REPLY #77 TO
are parts of the original essay (or a subsequent reply) to which the respondent has directed his comments.
prefaced by (R) are those of the respondent and are presented unedited.
My replies appear under the respondent's comments in blue text
and are prefaced by my initials (MB)
NOTE: This response is a continuation of a discussion which began in Reply #74 to Religion
. I have taken the parts which pertain to Evolution vs. Creationism and moved them to Reply #44 to Evolution vs. Creationism
(R) In response to my proof of Woodstock analogy, you totally ignored (not mis-understood) the point I was trying to get at. You keep asking for proof about Christ. Yet when I use an analogy of asking for
proof of some other historical event, you lambast me. Good argument. By the way I'm still waiting for proof that Woodstock ever happened. Why haven't you given any evidence for it? Or are you going to agree with me that it didn't happen?
(MB) I've already explained why the attempted comparison between proving Woodstock and proving Christ is, at best, poorly thought out. That's why I didn't go any deeper into it. In reality, you have a further problem here. Consider how much evidence of all kinds that exists in support of the reality of Woodstock. If you are going to attempt to argue that you won't or can't accept any of it, you are going to have an extremely difficult time going from there to explaining why you have no problems accepting the existence and divinity of Christ based upon *far* less total evidence of far less credibility. I'm giving you a chance to get out of this losing argument before you paint yourself into a logical corner from which there will be no escape.
(R) From what I wrote, why do you think I impleied that Judas did not die from hanging?
(MB) It is blatantly obvious that Judas could not have died from two different causes. If you are upholding the truth of his falling headlong and bursting asunder, that is an implicit argument that he did not die from hanging himself.
(R) Simple theory here is he hung himself, days later they found him hanging dead, cut the rope while someone was holding his feet, he falls headlong his bowels burst open.
(MB) The problem with that "simple theory" is that it is pure eisegesis which has no redeeming qualities and no support, either in the text or in logic. The text does not say that Judas fell and burst asunder "as he was being cut down". In fact, such a reading would be an acknowledgment that he *did* die from the hanging. Such a reading would also make the text in Acts rather ridiculous at face value. Why mention a meaningless detail about the aftermath of his death and leave out the pertinent detail that he hanged himself?
(R) For future reference, do I have to be that specific when writing to you?
(MB) Yes. If we are going to discuss specific issues, then specific arguments must be made. Blanket statements or speeches do not advance one's case.
(R) Jesus's body was most certainly dead, but since you cannot kill the soul/spirit that does not mean the person is no more what so ever.
(MB) By this argument, *nobody* ever actually "dies" since their soul continues to exist after their body breathes its last. Yet, if nobody ever dies, what's all this nonsense about having to be "saved" from "eternal death"? How is "eternal life" any sort of "gift" if we already inevitably have it? If only Jesus' body "died", what sort of "sacrifice" did he actually make?
(R) He rose again, not because of anybody elses doing, but because he chose to.
(MB) If everybody's soul lives on, then resurrection is nothing more than the soul reentering the body. If "eternal life" is such a blessing, why would any soul even *want* to reenter a body and resume life as a mere mortal human? Furthermore, if a soul *did* choose to reenter its former body, what would prevent it from doing so?
(R) Name another person in the Bible that this is true of. All the people in the Bible who rise from the dead, except Jesus, had somebody else raise them. Does this mean that their souls/spirits where dead, no. It just means that their bodies where dead.
(MB) If this is so, then how does this "death is the punishment for sin" business work if nobody ever really "dies"? Furthermore, there's the small problem of there being no independent evidence of any such resurrection of Jesus (or of anybody else, for that matter). The fact that the Bible relates such stories can't be relied upon as conclusive evidence that the stories are truthful. It is circular reasoning to use the Bible as a self-verifying document.
(R) Geaneologies, one was very likely Joseph's, the other Mary's. Now your counter point here will be that they did not keep track of the women's genealogy, that isn't the way they did things. Correct, however, let's say for argument sake that both of these are Joseph's.
(MB) We don't need to say this simply "for argument's sake". There is no such thing as a maternal genealogy for anybody either in the Bible or in any other contemporary Jewish record. It simply was not done for any reason whatsoever. Therefore, any argument in favor of Luke's genealogy being that of Mary must, by necessity, fly in the face of thousands of years of Jewish tradition.
(R) Then people would argue, that Mary was a virgin, Joseph was not the father, therefore Jesus was not from David's line. But Luke's account could very well be Marys' lineage.
(MB) Remember that it was not general knowledge that Joseph, as the story goes, was not the actual biological father of Jesus. The Gospel of Matthew can take sole credit for the advancement of that myth. There are several other reasons why Luke's account can't be a genealogy of Mary -- especially one which purports to demonstrate that Jesus can claim the requirement of Messiahhood that he be "of the house of David". The most damning is that Luke's genealogy is traced from David through his son Nathan, while the Bible itself clearly states that any Messiah must arise from the lineage descending through David's son Solomon. Since both genealogical lines converge in places other than just Joseph, there is the additional problem of realizing that it is impossible for anybody to be a paternal line descendant of two different blood brothers.
(R) Yes, I have been given proof of God, whether you do not want to see it, or are unable to see it does not mean it isn't there.
(MB) Oh? What proof is this? Can I hold it in my hand? Can I test it in a laboratory? Is it verifiable in any way? Is it anything at all other than a "feeling"? If not, it's difficult to see how anybody could be criticized for not accepting it.
(R) As far as improbable and impossible, while God may be impossible to you, he was only improbable to me. Though for you God might very well be impossible and I deeply regret that.
(MB) Why? Do you also deeply regret that 2/3 of the world's population believes in deities other than your God (if they believe in any deity at all)? Why are you "right" while all others are "wrong"?