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Proving a negative

Skynet
Posts: 674
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8/6/2015 3:36:19 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Why is this in the religion forum? Because this is where these fallacious arguments pop up the most. That and Science, because the two forums are pretty much the same, so often.

Yes, you CAN prove a negative. I've used a similar example before:

"Mom! The Monster from the Black Lagoon is under my bed!"

"No, son, he's not. He was just a made up character in a movie."

"Uh...can you look anyway? Just to make sure? Please?"

"No, son, I can't prove a negative. That's a logical impossibility. Go to sleep." *click*

OR

"Honey, have you seen my wallet? I think I left it on top of my dresser, on the right side against the wall. Can you look and grab it for me, please?"

"I don't think you left it there."

"You know where it is?"

"No."

"Ok, well can you check the dresser? I'm pretty certain I left it there. I remember seeing it when I got up."

"Lloyd, I really don't think it's there."

"OK...well can you at least look to make sure it isn't there?"

*sigh* "You KNOW I can't do that."

"What are you talking about? I'll finish getting the kids ready to go, just please look on my dresser to make sure it isn't there, then I'll at least know it got moved."

"What do I look like, a magician? You prove to me it IS there before I go look!"

On the other hand, you can't always prove a negative.

"Hey. Larry."

"Yeah?"

"So, last night, I got abducted again. It was the Greys this time."

"O....K..."

"You don't believe me?"

"It just seems very unlikely."

"Oh yeah, well can you prove aliens don't exist?"

"No D.J., I can't. It is possible they exist. But I don't believe you were abducted."

"Alright, prove I wasn't abducted."

*sigh* "I just want to eat my lunch, OK. Just one, normal, quiet lunch is all I ask."

"You can't prove I wasn't, Larry."

"Well I guess you got me there."
One perk to being a dad is you get to watch cartoons again without explaining yourself.
sheskew
Posts: 117
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8/6/2015 4:44:55 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
It is true that absence of evidence, when the presence of evidence would be expected, can be considered evidence of absence. The trouble is that when God is assumed to have unlimited power and unfathomable motives, the believer always has refuge in the unfalsifiable assertion that "well he's hiding from you because reasons".
UniversalTheologian
Posts: 1,078
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8/6/2015 4:47:49 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
God is defined to exist, it's even one of his names.

Prove that truth doesn't exist.

It's really kind of absurd to do.
"There are trivial truths and the great truths. The opposite of a trivial truth is plainly false. The opposite of a great truth is also true." ~ Niels Bohr

"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." ~ Arthur Schopenhauer
Burzmali
Posts: 1,310
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8/6/2015 4:51:54 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Yes, a well-defined claim can be demonstrably negated. And every time anyone defines their god in an unambiguous and testable way, that god is shown to not exist. The more experienced theist debaters realize that, of course, which is why they shrink their definition of god to something that isn't currently testable. That usually means "the intelligent cause of the universe" or some such.
sheskew
Posts: 117
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8/6/2015 5:08:22 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/6/2015 4:47:49 AM, UniversalTheologian wrote:
God is defined to exist, it's even one of his names.

UT, the trouble with this philosophical position is that only real entities have real attributes. For example, if I define the "fuzzywump" as a magical animal that definitely exists, even though the fuzzywump is defined to exist, it still does not. Words and definitions cannot evoke real things out of nothing.
UniversalTheologian
Posts: 1,078
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8/6/2015 5:15:17 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/6/2015 5:08:22 AM, sheskew wrote:
At 8/6/2015 4:47:49 AM, UniversalTheologian wrote:
God is defined to exist, it's even one of his names.

UT, the trouble with this philosophical position is that only real entities have real attributes. For example, if I define the "fuzzywump" as a magical animal that definitely exists, even though the fuzzywump is defined to exist, it still does not. Words and definitions cannot evoke real things out of nothing.

Of course not, I'm not disagreeing with you.

God exists independent of any defining. In fact, God is fundamentally beyond abstraction.

God represents what is True independent of any measuring stick or bias. God represents the Ultimate or Supreme Reality.

If you deny the existence of such a thing, you don't deserve to even be taken seriously.
"There are trivial truths and the great truths. The opposite of a trivial truth is plainly false. The opposite of a great truth is also true." ~ Niels Bohr

"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." ~ Arthur Schopenhauer
sheskew
Posts: 117
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8/6/2015 5:26:28 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I have not insulted your credibility sir; please kindly extend me the same courtesy.

I am puzzled by your definition; it seems to me you are defining God AS the universe. However, that's not the definition of God that I hear in church on Sundays, and the church I attend is a pretty bog-standard representation of American evangelical Protestant theology. God is credited with creating the universe, but also with existing apart from it. Many Biblical passages identify this person or that person as being "apart from God". Even Jesus was supposed to be apart from God immediately before his death from crucifixion. If God is defined as "everything that's real", then nothing can be apart from him.

Also, where do you get your conception of God from? Few people go to the dictionary to find religion; would you define yourself as belonging to a particular school of religious thought, or do you operate from internal revelation, as many on this forum do?
UniversalTheologian
Posts: 1,078
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8/6/2015 5:45:14 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/6/2015 5:26:28 AM, sheskew wrote:
I have not insulted your credibility sir; please kindly extend me the same courtesy.

I am puzzled by your definition; it seems to me you are defining God AS the universe. However, that's not the definition of God that I hear in church on Sundays, and the church I attend is a pretty bog-standard representation of American evangelical Protestant theology. God is credited with creating the universe, but also with existing apart from it. Many Biblical passages identify this person or that person as being "apart from God". Even Jesus was supposed to be apart from God immediately before his death from crucifixion. If God is defined as "everything that's real", then nothing can be apart from him.

Also, where do you get your conception of God from? Few people go to the dictionary to find religion; would you define yourself as belonging to a particular school of religious thought, or do you operate from internal revelation, as many on this forum do?

I'm a theologian who has studied these things extensively. Certainly, internal revelation is important to grasping these things.

I can see why someone would equate God with the universe, though that really isn't what I'm saying.

If you understand the message of The New Testament, you aren't going to put your faith in human institutions and religion. Christianity is about Love for God with sincerity of faith, practicing charity towards others, and making a constant effort to better understand and practice these things.

Christianity in particular isn't really as hard to accept as you might think. Every apostasy of the church is prophesied of in the epistles. The church does a good job of preserving the type of environment. The state of the Christian Church today is an awful lot like Judaism at the time of Jesus. Behind all the magic tricks, there is actually something with a great deal of meaning.

It's the way it is for a reason.
"There are trivial truths and the great truths. The opposite of a trivial truth is plainly false. The opposite of a great truth is also true." ~ Niels Bohr

"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." ~ Arthur Schopenhauer
DanneJeRusse
Posts: 12,580
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8/6/2015 2:15:37 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/6/2015 5:15:17 AM, UniversalTheologian wrote:
At 8/6/2015 5:08:22 AM, sheskew wrote:
At 8/6/2015 4:47:49 AM, UniversalTheologian wrote:
God is defined to exist, it's even one of his names.

UT, the trouble with this philosophical position is that only real entities have real attributes. For example, if I define the "fuzzywump" as a magical animal that definitely exists, even though the fuzzywump is defined to exist, it still does not. Words and definitions cannot evoke real things out of nothing.

Of course not, I'm not disagreeing with you.

God exists independent of any defining. In fact, God is fundamentally beyond abstraction.

God represents what is True independent of any measuring stick or bias. God represents the Ultimate or Supreme Reality.

If you deny the existence of such a thing, you don't deserve to even be taken seriously.

If you deny the existence of Leprechauns, you don't deserve to even be taken seriously.
If you deny the existence of Unicorns, you don't deserve to even be taken seriously.
If you deny the existence of Bigfoot, you don't deserve to even be taken seriously.
If you deny the existence of visiting Aliens, you don't deserve to even be taken seriously.
If you deny the existence of Mithra, you don't deserve to even be taken seriously.
If you deny the existence of Santa Claus, you don't deserve to even be taken seriously.
If you deny the existence of "Insert Favorite Mythical Character" , you don't deserve to even be taken seriously.

Wow, this is so easy, all I have to do is decree to be the ultimate authority on everything and it automatically exists.
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
Dogknox
Posts: 5,043
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8/6/2015 3:33:49 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/6/2015 3:36:19 AM, Skynet wrote:
Why is this in the religion forum? Because this is where these fallacious arguments pop up the most. That and Science, because the two forums are pretty much the same, so often.

Yes, you CAN prove a negative. I've used a similar example before:

"Mom! The Monster from the Black Lagoon is under my bed!"

"No, son, he's not. He was just a made up character in a movie."

"Uh...can you look anyway? Just to make sure? Please?"

"No, son, I can't prove a negative. That's a logical impossibility. Go to sleep." *click*

OR

"Honey, have you seen my wallet? I think I left it on top of my dresser, on the right side against the wall. Can you look and grab it for me, please?"

"I don't think you left it there."

"You know where it is?"

"No."

"Ok, well can you check the dresser? I'm pretty certain I left it there. I remember seeing it when I got up."

"Lloyd, I really don't think it's there."

"OK...well can you at least look to make sure it isn't there?"

*sigh* "You KNOW I can't do that."

"What are you talking about? I'll finish getting the kids ready to go, just please look on my dresser to make sure it isn't there, then I'll at least know it got moved."

"What do I look like, a magician? You prove to me it IS there before I go look!"

On the other hand, you can't always prove a negative.

"Hey. Larry."

"Yeah?"

"So, last night, I got abducted again. It was the Greys this time."

"O....K..."

"You don't believe me?"

"It just seems very unlikely."

"Oh yeah, well can you prove aliens don't exist?"

"No D.J., I can't. It is possible they exist. But I don't believe you were abducted."

"Alright, prove I wasn't abducted."

*sigh* "I just want to eat my lunch, OK. Just one, normal, quiet lunch is all I ask."

"You can't prove I wasn't, Larry."

"Well I guess you got me there."

Skynet You cannot defend your BELIEF saying "there is NO God" by Science!
Defending beliefs in the supernatural is not established beyond reasonable doubt that they don't exist, by Science.
Scientific investigation starts out with questions! Many questions cannot be answered so are they also NEGATIVE!? You have jumped to a conclusion without any PROOF! You have assumed "God is NEGATIVE"!

Questions are the start they are never the ending!
You BELIEVE there is NO God!! You QUESTION the existence of God! At best this is all you have got... Your Question!
Dogknox
Posts: 5,043
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8/6/2015 3:58:42 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/6/2015 4:51:54 AM, Burzmali wrote:
Yes, a well-defined claim can be demonstrably negated. And every time anyone defines their god in an unambiguous and testable way, that god is shown to not exist. The more experienced theist debaters realize that, of course, which is why they shrink their definition of god to something that isn't currently testable. That usually means "the intelligent cause of the universe" or some such.

Burzmali Good to meet you...
I reply: You ignore the obvious!

Jesus is God!
sheskew
Posts: 117
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8/6/2015 4:46:55 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Dogknox, I think the point that Burzmali is making is that the non-existence of observable things can be proved. For example, if you say "What have I got in my pocket?" I can check your pockets. If they are empty, I can comfortably reply "You have nothing in your pockets." We all implicitly understand that anything that can be stored in a pocket can be seen and touched, and thus an empty pocket is evidence that nothing exists in it.

Contrast that with the modern conception of Jesus. There is no expectation that Jesus is ever perceptible to the five senses. We cannot go look for Jesus and find him in a particular place. A key source of the skepticism of atheists is that this "non-findability" is an attribute that Jesus shares only with imaginary beings. Santa Claus and Zoroaster and Odin and Shiva are also non-findable and not perceptible. You would probably agree that all of these latter entities are not findable because they are not real, would you not?
Dogknox
Posts: 5,043
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8/6/2015 5:20:49 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/6/2015 4:46:55 PM, sheskew wrote:
Dogknox, I think the point that Burzmali is making is that the non-existence of observable things can be proved. For example, if you say "What have I got in my pocket?" I can check your pockets. If they are empty, I can comfortably reply "You have nothing in your pockets." We all implicitly understand that anything that can be stored in a pocket can be seen and touched, and thus an empty pocket is evidence that nothing exists in it.

Contrast that with the modern conception of Jesus. There is no expectation that Jesus is ever perceptible to the five senses. We cannot go look for Jesus and find him in a particular place. A key source of the skepticism of atheists is that this "non-findability" is an attribute that Jesus shares only with imaginary beings. Santa Claus and Zoroaster and Odin and Shiva are also non-findable and not perceptible. You would probably agree that all of these latter entities are not findable because they are not real, would you not?

sheskew Good to meet you...
I agree.. but: The modern conception of Jesus.. has roots in documented history!
The modern conception of Santa Claus.. has roots in documented history!
The modern conception of "Christianity"..has roots in documented history! A religion with historical roots back to a Man/God! Christian a follower of Christ!

I am not sure about... Zoroaster and Odin and Shiva these could be in a different category ... Maybe "Fairy tail, wives tale"!?
sheskew
Posts: 117
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8/6/2015 5:48:05 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/6/2015 5:20:49 PM, Dogknox wrote:
I agree.. but: The modern conception of Jesus.. has roots in documented history!
The modern conception of Santa Claus.. has roots in documented history!
The modern conception of "Christianity"..has roots in documented history!
I am not sure about... Zoroaster and Odin and Shiva these could be in a different category ... Maybe "Fairy tail, wives tale"!?

Absolutely, Jesus and Santa and documented. Zoroaster and Shiva are all well-documented in the holy texts of Zoroastrianism, and Hinduism. Odin is less well-documented, but that's primarily because he was the chief god of the Norse pantheon and the Norsemen of the time were largely an illiterate people. It is well-established through archeology that he was sincerely worshiped as a deity by people who genuinely believed in his existence.

Now, Santa's an easy example to disbelieve in because we have good historical scholarship to tell us that he's an embellishment of an ordinary person. But Zoroaster and Shiva are currently worshiped now by people who are quite certain that they're real and that Jesus is not. And while the worship of Odin has died out, the Norsemen of the time would no doubt have been highly offended if you told them their god was a fairy tale.

How would you prove the non-existence of Shiva to a devout Buddhist? A buddhist will tell you that Shiva is formless, transcendent, and limitless. He could certainly appear to you if he wanted to, or communicate with you through personal revelations, but there's no way you can check and see if he's really there.
sheskew
Posts: 117
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8/6/2015 6:08:45 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/6/2015 5:48:05 PM, sheskew wrote:
How would you prove the non-existence of Shiva to a devout Buddhist?

Pardon my typo there, that should have been "a devout Hindu"
sheskew
Posts: 117
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8/6/2015 6:35:37 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/6/2015 6:32:47 PM, kp98 wrote:
A suprisingly high proportion of Hindus are atheist, so it might not be all that hard.

An atheist Hindu? How?
Dogknox
Posts: 5,043
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8/7/2015 2:29:57 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/6/2015 5:48:05 PM, sheskew wrote:
At 8/6/2015 5:20:49 PM, Dogknox wrote:
I agree.. but: The modern conception of Jesus.. has roots in documented history!
The modern conception of Santa Claus.. has roots in documented history!
The modern conception of "Christianity"..has roots in documented history!
I am not sure about... Zoroaster and Odin and Shiva these could be in a different category ... Maybe "Fairy tail, wives tale"!?

Absolutely, Jesus and Santa and documented. Zoroaster and Shiva are all well-documented in the holy texts of Zoroastrianism, and Hinduism. Odin is less well-documented, but that's primarily because he was the chief god of the Norse pantheon and the Norsemen of the time were largely an illiterate people. It is well-established through archeology that he was sincerely worshiped as a deity by people who genuinely believed in his existence.

Now, Santa's an easy example to disbelieve in because we have good historical scholarship to tell us that he's an embellishment of an ordinary person. But Zoroaster and Shiva are currently worshiped now by people who are quite certain that they're real and that Jesus is not. And while the worship of Odin has died out, the Norsemen of the time would no doubt have been highly offended if you told them their god was a fairy tale.

How would you prove the non-existence of Shiva to a devout Buddhist? A buddhist will tell you that Shiva is formless, transcendent, and limitless. He could certainly appear to you if he wanted to, or communicate with you through personal revelations, but there's no way you can check and see if he's really there.

sheskew Thank you for your post..
I reply..Yes Santa is an embellishment of an ordinary person. There was a man named "Nickolas" a real person!

Jesus was also a real person!!! Recorded history says so!!
The others were never real people they are non-existence!! How to prove it...? Recorded history; if there is only scriptures or religious beliefs then these people were never in existence!
dhardage
Posts: 4,545
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8/7/2015 2:40:14 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/7/2015 2:29:57 PM, Dogknox wrote:
At 8/6/2015 5:48:05 PM, sheskew wrote:
At 8/6/2015 5:20:49 PM, Dogknox wrote:
I agree.. but: The modern conception of Jesus.. has roots in documented history!
The modern conception of Santa Claus.. has roots in documented history!
The modern conception of "Christianity"..has roots in documented history!
I am not sure about... Zoroaster and Odin and Shiva these could be in a different category ... Maybe "Fairy tail, wives tale"!?

Absolutely, Jesus and Santa and documented. Zoroaster and Shiva are all well-documented in the holy texts of Zoroastrianism, and Hinduism. Odin is less well-documented, but that's primarily because he was the chief god of the Norse pantheon and the Norsemen of the time were largely an illiterate people. It is well-established through archeology that he was sincerely worshiped as a deity by people who genuinely believed in his existence.

Now, Santa's an easy example to disbelieve in because we have good historical scholarship to tell us that he's an embellishment of an ordinary person. But Zoroaster and Shiva are currently worshiped now by people who are quite certain that they're real and that Jesus is not. And while the worship of Odin has died out, the Norsemen of the time would no doubt have been highly offended if you told them their god was a fairy tale.

How would you prove the non-existence of Shiva to a devout Buddhist? A buddhist will tell you that Shiva is formless, transcendent, and limitless. He could certainly appear to you if he wanted to, or communicate with you through personal revelations, but there's no way you can check and see if he's really there.

sheskew Thank you for your post..
I reply..Yes Santa is an embellishment of an ordinary person. There was a man named "Nickolas" a real person!

Jesus was also a real person!!! Recorded history says so!!
The others were never real people they are non-existence!! How to prove it...? Recorded history; if there is only scriptures or religious beliefs then these people were never in existence!

Recorded history shows us an itinerant Jewish preacher that was at thorn in the side of the Roman empire. The only place you'll find your Jesus of Nazareth is in the historical fiction called the New Testament.
sheskew
Posts: 117
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8/7/2015 3:56:45 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/7/2015 2:29:57 PM, Dogknox wrote:
Jesus was also a real person!!! Recorded history says so!!
The others were never real people they are non-existence!! How to prove it...? Recorded history; if there is only scriptures or religious beliefs then these people were never in existence!

Respectfully, I must point out that there is no reason why an incorporeal entity that claims to have created the universe would need to also be a historical person. Within the Christian mythos, God was still God before he incarnated as Jesus. Zoroaster and Shiva do not need to be born as humans and recorded in secular documents for the Zoroastrians or Hindus to take them as real, any more than Yahweh needed to do so before the ancient pre-Christian Jews would take him as real.

Further, recorded history shows the existence of a human being named Jesus. Only "scriptures or religious beliefs" record Jesus' resurrection and miracle-working. It's also worth noting that there are numerous other historically established persons who are reputed to work miracles and/or be a god of some kind, including Siddhārtha Gautama, Kim Il-Sung, Sai Baba, Haile Selassie I, the first 123 emperors of Japan, and many others who are much more obscure.

I bring these people up not to diminish your faith but to emphasize my trouble in "proving a negative". I am someone who practices no faith. I am confronted by scores of claims of divine spiritual beings, some formerly human, others not. At a minimum, most or nearly all of these claims are false. Quite possibly, all of them are false. How can I prove a negative? How can I establish which of these invisible beings is not real?
missmedic
Posts: 386
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8/7/2015 4:22:31 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/6/2015 3:36:19 AM, Skynet wrote:
Why is this in the religion forum? Because this is where these fallacious arguments pop up the most. That and Science, because the two forums are pretty much the same, so often.
The scientific method only admits for universal negatives " in science, you can only falsify something completely, not confirm it completely. Something is judged to be true because it stands to the test of falsifiability extensively enough to be unassailable. But failing one single test disqualifies a specific principle from being accepted.
Dogknox
Posts: 5,043
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8/8/2015 5:08:04 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/7/2015 2:40:14 PM, dhardage wrote:
At 8/7/2015 2:29:57 PM, Dogknox wrote:
At 8/6/2015 5:48:05 PM, sheskew wrote:
At 8/6/2015 5:20:49 PM, Dogknox wrote:
I agree.. but: The modern conception of Jesus.. has roots in documented history!
The modern conception of Santa Claus.. has roots in documented history!
The modern conception of "Christianity"..has roots in documented history!
I am not sure about... Zoroaster and Odin and Shiva these could be in a different category ... Maybe "Fairy tail, wives tale"!?

Absolutely, Jesus and Santa and documented. Zoroaster and Shiva are all well-documented in the holy texts of Zoroastrianism, and Hinduism. Odin is less well-documented, but that's primarily because he was the chief god of the Norse pantheon and the Norsemen of the time were largely an illiterate people. It is well-established through archeology that he was sincerely worshiped as a deity by people who genuinely believed in his existence.

Now, Santa's an easy example to disbelieve in because we have good historical scholarship to tell us that he's an embellishment of an ordinary person. But Zoroaster and Shiva are currently worshiped now by people who are quite certain that they're real and that Jesus is not. And while the worship of Odin has died out, the Norsemen of the time would no doubt have been highly offended if you told them their god was a fairy tale.

How would you prove the non-existence of Shiva to a devout Buddhist? A buddhist will tell you that Shiva is formless, transcendent, and limitless. He could certainly appear to you if he wanted to, or communicate with you through personal revelations, but there's no way you can check and see if he's really there.

sheskew Thank you for your post..
I reply..Yes Santa is an embellishment of an ordinary person. There was a man named "Nickolas" a real person!

Jesus was also a real person!!! Recorded history says so!!
The others were never real people they are non-existence!! How to prove it...? Recorded history; if there is only scriptures or religious beliefs then these people were never in existence!

Recorded history shows us an itinerant Jewish preacher that was at thorn in the side of the Roman empire. The only place you'll find your Jesus of Nazareth is in the historical fiction called the New Testament.

I reply.. WRONG!!!
........................................................
Wikipedia
modern scholars who work in the field largely agree that Jesus himself did exist historically
............................................................
Dogknox
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8/8/2015 5:19:25 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/7/2015 3:56:45 PM, sheskew wrote:
At 8/7/2015 2:29:57 PM, Dogknox wrote:
Jesus was also a real person!!! Recorded history says so!!
The others were never real people they are non-existence!! How to prove it...? Recorded history; if there is only scriptures or religious beliefs then these people were never in existence!

Respectfully, I must point out that there is no reason why an incorporeal entity that claims to have created the universe would need to also be a historical person. Within the Christian mythos, God was still God before he incarnated as Jesus. Zoroaster and Shiva do not need to be born as humans and recorded in secular documents for the Zoroastrians or Hindus to take them as real, any more than Yahweh needed to do so before the ancient pre-Christian Jews would take him as real.

Further, recorded history shows the existence of a human being named Jesus. Only "scriptures or religious beliefs" record Jesus' resurrection and miracle-working. It's also worth noting that there are numerous other historically established persons who are reputed to work miracles and/or be a god of some kind, including Siddhārtha Gautama, Kim Il-Sung, Sai Baba, Haile Selassie I, the first 123 emperors of Japan, and many others who are much more obscure.

I bring these people up not to diminish your faith but to emphasize my trouble in "proving a negative". I am someone who practices no faith. I am confronted by scores of claims of divine spiritual beings, some formerly human, others not. At a minimum, most or nearly all of these claims are false. Quite possibly, all of them are false. How can I prove a negative? How can I establish which of these invisible beings is not real?

FACT: There was an historical Jesus!
There was NO historical Zoroaster and Shiva

FACT: Jesus claimed to be God. Either he was a nut or he was really God! The fact thousands and thousands considered it worth dying for there belief in the Man/God Jesus speaks volumes!

sheskew You are NOT a religious person... But claim to be intelligent .. When it comes to PROVING a negative, the quest cannot start off as a negative. You have placed it in the category as a "NEGATIVE" before you start!

First you must prove Jesus is a NEGATIVE!
FACT: There was a man named Jesus, he claimed to be God!
PureX
Posts: 1,519
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8/8/2015 5:42:54 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
"God" is an ideologically based meta-concept. It is not proposed to physically exist, except as the theoretical source of everything that does exists. So it cannot be "proven to exist". It either has to be accepted as the self-evident source of existence, itself; ... or not.

Likewise, to claim that "God" does not exist is also not possible to prove. And also either has to be accepted as self-evident, or not.

It's not that we can't prove a negative. We just can prove this negative.
missmedic
Posts: 386
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8/8/2015 5:47:17 PM
Posted: 1 year ago

FACT: Jesus claimed to be God. Either he was a nut or he was really God! The fact thousands and thousands considered it worth dying for there belief in the Man/God Jesus speaks volumes!

Millions believe in Santa, what dos that tell you?
That millions can all believe in the same thing and be wrong. Even the morality of the factious Santa is better then your Jesus, Santa says be good for goodness sake (the best reason to be good), Jesus says be good or burn for ever. If you choose not to believe in Santa you still get presents. If you don't believe in Jesus you will be burning for ever.

sheskew You are NOT a religious person... But claim to be intelligent .. When it comes to PROVING a negative, the quest cannot start off as a negative. You have placed it in the category as a "NEGATIVE" before you start!

First you must prove Jesus is a NEGATIVE!
FACT: There was a man named Jesus, he claimed to be God!
Bennett91
Posts: 4,199
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8/8/2015 5:54:18 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/6/2015 5:15:17 AM, UniversalTheologian wrote:
At 8/6/2015 5:08:22 AM, sheskew wrote:
At 8/6/2015 4:47:49 AM, UniversalTheologian wrote:
God is defined to exist, it's even one of his names.

UT, the trouble with this philosophical position is that only real entities have real attributes. For example, if I define the "fuzzywump" as a magical animal that definitely exists, even though the fuzzywump is defined to exist, it still does not. Words and definitions cannot evoke real things out of nothing.

Of course not, I'm not disagreeing with you.

God exists independent of any defining. In fact, God is fundamentally beyond abstraction.

God represents what is True independent of any measuring stick or bias. God represents the Ultimate or Supreme Reality.

If you deny the existence of such a thing, you don't deserve to even be taken seriously.

So then why call it God then? Why not just reality? Your definition isn't just simple reality, you add on character attributes and other mythology (ironically stepping away from reality/God).
UniversalTheologian
Posts: 1,078
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8/8/2015 6:01:14 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/8/2015 5:54:18 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 8/6/2015 5:15:17 AM, UniversalTheologian wrote:
At 8/6/2015 5:08:22 AM, sheskew wrote:
At 8/6/2015 4:47:49 AM, UniversalTheologian wrote:
God is defined to exist, it's even one of his names.

UT, the trouble with this philosophical position is that only real entities have real attributes. For example, if I define the "fuzzywump" as a magical animal that definitely exists, even though the fuzzywump is defined to exist, it still does not. Words and definitions cannot evoke real things out of nothing.

Of course not, I'm not disagreeing with you.

God exists independent of any defining. In fact, God is fundamentally beyond abstraction.

God represents what is True independent of any measuring stick or bias. God represents the Ultimate or Supreme Reality.

If you deny the existence of such a thing, you don't deserve to even be taken seriously.

So then why call it God then? Why not just reality? Your definition isn't just simple reality, you add on character attributes and other mythology (ironically stepping away from reality/God).

This is what the concept means. I'm not adding any such thing. Personification of deity is for the purpose of communicating something, not anything else. As a example, "the hand of God" would not be a big hand poking out of the clouds.

Culture has a great deal to do with how language is used.
"There are trivial truths and the great truths. The opposite of a trivial truth is plainly false. The opposite of a great truth is also true." ~ Niels Bohr

"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." ~ Arthur Schopenhauer
Bennett91
Posts: 4,199
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8/8/2015 6:07:38 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/8/2015 6:01:14 PM, UniversalTheologian wrote:
At 8/8/2015 5:54:18 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 8/6/2015 5:15:17 AM, UniversalTheologian wrote:
At 8/6/2015 5:08:22 AM, sheskew wrote:
At 8/6/2015 4:47:49 AM, UniversalTheologian wrote:
God is defined to exist, it's even one of his names.

UT, the trouble with this philosophical position is that only real entities have real attributes. For example, if I define the "fuzzywump" as a magical animal that definitely exists, even though the fuzzywump is defined to exist, it still does not. Words and definitions cannot evoke real things out of nothing.

Of course not, I'm not disagreeing with you.

God exists independent of any defining. In fact, God is fundamentally beyond abstraction.

God represents what is True independent of any measuring stick or bias. God represents the Ultimate or Supreme Reality.

If you deny the existence of such a thing, you don't deserve to even be taken seriously.

So then why call it God then? Why not just reality? Your definition isn't just simple reality, you add on character attributes and other mythology (ironically stepping away from reality/God).

This is what the concept means. I'm not adding any such thing. Personification of deity is for the purpose of communicating something, not anything else. As a example, "the hand of God" would not be a big hand poking out of the clouds.

Culture has a great deal to do with how language is used.

From what I understand you're a christian, you are most definitely putting an extra christian spin on reality. You don't interpret reality as is, you add your own religious bias to it. Just as every other religion does.
UniversalTheologian
Posts: 1,078
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8/8/2015 6:35:37 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/8/2015 6:07:38 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 8/8/2015 6:01:14 PM, UniversalTheologian wrote:
At 8/8/2015 5:54:18 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 8/6/2015 5:15:17 AM, UniversalTheologian wrote:
At 8/6/2015 5:08:22 AM, sheskew wrote:
At 8/6/2015 4:47:49 AM, UniversalTheologian wrote:
God is defined to exist, it's even one of his names.

UT, the trouble with this philosophical position is that only real entities have real attributes. For example, if I define the "fuzzywump" as a magical animal that definitely exists, even though the fuzzywump is defined to exist, it still does not. Words and definitions cannot evoke real things out of nothing.

Of course not, I'm not disagreeing with you.

God exists independent of any defining. In fact, God is fundamentally beyond abstraction.

God represents what is True independent of any measuring stick or bias. God represents the Ultimate or Supreme Reality.

If you deny the existence of such a thing, you don't deserve to even be taken seriously.

So then why call it God then? Why not just reality? Your definition isn't just simple reality, you add on character attributes and other mythology (ironically stepping away from reality/God).

This is what the concept means. I'm not adding any such thing. Personification of deity is for the purpose of communicating something, not anything else. As a example, "the hand of God" would not be a big hand poking out of the clouds.

Culture has a great deal to do with how language is used.

From what I understand you're a christian, you are most definitely putting an extra christian spin on reality. You don't interpret reality as is, you add your own religious bias to it. Just as every other religion does.

Everyone is bias when it comes to their relationship to reality. I don't believe in things because I'm supposed to believe in things, I believe in things because I actually believe in things. You do not have sufficient information to make judgement on me. You don't understand my faith. Don't pretend to.
"There are trivial truths and the great truths. The opposite of a trivial truth is plainly false. The opposite of a great truth is also true." ~ Niels Bohr

"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." ~ Arthur Schopenhauer
Bennett91
Posts: 4,199
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8/8/2015 6:45:05 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 8/8/2015 6:35:37 PM, UniversalTheologian wrote:
At 8/8/2015 6:07:38 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 8/8/2015 6:01:14 PM, UniversalTheologian wrote:
At 8/8/2015 5:54:18 PM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 8/6/2015 5:15:17 AM, UniversalTheologian wrote:
At 8/6/2015 5:08:22 AM, sheskew wrote:
At 8/6/2015 4:47:49 AM, UniversalTheologian wrote:
God is defined to exist, it's even one of his names.

UT, the trouble with this philosophical position is that only real entities have real attributes. For example, if I define the "fuzzywump" as a magical animal that definitely exists, even though the fuzzywump is defined to exist, it still does not. Words and definitions cannot evoke real things out of nothing.

Of course not, I'm not disagreeing with you.

God exists independent of any defining. In fact, God is fundamentally beyond abstraction.

God represents what is True independent of any measuring stick or bias. God represents the Ultimate or Supreme Reality.

If you deny the existence of such a thing, you don't deserve to even be taken seriously.

So then why call it God then? Why not just reality? Your definition isn't just simple reality, you add on character attributes and other mythology (ironically stepping away from reality/God).

This is what the concept means. I'm not adding any such thing. Personification of deity is for the purpose of communicating something, not anything else. As a example, "the hand of God" would not be a big hand poking out of the clouds.

Culture has a great deal to do with how language is used.

From what I understand you're a christian, you are most definitely putting an extra christian spin on reality. You don't interpret reality as is, you add your own religious bias to it. Just as every other religion does.

Everyone is bias when it comes to their relationship to reality. I don't believe in things because I'm supposed to believe in things, I believe in things because I actually believe in things. You do not have sufficient information to make judgement on me. You don't understand my faith. Don't pretend to.

You believe in things because you believe them .... wow. No I won't pretend that there's anything to understand about your world view, you'll just shift the goal posts like all theists.