. The rest were all anti.
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Beetwasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 09:52 AM
Response to Reply #173
176. Defending Xianity? Anti-Xianity??? WTF Are You Talking About?
How is being skeptical about the stupid shroud fraud being anti-xianity???
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On the Road Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 09:55 AM
Response to Reply #176
177. I Completely Agree -- Has Nothing to Do With the Existence of God
If the shroud is authentic, it proves nothing more than that there was a historical person. If it's a fake, it's right alongside thousands of other medieval fake relics.

Neither Christians or non-Christians should have their beliefs threatened no matter what the outcome. But some people seem to take the issue that way.
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Boosterman Donating Member (515 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 12:31 PM
Response to Reply #176
184. Because people werent being skeptical
Thats why the posts got deleted. They simply were insulting.
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Beetwasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 12:45 PM
Response to Reply #184
186. People Who Think The Shroud Is A Fraud
and I'm one of them, are NOT anti-xtian. They are anti-fraud.

I didn't see all the deleted posts, but the one's I saw that were insulting, were insulting to gullible people who believe this shroud is somehow proof of something, they were NOT anti-xtian.
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Boosterman Donating Member (515 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 01:12 PM
Response to Reply #186
187. No it went further this time
I am just telling you what I saw. A lot of blanket condemnations about religion and Christianity. It was really ugly. Thats why I posted what I did. Only one guy was willing to discuss the testing method. BTW I think its a fraud too.
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Beetwasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #187
188. Well, I Didn't See Those
Edited on Fri Jan-28-05 01:15 PM by Beetwasher
and if that's the case they deserved to be deleted. :shrug:

But the rest weren't ALL anti-xtianity, because I know I definitely saw some that were perhaps insulting and condescending to people who were believers in the shroud, but NOT anti-xtian.
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WoodrowFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #138
181. not much left is there?
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 08:30 PM
Response to Original message
152. whoo-doggie!
what'd I miss here? It's like stepping through a battlefield littered with corpses....

Anyway... how do the shroud believers reconcile the fact that the shroud clearly violates the scriptures stating that Jesus' head was wrapped in one cloth and his body in another?
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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #152
153. Well... We Just Don't Talk About That.
Edited on Thu Jan-27-05 08:34 PM by arwalden
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Dookus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 08:37 PM
Response to Reply #153
154. scary
that pic looks like Andrea MacArdle's evil twin
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WoodrowFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:13 AM
Response to Reply #154
180. that photo proves God exists
and that he has a sense of humor! No hair would stand up that way naturally!!
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Stunster Donating Member (984 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 12:25 PM
Response to Original message
183. Mark Antonacci's THE RESURRECTION OF THE SHROUD
Whether one is a believer or not, I thoroughly recommend this book. 13 customer reviews can be read at the link below, and if anything I don't think they praise it highly enough. Whether 'genuine' or not, the item is extraordinary from an incredibly well documented scientific point of view. No fair minded rational person, knowing the evidence Antonacci exhaustively researches and presents, can deny that.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/customer-reviews/08713...
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Stunster Donating Member (984 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #183
197. More on Antonacci's book, and the latest findings
Incidentally, you can read all about the latest carbon-dating news
story at http://www.shroud.com/latebrak.htm#rogers

This is the no.1 Shroud website on the net, with loads of material,
from serious students of the Shroud, on all sides of the question.
Ray Rogers is the guy who has come out with the latest research
finding that questions the original carbon-dating test and reveals
that it was performed on the wrong piece of cloth, one that was
(incredibly) not part of the Shroud cloth, but an added patch.
Rogers is now saying that the Shroud itself is much older than the
original test placed it.

What is all the more remarkable about this is that Ray Rogers had
criticized aspects of Antonacci's book some time ago.

Antonacci wrote a response at that time which you can read here:
http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/antonaci.pdf

That Rogers should now be the one to confirm an older date for the
Shroud (including the possibility that it dates from the time of
Jesus) and to discredit the carbon-14 dating test is kind of
mind-blowing in itself.

Christian tradition and the Scriptures say that
Christ's bones were not broken, in fulfilment of
an Old Testament prophecy. In the Shroud image,
the hands are placed over the groin area, but the
thumbs are not visible. It looks as though the
thumbs must be folded underneath the palms. Why
would a painter/forger place them there, out of sight
so to speak? Note that the crucifixion nail holes
on the Shroud are in the wrists, not the hands.

Let me now quote Antonacci:

Some critics also doubted the Shroud's authenticity due to an Old
Testament passage that says, "A bone of him shall not be broken," and
the wrist area contains many small bones that could easily be broken.
However, medical experiments would also explain this concern as well
as answer, perhaps, the most puzzling feature of all concerning the
hands. This visible feature is the apparent absence of the man's
thumbs. When Dr Barbet Anatomy, St Joseph's Hospital, Paris, 1932-1961] conducted experiments
with cadavers to see what would happen when he drove a nail into the
exact wrist area indicated on the Shroud, he discovered that the nail
diverted upward into what is called the Space of Destot. When struck
with a few more blows, the nail pushed aside the four bones
surrounding the Space of Destot so the space widened and allowed the
nail to pass freely through the flesh without breaking any bones (fig.
20). Much to Barbet's surprise, driving the nail still further
caused the thumb to contract spontaneously inward toward the palm. He
found a simple explanation for this previously unknown physiological
phenomenon: When a nail is driven into the Space of Destot, the median
nerve controlling the thumb is injured and stimulated, automatically
causing the thumb to contract inward and lie across the palm. Injury
to the median nerve, then, would account for the anatomical reaction
visible on the Shroud.
When searching through centuries of artistic tradition, you might
find one or two portrayals of Jesus' crucifixion that show nails in
the wrist area, but no known work of art both depicts nails through
the wrists and the absence of thumbs. The image on the Shroud is
unique because the wrists and hands are anatomically precise in their
illustration of crucifixion wounds, even though knowledge of where
crucifixion victims were nailed and what would happen to their thumbs
was not known until this century. At minimum, these anatomical facts
are recognized by medical examiners to be the spontaneous and natural
reactions of a real human being who was crucified. Moreover, these
anatomical characteristics could be unique points of authenticity as
the image and burial garment of the historical Jesus Christ, for there
is no depiction or reference in all of history like this of Jesus, or
anyone else.....
(pp. 24-25).

There is an important distinction between between arterial wounds and venous wounds. The way such wounds form blood flows is quite distinct.
Remarkably, this distinction is captured with exact medical precision on the Shroud image. Antonacci again:

Regardless of technique, no artist, especially one working in the
Middle Ages, has ever represented the distinction between venous and
arterial blood so accurately. In comparison to the Shroud's realism,
fig. 23, a medical illustration of wounds drawn in the 1400s, shows
how poorly blood flows were understood at that time. In fact, the
difference between arterial and venous blood was not even discovered
until 1593, more than 230 years after some allege that the Shroud
image was painted.
(p. 26)

In the book, Antonacci utterly destroys the following theories: the Painting theory; the Vapograph (diffusion) theory; Direct-contact
theories; the Volkringer Method theory; the Singlet Oxygen theory; the Bacteria and fungi theories; the Nickell Powder-Rubbing theory; the Craig-Breese method theory; the heated bas-relief/scorch theory; the hot statue theory; the theories based on radiation and electrostatic fields (aka Kirlian Method or Corona Discharge theories); the Engraved lines theory; the Kersten and Gruber method theories; the medieval photography theory; and a bunch of other artistic theories and experiments.

It is impossible to do justice to the full range of extraordinariness of the scientific evidence regarding the Shroud in an email post. The above two examples are in fact relatively minor aspects of the evidence Antonacci presents. The full range of it is in fact much greater, and much more amazing, and is presented in rigorous detail in the book. The best I can do is reproduce Appendix J, COMPREHENSIVE LIST OF THE SHROUD'S UNIQUE CHARACTERISTICS:


Let's review the unusual characteristics that would have to have been
accounted for by a medieval forger in any credible explanation of how
the body images, blood marks, and other features were created on the
Shroud of Turin. Any forger responsible for the image would have to
have been able to:

-- Encode the image on only the most superficial fibrils of the
cloth's threads;
--Transfer an image so low in contrast that it fades into the
background when an observer stands within six feet of it;
--Create an image that is pressure-independent so that both the
frontal and dorsal body images are encoded with the same intensity,
even though the dorsal side of the cloth would have had the full
weight of a body lying on top of it;
--Use an image-forming mechanism that operates uniformly regardless of
what lies beneath it, i.e., over diverse substances such as skin,
hair, and, possibly, coins, flowers, teeth, and bones;
--Encode the thousands of body image fibrils with the same intensity;
--Create an image that is not composed of any particles or foreign
materials of any kinds, with the individual joints of its individual
fibrils remaining distinct and visible;
--Create an image that is not soluble in water, remains stable when
subjected to high temperatures, and does not demonstrate signs of
matting, capillarity, saturation or diffusion into the image-forming
fibrils;
--Encode an image that lacks any evidence of two-dimensional
directionality;
--Compose a yellowed body image out of chemically degraded cellulose
with conjugated carbonyls that has resulted from processes associated
with dehydration and oxidation;
--Encode the front and back full-length images on cloth of a real
human being in rigor mortis;
--Incorporate specific effects of a draped cloth that fell through a
body region---such as blood marks displaced into the hair, motion
blurs at the side of the face and in the neck/throat region and below
the hair, along wiht elongated fingers;
--Encode a superficial, resolved, and three-dimensional image of the
closed eye over the different and invisible features of a coin;
--Transfer the blood marks before encoding the body image, yet still
place them in the appropriate locations and ensure that the blood
marks are not altered when the body image is later transferred into
the cloth;
--Create actual blood marks with actual serum around the edges of the
various wounds;
--Reproduce blood marks incurred at different times with different
instruments that correspond with both arterial and venous bleeding'
--Encode blood marks on the cloth in exactly the form and shape that
develop from wounds on human skin;
--Embed into the cloth the various blood marks leaving the original
smooth surface between the skin and the blood intact;
--Remove the cloth from the body within two to three days without
breaking or smearing the numerous blood marks;
--Employ a mechanism that transfers distance information through space
in vertical, straight-line paths;
--Produce an image that is a vague negative when observed by the naked
eye, but with highly focused and finely resolved details that become
visible only when photographed, at which point the negative turns into
a positive image with light/dark and left/right reversed;
--Encode accurately proportioned, three-dimensional information on a
two-dimensional surface that directly corresponds to the distances
between a body and cloth;
--Include realistic details of scourge marks so minute that they are
invisible to the naked eye and can be seen only with cameras,
photographic enlargers, microscopes, and ultraviolet lighting;
--Encode a line representing the narrow lesion of the side wound that
corresponds to the shape of the lancea used by Roman executioners in
such a manner that the line would not be visible with the eye and
could not be seen until the development of computer imaging technology
600 years later;
--Distribute an array of pollens onto the Shroud beneath the linen's
threads and fibers that reflected its manufacture and history in
Jerusalem and Turkey. To do this successfully, the forger would have
to not only be a pollen expert, but also anticipate development of the
theory that emerged 600 years later which asserts the Shroud,
Mandylion, and the Image of Edessa are the same cloth;
--Encode the subtle appearance of Judean plants in the off-image area
of the Shroud that would not be seen for more than six centuries;
--Place microscopic samples of dirt and limestone at the foot of the
man in the Shroud that match the limestone found in Jerusalem, but
which would not be visible for centuries;
--Encode whole actual blood and watery fluid at the side wound and the
small of the back in a uniquely realistic manner and also encode this
and all other clotted bloodstains on the Shroud so that they remain
red and do not darken over time like all other actual blood;
--Encode the appearance of a Pontius Pilate lepton over the
right eye of the man so that only when photography, photographic
enlargers and three-dimensional reliefs are invented 600 years later,
the motif, letters, and outline of the coin can be ascertained. The
forger would not only have to anticipate this technology, but also the
development of the field of archaeology and the discovery in the late
twentieth century that coins were used in burials in Jerusalem and the
surrounding area between the first century BC and the first century AD;
--Encode the wound on the cloth at the man's left side so that when
the image was photographed 500 years later, the wound would be located
in the precisely correct location on the man's right side so that
blood and water would escape from the victim if he received a
postmortem wound at this location.
To encode these features, our forger would not only have to have
understood advanced scientific principles, but also have possessed a
knowledge of anatomy and medicine that was centuries ahead of his
time. Obviously, it would have been impossible for him to have
possessed such knowledge and understanding, but even if he had, he
still couldn't have seen any of these numerous features to know if he
was getting them right. The technology needed to visualize them
would not be developed for another five or six hundred years.
--How could a medieval artist have displayed a knowledge of physiology
that would not be known until centuries later?
--How could an artist paint without showing any evidence of
directionality?
--How could an artist encode three-dimensional information (on a
two-dimensional surface) that directly corresponds to the distance
between a body and a cloth?
--How could a medieval artist include details that are undetectable
with the human eye and become visible only under ultraviolet light, or
only through a microscope, or only on three-dimensional
reconstructions, or only with the most advanced, twentieth-century
computer scanning devices?




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Stunster Donating Member (984 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 12:35 PM
Response to Original message
185. Explanation endpoints
This whole Shroud business raises a general question about how we
should treat such things.

In general, if God exists, and if God did something, why should it be
necessary that we be able to understand how God did it? Wouldn't we
kinda have to be God in order to understand precisely how God acts?

How is electromagnetic radiation capable of transmitting messages
across the Internet? Well, it propagates at the speed of light through
the electromagnetic field. But how does it manage to do that? Etc.

One can continue this scientific story, but in the end we will end up
saying "It just does. That's just how it is. Things are just like that."

We get to the basic processes and laws of nature, and we stop.

But would it be in place to say, "But the basic processes and laws of
nature (call it Nature for short) don't really explain anything
anything, do they? I mean, essentially all you're saying is 'Nature
diddit'"?

Ah, but at least we understand how Nature operates, using our
mathematical reasoning powers. Leaving to one side where mathematical
reason comes from, or why there should be such a thing, couldn't it be
the case that the way God operates vastly transcends the abilities of
finite mathematical reasoners to comprehend, using their finite
mathematical powers of reasoning?

It seems to me that it would be begging the question to insist that if God operates in some way, or does some particular thing (like raise Jesus from the dead and supernaturally produce his image on the relic known as the Shroud of Turin), then it must be the case that God did it in a way that our finite powers of mathematical reasoning (and
other finite cognitive powers) must be able to comprehend.

And in fact, it might be that Nature is like this too. It might be the
case that there are some aspects of Nature the explanations for which
are such that they are beyond our abilities to understand. (Some
philosophers take this view with respect to consciousness itself, most
prominently Colin McGinn and the New Mysterians).

So essentially, we come down to the following: there are a bunch of
phenomena that our conscious minds are more or less aware of. These
include, a mathematically intelligible physical world; consciousness;
rationality; moral experience; religious experience; aesthetic
experience; the experience of meaning, love, goodness, etc. And we ask
the general question, How Come? And some people answer, 'Nature Diddit', by which they mean that blind, impersonal material processes obeying inexorable purposeless regularities did it, and that these processes just happen to exist and have the properties they do. That's just the way it is. Their abductive hypothesis is that the best explanation is 'matter in motion', or something like that. They take material process as basic.

Others say that mind/consciousness/reason/goodness is basic and
transcends all material processes, and their abductive hypothesis is
that all the existence of all these phenomena can best be explained by the existence and creative action of a transcendent Mind.

Both hypotheses are examples of the 'inference to the best explanation' type of reasoning. One posits material process as the best explanation. The other posits transcendent creative Mind as the best explanation. In neither case is there an attempt to take the explanatory process further. They are simply competing explanatory end-points.

Now, it's not obvious to me that the materialist abductive hypothesis
is clearly more reasonable than the theistic abductive hypothesis. But
that's not my point. My point is that it's a poor argument to say
that the theistic hypothesis doesn't explain anything. After all, one
might as well say that the materialist hypothesis doesn't explain
anything, because within each hypothesis something is taken as
explanatorily and causally and ontologically *basic*.

The materialist may reply that only the materialist hypothesis allows
for quantitative, mathematical explanations and sensory perceptual
forms of evidence. But insisting that quantitative mathematics and
sensory perception is the be-all and end-all of explanation and
evidence is precisely what's at issue as between the two competing hypotheses. Hence that insistence is a systematic example of the logical fallacy of begging the question. The issue at stake, in other words, is precisely whether quantitative sciences and sensory perception disclose in principle the full nature of reality.

Obviously, if theism is true, then they don't. But then one can't non-circularly show that theism is not true simply because theism is not verified by quantitative sciences and sensory perception. That would be an egregious logical error. It would be like saying there is no number greater than 100 simply because your calculator only goes up to 100.

In other words, if theism (or indeed any form of supernaturalism) is
true, then it's ridiculous to question it because it doesn't conform
itself to the methods and criteria of natural science. This is the
kind of mind-boggling stupidity that led the Soviets to declare that
atheism is true because Yuri Gargarin had been up in space and found
no God there.





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immoderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 09:15 PM
Response to Reply #185
189. Nonsense.
Yes there is a limit to our observation beyond which we can't realistically hypothesize existence, but there's a difference in where you put the bottleneck.

Atheists, and deists, I suppose, put it at the time of the big bang, with everything going along predictably since then. Theists have something else, a menagerie of things, depending upon the argument presented, something that intervenes supernaturally in the events of the universe. But there is no evidence for that.

--IMM
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Stunster Donating Member (984 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 01:45 AM
Response to Reply #189
190. "There is no evidence for God"
Atheists often say such things.

What do they mean? Do they mean, they personally don't have evidence for God? Or do they mean, nobody, anywhere, at any time ever has evidence for God?

If it's the latter, then this, it seems to me, is simply false. The two most powerful, memorable, transformative experiences I've ever had have been experiences of God. I have met and known a number of other people who would say the same thing.

I reckon Saint Paul, Saint Teresa of Avila, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Saint Augustine et al might have said the same thing if they'd been asked. Certainly they all wrote about them. And there'd be many non-Catholic theists who would say similar things, and have written similar things.

Now, I'm not suggesting that this 'proves' that theism is true. But I'm trying to get a handle on what it would mean to say that I, and all other theists who have had extraordinary experiences of God, don't have any evidence for the existence of God. And if we do have such evidence, doesn't that mean that it is simply false to say, as atheists are wont to say, that there is no evidence for God?

I mean, suppose there was a rare species of polar bear, which only a few Inuit had ever encountered. Would it be true that there is no evidence that such a species existed? Seems to me there would be evidence, even though it was not directly available to everyone.

Now, the objection might be that there is no scientific evidence for God, but there could be scientific evidence for the rare polar bear species. But theism says that God is not a physical entity, so it would not be surprising in the least that there is no scientific evidence for God (if that's the case, which I'm only conceding here for the sake of the argument).

If there is a God, then God is not a physical object. So insisting on God being subject to the kinds of evidence that we have for physical things would be to miss the point, and to beg the question. The question at issue is whether there are realities other than physical ones, and kinds of evidence for the existence of such realities other than physically experimental evidence. So insisting systematically on providing scientific evidence for God would be a clear case of the logical fallacy of begging the question. But the absence of physical experimental evidence for God is consistent with there being tremendously good evidence for God.

Let's imagine, for a moment, that Saint Paul had a profound encounter with the Risen Christ on the road to Damascus, such that nothing else would be as convincing to him as that experience. Then, St Paul would have a way of knowing, or reasonably believing, that materialism (if he knew what that was) was false and that Christianity was true. But no scientific procedure would be able to establish this. Yet someone (St Paul) would know it. He would have great evidence, from his perspective, of the truth of Christianity. But that would entail that "there's no evidence for God" is a false proposition.

"Ah, but we must use the term 'evidence' in such a way that it is independent of anyone's perspective".

Well, there seems to me to be two problems with this. It seems to me that an attempt is being made yet again to insist that the concept of evidence be restrictively defined to mean evidence yielded by natural scientific method---in other words, to beg the question again. But let's just ignore that for a moment and ask instead, is St Paul's evidence (or mine) purely perspectival? It seems to me that if you placed anyone in St Paul's shoes (or mine), and if anyone had the experiences that St Paul (and me) had, then that would count as evidence for them too---just as much as it would count as evidence for St Paul, me, and anyone else that there is a rare species of polar bear if you placed us in the shoes of the Inuit who had experienced that species. Just because St Paul, me, and most other people would not, ex hypothesi, have actually been in the shoes of those Inuit, surely doesn't entail that there is no evidence for the existence of that rare species of polar bear.

In other words, two points: 1) the concept of evidence is a logically broader category than the concept of evidence deriving from natural scientific method; 2) the concept of evidence is a function of experience. Given the right sorts of experience, then anyone will have the right sorts of evidence.

Have there ever been experiences that count as the 'right sort' to qualify as evidence for the existence of God? Sure there have! I've had a couple, and it seems I'm not alone. Nobody would have heard of St Paul if he hadn't had the right sorts of experiences. It doesn't prove theism to everyone's satisfaction. But an 18th century Inuit couldn't have proved the existence of that rare species to everyone's satisfaction. He'd still have damn good evidence, though, that there was such a polar bear species. And maybe St Paul and I have had damn good evidence that theism is true. And I think this means that the proposition, "There's no evidence for God" is straightforwardly false, unless one insists on committing the logical fallacy of begging the question in favor of scientific naturalism's definition of evidence. Which is a logical fallacy and an error of reasoning...

The difficulty I'm having with an a priori commitment to a universal reliance on naturalistic scientific method is that we have no really solid a priori or experimentally verified reason for thinking that, as science progresses, it will be able, in principle, to uncover the truth about these matters---the truth or otherwise of theism, or Christianity specifically---as long as the above-described scenario regarding Saint Paul seems logically possible (which it strikes me we have every reason to suppose it will always appear to us to be). But what if, it won't be able, even in principle to uncover the truth about these matters by means of using the natural scientific method, and yet St Paul is right, and as justified as he could possibly be (given the nature of his experiences) in thinking that he had met the Risen Christ and that materialism is false and Christian theism is true. Wouldn't that mean that there is evidence that God exists, even though, as in the case with the rare species of polar bear, not everybody had the evidence, or was in a position to experience that specie of bear. (Let's assume that the Inuit and bear species in question all died out 150 years ago).

It seems to me, in other words, that the rational thing to do is to be open to the possibility that science might not be the only way of knowing things, or even the best way, and that science itself may well be systematically incapable of discovering this, and that there may be other ways of discovering it, which a rational person may have access to, or even have had access to in the past. In fact, not only do I think that one should, rationally, be merely open to this possibility. I think it's actually rather plausible that it is the case.

Some will say that we can't even count religious experiences as evidence for theism, because lots of people have strange experiences which are later shown to be associated with certain kinds of cognitively non-veridical brain states. But how does this show that all religious experiences are merely the products of cognitively non-veridical brain states? Isn't that another blindingly obvious logical fallacy? "Some things of type A are the products of F. Therefore all things of type A are products of F." Yup, a fallacy alright.

'Ah, but it's more reasonable to think they are products of F, because being a product of F is more conformable to the worldview of scientific naturalism." Yet again, the objection is logically invalid, because it begs the question at issue---the question being, whether theism, as against scientific materialism, is the correct worldview.

And please name ANY human experience that does not involve some brain event/process or other. There are none? Fine!

Would you then infer that that every human experience was therefore illusory, or non-veridical?

Many years ago, hominid brains evolved in such a way as to enable humans to experience watching a bird fly in the sky, the taste of ice cream, the sound of music, the sound of words, the emotion of fear in the face of wild animals seeking to eat us, etc. That fact says PRECISELY NOTHING about the veridicality of those experiences. Why should a qualitatively similar fact concerning brain processes say any more than PRECISELY NOTHING about the veridicality of religious experiences?

Hence this type of argument---all religious experiences are caused by brain-states, therefore all religious experiences must be non-veridical---is, not to put too fine a point on it, utterly IDIOTIC.

It also has a name. It is called the Genetic Fallacy. See, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_fallacy
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immoderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 03:11 AM
Response to Reply #190
191. If I read your post correctly...
We agree that science is not set up to answer certain types of questions. And you're not going to get answers about the existence of god with an experiment (although these are carried out regularly.)

And not all of us get to carry out the scientific method in answering our daily queries. So I don't deal with absolute truth. I deal in probabilities.

I agree that we all have knowledge that comes to us, filtered by our senses and perceptions, that becomes part of the model for the world that lives in our head and defines our notion of what is real.

Delusions and hallucinations occur all the time, can be easily observed. Revelation is harder to document. Coincidentally, that's a property of things that are not real.

For a god as interested and interventionist and narcissistic as most religions describe him, he is surprisingly reticent and withdrawn. If he wants to be worshiped, think of what making an appearance, one that could be verified, would do. None of this hide and seek.

Ah, but god doesn't work like that. He wants you to believe, but it must be on faith, so he doesn't show himself. And there's an answer to every objection. However, the more that you need to pile on abstruse conditions to account for the contradictions inherent in trying to establish a purpose for this god, the more superfluous he becomes, and the less probable his existence.

Centuries ago, god was part of the explanation for thunder. Now we know that air currents and electric charges can explain thunder. Does that prove that god doesn't occasionally "clap some thunder?" No, it doesn't. So, should I then believe that god DOES occasionally "clap some thunder?" How would I know which ones are his? So what's the significance when god speaks as thunder in the bible?

The evolution of the universe since the beginning can be accounted for without the need for the intervention of a supreme being. So what does god do? Throw an anonymous miracle or two? Heal a few lucky people, so as to baffle their doctors? Little bolt of lightening here and there? Save Star Jones?

You say you have evidence this actually exists? I say nonsense.

Let's get down to what I mean by evidence. It is something that compels belief. It can be direct or indirect or circumstantial. The subjective experience of believers is not compelling evidence of anything in particular. No saint, sage, mystic, astrologer or psychic predicted the recent tsunami. Is that evidence of something?

Augustine's logic was flawed. Saul seems mentally disturbed. None of what happens to these people requires existence of a god to explain it.

Is there anything it is not possible to intellectualize about?

--IMM
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qazplm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 09:06 AM
Response to Reply #190
195. that was a whole lot of typing
to sum up what your argument seems to be, and I apologize if I get it wrong, as I may, but you seem to say, all experiences are valid because all experiences are based on the same brain chemistry/processes so how can we say one experience (observing an experiment or using scientific reasoning) is valid but another experience (visitation by God) is not.

The problem with that logical train is that it never stops. So now all it requires is that ANYONE say that they experienced something and we are forced under what appears to be your argument to take their "experience" as truth.

It seems to me, that kind of approach is untenable because then truth truly becomes relative to each individual and no longer objective at all.

The scientific method is a MEANS of taking those experiences in such a way as to make them repeatable and able for OTHERS to experience it in the same way. There has to be SOME objectiveness for something to be "evidence", it cannot be simply "I experienced this but sorry can't recreate for you, you will just have to take my word that I am not crazy, did not hallucinate it or am not just making it up".

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Stunster Donating Member (984 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #195
196. Here's some more
and I apologize if I get it wrong, as I may, but you seem to say, all experiences are valid because all experiences are based on the same brain chemistry/processes so how can we say one experience (observing an experiment or using scientific reasoning) is valid but another experience (visitation by God) is not.


I wrote no such thing. I never said all experiences are cognitively valid. I simply said that showing that some religious experience is generated in association with some brain-state or other is no reason to rule out the validity of the experience.

The problem with that logical train is that it never stops. So now all it requires is that ANYONE say that they experienced something and we are forced under what appears to be your argument to take their "experience" as truth.

No, it doesn't force us to accept it. I never said any such thing. I just said that an experience might constitute good evidence for something being the case, and it might be a veridical experience, even though nobody else is rationally forced to accept a report by the experiencer about his or her experience.

Let's say that there are ghosts. Let's say someone veridically experiences a ghost. Let's say that nobody else experiences ghosts. To me, this means that someone had a veridical experience which constitutes good evidence for the proposition that there are ghosts, and so the proposition, "There is no evidence for the existence of ghosts" is false. Straightforwardly false. There is, ex hypothesi, good evidence for ghosts, and one person has had access to that evidence. Does it follow that we ought to believe whatever anyone tells us? No. I don't know where you're getting that alleged entailment. It's not in anything I wrote. But suppose the scenario I've just described regarding ghosts is true. Then there is an objective truth to do with ghosts, namely, that they exist, and that one person has veridically encountered one. How is this an abandonment of objective truth?

What perhaps you mean is that objective truth should be subject to intersubjective agreement. Well, why? And good luck! In fact, I think making intersubjective agreement a criterion of objective truth flies in the face of any robust notion of objectivity. The mere fact that people don't and can't and never will agree should not be allowed to rule out the possibility that there are objective truths about the world. In other words, it may be that some people are just wrong, and always will be. Hence no intersubjective agreement may ever be possible. Does that entail that there is no objective truth about anything? No, of course not!

"I experienced this but sorry can't recreate for you, you will just have to take my word that I am not crazy, did not hallucinate it or am not just making it up".

You're being ridiculous. Vast numbers of unrepeatable things have happened in people's experience which they can never scientifically reproduce. Let's say you saw the only instance of some type of event, such as your father having sex with the maid.

You tell your mother. And you say:

"I experienced this but sorry can't recreate for you, you will just have to take my word that I am not crazy, did not hallucinate it or am not just making it up".

By your argument, we should simply not believe you. I mean, what percentage of people have ever caught their fathers in the act of adultery? Not too high. It's kinda unusual. It's not in the normal course of things something we'd expect to see. But a few people claim to seen their fathers in the act of adultery.

Should we just disregard them, and say, "There is no evidence of anyone's father committing adultery," just because it's a rare sight for people to see their fathers committing adultery and it's not a scientifically repeatable phenomenon for everyone?
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immoderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 11:45 PM
Response to Reply #196
198. The way I read it.
Just because I am constantly hallucinating that dad is screwing the maid doesn't mean he didn't actually screw the maid during one of my hallucinations. And this is evidence for...

Yeah! Metaphysics, baby!

--IMM
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qazplm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #196
215. what?
It is ABSOLUTELY scientifically repeatable...all he has to do is have his father have sex with her again in front of others. Or have his father admit to the sex. Or the maid.

I mean seriously, you need to try that argument again, because you clearly dont understand what scientifically repeatable means.

Furthermore, this is not an extraordinary claim such as I saw God, or God talked to me. This is a very ordinary claim that happens not rarely but statistically almost half of the time these days (unfortunately).

(no not sex with a maid but adultery).

I think you dont really use words the way they are meant. You say one person sees a ghost and therefore it is an "objective truth"?

You just described a PURELY subjective experience. Had you said a whole group of people saw a ghost, yes that would be objective, but one person is ALWAYS subjective, its the definition of subjective.

Again, where are you NOT saying that so long as one person sees something, that would should count it as evidence. That is exactly what you are saying. And the HUGE flaw with that kind of thinking is...any time someone says that they saw someone, that must be evidence.

Heck, if that is the case then not only ARE aliens abducting people on a routine basis, but ghosts exist, as do demons, magic, little people, el chupucabra, bigfoot, angels, God, Virgin Mary, Satan, and a whole list of other things for which we have little or no evidence off EXCEPT people saying, yeah I saw that or experienced that.
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Stunster Donating Member (984 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 06:09 PM
Response to Reply #215
229. No, no, and thrice no
It is ABSOLUTELY scientifically repeatable...all he has to do is have his father have sex with her again in front of others. Or have his father admit to the sex. Or the maid.

Did I forget to mention that the father and the maid died in a car crash ten years ago. Sorreeeee!

Furthermore, this is not an extraordinary claim such as I saw God, or God talked to me. This is a very ordinary claim that happens not rarely but statistically almost half of the time these days

People witness their fathers in the act of adultery almost half the time these days? I knew we were living in a permissive society, but... are you sure?

I think you dont really use words the way they are meant. You say one person sees a ghost and therefore it is an "objective truth"?

You just described a PURELY subjective experience. Had you said a whole group of people saw a ghost, yes that would be objective, but one person is ALWAYS subjective, its the definition of subjective.


It's you who is having trouble with the meaning of words. If you have a dream, it's an objective fact about you that you had a dream. Or to put it another way, independently of what anyone else says, it is true that you had a dream. It's an objective truth precisely because it's a fact that is not dependent on what people in general may or may not happen to think. It would be an objective fact about you even if you couldn't remember it later. In short, there are many objective truths which happen to be truths about people's subjective experiences. What the content of these truths is may refer to the subjective. But their being truths is independent of people's judgement about them. They are, therefore, objective---not dependent for their truth on what people's judgement happens to be. Everybody else might be wrong if they denied that you had that dream. And you might be wrong too, if you denied that you had it.

For example, maybe you had a dream last Friday night. Maybe someone asks you now, "Did you have a dream last Friday night?" You answer wrongly, "No, I didn't." Your memory is faulty, or you're confusing Friday night with Thursday night. But there is an objective fact of the matter as to whether you had a dream last Friday night or not, even though the experience was purely subjective, and yours alone.

Again, where are you NOT saying that so long as one person sees something, that would should count it as evidence. That is exactly what you are saying. And the HUGE flaw with that kind of thinking is...any time someone says that they saw someone, that must be evidence.

Bullshit. Many events have been observed by only one person, one time. It would follow from your definition of evidence that there is no evidence for these events. That's just silly. It would mean that nobody who was a unique observer of a one-time event (like a witness to a murder) could ever be justified in believing that what they observed really happened. Yet we routinely call people who are sole witnesses to murders to give evidence about it in court. Are you suggesting this practice is irrational????????

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qazplm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 03:58 AM
Response to Reply #229
238. You gotta love
when someone has to keep redefining their hypo as people make critiques about it, eventually you redefine it to such an extent that it becomes laughable.

Fine, the maid dies. The point is that having an adulterous affair is NOT the same as seeing ghosts, or God or anything else supernatural. Therefore it does not require the same level of proof.

If you are going to be purposefully obtuse about the fact that ADULTERY happens half the time and the fact that we at base are talking about the ACT witnessed being provable or not, not the witnessing itself then I am wasting my time. So why you typed that snarky and obtuse bit about witnessing fathers in the act half the time I dont know but perhaps you might want to edit it out on reflection.

The bottom line is, that you tell me that you breathed all day today, I dont need to delve too deeply, you tell me you talked to God today, I am going to take it much more skeptically and ask for much more proof. Anyone who doesnt as you apparently dont, is, well, I cant think of anything nice to say.

If I have a dream, the fact that I have a dream CAN be analyzed clearly by hooking me up to electrodes and seeing the changed brain states that signify dreaming. If I SAY that I had a dream, absent some proof it is SUBJECTIVE because one I could be lying, two I could be mistaken, and three I have no proof that I had a dream.

I had a dream about a milkshake last night. Am I lying or telling the truth? Do you know? You dont, therefore how in the world is it objective?

The objective fact may be that I had a dream or I didnt. Ok, and? That and 75 cents will buy you a USA Today. WHY do we separate between subjective and objective? There is a REASON we do it and a very good one at that.

Your last example is a joke. The only evidence we have is NOT that the one person is a witness to a murder, we have additional evidence that says hey this alleged murdered person has disappeared. Furthermore we may have evidence that the person who is the alleged murderer has no alibi or had an issue with that person. But guess what we do, we create this VERY high standard that ideally says we need proof beyond a reasonable doubt. So that ideally we need more evidence than one person saying I saw this. We need something more. So while the murder MAY have happened, it MAY also have not happened or it MAY have happened in a manner much different than the witness asserts. Especially since studies show that eyewitness testimony is wrong roughly half of the time (by all means look it up, dont take my word for it).

So it happened or it didnt. Yeah so which one was it? Either you saw God or you didnt. Yeah so which one was it. To say it was an objective fact that you saw God or you didnt, that you saw a murder or you didnt or that you had a dream or you didnt, gets us exactly nowhere in any meaningful examination of the truth.

What IS interesting is that we have in the dream case, given a very low standard of proof (why? Because it is a thing that happens to everyone all the time and has a very high probability of being true); in the murder case, given a fairly high standard of proof (why? because it happens relatively rarely, because we dont like taking the word of just one person without other evidence (for the VERY reasons I have outlined in this discussion!), and because it has a lesser likelihood of being true); and in the case of the supernatural, we have an extraordinarily high standard (why? because we arent even sure if it happens AT ALL, and because it has a very high probability of NOT being true).

We make logical distinctions and even in the case of things we know happen (like adultery or murder) we expect more proof or evidence for a whole host of logical and common sense reasons. But you dont seem to want to play that game.
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Stunster Donating Member (984 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 09:09 AM
Response to Reply #238
239. You're missing the point
Edited on Mon Jan-31-05 09:31 AM by Stunster
The point is that one person seeing or otherwise experiencing something just once frequently is evidence for that something happening.

You live alone in the wilds of Alaska for 5 years. One day, early in that period, you cut yourself shaving. Your way of defining evidence would mean that there's no evidence that you cut yourself shaving, even though you saw yourself doing it in a mirror.

Or you ran the faucet in your sink this morning for three seconds. Nobody else saw you doing it. But you know that you did. Your way of defining evidence would mean that there's no evidence that you ran the faucet this morning.

It's not conclusive proof, of course. But single, subjective experiences are frequently evidence of events taking place.

To deny this would mean that one would have to deny that the evidence of one's own senses constitutes evidence at all. But in that case, nothing would ever count as evidence.

Of course, to deny that anybody's religious experiences are ever evidence is to beg the question systematically as to whether there's ever any evidence that anyone ever has for holding their religious beliefs. That would be another error of reasoning.

Face it. You fucked up.
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qazplm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 03:50 AM
Response to Reply #239
251. oh goodness...
no I would not say it didnt happen, although it may not have happened, because cutting yourself shaving and running water are things that happen SO often that the odds of it being true are almost 1:1 given even a short amount of time (especially running water out of a faucet).

Those events are:

1. EASILY recreateable and repeatable
2. observed on a daily basis all over the world

You somehow seem to think that there is no difference between common every day events and the level of proof needed and wild supernatural events and the level of proof needed for them.

The events you describe ARE subjective, but because they are so common, we have no trouble believing them, however, if that same person where accused of raping a woman who alleges that she cut him with her fingernail on his face, and he says, no wait it was a razor then yes darn right I wouldnt take it as "objective" evidence that his version was true.

EVIDENCE is defined quite clearly in the dictionary, I suggest you look it up. You seem to have a hard time distinguishing between EVIDENCE and FACT. A fact (such as turning on a water faucet) can exist and there be no EVIDENCE to support it. We tend to believe FACTS when there is evidence to support. We requires LESS evidence for purported facts we know are likely to be true (turning on a water faucet), and MORE evidence for events we know are less likely to be true (God talked to me and told me to build a harmonica).

To quote you, face it, you fucked up.

Also, quite frankly I have no problem denying others religious experiences without proof because the likelihood of any of them being true is so low that I am quite comfortable dismissing them based simply on subjective "this is what I saw/experienced".


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Stunster Donating Member (984 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #251
254. You're presupposing
Edited on Tue Feb-01-05 03:03 PM by Stunster
the truth of naturalism, and relative to that presupposition deeming certain things to be 'extraordinary', and other things to be 'ordinary'.

(Experiences of God must be extraordinary, and cutting yourself must be ordinary only if you have a certain picture of the world in which you've already assumed that experiences of God are not to be expected, or are unlikely to be veridical, etc).

But this is a logically invalid procedure, since the question at issue is whether naturalism is true or not. And there's a strong case to be made against it. Here's a summary of a recent critique of naturalism which captures this point and broadens it:


This internal conflict reveals itself in both the metaphysical and epistemological varieties of naturalism. Metaphysical naturalism is supposedly the view that the sciences paint a complete and accurate ontological picture of the world; there are quarks, molecules and organisms, but not ghosts and gods. If naturalism is to follow science wherever it leads, however, it cannot rule out specific kinds of entities before science is complete. More generally, the problem is whether the science providing ontological guidance is current science or ideal science. If it is current science, then naturalism is probably false. If it is ideal science, then naturalism is metaphysically vacuous.1 Epistemological naturalism fares no better. If it is at the mercy of future developments in science, it cannot follow science wherever it leads. But if it is immune to empirical results, then it is self-refuting, because it is just the sort of hypothesis that epistemic naturalism insists must be grounded on scientific investigation rather than armchair theorizing.

According to Rea, charity suggests that we treat naturalism not as a doctrine to profess, but as a method to practice, a research program, i.e., a complete set of dispositions to treat certain types of sources as basic evidence. Because evidence is only recognized as such from within a research program, research programs themselves are not adopted on the basis of evidence, but are instead . . .something we bring to the table of inquiry (4-5). What naturalists bring to the table is the disposition to treat all and only the methods of science as evidentially basic. At present, these methods include perception, memory, testimony, standard criteria for theory choice, as well as the appearance of mathematical, logical, and conceptual necessity. Excluded are rational intuition and religious experience.

Naturalism thus construed is coherent, because one may be disposed to follow science wherever it leads and also hold that justified philosophical beliefs are at the mercy of science. But it is also defanged, because research programs cannot be argued for or adopted on the basis of evidence. They are rather the frameworks within which rational arguments take place, and within which it is decided what counts as evidence. Hence, the only way to urge the adoption of research program is to point out its pragmatic benefits. To urge against the adoption of a research program, one must either point out its pragmatic deficits or else show it to be self-refuting. Rea takes the former course with naturalism, arguing that among its dire consequences are the rejection of realism about material objects, the adoption of dualism, skepticism about other minds, and suspension of judgment about idealism.

Trouble begins with what Rea calls, the discovery problem, which is just the fact that intrinsic modal properties seem to be undiscoverable by the methods of the natural sciences (77). Our ordinary beliefs about material objects carry modal commitments. A statute, for instance, cannot survive smashing, but a lump of clay can. Such persistence conditions are integral to our very concepts of material objects. But how can a naturalist account for our knowledge of these modal properties? A naturalist observes a region of matter arranged statue-wise. Without appealing to a faculty of intuition, how can she justifiably infer that something in that region cannot survive smashing? There is only one way, according to Rea, and that is to adopt conventionalism: our conventions make it true that wherever there is some matter arranged statue-wise, there is something that cannot survive smashing. But conventionalism renders modal properties extrinsic, existing only in relation to us and to our mental activity. If minds like ours had not existed, then neither would these modal properties or, consequently, the objects that have them. That, says Rea, is just antirealism.

From antirealism follows a host of evils. First, substance dualism. If dualism were false, then minds could not exist unless material objects like brains existed. But by conventionalism, such material objects could not exist unless fairly advanced minds already did. Since at least one mind exists, dualism is true. Second, given that naturalists think non-physical minds play no role in the explanation of behavior, and given their newfound dualism, they must be skeptics about the existence of other minds. Third, without appeals to intuition, naturalists find themselves with no grounds for ruling out idealism. For, even if the hypothesis that there is a mind-independent external world is simpler than idealism, naturalism provides no reason to think that simpler hypotheses are more likely true.

If a naturalist has followed Rea to this point, she will no doubt be casting about for some weaker position that nevertheless stops short of Reas own supernaturalism, and a natural stopping point is intuitionism. If the naturalist adds rational intuition to the stock of basic evidential sources and says we rationally intuit intrinsic modal properties, she thereby protects the justificatory status of our beliefs about the instantiation of intrinsic modal properties and staves off conventionalism, dualism, and idealism.

But intuitionism is self-defeating. Adapting an argument from Plantinga, Rea makes the case that . . . we have no reason to think that evolutionary processes could give rise to creatures that have reliable rational intuitions and, apparently, good reason to think that they could not (194). For the purpose of survival, it seems not to matter whether we believe that S5 is the correct modal system or that material objects cannot be co-located. Furthermore, intuition, at least outside of logic, math, and conceptual truth, has an abysmal track record. Given the belief that our cognitive mechanisms are the products of evolution and given in addition the poor track record of intuition, one has a defeater for intuition-based beliefs; even if such beliefs are prima facie justified, their justification disappears upon reflection.

With the demise of naturalism and intuitionism, we are left with only supernaturalism, which grants religious experience basic evidential status. On the basis of religious experience, we may justifiably believe that the world is the creative work of a being relevantly like the God of traditional theism, and that this being has provided humans with a reliable means of detecting intrinsic modal properties (222-223). Such a supernaturalistic strategy offers the only hope for saving realism about material objects (225).



Rea, Michael, World Without Design: The Ontological Consequences of Naturalism, Oxford University Press, 2002, 245pp, $35.00 (hbk), ISBN 0199247609
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qazplm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 03:16 AM
Response to Reply #254
260. utter BS
If you cant even concede that cutting yourself shaving is more likely to occur than God talking to you, then you are a waste to talk to and I really want the hour or so back that I have spent wasting my time typing to you.

It could have been better spent cleaning my desk in my office or perhaps stapling.
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Stunster Donating Member (984 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 04:20 PM
Response to Reply #260
266. Ummm
Edited on Wed Feb-02-05 04:21 PM by Stunster
1. Lots of women, and some men, rarely or even never shave.

2. Most of the people in the world today are religious believers.

3. A great many religious believers believe that they experience God, in some way or other, on a frequent, or even a daily basis. Many of them claim indeed to communicate with God on a daily basis. Muslims, for example, pray five time a day, and my guess is that quite frequently they have an experientially rich sense of themselves as being in the presence of God.

4. A great many religious believers distinguish between ordinary experiences of God, and extraordinary ones.

5. All experiences, whether of God or of cutting yourself shaving or of anything else, involve interpretation by the experiencer.

Hence, there is a perfectly straightforward sense in which for many people, experience of God is more common, not to mention more significant for them, than is the experience of cutting themselves shaving.

As I said, it depends on your worldview, since that is the conceptual framework which determines how our experiences are to be interpreted. Different people have different worldviews, and hence different conceptual frameworks, and hence different interpretations. You, I imagine, have a conceptual framework that dictates that you interpret the experience of Muslims differently from the way they interpret it.

But all interpretation is internal to conceptual frameworks. Yours is to yours.

Different experiences can challenge our conceptual frameworks. St Paul reportedly had an experience that challenged his. Others have had experiences which have challenged theirs, including believers. But it's a two-way street.

All you're doing is begging the question in favor of a non-supernatural framework, which leads you to dismiss all reports of religious experiences as involving some kind of error. But there is a vast number of such experiences reported, and for all I know it may be a bigger number than the number of times people have cut themselves shaving.

And so I think that if there's a charge of 'utter bullshit' to be made, it's applicable to your ludicrous and question-begging conceptual imperialism.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 04:08 AM
Response to Original message
199. Other tests?
I would love to see this guy's work put through a proper peer review. First of all even if he is right and the original sample taken was from a patch this is not proof of anything concerning the rest of the shroud. It just means they have to do the test again on an proper sample.

It should also be noted that this individual is on a board of people trying to prove the shroud is valid. Though not listed in this particular article it has been made known that he a member of STURP(The Shroud of Turin Research Project). These are people trying to prove the shroud is real. Their findings should be put through a strainer and tested by others. Not for any specific malicious reasons (though they can come into play). But simply for adherance to objective standards. A bias can come into play whether the individual is aware of it or not.

And then there is the mention of other tests. This sounds more like tabloid journalism. It certainly is not proof of anything. It is simply inuendo.

This is interesting information. But it is proof of nothing. In science when one test is corrupted you do it again. You keep doing it again until you get a clear result. Do the carbon test again. Do it from a section of cloth that none contest. Let us be done with this thing.
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moobu2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 05:14 AM
Response to Reply #199
200. Shrewdly claiming the shroud is real with no shred of evidence
I was wondering, and kind of guessed this guy started out with the intention to prove the shroud was authentic. That is not how to conduct scientific a study.

I agree, it's important to have peer review and that hasnt occured here yet.
In science, if you start out with a conclusion, you can usualy make a pretty good argument for that conclusion if you ignore evedence which might tend to point away from that conclusion.
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Stunster Donating Member (984 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 07:37 AM
Response to Reply #200
201. Antonacci's Proposal
Antonacci has a proposal for a series of scientific tests of the
Shroud, which you can download from his website,
http://www.resurrectionoftheshroud.com /

Click on the Proposal section and you'll be able to download a 33 page
Word document, entitled:

THE RESURRECTION OF THE SHROUD
Tests That Could Prove the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from Samples
Already Removed from the Shroud

Part of the document reads as follows:

The recent book, The Resurrection of the Shroud, (1) states that we
stand at a unique moment in history. For the first time ever the world
may very well have new, independent and empirical evidence of what
would arguably be the most important events in history. For the first
time in history, the world may very well have an extensive amount of
medical, scientific and archaeological evidence for the crucifixion
and resurrection of the historical Jesus Christ.
A great deal of established and relatively recent evidence
(documented at length in this and other books) clearly indicates that
the Shroud wrapped a real human male; who was a Jew; who was crucified
and killed; by the Romans; in Jerusalem; after having been beaten;
scourged; crowned with thorns; endured falls; received a post-mortem
wound in the side; from which blood and a watery fluid flowed;
received an individual burial; by those possessing a detailed
knowledge of Jewish burial customs; in the 1st century; in the same
rock shelf in which Jesus was buried; who left the cloth in a
mysterious manner; within 2-3 days; during the Spring. Furthermore,
some event caused an unprecedented pair of frontal and dorsal images
to develop over time, containing almost 20 different primary and
secondary features, many of which have never been seen before in
history or until scientific technology had evolved to the point that
it could see or discover these features. This burial shroud also
contains more than 130 different and unique markings of real human
blood that formed, flowed and coagulated in the same shape and form as
when they congealed on the body.
While the vast majority of these body image and blood mark features
have only been discovered by 20th and 21st century scientific
technology, they have never been duplicated by scientists, physicians,
artists or people of any kind despite extensive efforts throughout the
last two centuries. While some of the evidence may be debatable, such
as the faint images of a coin or flowers, these secondary features and
especially the primary blood mark and body image features, not only
appear to be unfakeable, but mutually exclusive. Furthermore, if a
medieval forger encoded these numerous features, it would have
required his knowledge of their existence, yet almost all of these
unique features were not even visible or known until the advent of
20th century technology.
Recently, a growing body of evidence documented in The Resurrection
of the Shroud indicates that radiation caused the images on the Shroud
of Turin. Interestingly, this radiation appears to have come from the
length, width and depth of the above dead body wrapped in the Shroud.
Moreover, the type of radiation that seems to match or account for all
of the various chemical and physical features of the body images,
blood marks, possible secondary image features, and non-image features
is particle radiation, such as protons, alpha particles and neutrons,
which humans could not produce until the Manhattan Project. (2) This
paper states that particle radiation emanated from the dead body
wrapped within the Shroud, along with many other significant facts,
which could easily be proven from samples already removed from the Shroud.
The Resurrection of the Shroud documents the important experimental
results obtained by Dr. Jean-Baptiste Rinaudo, a biophysicist, and Dr.
Kitty Little, a nuclear physicist, by irradiating linen cloth with
protons and/or alpha particles at the Grenoble Nuclear Center in
France and the Atomic Energy Research Establishment in Harwell,
England. (3) When Dr. Rinaudo's experimental linen was irradiated with
proton beams with energies of 1.4 MeV or less, the cloth's natural
fluorescence disappeared, as is the case with the Shroud's body image.
He and his colleagues were also able to duplicate the microchemistry
results of dehydrated, oxidized and degraded cellulose as is also
found with the Shroud's body image. They also produced straw-yellow
coloration on the topmost two or three fibers (approximately 30
microns deep) of test linen like that found on the Shroud. Its fibers
and threads lack any cementation or added pigments or other materials.
Furthermore, Rinaudo's straw-yellow color also resulted from
conjugated carbonyl groups within the molecular structure of the
cellulose, as is found with the image fibers on the Shroud. This means
that many of the carbon atoms are double-bonded with other atoms.
These groups absorb light and reflect it as the straw-yellow color
that is visible to us. Carbon
occurs naturally in cellulose, but only as single bonded atoms. In
order to become double bonded, something must break the bonds within
these groups, causing them to reattach and reunite in other
arrangements. Protons could certainly comprise one of the most
effective candidates to accomplish this since they do not penetrate
deeply and their damage would be concentrated at the topmost two to
three fibers of the cloth. In fact, Rinaudo's proton irradiated
fibers, consisting of conjugated carbonyls, are also more friable than
the non-imaged fibers, just like the imaged fibers found on the Shroud.

......When the scientific, medical and archaeological evidence derived
from the Shroud of Turin is combined with the historical evidence, a
comprehensive and corroborating case for the literal occurrence of the
resurrection of the historic Jesus Christ can be made. Much of this
evidence exists now and future testing in Jesus' tomb and on the
previously removed above samples can further establish:

1. That radiation emanated from the dead body wrapped within the Shroud.
2. That this radiation came from the length, width and depth of the
dead body.
3. That this radiation consisted of charged particles, such as
protons, neutrons, and alpha particles.
4. That this event occurred to a Jewish victim, in the 1st century, in
Jesus' burial tomb.
5. That the body disappeared from the cloth in the process.
6. That it did so within 2-3 days of being wrapped inside of it.
7. That the cloth could not have been separated from the body by any
human or mechanical means without smearing or breaking the numerous
bloodstains, and only the body's disappearance can explain how wounds
that formed and flowed on human skin can become embedded into the cloth.
8. That particle radiation emanating from the length, width, and depth
of a dead body that disappeared is the only method that has ever
accounted for all the unprecedented features of the body images and
blood marks, which cannot be forged or occur naturally.
9. That the Gospels state that beginning with and immediately after
Jesus' resurrection, his body could pass through objects and vanish,
and that a similar type of radiation also emanated from Jesus at his
Transfiguration.
10. That on Easter Sunday Jesus' body was not described as having any
of the numerous blood marks that it received from his numerous
pre-crucifixion, crucifixion and post-mortem wounds.
11.That the Gospels state that the historical Jesus Christ was also
scourged, crowned with thorns, crucified and killed, by the same
executioners, with the same weapons, in the same manner, and was
buried in the same location, at the same time, by the same buriers,
and then disappeared and resurrected from his shroud under all the
same circumstances.....

......Another of the many interesting consistencies between the
Historically Consistent Method and the historical accounts of the
crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ can be found from the
energetic effects of the radiation under this method. The very
superficial and small amount of protons and alpha particles that would
be absorbed on the Shroud under this method would not cause an
explosion, however, the small amount of penetrating neutrons and gamma
rays also left behind would distribute their energy between the
surface of and several feet within the limestone walls of the tomb.
This would not cause an explosion or a hole in the tomb, but this
distributed compressionable shock might cause something analogous to
an earthquake. While the accounts at the end of Mathew 27 and the
beginning of 28 are vaguely worded, they do indicate that an
earthquake may have occurred at Jesus' resurrection.
These same historical accounts also state that beginning with Jesus'
resurrection and, thereafter, his body could disappear, and pass
through objects. Following the accounts of Jesus' resurrection, he is
described as suddenly vanishing from the disciples with whom he broke
bread on the road to Emmaus, with his body reappearing later to his
followers at a different location. In two other instances, these
historical sources also describe Jesus as passing through walls. These
features are consistent with those of the Historically Consistent
Method. Such similarities cannot be considered as criticisms of the
method, but only as additional strengths that all other image forming
methods lack. Again, if the man in the Shroud was Jesus, his body
would have necessarily disappeared after he was wrapped within his
burial shroud. He would, necessarily, also have reappeared.
The Gospels do not describe where Jesus' body went or how he
disappeared and reappeared. The Historically Consistent Method does
not state where or how the man's body disappeared during the event
that caused the body images, blood marks, and the various other
primary and secondary image and non-image features on the Shroud.
However, it does offer a
possible explanation, which, interestingly, could also explain where,
and how Jesus' body disappeared and reappeared in the Gospels.
One possible explanation as to what happened to the man in the Shroud
under the Historically Consistent or a related method, and/or to the
historical Jesus Christ, was first introduced in a highly respected
scientific journal in 1935 by Albert Einstein and Nathan Rosen, in
"The Particle Problem in the General Theory of Relativity", Physical
Review 48 <1935>: 73-77. These scientists first devised the concept of
a shortcut in space time-travel based on Einstein's theory of general
relativity that allows a person or object to pass through a bridge or
"wormhole" in space and time. According to modern physicists,
mathematical theories of space-time travel are not only possible under
Einstein's theory of general relativity, but these "wormholes" are
completely consistent with tested theories of gravity and would allow
travel between two points in different universes or two points within
the same universe. This form of travel could circumvent the speed of
light barrier and may even permit travel to past or future times. The
famous British physicist Steven Hawking has published and lectured on
wormholes, and his best-selling book, A Brief History of Time, devotes
whole chapters to this subject. At this time the science of wormholes
is not only mature, but in the words of physicist Matt Visser in
Lortenzian Wormholes: From Einstein to Hawking, "the theoretical
analysis of Lortenzian wormholes is `merely' an extension of known
physics---no new physical principles of fundamentally new physical
theories are involved." (Woodbury, N.Y.: American Institute of
Physics, 1996) p. 369. NASA also has an interest in wormholes for
space travel as evidenced by its hosting a workshop at Caltech's Jet
Propulsion Laboratory entitled, "Advanced Quantum/Relativity Theory
Propulsion Workshop" in May, 1994, where wormholes were a major topic
of discussion.
A key element of this theory is that, as matter passes through the
wormhole, the entrance mouth gains mass and the exit mouth loses mass.
If the unexplained disappearance of the man in the Shroud, or the
historical Jesus Christ, was connected or related to this theory, the
entrance mouth to the wormhole would be the point of the body's
departure. The Shroud itself would have been right at the mouth of the
entrance and may have received some of the increase in mass in the
form of the basic building blocks of matter---protons, neutrons,
electrons and alpha particles. Many experts in this field think
space-time travel is possible without the traveling object being
harmed as it enters and exits the
wormhole. Space-time travel could even be said to be a possible means
for Jesus to have traveled between heaven and earth (and even Hades).
It is important to remember that all of the evidence in this paper and
The Resurrection of the Shroud is indicative of and consistent with
reliable written contemporary accounts of historical events. Just
because absolute scientific proof of an historical event is lacking
certainly doesn't mean it didn't happen. In fact, no events in history
prior to the advent of film or photography has absolute proof of their
occurrence, or possesses as extensive evidence as the events depicted
on and derived from the Shroud, whose images and blood marks were
encoded in a far more sophisticated manner than mere film or photography.
Scientists often dismiss the evidence on the Shroud for the
crucifixion and resurrection of the historical Jesus Christ because
the resurrection or image encoding event is not a scientific
proposition which they are able to perform. Yet no event that has ever
occurred in history can be identically performed again, and even if it
could, it would not prove that it once occurred. Almost all events
that have occurred in history lack the extensive evidence that now
exists and would exist for the crucifixion and resurrection, yet we
don't doubt their occurrence. Moreover, we cannot come close to
absolutely proving the Big Bang or the existence of Black Holes, nor
are they scientific propositions that can be recreated or performed,
yet scientists extensively discuss their occurrence and existence.
Almost all matters that we consider and decide in life are based on
relative evidence. We don't have anything close to absolute proof of
the identities of people we meet and know in everyday life. In fact,
we have far more evidence of the identity of the man in the Shroud,
and of the tragic and unprecedented events that occurred to him, than
we do for people we meet everyday or have known for many years.
Moreover, these events would have more significance and importance
than any events that ever occurred in history. Since these events
would necessarily relate to every person alive and who will ever live,
and could fundamentally affect their present lives, and, even their
lives after death, we are compelled by the highest professional and
individual obligations in history to conduct these tests.
We stand at a unique moment in history.

Read the full Proposal for details of the scientific experiments which
Antonacci wishes to see performed on existing segments of the Shroud,
and which would back up his theory of what caused the Shroud image.




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moobu2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 08:40 AM
Response to Reply #201
202. All completely irrelevant
you're obviously as biased as this person is if you think this is any real scientific endeavor to uncover truth and not just an attempt to prove something he is already convinced of.

Real science doesn't work that way, sorry.

Anyway, if this Christian say's he thinks he can back up his beliefs with science then let the guy publish his work in mainstream science publications for peer review. That's how the process works whether Christians like it or not.
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Stunster Donating Member (984 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 11:07 AM
Response to Reply #202
206. He started as an agnostic
Nor have you refuted anything he's said or written.

You're rather obviously reacting emotionally, rather than taking a cool look at the scientific evidence, of which there's loads, and thoroughly documented.
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Beetwasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #206
208. LOL! He Started As An Agnostic??? You Know This, How?
Because he SAID so!!! LOL!

Hey, I started as a believer in the shroud and now I'm an atheist. You have to believe me because I said so. :eyes:

Yes, the evidence is so convincing that all atheists should now believe in god because some cloth has an image of a WHITE Jesus. How'd that happen? Not to mention the face is flat, just like a painting would be. If it were an impression of a real 3D face, it would be splayed out and distorted when the cloth was laid flat.

This whole thing is so ridiculous it boggles the mind. The mental gymnastics believers must go through to believe in this thing are really quite amusing.
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Stunster Donating Member (984 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #208
209. So you know he's telling a lie about that?
Er, how?

Because your emotions make you want to believe that he's lying.

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Beetwasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #209
211. LOL! OK Chester!
I don't have to KNOW that he's lying, I only have to know that it's very possible. That's why we have the scientific method. His statement that he was an agnostic and now isn't is utterly and completely meaningless w/ regard to the question at hand; the authenticity of the shroud. You do realize that his claim of agnosticism is as meaningless as my claim of being a believer, don't you?

Do you believe everything people tell you? Especially people w/ an agenda, like people who WANT the shroud to be real? Good grief. I think I just witnessed the equivalent of a mental quintuple backflip...
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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #211
214. 9.5... 9.0... 9.0... 8.5... 9.5... 9.5... 9.5... 8.0
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #211
217. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #217
218. Hey Stunster...
Making personal attacks like that really doesn't do much to support whatever position you have on the topic.
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Beetwasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #217
219. Possibly One of The Dumbest Things I've Ever Heard
I'm not claiming he's lying, Chester. But it sure is possible he's lying and that's all I need to not take his claim seriously.

You're the brainiac who thinks that because he claims he was an agnostic and now he's not that it means something. Loopy.
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Stunster Donating Member (984 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #219
221. Dumb and dumber
:boring:
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 03:26 PM
Response to Reply #221
223. And the thing is you don't see the aggression in your own posts
I feel sorry for ya dude.
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Stunster Donating Member (984 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 05:39 PM
Response to Reply #223
226. It's that time again
:boring:
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 06:09 PM
Response to Reply #226
230. And you really think that makes a point?
Are you really not aware of your extreme aggression? You have a very serious problem. You have a lot of anger and it comes out quite clearly in your posts. It really suggests a level of insecurity in your own beliefs. As if you have to attack that which you fear to be true.

You construct obviously flawed arguments which you claim others are using and then beat them silly. This seems more a need than an attempt at dialog. In fact all your arguments are prewritten as if you have hashed them out repeatedly in an attempt to defend your own beliefs against your own doubts.

I am sorry you cannot resolve such matters succesfully in your own mind. But please do not take your anger out on others. It serves no one in any way and only makes the world a more miserable place. Try working with us and finding what we have in common instead.

Try talking to us instead of at us. Maybe we can learn something from each other. Instead all you offer is a angry spikey ball of hatred. Don't expect us to understand you or you to understand us with the attitude you are brining to the conversation.

Sorry if I bore you.
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Stunster Donating Member (984 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #230
231. I accept your apology (n/t)
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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 06:18 PM
Response to Reply #231
234. Oh... Wow. What An Odd Response.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 06:30 PM
Response to Reply #234
236. Still crawling with aggression
He has issues.
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Beetwasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 06:16 PM
Response to Reply #221
233. I'll Assume That To Mean You Realize How Silly Your Non-Argument Is
LOL!

Just call my a poopy pants already and get it out of the way.

Does this guys claim that he was originally an agnostic somehow make his arguments (or lack of them)or claims more valid? Why don't you answer that question? Or would you rather behave like an infantile cretin (in case you can't tell, that's rhetorical, I already know the answer, so don't bother)?
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qazplm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 01:09 PM
Response to Reply #206
216. What in the world
does that have to do with anything? So what if he was an agnostic before, that means what exactly?

What evidence is provided? I see assertions but no evidence.
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Stunster Donating Member (984 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 05:36 PM
Response to Reply #216
225. It's to do with
somebody saying on this forum that Antonacci only believed in the authenticity of the Shroud because he wanted to for religious reasons.

Well, Antonacci didn't want to believe in religion at all. He was in fact militantly agnostic when he began his investigation of the Shroud.

Get it now?
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Beetwasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 06:24 PM
Response to Reply #225
235. "I'm Tellin' Ya, I'm The Biggest Skeptic There Is on This Here Earth...
that is until I saw that there flyin' saucer and those little green men beamed me up to Pluto"

LOL!
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qazplm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 03:41 AM
Response to Reply #225
237. nope
still has ZERO to do with whether or not his investigation was valid or true.

All it has to do is with his bias. Well to be honest, I dont give a hill of beans what his bias is, I want to know his methodology and his process in arriving at his "truth" or theory and most importantly his evidence.

I saw NONE of that in the bit you typed up.
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Stunster Donating Member (984 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #237
241. Read the book (n/t)
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #206
222. One does not join groups dedicated to probing closed cases
unless one wishes to overturn the case. The desire is to refute the existing conclusion. A perfectly natural desire in scientific communities. But it is problematic in that such groups create stovepipe situations where they all start barking up the same tree and seeing similar phantoms. This is why peer review in the general community is required. Its why some thought they had cold fusion down only to find no one else could reproduce it. Peer review is vital to catch such natural errors.
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Stunster Donating Member (984 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 05:29 PM
Response to Reply #222
224. The evidence Antonacci cites is peer reviewed
Have you even read it?
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #224
228. Being reviewed
Not reviewed already. That is what the journal exists for. As such his claims are not yet through the review process. It is still premature for him to claim success. And even should the review process agree with his position it only means that the test should be run again on a superior source of material.

Again his supposisition does not conclude properly that the shroud is valid. Only that a single test may have been taken on flawed source material.

Patience is required in science. Mistakes are frequent. Particularly when matters of faith are brought to the arena. Do not forget the far too recent sepulchur that turned out to be a fraud. Do the tests and form your conclusions after they have run their full course.

All the dating issues still make little difference. The artistic elements of the shroud are still its undoing. The figure does not comform to human or physics standards. The eyes, hair, and arms are simply incorrect. They in no way are representitive of actual human attributes and are interpretive. They are quite clearly an artistic representation of the human form.
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Stunster Donating Member (984 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #228
232. You are confusing Rogers with Antonacci (n/t)
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Stunster Donating Member (984 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 05:46 PM
Response to Reply #202
227. A word to the wise
Edited on Sun Jan-30-05 05:47 PM by Stunster
Read his book.

Then you might be in a position to refute it. Or even say something intelligent and informed about it.

People who trash books they haven't read are not to be trusted when they start screaming and yelling about how 'rational' they are.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #227
240. No need to read the book due to the issue of Hair, Eyes, and Hands
Resolve the problem of these three issues and then we may have some reason to move on to the composition of the cloth.

To reitirate:

The hair is unnaturally positioned along the side of the head as if the figure were standing. If he was laying down the hair would be pulled towards the back of the head rather then down towards the shoulders. I have long hair myself and can provide photo demonstration if you wish.

The eyes are too high on his head. This is an artifact of our own internal sense of positioning of eyes. We imagine them to be near the top of our head. In fact they are placed at the center of the head. Check it yourself.

His arms are too long. Lay down and try to cover your genetalia as the image is doing. You will find you cannot do it. Not without hunching your shoulders at the very least. And the shoulders are clearly not hunched in the image. This is merely an artistic attempt at modesty by covering the genetalia by distortion. Simply put in reality it is physically impossible.

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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #240
245. let's also not forget
that the Bible states clearly that his head was wrapped in a separate cloth. So did Jesus' Holy Power cause the cloths to merge?
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Stunster Donating Member (984 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 05:47 PM
Response to Reply #240
247. Hahaha
Read the book. Honestly, it's an extremely good read, extremely well researched and documented, and cites a large amount of scientific literature published in peer-reviewed journals---all the stuff you like.

Once you read the book, you'll see how misled you are about the issues you raise.

Though you're being a bit too subjective, not to say idiosyncratic, in your assessment of the image, there are some distortions around the head area, and there are elongations. These are are specifically dealt with in the book and the explanations are especially interesting. They involve radiation, and can be tested. Antonacci proposes several very feasible scientific tests which would validate or disconfirm his theory.

As I say, read the book. Don't know if I posted this information earlier.....

In the book, Antonacci utterly destroys the
following theories: the Painting theory; the
Vapograph (diffusion) theory; Direct-contact
theories; the Volkringer Method theory; the
Singlet Oxygen theory; the Bacteria and fungi
theories; the Nickell Powder-Rubbing theory;
the Craig-Breese method theory; the heated
bas-relief/scorch theory; the hot statute
theory; the theories based on radiation and
electrostatic fields (aka Kirlian Method or
Corona Discharge theories); the Engraved lines
theory; the Kersten and Gruber method theories;
the medieval photography theory; and a bunch of
other artistic theories and experiments.

It is impossible to do justice to the full range
of extraordinariness of the scientific evidence
regarding the Shroud in an email post. The above
two examples are in fact relatively minor aspects
of the evidence Antonacci presents. The full
range of it is in fact much greater, and much more
amazing, and is presented in rigorous detail in the
book. The best I can do is reproduce Appendix J,
COMPREHENSIVE LIST OF THE SHROUD'S UNIQUE CHARACTERISTICS

Let's review the unusual characteristics that would have to have been
accounted for by a medieval forger in any credible explanation of how
the body images, blood marks, and other features were created on the
Shroud of Turin. Any forger responsible for the image would have to
have been able to:

-- Encode the image on only the most superficial fibrils of the
cloth's threads;
--Transfer an image so low in contrast that it fades into the
background when an observer stands within six feet of it;
--Create an image that is pressure-independent so that both the
frontal and dorsal body images are encoded with the same intensity,
even though the dorsal side of the cloth would have had the full
weight of a body lying on top of it;
--Use an image-forming mechanism that operates uniformly regardless of
what lies beneath it, i.e., over diverse substances such as skin,
hair, and, possibly, coins, flowers, teeth, and bones;
--Encode the thousands of body image fibrils with the same intensity;
--Create an image that is not composed of any particles or foreign
materials of any kinds, with the individual joints of its individual
fibrils remaining distinct and visible;
--Create an image that is not soluble in water, remains stable when
subjected to high temperatures, and does not demonstrate signs of
matting, capillarity, saturation or diffusion into the image-forming
fibrils;
--Encode an image that lacks any evidence of two-dimensional
directionality;
--Compose a yellowed body image out of chemically degraded cellulose
with conjugated carbonyls that has resulted from processes associated
with dehydration and oxidation;
--Encode the front and back full-length images on cloth of a real
human being in rigor mortis;
--Incorporate specific effects of a draped cloth that fell through a
body region---such as blood marks displaced into the hair, motion
blurs at the side of the face and in the neck/throat region and below
the hair, along wiht elongated fingers;
--Encode a superficial, resolved, and three-dimensional image of the
closed eye over the different and invisible features of a coin;
--Transfer the blood marks before encoding the body image, yet still
place them in the appropriate locations and ensure that the blood
marks are not altered when the body image is later transferred into
the cloth;
--Create actual blood marks with actual serum around the edges of the
various wounds;
--Reproduce blood marks incurred at different times with different
instruments that correspond with both arterial and venous bleeding'
--Encode blood marks on the cloth in exactly the form and shape that
develop from wounds on human skin;
--Embed into the cloth the various blood marks leaving the original
smooth surface between the skin and the blood intact;
--Remove the cloth from the body within two to three days without
breaking or smearing the numerous blood marks;
--Employ a mechanism that transfers distance information through space
in vertical, straight-line paths;
--Produce an image that is a vague negative when observed by the naked
eye, but with highly focused and finely resolved details that become
visible only when photographed, at which point the negative turns into
a positive image with light/dark and left/right reversed;
--Encode accurately proportioned, three-dimensional information on a
two-dimensional surface that directly corresponds to the distances
between a body and cloth;
--Include realistic details of scourge marks so minute that they are
invisible to the naked eye and can be seen only with cameras,
photographic enlargers, microscopes, and ultraviolet lighting;
--Encode a line representing the narrow lesion of the side wound that
corresponds to the shape of the lancea used by Roman executioners in
such a manner that the line would not be visible with the eye and
could not be seen until the development of computer imaging technology
600 years later;
--Distribute an array of pollens onto the Shroud beneath the linen's
threads and fibers that reflected its manufacture and history in
Jerusalem and Turkey. To do this successfully, the forger would have
to not only be a pollen expert, but also anticipate development of the
theory that emerged 600 years later which asserts the Shroud,
Mandylion, and the Image of Edessa are the same cloth;
--Encode the subtle appearance of Judean plants in the off-image area
of the Shroud that would not be seen for more than six centuries;
--Place microscopic samples of dirt and limestone at the foot of the
man in the Shroud that match the limestone found in Jerusalem, but
which would not be visible for centuries;
--Encode whole actual blood and watery fluid at the side wound and the
small of the back in a uniquely realistic manner and also encode this
and all other clotted bloodstains on the Shroud so that they remain
red and do not darken over time like all other actual blood;
--Encode the appearance of a Pontius Pilate lepton over the
right eye of the man so that only when photography, photographic
enlargers and three-dimensional reliefs are invented 600 years later,
the motif, letters, and outline of the coin can be ascertained. The
forger would not only have to anticipate this technology, but also the
development of the field of archaeology and the discovery in the late
twentieth century that coins were used in burials in Jerusalem and the
surrounding area between the first century BC and the first century AD;
--Encode the wound on the cloth at the man's left side so that when
the image was photographed 500 years later, the wound would be located
in the precisely correct location on the man's right side so that
blood and water would escape from the victim if he received a
postmortem wound at this location.
To encode these features, our forger would not only have to have
understood advanced scientific principles, but also have possessed a
knowledge of anatomy and medicine that was centuries ahead of his
time. Obviously, it would have been impossible for him to have
possessed such knowledge and understanding, but even if he had, he
still couldn't have seen any of these numerous features to know if he
was getting them right. The technology needed to visualize them
would not be developed for another five or six hundred years.
--How could a medieval artist have displayed a knowledge of physiology
that would not be known until centuries later?
--How could an artist paint without showing any evidence of
directionality?
--How could an artist encode three-dimensional information (on a
two-dimensional surface) that directly corresponds to the distance
between a body and a cloth?
--How could a medieval artist include details that are undetectable
with the human eye and become visible only under ultraviolet light, or
only through a microscope, or only on three-dimensional
reconstructions, or only with the most advanced, twentieth-century
computer scanning devices?









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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #247
248. Answer the questions asked please
How is the hair not being drawn towards the back of his head?

Why are his eyes too high on his head?

Why are his arms too long and able to cover his genetalia?

You post tons of nothing. Please address the simple questions asked. If the answers are so conveniently in one book then it should be no problem for you to post the explanation for these three questions. You don't need to fill pages. You need only post a few sentences addressing the question you are asked instead of the questions you want to answer.
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moobu2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 08:58 AM
Response to Reply #201
203. Besides
If this guy wasn't a nut job Christian fanatic liar out to make money (or delusional), he would not have to ask for donations. The filthy rich Churches of the world could and would easily fund his fake science. Look how much money they could make if what he was accreting were true.

Jerry Farwell or Pat Robertson or even the Pope could write him a check tomorrow and never miss a cent. You do realize these Church organizations are filthy, filthy, filthy rich dont you?
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Stunster Donating Member (984 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #203
213. That's funny
You calling Antonacci a 'nutjob'.

:D
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 09:57 AM
Response to Original message
204. Two simple points that show the shroud is art and not a relic
Edited on Sun Jan-30-05 10:02 AM by Az
Where are your eyes? Take a look at the shroud:



Notice how the eyes appear to be near the top of his head. Your eyes are actually in the middle of your head. But our internal sense of them places them near the top. This representation of the eyes near the top of the head was typical of artistry during the 13th century.

Second, where is Jesus' genetalia?


Seriously try to lie down in that position. It is impossible to lie down with your shoulders flat and cover your genetalia as the image is doing. This again was an artists technique of modesty typical of the time the shroud is preported to have been created.
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moobu2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 10:21 AM
Response to Reply #204
205. Obviously that's correct and
the artist who created this had to have lived in the 13th century (or there bouts) because the Character depicted here has 13th century European characteristics. Jesus wasn't European was he? nope. It's a European representation of what the artist thought Jesus would look like in their "European" view.

The face looks like a 13th century European night or king. Look at the nose, the cheeks, the beard and mustache. People just did not look like that when Jesus lived. Yes, I think there was probably a real person named Jesus but he was just another person physically, so he should look like his fellow middle easterners.
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Beetwasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 11:21 AM
Response to Reply #204
207. Also, If It Was A Print Of an Actual Face, The Face Would Have Splayed Out
It's a painting of a face, otherwise the face would be distorted looking from wrapping the cloth on a 3D object and then "flattening" it out.
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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #207
210. Hush! People Can't Be Bothered With Pesky FACTS!!
:hi:
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Beetwasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #210
212. Hey Man!
Crazy! Seriously, this is totally demented. Watch as not one believer will address the non-flayed aspect of the WHITE Jesus' face. I guess god works in mysterious ways! He made the face appear non-flayed, just like a painting! Yeah! That's it!
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #212
220. Even worse, the hair
Notice how the hair is laying straight down relative to the body. If he was laying down his hair would be going towards the back of his head not down the length of his body. Yet there is no hair going towards the rear. It is likely it was a rubbing taken from a statue or a tomb.
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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-04-05 08:31 AM
Response to Original message
274. if you wish really really hard & shop for scientists, anything is possable
i was a scientist and did research.. I got paid big bucks to create the truth.. and i was good at it too.. i am not supprised at the new results given the Mood of the nation.. and its Tsunami of religious frenzy...
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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-04-05 08:37 AM
Response to Reply #274
275. Old as Jesus.. a man of no historical evidence..ie:myth.?. how old is that
there is no proof he ever existed for all the press he gets.. that is a Miracle in itself...
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-04-05 08:45 AM
Response to Reply #275
276. Which of course is why
the market demand for relics linking to Jesus is so high. Forgeries of such relics are beyond common. People keep forgetting that even the shroud is documented by the Vatican to be a forgerie. It is not an official Church Relic.
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