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Miracles in ancient history cannot be proved

SNP1
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9/1/2015 1:04:04 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Is it true that miracles cannot be proved in ancient history? I believe so.

The study of history includes the usage of inductive logic. Inductive logic gives us a few things:
1) The Principal of Uniformity of Nature.
2) That natural explanations are always more parsimonious then miracles.

Now, the Principal of Uniformity of Nature is not shown using induction (as that would be wholly circular) but is presupposed by it (it is shown with Special Relativity, but that topic would go in the science section).

The Principal of Uniformity of Nature states that natural laws are the same now as they have always been and that they apply everywhere in the universe. This means that if something would violate the laws of physics we have now it would violate them back then. This means if something is physically impossible today then it is at any point in history as well.

The second point is that natural explanations are always more likely than miracles. This is because whenever there has been puzzlement of a phenomena, when an answer has appeared that finally dissolved the puzzlement it has always been natural (what causes lightening, what causes the seasons, what causes day and night, etc.). There has never been a puzzlement that has been solved (as to get rid of the puzzlement) by claiming the supernatural or miracles.

Now, these two points alone do not get rid of being able to prove a miracle happened in ancient history. The thing that makes it (what I call impossible) is that evidence is lost, tampered with, is in a state where we cannot be sure of how its content was formed that we cannot know if the miracle occurred. Yes, there are many lines of evidence one can use to raise the probability (however so slightly) that the miracle happened, but I do not think that there will ever be enough evidence to overcome the extremely low prior probability that miracles have.

Do to this, I feel like anyone who tries to propose a supernatural/miraculous explanation in ancient history is not actually doing history. Yes, it is possible that someone could have the ability of prophecy, that someone had supernatural powers, etc., but I do not think we can even show that it is likely (unless someone invents a time machine for us to go back and check).

So, while I do not like the term "naturalistic historian" (someone who presupposes naturalism when dealing with historic study and research), I cannot help but feel like there is no (big) difference between naturalistic historical methodology and a completely secular historical methodology.
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Otokage
Posts: 2,347
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9/1/2015 10:23:52 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/1/2015 1:04:04 AM, SNP1 wrote:
Is it true that miracles cannot be proved in ancient history? I believe so.

The study of history includes the usage of inductive logic. Inductive logic gives us a few things:
1) The Principal of Uniformity of Nature.
2) That natural explanations are always more parsimonious then miracles.

Now, the Principal of Uniformity of Nature is not shown using induction (as that would be wholly circular) but is presupposed by it (it is shown with Special Relativity, but that topic would go in the science section).

The Principal of Uniformity of Nature states that natural laws are the same now as they have always been and that they apply everywhere in the universe. This means that if something would violate the laws of physics we have now it would violate them back then. This means if something is physically impossible today then it is at any point in history as well.

The second point is that natural explanations are always more likely than miracles. This is because whenever there has been puzzlement of a phenomena, when an answer has appeared that finally dissolved the puzzlement it has always been natural (what causes lightening, what causes the seasons, what causes day and night, etc.). There has never been a puzzlement that has been solved (as to get rid of the puzzlement) by claiming the supernatural or miracles.

Now, these two points alone do not get rid of being able to prove a miracle happened in ancient history. The thing that makes it (what I call impossible) is that evidence is lost, tampered with, is in a state where we cannot be sure of how its content was formed that we cannot know if the miracle occurred. Yes, there are many lines of evidence one can use to raise the probability (however so slightly) that the miracle happened, but I do not think that there will ever be enough evidence to overcome the extremely low prior probability that miracles have.

Do to this, I feel like anyone who tries to propose a supernatural/miraculous explanation in ancient history is not actually doing history. Yes, it is possible that someone could have the ability of prophecy, that someone had supernatural powers, etc., but I do not think we can even show that it is likely (unless someone invents a time machine for us to go back and check).

So, while I do not like the term "naturalistic historian" (someone who presupposes naturalism when dealing with historic study and research), I cannot help but feel like there is no (big) difference between naturalistic historical methodology and a completely secular historical methodology.

I believe you are being too soft on that sentence. I don't think supernatural powers can be possible at all, in the natural world, that is. So no, supernatural explanations do not even need research, not even a second wasted on a time machine. They are entirely impossible by definition, precisely because they are not natural. They can only exist in supernatural worlds, which you can find on the "fiction" section in the closest library :)
SNP1
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9/1/2015 10:30:31 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/1/2015 10:23:52 PM, Otokage wrote:
At 9/1/2015 1:04:04 AM, SNP1 wrote:
Is it true that miracles cannot be proved in ancient history? I believe so.

The study of history includes the usage of inductive logic. Inductive logic gives us a few things:
1) The Principal of Uniformity of Nature.
2) That natural explanations are always more parsimonious then miracles.

Now, the Principal of Uniformity of Nature is not shown using induction (as that would be wholly circular) but is presupposed by it (it is shown with Special Relativity, but that topic would go in the science section).

The Principal of Uniformity of Nature states that natural laws are the same now as they have always been and that they apply everywhere in the universe. This means that if something would violate the laws of physics we have now it would violate them back then. This means if something is physically impossible today then it is at any point in history as well.

The second point is that natural explanations are always more likely than miracles. This is because whenever there has been puzzlement of a phenomena, when an answer has appeared that finally dissolved the puzzlement it has always been natural (what causes lightening, what causes the seasons, what causes day and night, etc.). There has never been a puzzlement that has been solved (as to get rid of the puzzlement) by claiming the supernatural or miracles.

Now, these two points alone do not get rid of being able to prove a miracle happened in ancient history. The thing that makes it (what I call impossible) is that evidence is lost, tampered with, is in a state where we cannot be sure of how its content was formed that we cannot know if the miracle occurred. Yes, there are many lines of evidence one can use to raise the probability (however so slightly) that the miracle happened, but I do not think that there will ever be enough evidence to overcome the extremely low prior probability that miracles have.

Do to this, I feel like anyone who tries to propose a supernatural/miraculous explanation in ancient history is not actually doing history. Yes, it is possible that someone could have the ability of prophecy, that someone had supernatural powers, etc., but I do not think we can even show that it is likely (unless someone invents a time machine for us to go back and check).

So, while I do not like the term "naturalistic historian" (someone who presupposes naturalism when dealing with historic study and research), I cannot help but feel like there is no (big) difference between naturalistic historical methodology and a completely secular historical methodology.

I believe you are being too soft on that sentence. I don't think supernatural powers can be possible at all, in the natural world, that is. So no, supernatural explanations do not even need research, not even a second wasted on a time machine. They are entirely impossible by definition, precisely because they are not natural. They can only exist in supernatural worlds, which you can find on the "fiction" section in the closest library :)

I wrote this moreso from a historical perspective, not from an atheistic perspective (just so that it doesn't seem like I am pushing certain people away).
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Otokage
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9/1/2015 10:37:59 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/1/2015 10:30:31 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 9/1/2015 10:23:52 PM, Otokage wrote:
At 9/1/2015 1:04:04 AM, SNP1 wrote:
Is it true that miracles cannot be proved in ancient history? I believe so.

The study of history includes the usage of inductive logic. Inductive logic gives us a few things:
1) The Principal of Uniformity of Nature.
2) That natural explanations are always more parsimonious then miracles.

Now, the Principal of Uniformity of Nature is not shown using induction (as that would be wholly circular) but is presupposed by it (it is shown with Special Relativity, but that topic would go in the science section).

The Principal of Uniformity of Nature states that natural laws are the same now as they have always been and that they apply everywhere in the universe. This means that if something would violate the laws of physics we have now it would violate them back then. This means if something is physically impossible today then it is at any point in history as well.

The second point is that natural explanations are always more likely than miracles. This is because whenever there has been puzzlement of a phenomena, when an answer has appeared that finally dissolved the puzzlement it has always been natural (what causes lightening, what causes the seasons, what causes day and night, etc.). There has never been a puzzlement that has been solved (as to get rid of the puzzlement) by claiming the supernatural or miracles.

Now, these two points alone do not get rid of being able to prove a miracle happened in ancient history. The thing that makes it (what I call impossible) is that evidence is lost, tampered with, is in a state where we cannot be sure of how its content was formed that we cannot know if the miracle occurred. Yes, there are many lines of evidence one can use to raise the probability (however so slightly) that the miracle happened, but I do not think that there will ever be enough evidence to overcome the extremely low prior probability that miracles have.

Do to this, I feel like anyone who tries to propose a supernatural/miraculous explanation in ancient history is not actually doing history. Yes, it is possible that someone could have the ability of prophecy, that someone had supernatural powers, etc., but I do not think we can even show that it is likely (unless someone invents a time machine for us to go back and check).

So, while I do not like the term "naturalistic historian" (someone who presupposes naturalism when dealing with historic study and research), I cannot help but feel like there is no (big) difference between naturalistic historical methodology and a completely secular historical methodology.

I believe you are being too soft on that sentence. I don't think supernatural powers can be possible at all, in the natural world, that is. So no, supernatural explanations do not even need research, not even a second wasted on a time machine. They are entirely impossible by definition, precisely because they are not natural. They can only exist in supernatural worlds, which you can find on the "fiction" section in the closest library :)

I wrote this moreso from a historical perspective, not from an atheistic perspective (just so that it doesn't seem like I am pushing certain people away).

I know, I know. Although, I believe atheism is key for historians. If God exists, then anything can happen, and if anything can happen, anything could have happened, and if anything could have happened, history is not that valuable, as there's an immense probability that it could be just a big piece of made up bs. However, if you rule out supernatural possibilities and rely only on evidence, then suddenly the possibilities narrow and you are closer to what really happened.

But yeah, I agree with your argument and I think it can be a good first step for religious people to question the validity of the scriptures as historical documents. I mean, if only they were allowed to question scripture, that is :)

Let's see what supernaturalists think about this.
SNP1
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9/1/2015 10:40:27 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/1/2015 10:37:59 PM, Otokage wrote:
At 9/1/2015 10:30:31 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 9/1/2015 10:23:52 PM, Otokage wrote:
At 9/1/2015 1:04:04 AM, SNP1 wrote:
Is it true that miracles cannot be proved in ancient history? I believe so.

The study of history includes the usage of inductive logic. Inductive logic gives us a few things:
1) The Principal of Uniformity of Nature.
2) That natural explanations are always more parsimonious then miracles.

Now, the Principal of Uniformity of Nature is not shown using induction (as that would be wholly circular) but is presupposed by it (it is shown with Special Relativity, but that topic would go in the science section).

The Principal of Uniformity of Nature states that natural laws are the same now as they have always been and that they apply everywhere in the universe. This means that if something would violate the laws of physics we have now it would violate them back then. This means if something is physically impossible today then it is at any point in history as well.

The second point is that natural explanations are always more likely than miracles. This is because whenever there has been puzzlement of a phenomena, when an answer has appeared that finally dissolved the puzzlement it has always been natural (what causes lightening, what causes the seasons, what causes day and night, etc.). There has never been a puzzlement that has been solved (as to get rid of the puzzlement) by claiming the supernatural or miracles.

Now, these two points alone do not get rid of being able to prove a miracle happened in ancient history. The thing that makes it (what I call impossible) is that evidence is lost, tampered with, is in a state where we cannot be sure of how its content was formed that we cannot know if the miracle occurred. Yes, there are many lines of evidence one can use to raise the probability (however so slightly) that the miracle happened, but I do not think that there will ever be enough evidence to overcome the extremely low prior probability that miracles have.

Do to this, I feel like anyone who tries to propose a supernatural/miraculous explanation in ancient history is not actually doing history. Yes, it is possible that someone could have the ability of prophecy, that someone had supernatural powers, etc., but I do not think we can even show that it is likely (unless someone invents a time machine for us to go back and check).

So, while I do not like the term "naturalistic historian" (someone who presupposes naturalism when dealing with historic study and research), I cannot help but feel like there is no (big) difference between naturalistic historical methodology and a completely secular historical methodology.

I believe you are being too soft on that sentence. I don't think supernatural powers can be possible at all, in the natural world, that is. So no, supernatural explanations do not even need research, not even a second wasted on a time machine. They are entirely impossible by definition, precisely because they are not natural. They can only exist in supernatural worlds, which you can find on the "fiction" section in the closest library :)

I wrote this moreso from a historical perspective, not from an atheistic perspective (just so that it doesn't seem like I am pushing certain people away).

I know, I know. Although, I believe atheism is key for historians. If God exists, then anything can happen, and if anything can happen, anything could have happened, and if anything could have happened, history is not that valuable, as there's an immense probability that it could be just a big piece of made up bs. However, if you rule out supernatural possibilities and rely only on evidence, then suddenly the possibilities narrow and you are closer to what really happened.

But yeah, I agree with your argument and I think it can be a good first step for religious people to question the validity of the scriptures as historical documents. I mean, if only they were allowed to question scripture, that is :)

Let's see what supernaturalists think about this.

Well, scripture CAN be evidence in a historical setting. The problem is that with the Torah and the Gospels, there is no ability to do verification. All the Gospel stories derive from a common document/tradition, thus are not independent. While the scriptures are evidence, they are piss poor evidence.
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Otokage
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9/1/2015 10:44:47 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/1/2015 10:40:27 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 9/1/2015 10:37:59 PM, Otokage wrote:
At 9/1/2015 10:30:31 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 9/1/2015 10:23:52 PM, Otokage wrote:
At 9/1/2015 1:04:04 AM, SNP1 wrote:
Is it true that miracles cannot be proved in ancient history? I believe so.

The study of history includes the usage of inductive logic. Inductive logic gives us a few things:
1) The Principal of Uniformity of Nature.
2) That natural explanations are always more parsimonious then miracles.

Now, the Principal of Uniformity of Nature is not shown using induction (as that would be wholly circular) but is presupposed by it (it is shown with Special Relativity, but that topic would go in the science section).

The Principal of Uniformity of Nature states that natural laws are the same now as they have always been and that they apply everywhere in the universe. This means that if something would violate the laws of physics we have now it would violate them back then. This means if something is physically impossible today then it is at any point in history as well.

The second point is that natural explanations are always more likely than miracles. This is because whenever there has been puzzlement of a phenomena, when an answer has appeared that finally dissolved the puzzlement it has always been natural (what causes lightening, what causes the seasons, what causes day and night, etc.). There has never been a puzzlement that has been solved (as to get rid of the puzzlement) by claiming the supernatural or miracles.

Now, these two points alone do not get rid of being able to prove a miracle happened in ancient history. The thing that makes it (what I call impossible) is that evidence is lost, tampered with, is in a state where we cannot be sure of how its content was formed that we cannot know if the miracle occurred. Yes, there are many lines of evidence one can use to raise the probability (however so slightly) that the miracle happened, but I do not think that there will ever be enough evidence to overcome the extremely low prior probability that miracles have.

Do to this, I feel like anyone who tries to propose a supernatural/miraculous explanation in ancient history is not actually doing history. Yes, it is possible that someone could have the ability of prophecy, that someone had supernatural powers, etc., but I do not think we can even show that it is likely (unless someone invents a time machine for us to go back and check).

So, while I do not like the term "naturalistic historian" (someone who presupposes naturalism when dealing with historic study and research), I cannot help but feel like there is no (big) difference between naturalistic historical methodology and a completely secular historical methodology.

I believe you are being too soft on that sentence. I don't think supernatural powers can be possible at all, in the natural world, that is. So no, supernatural explanations do not even need research, not even a second wasted on a time machine. They are entirely impossible by definition, precisely because they are not natural. They can only exist in supernatural worlds, which you can find on the "fiction" section in the closest library :)

I wrote this moreso from a historical perspective, not from an atheistic perspective (just so that it doesn't seem like I am pushing certain people away).

I know, I know. Although, I believe atheism is key for historians. If God exists, then anything can happen, and if anything can happen, anything could have happened, and if anything could have happened, history is not that valuable, as there's an immense probability that it could be just a big piece of made up bs. However, if you rule out supernatural possibilities and rely only on evidence, then suddenly the possibilities narrow and you are closer to what really happened.

But yeah, I agree with your argument and I think it can be a good first step for religious people to question the validity of the scriptures as historical documents. I mean, if only they were allowed to question scripture, that is :)

Let's see what supernaturalists think about this.

Well, scripture CAN be evidence in a historical setting. The problem is that with the Torah and the Gospels, there is no ability to do verification. All the Gospel stories derive from a common document/tradition, thus are not independent. While the scriptures are evidence, they are piss poor evidence.

Well, yeah, any book can be historical evidence. In fact, anything can be regarded as historical evidence. This, of course, is not the same as being a book with valid historical claims. I don't know if we could find a single page that is entirely historicaly accurate in the Bible.
SNP1
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9/1/2015 10:48:47 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/1/2015 10:44:47 PM, Otokage wrote:
Well, yeah, any book can be historical evidence. In fact, anything can be regarded as historical evidence. This, of course, is not the same as being a book with valid historical claims. I don't know if we could find a single page that is entirely historicaly accurate in the Bible.

Definitely not in the Torah. The Torah was written in the 6th century BCE and is (supposedly) based on oral traditions that date back to the 21st century BCE (or older). The inconsistency of oral tradition alone is enough to doubt anything in the Torah as reliable.

As for the Gospels (and Epistles), it all depends on how you view them. Some, like Bart Ehrman, believes you can find tidbits on historical information in them. I disagree.
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Wylted
Posts: 21,167
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9/1/2015 11:30:50 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
There are a few miracles in history that are treated as fact, by most historians. I don't believe this at all. There's instances of storms or tornadoes appearing at the perfect time and allowing a handful of doomed soldiers to declare victory over the greatest armies in history.

There are medical miracles that take place routinely and are accepted as fact.
Wylted
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9/1/2015 11:33:19 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/1/2015 10:48:47 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 9/1/2015 10:44:47 PM, Otokage wrote:
Well, yeah, any book can be historical evidence. In fact, anything can be regarded as historical evidence. This, of course, is not the same as being a book with valid historical claims. I don't know if we could find a single page that is entirely historicaly accurate in the Bible.

Definitely not in the Torah. The Torah was written in the 6th century BCE and is (supposedly) based on oral traditions that date back to the 21st century BCE (or older). The inconsistency of oral tradition alone is enough to doubt anything in the Torah as reliable.

As for the Gospels (and Epistles), it all depends on how you view them. Some, like Bart Ehrman, believes you can find tidbits on historical information in them. I disagree.

Of course you can. Even if they were completely fictional, you'd still be able to learn a lot about history through them, such as Jewish customs around the time, mentioned off hand and the Roman occupation of Israel.

I mean even the Illiad has been a very useful tool for historians.
jodybirdy
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9/2/2015 2:32:08 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/1/2015 11:33:19 PM, Wylted wrote:
At 9/1/2015 10:48:47 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 9/1/2015 10:44:47 PM, Otokage wrote:
Well, yeah, any book can be historical evidence. In fact, anything can be regarded as historical evidence. This, of course, is not the same as being a book with valid historical claims. I don't know if we could find a single page that is entirely historicaly accurate in the Bible.

Definitely not in the Torah. The Torah was written in the 6th century BCE and is (supposedly) based on oral traditions that date back to the 21st century BCE (or older). The inconsistency of oral tradition alone is enough to doubt anything in the Torah as reliable.

As for the Gospels (and Epistles), it all depends on how you view them. Some, like Bart Ehrman, believes you can find tidbits on historical information in them. I disagree.

Of course you can. Even if they were completely fictional, you'd still be able to learn a lot about history through them, such as Jewish customs around the time, mentioned off hand and the Roman occupation of Israel.

I mean even the Illiad has been a very useful tool for historians.

To establish whether an oral or eye witnessed story is reliable or should be discarded as speculative (or even fictional) history, historians use multiple sources of evidence, including archaeology, to research the credibility of any ancient historical account. Writings that would be applicable as reliable information would be supported by certain criteria. If that criteria is not present it cannot be considered as a reliable source for obtaining historical data.

Here are some of the things considered:
The date it was written? Who authored it? Where did it allegedly take place? Is there archaeological evidence supporting the events mentioned? Are there other writings from the same time frame accounting the same historical event? ... and more.

You are saying that The Illiad could be a source of historical information. I totally disagree.

The Bible is NOT a reliable source either, because it does not meet all of the criteria needed to be considered one. The Bible also states many things being fact that have been scientifically debunked as impossible in the physical universe as we know it. Unless physics have changed the stories simply are not true.

While some of the histories in the Bible "might" meet the criteria as plausible historical data, the parts of the Bible that do not meet that criteria discredit the Bible as a historical document. It could however be a fantastic source of information for a sociologist.
A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral."
Wylted
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9/2/2015 3:02:43 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/2/2015 2:32:08 AM, jodybirdy wrote:
At 9/1/2015 11:33:19 PM, Wylted wrote:
At 9/1/2015 10:48:47 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 9/1/2015 10:44:47 PM, Otokage wrote:
Well, yeah, any book can be historical evidence. In fact, anything can be regarded as historical evidence. This, of course, is not the same as being a book with valid historical claims. I don't know if we could find a single page that is entirely historicaly accurate in the Bible.

Definitely not in the Torah. The Torah was written in the 6th century BCE and is (supposedly) based on oral traditions that date back to the 21st century BCE (or older). The inconsistency of oral tradition alone is enough to doubt anything in the Torah as reliable.

As for the Gospels (and Epistles), it all depends on how you view them. Some, like Bart Ehrman, believes you can find tidbits on historical information in them. I disagree.

Of course you can. Even if they were completely fictional, you'd still be able to learn a lot about history through them, such as Jewish customs around the time, mentioned off hand and the Roman occupation of Israel.

I mean even the Illiad has been a very useful tool for historians.


To establish whether an oral or eye witnessed story is reliable or should be discarded as speculative (or even fictional) history, historians use multiple sources of evidence, including archaeology, to research the credibility of any ancient historical account. Writings that would be applicable as reliable information would be supported by certain criteria. If that criteria is not present it cannot be considered as a reliable source for obtaining historical data.

Here are some of the things considered:
The date it was written? Who authored it? Where did it allegedly take place? Is there archaeological evidence supporting the events mentioned? Are there other writings from the same time frame accounting the same historical event? ... and more.

You are saying that The Illiad could be a source of historical information. I totally disagree.

The Bible is NOT a reliable source either, because it does not meet all of the criteria needed to be considered one. The Bible also states many things being fact that have been scientifically debunked as impossible in the physical universe as we know it. Unless physics have changed the stories simply are not true.

While some of the histories in the Bible "might" meet the criteria as plausible historical data, the parts of the Bible that do not meet that criteria discredit the Bible as a historical document. It could however be a fantastic source of information for a sociologist.

I'd say the gospels are different than the acts of Paul. However historical things can be gathered from withers, and the Illiad as well. Sometimes a single writing with no other writings to verify an event are fine, though they should be looked at with a skeptical eye. We take Caeser's word for what he's said he's done in many of his battles, but we use our best judgement to discern that, he's unlikely to admit to embarrassing things and is susceptible to bragging. So a single source is fine.

If the only book you have from the 21st century was "Twilight", you'd honestly be an idiot not to learn about some of the current culture. You're doing the same thing with the Illiad, which no competant historian would think you were correct in doing so. For example twilight talks about cars existing, a society where males are viewed as having a protective role. It would explain to people hundreds of years into the future how the public school system and policing work to a certain degree.

Honestly, you'd be the most retarded historian ever, if the only document you had from the 21st century was Twilight, and you couldn't learn anything from it. You should be able to derive the fact that Shakespeare was a great writer and existed centuries before, if all evidence of him was erased also.

Fictional books are still valuable as a source for learning about history, and when it comes to the bible, it's even better than fiction. The Old Testament was evidence of several historical incidents and places, that Archeologists have verified at later dates, and archeologists aren't stupid, like most people. Even the atheistic ones still used it to try and discover lost cities. The New Testament is even better, the religious Celtic mentality, doesn't make it a worse source than pure fiction, just different. Better in some ways, worse in others. Certain things we can derive from the New Testament are that Jesus in fact existed. If the other historical records didn't exist, historians unlike the stupid masses, would still be able to tell you certain things, such as Roman occupation of Israel, the existence of a homeless guy who performed magic tricks and had a cult following, and it would explain certain occupations that existed at the time.
jodybirdy
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9/2/2015 3:16:47 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/2/2015 3:02:43 AM, Wylted wrote:
At 9/2/2015 2:32:08 AM, jodybirdy wrote:
At 9/1/2015 11:33:19 PM, Wylted wrote:
At 9/1/2015 10:48:47 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 9/1/2015 10:44:47 PM, Otokage wrote:
Well, yeah, any book can be historical evidence. In fact, anything can be regarded as historical evidence. This, of course, is not the same as being a book with valid historical claims. I don't know if we could find a single page that is entirely historicaly accurate in the Bible.

Definitely not in the Torah. The Torah was written in the 6th century BCE and is (supposedly) based on oral traditions that date back to the 21st century BCE (or older). The inconsistency of oral tradition alone is enough to doubt anything in the Torah as reliable.

As for the Gospels (and Epistles), it all depends on how you view them. Some, like Bart Ehrman, believes you can find tidbits on historical information in them. I disagree.

Of course you can. Even if they were completely fictional, you'd still be able to learn a lot about history through them, such as Jewish customs around the time, mentioned off hand and the Roman occupation of Israel.

I mean even the Illiad has been a very useful tool for historians.


To establish whether an oral or eye witnessed story is reliable or should be discarded as speculative (or even fictional) history, historians use multiple sources of evidence, including archaeology, to research the credibility of any ancient historical account. Writings that would be applicable as reliable information would be supported by certain criteria. If that criteria is not present it cannot be considered as a reliable source for obtaining historical data.

Here are some of the things considered:
The date it was written? Who authored it? Where did it allegedly take place? Is there archaeological evidence supporting the events mentioned? Are there other writings from the same time frame accounting the same historical event? ... and more.

You are saying that The Illiad could be a source of historical information. I totally disagree.

The Bible is NOT a reliable source either, because it does not meet all of the criteria needed to be considered one. The Bible also states many things being fact that have been scientifically debunked as impossible in the physical universe as we know it. Unless physics have changed the stories simply are not true.

While some of the histories in the Bible "might" meet the criteria as plausible historical data, the parts of the Bible that do not meet that criteria discredit the Bible as a historical document. It could however be a fantastic source of information for a sociologist.

I'd say the gospels are different than the acts of Paul. However historical things can be gathered from withers, and the Illiad as well. Sometimes a single writing with no other writings to verify an event are fine, though they should be looked at with a skeptical eye. We take Caeser's word for what he's said he's done in many of his battles, but we use our best judgement to discern that, he's unlikely to admit to embarrassing things and is susceptible to bragging. So a single source is fine.

If the only book you have from the 21st century was "Twilight", you'd honestly be an idiot not to learn about some of the current culture. You're doing the same thing with the Illiad, which no competant historian would think you were correct in doing so. For example twilight talks about cars existing, a society where males are viewed as having a protective role. It would explain to people hundreds of years into the future how the public school system and policing work to a certain degree.

Honestly, you'd be the most retarded historian ever, if the only document you had from the 21st century was Twilight, and you couldn't learn anything from it. You should be able to derive the fact that Shakespeare was a great writer and existed centuries before, if all evidence of him was erased also.

Fictional books are still valuable as a source for learning about history, and when it comes to the bible, it's even better than fiction. The Old Testament was evidence of several historical incidents and places, that Archeologists have verified at later dates, and archeologists aren't stupid, like most people. Even the atheistic ones still used it to try and discover lost cities. The New Testament is even better, the religious Celtic mentality, doesn't make it a worse source than pure fiction, just different. Better in some ways, worse in others. Certain things we can derive from the New Testament are that Jesus in fact existed. If the other historical records didn't exist, historians unlike the stupid masses, would still be able to tell you certain things, such as Roman occupation of Israel, the existence of a homeless guy who performed magic tricks and had a cult following, and it would explain certain occupations that existed at the time.

Sociologists benifet from fictional writtings, not historians. As for credibility of the Gospels, there is quite a bit of controversy as to when they were actually written and if the authors were told these stories by word of mouth, or were the actual eye witnesses. Yes, there were thousands of profits walking around Israel at the time. It was an ocupation, but that fact is backed up by other historic records and is more the study of Sociologists than Historians. Historians deal with evidenced historical fact that can be confirmed through multiple sources as credible.
A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral."
SNP1
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9/2/2015 5:02:15 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/1/2015 11:30:50 PM, Wylted wrote:
There are a few miracles in history that are treated as fact, by most historians. I don't believe this at all. There's instances of storms or tornadoes appearing at the perfect time and allowing a handful of doomed soldiers to declare victory over the greatest armies in history.

There are medical miracles that take place routinely and are accepted as fact.

I guess it is how one defines miracle.
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SNP1
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9/2/2015 5:03:27 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/1/2015 11:33:19 PM, Wylted wrote:
At 9/1/2015 10:48:47 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 9/1/2015 10:44:47 PM, Otokage wrote:
Well, yeah, any book can be historical evidence. In fact, anything can be regarded as historical evidence. This, of course, is not the same as being a book with valid historical claims. I don't know if we could find a single page that is entirely historicaly accurate in the Bible.

Definitely not in the Torah. The Torah was written in the 6th century BCE and is (supposedly) based on oral traditions that date back to the 21st century BCE (or older). The inconsistency of oral tradition alone is enough to doubt anything in the Torah as reliable.

As for the Gospels (and Epistles), it all depends on how you view them. Some, like Bart Ehrman, believes you can find tidbits on historical information in them. I disagree.

Of course you can. Even if they were completely fictional, you'd still be able to learn a lot about history through them, such as Jewish customs around the time, mentioned off hand and the Roman occupation of Israel.

I mean even the Illiad has been a very useful tool for historians.

I meant you can't really get historical events, only understand the culture. I agree that they can be used to help understand the culture and influences of the time, but are wholly unreliable as records of history.
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