The Instigator
Sagey
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
daley
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points

"Theist": is a Transitional Form In Human Cultural/Cognitive Evolution

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
daley
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/8/2013 Category: Science
Updated: 10 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,988 times Debate No: 41923
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (170)
Votes (2)

 

Sagey

Pro

Human Cultural part of the Cognitive Evolution of our species, started with the development of complex languages, around 200,000 years ago, that can describe and pass on abstract thinking (like religious thought) has been likely the biggest force behind our cultural evolution, which has taken off exponentially since the first sentences were formed.

This use of language to describe complex and abstract notions sparked our cultural or cognitive evolution which recording in writing and now vocal/video/software has pushed along this exponential growth curve, where it will end up, nobody knows.

Yet, we had to crawl before we could run. human's primitive, cognition with the acts of survival, observation and wonder at the unknown, formed the first religions. At the time we were extremely reliant on what we knew about the natural world, prey, predators, seasons, which plants were edible, death, birth, and is there a reason/purpose for it all?

Cognition and cultures evolved and it likely had to start from comprehending simple observations and concepts/frameworks, to gradually build on those and develop the more complex observations and concepts. Each observation of nature and how creatures moved about, set up stories for educating the next generation on how to hunt prey and avoid predators. This information was passed on originally, when language was limited by dances, like bees use to give others direction to a crop of flowers. Though as language progressed, the dances were replaced with tales and stories that gave these basic lessons. When language became more colorful and abstract, the creatures in the tales also became more colorful and abstract and started adopting human traits, imposed on them by the story tellers. Thus animism was born, where an explanation of the behavior of creatures was told in story form and the creatures behaved as they were observed, because they were following the wishes of a guiding spirit of their own species that cared for them.

Though while many animistic religions were built on very simple observations and concepts concerning those observations. I will very briefly summarize the polytheism era/phase of our cognitive and thus religious evolution. Then a little more on Monotheism which is the era/phase that needs to be phased out for further and proper advancement in human cognitive (cultural) evolution.

Next in the evolution of religion came Polytheism, where animistic spirits/semi-gods, became semi human, as humans cognition developed greater egotism and humans self concept started to put ourselves into the realm of being cared for by the gods, where in animism, the gods/spirits only looked after their specific species and natural phenomenon, like lightning, thunder, etc...

Finally we get to monotheism, the final development of human cognition and egotism, prior to becoming a species that truly understands itself and the natural world around it.

It is the most egotistical of all the evolved religion forms, where humans post themselves into the position of being the prime purpose of the existence of everything. What was a cognitive evolution into self understanding and knowledge, became an evolution into self delusion and thus the entire environment on Earth has suffered.

Most forms of monotheism did not come from human's quest for knowledge and understanding the observable universe, like animism and polytheism. Monotheism replaced the search for truth and knowledge with IGNORANCE and gives fabricated, self deluded, false answers for everything known to exist at the time. Basically it went from a natural quest for knowledge to a confidence trick, where if you want knowledge, you must seek he that already knows it all or the Omniscient one, which has already written all you ever need to know in some scripture, somewhere???

Thus Monotheist religions (scams) mostly started as a means of controlling groups of humans to satisfy the narcissistic megalomania of some wannabe tyrant, Abraham, Moses, Muhammad, Zoroaster, etc... So this form of religious evolution exposed human egotism at it's very worst.

We are at the stage of evolution where we are trying to free ourselves from the shackles of self delusion, such extreme egotism and understand the universe as it really is. Yet, many don't want to get over the previous stage, because most humans are cognitive misers and this new stage of cognitive evolution which you have embarked into means a certain loss of delusional comfort and false certainty that religion offered the pious.

This is my own Hypothesis, though others may have parallel hypotheses from a similar understanding of human psychology, neurology and evolution.

I developed this hypothesis from studying, theology at a Christian college, Philosophy as a side subject while doing arts at uni, history, in particular encyclopedic studies into religious history, books on anthropology, psychology and neurology.

Human progress is being hampered by those wanting to cling to our previous cognitive form , Theistic.

The US need to remove GOP completely, in order to make any realistic, advances in their cognitive evolution. Likely it would fix many problems within US society as a consequence.

Because this is my own Hypothesis, I don't have any references to fully support it, though I have references that may help you think along anthropological and cognitive evolution lines.
http://www.sciencemag.org...
http://www.icea.ox.ac.uk...

I envision that in 100,000 years time or even less, Anthropology will view our likely total of 5000 years of monotheism, as a period of transition between our seemingly unintelligent ape ancestors and the highly Intelligent and Rational humans of that present.
It will be looked at as a time when humans stumbled through boggy fields of deep Irrationality and Stupidity, where human progress was hampered and the environment suffered greatly from Irrational excesses, to finally crawl out into open green fields of complete rationality and supreme knowledge of ourselves and our environment, where we spend the rest of our existence, trying to repair the damage caused by our Irrational Transitional Period.
The Theists of today are just Transitional Forms in human evolution, soon to be surpassed and replaced by true rationality and higher intelligence.

In the distant future, the Bible, Koran, Upanishads, Torah, etc... along with churches and remains of religious leaders will all be considered as "Transitional Fossils" and all today's Creationists are just Irrational Transitional Forms, Yes Creationists, you are proof that Transitional Forms do Exist, because You are indeed Those Transitional Forms!
daley

Con

Christian theism was not an invention of the minds of men as part of his cognitive-cultural evolution. Rather, it is a revelation from God, supported by empirical, historical facts. At Mark 13:32 Jesus speaks of his God as "the Father." He preached in his Father"s name, and was believed by his disciples to reveal God the Father more fully to us. (John 1:18) If it is one historical fact that about Jesus which no historian denies, its that he was indeed crucified. If indeed, Christ did rise from the dead, it seems that we have a divine miracle on our hands, confirming his claims about the reality, and the revelation of the God who sent him. Now there are the facts which are agreed upon by the majority of New Testament historians, both Christian and non-Christian, which imply the reality of the resurrection. These facts are:

(1) On the third day after his crucifixion, Jesus" tomb was found empty by a group of his women followers. "In first-century Judaism, women had low social status and no legal right to serve as witnesses. If the empty tomb were an invented legend, its inventors surely would not have had it discovered by women, whose testimony was considered worthless. If, on the other hand, the writers were simply reporting what they saw, they would have to tell the truth, however socially and legally inconvenient." (Handbook of Christian Apologetics, Peter Kreeft, Fr. Ronald Tacelli, SJ, 1994, Chap 8, Evidence for the Resurrection of Christ, A Challenge to Skeptics)

(2) After his crucifixion, the disciples experienced appearances of him alive from the dead. The is no psychological condition which could explain these appearances. "There were too many witnesses. Hallucinations are private, individual, subjective. Christ appeared to Mary Magdalene, to the disciples minus Thomas, to the disciples including Thomas, to the two disciples at Emmaus, to the fisherman on the shore, to James (his "brother" or cousin), and even to five hundred people at once (1 Cor 15:3-8). Even three different witnesses are enough for a kind of psychological trigonometry; over five hundred is about as public as you can wish. And Paul says in this passage (v. 6) that most of the five hundred are still alive, inviting any reader to check the truth of the story by questioning the eyewitnesses -- he could never have done this and gotten away with it, given the power, resources and numbers of his enemies, if it were not true."

(3) The disciples came to believe that Jesus was risen from the dead despite having every reason not to do so. Their leader was killed on charges of blasphemy, and Jews had no belief in anyone rising to eternal life before the general resurrection at the end of the world, so it couldn"t have come from Jewish influence; but it couldn"t have come from Christian influence because there was no Christianity as such as yet.

In the absence of any rational, naturalistic explanation of these three events; the Christian is amply justified in believing that God raised Jesus from the dead. But that would mean that God did reveal himself to the world in the person of Jesus Christ, which invalidates Pro"s argument that such ideas about God are just erroneous ideas developed through the egotism of man as part of his evolution.

The evidence shows that wider theism outside Christianity, as well as animism and polytheism, are products, not of evolution, but the interaction of the supernatural with the physical world. Pro seems to think that theism came into being after polytheism, but theism doesn"t deny the existence of other supernatural beings that are worshipped as gods. Christian monotheism for example, says there is only one God to be worshipped, but thought it regards Satan as a false god, nevertheless, it regards him as a living being which is worshipped. So likewise even in polytheism, while allowing for the worship of many gods, doesn"t deny the existence of a Supreme Being above all other gods. Theism appears even in the most ancient documents we have. The Egyptian god Nebercher was regarded as the first Creator of all other gods and even the universe (The Book of Apep, translated in The Gods of the Egyptians, vol 1, pp.308-321, Sir E.A. Wallis Budge), so that belief in theism or belief in God or gods is as old as written language. Unless Pro can show there was a time when humans didn"t believe in gods, he can"t show this belief to have evolved. But he can"t go beyond the oldest documents we have.

Since my opponent mentioned language at the beginning of his argument, I will also argue that the historical facts regarding language indicate that humanity"s original ancient languages did not evolve naturally, but were given to us by God. If language had evolved from simple grunts of animals to more complex language as we have today, one would logically expect to see languages becoming more complex as time goes on. But rather, it"s a fact that ancient languages are more complex than modern ones; languages are becoming more simplified. Language studies show that the more ancient the language the more complex it is in terms of syntax, tense, gender, mood, case, verb forms, and inflection. This is true of Old Latin 200 B.C.; Greek 800 B.C. and the Sanskrit of the Vedas 1500 B.C. (David C. C. Watson, The Great Brain Robbery, 1976, pp. 83"89)

"Yet it is incredible that the first language could have been the most complex." (George Gaylord Simpson, Biology and Man, New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1969, p. 116)

"The evolution of language, at least within the historical period, is a story of progressive simplification." Albert C. Baugh, A History of the English Language, 2nd edition, New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, Inc., 1957, p. 10)

For example, words in the Hebrew mental lexicon have are organized by morphology, by their root families rather than by simple letter sequences as with modern English. (Frost, 2009; Frost et al., 1997).

Case is the function of a word within a sentence. Latin nouns, pronouns and adjectives are marked for case which allows varied word orders without changing the meaning of the sentence. English has very little case and relies on word order to indicate meaning or function of a word within a sentence:

Here the boy is seeing, and the goat is the object being seen by the boy.
Here the goat is seeing, and the boy is the object being seen by the goat.

The spelling and grammar is exactly the same, yet the word order changes the meaning of the sentence. Because the nouns are marked for case in Latin, this change in word order doesn"t change the meaning of the sentence. These case marking seem hard to learn to a non-Latin speaker, but they guard against ambiguity. English is restrictive in terms of how we can reword a sentence. Latin is more flexible. Latin has both natural and grammatical gender while English only has natural gender.

The oldest written documents on earth, such as The Legend of Etana and the Kesh Temple Hymn from 2600 B.C.E., and the 2400 B.C.E. Pyramid Texts all draw allusions or direct references to gods, creators, or divine beings, and are all already complete, complex languages. No ancient document has ever been found with a simple language; so language didn"t evolve from simple beginnings; it was complex from the start, and way back then people believed in gods. "The so-called primitive languages can throw no light on language origins, since most of them are actually more complicated in grammar than the tongues spoken by civilized peoples." (Ralph Linton, The Tree of Culture, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1957, p. 9)

Finally, Christian theism puts not man, but God at the center of it all, and our lives revolve around him; so why does Pro call theism egotistical? It can't be egotism to believe in a loving God if indeed he exists. If he doesn't, at worst one is deluded, but not egotistical. I turn it over to Pro.
Debate Round No. 1
Sagey

Pro

Thank you Daley for taking up this confusing Challenge.

Though first thing up at your specifying biblical scripture as evidence:
Such as your comment: ". At Mark 13:32 Jesus speaks of his God as "the Father." He preached in his Father"s name, and was believed by his disciples to reveal God the Father more fully to us. (John 1:18) If it is one historical fact that about Jesus which no historian denies, its that he was indeed crucified. If indeed, Christ did rise from the dead, it seems that we have a divine miracle on our hands, confirming his claims about the reality, and the revelation of the God who sent him. Now there are the facts which are agreed upon by the majority of New Testament historians, both Christian and non-Christian, which imply the reality of the resurrection. These facts are:"

Fact is, there are no FACTS in the Bible!
Mark was not created until decades after the death of Jesus Christ, it is not a first hand, on the spot witness account, neither are those women witnessing the tomb of Jesus, if it existed.
There is serious doubt that Jesus was ever buried in a tomb as there is no evidence in any Roman journals or chronicles that he was considered as any more than a minor criminal and they either buried minor criminals in unmarked graves or when many are executed as possibly the case, dumped into mass graves.
There is nothing in real historical discoveries from archaeology to show this to be incorrect.
Citing first wikipedia on the historocity of Jesus Christ.
http://en.wikipedia.org...
The only 2 historical aspects of Jesus's life that can be considered as near Factual are:
  1. Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. He called disciples. He had a controversy at the Temple. Jesus was crucified by the Romans near Jerusalem.
  2. Jesus was a Galilean. His activities were confined to Galilee and Judea. After his death his disciples continued. Some of his disciples were persecuted.
The rest of the New Testament including the story of his crucifixion and ressurection can be considered mythical or without any Facts.
According to Roman evidence, no documentation of any guards being wasted by posting them to guard a Dead Mans Tomb, as even Pilot did not consider the trial of Jesus had anything to do with Roman authority, thus he wiped his hands of the case. The Romans, including Pilot were not interest in anything Jesus did to upset the Jews, it was strictly between Jesus and the Jewish people. Rome washed itself of the case, thus had no purpose for the guards.
Though, those that wrote the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, many years after the death of their beloved hero, could not get anybody interested in a common villian who was thrown into a mass grave.
Thus they concocted the story of his being considered as important enough to the Romans to post guards and thus invented the tomb and the resurrection fable.
Because the tale painted Jesus as a great Martyr and gave the appearance that he was truly the son of God.
Though Romans were very thorough in their documentation of such orders as to guard a dead man's tomb.
There is no such evidence in Roman records concerning Jesus being a threat worthy of guarding, nor any guards being so appointed for such duty.
Thus, there is no evidence that Jesus even had a tomb, nor that there were guards.
http://infidels.org...
"Euhemerus himself stated that Zeus had actually been a mortal king who was buried on Crete[34] and Eusebius in the 4th century CE accepted Heracles as a flesh and blood man who by birth was an Egyptian and was a king in Argos [35] This assumption of men becoming mythical gods could have been what Justin Martyr really meant when he wrote "When we say that Jesus Christ was produced without sexual union, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended to heaven, we propound nothing new or different from what you believe regarding those whom you call the sons of Jupiter"
from http://rationalwiki.org...

So it appears rather likely that the resurrection myth of Jesus Christ may have been an adaption of the much earlier myth of Zeus, thus used to make Jesus appear as God like.

Practically all the teachings of Jesus Christ, existed 500 years earlier in the religion of Buddhism, though some also existed in Confucian and Taoism, which all existed hundreds of years before Jesus was born. Buddhism had been known in the region Jesus grew up, as a great Buddhist spiritual leader sent missionaries through that region around 200BC.
Thus Jesus would have easily come into contact with Buddhism.
The only great thing that Jesus achieved was to make Judaism more humanistic and less punistic by incorporating eastern religious concepts into his version of Judaism and so came Christianity.

BTW: You cannot trust any historical knowledge gained from Christian or Biblical archaeologysts, because most are absolute frauds, since science is impartial and true scientists do not try to make findings fit into any preconceived ideological framework. To attempt to make science fit into a Christian or Biblical framework is scientific fraud, thus all Biblical archaeologists are frauds by the very definition of their job.
Nothing Biblical historians or archaeologists discover and report is factual!

On Language:
There was no sudden gift of language from any God, it really did evolve from grunts, groans, archaeological and anthropological evidence shows roughly how language developed in some regions, though it is believed that language in homo sapiens may have evolved differently in different global regions.
Some evidence of tool making of approximately 200,000 years ago shows that primitive tool making had existed for hundreds of years, with no conformity, suddenly conformity and common styles acrossa wide region started to appear. showing that Language and Learning had begun.
Here's an excerpt from: http://www.csa.com...
"The evidence that Homo habilis was probably the first of the hominids to make sturdy, lithic tools strongly suggests that Homo habilis may have had greater cognitive capabilities than his precursors. Because of this, researchers have looked for any signs that the structure of the brain of Homo habilis is different, or more complex than the brain structure of Australopithecus. ince the soft organs have long since biodegraded away, the best current method to evaluate structural neural changes in hominid fossils is by taking cranial endocasts, or plaster casts of the inside of the brain case of fossilized hominid skulls. Botha and GivA533;n both discuss research that suggests that certain cerebral structures started appearing for the first time in Homo habilis that are now known to be necessary for producing language.22 Apparently, according to the cranial endocasts, the parietal, occipital, and temporal lobes of the brain merge for the first time in Homo habilis, creating an area of the brain called the POT, or Wernicke's Area.23 Broca's Area, one of the other highly important areas involved in language production and processing, can supposedly also be observed for the first time in the hominid line from endocasts of Homo habilis skulls. The argument that follows from this evidence is that the Broca's and Wernicke's areas were selected for in Homo habilis in order to make tools (and probably also for gathering food and hunting), but were subsequently exapted by later humans for the purposes of language production and processing.24"

Thanks again, hope you find this interesting.
You can conclude: Scripture is not evidence of anything but something somebody made up:
daley

Con

To show that "there are no facts in the Bible," Pro argues that "Mark was not created until decades after the death of Jesus Christ, it is not a first hand, on the spot witness account, neither are those women witnessing the tomb of Jesus, if it existed."

But "Almost all biblical scholars agree that the New Testament documents were all written before the close of the First Century. If Jesus was crucified in 30 A.D., then that means the entire New Testament was completed within 70 years. This is important because it means there were plenty of people around when the New Testament documents were penned, people who could have contested the writings. In other words, those who wrote the documents knew that if they were inaccurate, plenty of people would have pointed it out. But, we have absolutely no ancient documents contemporary with the First Century that contest the New Testament texts." http://www.google.com...

"Thucydides, who wrote History of the Peloponnesian War, lived from 460 BC to 400 BC. Virtually everything we know about the war comes from his history. Yet, the earliest copy of any manuscripts of Thucydides" work dates around 900 AD, a full 1,300 years later! The Roman historian Suetonius lived between AD 70 to 140 AD. Yet the earliest copy of his book The Twelve Caesars is dated around AD 950, a full 800 years later"It is well known in historical circles that the closer a document can be found to the event it describes the more credible it is. The time span for the biblical manuscript copies ...are all within 350 years of the originals, some as early as 130-250 years and one even purporting to coexist with the original (i.e. the Magdalene Manuscript fragments of Matthew 26), while the time span for the secular manuscript copies are much greater, between 750-1,400 years! This indeed gives enormous authority to the biblical manuscript copies, as no other ancient piece of literature can make such close time comparisons." http://www.google.com...

So to reject any of the Gospels because they were written thirty or forty years after the events would mean that to be consistent, Pro would have to reject all the documents of the ancient world, because their copies are much further removed from the times of which they speak than the Gospels. He says Mark was not an eyewitness, so what? He was a contemporary who was alive in the time of Jesus, and no eyewitness has ever disputed his account. Matthew who was an eyewitness does support his account. (Matthew 24:36; Mark 13:32) From 60-130 AD, numerous church fathers record that Mark was Peter"s interpreter, and Peter did know Mark, calling him "my son." (1 Peter 5:13) Peter was indeed an eyewitness, so Mark does have eyewitness backing from what he said. http://www.google.com...

It would have been impossible for those early disciples to invent stories about Jesus while the eyewitnesses were still alive, and be believed by so many, with no trace of anyone arguing against these facts. If Jesus was buried in an unmarked grave as Pro suggests, then where is that historical account of the true place of his burial? This myth hypothesis has two layers: the first layer is a non-miraculous Jesus was not buried in the tomb, and the second layer is Jesus as we have him in the Gospels. Problem is, historians have never discovered that first layer. Pro imagines this first layer out of thin air. Multiple attestation, lack of legendary embellishment, embarrassing features of the narrative, use of proper names, public knowledge of the burial and the tomb's location, are all key features historians use to verify the credibility of historical documents, and the story of the empty tomb passes every test.

Pro thinks the disciples concocted stories about Jesus, but this is very unlikely because (1) not even one single Christian ever admitted under bribe or torture, that the resurrection was their conspiracy. Even when they denied Christ and worshipped Caesar, they never let that cat out of the bag because it was never there. (2) The disciples" character argues strongly against this. Their faults are not hidden in the Gospels, not even Peter"s denial of Christ three times or the twelve abandoning Jesus on the night of his arrest. (3) The fact that it was women who found the tomb empty is embarrassing and thus unlikely to be an invention considering the low status given to women as witnesses by the Jews. You can find plenty more reasons elaborated at http://www.google.com...

Its hard to see why Matthew would invent Roman guards whom his audience of people contemporary with the events, especially his Jewish opponents, would immediately recognize didn"t exist. Outright lies are a feeble refutation, so why would they invent guards when no guards were around who claimed to be stationed at a tomb? And why would the Jews respond that the guards fell asleep, necessitating Christians to develop another lie that they were bribed? It seems that if the guards at the tomb were a fabrication, the polemic Matthew records wouldn"t have taken the course it did.
In fact, as a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin which condemned Jesus to death, Joseph of Aramathea is unlikely to be a Christian invention. Surely they would not invent a story where its one of Jesus" enemies who does what is right by Jesus by taking his body to the tomb.

Pro says the Romans used to throw criminal bodies into unmarked graves, but not always: "Roman prefects like Pilate, in fact, often allowed crucifixion victims to be buried. Cicero, for example, mentions a governor in Sicily who released bodies to family members in return for a fee (In Verrem 2.5.45), and Philo writes that on the eve of Roman holidays in Egypt, crucified bodies were taken down and given to their families, "because it was thought well to give them burial and allow them ordinary rites" (In Flaccum 10.83-84). In addition, as Crossan has pointed out, the famous case of Yehohanan, the crucified man whose skeletal remains were found in a family tomb at Giv'at ha-Mivtar, proves that a Roman governor in Jerusalem had released the body of a crucifixion victim for burial. Finally, the Gospels' assertion that Pilate "used to release for them one prisoner for whom they asked" (Mark 15:6 par.) is also relevant here, for it shows that during the first century CE one could plausibly tell stories of Roman judicial clemency, especially around religious holidays. Thus the fate of Jesus' body in Roman hands should not be regarded as automatic. The occasion of Jesus' death was a Jewish holiday, and Pilate was not in the process of suppressing a revolt, but rather simply trying to protect public order." "(WHERE NO ONE HAD YET BEEN LAID," The Shame of Jesus' Burial, Byron R. McCane)

My opponent quotes Justin Martyr out of context, but Justin goes on to say in chapter 23 that 31 that the pagan copied Old Testament prophecies about Christs and applied them to their non-existent gods; so it was the pagans copying the Bible, not the other way around. I'll be happy to reply to the rest of Pro's arguments next round.
Debate Round No. 2
Sagey

Pro

Sorry Daley, you have drifted off Topic:

It is about the cognitive and cultural evolution of humans into a more rational, intelligent world where theism (in general, not just Christianity) will either have to also become Rational (which it is impossible for any superstition to achieve).
Evidence for this is in the changing of the world's cultural landscape, where religions are on average diminishing in numbers or are changing to keep their numbers. For your Biblical angle to work, you need verified, first party impartial (outside of the Bible) witnesses to the life of Jesus, of which there is absolutely none existing. Paul did not talk to Jesus, so all his books on what Jesus said, came from hearsay and were likely wrong.

Here is a psychological look at the changing faces of Religion.

http://www.psychologytoday.com...

Regardless of whether you believe the Bible to be true, which is not supported by genuine tangible evidence, in spite of your claims. Writings within a book or set of scriptures in legal terms is called collectively conspired and corroborated evidence, which does not mean supportive evidence as it is highly probable that the writers conspired to produce false supportive evidence or that it is possible the scribes hired by Constantine, deliberately interpollated text and words to make the Bible more cohesive. Thus, if you take these considerations into any court of law, they cannot ever pass a judgement of Truth in the Bible. The truthfulness of the Bible is extremely dubious and where there is doubt, there cannot be evidence.
It's to me, like trusting a car salesman that the car he was selling has only been driven by an old departed lady to church on Sundays and considering this as absolute Fact. Where is the evidence, oh, she has departed, maybe she wrote it in her diary, how far is it from her place to church, what is the odometer reading, how many Sundays did she have the car, likely to a mechanic, such use of a vehicle would damage the vehicle's engine beyond repair, due to build up of carbon and acids in the cylinder walls and on the piston rings.

The issue is too complex, far beyond your comprehension,and many, many philosophers and historians completely disagree with you. An unresolvable contention, cannot be considered as evidence for your case.

On the Changing Face of Religions:

People are either changing religion or religions are forced to change hopefully to being less Irrational in order to survive.
Christianity today is completely different to Christianity 100 years ago which is not even recognizable as the Christianity from when Constantine invented the Bible.
Even the interpretations of all the scriptures has changed, many passages that were once considered as absolute fact, like the Garden Of Eden and the biologically impossible talking serpent, and even the Noachian Global Flood are now considered by modern Christians as merely Metaphorical.
Many Christians today, or probably even most would have been excommunicated or executed for their beliefs today.
Many Catholics and even some Protestant theologians and believers used to hang on every word of their great historical apologists, such as Thomas Aquinas, and considered them as extremely brilliant men. Yet, most critical thinking rational philosophers today, consider those Apologists as nothing but naive, babbling irrational idiots and liars.

These changes of people leaving religions as they become more Rational and religions themselves becoming more Rational to follow culture are evident in all our statistics, where apart from the continual increase in atheism and agnosticism, there are also many moving away from traditional, stagnant and less rational (open) religions.
This is all part of my Hypothesis, the cognitive move from the Irrational to Rational.
Eventually religion will not be able to become fully Rational without abandoning the superstitious base of religion, in other words, it may have to get rid of God(s) to survive.

For the USA
http://www.independent.co.uk...
http://usatoday30.usatoday.com...
For Britain
http://www.brin.ac.uk...

A scientific view of the Evolution of Religion:
http://scienceblogs.com...
Here the author stated that Religions do not evolve improvements.
In fact, if you follow my Hypothesis on the evolution of cognition, religions actually get worse as they change.

Daley, If you went back to the 2nd Century CE and started preaching what you believe about Christianity and Jesus, you would likely be considered a heathen and executed. Because Christianity has changed greatly and the interpretations of everything has also changed accordingly.
Christianity is nothing like those times.
Though you could be lucky and they might not understand a word you say, because language has evolved an incredible amount in that time also and likely you would be locked away in a cell and considered insane.

Language follows cultural changes and religion must as well in order to survive, and there is a point in the rationality scale as humans become more rational, that religion cannot follow.
Because religion is essentially a superstition, and will be publicly regarded as such in a rational new age where Neuro-psychological knowledge (now a very new science) becomes common knowledge.

Here is a reference to another debate on religions changing over time!
http://debatingchristianity.com...

A few more references to help your thinking and possibly give you some ideas for your reply:

http://www.nytimes.com...

http://www.religiondispatches.org...

http://are.as.wvu.edu...

http://answers.yahoo.com...

http://www.pewforum.org...

Remember, My Hypothesis is nowhere near perfect, nor bulletproof, no Hypothesis is.
If it was considered factual with supporting verified evidence, then it would be a THEORY, not a Hypothesis.



daley

Con

In round 2 my opponent began his argument saying "Fact is, there are no FACTS in the Bible," then he describes Jesus being crucified by Romans as "near Factual." But "Jesus' crucifixion is described in all four Canonical gospels, attested to by other ancient sources, and is firmly established as an historical event confirmed by non-Christian sources." http://www.google.com...
Those sources include first century historians such as Josephus and Tacitus, as well as archaeological evidence of crucifixion fitting that described in the Gospels. So Jesus" crucifixion is one indisputable fact in the Bible.

Pro then makes a desperate attempt to prove some aspect of the human brain had evolved in order to mass produce tools, but citing scientists who speculate heavily on what the brain of homo habilis was like, without any brain tissue whatsoever. Pro is yet to explain in a clear way how an empty skull tells us anything about what goes on inside the brain. This hypothetical POT region of the brain simply isn"t available today to test it and see what it does, so how do they really know?

Pro failed miserable to explain away the empty tomb, the resurrection appearances, and the origin of the Christian faith. He assumes the women at the tomb might not have existed, but didn"t touch the issue of why Jews would invent a story in which the first witnesses were women, when at that time and place women couldn"t serve as legal witnesses, their testimony being considered worthless. Nor did he respond to the fact that the empty tomb fits all the criteria for historical reliability, such as multiple attestation, embarrassment criteria, eyewitness and (or) contemporary testimony, and so forth. It was because he couldn"t deal with these that he complains that I have drifted off topic; but readers will realize that if these facts do point to the reality of the resurrection, then it stands in this debate as good evidence that the God of Christians does exist, and therefore Christian theism isn"t a byproduct of cognitive evolution, but is a revelation from God as Jesus said it was. Further, if I did drift off topic by talking about Christianity, then Pro equally drifted off topic by devoting most of round 2 to presenting arguments against my case instead of simply pointing out that those things were not at issue in this debate.

I also made the case that even in polytheistic religions predating Christianity, that the idea of a Supreme Being persists. This refutes Pro"s claim that theism evolved out of polytheism. It didn"t, it was always there, and we"ve heard no response to this issue either. There is no religion in the animal kingdom, and it doesn"t seem rational that mammals would conjure up so universally this concept of gods if there was no historical truth the existence of supernatural entities.

I also gave very good reasons and examples that demonstrate the fact, that ancient languages are more complex than modern ones and therefore, our modern languages didn"t evolve from simple grunts as Pro suggests. All my opponent has is the speculations of many agnostics and atheists on this issue, but I went back to the oldest written documents in human history to show that even way back then language appears fully developed. No trace of a so-called primitive language has ever existed. Why is it, that the first written language we have already had full grammatical rules in place? Pro claims that we can"t trust documents written thousands of years after humans already had language to tell us how language came down to us from God, but at the same time he trusts documents written by atheist even much longer after the fact, only in recent times, to tell him how language came down to us from cavemen. That"s no better.

Pro is desperate, so he suggests that Constantine hired people to add stuff to the Bible, but it never occurred to him that the account of the empty tomb, the resurrection appearances, and the origin of the Christian faith, exists in manuscripts of the Bible predating Constantine? Pro himself admitted that Mark was written just a few decades after Jesus, in the 1st century. Constantine came in the fourth century. And we can know exactly what Jesus said, for example his statement in Mark 13:32. This presents Jesus on an ascending scale from man, to the angels, to the Son, to the Father; a scale on which Jesus transcends every human and angelic beings, second only to the Father. This couldn"t have been invented by later Christians, because the later Church which emphasized that Jesus was God, and was battling heretics who denied his divinity, would never have invented a saying ascribing limited knowledge to God. But if (as Pro incorrectly may assume) the earlier Christians didn"t view Jesus as divine, but as only a man, a mere prophet, they wouldn"t invent a saying that puts Jesus above every human and angel, for that too is a claim to divinity. So if this were invented, who invented it? We also have enough quotes from the early church fathers before Constantine was born to make up the entire New Testament without even using the NT documents. No ancient document is so well attested.

Pro thinks the Gospel writers conspired. If they did, why was their conspiracy not discovered by the Jews back then? Why are these charges only being made now, in recent times? All the Jews had to do was produce the body, and the message of the resurrection would have gotten nowhere. Were there no eyewitnesses to where the body was laid?

Pro says an unresolved contention cannot be considered evidence, but exactly how many people must agree to something before is resolved? Some scientists still argue that the earth is young, does that mean the issue is unresolved? Some folks don"t believe in the Big Bang, does that mean its unresolved? You will always have people who disagree no matter how much evidence you have; but it seems Pro believes that truth is decided by majority vote. If the majority of scientists agree, it must be true. But majorities can be wrong, and have been wrong; and trust isn"t the exclusive property of atheists and scientists, is it? I"ll leave the readers to decide that one.

Pro claims Christianity today is not the same as it was before. I challenge him to show me one contradiction between modern Christianity and Christianity in the time of the Apostles. I wonder if he will go to the Bible for that, or some other ancient document. We will see if he runs from that one.

He also says Constantine invented the Bible. Did Constantine write the Papyrus Chester Betty 2 from 200 C.E.? It contains the letters of Paul. The books of the Bible were around and accepted long before Constantine, so Pro is simply presented lies to escape the arguments I have made. He argues that Christians today don"t believe in a talking serpent, Adam and Eve, and Noah"s flood. Another lie. The Washington Post reported statistical surveys showing that 61% of Americans take such stories as Noah"s flood literally. It also said: "A Harris poll of 2,201 adults charting "Religious and Other Beliefs of Americans 2003" found last year that 93 percent of the nation"s Christians believe in miracles, 95 percent in heaven, 93 percent in the virgin birth of Christ and 96 percent in Christ"s resurrection." http://www.google.com...

Amazingly, Pro was the one who said that nothing discovered by Christian scholars are historians is factual, while he himself has presented so many untruths in this debate.
Debate Round No. 3
Sagey

Pro

Sorry Con: I evidently did not make it clear that using the Bible does not validate his case in any form!

Essentially, and again, it is Off-Topic!

Con states: "Those sources include first century historians such as Josephus and Tacitus, as well as archaeological evidence of crucifixion fitting that described in the Gospels. So Jesus" crucifixion is one indisputable fact in the Bible."

Josephus Flavius and Tacitus are not considered as proof by historians, because they only heard of Jesus from second hand (anecdotal evidence) accounts, they never witnessed Jesus first hand.
The "Book Of Mark" is automatically discounted because it is part of the Christian texts and thus part of the deception, the accounts must be from outside the Bible and none of the women that were claimed as witnessing the crucifixion ever wrote any personal account of it, so even if the Bible stated a thousand people witnessed the resurrection, unless some of those women, preferrably more than one, wrote similar accounts that existed outside the Bible, the Biblical claims of having witnesses legally, scientifically and logically ammounts to there being No Verified Witnesses.
I really Con: can understand this and thus realize where his entire attack is going completely Wrong!

I can write a book claiming to bend iron bars with my mind, get a dozen of my close friends (apostles) also claiming to have seen me do it, to bolster my claim I can add that a I had another hundred and thirty witnesses that saw me do it, but, I know I am writing lies and so do those other friends of mine that are helping me write my book. A lot of naive people may even believe and tell all their friends that I can bend iron bars with my mind. Especially if it was written two thousand years ago, when there were less rational people in the world.
Though, these days, I would have to perform such feats in front of test equipment and cameras, plus rational, critical experts and they would expect written accounts of my feats from all those other witnesses that did not get incorporated into my book, and thus I would easily be caught out as a Liar, along with my friends.

Anybody could write a book making exaggerated claims with accomplices (disciples) helping my cause and claiming to have witnesses when none really existed.

Con: does not appear to understand how easily he may have been deceived, because not one of the people the Bible claims to have witnessed any of Jesus's miracles, his execution, nor his ressurrection ever wrote anything to confirm any of them took place.
Outside pieces written by people who had heard, not actually witnessed, but had heard stories of Jesus, is not evidence for his life. Besides, Josephus had no details concerning Jesus, only that he heard he was a good man and had a following and was executed, his account does not mention any tomb, nor guards nor resurrection.
Josephus did not subscribe and likely did not believe that Jesus performed any miracles.

End of story, because this Biblical argument is about whether Jesus was God, which is an entirely different Debate.
We are supposed to be debating as to whether Theism (belief in God) is a passing phase in human culture and cognitive evolution.

In other words, are people becoming on average more rational, which caused structural changes in their brains and this is leading to a cultural evolution that may leave Theism behind, to eventually produce a Rational Secular Society in say the next Millenium, where the only belief in God will be at a individual level and just a personal thing, organized religion will be gone and a thing of the past.
Bibles, Korans, Upanishads, Torah, etc... will just be Fossils of a past human phase

I'm not saying that belief in the supernatural will cease entirely, but it will be considered by society in general as Superstition and Irrational.
Nowdays in many places in the United States, if a person wore a T-Shirt with a logo supporting Atheism, they would be regarded as a heathen, imbecile, etc.
I'm stating that likely, some time in the next 200 or so years, maybe even less, like next 50 years, the reverse may be true.
Just as it is in some regions of Australia, which used to be like those regions in the US only 40 years ago, nowdays if a person wears a Christian T-Shirt down the street, they would consider him weird or a naive imbecile.
So, just as things have changed in these regions, they may follow the same path in the US.

Con: demonstrating that Jesus was Crucified on a cross is nothing, we are not even bothering with such argument, because it has nothing to do with the debate.
Fact is, there is no proof his tomb existed, nor there were guards assigned to guard it.
Con: is unable to properly prove that Jesus was not dumped into a mass grave, as is often how the Romans treated those it crucified. There is nothing in any documentation stating Jesus required special attention from the Roman government. Only evidence that his conviction had nothing to do with the Roman rule, thus did not concern the Romans, so why would they even bother to assign guards?
For them to do so, is entirely irrational.
If Con: could prove that God truly exists, it may help you prove I am wrong about Theism, but that is extremely, extremely unlikely, because nobody on the planet has ever achieved that.

Con's best attack would be to show that Religion is not declining and that US regions will not become completely secular like many regions in Europe, Asia and Australia.
Trying to prove the existence of God, unless Con: can obtain bulletproof, scientifically verified or verified by a huge number of verified impartial, external witnesses, con really hasn't a hope of even puting a dent in my Hypothesis.

So far con: has failed to provide any real Evidence that my Hypothesis is False!
My Hypothesis Stands Unchallenged!




daley

Con

Pro keeps arguing that to show the Gospels to be reliable history, I need first hand, eyewitness accounts from the time of Jesus, but he is so incorrect. This may be a long quote, but it will show why Pro is so obviously wrong.

"One of the major problems with the legend hypothesis, however, which is almost never addressed by sceptical critics, is that the time between Jesus"s death and the writing of the gospels is just too short for this to happen. This point has been well-explained by A. N. Sherwin-White in his book Roman Society and Roman Law in the New Testament.2 Professor Sherwin-White is not a theologian; he is a professional historian of times prior to and contemporaneous with Jesus. According to Sherwin-White, the sources for Roman and Greek history are usually biased and removed one or two generations or even centuries from the events they record. Yet, he says, historians reconstruct with confidence the course of Roman and Greek history. For example, the two earliest biographies of Alexander the Great were written by Arrian and Plutarch more than 400 years after Alexander"s death, and yet classical historians still consider them to be trustworthy. The fabulous legends about Alexander the Great did not develop until during the centuries after these two writers. According to Sherwin-White, the writings of Herodotus enable us to determine the rate at which legend accumulates, and the tests show that even two generations is too short a time span to allow legendary tendencies to wipe out the hard core of historical facts. When Professor Sherwin-White turns to the gospels, he states that for the gospels to be legends, the rate of legendary accumulation would have to be "unbelievable." More generations would be needed." (Rediscovering the Historical Jesus: The Evidence for Jesus, Prof. William Lane Craig)

Read more: http://www.reasonablefaith.org...
Pro's standard for historical proof wouldn't be passed by many ancients historical works, and our history section in the libraries would become very small. We would know next to nothing about the ancient world.

Thing is, we do have eyewitness testimony for the life of Jesus. In 2 Peter 1:16 Peter tells us that 'We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.' Similarly, 1 John 1:1,3 states that 'That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched ... we proclaim to you what we have seen and heard.'
The authors also claim they are telling the truth and not lying, (Rom. 9.1) We should be willing to investigate whether they were or not. In Luke's prologue (Luke 1:1-4) he makes note of the importance of speaking with eyewitnesses. Also, Peter's insistence on replacing Judas Iscariot with someone who had personally observed what had occurred (Acts 1:21-22) demonstrates the firsthand eyewitnesses. Ancient historians did not value recording the exact words spoken by an individual as highly as we value it today. Instead, ancient historians attempted to communicate a speaker"s intended meaning. Therefore, while different authors may record a speaker's words differently, their testimonies can still be reliable if they are in agreement. Additionally, if the stories in the Gospel were all related in exactly the same way, we might suspect the authors were merely copying (colluding with) each other. 'If the Gospels were too consistent,' notes Craig Blomberg, 'that itself would invalidate them as independent witnesses.' The differences in the resurrection story itself shows that they were not colluding together in a conspiracy as Pro imagines. What's more, we know that all four Gospels were written before 100 C.E., which implies strongly that the authors would have been alive before Jesus died in 33 C.E. Many eyewitnesses would still be alive to refute the Gospels but they didn't. If the Gospels were not authored by the apostles Matthew and John for example, but were anonymous, we would have had more than one name popping up as possible authors before unanimity was reached on who the author was; but no such controversy existed. None of the church fathers ever offered any other name than those we have today as authors for the Gospels, and these names are found in all the manuscripts we have. So yes, we have eyewitness testimony, and we have multiple testimony from various persons, which again shows the reliability of the Gospels.

So far, Pro hasn't been able to deal with my arguments on Christian theism, and until he does it seems that we have good evidence that God did indeed reveal himself to human beings, and therefore such theism cannot be a natural byproduct of cognitive evolution.

Pro's argument began with the idea that human language began with simple grunts and gradually developed into complex languages, but I refuted this argument by showing that human language was complex from the very beginning, and challenged him to show us proof of an ancient language which was simple. He has failed to even attempt to meet that challenge. I also argued that languages become more complex as time passed, which contradicts Pro's hypothesis that the evolution of language is from the simple to the complex. I even gave examples, to which Pro has made no reply.

He argued that theism evolved out of polytheism, but I gave references to the ancient documents showing that theism, belief in a Supreme Being as God was around along with polytheism, and therefore one did not evolve from the other. To this Pro said nothing.

He now argues that as time passes, more people become atheists, and Christian numbers fall, which shows theism is just a passing faze of our evolution. But he fails to realize that birth rates for the the non-Christian population, as well as decreases in the fertility rate of Christians plays a role in this matter. There is actually very good evidence for increase among many denominations claiming Christianity. For the Catholic Church:

"Church membership in 2007 was 1.147 billion people,[5] (17% of the global population at the time) increasing from the 1950 figure of 437 million[6] (17% of the global population at the time) and the 1970 figure of 654 million.[7] On 31 December 2008, membership was 1.166 billion, an increase of 11.54% over the same date in 2000, only slightly greater than the rate of increase of the world population (10.77%). The increase was 33.02% in Africa, but only 1.17% in Europe. It was 15.91% in Asia, 11.39% in Oceania, and 10.93% in Americas. As a result, Catholics were 17.77% of the total population in Africa, 63.10% in Americas, 3.05% in Asia, 39.97% in Europe, 26.21% in Oceania, and 17.40% of the world population. Of the world's Catholics, the proportion living in Africa grew from 12.44% in 2000 to 14.84% in 2008"

"Christianity has been estimated to be growing rapidly in South America, Africa, and Asia. In Africa, for instance, in 1900, there were only 8.7 million adherents of Christianity; now there are 390 million, and it is expected by 2025 there will be 600 million Christians in Africa. The number of Catholics in Africa has increased from one million in 1902 to 329,882,000. There are now 1.5 million churches whose congregations account for 46 million people." http://www.google.com...

So Pro doen't get that numbers tend to rise and fall for various reasons. Christian numbers falling doesn't mean humanity will become all atheists, anymore than when they rise show humanity will become all Christian. Pro did his best, but he'll have to try it again.
Debate Round No. 4
Sagey

Pro

Again, Con's argument is completely Off Topic.
This debate is not about the trustworthiness of the Bible, which is entirely untrustworthy.
Though I will digress and make one paragraph off topic to address Con's mistaken claims.
Firstly: Alexander The Great, left many witnesses and writings from independant sources to his existence along with signs and destruction in his rampage. Alexander left a massive trail of evidence, though those pieces sourced from such independant witness accounts that are still in existence for verification are believable, the rest can be considered as dubious and likely imaginary.
Jesus left absolutely no observable evidence and no trail of witness accounts, so the two are completey different accounts, Alexander has external verifiable evidence for his existence, Jesus does not.
It's so simple that a ten year old should understand the difference.
Secondly: What happened to Mary, mother of Jesus?
It appears she didn't support the myths created about her son and appreciate his resurrection.
She disappeared and likely distanced herself completely from the rot they fabricated within the 70 years after his death. A comic book writer could create a fictitional character in under 6 months, the creation of the fictional, miracle performing Jesus, took much longer. So we wonder why they took so long, likey they were still hoping for Jesus to return and fulfil his promise to his disciples of achieving glory within their lifetimes, which Jesus failed to deliver.

Con needs a course on Rational Critical Thinking, which would show him his gross errors!
http://scienceblogs.com...
http://quichemoraine.com...

Now Finally, Back on the Debate Topic:
Theists are a Transitional Form in the Cultural/Cognitive Evolution of Humans.
Con: Issued some outdated, now considered incorrect concepts that language arrived all of a sudden.
The vast majority of Linguistic Historians totally disagree:
" “Continuity based theories are currently held by a majority of scholars, but they vary in how they envision this development. Among those who see language as being mostly innate, some — notably Steven Pinker[8] — avoid speculating about specific precursors in nonhuman primates, stressing simply that the language faculty must have evolved in the usual gradualistic way.[9] Others in this intellectual camp — notably Ib Ulbæk[10] — hold that language evolved not from primate communication but from primate cognition, which is significantly more complex. Those who see language as a socially learned tool of communication, such as Michael Tomasello, see it developing from the cognitively controlled aspects of primate communication, these being mostly gestural as opposed to vocal.[11][12] Where vocal precursors are concerned, many continuity theorists envisage language evolving from early human capacities for song.”
From: http://en.wikipedia.org...

For how Religion and Meaning of Scripture has changed since the first ancient writings, here is an interesting rational look:
http://adversusapologetica.wordpress.com...

More on the Evolution of Language which Follows Culture!

“And what about language? The current hypothesis is that it is only within the context of collaborative activities in which participants share intentions and attention, coordinated by natural forms of gestural communication, that arbitrary linguistic conventions could have come into existence evolutionarily. Conventional languages (first signed and then vocal) thus arose by piggybacking on these already understood gestures, substituting for the naturalness of pointing and pantomiming a shared (and mutually known to be shared) social learning history.

This process was, of course made possible by humans’ unique skills of cultural learning and imitation, which enable them to learn from others and their intentional states in uniquely powerful ways (Tomasello 1999). As part of this same evolutionary trajectory, human beings also began to create and pass along culturally various grammatical conventions organized into complex linguistic constructions that codified complex types of messages for use in recurrent communicative situations.

We thus need basic evolutionary processes, working in several different ways, to explain the origin of the underlying psychological infrastructure of human cooperative communication. But then in addition, to explain the origins of humans’ 6,000 different conventional languages, we also need cultural-historical processes in which particular linguistic forms are conventionalized in particular speech communities, and then sequences of these are grammaticalized into grammatical constructions, and then all of these conventions and constructions are passed along to new generations via cultural learning. “

“Origin of Human Communication” Michael Tomasello, 2008.

The 2013 Census shows an ever increasing movement away from Christianity and Religion in General, as Australia moves to becoming one of the most Secular countries on the planet, The US is likely to follow, with similar trends forecasted:

"In the 21st century, religion in Australia is predominantly Christian. In the 2011 Census, 61.14% of the Australian population were recorded as adhering to Christianity. Historically the percentage has been far higher and the religious landscape of Australia is diversifying, along with multicultural immigration and 22.3% of people with no religious affiliation.[1] 22.3% of Australians declared "no-religion" on the 2011 Census, and a further 8.55% did not answer the question.[1] The remaining population is a diverse group which includes Buddhist (2.46%), Islamic (2.21%), Hindu (1.28%), Jewish (0.45%) and Sikh (0.3%) communities. The Constitution of Australia of 1901 prohibits the Commonwealth government from establishing a church or interfering with the freedom of religion."

From: http://en.wikipedia.org...

Here is a similar set of Statistics on Religious Diversity:

http://openparachute.wordpress.com...

I particularly like the New-Zealand chart, showing a steady decline in Christianity and a steady incline

in no-religion.census-2013-1

These Statistics Completely Support my Hypothesis of the Decline of Religion as the world becomes more educated and our Cognitive framework becomes on average more Rational.

People are being guided by industry and educational institutions to becoming more Rational (RQ levels) and as a consequence, superstitions, such as Religion which are entirely based on Irrational concepts will ultimately suffer!

Personal irrational beliefs may never disappear, though organized religion will have to find improved ways to survive in an more Rational, Skeptical and Critical society!

Thanks to Con for his time and Input!

Though Con Never really tried to attack the Topic!

daley

Con

Pro again accuses me of going off topic, but when he says "Now Finally, Back on the Debate Topic:" what point does he address? My argument on language, which shows that my argument on language was indeed on the topic of the debate and wasn't staying anywhere; but that's the same argument I made from the very beginning. So its obvious that Pro is trying to divert people's attention from my arguments because he can't handle them. How does he respond to my argument on language? By an argument from authority - that something is true because a scientists says it, that something is true because the experts or some well respected person says it. But in every case all his source are making the claim without any proof to back it up, that ancient humans were unable to communicate with complex language. They make this assumption because humans only began mass producing tools at a certain point, and thus they ASSUME without proof that the development of language is responsible for this. They are plenty of reasons why hoarding the knowledge of how to make tools would be useful to individuals: it could give them a competitive advantage over others. But eventually, the sharing of knowledge is going to benefit the whole society. But tool making in itself wouldn't prove that those making them can communicate any better than other people because the Egyptians were building pyramids at the same time as other nations which never built a single pyramid, but no one assumes these other people couldn't speak as fluent as the Egyptians just because they didn't build such impressive structures. Many people living today speak quite fluent languages and still their marriages and families break down because of lack of proper communication, so Pro is making some big assumptions and so are his sources.

Merely asserting that ancient humans began with simple grunts before it evolved into complex language doesn't prove anything. The oldest written documents we have on earth contain complex languages, even more complex than the ones e have today, and over time they have become simpler. Pro never addressed this. He never explained to us the examples I gave comparing English with Hebrew, and English with Latin, showing ways in which these two languages are more complex than modern English. If, as Pro argues, the cognitive ability of mankind is evolving from the simple to the complex, then he needs to explain why mankind's languages are becoming more simple with age. This is the opposite of what evolutionary theory predicts. Evolution predicts development from the simple to the complex, creation begins with already complex things. The evidence supports that language was complex as far back as we have had written languages; and Pro has given us no reason to think it was ever not complex. This is the last post so we won't be ever getting an answer from him on this, although he does like to do most of his debating in the comments section even though no one is arguing with him there.

Pro says that "Continuity based theories are currently held by a majority of scholars," as if truth is decided by majority vote. Then he goes on to list four different theories proposed by these scholars on how language originated, without telling us which one he believes. What this tells me is that these scholars are simply speculating, but they don't really know for sure, and its unwise of Pro to give their conflicting theories as an argument in this debate as if the origin of language were a settled issue among scientists, it isn't! It maybe that each of these guys trying to make a name for him/her self might be very wrong, and some other theorist will come up with a more plausible theory; but not a single on of these theories explains to us why the oldest languages are the most complex!

Pro thinks that because atheism is on the rise in New Zealand that therefore mankind is evolving his cognition away from religion, but when faced with with rise in Christians in other parts of the world he doesn't think making is evolving his cognition toward religion. What a double standard! "The share of the population that is Christian in sub-Saharan Africa climbed from 9% in 1910 to 63% in 2010, while in the Asia-Pacific region it rose from 3% to 7%." "There are 2.18 billion Christians around the world, up from about 600 million in 1910." http://search.tb.ask.com...;
For the Roman Catholic Church: "Church membership in 2007 was 1.147 billion people,[5] (17% of the global population at the time) increasing from the 1950 figure of 437 million[6] (17% of the global population at the time) and the 1970 figure of 654 million.[7] On 31 December 2008, membership was 1.166 billion, an increase of 11.54% over the same date in 2000, only slightly greater than the rate of increase of the world population (10.77%). The increase was 33.02% in Africa, but only 1.17% in Europe. It was 15.91% in Asia, 11.39% in Oceania, and 10.93% in Americas. As a result, Catholics were 17.77% of the total population in Africa, 63.10% in Americas, 3.05% in Asia, 39.97% in Europe, 26.21% in Oceania, and 17.40% of the world population. Of the world's Catholics, the proportion living in Africa grew from 12.44% in 2000 to 14.84% in 2008." http://search.tb.ask.com...;

So when the numbers are going his way its a great sign of man's cognitive evolution but when the numbers don't go his way it doesn't mean much. This isn't going to cut it, Pro!

In comparing Alexander the Great to Jesus, Pro says: "Alexander The Great, left many witnesses and writings from independant sources to his existence," but first of all he never referenced any of these witnesses. Who were they? The only biographies we have for Alexander come from Arrian and Plutarch, no one else. I at least mentioned my sources, Pro doesn't. And no credible historian doubts the existence of Jesus either. On Alexander, Pro says he left a trail of destruction in his wake, but since Jesus was no military commander invading other peoples we don't expect to find such things for Jesus, and since he was not an imperial ruler we don't expect to find his name on a coin, and since he returned to heaven we don't expect to find his body. If he wasn't resurrected the Jews would have produced the body and Christianity would never have gotten started! And while we're on the point of archaeology, did you know they found the burial box of Jesus' brother, James? And it has Jesus' name and the name of his adoptive father Joseph on it? http://www.google.com... Now that's evidence.

Regarding Mary, Jesus' mother, Pro says: "She disappeared and likely distanced herself completely from the rot they fabricated within the 70 years after his death." If it was a fabrication, wouldn't we have some historical reference to Mary's denial of the whole thing? Pro didn't refute the resurrection of Jesus, so theism is indeed God's revelation. Amen.
Debate Round No. 5
170 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Sagey 9 months ago
Sagey
Besides I've covered Atheism.
Atheism is only Disbelief.
You can disbelieve in anything without evidence for the disbelief.
I can disbelieve in fairy cakes, you can demonstrate their existence, but, that doesn't mean I have to believe in them.
Though when it comes to ghosts and gods, the lack of evidence for them, creates it's own Natural Disbelief.
That is the natural disbelief I subscribe to.
My disbelief in god is only natural.
Same as a young puppy you are training will not believe you have a reward for him, unless you show him evidence for it.
Simply Natural!
Posted by Sagey 9 months ago
Sagey
Nobody can prove Gods nor any other Subjective Entities don't exist, because their existence is solely in the minds of believers.
Proving an imaginary friend does not exist will one day be the realm of Neuroscience.
Zap with some probes in particular particular positions in a particular set of brain structures and suddenly your God disappears.
Then it won't even exist to you.
Because that is the only place where your God exists, in your mind and it is different to every other Theist's God. There are billions of Gods, a different one for every Theist alive.
No two have the same conceptual God.
Because every brain is wired differently.

The laws of probability depict that God is a most unlikely entity.
Most unlikely is close enough to declare, as far as can reasonably be predicted on Rational Grounds, it appears extremely reasonable to declare for all practical purposes, that there is absolutely no such thing as a God.
Such a declaration is validated by cumulative Negative Evidence for God and Complete Lack of Positive Evidence.
No apologists (liars) can win against such considerations.
Posted by janetsanders733 9 months ago
janetsanders733
no evidence for atheism= blind faith prove there is no God
Posted by Sagey 9 months ago
Sagey
Those clowns Anselm of Aosta tried to prove the existence of god with his Ontological argument and so did Thomas Aquinas with his variation of Anselm's argument.
Though, neither of them proved anything any where near the existence of a God.
Simply because their arguments are purely Subjective or "In Their Minds", and have nothing whatsoever to do with Reality. So are Janetsanders's evidence for the Resurrection, purely subjective and don't exist as real, tangible, empirical, objective evidences.
Subjective evidence is: Visions/Hallucinations, Hearing Voices, Descriptive only, Theological, philosophical, Anecdotal, Hearsay and Semantics.

All of Janetsanders's evidence falls into one of those subjective categories.

The consideration that as Christians, the non-existent witnesses would not lie is an unintelligent play on Semantics only. Certainly not a means to confirm evidence as truth.
Same goes for the Semantic word play concerning Judaic traditions and Romans adherence to them.
Empty play on Semantics only, definitely no evidence there.
Posted by Sagey 9 months ago
Sagey
I simply disbelieve in everything that has no Evidence.
God is just one of the many things people like Janetsanders and Daley believe in without real evidence.
Thus Janetsanders and Daley are following "Blind Faith".

I disbelieve in lots of things that have no evidence.
God, Ghosts, Resurrections, Tarot Cards, Psychics, Numerology, Scientology, Homeopathy, Cosmic Consciousness, Telepathy, Astrology, Iridology, NDEs, OBEs, etc... to name a few.
None of those have any Evidence supporting them.
So I'm a disbeliever in lots of things, because there is no irrefutable evidence for any of them.
God is just one of many things I disbelieve in.
Yet my Atheist ex-girlfriend, does blindly believe in Ghosts and Spirits.
But, she still disbelieves in God.
So she too is and Atheist.

It is a position of disbelief, not belief.
Janetsanders and Daley are almost Atheists.
They disbelieve in hundreds of other Gods, like Neptune, Amun-Ra, etc..
So if they disbelieved in their last remaining God, they too will become Atheists.

They know nothing about Atheism.
A belief system, Bahh Ha Ha Ha, No it certainly Not.
It is a statement or position of Disbelief only!
Posted by Sagey 9 months ago
Sagey
I'm a believer in evidences, I'm a skeptic, I take nothing with Blind Faith.
Atheism is not a belief, Atheism is disbelief.
I disbelieve in anything that has no Evidence.
God has no evidence, therefore I disbelieve in God.
If God had real, tangible Evidence, I would be a believer.
Since no real, tangible evidence exists, I'm a disbeliever.
Thus my Atheism.
I'm just a Disbeliever in God.
Disbelief is not a Belief System.
Wrap your Irrational Head around that one!
:-D~
Posted by janetsanders733 9 months ago
janetsanders733
And where's the proof for the non-existence of God? YOu take atheism by blind faith. Just admit your hypocrisy
Posted by Sagey 9 months ago
Sagey
Janetsanders has given absolutely no empirically verified and testable evidence for anything.
Subjective Drivel is not evidence in any Rational Case.
Posted by Sagey 9 months ago
Sagey
Well Dalely, I studied Theology for 2 years, which was a waste of time, because alongside Theology, I studied the History of Christianity at the local Library. Something the priest was not happy about when I informed him of my dual studies. I know why he was not happy, because the Truthful historical study was destroying the delusion filled Theology study. There is no truth whatsoever in Theology as it is all subjective nonsense.
That's an Absolute Fact!
A study into the History of Christianity proves this.
The priest also told me not to read the Bible like a Novel, so I did it, just to see why?

Then I realized that the Bible if read properly, as if it were a Novel, makes no real sense, it becomes an extremely Stupid book when read that way.
So the Bible is truly a very Stupid Book.
That is also An Absolute Fact.

The world would be far better off if all Bibles were destroyed.
It would rid the world of a massive amount of Nonsense.
Such as I have been putting up with from Janetsanders and Daley!
:-D~
They haven't read their Bible's properly either.
Even Obama stated "Please Read Your Bibles".
I've read it from cover to cover, that's why I know it's extremely Stupid.
Though I only had to get to Leviticus to realize that, from then on it just became even more ridiculous.
Posted by janetsanders733 9 months ago
janetsanders733
The only one "irrational is you Sagey. You like to frequently use ad-hominem attacks on people like me and Daley who have evidence. But your too blind to see. Your a hypocrite because you accuze Christianity of being false, yet you yourself do not provide any evidence for the non-existence of God. You thereby taking Atheism by "blind faith" and are just as irrational as the people you claim are irrational.

It's just like Luke 6:39 says "Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit?"
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 10 months ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
SageydaleyTied
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Reasons for voting decision: This debate failed for multiple reasons which I list here (a) the opponents did not address the issue and (b) the opponent did not address each others questions. All in all the debate could have been better and on topic. I give conduct points to Con, as Pro violated conduct by saying Con would not understand and been generally dismissive.
Vote Placed by janetsanders733 10 months ago
janetsanders733
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Reasons for voting decision: Good job to both debaters. However, I think Con clearly answered all of Pro's objections, like showing that languages are going from complex to simple, and Pro did not show reliable sources for Jesus existence, nor his crucifixion and resurrection. Con on the other hand did, and he also refuted Pro's arguments for Jesus crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. Pro kept going off topic and came up with crazy hypothesis that he could not support with evidence, or sources toward the end of the debate. Also I think Con had slightly better conduct, as