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Kathy Part 3

Well, after breaking 2000 comments on the previous thread, I think it’s time to move to a new one. Feel free to continue the conversation here.

Also, I want to make a note about future posts. The tone on this blog for the last month or so has been decidedly different than what it used to be. While that’s definitely made things interesting, I’d like to move back to a tone more in line with the way things used to be. So going forward, I want the comments on all new posts to remain civil. We can all make our points, and I expect to see a wide range of opinions. But I don’t want to get into name-calling and bashing when we can’t all agree on particular issues. Let’s try to stay focused on the points and not get side-tracked with personal stuff. Let’s also keep each comment substantive so we don’t rack up so many comments in such a short period of time that it’s hard for everyone to keep track.

If you don’t feel like you can participate within those guidelines, then feel free to continue posting within this thread (and any future “Kathy” threads, if they’re needed), because I won’t be enforcing any guidelines here. But if you want to comment on any other posts, you’ll need to abide by the rules I just laid out. Otherwise, your comment will be subject to deletion, and after a warning, you might find yourself banned from at least that thread, if not the entire blog.

If there are any questions, let me know.

Thanks

1,249 thoughts on “Kathy Part 3”

  1. Couple of things to consider when discussing “weighing evidence” —

    Evidence may be given full weight, partial weight, more or less weight than other evidence, or no weight at all. Evidence is weighed against other evidence to determine which evidence is more reliable.

    Or the “weight of evidence” —

    Measure of credible proof on one side of a dispute as compared with the credible proof on the other,

    And “credible evidence” —

    admitted testimony, believable proof, believable testimony, confirmed proof, convincing proof, corroborated proof, credible documents, credible exhibits, credible proof, creditworthy proof, dependable proof, documented proof, honest proof, indisputable proof, indubitable proof, irrefutable proof, legitimate proof, legitimate proof of facts, proof worthy of belief, proof worthy of credence, tested testimony, testimony which is above reproach, trustworthy proof, truthful proof, truthful testimony, validated proof, verified proof

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  2. I think I may have mentioned something like this before, but here it is again, just in case:

    Evidence given by someone who testifies from personal observation is of greater weight than evidence offered by someone who is testifying from general knowledge alone.

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  3. Wow! I just caught this, Kathy, in one of your comments:
    It’s just like a jury trial William.. evidence exists and honest determinations can be made. No jury member would get away with stating that there is no evidence so I’m not going to give a verdict.

    Some time back, I told you that no court in the land would allow testimony to be presented from anonymous witnesses, like the Gospel writers, whose credentials can never be checked, all of whom wrote so long after the alleged death of the alleged Yeshua, that their testimony could ONLY be based on hearsay.

    You quickly responded that this was NOT a courtroom situation, yet here you are, using a courtroom scenario to once again fail to make your point – “No jury member would get away with stating that there is no evidence so I’m not going to give a verdict.” – no jury member would need to do that, as no judge would allow them to hear testimony that didn’t qualify as evidence. In other words, all of your Gospel writers would be disqualified as witnesses, and when the Gospels are dismissed, what do you have left?

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  4. There are so many things that could be said… I’ll try to prioritize.

    Kathy said (July 28, 2014 at 2:06 pm),

    I’m convinced that you all are very sincere in wanting to disprove the existence of God.. but I’m also fully convinced that you all lack objectivity when debating this question. I know you don’t agree but I’m basing my opinion on the exchanges I’ve had with you and others.

    Not quite. (I’ll just speak for myself now.)

    I was not sincere in “wanting to disprove the existence of God”. I believe I am sincere in wanting to know what the truth is regarding the truth claims of Christianity; and my method of determing that was by approaching its claims critically, with a measured skepticism. I presupposed neither God’s existence, nor his non-existence. I think I even gave a sizable “benefit of the doubt” to it in the process. My evaluation of the evidence is that it does not withstand scrutiny, and thus there is good reason to disbelieve (1) that Yahweh is the Creator of the universe, (2) that Jesus is his son, and (3) that the Bible is his message to us.

    However, I most certainly have not disproven the existence of every possible god. Speaking of which: do you understand the difference between hard and soft atheism?

    My best example would be the question I presented to you asking which religion you believed had the most evidence to support it’s “truth”/Truth. You haven’t followed through with this question. I don’t feel like I’ve gotten honest answers.. only attempts to obfuscate.. maybe not in the beginning, but as the issue progressed for sure.

    This has been turned back on you by asking why any of them must be true. This is not obfuscation; it is pointing to a fundamental flaw in your question. You seem to dodge the possibility that none of them are true. I think you have nothing more than assumption here, based on…intuition…or the notion that we’re different, so we must be created…or your desire to believe…or something. (Clarify if you want.)

    With that said, I’ll take a stab at answering:

    I’m not qualified to answer this, as I’ve not studied other religions extensively. However, I am aware that most make mutually-contradictory claims, therefore only one at most can be true; and perhaps none are.

    If none of the “revealed” religions are true, then this question is like asking which is the shiniest turd.

    The burden of proof remains on the theist.

    Arch is another example.. I’ve presented to him a great example of “evidence”.. that he himself has used to make HIS points.. but when I ask him the same question about which religion has the most evidence.. he disappears.. all of a sudden he has “technical” difficulties. This is my evidence that you all are not apply honest objectivity.

    He’s back, and addressed you about this.

    And William and Ark have been asking me repeatedly lately for my evidence that the Bible is true.. these 3 threads are FULL of my comments addressing this question.. giving the evidence.

    Lots of claims, with little evidence. IME, the little evidence you have provided has been questionable, or poorly-supported, and often with circular logic.

    It’s become a game.. and it’s 100% dishonest. There is clearly no real desire of “FINDING TRUTH”… I have no doubt about this. I don’t know how the atheists here expect this to all turn out.. denying truth, pretending you aren’t in a “corner” with your erroneous beliefs, isn’t going to change the truth or how it all turns out.. I don’t understand this mentality.. at all. It’s not rational.

    I could turn this around, too, but I’d rather get down to brass tacks. (Before I do, though, let me say: I don’t think you are being purposely dishonest.)

    …Kathy, I’m wondering why do you believe that the Bible is God’s message to us? It would help if you’d sum it up, and number your points. I’m thinking you’re appealing to (1) martyrs, (2) fulfilled prophecy, (3) archeology. Is that correct? What am I missing?

    As to (1) martyrs: they only work as evidence of your claim (in particular of the resurrection of Jesus) if they meet several specific criteria. I will repost my prior comment on this (from July 26, 2014 at 7:43 pm from “part 2”), which includes links to a few articles that explain these criteria better than I would. I hope you’ll read them.

    I will delay dicussion of (2) and (3) for now.

    I am busy with work and evening activities, so I may not get back to this for a few days…

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  5. @Kathy,

    [This is a repost of my July 26, 2014 at 7:43 pm comment.]

    You said,

    Again, most historians agree that the disciples [1] were real people [2] who were martyred. You are trying hard to make it seem that this isn’t the case, but sorry, it is.

    I say: Citation(s) needed. In particular, I not been presented with sufficient evidence to believe your claim 2. (Moreover, I think there is more required to consider it as evidence for your case–as described in the first article linked below.)

    You also said,

    [T]he objective historians believe the disciples were martyred[…] and there’s no evidence that disproves their martyrdom. I’ll find the historical evidence that’s out there and post it[…]

    Emphasis mine (if it shows–the sentence beginning with “I’ll find”, if not).

    So please do post the evidence to support your claim.

    I’m not an expert, but I’ve done some reading on this, and though it’s possible I could be mistaken, I’m not just arguing from ignorance. So to save time in the back-and-forth, here are some articles on the matter that I find persuasive:

    “Die for a Lie” won’t Fly

    (Please try to get past the blog title of that first link. I’m interested in discussing points, reason, and evidence–not a hand-waving dismissal on account of “liberal atheist propaganda”. If that’s truly all it is, you ought to be able to dismantle it on the merits, on its own turf.

    For the record, I am skeptical of his “simple math”, so please let’s not get hung up there.)

    Who Would Die for a Lie? (1 of 2)

    Who Would Die for a Lie? (2 of 2)

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  6. Kathy,

    You also said,

    It’s just like a jury trial William.. evidence exists and honest determinations can be made. No jury member would get away with stating that there is no evidence so I’m not going to give a verdict.

    I think your analogy is broken.

    In a criminal trial, the choices are not “guilty” or “innocent”; they are “guilty” or “not guilty”–where “not guilty” differs from “innocent”. “Not guilty” means that the prosecution has not met their burden of proof for a guilty verdict; the defendant may or may not actually be “innocent”.

    Likewise, we’re saying (at least) that the weak evidence you’ve presented has not met the burden of proof to show Yahweh “guilty” of existing, and of communicating truth to us in the Bible.

    In my own research, in an effort to weigh the evidence fairly, and to give the Bible the benefit of certain doubts, I tried to take more of the approach of a civil trial–which has a lower burden of proof–where I was just looking to see which way the “preponderance of evidence” leans. My verdict was the same (disbelief), though my reasons are not outlined here.

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  7. Ratamacue, those are excellent points, and I appreciate how reasonably you’ve laid them out.

    And Ark, thanks for the comment. I’m ready to move on too 🙂

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  8. Come on, Kathy – SURELY by now, Mike had had time to email you what to think!

    “Peter allegedly died in CE 64. Please show me accounts of his martyrdom, other that of Tertullian, writing at the end of the second century (150-199 CE), or Origen, in the early part of the third, literally a hundred to a hundred and fifty years after the alleged event.”

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  9. Ratamacue0, RE: “I will repost my prior comment on this (from July 26, 2014 at 7:43 pm from “part 2″), which includes links to a few articles that explain these criteria better than I would. I hope you’ll read them.
    Highly unlikely —

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  10. Arch said:

    “Still tapping my toe, Kathy –”

    Well, you’re gonna have to keep tapping until you answer MY question from the last thread..

    Which religion has the best/ most compelling evidence to support it’s “truth/Truth?

    You can no longer give the excuse that you don’t think there is evidence because you don’t believe any are true. You’ve shown that YOU use the very same kind of evidence when arguing YOUR point for the Bible not being true… so.. give your toe a rest and yourself some peace.. and answer my question.. honestly.

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  11. William,

    ““That’s because you don’t WANT to see it. Again, to claim that the evidence for Christianity is the same as for santa claus PROVES this.” – kathy

    “you’re the first one who i saw mention santa. you were talking about christian martyrs and i mention muslim martyrs, and then you said people who claim they’re elves and die for santa arent believable. we dont have to discuss santa, but I thought you were the first to mention him.”

    “William.. here’s a direct question.. meaning I’d ESPECIALLY like an answer.. do you understand what “weighing evidence” means?” – kathy

    yes, i believe i do. Do you?”

    So, just to be clear.. when you “weigh” the evidence for God being real and santa being real, you feel that both weigh the same… correct?

    And if you claim there is no evidence for either.. please answer this.. would you let Casey Anthony watch your children? There’s no empirical proof that she harmed her daughter.. so, all that other evidence, according to you, is meaningless.. it’s not even “evidence”.

    Case closed.

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  12. Ratamacue, I’m getting overwhelmed, I just don’t have enough time to take on everyone’s arguments.. but if you can select a couple that you want answered the most, I’ll try to answer those.

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  13. “You can no longer give the excuse that you don’t think there is evidence because you don’t believe any are true. You’ve shown that YOU use the very same kind of evidence when arguing YOUR point for the Bible not being true… “

    Sorry, Kathy – not understanding a word of that, could you give me an example of what you’re talking about? What kind of evidence is it that you think I’m using?

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  14. Kathy, RE: “And if you claim there is no evidence for either.. please answer this.. would you let Casey Anthony watch your children” – yes, I would. Now where does your argument go?

    But as Ratamacue0 so aptly illustrated, a verdict of “not guilty” does not mean the individual is innocent, only that the government entity has not sufficiently proven it’s case. What you’ve chosen as evidence simply isn’t as “compelling” as you seem to think it is.

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  15. “So, just to be clear.. when you “weigh” the evidence for God being real and santa being real, you feel that both weigh the same… correct?” – kathy

    Let me start off by reminding you, that you brought up sanat clause. Do you think it’s objectively weighing the evidence to compare a person who believes themselves to be an elf dying for santa is the same as someone dying for their religion? This is the context ion which you used the comparison, so I think it’s a but unfair to now put this question to me…

    nevertheless, i think it is good question, so no, I wouldn’t say this is correct. and you’re right, there are differences. I will say, that i do believe that the bible’s divine origin is just as much a fable as santa clause, but I view the possibility of a god or gods to be separate from the bible. I dont know that i believe it a god, but I dont firmly dispute a god’s existence either – I’m just not convinced there is one.

    “And if you claim there is no evidence for either.. please answer this.. would you let Casey Anthony watch your children? There’s no empirical proof that she harmed her daughter.. so, all that other evidence, according to you, is meaningless.. it’s not even “evidence”.” – kathy

    Case Anthony? no way i’d let my kids hang out with her or with michael jackson, but while neither have been proven to be actual child harmers, they are undoubtedly real people. It is also without doubt that people do harm children. because I know that potential harm is indeed a real think and that people who harm children are indeed very real, I feel that the risk outweighs whatever uncertainly of guilt the courts may have had.

    But god hasnt been shown to be real. Hell, heaven – neither shown to be real. Where;s the evidece for those? and if there’s evidence for god, how does that single out the god of the bible? The evidences you have shown can be said of many religions – should we serve them all just in case?

    and again, if I have missed any of the good evidences that you have, please list them again, and I do my bets to review them honestly before i comment on them.

    But i have already spoke in length regarding peace vs violence, martyrs, prophecies and archaeology and history so there’s no point in going back to those unless unless you can address those points or provide something new.

    If there were only 100 religions in the world, you would say that you didnt believe in 99 of them. I just add 1 more to my list than you do. so again, you say that there is clear evidence for god, what is it?

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  16. I dont hide my kids from magic, because i dont think it’s real. i dont make my kids were aluminum foil hats just in case aliens or the government are trying to read their thoughts or control their minds. They arent made to keep garlic in their pockets in case vampires are real. There’s lots of things that people believe or used to believe that we all think are silly.

    We dont act on “just in case” on those things, and we dont demand that they are proven to be false before we believe or not believe. On these types of things, we instead demand proof that they are real – otherwise, we dont give them another thought.

    For me, the same is true of religion.

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  17. “Ratamacue, I’m getting overwhelmed, I just don’t have enough time to take on everyone’s argument”

    Why bother? After the last thread (which I see now is locked) why would you want to? we were treated with an astonishing example of Intellectual dishonesty there that should tell you EXACTLy what these people are about and why they are just totally wasting your time. Arch mocked and fumed at you offering MT Precipice claiming it was 18 miles away when it was never 18 miles away and when shown the evidence on a map of his blunder he continued to claim the mountain was where the mountain showed it was most definitely not . Hows that for “don’t confuse me with the facts”

    That was followed by Ark claiming there was no evidence for a first century Nazareth being shown two finds – one peer reviewed saying otherwise. His counter? It wasn’t THAT evidence he was looking for

    Lol….

    the only people that should believe these are honest people are members of their own small group. Even Nate and Rata are trying to bend the truth. Nate was very clear in a comment before he posted his first “letter to Kathy” that it was his intent to improve your life by separating you from your faith but now its – oh we were just trying to show you how we were being reasonable thats all. Just lies they have convinced themselves of

    My suggestion? Life is too short. leave them to themselves. If you wish to know more about atheist there are FAAAAAAR better sites to learn from.

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  18. “Why bother?” – mike

    then dont. This is a blog for open exchange. If you dont see the point, why bother?

    “After the last thread (which I see now is locked) why would you want to?” – mike

    yes, it is locked. Just as nate’s last comment on that thread indicated as he offered this thread to continue the discussion due to the overwhelming number of comments.

    maybe what you perceive as intellectual dishonesty on your opponents part is really just intellectual laziness on yours? By reading the comments before you post your own may help quell these misunderstandings.

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  19. “My suggestion? Life is too short. leave them to themselves. If you wish to know more about atheist there are FAAAAAAR better sites to learn from.” – mike

    would you list them for us please? And by better do you mean they are more convincing to you or that they are easier to refute?

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  20. kathy can believe what nate or others are saying or she can disbelieve it – just as can either believe what you and kathy offer or not.

    It’s not a big deal.

    Go or stay. Comment or dont. It’s all up to you, but saying that people are lying because you have no other point is a bit childish – something we’ve all fallen into. Nate has attempted again, here on the thread, to get everyone to be more respectful in their interactions with others.

    If your point now is that you think you and kathy should leave the discussion, then good day to you – thanks for stopping by.

    If your point was to incite or to chide, then good day to you and thanks for stopping by.

    if you’d like to engage in a meaningful discussion on biblical related topics, then we have been asked to do so courteously. the discourtesy wasn’t only yours, but many of us participated in that, we just need to move past it now and stick to the points.

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  21. Worth considering…..

    * No ancient historians or geographers mention Nazareth before the beginning of the fourth century
    * Nazareth is not mentioned in the Old Testament, the Talmud, nor in the Apocrypha and it does not appear in any early rabbinic literature.
    * Nazareth was not included in the list of settlements of the tribes of Zebulun (Joshua 19:10-16) which mentions twelve towns and six villages
    * Nazareth is not included among the 45 cities of Galilee that were mentioned by Josephus (37AD-100AD).
    * Nazareth is also missing from the 63 towns of Galilee mentioned in the Talmud.

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  22. “However, I most certainly have not disproven the existence of every possible god. ” Rata

    🙂 Rata you haven’t disproven ANY god. Merely presenting what you think as proof isn’t proof. Heres the bottom line. Its no secret what you think the evidence against the Bible is – as if we have to believe you were sincere or take your word for it. Much of it has been presented on this blog. Its that we don’t see you making the case because as I have demonstrated a multiplicity of times you don’t collectively do good research and you usually have rather HUGE blunders in your thinking.

    “The burden of proof remains on the theist.”

    Well ….

    A) as an atheistic truism that isn’t supported by sound logic but is more of a beg than anything else – since a burden represents a priori.

    B) You claim to have been Christians so why would there be a burden against theism in your minds as Christians? ooops?

    I think this illustrates the bias to which Kathy refers. If anything the question of theism should be totally neutral. After all how do you find truth if you set up a previous burden against a position? You mentioned being skeptical but Truth is

    I don’t think I have EVER met a skeptic

    1. a person inclined to question or doubt all accepted opinions.

    and you lot certainly don’t qualify. What I see being called skeptical is being distrustful of one side So you might as well say theists are skeptical ….of the other side.

    The evidence is OVERWHELMING on that being your case. you accept consensus almost never citing primary evidence, you have among you people who espouse everything out of noting sans evidence or any means of testability and as we have seen very recently when the raw facts contradict you (like where a mountain is) you just act like they haven’t.

    This reminds me of something I read Nate say. His statement illustrating the way in which you delude yourselves. He stated that losing faith is involuntary – that no one does so purposefully. In saying it nate reveals he does not understand belief and adherence – Faith is NEVER lost it is simply placed voluntarily on something else. We simply choose something else to believe in more. The canard that atheism is just not having a belief in God is that I have never met an atheist that wasn’t a believer in materialism. None of you have just the absence of believing in God. You ALL have a belief in the material even in areas (as my discussions with Ruth so aptly prove – with Arch adherence to the white fairy of everything coming out of nothing as the cherry on top) where you have no evidence whatsoever.

    Finally your links with their argument against martyrs is a strawman. The argument is not limited to the apostles or disciples but to the entire early church – a bunch of people leaving one religion for another that caused great difficulty for them. Further I think you all conflate evidence with proof. I don’t think Kathy’s argument is that martyrs prove Christianity is true by itself but that its an evidence with other things (since she also included prophecy).

    Her desire to have you cite the religion with the most backing is not as preposterous as you claim. I suspect she took it as a test of your objectivity. Your major focus IS against christianity so seeing you unable to give any credit due just shows how unbalanced you are on the issue.

    as for evidence – Kathy has referred to prophecy, as have I citing five particular ones, and the only answers received are of these varieties

    1) claiming other religions have prophecy (as if the claim by certain parties to a proposition makes all other claims to similar propositions vanish without reference to merit)

    2) all prophecies have not been fulfilled so none have

    3) fences are the same as walls

    4) prophecies are self fulfilled even though the “selves’ were not in control – simply really really really wanting them to come to pass suffices.

    Why would I bother to go on (didn’t even get to the good stuff prophecy wise). Under your own delusion that you are going to hear anything out? You really believe anyone on this blog STILL believes that garbage besides those tying to present that garbage?

    That you think you are all so objective is testament to human self delusion and the appeal of the internet to create micro groups for self affirmations of that delusion but its not for your lack of trying to explain why we can;t take you seriously

    its that the proof of your own words and arguments betray you being worthy of being taken seriously on the claim Put it this way – Objectivity and you is just as laughable to us as you will claim the association is with us.

    We’ve seen too much. You’ve revealed duplicity too often. no amount of explaining or trying to claim otherwise changes anything. The “we are as honest and objective as can be” claim is demonstrably -a lie.

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